Saturday, December 27, 2014

It's beginning to look a lot like the day after Christmas!

I ended up going out into town the day after Christmas. The reason? To hit up the after Christmas sales. I was hoping to score on Christmas ornaments and Christmas candy. Christmas candy ended up being a total wash, nobody had any on sale. I guess they've decided that it still retains it's value the day after Christmas and won't knock down the price until further after Christmas.
Christmas ornaments however were still fair game. By 10 in the morning when I rolled into the Hallmark store in the mall they had signs up saying that all ornaments were 50 percent off. I looked through the remaining stock and picked out two ornaments for my sister (never too early to shop for Christmas 2015!), one for myself, and a Phineas and Ferb ornament for my mother (the reason why I went out in the first place). That Phineas and Ferb ornament was a pain to find. It was on the display unit away from the other Disney ornaments. I almost left the store without it since I thought they were sold out. Luckily I searched again for it and found it on my third go around. Can you believe I spent 35 dollars on ornaments, so I would have spent 70 dollars at full price.... and that's just for four ornaments! It's mind blowing how expensive they are.
I was able to avoid the Hobby Lobby after Christmas sales. I normally hit them up for tulle that I use in sewing (they have huge rolls that are pretty cheap after Christmas), but skipped them this year. I'm still working my way through rolls that are over two years old at this point. The only color I'm missing from what they offer at Christmas is the florescent green and I rarely use that color. I bought a roll of white last year in case I ran out of the one I've been using for several years now and I'm still not even close to running out so I haven't even touched the "new" roll. So I was good and didn't bother going.
However I was bad and went to the thrift stores that were open. Surprisingly most of them were open the day after Christmas. However, there were slim pickings at them. I did find a still sealed Apples to Apples travel game for two dollars. We have that game already, but this one claimed to be all new cards. Haven't played yet, but we shall see if it is all new. I also ended up stopping by one of the Antique stores on Sunset. They didn't have a lot of new things, but I did see a booth that had some Monster High dolls! I'm not activly collecting them, but if I do find them I will look at them. They had one Lagoona (missing a hand), one Frankie, and a Create A Monster Witch and Cat. I already
have Frankie and didn't want a Lagoona that was missing parts, but I did pick up the Witch. She was nude and without a wig but I really do like her. She's got such pretty coloring. She reminds me of that new character, the witch singer. But this one didn't have that purple and orange streaked hair (no hair at all in fact). She was 5 dollars, but was half off. Everything in that booth is always half off. So for 2.50 I thought she'd be a good purchase, even if I didn't decide to keep her. Quick question for my Monster High collecting readers, is the witch supposed to have really stubby fingers on one hand?
My witch has really short fingers on her left hand, but a normally sized thumb. The fingers haven't been cut, but are seriously shorter than they should be. I guess they just weren't molded properly. She's in nice shape, knees are a little loose and she has a couple spots on her head that might need the acne cream treatment. I am glad I got her, she's so striking!
When I got her the witch had one pink thigh. I was willing to live with that, but as I carried her around the store I wondered if the cat, who was pink, had a green thigh. I went back and checked, and sure enough she did. I decided to get the cat too, mainly because I wanted the completely green witch. She was also 2.50. She came with her original black t-shirt, a purple and blue bobbed wig, and first issue Deuce's pants. No tail or ears though. She's mostly in good shape, except she has a stressed out knee joint. I guess someone was a bit too rough when removing her leg. I'm not sure if there's anything you can do to to fix that. I'm just being careful, it's not like I'm going to be removing the legs. I really don't like doing that since the posts can be so delicate.

So that's my two newest Monster High dolls. I like the witch much more than the cat, even with her stumpy fingers. Right now I'm not sure if the cat will be staying. They're here right now, but who knows what the future holds. I only like Monster High, so eventually they could be on the chopping block. 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Hello Everyone,

Per usual this post is a little late, but I hope everyone that celebrates had a happy holiday and I hope all that don't still had a good day. My day was mostly okay. Dinner had a few new kinks but everything mostly worked out (few things I will NOT be doing again next year). After dinner my family opened presents, followed by games. I will admit games was a lot of fun. I got several nice presents (some of which will be shared with you in time) and I think everyone else got some nice presents. A lot of work went into the day, but I think it was totally worth it.

I wanted to share with you the picture of Charlotte's shelf this Christmas season.
You might notice there's someone missing.... Charlotte didn't get a dress made for her. Poor Charlotte, the shelf's named after her but she didn't even get a dress this season! I didn't even start one for her! And the worst thing is, I was actually doing a lot of sewing this December. In the picture above Artemis, Audrey Hepburn, Joe, and the Ponytail Barbie are all wearing brand new outfits. I just ran out of time for Charlotte. I finished Audrey Hepburn's dress on the 23rd and didn't have time with everything else I needed to do. Luckily Charlotte's understanding.

Also new this year is that Reindeer figurine, I had to display in on the shelf, I just love it. For a project that I was hesitant on even buying in the first place it came out wonderfully and it's proof I can actually finish something! And so far the Elmer's glue is holding the rhinestones on wonderfully. The knee hugger elf is also new, I found him a thrift store for three dollars earlier in the month. He's made in Japan according to the sticker on his back. They just put him out at the store and I snatched him up so fast when I saw him. The little nutcrackers are new too. They were pins that I popped the poorly hot glued pin backs off of. They are practically perfect scale for the dolls!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

"Oooh Girl, your face is beat!" (Don't worry, it's a good thing)

Hello everyone,

I'm trying to be sightly more proactive in introducing new dolls on the blog. The paper box top (that I was hoping to throw out once I got it empty) has once again accumulated a stack of dolls I want to share with you all. Some of these dolls date as far back as as September! Ugh, I really need to be better at this. I'm not sharing with you one of those older dolls just yet, but I will be sharing with you all one of my newer acquisitions. I actually got her the same day as TNT Skipper, just later in the day.

At the doll meeting, one of the doll club's members was selling a bunch of his dolls with the hopes of raising enough money to buy one much more expensive doll he really wanted to get. I already had contacted him about one doll he had and that doll was waiting for me when I arrived (more on that another day), but there was another doll he had that I was interested in, but was really trying to talk myself out of getting. This was not my first time trying to talk myself out this particular doll.  
He had posted all of the dolls he was selling over on Flickr and I forced myself to not comment on the picture that contained the doll I was interested in. I had also talked myself out of emailing him over it. I literally had to close an email draft and step away from the computer. I thought it was behind me, however I was not expecting to find an entire spread of dolls for sale when I walked into the meeting. I did try to be good and while I looked at her I did not try to buy her (it helped that I didn't have enough money on me). I was hoping that someone else would buy her and my struggle would be over. At least two people almost did. The first person who had the doll ended up putting it back when they found out who the doll was.
At the end of the meeting he was packing up the doll that didn't sell when I commented to him how she was almost sold a couple of times and that I was trying to avoid her. He suggested I make an offer on her. I told him that I didn't have any money but he was fine getting paid later. I offered him ten (same price that the other person who put her back was going to pay) and he accepted. Apparently I was destined to get this doll, or at least that's what I'm telling myself.

Who is this doll that ended up coming home with me? Why it's Rupaul, the famous drag artist! 
A little information for people who don't know, you address a drag artist by the gender which they are presenting at that time. So this doll will always be addressed as she. 
Rupaul the RuDoll was made by Integrity toys. With her, she's my fifth Integrity doll to join the collection (third full Integrity doll since Vanessa and Pierre are both on Mattel bodies). Her body is different than the other two dolls I have that came with their original bodies. Her body has limited articulation. She can move at the neck (not very well), shoulders, bust, waist, and hips. I don't mind the limited articulation, not every doll needs lots of joints. I do wish her legs were able to be straightened, the right one always needs to be slightly forward. I keep forgetting that and trying to push is back and it's getting an indent from her hard plastic rear end. I believe this is the same body as the basic ITBE dolls that Integrity released several years back. I actually like it for what it is. The arm sculpts are very elegant and graceful, I wish the bent hand was a bit more versatile but I can live with it as it is. Rupaul has somewhat different proportions than vintage Barbie, but I was able to get her to wear clothes made for them pretty decently. I bought her nude, so it's interesting to see what I have that fits
her. I think the outfits that aren't super tight on Barbie she can wear. She's got a larger bust but a smaller waist. Pants might be difficult since she is so tall (which I like since the real Rupaul is very tall). She does have left and right specific feet like the Model Muse bodies, but I think her feet are larger. I was able to get her to wear some Barbie shoes I had, but only if they have a bit of flex to them. Hard shoes just couldn't fit. Luckily she's the only doll with feet like this, so she doesn't have much competition for shoes that fit her. That is if she ever gets dressed, I have a lot of dolls ahead of her waiting to be dressed.
I did do some slight customization to her. I removed her large hoop earrings (don't know if Integrity dolls get green ear, but I want to avoid the risk) and her necklace. I'm also trying to straighten her hair. As a child who grew up in the 90's, I loathe crimped hair. I'll most likely never get it straight, but I can at least ease it out some. I do really like her, she's a really pretty doll. For a doll that I was really hesitant about getting I like her a lot. I've been playing with her a lot. She even got to wear a Christmas outfit this Christmas. I will have to be careful with her though, she's almost at the height of the shelves on the bookshelf and I don't know where she could go if she ended up too tall! I'll have to be careful what shoes she ends up with, nothing too tall!

Totally unrelated, can you believe there's only two days until Christmas! I have so much to get done! 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Surprising Finds in an Unsurprising Places!

This week ended with a bit of a down slide. I totally ruined something yesterday by accident, something I literally just got in the mail minutes before. I'm just so upset with myself, I should have just thrown my money in the trash and cut out the middle man.

So that seriously bummed me out, but I'm trying to not dwell on it. But it's hard not to.

Anyway, last Saturday was my December doll meeting. It was our Christmas meeting. We were meeting at noon so I had to leave the house pretty early. However, it wasn't early enough to pass over going to the thrift stores and it's a very good thing we stopped in.
At the first thrift store, I had amazing luck. I walked in and literally straight in front of me was a small plastic tub of dolls. On it was a sign saying all Barbie dolls were 75 cents, which was music to my ears so I quickly dove in. It was mostly early 2000 dolls, but I did pick up a few things of interest. I snagged a Moxie Teenz doll (with a later discovered broken ankle), a Glinda doll, and an Action Man. I did have a random Theresa in my hand for a little bit, but when I couldn't find her missing shoe back into the bin she went. There wasn't too many dolls in the box, but they were all jumbled in together so I went slowly to make sure I didn't miss anyone. I had just put down a recent Ariel doll when I noticed one doll standing in the corner. She had Skipper hands. That doesn't mean much since they used those same hand molds well into the 80's. I pulled back her hair that was covering her face and was very surprised what I found. I'll leave you in suspense for a few more seconds but I will tell you that I immediately picked her up and added her to the other dolls I was getting. Out of all the dolls I had found, she was going to be leaving with me.

What I had found is a mod TNT Skipper. She's one of the older ones made in Japan before they
switched over to making them in Taiwan. She has straight brunette hair. This is my first TNT Skipper with the straight hair and my first brunette. I do have two sausage curl versions, but they're both blondes. So I am very excited to find her, but it's not like I would have turned down a blonde either.
Skipper is in very nice shape, her worst issue is two pin pricks to her right foot. She also has two small tears to the bottoms of her feet, I still have to put glue on
them. When I got her she had a drop of white paint on one of her hands, but some light scraping with my fingernail it came off. I did have to straighten her hair out some, it was mostly in nice shape, but at the very start of her part line it all wants to stray to the left, she's wearing a plastic band over it to try and train it to lay on the correct side. I did so a slight recolor to her nose and two spots on her legs that went pale. It sound like she needed a lot of work, but it was all very minor sprucing up. She really is a stunner. Her hair is nice and full, her makeup is flawless, and her eyelashes are beautiful. She's a wonderful example of the TNT Skipper. I'm just thrilled that she's mine, and can't believe she only cost me 75 cents!

A quick end note, the doll meeting was fun. We didn't have too many people this year so it was a nice intimate group. However it ended rather appropriately at 3:30 with the majority of people rushing out then. I didn't think it would end so soon so wasn't getting picked up until 4. Luckily there were a few people who were still there at that time. The hostess, while gracious, seemed pretty ready to be done with the meeting and get about her Saturday, so I felt kind of out of place. Had I known when the meeting was going to be over I would have planned accordingly. I wrote down the time the meeting ended and hopefully can keep tabs on that to see if there's a pattern so I'm not left feeling uncomfortable like that. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

New shoes, New Shoes, NEW SHOES!

I went to Walmart yesterday, the first time for December. I was braving the crowds because I wanted to get the current version of Clue for a present, I even had a coupon. However much to my dismay, they were all sold out! I ended up buying it online and being unable to use the coupon. It was either that or risk not getting it by Christmas. I sent Hasbro an email about the situation hoping they might do something about it, but they just sent me a reply explaining why I can't use a coupon online, which I knew. Oh well, it was only two dollars and I'm hoping I won't have to buy another Clue game for a long, long time.

Anyway, since I was in the toy section, I had to check out the Barbie section. I was hoping to find the Career of the Year Director Barbie since she has the new articulated ankles that I'm curious about. Walmart doesn't have her listed online yet, but I was hoping the store might get new toys first since it is the Holiday season and the more they keep the shelves full the more they sell. They didn't have her, but I did find something there I wasn't expecting.
*History Lesson Time* 
Back in the 1960's Mattel sold "pak" items for Barbie. They were an inexpensive alternatives to their full outfits. Most of them were single clothing pieces, but they did have some accessory and shoe paks. They were designed to mix and match so you could add them to what you already had for Barbie for a bigger wardrobe. Why am I tell you this, you ask? Apparently they are back!

Hanging on pegs at Walmart was the new version of it! Packaged in cardboard and plastic these new paks look a lot like the vintage ones. I glanced through them briefly. I saw a couple different straight skirts and a few different style of shirts. I didn't look at the clothing options too much because I'm not really interested in the clothes since I make my own. However, they also have shoe/accessory paks and those I was very interested in. I had actually found pictures of them online several months ago but didn't know this was that line. The online pictures didn't show packaging. One of the shoe paks I was very interested in, so I was very excited to find it. I didn't think I'd see them until 2015 but here they were literally dangling in front of me. They were priced at 4 dollars, which seems slightly high to me since they sell full outfits for around seven, but I will admit I'm cheap.
Luckily there was just one accessory set that was a must have so I put it in the cart. After I checked out I was looking over the receipt, it had only rung up at 2.44! I was still in the store at that time, so I rushed back to the toy department and picked up the other two accessory sets. They were a lot more tempting at 2.44! I freely admit I have a shoe addiction, but at that price I can totally justify it!

These new paks are in very simple packaging. It is a thin cardboard front and backing with a bag containing the items sandwiched between them. On the front is a picture of Life in the Dream House Barbie with a cut out so you can see the contents of the bag. In the upper left corner small icon denoting this is an accessory pak compared to one that held clothes. The packaging is held together by a pink plastic hanger. You need to remove this to get the pak open. I was able to monkey around with mine and open it without damaging it. It's a throw away piece, but I have an idea to reuse mine. You could also just cut the bag open or tear it free from the hanger.

I wasn't able to find out what this line is called, the package just says Barbie. It also doesn't look like the individual accessory paks have their own name. I'll be identifying them by their colors. I'll be showing them off  and talking about them in order of least liked to most liked.

Up first we have the bronze and turquoise pak. All paks contained the same number of items and the same type of item. You have something for the head, a necklace, a bracelet, and two pairs of shoes. One pair is for the traditional high heeled foot and the other is for the new flat foot style dolls. In this pack the turquoise shoes are the ones for the flat feet. I don't have any of the new flat feet Barbie dolls, but they did fit the Disney Princess dolls with the articulated ankles. I did try them on Francie, but her rubber foot didn't want to go into the shoe fully and I didn't want to force it. Both shoes are made from a slightly squishy rubbery material and have slits in the back, The wedge heels of the bronze pair have molded on roses. The bracelet is a simple bronze plastic piece molded to look like large circular beads. It's not very flexible, but is easy to get on and off and has enough grip to stay on the doll without worrying of it falling off. The necklace is molded metallic gold plastic. It is in the design of a chain with a watch hanging off the end. The necklace does not fit the best. It seems to float on the doll. If you push it down it lies properly on the doll, but just doesn't have the weight it needs to sit on the doll properly. The headband is my favorite piece from this pak. It has a molded on flower on the top. it has molded on studs to the top as well. This piece actually fits older dolls with smaller heads, I had it on Charlotte and it fits wonderfully. The purse is made from a slightly flexible brown plastic. It has molded on fringe. It's an okay item, just not my personal style. The strap on mine is slightly warped, not sure if this is intentional or it just happened in the package. A quick dunk in boiling water should fix it.

The next pak item is the silver and pink one. This one has a pair of flat sandals. They have closed toes
with an ankle strap. They are also opened in the back. These can fit the regular feet, but the strap doesn't wrap around the ankles as well as it should. These also fit the Disney Princess dolls, but their feet are wider at the toes so they don't fit as comfortably as I assume it would for Barbie. The heel shoes are made out of a fairly squishy pink plastic. They're cute, not exactly sure how to describe them, but they're cute. The necklace is another plastic piece with a geometric design. This necklace fits nicely on Barbie and sits on her where it should. It's the best fitting necklace of the group, I just wish I liked the style of it better. The bracelet is made from a slightly translucent pink plastic. It has molded in zigzags in it. It doesn't fit Barbie's wrist that well, the bracelet is more oval shaped than Barbie's wrist. It's not going to fall off right away, but I'd be concerned about it coming off with actual play. Luckily it's big enough that if it did fall off it should be easy to see. This pak comes with a pair of sunglasses. Made from a smokey plastic they are very geometric in design. So geometric they look pretty unisex. I haven't tried them on Ken yet but I bet he can wear them well. For the purse in this pak we have a silver bag purse. Made from a slightly flexible plastic it has molded design to look like it's quilted. It doesn't open (none of the purses open). It's very cute. It looks big, but it's completely hollow so it's also pretty light.

Our final pak is my favorite! I loved it when I found it online and when I found it in store I just had to have it! The flat pair of shoes are a pair of black flats. They have absolutely no heel and are the only pair that are right and left specific. They have a molded design on the toe, but I'm not sure what it is. These are my favorite shoes from all of the paks. They fit Charlotte (but tend to slip off), however they fit Francie like a dream! You can jam Living Barbie's foot in them, but they are tight. The Disney Princess dolls can wear them, but you see a lot of their toes. The heels are made from a slightly squishy pearlized pink plastic. They have a wedge heel and have cut outs.... in the shape of a cat face! Yes, this entire pack is cat themed! (Excluding the black heels). These are so cute, much cuter than I was expecting. The bracelet for this pak is made from a matte silver plastic. It has a little molded on cat had on the front! It also has little studs along the edge. The bracelet fits nicely so it will be hard to loose when it's on the doll. I seriously love this bracelet, it's so cute. The necklace for this set is made out of a slightly pearlized pink plastic. It's not the same material as the shoes, but they're a close match. It's molded into the shape of double chains with a cat charm at the center. The chain detail is actually molded in the front and the back, but the front is more detailed. This necklace also suffers from fit issues. It needs more weight to lay properly on the doll. I'm not in love with the chain part of the necklace, but I think the cat charm is very cute, I have an idea to reuse it. Not sure if it will ever happen, but it might be repurposed. This set came with another headband, and was a major reason why I wanted it so badly. It's made from plastic with a metallic silver finish. This head band has cat ears! It also has molded on studs along the edges, could do without those, but the ears are adorable. You will be seeing these next Halloween with my cat costume (well, the doll's costume, not mine). These also fit older dolls like Charlotte very well. She's wearing them right now. These are just amazing. The final item from the pak is the purse. It's made out of a black plastic and is molded to look like a cat head. On the back it has a fake molded on zipper, I like that they did that detail. The cat's face is painted pink to show off the details. This is the only painted item in all of the paks and is painted very nicely. In the package it's protected by it's own plastic bag, which I thought was a smart way to protect the paint. Much like the rest of this pak I absolutely love it. Not sure when I will ever find a use for it, but it's so blasted adorable! I actually went and bought two of this paks, I just knew that one wouldn't be enough!

Overall I'm very pleased with these new paks. I think it's incredibly smart that Mattel is getting shoe options for the new flat feet dolls out early and cheaply. My only issue with this set is that the necklaces aren't designed well and that one bracelet is a little loose on the wrist. I love that it has a variety of styles and they're so inexpensive. I was so impressed that the day that I got them, I emailed Mattel to let them know how much I loved them and that I hoped that they were going to continue the line. You all should know by now how much I love getting new shoes! (even though I have bags and bags of them I don't use). I just think of it as a collection within the collection! 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Quick Christmas Post

Hello Everyone,

Hope everyone is having a productive day, I know I am trying to. Can you believe there's only 14 days until Christmas? It's crazy how fast the season is just rushing by this year. I have gotten a lot done, but still have a lot to do. Christmas is my busiest time of the year and I have been trying to get as much done as I can. I'm lucky that I started my Christmas shopping so early, it's 99 percent done with just a couple things remaining. However, I still have plenty to do before the big day. Some of those are personal projects and some are things I have or need to do for others. I'm expecting to get it all done before the big day, but it might be a bit of a photo finish. I should be getting back to work, but I wanted to share something with you.

That's my titan American Girl on the straight leg body I got earlier in the year. I believe I already introduced her on the blog. Since I'm running out of room on the vintage shelves she currently lives on Charlotte's shelf, which means she gets a Christmas dress. I didn't make this one for her though. I made it last year for the Blonde Ponytail. It's a perfectly lovely dress, but it never seemed to work for the Ponytail. She did wear it last year, but she is slated to get a new dress this year. That left this dress free for someone else. (I actually have a couple spare dresses). I'm still not totally in love with this dress (I honestly wish I had made the skirt a touch longer), but I like it a lot better on her than the
ponytail. Her coloring works much better for it. I also made her necklace, ironically it was made for a third doll, but ended up not working for her either. Her shoes are those white pumps I bought from China (which I still love with a passion). Her purse is vintage and borrowed from another doll (who will be getting it back in time). Her glove is also vintage, but actually belongs to her. I just have the one but I like it because it covers up the fact she's missing the top of her right index finger. This doll might not always live on Charlotte's shelf, but for this Christmas she gets to be just as festive as the rest of them!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Reporter Ken from "Barbie In Princess Power" - A Review!

Hello Everyone,

I bought a new doll the other day. I know that's not a rare occurrence, but this is a new doll. Mattel recently started releasing the dolls from the 2015 movie "Barbie in Princess Power". While the dolls are interesting, only one of them I actually wanted, Reporter Ken. The doll himself was kind of dull, but he came with a pair of black eyeglasses and those are hard to find. I only have two pairs of adult glasses, a repro cat eye pair and the 90's round eye glasses that came with the Scooby Doo Velma doll. However both of these glasses are claimed and rarely share them. Sometimes Joe likes to wear glasses, so sometimes I borrow the Velma pair but never for very long. I was excited to find this new pair (I do like the older style better). The doll sells for 10.99, but I bought him on sale at Amazon for 8.99 with free shipping. I was hoping to find him at Walmart and use my Mattel Voucher on him, but they were taking their sweet time to get him in so I got impatient and just bought him from Amazon.  I'm going to do a quick (for me) review of him in case anyone else is curious about him.

It's been rainy and overcast all week, so I didn't take any pictures for this review. You can see the promo shots (and buy him from if interested) over at Amazon.

The Packaging: Ken was packaged in a clear plastic bubble with a cardboard backer. There was a molded tab for easy opening, but the cardboard tore when I used it and it really didn't help any. He was held down with plastic threads to his wrists, hips, and ankles. For a doll that doesn't have hair or much head movement he was still stapled in the back of his head with those terrible plastic ties. Since he doesn't have real hair he's left with two holes in the back of his head. He really didn't need that, I don't think he was going anywhere.

The Doll: Ken is your pretty standard Ken. He has blue eyes with dirty blonde molded hair that is styled in the "duckbill" hair style. For a doll that costs almost 11 dollars, he's pretty much the same doll as a 5 dollar beach line doll. His only pivotal joint is his neck. His arms and legs only move forward and back. I don't care for the newer Ken hand mold, he looks rather zombieish when his hands are in front oh him. They're not very natural and only look the best when they are at his side. When I got mine his hip joints were creaking whenever you moved them. I think it was just some excess glue in them, but I was worried something was going to snap as I tried to move his legs. Mine has a bit of a factory flaw at the neck. I think they had a problem with the molding machine. The bottom of his neck on his head isn't very even. I think they had to cut it by hand, and they left a little excess plastic right under his jaw. If you look around the neck in the back the "skin" isn't as smooth as it should be. Also the Mattel copyright information is very blurry. The rest of the head looks fine, it's just his neck at the very bottom that has the issue. It wouldn't affect play or anything. His neck still works like it should.

The Clothes: Ken comes to you wearing a one piece outfit. It has a light blue, short sleeved, collared shirt, a pair of blue skinny jeans with light blue top stitching, a "lightning" pattern tie, a brown faux leather belt with a gray belt buckle. That is all one piece. The outfit is okay quality. There is a little messy stitching in the back where the Velcro is sewn down. The collar is un-hemmed as is the tie. They're just glued to keep them from fraying, so I bet with actual playing they will start fraying. The sleeves on the shirt aren't as tight as they are in the promo pictures, but the rest of it looks about the same. My belt buckle is actually on backwards. It has a little molded "2" on it that should be facing inwards. I tried the outfit on Blaine from the Generation Girl line (early 2000's body), his thighs were too thick to pull the pants up. I tried it on a vintage Ken and while it did fit, vintage Ken has a longer torso so the seam between the shirt and the pants were a little stretched. I didn't try it on my Fashionista Ken, but I'm pretty sure his legs would be thin enough to wear it. Ken comes with molded plastic black squared heeled dress shoes. They have an slit in the back for easier putting on and taking off. I was hoping these would fit Joe since they looked pretty big in the promo shots, but his feet are too big for them. (Darn). They did fit Blaine, so they should fit most Ken dolls, which is nice because they are a very versatile shoe mold. 

The Accessories: Ken only comes with one accessory (I guess a reporter doesn't need anything to record the news with these days), his glasses. The reason why I was interested in this set in the first place. The glasses were... different than what I was expecting. They've changed from the promo shots. They're a lot more square than the ones shown. I was worried the promo ones might be a little too cat eyed looking for Joe, but I'm not sure if these square ones are an improvement. In a shocking twist, they are attached to Ken's head. In the back, they have the burrs anchoring them into Ken's head like they do with modern Barbie earrings. Also I will say that they had a clear elastic holding them in place that covered his eyes. I'm not sure how those elastics will react over time to the eye decals, there wasn't any wear with mine but he was new. I would be concerned over the decals adhering to the elastic as they aged. I boiled the head and was able to easily remove the glasses without any damage to the head or the glasses. I plan on trimming off the plastic burrs so I can use them with other dolls. However, this leaves Ken with two holes in the side of his head that I can't do anything about.

Overall: Am I happy with my purchase? Sort of. I like some aspects of the doll, but only bought it for the outfit. I could have purchased that same Ken for 5 bucks in a swimsuit and sunglasses for 5 at my local Walmart (I went there yesterday and they were swimming in swimsuit dolls). And that one wouldn't have any holes in his head. The outfit is okay, but the un-hemmed parts are going to start fraying with any real play and that's just stinks. Toys should be more durable than that. The shoes are nice, but I don't really need another pair of Ken black shoes. It's good to have, but I wouldn't have bought the doll just for the shoes. The glasses were slightly disappointing since they've changed from the promo shots and now look slightly like these knock off ones I could buy on E-bay for 4 dollars and get three pairs of (They aren't exactly the same though). And I can only use them on other dolls after I remove the burrs on them. I'm going to have to question any dolls with glasses from Mattel from now on in case they do that again. What would happen if I liked the doll but hated their glasses? I'd be left with a doll with holes in it's head! So I guess I'm glad that I bought this doll, but wouldn't buy another one and wished I had been patient enough to get it with my 6 dollar voucher from Mattel.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Happy (Belated) Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving (those that celebrate Thanksgiving that is). Mine was mostly good. Ours was delayed until Sunday since my sister was away for the actual day (doing something fun). Which really isn't a big deal to me, the holiday is the important thing. When you celebrate it really doesn't matter. My day was slightly colored with what had happened the night before. I was was cross over some things and talked to my parents about it, and my mom got upset over it, and was possibly mad at me. It was just a real mess and the sooner I put it behind me the better. I think things are fine now, but in this case only time will tell. But the food came out well and we all had a good time so the day itself was good.

Now that Thanksgiving is officially over we can start talking about Christmas! I won't lie, I've already been doing Christmas stuff. Since I was sick last year and nothing got done outside of the basics I wanted to celebrate properly this year. I've already done the majority of present shopping for the family, started wrapping some of them, and started decorating my room for the holiday.
The majority of my decorating is decorating Charlotte's shelf, which means dressing the dolls that live there in their Christmas outfits. Several of them do have their own Christmas outfits, but several of them do not. That's because they're either new from last year or I don't like what they wore last year. And there's also Charlotte who in an ideal world would get a new outfit each year. I haven't been sewing much lately, but I decided to give it a go last week. I decided to make Charlotte her new Christmas outfit. I was going to start with a black bodysuit since her last one was given to a Silkstone right after I finished it, ages ago and she needed a new one. I also had an idea of using it in a Christmas outfit. I've been having decent luck with sewing knits, so I wasn't as concerned about messing it up. It came out pretty good. I did have one issue with lighting since it was dark and I was sewing at night and it caused once leg hole to get messed up. It's not too bad, it's just cut lower than it should be and causes a ripple in the fabric when the doll's leg is out. I'm not too concerned since it's not seen when there's something covering the lower half. And if it bugs me too much I can make another one. It's not like I can't use another black bodysuit.
After that I made a skirt. I wanted a Christmas fabric skirt to make it fitting for Christmas. I thought I was going to use some green holly calico fabric I have but when I was getting it out I found a red with candy canes fabric I've had for ages. I can't tell you how long I've had it, but if it was a person I could be in a common law marriage with it by now. I really like it, but it's over-sized print doesn't work well for Barbie sewing. But when it's a large full skirt enough of the print is seen to make it readable. The only bit of machine sewing was from attaching the skirt to the waistband, I sewed the rest of it by hand (it was mostly hemming). I also made the belt, but it's really simple, it just has a snap sewn to the back with a fake buckle on the front.
And I actually really like it. It looked really cute on Charlotte. However, it didn't stay with her. I wasn't in love with it on her. I already knew this was something that could happen. I did try it on another doll that needed an outfit. It sorta worked for her too, but again I wasn't in love with it. That doll was on the pivotal body and the bodysuit was very loose, also the skirt fell oddly on her waist. I ended up trying it on Artemis. Artemis has a Christmas dress already, but it's a really early one I made so there's a lot of sewing issues with it. She and Charlotte have the same body type so there isn't any fit issues. I think it really works well with her vintage styling, so she gets to keep it. However, this is just for Christmas. Once everyone goes back to their regular clothes Charlotte gets her bodysuit back. It's not fair to take two from her!

And back to the drawing board for Charlotte (although I already have another idea for an outfit for her).