Monday, June 30, 2014

Smile wide, let me see those teeth!

I seriously need to stay away from E-bay. It just keeps draining my Paypal balance. Here I am doing all this work selling stuff on E-bay, just to turn around and buy more stuff on E-bay! It's a very cruel cycle when you have such weak impulse control as I clearly do. I will say in my defense that the item I'm sharing with you today I found when I was researching something I was creating a listing to sell. I was checking current listings to see what other people were selling it for when I stumbled upon the auction. It still had several days to go, so I put it under my watch list to give myself some time to think about it. It went until the last day without any bidders. Usually I like being the only bidder, but I didn't walk away yet. I will admit, I waited until the last second to bid. Yes, I sniped. And after I did that entire post years ago complaining about that entire practice. I will point out that someone else also bid at the last second and I just happened to have put in a higher bid than them. So I didn't snipe the only bidder, I out sniped the sniper.

At least that's how I justify it so I can sleep at night.

It took several days of stalking the Mailman, but eventually my winnings got here. The auction was a lot that consisted of three heads, and three wigs. I only wanted one of the items, but with lots you kind of have to take them all. Which is fine by me, buying stuff in lots that I only want some things from just means I have stuff I can resell to try and get some of my money back.

The first item from the lot that I will be sharing with you is a head. It's a vintage Barbie clone head, Davtex to be exact. She has brown hair with silver streaks. She's very much inspired by vintage Barbie. She has the black and white eyes like the first Barbie dolls. I'm not sure if this is a design choice of if it was just cheaper to manufacture. She also has black eyebrows (this I assume is a cost cutting choice, no need to buy brown paint for the eyebrows if you just use the already in stock black). She is a ponytail like the vintage Barbie dolls and just like with Barbie has hair just around the hairline with a big old bald spot in the middle. But unlike Barbie she has a large hole in the middle of the back of her head! (I think she came like this, I don't think anyone was doing brain surgery on her). When I got her she just needed her hair untangled and a light cleaning. Her bangs had been brushed back into her hair so I did my best to "reclaim" them. She's in pretty nice shape. Her hair is a little dry (which I think is just because it's a lesser quality hair fiber) and she has a spot under an eyelash ridge that wasn't painted as dark as it should have been. I've already gotten her listed over on E-bay, so here's hoping she sells. I have too many Barbie heads without bodies, I don't need to start adding clone heads to the pile!

After that we have another Davtex clone head, nearly identical to the first one. However, this one is an Ash Blonde Bubblecut compared to a brown and gray ponytail. The face paint is identical, so I don't think one is older than the other (compared to Barbie with ponytails being older than bubblecuts). I really don't have too much to say about this doll that I didn't say about the first one. She's also in nice shape, just slightly dirty with dry hair. She's got a chip to the paint on her eyelash ridge, but everything else looks good. Just like the first one she's also on E-bay. They were both listed within days of getting here. Hopefully their third home will keep them for a while. I bet they're tired of traveling!

Moving on from there, we're switching gears. Instead of talking about the final head, we're going to be talking about the wigs. Like I already said, with the lot there were also three wigs. It was hard to see any details about them from the pictures in the listing, so I didn't know anything about them, but I was hoping they
were a decent quality and would fit Barbie. I have several dolls that could use a wig. I was eager for them to arrive so I could look at them in person and see if they were going to be of any use for me. I will say that they were not what I was expecting. Well, they are wigs and I was expecting that. I just was expecting hair that's been rooted into a vinyl cap, and these wigs are sewn into caps made of netting. They're also a bit bigger than Barbie's head. They have elastic around the brim of the cap so they do have some stretch. I think they're for Ginny sized dolls. But they do fit Barbie, they're just a little large in the back, but they don't look super bad. The over sized cap could work out in my favor, I haven't done it yet but a doll with longer hair like Charlotte could wear these with her original hair tucked away in there so that she could wear the wig. The netting would also benefit my bald Hong Kong Lilli doll. Using a wig with a vinyl wig cap would cause melting to her hard plastic head. With the netting and elastic she'd be safe from that issue.
I have no information about these wigs, I think they were made by a factory but these are completely unlabeled. When I got them they had some metal clips in the hair that were marked "TEPAK". I looked that up and it's a company that makes packaging for other companies. I don't think they made the wigs. All three wigs are nearly identical. The only difference between them is the hair color. I have a blonde, a strawberry blonde, and a brunette. All three of them have the same hairstyle, long banana curls with short straight bangs and a center part. While I like banana curls I've been working on brushing them out. When I got them they were a really bad tangled mess (see the brunette wig that I haven't done much with for an example). So the hair sets had to go. I've been working on them slowly, as you can see from the picture above. I assure you, those are wigs and not just piles of hair. I've been working on the one on the far left the most, although it still has a long way to go!

After that we get to talk about our final item, the one I'm the most excited to share about with you! The item that I was the most excited about and why I bought this lot for was: a "Toothy" Midge head! Toothy Midge's are nicknamed that because they have painted teeth. They are the first Midge dolls released by Mattel. They stopped painting the teeth because children found her goofy looking. Although, her teeth are not the only reason why she's goofy looking. Most of the early Midge's have lazy eyes, I have heard it was easier to paint Barbie's smaller side eye glance than Midge's large straight forward looking eyes. It's a lot easier to find a Midge doll with eyes that are off than a Barbie doll. They didn't change the head sculpt when they changed up Midge's face paint, they just stopped painting the teeth. If you look at any vintage Midge's her lips are slightly parted, just not colored in.
Anyway, from the single picture in the auction I knew that she was a toothy Midge (the seller didn't have her identified as such). However I didn't know the condition of her hair. It was pulled behind her. I could see the curl in a few spots, but couldn't tell if she had hair a cut or not. Since she was a toothy Midge and I know how to re-root I decided to try and get her, even though I really shouldn't be adding more dolls to the re-root pile since I already have so many and no decent hair suppliers. I didn't need to worry about it because her hair is lovely! And not only is it lovely, it's also really, really, different. Midge's hair isn't in the usual hairstyle found on Midge. Typically Midge's hair is in a flip. This doll's hair is in a flip as well, but instead of having the hair curled outward, it curls in. So she's more of a like a bob than a flip. I did some research into it, but I haven't found out any information about her. The most common variations for vintage Midge are toothy dolls and dolls without freckles. I didn't find anything about dolls with turned in flips. I did share a picture of her on Flickr and someone I trust said they had one like her, so there's other examples of her out there in the world. It just must be a very uncommon variation. I also brought her to the meeting and showed someone who's very knowledgeable with vintage Barbie. He did comment on how she is an early Midge (which I knew), but didn't seemed too bowled over by the fact that she had a different hairstyle. So maybe there's more of them out there than I know of. But even if she's not the only doll in the world with the inverted flip I'm very glad to have her in the collection. I didn't have a toothy Midge yet, so I was happy to add her, the fact that she's so different is just icing on the cake! I did have some thoughts that maybe some person made her like that, but I only paid 19 dollars for the whole lot, the seller didn't even know she was a toothy Midge (which would have made her sell for more), and her hair curl is exactly like the other dolls, just going in instead of out. There is one bad thing about her hair like this, it's so hard to style. The curl makes her hair push away from her face in a not very attractive style. I do hope to eventually sort it out somehow. For a while she was wearing Skipper's sailor hat, but Skipper needed it back! I was going to put her on the one Midge/Barbie body I had spare, but since she's so uncommon I didn't want to risk damaging her neck putting the head on. Instead I stole a TLC Barbie only body with the small neck knob I had from another doll. Eventually I'll have to get a replacement, but that other doll is waiting for new hair, so it will be a while until she needs her body.
Another Midge for the collection!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Even though I had just bought that Standard Barbie doll, I was still not fully finished spending money that day. While I was doing the search that ultimately lead me to the Standard I also found another listing for a doll that was very interesting to me. I believed she was a doll that I had been hoping to add to the collection for some time now. There were only two issues, I wasn't sure if she was who I thought she was and she was super expensive. After I found that Standard Barbie I figured my new doll lust had been satisfied so I clicked off the page and walked away. Apparently my assumption was incorrect, I kept thinking about that doll. After a few hours stewing it over, I went back to the page (it took me a while to find it and I thought it had been sold, but I found it again). I looked the ad over closely and e-mailed the seller. I had a question I needed answering before I would even think about buying this doll.

A few hours later I got a reply from the seller confirming that what I thought the doll was, was in fact correct. I thanked the seller for looking that up for me, then asked if they would be willing to sell the doll for ten dollars cheaper than how much it was listed for. They countered with five dollars off, which basically made shipping free. I thought about it, but decided that I did want the doll. I thanked them again (they could have easily told me no), accepted the offer, and asked them to edit the listing and to reserve it for me.

Later that night they did and I bought the doll a few minutes after that.
And just like that I was a proud owner of a Skipper doll and 75 bucks poorer. I had just purchased my most expensive Skipper doll to date. Yes, this one was even more expensive than the Japanese Skipper. Ironically she's a different type of Japanese Skipper. She is a living Skipper doll who was produced in Japan, very similar to the Living Barbie that was produced in Japan that I shared with you not that long ago. Actually, she's extremely similar to Japanese Living Barbie. Skipper was also produced for the Japanese market and got a US release through a Sears Gift set called "Very Best Velvet". So she is out there in the US, but seems to be more uncommon than the Barbie gift set.

Just like with Barbie there are some key differences between the Japanese version compared to the much more common Taiwan version. Again, the easiest way to tell is just looking at their markings. Dolls from Japan will be marked Japan. But there are two other keys to identifying these dolls just from their looks. The first big difference is that the Japanese Living Skipper has a lighter skin tone than the very pink skin color of the Taiwan dolls. And the second thing is their hair, with two big differences, the first one is the color. The Japanese dolls are a much lighter shade of blonde than the brassy blonde that was used for the regular Taiwan dolls. They also have a slightly different hair style. They both have pigtails with a center part with a spit curl on the forehead, but the Japanese dolls have shorter hair that is styled in more of a bun at each ear instead of just curled at the ends. So those clues will help you determine what doll could be a Japanese Living Skipper, but the markings should be something you check out since they will confirm it. Sometimes a Taiwan doll can look a lot like a Japanese dolls, so check the markings before you spend a lot on one of them. 

Anyway, now it's time to talk about the doll. Skipper for the most part is in very nice shape (as she should be for what I paid for her). She has been played with, but very carefully. The woman selling
her was actually her original owner. She made a couple comments about how she's going to miss Skipper, which to a sentimental softy like me is sad, but I'm not forcing her to sell her. I did assure her that Skipper will be going to a good home, which is true. Her sentimental attachment is why she was only willing to give me 5 dollars off compared to the 10 I suggested. (And her sentimental attachment also let her jam Skipper into a too small for her flat rate box, I'm surprised she didn't break in the mail.) Anyway, Skipper is in nice shape. All her joints work and hold position well. The only real issues she has is that she was a little dirty when I got her, and she has a small scratch to her neck (dead center too, it's like she had a tracheotomy at some point). Skipper actually has her original hair set, which is KILLING me. Her hair is slightly messy from just 40 years of existence so I want to take it down and refresh it, but it's really not that bad so I feel bad taking it down since it's been like that for so long. The elastics have long since turned black and will crumble if I do anything, but she still has her original hair bows, and I know I won't be able to redo them anywhere are nicely as she has them now. I must admit, she herself is making me slightly uneasy. I've had her for several weeks now and I haven't even given her a bath yet. I'm just so worried about damaging her since I paid so much for her. There's a reason why don't I spend spend much on my dolls (although that number has been steadily creeping up), that way if something happens to one of them, while I'd be very upset I wouldn't be out a ton of money.
Skipper did come with a piece of clothing, nothing from her gift set however. She arrived wearing a
yellow play suit. It's actually the "romper" from "Sunny Suit" from 1969. It's missing a matching fabric hat, yellow vinyl bag, and yellow vinyl sandals. The romper looks to be in nice shape, might be slightly dingy in places but overall it's not that bad. It closes in the back with a button an a loop of thread. I think Mattel usually used buttons and elastic to close their clothing, so I have a feeling the thread is a replacement. The stitching on the inside doesn't look very well done, so that supports my theory. It does hold the back closed fine and it's not a big deal that it's been replaced. Usually with these things the elastic has dried out and needs to be replaced anyway.

So that's my most expensive Skipper to date. I do have an idea for dressing her, so hopefully she can be shown again soon with her new clothes.
However, that will mean I have to get over my fear of her!

P.S. The title of the post should say in Japanese: Hello, my name is Skipper. Would you like to be my friend?". If it's wrong, blame Google!

P.P.S. I almost forgot to share this.  When Skipper arrived the seller also included a really cute thank you.... note. I don't know what to call it exactly. It's a small band of wire with beads strung on it. Most of them are random, but it had word beads that spelled out "Thank You". It's roughly the size of a newborn bracelet, but I wouldn't give it to a newborn since it has a pointy wire at the end. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it, I put it with the rest of my beads for now. I may eventually cannibalize it for some of the prettier beads. I just wanted to share with you all a cute little thank you the seller sent me. (Although, I wouldn't have just minded a simple paper note and a cheaper price on the doll!)
But you know me, I am cheap, cheap, cheap.
Thank you for reading my post!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Stand Out Among the Standard

Like what happens with so many of my blog posts, this one starts with a little bit of back story. A couple of weeks ago, I got my Paypal account partially locked. It was because of a simple typo that happened years ago and finally came around to bite me in the backside. So I had limited access to my account in one section, which was annoying but I could work around it. I figured since it wasn't affecting my day-to-day activities I would ignore it and just not do that one thing.

Paypal on the other hand, had other ideas. Without warning they flat out locked my entire account. I could receive money, but couldn't touch it. This made selling on E-bay a lot more difficult since I couldn't touch that money to even ship items out with. So I had to jump through all their hoops to get access to my account back. Finally after giving them 94865 forms of personal id and submitting to their digital prostate exam (metaphorically speaking) they gave me back access to my account.

And once that happened I vowed to spend every last cent in my account. I figured that by emptying my Paypal account into several other people's accounts it would punish them!
That's how it works, right?

(Listen I have to justify my rampant spending somehow.)

Once I got back access to my account I really did have to buy something, anything. After being unable to spend a cent I was really in the mood to spend some money. I never want to do something more than when I've been told I can't do it.
I was actually not on E-bay (although I was searching it too) when I found my next find. I was on Etsy looking under their vintage section for Barbie. I found a listing where someone was selling three dolls. Two were 90's era Superstar Barbie dolls that weren't of any interest to me, but one was a 1971 Standard Barbie with center facing eyes. They were only 10 dollars for the three of them, but shipping was 12.50, which I was not thrilled about but in general a 20 dollar standard isn't a bad investment. So I added them to the cart and bought them. Ironically enough, a few days I realized that I had bought from that seller before. Small world, huh? They realized it too and sent me a little note thanking me for being a returning customer. (I didn't know I was a return costumer, I just wanted the doll). 

They arrived several days after I bought them, in a padded envelope. For what I paid in shipping I should at least get a box I can reuse! The seller actually gave me a refund of two dollars, I guess shipping ended up being cheaper than what they charged me. Which is always a nice thing to get, although I don't expect it. If I'm willing to pay your shipping costs, I've included it with the price of the item. But it was still a good thing to do, those two dollars went on to buy my next doll, which you'll hear about soon enough in an upcoming post.
Anyway, the dolls arrived. Like I said, there were two 90's era Superstars in the lot. One of them was Secret something or other Barbie. She was in decent played with condition. I've already started her clean up process before she gets listed separately. She just needs a light cleaning and some hair work. The other one (who I have yet to identify) will also get resold, but needs a bit more work. Her hair has been cut, I've since removed what was left of it, and she has staining on the back of one of her legs. Her body has joined the rest of the dolls who are undergoing acne treatment. I'm hoping to get the first one listed again soon, and the other one listed once the stain comes out. (She's going to be sold bald). I've already washed off and reapplied the acne cream once and the stain seems to have lightened. So it is coming out, it's just a matter of time.
But enough about those two. Let's talk about the reason why I bought the lot in the first place. As I already told you it was a Standard Barbie. I'm sure all you have read the post I did recently where I talked about Standards, but a brief recap will follow. Standard Barbie dolls were the "budget" dolls from Mattel. They had the newer TNT face mold, but lacked eyelashes, the TNT waist, and bend legs. They're basically a TNT head without eyelashes on a pink tone straight leg Midge and Barbie body. The older ones had the usual side glancing eyes, but when they were re-released in 1971 they had forward glancing eyes (Hair Fair Barbie also got this new centered eye
re-release in 1971). This new doll is my fourth Standard, and my second one with center facing eyes. The seller had her misidentified as Midge, which I could see since it does say both Barbie and Midge on her backside. Also (this is a huge conclusion jump on my part) she's not blonde. Lots of times I see brunettes and titans Barbie dolls marked as Midge just because to some people, Barbie = blonde. Which is not always the case.
But either way I knew who she was and that's what was important. She's in really nice shape. Her hair is nice and full her makeup is flawless. She doesn't even have the bottom lip rub I find TNT dolls get. She does have discoloration to her head. Like with most Mod era dolls these dolls are prone to yellowing. Her head isn't that bad compared to some. It's actually not as bad at the pictures make her look. The lights really highlight the color difference. It's not as bad in person.
Her body is in nice shape, she has some light play wear, the biggest issue to her body is that she has some wear to her fingernail and toenail polish and that's really not that a big deal for me. Even with her issues I think she's a stunner, and is a welcome addition to the collection.

Now to get to work on those other two dolls, I'm trying to be good about getting the new things for resale out quickly so they're not sitting around for months (or longer) until I get them listed for resale.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Do you like my dress? What about my dress? And what do you think of my dress?

Now that I've shared all of the home made clothing from the lot it's time to talk about the factory made pieces. The majority of the pieces were made by Mattel, but there's a couple pieces that weren't. They will all be talked about in this post. (and after that we're done, Yay!)

I'm going to start off this post talking about stock outfits. For people unfamiliar with that term it just means a doll's original outfit. I'm not sure how well known it is, I only learned about it when I was into Momoko dolls and the people on that forum would use it.
Up first we have Quick Curl Barbie's pink gingham dress. This dress is actually in really nice shape.
The only issue I see with it is some popped stitching at the waist. I'm surprised what nice condition it in. It's made out of such a thin fabric and the sheer sleeves are made from an incredibly fragile material and not hemmed so usually when I've come across it it's a total mess. I guess Barbie didn't wear this dress too often. She wasn't wearing it when I got the lot, the dress was just loose in the box.
After that we have a pair of swim trunks. I'm pretty sure these are Malibu Ken's original shorts. They are made from a orange/red knit material and have elastic sewn into the waist. They have a teeny tiny little frayed tag in them that says "Made in Hong Kong" (just like he was). They're pretty nice shape, they're a little dirty and I noticed one small snag in the back. They actually have a small sewing error on them, on the waistband on the back there's a crease that got sewn down. When I got them Malibu Ken was wearing them, and had melted into them. I had to carefully peel them off him, I guess I should be happy they're not as damaged as they could be. And I guess I should be happy that they kept him from melting into the pants he was wearing on top of them. If only he was wearing an undershirt!
After that we have the majority of the stock outfit for New Look Ken. I guess both Ken dolls weren't
that popular since both their original outfits were still in the lot. We actually have all of the pieces of the outfit, shoes excluded. We have the brown and white checkered jacket, the brown pants, and the white dickey. They're in okay shape, except both the pants and the jacket have stains. The pants have red stains and black stains on them, mostly on the legs. The elastic waist is actually still pretty nice on the pants. The jacket has red stains and peach colored stains on it. I'm kind of wondering it that's makeup on the clothes. I really don't know for certain. They both need some slight refreshing (mainly trimming loose threads), but I'm not sure if I'm going to bother. Those stains really kill the outfit for me, I have no clue how to clear it up. I'm just so bad with stains! The dicky looks to be free from stains though. It's a little dingy and that's it. I will say that I have no idea why the neck is surged with red thread, how tacky looking! But at least the neck got surged, the rest of it isn't hemmed or surged. It closes in the back with one snap, I guess Mattel hadn't decided to cut costs even more by switching over to using velcro at that point.
After that we have Ballerina Barbie's original tutu. Made of white satin with a tulle skirt, I think it's a really cute costume. It's also in really nice shape. The only issues with it is some loose threads at the arm holes that just need trimming. I will have to be very careful with it. The fabric under the hemline has frayed in a few spots so it could easily slip out from under the hem, which would look terrible. I might end up reselling this, I worry about it getting damaged so it might be easier to just resell it and not have it than hold onto it. It is really cute though.

And for our final stock outfit, we have Italian
This picture was a nightmare to get
where everything didn't look yellow.
Barbie's full outfit. And by full I mean full. I even got her shoes! She was the only doll with shoes, and the only shoes in the entire lot. I have her original white under dress, her red, green, and white skirt, her blue apron, and orange tie shoes. They are in amazing condition, I don't think they've ever been off her before. I had to untie the original knots on the shoes so I could wash her. There's not much to say about this other than how nearly perfect they are. The bottom of the under dress isn't yellow like it looks in the picture. I am planning on keeping this outfit, just not on the doll. I'll store it with the rest of my vintage Barbie clothes so if I ever decide to sell her I can keep her with her original outfit. But I don't think she'll be on the chopping block any time soon, she's a big reason why I bought this lot in the first place. I am glad I have her outfit too, even though I plan on dressing her in something just for her. (Like everyone else gets).

And so that was the stock outfits from the lot. Now let's switch gears and talk about the non-Mattel items in the lot. There's not that many of them, so I should be able to get through this section rather quickly.
Our first item is a white.... thing. It's made from fuzzy white fabric and is sort of shaped like the number 8. It has a pouch and is edged with a white yarn trim and has a pink bow on it. I believe this is for a baby doll with an over sized head. I'm not sure why I think that, but for some reason I just do. You tuck the body into the pouch and the top part cradles the head. I could be wrong though, if anyone has any idea in the comments what it's from please let me know. It looks to be in decent shape. The bow has partially come undone and it looks like the trim needs a little work, but those are simple repairs. Not sure what use I'll get out of it, I don't have any baby dolls that could use it. The only baby dolls I have are Barbie's sister Chrissy and she lives in a plastic bag in the closet with all her accessories and it way too small for it. This might end up getting resold. 
After that we have a hat. Measuring just a hair under 7 inches in circumference it's made from thin plastic molded to look
like woven straw. It has two holes in the brim where there's a bit of elastic threaded through to keep it on the doll's head. Quite honestly this could have belonged to the Ginny doll (looks similar to the style of her outfit) but I didn't find any example of her wearing it so I didn't put it on the doll when reselling it. I'm not sure if I would have added it to the listing if I had found proof it belonged to her, I wanted to keep it. I like hats, even going so far as to try making them (not very successfully I might add). This hat is in very nice condition. I will need to replace the elastic since it's broken in a couple spots and generally seems to have relaxed (a common issue for elastic). Not sure if I'll be able to that easily since the elastic is tan in color, the only elastic I've seen is white or black. I wonder if I could try dying elastic with tea to make that color? I guess I can try that in time, it's not a huge issue right now since I really don't have much use for the hat, but I'm glad I have it. Never know when it will come in handy! Quick side note, the Barbie form is new. They came out in the 80's in a boutique play set. I've been wanting one for a while but didn't want to pay the 8 dollars + they go for on E-bay just for the form. Last month at a thrift store I found two of the display heads for a quarter each! They had some melting, but they're exactly what I wanted!
Moving on, we have a dress. This one while not Mattel is tagged. It is tagged with three Japanese
characters (タカラ), a logo (which could be a monkey or a skull), and in English; "Made In Japan". When you type Takara into a translator, those three characters pop up, so it's a Takara dress. I assume their logo is more likely a monkey than a skull. Anyway, back to the dress. It has a bodice made out of a golden woven metallic material. It is lined and has set in sleeves made of a hot pink nylon material. There's lace at the sleeves, but just at the very top (almost like lace cap sleeves. The sleeves are gathered at the wrist. The dress has a full skirt, also made of the pink nylon material. Just like the bodice it is fully lined, but out of a different material. The skirt has a lace overlay. At the waist there is a chartreuse colored ribbon tied in a bow. On the lace over skirt on the right side there's another chartreuse bow, but this one has an attached green flower. Condition wise, the dress is in okay shape. There's several spots of fraying to the gold bodice (a very common issue with anything made with this type of fabric). The elastic at the wrists has relaxed, which again is a common problem. Both ribbon bows have fraying at the ends and I wouldn't be too shocked to find out that there was originally one on the left side of the skirt that's missing. It's is slightly dingy, but I'm not sure how this dress would react to washing. When I got this lot Licca's friend was wearing it. Poor Licca, she got stuck in that heavy brown play suit while her friend got the princess dress! 
Her friend also got underwear while Licca was forced to go commando. For our final factory made clothing piece we have a pair of panties. Made of a white netted material they are surged at the top (and have shot elastic) and have lace at the leg holes. They're very small, so I assume they are original to the Licca dolls. They're very simple, but nicely made. Most likely one of the Licca dolls will end up wearing it. They seem to be the type to wear underwear.

And that's that last of the factory made non-Mattel clothing pieces. With that done, we get to move into our final section; the clothing made by Mattel that wasn't sold on a doll. I actually got several pieces. I'm also going to be breaking down this section into smaller sections. I'll be lumping things together based on who they were designed for.

Our first section is items that belong to Francie. If you remember the doll introduction post, there was
no Francie dolls in the lot. In fact there wasn't even any dolls in similar in size to Francie to wear her clothes. So either Francie didn't last long enough to make it into the lot, or they never had one and Barbie wore her clothes. Our first item is a pajama top. It is the top to Snooze News from 1971-1972. I am missing the matching panties, the slippers, and the paper “mirror”. The top is made out of a pink tricot material with a netting overlay. The netting has a lace trim and lace straps as well as a bow in front. It is tagged “Francie TM, Copyright 1965 Mattel”. The top is in played with condition, but it's not as bad as it could be. Overall it is very dingy, that lace should be white not tan. It also has some blue staining at the back hem. While it does need work getting cleaned up, there's not too many snags in the lace overlay and the ribbon tie hasn't frayed too badly. If I knew anything about cleaning vintage clothing, this might clean up rather nicely!

Moving on we have another Francie garment, another night gown. This outfit is Dreamy Duo also from 1971-1972. It is somewhat similar to the one I just finished discussing. I have two parts of this outfit, I believe that's all it originally had. We have a yellow empire waist tricot under dress with a netting overlay skirt. It has gathered netting at the neckline, and at the waist it has a floral trim. The robe is much longer and also has a yellow tricot “body” with a netting overlay. It repeats the gathered netting detail at the bottom of the robe, and has the floral trim at the neck and down the sides of the robe. It closes at the top with a single snap. Both pieces are untagged. Not sure if they came that way, or it lost it's tags along the way. They did come out right at the time Mattel was really cutting corners so they might have eliminated tags by then. The robe looks to be in good shape. The netting overlay looks to have very few snags and I can't see much wrong with it. The under dress on the other hand is a mess. It has a hole on the bodice, a huge tear in the back that's about 2 inches long, and the netting has come free at the waist in one spot. The hole and undone netting can be explained from general play wear, but I think the tear in the back came from it being put on Barbie. When I got the lot it was on the Malibu Barbie, I just found out it was made for Francie. The under dress doesn't open, it's supposed to side up the doll. I could easily see this tearing as you pulled it up over Barbie's much more full chest. It's a shame though, it's actually really cute, but I bet it will be easier to find a replacement under dress than the robe. I don't usually use nightgowns in the collection, but there's something about this diaphanous gown that speaks to me!
Those were the only Francie items in the lot. It's weird they're both night gowns. I guess Francie did a lot of sleeping. Maybe that's why I didn't get her, she couldn't be woken up to join the rest of the dolls in the lot! (Although, if that's the case she's now naked since I have both her nightgowns!)

After that, we get to start talking about the Ken clothing. Our first item from the lot is a pair of pants.
These belong to Night Scene from 1971. I am missing the matching jacket, the cummerbund, the dickey, the socks, and the shoes. These are part of a very mod tuxedo! Check out that rich burgundy color with the wine colored stripe down the side. I'm glad I missed formal wear being that bold! The look to be in rather nice shape. I just see a couple loose threads that need some slight work on them. The zipper even works nicely! I don't plan on hunting down the rest of the outfit, but if I do stumble upon it I at least have nice condition pants to go with it! These might be missing the eyelet they used to use at the top of the fly. However, I'm not sure if they originally had them or not.

Our next Ken item is actually a mostly complete suit. It is V.I.P. Scene from 1971. (What's with Ken and scenes?) I actually got the pants and shirt last year in that 5 dollar box that I failed to finish everything sharing with you. I did however get around to sharing the
pants and shirt, I didn't know what they were from, now I do. This outfit is more complete and has the double breasted jacket made in the same material as the pants. I'm missing the tie, the socks, and the shoes for this outfit. When I got these Malibu Ken was wearing the shirt and pants. He melted into the shirt a little bit. The pants were spared his melting since he was wearing his swim trunks under them. It's a shame about the shirt since it looks nearly perfect other than that spot. Not sure if it's even possible to get melted plastic out of the fabric, but I might have to try. The jacket is in amazing shape. It's the only part of the outfit which is tagged, with a Ken tag. It's nearly perfect, it looks like it was just de-boxed. It still even has it's original four buttons! The pants are also in very nice shape. The bottom of the zipper might need tacking in place, but that's about it for repair work for these. It even still has it's original hook! The thread eye might be missing, but I can easily replace that. I actually really like this outfit, I might even be tempted to display it on a doll. However I'll have to be really careful the doll doesn't start melting and damage the outfit. It's bad when something I made gets ruined, it would be even worse when it was something vintage that get's trashed! Maybe I won't display it on a doll...

And that's it for the Ken outfits! Wow, we are making fast progress on this, and I am getting a typing work out. But we are reaching the end of this post (and this lot). After the Ken outfits we get to move to Barbie's clothes that were in the lot.

Our first Barbie item is a tutu. It has a ribbon tie that acts as both the waistband and how to take it on and off
the doll. The actual tutu part is made up from two different fabrics. The top part is made from a light pink netting, while the underside is made from a slightly darker pink tulle. Both the netting and the tulle have been shredded, which to me gives it a slight punk feel to it. I'm pretty sure this is a factory original design feature and not the handy work of a child fashion designer. I'm not 100 percent sure of the origin of this piece. I did share it on Flickr asking for identification help. Someone commented saying they had the same tutu and was told it came from a My First Barbie ballerina doll. I wasn't able to find that doll on E-bay, but I believe they are correct. For some reason after they told me that I could picture the doll, I just can't remember the name. I never owned it, but must have come across it at some time during my childhood. If this item is from my First Barbie line, it would make it the newest item in the lot. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it, I don't have too many punk Ballerina's around here, but I guess there's plenty of room in the costume bag to stuff it into there.

After that we have a formal Barbie outfit. This is called Party Dress from the Get Ups 'n Go line. This outfit was released in 1974. It consists of a gold and purple brocade halter top with a full orange satin skirt. It has a matching brocade jacket with a gold tie at the waist. When I got the lot Quick Curl Barbie was wearing it. For some reason it looked super familiar. I thought it was a Barbie outfit, but couldn't identify it (it's untagged). I shared a picture of it on Flickr, and people there were kind enough to tell me what it is. They also informed me that it had a fur stole that went along with it (what a busy outfit!). I actually had the fur stole but didn't include it with the picture since I didn't think it actually belonged with the rest of the outfit. I believe the only thing I'm missing is the shoes. The outfit is in .... considerably played with shape. It's not terrible, but there's obviously some repair and restoration work that needs to be done with this outfit. And quite honestly, I'm not sure if I'm up for the task. I think it might be better if I resold it to recoup some of my expenses for this lot.

Our next Barbie item is a skirt. It is from Best Buy #7502. Made from a red cotton with a floral
pattern, its a simple straight skirt. It has a gathered elastic waist which is how you get it on and off the doll. I'm missing the matching fabric shirred top with it's ribbon shoulder straps. It's in very nice condition, the elastic isn't even shot. I was watching someone selling it on E-bay but it still hasn't sold at 9.99. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it. Again, this might end up getting resold.

The next item I'm going to share is actually a twofer. Not because it's a two piece outfit, but because I have two of them. It's a pair of peasant dresses. Made from a green floral fabric with a red waist piece and white sleeves, these dresses are Sears Exclusives from 1974. When I got the lot one of them was being worn by Quick Curl Miss America (who melted into one of the bodices) and the other one was loose in the lot. They're both in pretty nice shape. They're both dingy and one of them will need some repair on the back where the bodice separated from the skirt. You can't see it in the picture but one of the skirts has a run in it. Just like with the several of the clothing pieces, at least one of these will be resold. I'd love to get my money back and I don't really need two of the same dresses.

Our final items are also getting paired up, again because there's two of them. It's a pair of coats. Made
out of a tan flannel (possibly) they have faux fur collars and faux leather belts. These are also Sears exclusives. I wasn't able to find their release year, but I'd bet it's also 1974, or around there. They look to be in pretty decent shape. They both need some light upkeep, but I think with a little light work they would look nice. And not to sound like a broken record, but these might also end up on the auction block in time. 

I mean, *ahem*, that's the last of the clothing from the lot and the last item from the Caring Transitions Auction Lot. I'm thrilled to be writing this closing section, this was a lot of typing. Again with the dolls themselves it's shocking in hindsight to see how much of the items I got that I'm thinking about reselling. But I am glad that I bought this lot because what I am keeping will be wonderful additions to the collection.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

"I don't care how funny you think it is."

"If Barbie finds out you wore her play suit she's going to kill BOTH of us. Besides, this is the second day you've worn it, I think the novelty has worn off."

Allen is modeling the blue play suit from the lot, while Ken is wearing a teaser from the upcoming post about the factory made clothing!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

"Puh, Puh, Puh-lease will you Adopt Me?"

As I've talked about before I'm a member of the North Carolina Fashion Doll Club. I haven't given you an update on it recently, but I'm still a member and I'm still having fun. I'm also getting more sociable within the group, but there's still things I need to work on.
Anyway, today was the annual pool party. I skipped it last year, and was planning on skipping it this year (my fair skin does not respond well to an entire day out doors and I don't feel comfortable swimming in front of strangers/near strangers). However I had contacted Bradley about buying some doll part from him (including the Tammy body that Tina Cassini needed) and he suggested meeting at the meeting so I can buy the parts I needed. So I ended up going (the things I do for dolls, including getting sunburned).

Since I was heading up to Raleigh and with my father we made our usual stops at the two thrift stores that are along the way. The first thrift store was pretty much a wash and I walked out of there empty handed. However the second one, (the PTA thrift store) was a lot more successful.

And I do mean a LOT more successful. 

Let me share with you a picture of what I found there:

Her name is Susie Sad Eyes, and she's in inexpensive clone doll that came out in the 1960's and 1970's. There's several different versions of her, churned out by several different companies during those two decades. She's marked on the back simply with a "Made in Hong Kong". Mine came with her original outfit, a vinyl raincoat, jersey knit tights, and simple plastic boots so we can identify her as a later Susie doll named Susie Slicker. I won't lie, I was very excited to find her. Whenever I see people online share their version of Susie I always found myself drawn to her. I wanted to add one to the collection, but I didn't want one enough to pay online prices for her. I had hoped to one day find one locally, and that was that day! I was so shocked to find her that I bit the inside of my cheek to make sure I wasn't dreaming. Nope, she was real and for the bargain price of 50 cents she was mine! She quickly joined the rest of the dolls (and parts) I was bringing with me to the pool party. I did bring her out for a little bit, but I'm not sure how much she enjoyed herself since she was stuck in her vinyl trench coat for the day and it was HOT. 
It wasn't until we were back home that I took her out of her outfit and examined her clothes and her better. I don't think she was ever played with, other than some light dirt she looks to be in perfect shape. With an inexpensive clone doll like Susie any real play would show. She just needs a light cleaning, but that's it. Even her outfit is in great shape. Her thin vinyl coat is free from rips and tears and her boots don't have any seam splits. Her tights have a little age wear though. The front seam is a little loose, I just think the thread relaxed slightly over time. Also when I took of her boot I found out that her tights were a yellow/orange color under them. I don't think the boots discolored the fabric, I think it protected them. I think that's the color they originally were, but over time they faded where they were exposed. And that's really all that's wrong with the tights, more wear than the other two parts of her outfit, but far from play wear. Those are more issues with the fabric and thread aging. The wear could be a lot worse, they didn't even bother hemming the tights at the top. I'll bet very few of them lasted very long, that thin knit material must have frayed quickly and severely.
But back to Susie. As you can see she's a blonde with straight hair and bangs. She also came as a brunette and less common carrot colored red. (not sure what other hair styles she had). She has a rubber head and arms, and thin blow mold torso and legs. I had seen people rebody these dolls to a Penny Brite body, and I tried that, but Penny is bigger and I didn't like how it threw off her proportions. Also Penny's neck knob was bigger and I was worried it would stretch out Susie's head so she ended up back on her original body. It's not a huge deal, her body is in nice shape. The plastic (especially on her torso) isn't the top quality, but she's just going to be displayed and look sad and forlorn. She will be getting a new outfit first (I'm still debating selling her original one on E-bay). I pulled out the Skipper and similar Sized doll clothing bags and was trying things on her. She's too thick for Skipper clothes, but was a fair fit for Francie (say that three times fast) sized clothing. I had one yellow dress I made without bust darts that fits her okay. It will need several changes to the pattern to get the fit better for her, but it's a nice starting off point. Now I just have to figure out where the original pattern I used to make the dress is. I doubt I threw it out since I rarely throw anything out, much less patterns. But I do manage to always throw out just the right thing I needed to keep.

We shall see, either way, Welcome Susie Sad Eyes, you're very different from the rest of the collection, but you're a very welcome addition!
Now could you please cheer up?

Friday, June 20, 2014

"OMG, I walked in and she was wearing the exact same dress as me, just in a different color!"

Now that the dolls from the CT Auctions have all be introduced to you, it's time to talk about the clothes that came with them. Now that I'm sitting here with this blog post ahead of me, I realize there's a surprising amount of clothing in the lot. I knew about most of it from the pictures, but some of it was tucked behind the dolls in the listing photos. Also, it looks like a lot more when you have it all compiled together instead of some being worn by dolls and some in piles around the dolls. But either way, I'm going to write the post and share it all with you! Like usual, the clothing can be broken up into two sections, home made and factory made.

I'm going to start with the home made clothing pieces.And share the factory made pieces in another post.

You are going to be seeing a lot of repetition within this section. I will be talking about 15 items in this post, out of those 15 pieces only 3 different fabrics were used. The majority of the pieces were made from either a blue or a brown fabric. You'll also be seeing a lot of repeating silhouettes. I wouldn't be shocked if there was a vintage Barbie pattern that all these pieces originated from. Quite honestly, I might even have it in my pattern stash, I just haven't found it yet. If anyone recognizes the pattern, I would appreciate you letting me know. But that's enough set up, let's start talking about the clothes themselves!

I'm going to start with the items made from the brown fabric. Our first item is a pair of pants. These (and all of the brown pieces) are made from a medium weight brown woven material. I'd guess a cotton twill? These are your basic pants, made for Ken. They are hemmed at the top and bottom with matching brown thread, but have contrasting top stitching in yellow for fake pockets and fly. They have side seams and are bell bottom shaped. I'm not sure if that's intentional or not. I do like the style of these, just not the application. I guess I'm going to have to hunt down the pattern. I will in time have several Mod era Ken's to dress and they'll need pants. They close in the back with a single snap. They are pretty decent quality, but there's a few places where the fabric has frayed and come lose from the hem. They're not too terrible as far as home made clothing goes. Moving on we have another pair of Ken pants. Made from the same pattern, these are nearly identical to the first pair. This pair however has yellow rickrack glued to the bottom hem. Whoever added the trim didn't apply it correctly so the rickrack begins and ends at the front of the pants. Also the glue makes the legs hole openings really stiff and hard to put on the doll. Other than that difference, these pants are almost exactly like the first pair. I like the first pair better. I have no love for rickrack. 
Moving on from that, we get to Barbie clothes! Up first we have a play suit made out of the brown fabric. Not sure how much playing would get done in this outfit, it works for pants, but it's not as an accurate fabric for a play suit. It's a lot heavier than what you would want to make a play suit of out. When I got the lot it was wrapped
around Licca in an odd bundle trying to give her some modesty. It's made from a pair of shorts with an attached waistband and a halter top. It closes in the back of the shorts with one snap and at the top of the straps at the neck. It also has some fraying and the halter top is coming apart from the waist band in a very noticable way. I tried it on Barbie, and it fits her, but it's really over sized. I actually tried it on a vintage Allen doll and it almost fits him. He can wear the shorts part fine, but straps are just out of reach to snap around his neck. Otherwise he could easily wear Barbie's play suit. Which really does not speak well of the fit of the play suit. Our final brown clothing piece, is a dress. It has a four gored maxi skirt but uses the same pattern as the waistband and halter top of the play suit for the top of the dress. It also a row of glued on yellow rick rack on the bottom of the skirt. Again, if the straps were longer, it too could fit Allen. This dress opens completely in the back. It has a snap at both the top and the bottom of the skirt so it can open fully. It's a very full skirt, but it could actually be fuller. The bottom snap was put on not that close to the edges of the fabric, if they were moved, the skirt could get about 1/4 of an inch wider!

*Palette Clenser*

As I said there's a lot of repitition within the handmade clothing section, but there's one item that's not like everything else. I believe it's a pair of panties. Made from a woven synthetic feeling fabric. It has a pattern of black lines going both vertically and horizontally making black boxes. It also has some rather large blue hearts with a black line eyelet design going around the hearts. They are hemmed and have shot eleastic at the waist, and are surged at the legs. I assume they're for a female doll, but they look rather big. I believe these are older than the rest of the lot. If I had to make a guess I think these belonged to an adult doll that was wider than Barbie. I assume the child just got them from an older collection and kept them because they could use them. It would explain why they were not made from the same fabric or pattern as everything else in the lot.

Back to the rapidly getting familiar pieces. There's a lot more clothing pieces in blue than the brown. They are all made from a cotton twill. These are definitely twill, so the brown fabric must be something else. Just a woven cotton fabric I guess. Up first we have two pairs of Ken pants. I'm going to lump them
together to save time. These are exactly the same as the other two pairs except they're blue and they use red thread instead of the brown/yellow and have red rickrack instead of yellow. They are just like the first pairs, but in different colors. They have the same issues as the other pants too. (Just a quick note going forward, all rickrack has been glued on.)
After that we have another play suit. Pretty much identical to the brown one, except the straps at the neck are longer. That's right, this one does fit vintage Ken. However it is a pain to tie the strap in the back when he's wearing
it, but we all have our struggles. And I'll bet you have no clue what our fourth item is, a dress with a 4 gored skirt with a halter top! It's pretty much the exact same as the last one, except with this one that omitted the snap at the bottom of the skirt. It still opens up completely in the back it just doesn't have a snap at the bottom to keep it closed.

But wait, there's more! 
There were four brown clothing items that had matching blue clothing pieces, but there's more blue pieces to discuss! Yet, still several familiar pieces.
Up first we have a pair of shorts. These are the exact same ones as the attached ones in the play suit. They fit vintage Allen very nicely. They're a little low on him (slightly above hip huggers) so that's why you know they're for Barbie instead of him. She has less distance between the end of her torso and her waist, so they'd wear higher for her. Also made out of the blue fabric we have a blue fabric belt. Again, this is the exact same tie you'd find on the play suit, just not on a play suit. I guess they were tired of making them together so they were trying them out as seperates. I don't have the halter top seperalty though. Either they never made it, or it didn't survive in the lot.
After that we have another skirt. This is another maxi skirt, but instead of the four gores, it's just one, very similar shape though. It does have the red rickrack at the bottom like the last one. I actually kind of like this, it's very simple, but chic. Not sure if I'll ever use it, but it has better chances than some of the other home made stuff that came in the lot. Like the other skirts it opens completely in the back and closes with two snaps, one on the top at the waist, and one at the bottom. The next item is just like the last one, it's another skirt, made from one piece of fabric with red stitching and closes with two snaps. However it is a bit different in the fact that it uses the red rickrack very differently. It has lines of rickrack going vertically on the skirt, with one going straight at the back hem. I also like this one, it's different an uses the rickrack in an interesting way. I'm really not sure if I'll ever find a use for it, but I at least think it's interesting.
Moving on from that, we have something totally different. It's a pair of shirts. They're both made
from the same pattern, the only differance is one has red rickrack glued on at the bottom of the one on the right. They have bust darts, so they're clearly for Barbie but they're so big they easily fit vintage Allen (with room to spare at the waist). They're really simple tops with a lot of sewing issues. They both fully open in the back and close with two snaps. Not too much to say about these, I don't care for them and I doubt they'll ever bee seen again.
Our final item is.... a bit if a mystery to me. It's obviously another shirt. It's somewhat similar to the ones I just finished talking about but it's clearly a different pattern. It doesn't have any darts, so it could be for Barbie or Ken. It is larger than the two shirts from above. It also has built in sleeves and flares out at the waist. It almost has an A-line silhouette, which is a feminine style, so I guess it's for Barbie. The weirdest thing about this top is that it has two sewn in panels to the front of it (I assume it's the front). The panels themselves aren't that unusual. The Japanese school girl uniform I make does those, but only one. This one has two so they overlap each other. Also, they are both hemmed, but sewn into the shirt backwards so the sides with the hem are shown. I really cannot figure out why the top has that feature. It doesn't have any snaps, nor any evidence it had any at some point. I just don't know what it's supposed to be. Any idea dear readers?

So that was the home made pieces, nothing that really interests me so I don't really plan on using or keeping any of them. At most a piece or two might be used as inspiration for something I sew.

Stay tuned for the next post; factory made clothing!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

I hope your chair is comfortable, this is a long read.... *New Dolls!*

Now that the messy details of how I got these dolls have been shared with you all (and the rest of the world), it's time to actually talk about them. What I bought from CT Online Auctions was a lot of dolls, 10 in total ranging from the year of 1972-1980. All have various degrees of play wear. I will start off saying that any doll that could have 70's era melting, did. I have repaired some of them, but not all of them. But enough of a set up, let's start talking about the dolls!

Up first, we have a doll that will not be staying. So much in fact that she's already been
listed and sold over on E-bay. But I can still share her with you all. She is a Ginny doll, one of the later ones after she was licensed out by Vogue. She's about 9 inches tall, has straight blonde hair with bangs and blue sleep eyes. She's a doll with some unusual design choices. She has a body that looks to be your average 10 year old, (kind of like a chunkier Skipper) but they gave her a little molded on belly, like a toddler. I assume this was to make her look young but to me she just looks like a pregnant 10 year old, which I also assume is not the look they were going for. Her head is really usual too. She has sleep eyes, but has a solid head. I think she has a hard plastic "skull" with vinyl "skin" on top of that, or maybe it's not vinyl. She has a seam going down the sides of her face behind her ears so it could be a more malleable type of plastic. She's in really nice shape, she was dirty when I got her and her face was sticky, but a quick washing and she was back to normal. She even came wearing her original outfit, a dreadful brown pants with an attached brown and white checkered shirt with white collar jumpsuit (with some pretty shoddy sewing). It even still had it's brown matching fabric tie belt tied on. She also had on her original white sneakers. While I was researching her online I found a doll wearing the same outfit that had a twine tie at the neck, there was another doll with a twine string in her hair, that I assumed belonged to Ginny. So I added it back to her outfit. Ginny isn't worth very much, but I still listed her over on E-bay and she sold within the first week! I got 9.99 plus shipping for her. I'm glad someone wants her, because I was not interested in keeping her. She's just not my style. However, if I found a 40's/50's Ginny she'd be joining the collection. But so much had changed by the 70's, they're not anywhere close to the same doll. I'm just glad I was able to resell her and get back some of the money I spent on this lot.

After Ginny, all the rest of the dolls are going to be joining the collection. She was the only one that was definitely going to be moving on. 
Up first, we have Malibu Ken. He's your standard Malibu Ken made in Hong Kong and is in decent... ish shame. His head is nice with only some slight chipping to his eyebrow paint and his arms are nice without any noticeable wear. His legs are okay, both knees click and hold position but he has some light chews to his feet. Like I said, all dolls that could have melting do, and Ken here certainly does. He has it at his hips (the most common place), but he also had is on his chest and near his groin. He actually melting into the shirt he was wearing. (Ick!) I've scrapped off the melted plastic on his torso, but the legs are a lot harder to fix. I'm going to have to crack him open to repair that. Which is something I am dreading. I'm going to have to bite the bullet and get over my hesitation because there's like 10 other Kens like him waiting for that same repair.
Which brings us to our next doll, a Mod Ken. Just like Malibu Ken he's made in Hong Kong and just
like Malibu Ken he has melting. His is just at his legs however, so far his torso looks clean of melting. He does have a broken leg joint though (a very common injury with Mod Ken dolls) you can't tell it by looking at him since I jammed his leg back into place but his right leg is broken off and there's a piece from his hips that broke off. Eventually once I break down and open him up to deal with the melting I will fix that as well. But just like Malibu Ken, there's a ton of other dolls who are waiting their turns. Other than the melting and broken leg he's in okay shape. I see one slight indent to the top of one of his feet. He does have a shrunken head, hate, hate, hate those. Only some Ken's get them and when it does happen it makes Ken look like a total pin head. I usually end up using those for their bodies and get a new head for them, but I think I have more bodies than regular sized Ken heads. So I'm not sure what I'm going to do, but I guess it doesn't matter right now since I really should be focusing on getting him repaired. After that I can start deciding what body gets what head! (You may have noticed his head is missing, after I popped it off I put it away. I have several Ken heads and when taking pictures I realized I didn't remember which one he was! So I left him headless.)
Moving on from that, we get to start talking about ladies! Mod and Malibu
Ken were the only gentlemen from the lot, which is fine, the ladies are a lot more interesting. I mean, I like Ken but he's not the main attraction. Up first we have a Malibu Barbie. She is from Japan, which is the kind that I like adding to the collection. However she's in such rough shape I'm not sure if she's going to be staying and unfortunately her issues affect both her body and her head. I'll start with her head. She has the quite common issue with the dry brittle hair that the Malibu dolls get. It just doesn't hold up that well. I could live with that (although I'm not sure if I'm willing to re-root a Malibu doll) but she has another huge issue, green spots. The Malibu dolls had their vinyl improperly mixed at the factories so over time these terrible green spots develop on their faces. There's usually nothing you can do for it, for me that's been a deal breaker before. I actually returned a Malibu Francie once because she had spots on her face. However, I am using this doll to see if you can get the green out, or at least lessen it. I'm curious to know if I can
bleach out the spots with acne cream. I've been doing it for a couple weeks and so far they have lightened. Not sure if they've ever really go away, but I can just try it until I grow bored with reapplying the cream. It's not a huge deal putting acne cream on another head when I'm doing it to so many other dolls currently. Her body is in damaged shape too, her torso and arms are nice, it's her legs that are the problem. The first issue is a broken leg. It's her left leg and it's broken right below the hip. Her leg still moves fine, she can just splay that leg out further than she should be able to. I wish I could repair it, but I did not have any success when trying to repair that Mod Barbie doll's leg with a similar issue. And she has chews at her feet. They don't look too bad at the front, but if you look at the sides of her ankles you can see them. At the back of her feet they go up past the ankle and into her calves! That was one hungry kitty! (or kid!). Shame about her damage, she does have a nice face and for some reason I actually like the Malibu dolls. But I don't know if she's going to be hanging around here for too long, she might end up being sold in a lot or something with some other TLC Malibu dolls I have, maybe then they'll be worth something.
For our next doll we have another 70's classic, Ballerina Barbie! Ballerina Barbie is in
really nice shape. I have a penchant for finding Ballerina Barbie dolls but only when they're been played with to death. This lovely lady looks to have been barely played with. I believe she still has her original hair set. Of course after 40 years the elastic has gone all goopy and I have to scrape it out of her hair. Speaking of her hair, despite not being played with very much she has that terrible hair fiber that frizzes when you look at it, so like most white haired Ballerina's the ends of her hair are really frizzy. (As you can see from the hair clips and disheveled hair I'm still working on it). The hair is her worst issue. She also has some light scraping on her arms, the worst being her upper arms where it scrapes against her hard plastic torso. She does have a tiny pin prick on each of her feet, but the tiniest ones. Other than that she looks pretty good. I've been wanting to add a Ballerina Barbie to the collection, but I'm not sure if it will be this one. She's pretty, but we're not really clicking. I know it might sound nutty, but sometimes I don't connect with a doll. And in those cases it's smarter to let them move along, so she might end up getting resold. I'll have to give it more time and see.
Moving on, we have our third classic 70's doll, Quick Curl Barbie! After Mod Ken we're back to dolls who had melting. QC Barbie had the WORST
melting I have ever had to repair. Usually you have to scrape off the first layer of plastic and rebuild from there, but with QC I had to keep scrapping further and further down to reach unmelted plastic. Her hip actually ended up breaking because the plastic was so thin once I had gotten all the melted plastic off. It took me forever to repair her legs. I also had to repair her arms (melting and both knobs broke off) and her neck (just melting). I am very pleased she's finally back in one piece, it was very touch and go for a while, but eventually I got it. Like most played with Quick Curl dolls her hair was a mess when I got her. I spent a long time working her hair to be somewhat manageable. It's weird, her hair was a real mess, but she still had her original hair beads in. Just like with the Ballerina doll her hair is that supper frizzy hair fiber. Also she has the thinnest hair. If you look at the top of her head, her hair doesn't really do a good job covering her scalp. You can see her vinyl of her head a lot through it. It's not from a hair cut, it was just rooted so thinly that it just cannot cover the head decently. She has another odd bit of poor quality control, one of her nostrils has a molding flaw, so it looks like there's something in it. My Miss Suzette has this issue too, it drives me CRAZY, it looks like there's stuff in her nose! Dolls shouldn't have that! So I'm not sure if Quick Curl will be staying as is, there's nothing I can do about the hair and I can try to fix the nose, but it might be easier to just find another head and swap them out. Again, time will tell.
Barbie was not the only Quick Curl doll in the lot, we also had Quick Curl Miss America. With her I
now have five of the Quick Curl. Just like with Barbie she had the worst melting I've ever had to repair, I think her's were actually worse than Barbie's. I really didn't know if I was going to be able to repair her at some points, her hip joints were really that bad. She also had melting at her arms and neck joints, but at least her arms posts didn't need reattaching. She did have a broken knee when I got her. I looked through my spare parts box for a replacement leg, but didn't have anything that worked for her. She's one of the reasons why I got all those spare parts at the last doll meeting. In there was a matching leg. Her remaining original leg does have some chews to it, but they're to the side and since she's far from perfect I figured we could live with them. At least now she has two working legs! Her hair is the same frizzy fiber as the other two dolls, but at least it's a lot less thin than Barbie's. Although, for some reason her wires in her hair are a lot darker than Barbie's, but only on the left side of her hair. She is pretty. It's funny, I don't care for the Steffie face mold but I've added several dolls to the collection with it the past year. I used to just have one, but now I have about six. That's quite an influx. Still don't have an actual Steffie doll, all the ones I have are other friends who use her face but not the name.    
After that we move onto the final three, and the top three. These are the dolls I wanted the most out of this lot and the reason why I was willing to spend so much to get it. Let's be honest, up until now there really hasn't been a doll that makes you exclaim, "Wow! What a rare/unusual/hard to find/perfect doll! That is clearly worth 85 dollars when everything is said and done!" These next dolls will (hopefully) change your mind. These are the dolls that will not be leaving the collection while I have any say in the matter. While I like several of the dolls I just talked about, it wasn't until after I finished their write ups did I realize how many of them I'd be willing to sell, or use their bodies for another doll.
Up first we have a vintage Licca doll! She's marked Takara and Made in Japan on her back. I did some research on her and found out she's a second generation Licca that was released in 1972. She is the later issued 2nd Generation released sometime after 1974, but before 1979. She is not
Lisa who was Licca just renamed for a release on the American market, this is the doll who was released in Japan.
Condition wise, she's in nice shape. I don't know if her hair has been cut or not. I have seen dolls with longer flips, but I've also seen dolls with the same length hair as her. I'm still working on styling it. Her face paint is nice without any rubs, she even still has her original lip color. I have seem some that have faded to a yellow color. Overall, she has a really nice head.
Moving on to her body, let's just talk about it for a little bit. She has the weirdest body. I have a 90's era Licca doll so I thought I knew what to expect but I was wrong. Her body is very different from the later ones. You can see how the earlier body inspired the later one, but in general they are very different bodies. Her torso is pretty average (but smaller than the newer one), but her lower body is tiny. It is so much smaller than her newer body, it looks so much smaller than her upper body. It looks like two doll bodies put together, but it is original. Her upper body is in nice shape. I'm not sure if her arms ever had wires in them to allow them to bend, but if they did they're gone now. Her legs have a fair bit of damage. She has chews to both feet, and warped wires at her ankles (including an unsightly lump). Her ankles are so thin this is probably a common problem. Everything looks good from the ankles up though. Good thing I love putting my dolls in knee socks, she's going to need them! Although, I'm not sure if I have any shoes that she can wear, her feet are teeny tiny. Her feet are thinner than Kelly doll's feet, but longer. That's the closest matching doll I can think of in terms of feet size. She has better luck with clothes. She was one of the dolls I actually got on my birthday (I didn't feel the need to get them all on my birthday and the dolls with melting needed work started on them right away, not going to wait to get to that when the melting was just going to get worse) and I dug through my clothing bags to see what I had she could wear. She's actually a bit smaller than vintage Skipper. I had her wearing a dress I made for them and it fits pretty well. It's has an empire waist, so I think that helps with the fit. She's a lot smaller in the waist than Skipper is. I do have all those Licca doll patterns, so I wonder if she can wear those clothes with some tweaks. I'm on the fence if she can, she does have the same shape as the current Licca dolls, but she's just so much smaller.
Moving on from that (yet staying very close) we have another vintage Licca doll, well friend actually. Her name is Harumi Asaoka and she came out in 1973 and is Licca's best friend. She and Licca share the exact same body, different heads though. She's an cute golden blonde with striking green eyes. She doesn't have the flip like Licca does, she has a side part that is otherwise just flows loosely. Her hair (both in color and style) is very similar to Superstar Barbie. I'm actually currently working on her part, when I got her it was mostly unthatched. So I completely undid it and am working on redoing it. Work goes slowly since I hate thatching hair. Her hair otherwise is nice and full. Her makeup is nice except for her right eyebrow, it looks like it's rubbing off. Not sure why, all the rest of her face paint looks perfect that one is just smudged looking and missing in spots. Her body is in nice shape, just like with Licca her upper torso is in better condition. She does have wires in her arms, so that means Licca is missing hers. They're strong and hold position well, but I don't bend them if I can avoid it. 40 year old wires are not the strongest things. Just like with Licca her lower legs have some damage. She's free from bites and chews, but her ankles are all warped. However, she's not as bad as Licca, but I'm sure she'll get ankle socks too. I just cannot say no to them!
I have NO idea how a pair of vintage Japanese dolls ended up in North Carolina, I have no clue of any of these dolls providence. I don't collect Licca dolls, I wouldn't even have these two if I didn't find them as part of this lot. I think they're dreadfully cute, but my main passion will always be for vintage Barbie. I am glad I have them though. I do own two non-Vintage Licca dolls who I upgraded to Liv bodies. These girls will be keeping their original bodies. I cannot bear to change vintage dolls from their original bodies (with a few rare exceptions of course, I cannot live without breaking my own rules).

And now it's time to talk about our final doll of the lot. Just like with the
rest of the dolls within the lot, she's not our usual type of doll for the collection. Mainly, she is a lot newer than the usual additions, but she's one that I have been wanting for a long time, so I'm thrilled to get her into the collection. In actuality if it wasn't for her I would have found it easier to walk away from the auction and not even bid. Who we have is.... Italian Barbie! Released in 1980 Italian Barbie is from the very start of the much loved (and only recently cancelled) Dolls of the World line. I believe that started in 1979 so she might be part of a second wave of them? I really don't know much about that line. I don't collect them and for the most part they are not of interest to me. I just wanted that one because she has a unique face mold. Mattel reused a lot of their current face molds for that line except for Italy, she got a brand new face mold. One that wouldn't get used again except for a short lived Fantasy line that wasn't actually Barbie, but used a lot of her stuff. Italian Barbie is a lot easier to find, but doesn't go for very cheap either. She's a really lovely doll with a rich olive skin tone, brown almost black hair, and a very neutral makeup pallet. She's not conventionally pretty like your average Barbie, but she's just so striking. I'm so pleased to get her, especially this one because she's in amazing shape. This one is the best conditioned doll of the lot. She is mint, and by mint I mean "I had to brush out her original curls mint.". She does have an issue with her eyes being painted differently so it kind of gives her an odd look, but I can live with it. I've been wanting her for a while so I'm thrilled to finally get her! Even if she does violate my "Nobody after 1976 will be joining the vintage collection", but I've already broken that rule with a couple other dolls, so does one more really matter?

No, it does not.  

And that, dear readers is the last doll from that lot! I cannot believe we made it this far! Stay tuned .... eventually I'll be sharing all of the clothes that came in the lot. It might take me a while since talking about clothing I didn't make is just so boring!