Friday, June 7, 2013

It's like Murphy's Doll Law

Murphy's Doll Law is; the moment you spend all your money on a doll you want you'll find a doll you've been coveting for a decent price.

                          It's true, it happened to me.


As you already know I bought that Bubbecut off of Etsy. I spent all my available money on that doll, which means I had to start working on saving up more, because I clearly need more dolls. I mean it's not like I've already bought 1,356,592 dolls so far this year. (That's a rough estimate). So I was working on getting more things listed for sale in an effort to earn some money and to clear out some of the stuff that's cluttering up my bureau. I was on Etsy adding stuff to my store when of course I just had to check out what was newly listed... and of course I found something. Something I wanted desperately.

And, weirdly enough, it wasn't a Barbie doll.

But it was a doll. I had found a Miss Suzette doll. As you know the majority of my collection is Barbie and her friends and family. Although I do have a few other dolls too, Joe for example is from Hasbro and the Momoko dolls are from Petworks. There are a couple other examples but I won't bore you with listing them all. But while I do allow other dolls in the collection the vintage section was strictly Mattel. We did have one non-Mattel doll join that section way back when, Tuesday Taylor. She used to live on the Miscellaneous shelf and when that was disbanded and the majority of the dolls moved elsewhere (into other homes) she upgraded to the vintage shelf. I won't lie, I agonized over the decision of adding a non-Mattel to the vintage shelf. In the end she seemed to fit in well with the group. She currently living on the media bookcase near my Walk Lively Miss America (one of the first 70's dolls to join the collection). They seem to work well together. I figured that she would be the only non-Mattel doll in the vintage collection, and I was fine with that.

And then Flickr happened....

There I found out that people not only liked vintage Barbie clones, people collected them. Some of them had collections of just clones where Barbie was the minority. And while for the most part I was able to resist their charms, I wasn't able to avoid them all. Out of all the clones dolls I've seen online there's five that I want to add to the collection. I already had one of them, Ideal's Mitzi that I bought at the Swell Doll Shop last October, but there were still four others I wanted. For the most part I haven't been actively searching for them. I figured I'd find them when I found them, except for Miss Suzette. She's the top clone doll I wanted to add to the collection, I just adore her round face with incredibly snooty look. I don't normally go for dolls with such attitude, but her I absolutely loved and had to own. Sadly Miss Suzette is not that easy to find, she was not produced that long and has been garnering a fan base of her own that makes her have very high prices on E-bay. Honestly I never thought I'd ever find one at a price I was willing to pay. While I like these clone dolls, I'm not willing to pay more for then than I would for their more collectable competitor Barbie. The doll I had found, while not exactly cheap, was certainly within a price I'd be willing to pay.

The only problem is, I didn't have any money. It was physically painful to see this doll knowing she wasn't
going to be mine. So I did the most logical thing, asked my parents for a small loan to get her. They agreed but there was a small snag, neither of us had any money in our Paypal accounts. We could easily get a money order, but the seller didn't accept that as a form of payment. So I contacted the seller asking them if they'd be willing to accept a USPS money order for the doll, casually mentioning that I had bought from them before (the best kind of reference). They contacted me back saying they would accept a money order and changed the listing to allow that. I bought her on the spot (in the evening) and quickly mailed out the money order (the next morning).
It felt like the money order took forever getting to the seller, but eventually made it. The next mailing day Miss Suzette got into the mail herself and on her way to me! It actually took her less time to get to me than the letter with the money order did to the seller. But eventually she was here! I was really eager to examine her since the ad did mention she was played with, and while I could learn some of those things from the written ad and pictures, there's some things you have to learn from having the doll in person.
Before I start talking about her issues, I will say that I just adore her. I didn't think she's be a doll that didn't live up to my personal hype, but she ended up being so much more than I thought she would be. Her face has so much personality. With just the tilt of her head she can convey so many different expressions. I won't lie, while I love Barbie, in 1962 if I was a child, Miss Suzette would have given her a run for her money. I just keep playing with her and posing her. She's so much fun! (But don't tell her I said that, if she asks tell her I said she was aloof and worldly).
Now onto her issues. Starting from the top and working our way down. Up first is her hair. Her hair is in rough shape, it's really fried. I think this is a pretty common issue for Miss Suzette dolls. Out of all the ones I've seen, I think on average two out of three have been re-rooted. Mine has just enough hair to go into a small ponytail. Interesting fact, her hair is rooted like the original ponytail Barbie dolls, meaning she just has a row of hair plugs around her head with the inside of her scalp is totally bald. I am planning on re-rooting her. While I like the style and color on her, but I don't care for the length or condition. She'll be one of the dolls I'll be buying hair for (eventually). I really don't think it will take long to re-root her since she doesn't have many holes in her head, but those are famous last words. I also said that about Sweet Sixteen and that took FOREVER. I should mention that I'm not going too crazy with her hair length. I think that just down to her shoulders would be a nice length, and would give some options for different hairstyles.
Moving on, her makeup is in okay shape. She does have a few wear spots but they're pretty minor. She has a couple of minor chips to her eyelash ridge paint and some wear to her lips. The lips are the worst of the two and even they don't look so bad since they fall on her lower lip and almost looks like a light reflection on her lips. But even if she had worse paint loss I could live with it, I have plenty of dolls that have lots of paint missing, some of them their entire lips are gone. She's really not bad at all in comparison. She does have something that does bug me regarding her face, her nose. It seems to be that one nostril wasn't formed correctly so there's some rough plastic in it. I thought it was dirt but wasn't able to get it to come out. It's not super noticeable but it looks like she's got... stuff up her nose. It's the kind of thing that once you see it you can't unsee it. I'm trying to ignore it, but it's bugging me! I wish I knew how to fix that, but I'm terrified of trying something and ruining her.
Miss Suzette's body is in decent shape. It does have some minor play wear, but is free from bites, breaks, or
pricks. I thought that her left had hand another molding issue, but in doing research for this post I found out that Miss Suzette dolls actually have a molded on engagement ring. (But to me it looks like a big old wart on her hand) I wonder if painting it would make it look less bizarre. I guess they did that to make her seem a little more wholesome. Unlike that tramp Barbie with her boyfriend Ken.  
Speaking of Barbie, I learned an interesting thing about Miss Suzette from having her in hand, she's considerably smaller than Barbie. In both height and general proportions. She's an inch shorter than Barbie with smaller bust and waist (but not that much smaller bust). The only thing she has in common with Barbie is her hip size, although she has a larger rear than Barbie (and a more defined one). Mine actually has an uneven posterior with one cheek noticeably bigger than the other one. (I guess someone does more squats on that side). In my pictures of her she is wearing a dress I made for Charlotte. It fits rather well although the top snap is a little difficult to close. It is nice to know that while she is a different size and shape than Barbie, I can use patterns I already have to sew for her with minimal adapting.
Not only does Miss Suzette have a different shape, her body design is also very different than Barbie's. I already pointed out she had a swivel neck, Barbie wouldn't get that ability until the late 60's. Miss Suzette's neck is also a lot thicker than Barbie's. I assume to allow the swivel neck hardware. She does have a hole at the top of her scalp, and if you peer thru it you can she that she has a spring and other hardware keeping her head on. Uneeda was not messing around with keeping her head on! Her arms are very similar to Barbies, they're attached at the shoulder and only allow front and back movement. Unlike Barbie she doesn't have any separate fingers, other than her thumb all her fingers are attached to each other. Her left hand is posed similar to Barbie's, but her right hand is a little more angled out (think of like the Shani arms). I'm not sure if that's intentional or mine just warped over time, but it looks fine and I don't plan on messing with it.
The biggest difference between her and Barbie's body is the hip joint. Miss Suzette has an extremely unique hip joint, one that I believe only a few select Uneeda dolls from around 1962 have. Barbie's hips are made up of
mostly of her torso, where her legs snap onto. Miss Suzette's hips are mostly made up of her legs, and are attached to her torso by a very small strip of plastic. It's a very unusual design feature, and not very secure one. When I got Miss Suzette her legs were extremely swingy. So swingy that she was practically unable to sit up on her own. If you even attempted she'd flop back. I'm dealing with that problem by putting some clear elastics between her legs and torso. It's not an ideal situation, but she can now stand up and not need to be supported at the waist. I don't think this type of joint is the most durable. I'm not sure how many of them
break, but mine does have some splitting of the plastic where the torso meets the hip joint. I don't think it's going to break on me, but it's certainly has the potential to break if someone wasn't being too careful with it. I'm not sure if it's my rubber band repair or just how the body was designed, but Miss Suzette is currently a little pigeon toed. It's not a huge issue, just something to mention. Her feet also need to be rewashed, there's still some dirt on her toes. But I can take care of that easily! 
 As you can see from the seller's pictures, Miss Suzette didn't arrive nude. She's much too classy for that. Instead she came wearing a green shamrock print play suit. I don't know much about it. It is rather cute though. I'm not sure if it's made by a company or some home sewer. It really could go either way. It does need a couple spots tightened up, but it is nicely made. It closes in the back and neck with snaps. While it is cute on Miss Suzette, it fits Barbie much better, although it's not as fitted as I would like in the bottom, but if you know me I like my clothes extremely fitted.

So that's Miss Suzette, my newest non-Barbie. Despite her issues, I really do love her.

And I just can't stop playing with her! She's going to look divine after her re-root (whenever that may be)!

1 comment:

  1. wow, that face is gorgeous! congratson getting her.

    and that hip joint sure is unique. never seen anything like it before.