Do you know Tulabelle? Tulabelle is a teen fashion blogger. She also happens to be the granddaughter of the famous 1960s teen fashion model Poppy Parker, so fashion is in her blood. Introduced in 2013 by Integrity Toys, the initial Tulabelle line consisted of six 16″ dolls – two basic models and four deluxe versions. Each edition was limited to 300 dolls. In late 2013 Integrity issued a special convention edition of Tulabelle, Fashion Creature 2.0 Tulabelle. Pomp and Circumstance is one of two Tulabelle dolls that I purchased last month. I’ll review the other, J’Adore Basic Edition, in a separate post soon.
Tulabelle comes in a purple box emblazoned with her name in gold.
The inside lid features a funky artist’s rendition of Tulabelle.
It also explains Tulabelle’s backstory.
Pomp and Circumstance derives her name from her pompadour hairstyle. She comes dressed in a leopard fur coat, a white blouse, and red cigarette pants. Being a deluxe edition, she comes with several accessories, including a tote bag, earrings, a ring, a necklace, sunglasses, and not one but two pairs of shoes: a pair of heels and a pair of flats. I just love a doll that comes with extra shoes.
Her feet are jointed so she can wear the heels or the flats.
She also comes with a stand. The height of the stand is adjustable to accommodate the doll whether it’s wearing the flats or the heels.
After I deboxed Tulabelle, I eagerly opened all the accessories. I put her earrings on first. The holes in her ears looked too small for the earrings to fit, but I was able to put them in with a little effort.
Next I put the ring on her finger. It’s very tiny, and slips off easily, so after a few photographs I put it safely back into its plastic bag. I can easily see myself losing this ring if I don’t keep it in its bag – forever.
Next I tried putting her sunglasses on, but in trying to fit them on her face, one of the arms of the sunglasses broke. How disappointing.
So here she is wearing her broken sunglasses. I balanced them on her face with only one side support. That’s why it looks a little wonky.
Dressed in her fur coat, with all of her fabulous accessories, and wearing her shiny red heels, Pomp and Circumstance Tulabelle is ready to hang out with some friends at her favorite thrift store or sit front row at the hottest runway show.
I love how Integrity adds some really cool accessories to their dolls. I would totally buy Tulabelle’s “LOVE” tote bag if it was available in a life-sized version. However, if there’s one thing I don’t like about Pomp and Circumstance Tulabelle, it’s the necklace that came with her. It matches the colors in her makeup, but I think it’s gaudy, it doesn’t go with the outfit, and it detracts from the overall look. It’s just one accessory too many.
After Tulabelle was all dressed up with somewhere exciting to go, I removed her fur coat. That’s when I really fell in love with her, because underneath her coat, unseen when I first opened the box, is the most adorable blouse: cap-sleeved, pin-tucked, with a Peter Pan collar.
It looks marvelous with her slim red cigarette pants. And when I switched out her heels for her black ballet flats, the doll suddenly took on a charming simplicity that I hadn’t expected from her. A little modern, a little retro, and not as “impossibly hip” as I first perceived her to be. Another thing that I love about her simpler outfit is that when Tulabelle is wearing her flats, she can stand on her own.
Tulabelle’s hair is permanently plastered into her pompadour hairstyle. Seriously, this hair must have been wind-tunnel tested because it’s not budging. While it’s a little masculine, I think it suits her quite nicely.
As with other Integrity dolls, the clothes are very nicely made with great attention to detail. The blouse has tiny pin tucks and black piping around the collar. The trousers feature back pockets. The coat is lined and has a tiny label with the “W” logo for Integrity Toys. It makes it look like a designer fashion.
Tulabelle has good articulation for a 16″ doll, certainly better than My Deja Vu by the Tonner Doll Company. Tulabelle can put her hands on her hips.
She can touch her hair.
She can put her hands over her mouth in an expression of shock and awe.
So what do I think of Tulabelle? In a word, surprising. As cool as I thought Pomp and Circumstance was with her fur coat and sunglasses, I really fell in love with her when I stripped her down and removed her coat, sunglasses, heels, and excess jewelry. Suddenly she was transformed from uber-hip to gamine, like Audrey Hepburn with a James Dean hairstyle. I couldn’t stop photographing her.
I don’t often collect 16″ dolls because of their size. They can be less articulated, and making dioramas for them can be difficult due to their scale and the availability of furnishings and accessories. Tulabelle is really sweet, and I really like the two that I have. Integrity hasn’t released any Tulabelles for 2014, so it looks like the line was just a one-off. I would love to see Tulabelle return as a 12″ doll, just like Poppy Parker. I would definitely collect more of her.
Are you a Tulabelle fan?