Hello, friends! Today we are taking a look at Mattel’s new doll line:
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!
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.
Here is Emberly still in her 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.
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.
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.
In the front, Emberly has bangs that are held in place with a plastic headband.
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.
Now let’s check out 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 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.
The choker is removable so, if bones aren’t your style, you don’t have to keep it.
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.
I’m sorry, guys! I had to do it🤣.
Finally, we have Emberly’s pet: Flaire the Velociraptor!
Yes, according to the description at Mattel.com, Flaire is a raptor.
Flaire is bubblegum pink with teal eyebrows and a tuft of plastic, orange feathers on top of her head.
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?
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:
- Frozen In Time by Michael Oard.
- The Great Dinosaur Mystery Solved by Ken Ham.
- The Great Dinosaur Mystery And The Bible by Paul S. Taylor (for young readers).
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!
Here is an unboxed Roaralai:
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.
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.
Roaralai has sage green eyes and purple eyebrows. Her eyes are looking straight ahead, which is awesome. It makes photographing her much easier.
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.
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 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.
Miss Roaralai comes with a purple bone-shaped comb.
Her other accompaniments are a cat handbag and pet saber-tooth-kitten.
Roaralai’s handbag is orange and painted to look like a saber-tooth tiger.
Clipped to the handbag is a cat-ear headband that Roaralai can wear.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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:
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.
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 has a lot of pros and one big con. Let’s start with the pros.
Pro Number One: The dolls are cute.
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).
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.
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.
Pro Number 4: They’re affordable.
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?
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!