Pros: Cute, could be used as a learning tool
Cons: very fragile, easily malfunctions, wastes batteries
Okay, to start off this review, let me clarify that I used to use the account under the username 'Mickeystar'. I no longer use that account, and after having this doll for a longer period of time, my opinion on it changed. So, time for a new review.
First of all, let me start by saying that when you first get a look at Amazing Allysen, and when you read about all of the 'amazing' things that Allysen's box says she can do, one might be impressed, and want to buy this doll for their little girl. They shouldn't. This doll might seem 'amazing' at first, but Allysen's not all she's cracked up to be.
I got my Amazing Allysen from a secondhand store with her original clothes and no original accessories (plus, dead batteries!) for $3. After buying her, I had to go out and buy the two different types of batteries that Allysen needs to work (she takes seven batteries, 3 AAA and 4 AA.) After That, I started Allysen up and went through her initial set-up process. It's very easy to get Allysen started, you have to set the month, day, and year, the time, your birthday, and you get to pick from a list of nicknames that Allysen will call you. ( Girlfriend, Jelly-bean, Best Friend, Girlie, Pickles, or Sweetie) That might sound a bit difficult, but Allysen guides you through it and you press her hands to answer questions. It's easy. Another nice feature about Allysen is that she'll even teach you how to play with her. You must use 8 key phrases when Allysen asks you "What do you want to do?" You can answer:
"Play a game" (Pet Shop-animal themed 20-questions, or Truth or Dare)
"Read the magazine" (Take a fashion quiz)
"Call a friend" (Call one of Allysen's friends. That's right, your doll has friends.)
"Have a smoothie" (You'll hear about this feature shortly.)
"Try hairstyles" (Style Allysen's hair to her liking.)
"Let's chat" (You have very basic conversations with Allysen about food, fashions, or parties.)
"Take a break" (This will get her to take a nap-you'll hear about that later.
You can also say "Allysen". She Will then say "Yes, (Insert nickname here), what do you want to ask me?" You can then say "What holiday comes next?" "How far off is my birthday?" or "Who's your best friend?"
Everything goes downhill from this point.
As I found out, Allysen's features and 'fun' are very limited if you don't have all of her original accessories. I contacted PlayMates Toys, Amazing Allysen's manufacturer, about getting her original accessories from them, and they sent me all of her accessory pieces at no charge to me. What I don't understand is this: if the company works hard to make sure you are satisfied with their products, why is it that there are SO MANY problems with this doll?
Anyway, after I got the accessories, I could really 'play' with Allysen. Her games and playing options are limited and repeat often, so there really isn't much that a child can do with this doll. I got bored with it, I let the young neighbor kids test her a couple times, and they also grew bored of Allysen very quickly.
Another thing that's very irritating about Allysen is the fact that because she responds to a few voice commands and responses, she has a microphone built into her chest and you must speak very loudly, slowly, and annunciate very much for Allysen to understand what you said. But you can't talk too slow, either, or Allysen also won't understand that. If she doesn't her you, she'll wait for a response, then say "What??" or "Can you repeat that? I didn't catch what you said."
Allysen really began to trouble me when the real, unfixable problems set in. One of her accessories is a smoothie cup, which, when placed in her hand that senses her accessories, you can use to 'make smoothies' with Allysen. My Allysen doll did this activity correctly once. She's supposed to ask you if you want to make a(n) (Insert odd flavor here-she has various flavor options, including 'Hot Dog' and 'Grass'), then when you say yes, she'll make it. Then, she'll make a slurping sound and tell you that this smoothie tastes good, and she'll ask you if you want to taste it. Afterwards, she'll ask you if you think that this (insert odd flavor here) smoothie is the best you've ever made. If you say yes, she'll remember the flavor and will later bring it up, the next time you make a smoothie. If you say no, she'll say "okay" and the activity is over. What my doll does instead is ask me about one flavor, then skip all of the other steps and suddenly ask if the smoothie (which has now completely changed flavors) is the best one we've ever made. This makes me wonder if possibly, Allysen might be getting Alzheimers.
Here is the main problem with my Allysen doll. Allysen has a port in the bottom of her back, which has a thing called a playpack in it. The playpacks in Allysen's back tell Allysen how to work, they program her. The playpack must be 'locked' in Allysen's back at all times, or she'll shut off and lose all of her settings. (There's a 'lock' switch in Allysen's back, you slide it into the locked position, and it helps hold the playpack in and alerts Allysen that the playpack is in. Allyen comes with a playpack that has her basic settings on it, therefore the playpack is actually empty because Allysen already knows how to do her basic functions. However, if you buy an accessory playpack accessory pack (cheerleading, dance, and/or sleepover party), you have a new playpack to jam into Allysen's back. Those have prongs on the inside of the playpack, which hook into the wires and hookups in Allysen's insides. I managed to find a cheerleading playpack on sale at FleetFarm around Christmastime, and I decided to try it. When the playpack was put into Allysen's back, she stopped working. After taking the doll's back off and looking at her insides, it was found out that when that playpack was inserted, it bumped and displaced something in Allysen, which caused her to stop working. My Allysen doll will never be able to work with an accessory pack.
After that, I had to completely reset the doll. I was getting annoyed and tired of Allysen, who was costing me a lot of money battery-wise, since her batteries die about every 20 days. You can't turn her off if you want to save your settings, so if you want Allysen to be quiet, you have to put her in sleep mode, where she takes a nap until you press one of her hands t o wake her up again, and during these naps, she's sucking the life out of seven batteries.
The next time her batteries died, I didn't replace them. Allysen now sits on a shelf on display, because she is a pretty doll, just not one that's an overall worthwhile purchase, and certainly not worth her original suggested price, which can range anywhere from (nowadays, originally she was $100), $25-$65. She's not worth it. Trust me. If you're little girl wants one of these, I strongly suggest you tell her about all of Allysen's problems, and try to get your little girl interested in a more worthwhile purchase instead... Maybe a baby doll or a barbie or something, but NOT Allysen!