Thursday, August 29, 2013

Yvonne (dressed) vs. Brenda (dressed)

Yvonne (dressed) vs. Brenda (dressed)

by Anne Field

In my last post I had a head-to-head competition between the new Zica humanoid 8.0 (Yvonne) and the Brenda Breyer doll. Both were completely unmodified and naked so they could not cheat or hide any of their abilities (or lack of). I was so impressed with how Yvonne did naked I wanted to get her dressed as soon as possible to finish testing if she would make a good rider doll. So I chose the most unforgiving riding outfit I could think of; super fitted chaps and a fitted, non-stretchy western shirt. I did some very slight modifications so she would sit deep in the saddle and repainted her face and rehaired her head (neither of those effecting the way she rides of course). The Brenda dolls in this competition have all had heavy modifications including; taping the waists (so they are not floppy), padding the waist (so they don't look like they have on corsets), padded their rear ends (so they can sit up in the saddle instead of falling over or hovering) bendy necks added (so they can look somewhere other than straight ahead or straight to the side), arm joints tightened and so one. To modify the Brenda to get her ready for dressing as a rider doll can take anywhere from 1-2 hours depending on if anything fell off in shipping (I have had legs fall off as soon as they come out of the box) and how hard getting everything to stay where it is supposed to stay turns out to be.

This first comparison is a 3/4 front view. Yvonne has a very realistic face...
but Brenda looks like a doll. Both have a decent shape and ride nicely.
The second view is also a 3/4 front view but a full body shot. Yvonne looks very comfortable in the saddle and still looks very realistic. 
This Brenda has a new sculpted head, which is decent but not nearly as nice as the Yvonne head sculpt. Again, both dolls ride well.
Next we have a 3/4 full body back view. Yvonne's leg looks a bit stiff but that could an adjustment issue. 
Brenda looks very natural to me and quite realistic. Both dolls are sitting in the saddle nicely.
A full on side view is next. Yvonne chose to sit in an English saddle because some people have asked to see her in different kinds of tack. She fits in it very comfortably, even in her chaps! 
Brenda looks fine, and she does hold the reins nicely.
Next is the gaming position. It would also be an over fences position if the horse was jumping. Both Brenda and Yvonne do this very well. They are leaning forward and looking up at what they are heading for. 
Brenda can't do this without her custom bendy neck, though Yvonne can do this straight out of the package.
I've only played with the one Yvonne doll so far but I am a fan. She takes very little modification to make her an excellent rider doll, she has a super realistic face sculpt that I am very excited about, she is shaped like a real person and fairly easy to use.  Her arms do stick out a tiny bit when she is dressed in a fitted top but I think I have a modification that will solve that problem as well.
Both dolls have merit as riders, but I am loving the new Yvonne and am looking forward to making many, many more of them into custom riders. Yvonne is more expensive to purchase than the Breyer dolls but she saves me so much time not having to do a total body rebuild (and I don't have to sculpt a head!) that I will be offering them for custom order for a very minimal extra cost. Happy showing!

Many thanks to Anne Field for staging this compare and contrast photo shoot and allowing me to post it here.  Please visit Anne's blog for more information about how you can order a custom Yvonne doll of your own!


  1. I'm really digging the face repaint on this Yvonne; I've always hated the Breyer dolls for that vacant stare and stiff smile. By contrast, the Yvonne repaint looks natural and relaxed. Maybe this will be the push to get me to start loving model horse setups with dolls in them.

  2. Wow! Looks like a game-changer to me. I frankly loathe Brenda, who looks like a Barbie, even when reworked by talented artists. Her proportions are simply not human. On a high-end model Brenda can't help but make any setup look less realistic. Yvonne has a level of realism much more worthy of being paired with Breyer horses.

  3. Can't wait to get my doll made. Looking forward to it; very forward to it. (From someone who loathed dolls as a child.)

  4. MUCH better face on Yvonne now, whoo-hoo! You are a magician, Anne, with these plastic beauties (Hugh Hefner ought to hire you, LOL). They look terrific.

    I'm always impressed with how you pros can pose the dolls in such an amazingly realistic fashion. You have all the little nuances down pat and it makes a huge difference.

  5. Being mainly a dollmaker who is new to the model horse world, I've always been appalled at the "barbie" looking dolls that people put on gorgeous, high-dollar horse models. Yvonne is worlds better than the Brenda-barbie dolls. Does the maker have any male dolls for sale?