Saturday, July 12, 2014

One Less Regret in Life!

As you should already know, the majority of my collection is vintage.
However, there are still a few modern dolls in the collection. These are childhood dolls or ones that I find at thrift stores that catch my eyes, or a rare new doll I buy new at a retail store.

(That last part really only applies to the few Monster High dolls I own, which at last count is 5).

This next doll I will be sharing with you all does not fit into any of those categories. While she is a modern doll and I had hoped to find her locally second hand eventually I had to hunt her down on E-bay and pay more for her than she originally sold for, while getting less than what she originally came with.

Who is this rare creature you ask? 
Why it's Giselle from Disney's Enchanted.

And now it's story time dear readers. I had been into Barbie for most of my life, playing with my sister's dolls until age five when I got my own. I spent most of my childhood with Barbie. There were several times were I briefly grew tired of her and moved on, but eventually these passed and she came back with full force. So I never really "grew" out of her like most children, she was around from my childhood well into my late teen years.
Then I went away to college and Barbie stayed home. I was living with roommates and she just wasn't safe to have around. However, my collecting habits just transferred over to another childhood favorite, Disney. I guess even though it was still pretty girly it was a bit "safer" to be a Disney guy than a Barbie guy. Over the course of college I spent a lot of time and money collecting up the classic Disney films on DVD, even the not so classic sequels. I had quite an impressive collection. Meanwhile Barbie had nearly dropped off my radar. During my college years I got... 5 new dolls I think. I only bought one doll online, it was a Disney Barbie that I bought for her clothes sophomore year. She remained hidden in my closet until I went back home for break, even though I had my own room at that point. This was well before I was sewing, at this point I didn't even know how to use a sewing machine, much less successfully. I still had my childhood dolls, they were all just tucked away in a blue plastic tub. So while I wasn't enjoying Barbie I certainly didn't clear them all out of my life. Charlotte did join me at college my final semester senior year, but that was because my family moved and while the rest of the dolls stayed up in storage I couldn't bear to leave her like that. She stayed in a drawer in my dresser wrapped in a baby blanket.
But again, I'm blathering on. Also my senior year Enchanted was released. For a while Disney films had been rather... sucky. They were churning out films that while serviceable where not really that exciting. However, Enchanted seemed to be different than all that. It was a brand new Princess film, and one that had tons of winks and nods to classic Disney films. I eagerly watched and read up on all information regarding the movie's production. I even bought a picture book and a children's story book before the movie came out because I wanted to see the art and know the plot (I also listened to several leaked tracks from the soundtrack).
I should have been a bit more careful with this film, when you go in with high expectations they hardly pan out, but I did like Enchanted, really liked it. I thought it was an absolutely adorable film. I especially loved Amy Adams as Giselle, which has translated into a love of her as an actress and person (but I find my enjoyment of her films is based on how cute her hair in the film). Anyway, Enchanted was released when I was still going through my lack of interest in dolls phase, so I didn't buy any when they were originally released. Once I was done with college and living down in North Carolina I did buy the Robert doll from that line. I found it in a bookstore and I think it might have been on sale. They also had the Robert and Human Giselle set, but that was really expensive and I never cared for the Amy Adams human head sculpt. For such a pretty person who's rather doll like they really made a not so pretty head sculpt. However, there was one doll I did want from that line but never got, the animated Giselle doll from Mattel. Disney made their own version too but she looks crazy. Like seriously, she looks unhinged. But I never got her when she was released, and of course she's one of the Disney Princesses to get no merchandise after the movie was released. Part of that being is that she was designed in the likeness of Amy Adams so they'd have to pay her to use her likeness. Also, while Enchanted was successful it wasn't that successful so she got to join the ranks with the rest of their forgotten princesses (*spoiler alert* Even though technically Giselle isn't a princess since she didn't marry a prince, but that doesn't stop them from putting Mulan in the princess line!)

Anyway, I wanted this Giselle doll so much that whenever I would see a picture of one online I'd look at it, sigh, and kick myself for not buying her when she was on shelves. I can't remember what prompted me to, but I decided to do a search for her on E-bay the other day (which I have done before). There were several listings, but the majority of them were MIB dolls, which I cannot afford and do not want. I wouldn't want to debox a hard to find doll like that, much less one I paid 70 bucks for. I want one that's already been played with, so I could play with it. There was a new one listed in played with condition. She was paired with another newer Barbie doll and cost 22 dollars including shipping. I had just under that in my Paypal. I hemmed and hawed and thought about how on earth I could get her. I even contacted the seller and asked if they'd be willing to sell her separately. They told me they wouldn't. Which as a seller I understand, but as a buyer it makes me grumpy! I even asked my mother if she would be so kind as to borrow the money out of her bank account and put it into her Paypal, but that would take 3-5 days, and I knew she would have sold by then. In the end I took a gamble and just bought it from my Paypal. I was like 86 cents short, which Paypal just zapped from my bank account. And so she was mine, just several years later and without her original outfit.

She and the other doll arrived a few days later. I think I bought them on Thursday and they got here
on a Monday. The other doll is a newer doll than Giselle, she will be cleaned up and resold so I can at least try to get some of my money back. But back to Giselle. When she arrived she had on this terrible short jersey knit dress that had some color blocking and lace details. The lace was all frayed, but the rest of it looked okay. She quickly took off that dress and it went into the re-donate bag. Her hair had been put up into a side ponytail (a style I hate), so I quickly took that down too. When she got here she was dirty, but a quick bath fixed that. I also used that time to put her hair back to it's correct style. It should be pretty much hanging straight with a side part. Giselle is in pretty decent played with condition. Her face paint is very nice, her biggest issue is her hair. It hasn't been cut, but it has a lot of shorter pieces in it. I guess that's the risk of having dolls with longer hair. I've done several different hair treatments to it. They don't do anything for fixing the broken hair, but it at least makes what's there softer and easier to manage. It is slightly frizzy at the bottom, but I can live with it. And if it ever bugs me too much I could always re-root her. But that would be a long, long, long time away. I hate re-rooting modern dolls, they have so many head holes. Also I have a ton of dolls who need it before her, I just need to find a non-terrible hair supplier.
Giselle is now one of those super pale skinned dolls that will always be tricky to find an articulated
Giselle on the pivotal body

body for. I did however see if she was a good match for the Frank Sinatra Barbie doll body I have that Audrey Hepburn uses. So I popped off Audrey's head and popped Giselle's on. While I was doing this I noticed that Giselle's neck was breaking. At the front she had two small breaks starting and on one side the neck seam was coming apart. I did end up repairing the breaks and splits with glue but also gave her a new body. Just not the Sinatra body. I did like the articulation it gave her, but the body just didn't work for her. The molded in details at the neck really looked odd compared to her cartoony head. Also I think the Sinatra head has a wider neck. It looks to me like it's wider at the base than at the top. It works much better for Audrey Hepburn's much more realistic sculpt, so it went back to her and Giselle didn't upgrade. I had a matching body in my stash, so I just swapped it. I don't have a ton of dolls that could use this body, so someone might as well use it. So Giselle has been banished back to a belly button body for now.

I really like having her, and I'm glad I finally got her. I still wish I had found her locally, but I guess it was not in the cards. Now that I'm thinking about it I guess I've never seen any Enchanted merchandise out and about. Either it didn't sell very well or people like it too much to pass it along to the thrift stores.
But I got the doll I wanted, so I'm happy. 
And I've been listening to the soundtrack a lot since she arrived.
"That's what brings ever afterings so happy!"

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