Kids Give ~ Karito Kids

 

 

Ling in her box 

Karito Kids Wan Ling in her box

Ling close-up

Ling close-up

Doll Line

Karito Kids Logo 

Karito Kids

Manufacturer/Distributer

Kids Give LogoKids Give

Artist

Not acknowledged.

Production Years

2007-present

Size

H21"

Body Type

Soft body, articulated with vinyl breast plate.

Eyes

Inset acrylic, fixed. Applied lashes.

Hair

Kanekalon wig.

Identifying Markings

2006 KidsGive on back of the neck  (both incised and printed). Body tag.

Retail Price

$99.99

Clothing/Accessories

Outfits available separately. The clothing is all modern and not specific to any particular doll or nationality.

Clothing Fit

In spite of the difference in height, Karito Kids fit American Girl doll clothes quite well. Their waist is about the same size as the newer AGs (slimmer than the pre-Mattel AGs). The main difference is the leg length and, less problematically, the arm length. Skirts and dresses can be exchanged pretty well. Most shoes will fit even though the Karito Kids' feet are narrower and about 1/4" longer.

Dolls in Series

Gia from Italy
Pita from Mexico
Lulu from Kenya
Zoe from the USA
Ling from China

Books?

Each doll comes with a hardcover mystery book.

Sources

Retail stores -- for a list see Find a Store page on the company website.

On-line sources include Garden of Imagination and FAO Schwartz..

For More Information

See the company website, especially the About pages.

 

I was very excited when I found out about this new doll line. I was really drawn to the faces of the dolls and I loved the idea of dolls to help girls learn about and identify with girls from other countries. The designers of the dolls had obviously taken great care in creating dolls that would look the part of a girl from China, or Mexico or Kenya -- not just taken a generic face and changed the wig, eye and skin color and clothing.

There was no doubt in my mind that I would order Wan Ling, from China, since there are so few beautiful Asian dolls on the market. I ordered her the first day they were available for sale and she arrived quickly. As soon as I took her out of the box I knew I was going to be even happier with her than I was expecting. The first thing I noticed about her was her weight -- she just feels good in your hands. Her vinyl is smooth and dense her complexion warm and pleasant.

Wan Ling sitting downI sat the doll down to do the "ladylike sit test" and I was very happy to see how well she could sit without having her legs splay out to the sides. Her legs are very long and slim so she won't pose well sitting on a chair but she sits very nicely on a bed or on the ground. (These dolls would be wonderful candidates for jointed knees!)

I flipped through the hardcover mystery book that came with her and it looks cute. The illustrations look like they would make a good cartoon for T.V. I especially liked the color section in the back that was Ling's scrapbook/journal. What a fun way to see pictures and share information like her favorite foods! I gave the book to my ten-year-old and we'll have to see her reaction ("But first I have to finish Harry Potter, Mom," so it may be a while.)

Also included with the doll is a small passport. In the front, it has information about the doll like her name, age and where she's from (inluding world and country maps) The passport also has information about the website, caring for your doll, and the truly unique feature of the doll line -- the children's charity that Kids Give supports.

The word "karito" means charity in the constructed language Esperanto and Kids Give, the company that produces the Karito Kids, donates 3% of the purchase price to Plan, a charitable organization benefiting children worldwide. The new owner of the doll can go to the company website and enter an "activation code", included in the passport, and choose how she would like Plan to use the money from her purchase. From the choices of "Health", "Homes", "Hope" and "School", my girls chose "Health".

In the future, there will be more educational games and activities available on the website. Judging from the high quality of what is up on the site at the time of this writing, I would expect the best.

I was curious about her vinyl breastplate, so naturally the next thing I did was to undress her. I found that her construction is really marvelous! For comparison's sake, here are two pictures of her standing next to the Asian American Girl (a Just Like You doll).

 

Karito Kids and American Girl Body Style Comparison 

Karito Kids and American Girl body style comparison, side 

Karito Kids and American Girl body comparison 

As you can see, the Karito Kids doll is several inches taller than an American Girl doll and slightly slimmer. The arms and legs are jointed in a similar manner as the American Girl (rounded upper limbs that fit into cups on the torso, held in by elastic cording). This means that, like American Girl dolls, the Karito Kids are very poseable and stand well on their own. The vinyl breastplate, however, gives them a more poseable head and allows them to wear fashions that look odd on an all cloth body doll, such as low neck lines and tank tops. Yet the soft body means they still have the "huggable factor. Besides the wonderful skin tone (that makes my AG look sallow by comparison) and excellent quality vinyl, I am really impressed with the wonderful blushing on the body, the graceful sculpt of hands, elbows and knees and the wonderfully engineered breastplate that transitions smoothly to the cloth body.

Ling's hair from the backUnlike the American Girl doll, the Karito Kid's eyes are fixed. They are terrific quality acrylic eyes with applied eyelashes on the top. The painting around the eyes is very fine and realistic. Ling's hair is a high-quality, Kanekalon wig with a braid on either side and long layers in the back. Her bangs are not too heavy and hang nicely.

The outfit Ling is wearing is modern and cute. I have no idea if it is representative of what little Chinese girls are wearing in Shanghai these days. It consists of a velour t-shirt with a pretty embroidered butterfly, a very short jean miniskirt, white panties, white tights, knitted pink legwarmers (that have an angora feel to them) and tall white, lace-up boots with a sneaker-like soul. The clothes are tagged "Karito Kids". All of the pieces of the outfit are well constructed and are of very good materials. I especially like the boots which are super-realistic and cleverly made -- they have a Velcro closure in the back to make them easy to get on and off without having to untie them. My only complaint about the clothing is the use of evil, hair-snagging Velcro on the shirt.

Since the dolls are considerably taller than my other soft-body vinyl play dolls, I next wanted to see how well they could share clothes with the dolls I already have. When I dressed the dolls again, I swapped the outfits on the AG and the Karito Kids. As you can see from the picture below, the fit is not too bad. The two dolls have about the same size waist and very similar sized feet (the Karito Kids' are narrower and about 1/4" longer). The big difference is the length of the leg and, to a lesser extent, the arms. I would say the two dolls can swap dresses and skirt outfits fairly well though AG pants would look like capris on a Karito Kids.

Ling and American Girl swap clothesThe Karito Kids are about $8 more expensive than an American Girl with a hardcover book, though about $3 of the difference is donated to charity. They are expensive but they are a very, very high quality doll and I am surprised they can produce them as inexpensively as they are considering what a smaller quantity of dolls they are producing compared to American Girl.

From pictures, I assumed the dolls would be out of proportion with American Girl and wouldn't display well with them or their similar-sized cousins. However, they actually blend nicely together. They have different heights and builds, like real children would, but they both have slightly larger heads in proportion to their bodies (compared to real girls or other, more realistically proportioned dolls). In our doll world, Wan Ling mayKarito Kids next to Effanbee Gloria Ann play our AG Mei's older sister. As you can see from the picture on the right, though the Karito Kids is the same height as the Effanbee Gloria Ann, she makes poor Gloria look like a pinhead by comparison.

In summary, I would give the Karito Kids a very strong "A" grade. These dolls are beautifully sculpted, of the very best quality and they have a compelling social agenda. If you are an adult collector or you want your child to have a special companion who will stand up to real play and still look lovely when she is passed along to the next generation, I would highly recommend one of the Karito Kids.

 

Text Copyright 2007 Maria Greene All Rights Reserved

This page was last updated 08/02/07