Saturday, June 9, 2018

Friday, June 1, 2018

Let's talk about shoes! (Really, when aren't we talking about shoes?)

Hello Everyone.

Happy June! In a shocking turn of events, the Disney Store released all of the new Classic dolls today, color me shocked! They usually get released in June but traditionally it's been mid June and lately it's been dragging on until almost July with the dolls getting clearanced and slowly selling out during the course of the month. But not this year! This year it looks like they just pulled everything and put up the new stuff. They are having a sale right now on clearance stuff, but when I checked out of curiosity a week or so ago none of the classic dolls were on sale so I don't even think they did a big push to get rid of what stock they had left, they just took them off the site.

*Coming soon to a Disney outlet near you, I assume*

There's been a few changes this year. The princesses got their changes per usual. The biggest and most noticeable change is that the sidekick figurines are now gone and have been replaced with a plastic rings. Not terribly surprised over the change, the sidekicks were a really nice addition, but they were sometimes a lot of plastic and some of them had pretty small painted details. I'm sure a simple, but character appropriate, ring is a lot cheaper to make. Glitter is also back in the line, for most of the princesses. Several of the princesses now have a tulle overlay that has glued on glitter detail and some now just have the glitter applied to their skirts. Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Jasmine, and Rapunzel all have the overlay and Mulan, Tiana, and Pocahontas all have glitter as part of their outfit. Technically Elsa could be part of the glitter overlay club, but she usually has that, she really didn't change beyond losing Olaf and getting a ring. Ariel, Merida, Elena, and Moana didn't appear to change any either. I think Moana is now officially part of the Classics line, her box looks to be in the same style as the rest of the dolls, but we'll see if she's part of the sales promos for the line, if they're still doing that. She might have already been part of the classic line and I missed it, I wasn't checking for her. I still haven't seen the movie and she doesn't even come with shoes!

Speaking of shoes, there's only one doll that shows her feet (and is wearing shoes), good old Snow White with her tea length dress. It looks like they've continued the rubber legs with the flat feet and the internal clicking knees. But instead of what they did last year where they were on the high heeled flats, they now have the flat foot shoe mold that originated in 2012, I think, back when the dolls were a lot more articulated. Not terribly surprised, those shoes were designed for that type of foot and fit a lot better. Since nobody got an outfit change, I assume their shoe colors are going to also stay the same. That being said, there are a couple variables among them. Now that the flat feet are back, I'm curious if Merida is going to get her unique brown ankle boot style shoe again. I'm also curious if Rapunzel is wearing shoes since her dress now covers her feet, traditionally she does not get shoes but you'd think if they put her in a gown, she'd be more inclined to. I'm wondering if Elena has red flats or if she got to keep her unique shoe mold (or if they modified it for the flat feet), and I'm curious if Cinderella will have the same color shoes. She's the classic doll with the most shoe variations among the years. Sometimes they're clear, sometimes they're clear with glitter, and sometimes they're just blue.

I am curious enough to want to do some picture and video searches when they start showing up online, but not curious enough to buy them. You see, I don't like those shoes. I own two pairs, purple and gold. I find the toe part of them is a bit bulbous and looks weird on the doll. Also, the bottoms are totally flat and the sides are rather high so a lot of the dolls who are designed to stand on tip toe can't really wear them. So I'm not planning on getting these dolls for their shoes. I *might* buy a couple of them in time, but I'm not going to be hunting down these shoes in every color of the rainbow like I do with the other flat shoes that I adore.

There's been a few other changes to the Classic line, Gaston is back. He's the only villain currently in the line at the moment. Ursula came back briefly, but she's gone again. Not sure why Gaston is back, it's not Belle's year or anything. He's the only new doll, but several dolls are not online right now. I'm not sure if they're not online yet, or if they've been dropped from the line for this year. Hans is gone which is surprising. Also missing is Snow White's Prince, Prince Phillip, John Smith, Prince Naveen, and Flynn Rider. Several of the remaining Princes did get new outfits, Aladdin is now in his Prince Ali outfit, and Eric is now in his wedding outfit. It's funny for Eric since Wedding Ariel was part of the line last year, but not this year. I do think the wedding doll will be back, a couple months back people found three Princess dolls in their wedding dresses in stores (Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Tiana) so I think that's going to be a new line. I would not be surprised if Ariel comes back as part of that line. The wedding dolls did have the flat shoe mold, which is why I wasn't surprised to see it in the classic dolls this year.

If I was going to get any of the new dolls, I'd be most likely to get one of the wedding dolls if they came with white shoes. I'm not in love with those shoes, but I can use a neutral color like that. I might also get Belle since I have a doll that uses the fully articulated Disney body and right now she's using the high heeled flats but I'd prefer her in the flat shoe mold. However, these are low priorities since like I said, I don't really like those shoes.

Shame about the lack of the high heeled flats, but it's good for my wallet. Hopefully they do come back at some point since there's still a few colors I'd love to add to my collection (orange and light purple especially), but this year they're at least helping me be more kind to my wallet.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Barely Doll Related, but you do get to see me as a baby!

Hello Dear Readers,

It's been almost a week since I got back from my trip and I'm now in a place where I can talk about it. I went up to Connecticut to see my extended family. We made the trip because my dad's idiot brother made the ultimatum that either my Dad comes up when he's visiting or else he and my other uncle were going to come visit us, and we certainly do not want that. So my parents and I packed up the car and made our way north. I had the option of not going but I wanted to see my Mother's side of the family. On my dad's side both of my Grandparents have passed and the one good aunt doesn't make up for dealing with the rest of them. I half jokingly said the only time we'd be together as a family would be at my funeral. I feel a little bad since there is a couple people on that side I'd at least like to know as people, but it's kind of a package deal and in this case it's a package you refuse delivery on for your sanity. I was able to spent a lot of time with my Grandparents and my favorite aunt. Those are the people I really miss seeing since we moved south. The trip up wasn't terrible, it was 12 hours but that's the best that it's going to be. The trip home was terrible, I got sick, and we got stuck in traffic and it ended up being 15 hours. By the time we got home, I was very fed up with being in the car.

I did do a little thrifting while I was up there, I didn't find much. I bought a (found out later rather TLC) Barbie Basics Ken and a Birthstone Beauty Steffie doll in a crushed box. The thrift stores were kind of lame, most of them didn't have any dolls, and not even just a lack of fashion dolls. One of them had one mass produced porcelain doll and two baby dolls, and that's it for dolls in the entire store. Kind of a clunker in that aspect, but I wasn't there for shopping and it's not like I really need anything. I should still be working on downsizing, not adding more.

I got a lot of time to work on scanning up there. One of the things I worked on when I was there last October was scanning. Back then I got around a thousand pictures scanned, this time I did over 500. There's still a LOT of pictures to scan, but I got a big chunk done, and that's more than anyone else has done (seriously, I'm the only one whose ever scanned anything). And since this is my blog and you're my rapt audience, I'm going to share select ones with you (I promise it'll be less than the full 500).

They kind of jump all over the place, they're mostly kids since I didn't want to post any adults for *security* concerns. 

My Grandmother, age 13 or 14. She's extremely photogenic. I did not inherit that from her!
My Grandfather, age 6. He turned 90 last September.
My two oldest aunts, I wish the doll was better in focus so I could identify it. I'm not totally sure where this picture was taken, it looks like the den, but the windows are reversed to how they actually are. I think this is 1956?
My first birthday, June 1987
Me, Summer 1988. I wish I was still blond.
Christmas 1992 (I think) at my Grandmother's house
My cousin in my Grandmother's kitchen. My Grandmother's kitchen looks basically the same, new dishwasher but the same cabinets. My Great-Grandfather built those cabinets. That cousin is turning 40 in less than a month, don't need to say that, but I wanted to.
Me again. The dog behind me is Mac. Mac would go on to bite me in the face, leaving me with several scars. I assume this is before then (Mac lived a long full life post the biting).
"Red with Jewels" my mother's favorite childhood pet, wearing one of her favorite pieces of jewelry. The record cabinet and that small table are still in my Grandmother's living room. Red lived a full life, this picture was taken before he lost an eye in a bar fight.
My Great-Grandmother, you can see where my Grandmother got her good looks.

There's still plenty of work to do with the pictures. There's still tons left to scan, and I've done nothing with identifying or cataloguing anything. I did keep track of anything that was written on the backs of the images, but didn't do anything beyond that. I'm pretty good at identifying my Great-Grandparents (especially I only alive for one of them and they died when I was 6 months old), but there's a variety of people I don't know. It's a long term project, as I was telling someone, there's six generations of pictures in that house. There's a LOT of pictures.

And P.S. The cat didn't lose an eye in a bar fight. He did lose an eye, but we don't know how.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

April Update? And on time?!?

I'll give you a moment to pick your jaw off the floor. 

April was a much better month than March, for a variety of reasons.

For starters I had an *amazing* eBay month, with a record breaking 59 sales for the month. There is now an official weekly record of sales being tracked so I can state those numbers with accuracy. I got lucky since eBay kept giving me free listings (and I think people's tax refunds helped), but I did work a lot on refilling the empty spaces so there was a lot of things listed. There's a lot of slots I need to fill, and plenty of stuff that needs to get listed. I even sold two dolls that were part of the collection. There are twinges of sadness saying goodbye to a doll I liked enough to add to the collection, but I've realized that I just don't have enough time for everything and it's good to let some things go. I'm really working hard to trim down the collection to a more manageable amount. There is still a lot to go, but this past month really did help a lot. I feel that what's left (and I cannot stress how much there is to list still) is a lot more manageable of a goal.

My spending was down too. I did buy some things, more than I needed to but with so much going out I was able to pay for everything with my eBay profits. April was the first month since I've started this endeavor where I was in the black at the end of the month. I'm working hard to change that as we speak, but I had a very profitable month. I know every month won't be that good, but I am very pleased with how April went.

I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to go to the doll meeting at the start of the month. We're down to one car at the moment that can do long trips and my father needed it for work and his time off request was denied. But thanks to my sister I was able to go, and stayed the night overnight at her house, that was weird. But it was the doll donation meeting and I like going to those. We were able to redress over 70 dolls for charity. And I was able to swap out for a few things. I got a couple pairs of shoes, some clothing pieces, and a few dolls (some of the dolls I plan on reselling). Overall it was a very good day and I'm glad I got to go to it. I am skipping the May meeting since I'll be out of town on that date.

I did get to see everyone at Bradley Justice's luncheon for the UFDC. The theme this year was Mod Barbie and it was AMAZING! I'm so glad I got to go. I will say that the sales floor was a little pricey for my tastes (I saw two people selling 75 dollar Bubblecuts, which is funny since I had brought a 25 dollar Bubblecut with me of similar condition), but I did buy a TLC Casey and a TLC Talking Barbie head on a 70's era body that was missing half it's limbs. I needed another project like I need another hole in my head, but I had to buy something.

Since I didn't buy anything else I ended up buying additional 25 raffle tickets. And I *cleaned* up in the raffle. I won SIX things. This is the third event he's hosted and I've gone to every one and have never won anything. I certainly made up for that this year. I think part of why I was so lucky is that some of the things I won weren't as popular. I won the chocolate factory I Love Lucy doll, the 2016 African American Holiday Barbie, a Taraka Jenny friend that was personally given to the person who donated it by Carol Spencer, a poorly restored antique doll (which I really wanted), the 2015? convention heart shaped box full of reproduction spike shoes (which I also really wanted, I put the most tickets in for that), and the most unique a box mock up for the New Years Japanese Barbie, also from Carol Spencer. It's the correct style of box, but it's totally white. The doll is wearing the correct hair and outfit, but wasn't given a face. The box backer is also made up of other packaging that Mattel had handy at the moment. I was really lucky to get her!

I think part of the reason why I got that prototype doll is because she wasn't properly marked. I remember Bradley saying he had gotten a prototype for the auction, but when the bag for tickets for her was only marked "Japanese". I did mention that she wasn't your average Japanese doll to a couple people in my club, but really only talked to the people I knew. So I think lots of people passed her by one they saw the outfit but didn't notice her lack of a face. And I think out of everything I put in tickets for I had the greatest chance for the antique doll. Most people there were Barbie collectors who aren't into that sort of doll, and the people who were there that collect antique dolls like the really expensive ones. This poor doll had lots of repairs done to her, and most of them pretty sloppy. I bought a book recommended to be about repairing them that I bought that I'm waiting to arrive. I've been doing a lot of research on this doll. She needs a lot of work, luckily she's pretty common and cheap so anything I do will only be an improvement. I've already removed her wig, pates (wig cap), and her improperly set eyes. She originally had sleep eyes and that's sadly been removed. I am thinking about building a new set of rocker eyes, but it's quite and undertaking and I don't have hardly any of the supplies. I am hoping the book will answer some questions. I also need to learn how to clean bisque, poor girl has lots of glue drips on her head from the wig. I'm just worried about stripping the color. But we shall see what happens. I can ask my friend for guidance since he also collects antique dolls, but I'm trying to do as much research as I can before I ask him. I'm always asking him questions and I don't want to annoy him. I'm at least trying to get a base understanding on my own before I start pestering him.

So that's where things are right now. I'm not working on eBay for the next week due to some unusual (but good) circumstances. I however do need get back to it, things keep piling up and I want more stuff to move out, I need to buy some glass eyes!

See everyone next month! (But I still owe everyone some the doll related post for this month)

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Fresh Dolls Sale

Hey everyone,

Quick post to point out that the Fresh Dolls sale is ending tomorrow April 16th at midnight on their website. I don't mean to sound like I'm shilling these dolls, but I am very excited for them. They've been showing some guy clothing sets over on their Instagram and I asked the owner, Dr. Lisa, if they'll be up for pre-order soon and she said yes. There's a camo bombers jacket that if it fit Joe I'd be beyond thrilled.

I recommend checking them out. They seem to be really interested in what collectors have to say.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Fresh Doll Clothing Set - A Review!

 Hello Dear Readers,
Are people familiar with the Fresh Dolls? I've personally have heard of them and was a bit interested in them, but only recently got more interested in them when they announced plans to make fully articulated guy dolls. I guess I'm all full up when it comes to ladies, but say you're making a guy and I'm all there.

They're still working on them and you can see some work in progress pictures on their Instagram: Fresh Doll Instagram

And you can pre-order them at their official website here:  
 *Heads up, a video auto-plays on their website*

I have two of the guys on pre-order for August... maybe September. They were supposed to come sometime in the summer, but got bumped back because they added wrist articulation, which I am fine with waiting for. It was one of the things that I was bummed about when the dolls were first announced so the one month delay is totally worth it to me.

Anyway, I'm kind of getting off topic. Fresh dolls have two different doll lines currently for sale, single dolls and the deluxe sets which is a doll in a formal outfit and a separate causal outfit. They also have a line of outfits you can buy as well. (The dolls are currently on sale on their website for the next few days just a FYI). While I'm waiting for my guy dolls I wanted to check out some of their other products. So I bought one of their clothing sets. I think right now the clothing sets are only for sale on their website. All but one outfit was sold out at when I checked and I can't even find their listings on I don't think they're on Amazon yet.

From the Fresh website I bought "Shorts Outfit" for 6.49, I didn't have to pay tax and since I pre-ordered those two dolls I got free shipping. They even shipped it shortly after I bought it and didn't make me wait until the summer to ship it with the guys. It arrived in a plastic bubble mailer super fast. They mailed it on Wednesday, I got it on Friday, from California to North Carolina!

From what I've seen there's five different clothing packs and they are all packaged in the same way. They are attached to a cardboard backer and placed in a clear plastic bag. There's a cut out on top for it to be displayed on a peg at the store. The entire package is bigger the the current Barbie single outfits, if anything I'd say it was about the size of the 90's era bubble packages for single outfits (but not Fashion Avenue, those were bigger). The front has a very nice display where you can see the outfit. It also has a drawn logo for the Fresh dolls with illustrations of three of the characters, a nice stylized clothing rack image behind the outfit, and the illustration of some accessories on the edge of the backer. It's for ages 3 and up due to it being a choking hazard.
On the back the Fresh logo is repeated in the upper left corner. There's also a small section of text describing the Fresh dolls and their mission. Below that there's a picture of the owner and founder of the company, Dr Lisa, and below that is an image of the first wave of Fresh dolls, including the single dolls and the deluxe set dolls. It also tells me to "Collect them all!". At the very bottom is all the trademark information, some logos, and the bar code.

Opening the set is very easy, on the back at the bottom is a small flap that you can undo and the entire cardboard backer slides out. It takes a little wiggling, but it's pretty easy.

I was surprised to see that the cardboard backer wasn't held together on one side and it opens up like a book. The only thing keeping it closed was the plastic bag. A company like Mattel would have either taped or glued the two sides together. I much prefer it being not attached together since it's a lot easier to de-box since I'm not fighting to open it. Also, if I wanted to keep the backer, it's a lot prettier than if I had to tear it open.

However, I did have to fight with de-boxing it since they used massive plastic tabs to attach the items to the backer. Something like this is fine for the shoes and purse since it goes around them, but leaves giant holes in the clothing no matter how careful you are when cutting since the act of putting the plastic tabs in itself causes giant holes in the clothing. I hate these tabs, I even hate the small ones Mattel and Disney uses. They leave smaller holes, but they still leave holes. I did contact Fresh Doll on Facebook asking them to look into different ways to attach their clothing sets and they did reply that they'd look into it. Hopefully they do, and hopefully they don't think I don't know how to remove doll clothes without damaging it. As someone who has de-boxed a lot of dolls I can assure you it's not my carelessness snipping causes those holes.
Anyway, with some scissors and careful cutting all the clothing pieces are freed from their backer. We get a top, a bottom, a purse, and a pair of shoes. All of their clothing sets have the same basic components, there is a swimsuit that comes with a hat instead of shoes but the rest of them follow the same pattern.

Up first we'll talk about the shirt, the piece I wanted the most from the set. The shirt is really lovely. It's made from a pea green colored fabric, I'm not sure what type of fabric. It's a thin woven fabric, the front of the fabric has a slightly fuzzy texture but the inside doesn't, it almost feels like a very thin velveteen, but I'm not totally sure if it is. It's a sleeveless top with black elastic spaghetti straps. Along the top and at the underbust there's a row of white trim that's sewn down with green topstitching. The bodice features four pin tucks which is a nice detail. The top is made from two pieces sewn together and the bottom part is slightly flared which is very pretty. It fully opens and closes in the back some thin hook and loop tape. There is a fair amount of sewing errors on the top. It's mostly excess treads that weren't trimmed off. Also the very top isn't hemmed, they use the white trim so they don't have to hem it, which is fine, most doll companies simplify their patterns like that. However they left these points in the fabric where the guides for sewing the straps on. It's a minor cosmetic thing, but it looks slightly sloppy to me. I do think I will be able to clean it up, it just needs some minor trimming for both the thread and the top. They were kind enough to put the plastic tabs on the top under the white trim and only attach the bottom part at the back. It does minimize the visibility of the holes in the top.

The set also includes a pair of shorts. Made from a very thin denim these pants have a very pretty medium wash color with yellow contrast stitching. It has topstitched fly and pocket detailing in the front. For an added bit of detail it has a rolled hems. It also closes in the back with some hook and loop tape. There's a small sewing error at the back of the shorts where the hook and loop tape was sewn down. It looks secure, just slightly sloppy.

The shoes that come with this outfit are a pair of black strappy sandals. They are made from a very flexible rubber and are designed for a high heeled foot (I don't think Fresh dolls have flat footed dolls yet, which is fine since most of my dolls have high heeled feet). They have two molded in buckles on both sides of each shoe. There's no painted details on the shoes, but I don't really think they need them. There is a slit on the back of the shoe to help get the shoe on and off the doll.

The final item in the set is a purse. Made from the same flexible rubber as the shoes this purse is a very traditional style. It has molded on straps, one side has the Fresh logo molded in and a bow detail. It actually has an opening and you could put something in the purse. I don't have any small accessories from the set that can go in there, but I have plenty of small accessories around here that I could put in it. I pushed my finger inside to show how wide it could go.

Now that we've talked about the set, let's try it on somebody! I don't have any Fresh dolls, so I had to use the next best thing, Mattel. Yellow Top Made to Move Barbie was kind enough to be our model. Everything went on her very easily. I was a little concerned about the shoes since the MTM foot is a little bigger than classic Barbie foot, but she filled them out wonderfully. The top looks amazing on her. It is slightly big on her, but you can't really tell. And I think that means a doll with a larger bust will be able to wear it too. That green is such a lovely color and so uncommon in doll clothes. I think it's super cute and modest, but fun! I'm a little less impressed with the shorts. They're very big on her. When the waist of the shorts sit naturally on her, they're pretty low, which is fine it's still an acceptable length, but the crotch ends up being very low. When you pull the shorts to where the crotch sits properly, the shorts themselves are around her natural waist and they're very loose. I can't really say I love these shorts, but I'm not using them on the doll they're made for. I think with some darts in the back I could get these shorts fitting on this body a lot better. I'm not sure I will since I know how to make shorts and while I tend to dress my dolls more modestly, I love a good short short and like showing off a lot of leg so it would be easier for me to make something from scratch. However if someone didn't sew, I think it would be easy to hand sew some darts in the back to make these fit Barbie better. I will say, when I got the shorts one of the legs was unrolled in the package, I fixed it since the sides were sewn and it had just unrolled. However, this left the legs uneven. They don't look uneven at the sides, but you can tell at the inseam one leg is lower than the other. You can pull one side up so it's not as noticeable, but it is what it is. The purse is very cute and I like it, but it's kind of just there. I think a nice summer bag would be really cute with this outfit. I like the purse and might try it with a different outfit so I think it has some value for a different outfit. The shoes are cute, but again I think I'll put something else with this outfit. I think it's fine as a complete set, but as someone with so, so many shoes and accessories I can mix and match with stuff I already have. 

Overall, I like this outfit. It does have some things it needs to improve on, there's some sewing errors they could work on and I would love it if they stopped using large plastic tabs but I think it's a really cute outfit. It's cute, modest, trendy, and works great together, or with other outfit pieces I already have. I really like that top and wish I had it in other colors. It's a perfect outfit for summer and with they way they constructed it will fit a variety of doll. Also, it just feels more realistic that what Barbie's been coming out with lately. I like a well thought out outfit like everyone else, but man do I like an outfit that looks like something a regular person would actually wear. 

I'm really looking forward to what else Fresh Dolls will be coming out with. They seem to be a great company that's focused on the right things, filling a spot in the market that's clearly lacking while not tearing down other companies products. The CEO, Dr Lisa, seems to be listening to what's important to collectors and trying to grow the Fresh Brand into something children and Collectors will want. Barbie will always be my number one girl, but I am very excited as to what Fresh Dolls will bring to the conversation and do recommend checking them out. They're also on Facebook and seem to be pretty active in announcing what's coming out.

I just wanted to add, I also tried the shoes on a Silkstone, the doll didn't fill out the toes as well as she could but the shoes fit nicely and stretched enough to fit. I'd worry about them stretching out the shoes if left on for too long, but Silkstones and Model Muse dolls can wear these shoes. 

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Let's talk about March .... in May ..... oops!

Hello Dear Readers,

Per usual I must apologize for the delay in my posting. You'd think setting myself such a low bar of two per month would be doable, yet here I am several months behind that quite small goal and I have no excuses.

March was not the greatest month for me.
The start of the month was fine, the doll meeting was fun. I was a little worried how things would go based on the guest list, but it really wasn't that bad. I didn't really do much. I continued to work on eBay (sometimes forcing myself to do so since it's not fun) and had a decent amount of sales. I bought several doll (more than I should have). It was pretty much business as usual.

However the end of the month things turned a lot worse. A situation happened that left me with the worst anxiety I've ever had. It was so bad I couldn't even sleep. There was just a lot going on in my mind. Things have gotten better now, but they're not back to normal completely. It's one of those things where you have to make a *grown up* decision and it's rough since it shouldn't be your situation to deal with, but you need to suck it up for the greater good. *Sigh*

I don't want to go into detail, but it means something big might happen. I just hate having to be the catalyst for big stuff like that since it means I have to be in charge and make sure it gets done, including doing most of the work.


Friday, March 30, 2018

DC Super Hero Girl Hands on Made to Move Arms

Hello Everyone, 

Barb commented in the last post about wanting to see some DC Super Hero Girl Doll hands on Made to Move arms so I took some pictures to share. 

I only have two dolls with this style of setup, my Betty Boop doll and another project doll. I'm actually a little surprised I hadn't shown you that yet since out of all the dolls I bought last year, Betty Boop is one of my favorites. She's actually moved onto Charlotte's shelf, and not in a I'mrunningoutofroomjustputthedollanywhere kind of way. 

I changed her into a form fitting dress to give a greater idea of the proportions of the doll with the hands: 

I also cropped her head out of this picture to give a greater idea of the proportions with just the body.

For anyone interested, she's using the Purple Top Made to Move body with Poison Ivy's hands.

The next set of pictures are a bit of a weird one, it's a project I'm working on. It's a Belly Button torso that I cracked open that I put Made to Move arms on with DC Super Hero Girl hands. I love the level of articulation in the Made to Move arms, but dislike how boxy the torso is compared to the Belly Button torso. I'm cobbling together my own since Mattel has retired the Belly Button torso.

 The arms aren't a perfect fit, I had to widen the doll's opening at the shoulder to put the arms in.
 I haven't glued her together yet, so she's literally held together by clear rubber bands.
I call this picture "Modesty".
I believe the arms were from the Martial Artist Made to move Barbie and the hands are from Supergirl. (I know it's Supergirl since I've only bought a few of those doll)

Swapping out the hands are super easy. You can use either boiling water or a heating pad. Basically you heat the doll up until her vinyl arm is soft and then firmly but gently pull the hand out. You should also reheat the new arm before putting the hand in. I've rushed it and just put the hand in a not warmed up arm and got some stress marks at the wrist from it. Some of the later Fashionistas (when they were still jointed) also have hands that come out the same way. I've swapped out several Fashionista hands on my Made to Move dolls.

Just a word of warning for people buying the dolls just to swap,  the Gymnastic line from DC Superhero Girl dolls do not have wrist joints. Their hands appear to be just on pegs that are glued into the wrist. I couldn't even get mine to turn, but I didn't try too hard since I knew I wasn't keeping her.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Let's Talk Wish List, Mattel!

Hello Everyone,

I'm trying to not spend any money today, so let's talk about spending money!

I've shared wish lists in the past and sometimes I get the urge to talk about them so today I decided to make one. I've been dealing with a nasty sinus infection and today is one of the first days where I feel like doing something, but not something super productive so I decided to cobble one together and share it with you all.

There's other dolly stuff I want, but I decided to stick to Mattel products in this one since they're like 99 percent of what I buy. Also I'm lazy and didn't want to cobble together a bunch of random online pictures.

Here's my wish list: 

Sheesh that's blurry.

Starting in the upper right corner we have the made to move curvy Dancer doll. I know she's showing up in stores, but I have yet to find her despite visiting a ton of Walmarts lately. I'm mostly interested in this doll because of her body. I don't love her face or her outfit (even though I think curvy pants will fit Joe) and I'm not sure if I have a doll head I'd use on that body. So I'm not sure how much of her would stay, I might keep the shoes but I have so many curvy/tall shoes and nobody to use them on! To the right we have the made to move Gymnast doll. I just like the doll's outfit and shoes. I'd probably keep the body despite my efforts to stop hoarding bodies like I do. This ones also been showing up in stores but I have yet to find it. To the right we have a Pink Passport doll. This one I only sort of like, and just for her outfit. For someone who doesn't like rompers, I've kind of fallen in love with them for my dolls. I also like her sunglasses. Her body is a weird mix of articulation and I assume she has the "original" torso which I'm not a fan of. Since this doll is a Toys R Us exclusive and they're closing I assume I won't be getting her, which I'm fine with. I'd only get her at a decent sale price. To the right of that we have a Fashionista. Can't remember her name, but I really like her. I also like her outfit, and already have an articulated body she can upgrade to. She's close enough to release for stock images, but I'm pretty sure she's not out officially. 

On the second row on the far left we have another Fashionista. That one's a close mouth Millie sculpt, so I'm not interested in the doll itself. I just want her shoes, and maybe her sunglasses but I think I already have a pair just like those so those might not stay. I'm not sure if her shoes will fit Charlotte (first wave Fashionista) since the doll with the flocked hair from the last wave her shoes which look very similar to these were too slim to fit Charlotte's feet. That doll's also a stand in for several other fashionistas who I couldn't find stock images for. I don't know all of them, but I know there's a half dozen or so I want for bits and pieces. I know I want the doll with the unicorn shirt, the rocker doll, and the one with the cat dress. Luckily Fashionistas are cheap and I have decent luck breaking even on them on eBay when I sell what I don't want. To the right of her we have the newest career doll, whose name I can't remember. I just want that little robot she comes with and her laptop. I know it'll just be a tiny piece of molded plastic but my Generation Girl Mari doll *needs* it. The doll to the right and down is another Made to Move, this one's the baseball player. I just want her for her costume. Again, probably will keep the body, but I think her outfit would make a nice Halloween costume. Not that I need another Halloween costume, but I want it! To her left we have one of the new yoga made to move dolls. There's rumor that this doll will be the "tall" body, but I'm not sure if it is. I just like the doll's face so I'm planning on getting her. To the right of that we have the Chris Pratt as Owen from Jurassic World II doll. I like Chris Pratt, so I want a doll of him. The stock images, like usual, look a lot better than the real doll so I'm prepared to be disappointed by the actual doll. He'll be getting a new body since I don't like the pivotal Ken body (too boxy) and have already purchased a Batman body for him. His clothes will most likely not fit the new body, but I'm not too upset. The stock outfit looks so basic. The jeans look just as simple as what Mattel was selling as basic Ken clothes back in the 90's. 
The next row is just the Mario shirt. This is a stand in for pretty much all of the licensed clothing sets from Mattel. So far I've bought all of the Hello Kitty sets, all of the Care Bear sets, and most of the Minion sets (except for the sold out ones) and I don't even like the Minions! I don't even like some of the outfits but feel compelled to buy them all since I'm worried about them getting super expensive on the second hand market. Luckily, they're pretty cheap, but even as inexpensive as they are, they do add up. I know I'll be getting all of the Mario sets, and plan on getting a couple duplicates of the single pieces. I'm really looking forward to finding these in stores. I also planning on getting the rest of the Minions, the DC Superheros, the second Hello Kitty set, and the Spongebob set. There's also one or two regular clothing sets I want too. I've spent more on Barbie clothes in the past three months than I usually do all year.
The next and final row start off with the curvy doll from the new made to move yoga line. I actually want this doll to try her body with my Betty Boop timeless treasures doll. I already have Betty on a made to move body, but would love if she was a bit curvier, even if it meant I had to remake her outfit for her (one of the few dolls I dressed last year). This doll isn't out yet, but if I found her before the Dancer doll, I'm not sure if I'd still get the Dancer. To the left of that we have a DC Super Hero High doll, I just want her for her body. I have a blue doll from childhood I'd like to get articulated, but I'm not sure if I'd like those proportions with her. Truth be told, I waffle on getting the doll any articulation so this most likely won't happen, but if I found the doll on sale I'd get her. To her right we have a WWE Diva doll. I just want this doll (and similar dolls like her) for her shoes and spare casual dress. I don't know who can wear her shoes (or dress), but my shoe addiction isn't limited just to Barbie and her friends. I really shouldn't want to buy a doll just to get her shoes without knowing if I have anyone who can wear them, but here we are. This is kind of a low priority though, so I might not ever do it. And to the right of her we have a DC Super Hero High Roller Derby doll. She's also a stand in for all of the dolls in this line. I just want them for their hands. I love the articulation in the made to move dolls, but hate their paddle hands. I've swapped several doll's hands for the Fashionista hands, but I really like the flared finger DC Super Hero hands. Traditionally with the DC Super Hero Dolls only one hand has that mold and the other one gets a grabby hand designed to hold things. The Roller Derby dolls have both hands flared with wrist joint (unlike the gymnast dolls whose hands are on posts that are glued into the arm without an actual wrist joint) so I'd want these dolls for hand replacements. I'm not sure how many I'd want since the hands are a bit short (and I love long fingers). I have a pair on my Betty Boop doll, but she's a cartoon so she can get away with more stylized hands. I think they're way overpriced at 15.99, but if I got them super cheap I'd pick up a couple. I can sell what I don't want, but so far have not had luck reselling the pieces from these dolls. 

Also not shown, but also on the list are some of the collector dolls that have been announced but not yet have pictures of. I know I want the Wicked dolls, but I'm holding out judgement on the Unicorn doll since I (apparently) collect any piece of Barbie clothes with unicorns on them, but don't really do fantasy dolls. 

So that's what I want from Mattel right now. My non-Mattel list is pretty short. There's a very expensive doll body I want, I'd like some replacement bodies for Mimi dolls, there's a couple of Mimi dolls I still want, (but I've stopped looking since I have enough for now and the ones I still want, I have still yet to see for sale), and a couple other Korean dolls. There's still some vintage dolls on the want list for this year, but only like 5. I'm not going to bother making a list for any other the other stuff since it's all kind of random and all kind of iffy. 

If I had to pick a doll that I'm most looking forward to out of my entire list, I'd say it's a three way tie between the Chris Pratt doll, the curvy yoga doll, and the Mario clothes. What's on top of everyone's want list currently?

Saturday, March 3, 2018

February's Update, and so soon?

February was another up and down month just like January, but I think I at least broke even, if not came out slightly ahead.

I failed my goal of avoiding dolls just for their bodies way back on the 1st when I bought some Disney Descendant dolls at Walmart that were on clearance. I don't know why I bought them since the last ones I bought for their bodies over a year ago are still in the closet and I don't really even like those bodies. I'm just addicted to articulation. I'm trying to not beat myself up over it since there will be stumbles along the way in any goals to better oneself. I did get all the things I didn't want from the dolls listed on eBay so at least they're not sitting around while I get around to listing them. I want them gone! (And I want my money back!)

My vintage doll spending was also pretty bad for the month. I made it pretty far into the month without buying a single vintage doll, then the universe offered me a lovely swirl ponytail with nasty great ear, even green face for just 21 dollars including shipping and you just can't ignore a lovely swirl ponytail with nasty great ear, even green face for just 21 dollars including shipping. I'm still waiting for that doll to come in the mail, it takes time when you get the cheap shipping from Japan. If that had been my only vintage purchase I'd have been doing pretty good, but at the end of the month I went a little wild and won on auction one of the grail dolls I've been wanting for this year. She also hasn't arrived, but she was a pretty expensive buy. I had some money saved up for her, but 2/3 of her purchase price came out of my bank account and I need to repay it. I also did a big purchase at the start of the month of some more Mimi dolls. They're still on their way too (they were supposed to be here yesterday, but the post office never delivered *harumph*). This will be the last Mimi dolls for a long time, I still want some from a different line of Korean fashion dolls, but I should be done with Mimi for a while. I also bought a few dolls and doll clothes at the start of the month when I went to my doll meeting. I was on the hunt for the Care Bear outfits, which I did find. I also found a doll on clearance I wanted for her dress and some two dollar fashionistas. I bought 4 of the same doll because I needed her shoes (the Emoji Fun doll's pink heels are one of the only shoes I've found that fit Mimi doll's feet). I also went back at the middle of the month and bought more two dollar dolls, because they were two dollars.

I know it sounds like a lot of spending, and it was, but I've also been really good about working on eBay. I got a lot of things listed this month. I got everything that I bought this month for resale listed, except for doubles, one doll I need to clean up, and a dress I don't have room for. I also worked on a lot of other stuff. There's still plenty to go, but I've spent a lot of time working on eBay and getting stuff listed. And I had a pretty good sales month. There were some issues and problems (some my fault, some from other reasons), but I had one of my better eBay months. I was able to keep some of my expenses down with the profits from sales, not all of them but a decent amount. And I've even paid my bill for the month with what I've sold. There's still plenty to go, but day by day when I work on it, I get a little more done. I would say, for the first time in a while, I had more things leave than come in. I got lucky since eBay gave me several weeks of free listings so hopefully they keep doing that since I want to keep selling!

I still have plenty to list. I have tons of stuff that I bought for pieces or just one thing, but I've decided to also sell parts of my collection. I've realized that I just have too much things to really enjoy what I have. I'm nowhere near that point but I've been giving it a lot of thought as to what makes me happy and what I just have. Right now I know some things are safe; Charlotte, Joe, other named dolls, Japanese exclusives, the Hommes, Silkstones, but there's a lot of things I can trim down. Like the Tammy dolls, I don't have very many but I don't really love them, so they're going to move out in time. Same with Jem, I'm going to keep my first issue Jem, but Kimber, that Starlight Girl, and that other TLC doll can go. Vintage is also going to get trimmed down. Every vintage doll is different, but I have a lot of similar dolls so I think it's time to pick my favorites and let some of the others go. I also have a lot of  "well loved" beauties and it might be time to refine the collection. I know way back when I said I'd never run out of room for dolls, but I have and I want to cut back. It's going to be a lot of work, but I feel happy with that decision. The collection has been getting a bit unmanageable and I haven't been enjoying it. I like buying and getting stuff, but once I have it, I haven't been giving it the attention it deserves. It's time for someone else to enjoy them. But like I said, that's a long term goal since there's only so many hours in the day and there's still so many other things to sell first, but now that I've come around to that idea, it's going to happen.

I also did some sewing this month. Not much, but I did make a couple dresses for the raffle for my doll club's birthday meeting. I usually made two and donate them together, but I decided to package them separately and made a necklace to go with each them. I also made a dress for an event my friend is hosting, but haven't finished it yet. I also plan on making another dress for that, but haven't found the right thing yet. The theme is mod, which is not my strong suit. The deadline is quickly approaching, so I better get into gear.

The next doll meeting is the 10th, the birthday meeting. I'm hoping it's better than the last meeting. The February meeting was not my favorite, basically it was sitting around listening to the woman in charge and another woman talk about all the behind the scenes stuff that's been going on with convention. I could have skipped it and sent one of those bobbling bird things in my place and no one would have been the wiser. For a club who only has about half of their members having gone to convention we spend a lot of time focused on it. We also spent a lot of time at that meeting talking about that event the woman who runs it wants to do in 2019 where nobody is willing to say they don't want to do it and she wants to do it so much she's willing to overlook the lukewarm at best reception she's been getting. I still like the club and most of the people in it, but it's so different than when I started and I do feel my interest waning in it more and more. It just feels so stagnant and can't see it getting any better. I'll just have to see how things go during the rest of the year and see if I want to continue. I know there's other clubs in the general area, this one is the most convenient, but I'll have to see how I feel. It's not like I'm planning on being here forever.

For March, I am hoping to keep making progress on eBay and moving stuff out. It would also be nice if I could spend less. I am planning on skipping popping into all the Walmart locations on my way to the meeting (I'm on the hunt for the Minion outfits, even though I don't like Minions), but I am planning on stopping into a Toys R Us since I have a 5 dollar voucher to use, if I can find one that's not closing. I do know that I will have to place an order on Barbie Collector this month otherwise I loose my quarterly reward, but hopefully the dolls I do want (Chris Pratt from Jurassic World and the Women of Achievement line) will go on sale and I can use my voucher on those. I'm also hoping there will be a sale, but I don't remember if they do a sale in March any more and if you can even bundle the credit and a sale. There's also several new playline dolls I want, but I don't they're coming out for a couple months so I don't have to worry about those until later. Hopefully I can keep the eBay momentum going forward and keep slowing down my spending.

And hopefully getting my stuff from the mail in a reasonable time!

(I am working on the reviews and stuff for the past two months, but work is slow since my photo taking energy and typing energy has been laser focused on eBay, but I promise I have been working on it.)