Doll Review: Cave Club

Hello, friends! Today we are taking a look at Mattel’s new doll line:

Cave Club!

Cave Club Dolls 2020.

The Cave Club is a brand-new series consisting of six prehistoric friends: Tella, Emberly, Fernessa, Roaralai, Slate, and Rockelle.

When I first saw Cave Club, I was underwhelmed. Don’t get me wrong—I adore cute dolls with exaggerated features. Some of the greatest dolls to ever hit shelves (like Ever After High) fall into this category!

Part of my Ever After High collection.

Ever After High, however, manages to have a nice balance between normal and edgy. 

Nowadays, it seems like every new doll is an avant-garde “kid” with crazy hair. Is it too much to ask for some natural-looking characters once in a while?

But I digress…

As I was saying, the promotional images from Toy Fair didn’t leave me counting down the days till Cave Club’s release. In fact, I completely forgot about them…until I walked into Walmart.

Sometimes seeing a doll in person makes all the difference. As I stood there, looking at these caveman-inspired dolls, ideas for ways to incorporate them into our mini world danced in my head. They weren’t even in the cart, and I’d already conjured up backstories for each one! That’s never a good sign.

A few hours later, I was back home and eager to unbox the newest members of our miniverse: Emberly and Roaralai.

Doll Review: Emberly and Roaralai from Cave Club.
Meet Emberly:

Here is Emberly still in her box:

Cave Club Emberly (box).

The box is brightly colored. It has a curvy, plastic front with the name of the doll written in the top corner.

On the back is a doodle of Emberly next to some sauropod-like creatures. There’s a short description that reads:

Ever wonder who the first friends were? Meet the Cave Club–a truly unruly group of prehistoric kids who are way ahead of their time!

Since this doesn’t tell us much about Emberly, I flipped over to Mattel’s website to find out more. According to her bio there, Emberly is an optimistic, energetic, inventor.

Meet Emberly.

Emberly comes with:

  • A club that transforms into a torch.
  • A utility belt and hammer.
  • A small dinosaur pal.
  • A pink comb that’s shaped like a bone.

Her accessories are quite interesting and bring up the topic of whether humans and dinosaurs co-existed. But, before we get into that, let’s take a closer look at the doll.

Emberly has green, side-glancing eyes with pink dots in the inner corners. Her lips are bright pink, and her face is dotted with brown freckles (cute😍). She also has a symbol of some sort painted on her left cheek.

Symbol on Emberly's cheek.

What’s the symbol? It’s hard to tell, but I’m guessing it’s a flame (or something along those lines).

Of the Cave Club crew, Emberly’s skin tone is the lightest. It’s very close to the Purple Top Made-To-Move Barbie–maybe a shade or two darker.

Next, we have her blazing pink hair.

This doll has some of the brightest hair I’ve ever seen! It’s hot, hot pink with a few yellow streaks at the top. The back is crimped and stops just below her knees.

Emberly's hair.

In the front, Emberly has bangs that are held in place with a plastic headband.

Emberly's bangs and bandana.

The headband is yellow and looks like a bandana tied around a bone. Of course, it comes secured to Emberly’s head with those dastardly plastic ties😒.

In case the color wasn’t eye-catching enough, Emberly tops off her style with a short ponytail that sticks straight up from behind her bandana.

As far as quality goes, I’d say her hair is average. It’s soft and doesn’t have the sticky, gluey residue that sometimes plagued Ever After High.

Still, Emberly’s hair is my least favorite part. Whimsical hair is great, but this is way too loud. I’m also not a fan of the crimping or the funky spray at the top of her head.

Let’s just say that I would change it if I could.

Want to know what I have planned for Emberly and Roaralai’s wild hair? Stick around till the end of this post to find out😉!

Now let’s check out Emberly’s outfit.

Emberly’s Outfit:
Cave Club Emberly's outfit.

Emberly is wearing:

  • A sleeveless tank top.
  • A layered, asymmetrical skirt.
  • A pair of plastic leg warmers.
  • A bone necklace.
  • A utility belt.
Emberly's dress.

Emberly’s outfit is mostly blue with black polka dots. Both the top and skirt fasten in the back with Velcro.

There is a yellow ribbon sewn to the tank top’s neckline. The ribbon ties around Emberly’s neck and keeps her top from flopping over.

The skirt has two layers. The bottom layer is polka-dotted while the top is yellow with pink stripes.

The shirt’s neckline and skirt’s waistband are neatly hemmed; however, the bottom edges are cut jagged and left unstitched.

That’s okay, though, because this material is a non-fraying polyester, so there’s no need to worry about the fabric unraveling.

As you can see, Emberly is completely barefoot and has no shoes. Instead, she wears a pair of neon pink leg warmers.

The leg warmers are plastic and look like blades of grass. The level of detail here is very good. If you look closely, you can see a row of beads bordering the top and bone-shaped buckles on the sides.

The final piece of Emberly’s attire is a tiny bone choker that comes clasped around her neck.

Emberly's necklace.

The choker is removable so, if bones aren’t your style, you don’t have to keep it.

Emberly’s Accessories:
Emberly's comb.

Of course, Emberly comes with an obligatory comb.

Actually, I appreciate doll combs and brushes very much (especially since I’m always losing mine). So, while I may joke about them, I can’t deny that these little tools never go to waste.

Her second accessory is a club that transforms into a torch when you remove the top.

Emberly's club/torch.
Pop the top off of Emberly’s club to turn it into a torch!
Emberly holding torch.

I’m sorry, guys! I had to do it🤣.

Finally, we have Emberly’s pet: Flaire the Velociraptor!

Emberly and Flaire.

Yes, according to the description at, Flaire is a raptor.

Flaire is bubblegum pink with teal eyebrows and a tuft of plastic, orange feathers on top of her head.

Cave Club Pet Dinosaur: Flaire.

She also has a squiggly, yellow design under her left eye.

Flaire has a teeny bit of articulation. Her head turns from side to side.

I’ve heard a few remarks about how inaccurate Cave Club is, and it’s not the unrealistic color scheme or out-of-time props (like stone tablets and boomboxes) they’re criticizing. No, it’s that Mattel included baby dinosaurs in the line-up, and dinosaurs lived millions of years before humans ever walked the earth, right?

Maybe not…

The Creationist’s Perspective:

Creationists are Christians who study dinosaurs and believe that man and dinosaurs once lived side by side. Unfortunately, mainstream scientists dismiss their ideas, insisting that carbon dating is accurate and saying religion clouds a Creationist’s judgment. This, my friends, is not true.

There are heaps of evidence outside of the Bible supporting the Creationist’s viewpoint. While I’m tempted to open the floodgates and show you, this is a doll review, not a dissertation, so I’ll spare you😉.

Instead, I encourage you to do your own investigating. Check out some of the books written by Creationists. A few of my favorites are:

  1. Frozen In Time by Michael Oard.
  2. The Great Dinosaur Mystery Solved by Ken Ham.
  3. The Great Dinosaur Mystery And The Bible by Paul S. Taylor (for young readers).
Recommended books for Creationists.
These titles are available at Amazon.

Clearly, I’m of the opinion that dino pets are A-okay! Well, most of them—we may need to keep an eye on that raptor.

Now that we’ve thoroughly examined Emberly and her accessories (we’ll get to articulation in just a sec😉), let’s bring out Roaralai!

Meet Roaralai:

Here is an unboxed Roaralai:

Cave Club Roaralai (box).

Her box looks just like Emberly’s. It has a vivid backdrop and curved, plastic front. The only difference is that the main color is purple instead of pink. I guess Roaralai is our purple-loving girl!

Since the description on Roaralai’s box is exactly the same as the one on Emberly’s (a vague summary of the dolls), I went back to Mattel’s site and read her bio there. Apparently, Roaralai is a fearless, fiercely loyal girl who is protective of her best friends.

Cave Club Roaralai.

This doll comes with:

  • A handbag.
  • A cat ear headband (which conveniently clips to the handbag).
  • A comb.
  • A prehistoric friend.

Alright, Tink, enough joking around! Let’s get Roaralai up here so we can see her pretty face.

Cave Club Roaralai (close up).

Roaralai has sage green eyes and purple eyebrows. Her eyes are looking straight ahead, which is awesome. It makes photographing her much easier.

Cave Club Roaralai (side profile).

She has magenta lips, and she certainly didn’t spare the face paint! There are white triangles over her eyes, on her cheeks, as well as a lavender stripe across the bridge of her nose.

Roaralai’s hair is fuchsia-colored.

The back is straight, but the sides and top are crimped. Like the other Cave Club dolls, she has a tuft of hair that stands straight up on top of her head.

She wears a bone hair clip that looks kind of like a rib cage.

Roarlai's bone-shaped hair clip.

Although the poor girl does have a slight case of rumpled, box hair, the quality feels decent. The back especially is super soft. I just wish the color and style weren’t so outrageous.

Okay, time move on to Roaralai’s feline-inspired outfit!

Roaralai’s Outfit:
Roaralai's tiger-inspired outfit.

Roaralai comes wearing:

  • A faux fur wrap.
  • A one-shoulder dress and strapless top.
  • A toothy belt.
  • A pair of plastic leg warmers.

It’s pretty clear that Roaralai’s outfit is inspired by large cats.

The strapless top is a black and white leopard print. The dress is orangey-yellow and covered with black tiger stripes. The top and the dress are one piece and have Velcro closures in the back.

Her fuzzy, orange shawl resembles a lion’s mane.

The shawl is separate from the dress and slips over her shoulders thanks to some stretchy elastic.

Roaralai’s belt is a simple purple strap that fits loosely around her waist.

It has two curved teeth in the front.

Lastly, we have the magenta leg warmers she wears instead of shoes or sandals.

At first, I thought Roaralai’s leg wrappings were fur, but they’re not. They’re thick leaves with toothy buckles molded to the sides and beads at the top.

Also, I forgot to mention it when looking at Emberly, but the leg warmers are removable.

Roaralai’s Accessories:

Miss Roaralai comes with a purple bone-shaped comb.

Her other accompaniments are a cat handbag and pet saber-tooth-kitten.

Cave Club Roaralai's Accessories.

Roaralai’s handbag is orange and painted to look like a saber-tooth tiger.

Cave Club Roaralai's handbag.

Clipped to the handbag is a cat-ear headband that Roaralai can wear.

Roaralai wearing headband.

In my opinion, the cat ears aren’t great. Maybe it’s the way I have them pinned, but they look awkward.

The handbag, on the other hand, is really cute!

Roaralai holding her purse.

The top is open, so the bag can hold one or two small items. If you’re having a hard time keeping it on Roaralai’s shoulder, just unbuckle it and strap it around her like a crossbody purse.

Last but not least, we have her adorable saber-tooth kitten: Ferrell!

Cave Club pet: Ferrell.

Ferrell (an obvious wordplay on “feral”) is lavender with dark purple stripes. He has emerald green eyes, a cute pink nose, and a couple of tiny fangs poking out of his mouth. On top of his head is a bit of pink fuzz (albeit plastic fuzz).

Ferrell is partially articulated and can turn his head.

Ferrell the saber-tooth kitten.

Again, I kinda wish the pets (at least the non-dino ones) were a more realistic color. Still, I’m having a hard time not adoring this little cutie😍.

How Well Do They Pose?

Time to see how well these girls can pose!

Cave Club Articulation.

Emberly and Roaralai have articulation at the head, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, and knees. That’s pretty good!

In fact, it’s almost as good as Ever After High. I say almost because Cave Club’s neck movement is limited. They can turn their head to the side but can’t look up or down🙁.

Speaking of Ever After High, let’s bring a few of our old friends out and see how they compare to Cave Club.

Cave Club Verses Ever After High!
Cave Club verses Ever After High.

Wow! Emberly and Roaralai are a lot smaller than our Ever After High girls! They’re about 8-inches tall, whereas Apple, Lizzie, and Cerise stand between 10 to 11-inches tall.

Needless to say, Cave Club dolls also have bigger feet.

But what about clothes? Since their bodies are slim like Ever After High, I wonder if they can share outfits.

Let’s bring out Maddie and see!

Since Maddie is one of the shorter characters, I figured she was perfect for this test (she was also the most willing😉).

Here is Roaralai wearing Maddie’s dress:

Do Ever After High clothes fit Cave Club dolls?

The stockings and shoes didn’t fit, but the dress does!

It’s a little baggy around the shoulders and bust. Still, I think it would be easy to alter an Ever After High dress (or pattern) to fit these dolls.

Maddie? Are you ready to come out and show us how a prehistoric Mad Hatter looks?

Well, that answers that! Cave Club can wear some Ever After High dresses, but Ever After High dolls are too big for Cave Club’s tiny garments.

Alright, let’s wrap up this review with a few final thoughts.

Final Thoughts:

My poor readers! You’ve probably gone cross-eyed after reading this long review! Well, I promise to keep the next bit short and to the point.

Cave Club Doll Review.

Cave Club has a lot of pros and one big con. Let’s start with the pros.

Pro Number One: The dolls are cute.

Doll Review: Cave Club Emberly.

Admit it–you want one. Their big, expressive eyes and pleasant smiles are irresistible.

Pro Number 2: They have a good level of articulation.

While they can’t compete with Made-To-Move Barbies or Ever After High, Cave Club dolls are fairly flexible.

They can bend their knees to sit down or kneel and can almost hold a cell phone to their ear (not that they need one).

Doll Photostory graphic.

Pro Number 3: The accessories are cute.

Okay, so I’m mostly loving Emberly’s accessories. Roaralai’s are cute too but not purrfect. The cat-ear headband could’ve been better.

Roaralai's headband,

Emberly, however, has awesome gadgets! And I’m not the only one who thinks so…

And we can’t forget about the pets–they are really sweet too.

Cave Club Pets: Flaire and Ferrell.
Flaire and Ferrell

Pro Number 4: They’re affordable.

Cave Club Roaralai holding Ferrell.

I paid $12.94 for each of these dolls (plus tax, of course). In my opinion, that’s pretty good for a cute doll with decent articulation and fun accessories.

Overall, I think Cave Club is neat line with a cool theme–except for one major con:

They are way too wild!

Seriously? Does anyone really believe ancient humans had neon hair?

Doll Review: Cave Club Roaralai.

I get that colorful dolls are all the rage right now, but I think Mattel could’ve incorporated the “march to your own beat” message without the bizarre updos.

Yes, I am going to fix it. I just wish I didn’t have to.

The next time y’all see Emberly and Roaralai, they will have a whole new look. Why? Because they are getting rerooted with swanky nylon hair! In fact, Emberly is already checked into the doll hospital and undergoing surgery as we speak.

I won’t go into it today, but I’ll update everyone with a post showing off their new, softer, style as soon as they’re done.

Now it’s your turn!

Yes, I’m finally done talking🤣! Now it’s your turn to tell us what you think about Cave Club. What’s your favorite (and not so favorite) part about this line?

Share your thoughts down below, and I will see you next time with more doll fun and (hopefully) some crafts!


  1. I have the same scrapbook papers that you used for your EAH photos. So perfect for our fairytale girls! I also like the leafy background that you used for the Cave Club photos.

    I don’t know where I stand completely on the age of the earth (although I am a Christian) but it’s silly to complain about a cute, fun line of prehistoric dolls having dinosaurs as pets.

    I like the Cave Club colors, but then again, at one time I wore fluorescent yellow and hot pink leather ties, and a fluorescent yellow knit vest. 🙂 Since all browns and blacks would have been realistic but boring, I guess Mattel decided to go with something that would attract the eyes of a child. I won’t be getting any, but your review showed them off well.

    1. Author

      Thanks! I bought those fairytale papers specifically for EAH backgrounds, They are beautiful–I especially love the one behind Maddie.

      Yes, of all the things reviewers could complain about, dino pets are an odd choice. Kids love dinosaurs, so it doesn’t surprise me that baby dinos are part of this line.

      Actually, the colorful clothes don’t bother me. They’re kind of Flintstone-esque. It’s the hair that’s too over the top for my taste. But I do agree that a true prehistoric theme would’ve been too drab for kids.

      I’m glad you liked the post! Although I had my gripes about them, these dolls were quite fun to review.

  2. Thanks for this detailed review. I saw these dolls on another blogger’s post so I knew a little bit about them.

    I am curious to see how you change their hair. I think it is great when doll owners personalize their dolls.

    1. Author

      I’m so pleased you liked the review😁! Yes, being able to customize dolls to your own taste is wonderful. Since I’m not super great at customizing (aside from body swaps and simple repaints), my sister is helping me with this particular project.

  3. When I first saw this line, I thought they looked like Hairdorables meets The Flintstones (who also had a dinosaur pet). In fact, their hair remind me of Pebbles. Unlike you, I do like the bright colors, they’re quite 80s, but the dolls aren’t for me. Don’t get me wrong, they’re very cute and I love the whole concept around it, it’s just that I’m not feeling very drawn to them. Maybe the fact that I had to reduce my budget to expend on dolls has a lot to do with it.

    I loved your review, it was very detailed. I love the tropical wallpaper you used, it matches the dolls very well.

    Take care.

    1. Author

      Yes, I was totally getting Flintstone vibes too! Emberly especially reminded me of Pebbles😆. A few years ago, I probably would have loved Cave Club’s bright colors, but I think I’m just bored with it right now. Thankfully, I can change their hair to suit my taste.

      I know what you mean about having to reduce your doll budget. I’ve had to pass up a few new dolls myself (or find them second-hand on eBay).

      Actually, the background is a piece of fabric stretched over some foam board. It was super easy to make–I just clipped a 1/4 yard of fabric to a sheet of black foam board. I’m glad you like it! Sometimes the simplest crafts turn out to be the prettiest.

  4. I didn’t know about these dolls until you posted about them.
    I can kind of see similarities between them and EAH dolls, though I still really miss EAH and I don’t think any of the new dolls could replace them.

    There clothing choice is really flamboyant which I actually like in some ways, as they aren’t aiming for realism I feel like, even though they are from prehistoric times, I feel like it is a sort of mystical prehistoric times based on their appearance. Emberly’s hair kind of gives me a flame theme in some ways which says something about the design behind her. Though I don’t exactly like all the choices in colors, some I feel are way too bright and could be toned down.

    And also with their unique body type I think they would be a good base for doll customization and repaints, as I do a lot of those, and if they ever were to be sold second hand at a thrift store I would probably use them for my doll customization projects.

    It was neat to read your post.

    1. Author

      Yes, there are definitely some similarities between Cave Club and EAH. In fact, I think they may share the same basic body with just a few minor changes (shorter, larger feet, and a different neck peg). But, you’re absolutely right—it’s going to be hard for any doll line to replace EAH. They were so unique.

      I never thought about Cave Club being mystical prehistoric, but that’s a very good point🤔. Though I’m still not a fan of the styles, coming at it from a fantasy angle is a great way to explain their colorful appearance.

      I 100% agree that these dolls are great for custom projects. If you do end up customizing one, let me know because I’d love to see it!

      Thanks for your comment–I’m so glad you liked the review😁!

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