Friday, June 26, 2015

Three Little Lads are We

If you've read any post from this blog you'd know that my collection is mostly vintage, but lately I have been dabbling more and more into dolls from Integrity Toys. Around here Integrity is still very outnumbered by Mattel. They're just so expensive and I am just so cheap. I can't see this changing unless I win the lottery or is adopted by a rich European Baron (finger's crossed!).

I do have one Fashion Royalty head, Vanessa (my favorite sculpt from that line) on a articulated Barbie body, two Dynamite Girls that I got in a trade, and a Homme doll head that I upgraded to a Cheerleader Ken body. Recently I added two Homme dolls fulfilling a long standing want of mine for the collection. However, I still want more (shocking). There are a few of the Fashion Royalty dolls that I like (mainly Vanessa's), but when just their heads go for more than 100 dollars I don't think they're going to be joining the collection any time soon. Like I said, cheap. Lately I've been getting more and more into male dolls. I have so many female dolls that I've been more interested in adding a variety of men to the collection. I was hoping that since I was now working that I could finally purchase a Dynamite Boy doll, but apparently they're taking a year off for 2015? I still hold out hope that the AHS dolls will have a least one male doll, but since they're a licensed property they're going to be $$$. So I'm not holding out any hope I'll be able to afford them.

I was over on E-bay looking to see the cheapest price a Homme doll goes for, since I like making clothes for my dolls I usually see if I can buy them nude for cheaper. Or buy them dressed and resell the clothes. I didn't see any that really were in my price range, even nude they tend to be pretty expensive. However I did see an auction, for a Homme head on a cheap Ken body. I checked the seller's other listings and they had two other Homme dolls listed with Ken bodies. They were all 24 hour auctions that were started on Friday night and ending on Saturday. I put all three under my watch list and left it at that. The next day I checked on the listings several times during the day. The auctions didn't garner much interest. I ended up bidding on all three and getting them for the opening bids. I got the three heads for 19.99 each plus 10 dollars priority mail shipping. Not too shabby since usually the heads alone get listed for that much.

The seller was really great with communication and the speed of which they contacted me and got the package into the mail. It's nice knowing that some seller's still do things in a reasonable amount of time.

The first head I got I believe is Cruz, however I'm not sure which one he is. He has a tanned skin tone, blue eyes, black hair, and light pink lips. He came on a Beach line Ken body. The second doll is Chip, Poppy Parker's boyfriend. I think he's the "My Generation" doll. He has sandy blonde hair and blue green eyes. He's really pale. He actually came on the Twilight Edward body (the one with the glitter infused in the torso). The last doll is also from Poppy Parker, it's Sebastian. He's actually a repeat, my first Homme was Sebastian. However for the price, he was worth getting. I might end up customizing him (re-root?), but for right now he ends up as is. Currently he's on a very mis-matching newer Fashionista Ken body.

I was too lazy too set up my usual photo backgrounds, so I had to do some super cropping to crop out my dirty computer screen.
I do plan on getting them new bodies, the ones they're on now just don't work for them. The Ken bodies will be donated to the doll club for the doll donation project. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for bodies for them? My main criteria are; articulated, not too expensive, and good for their proportions.


Monday, June 22, 2015

New Doll Talk (Disney)

Disney finally released the 2015 Classic Doll collection on their website. I've been obsessively checking the website for weeks looking for the new dolls. They typically release the dolls in early June, but this year they've been dragging out their "Twice Upon a Year" sale and held off releasing the new dolls until they sold out of the old dolls. But now they've released the images I can see what's new, what's not new, and what I want to buy. However I won't be placing an order right away. I need to wait for two things, Disney to have their 25 percent off sale and for other people to get the dolls first to see if there's any new shoe colors to be had.

Interesting thing to note, the dolls have gone up in price. They used to be 14.95 when I started looking at them, but they've now gone up to 16.95. They still have the buy 2 for 10 dollars each sale, so at this point it's almost the same price point to buy two compared to one. The Frozen dolls have finally joined the Classic collection (and being included in the buy more sale), so they've actually gone down a dollar in price. Time will tell if the female dolls still have the jointed knees and ankles or if they'll have the rubber legs like the other dolls.

Based on what I've seen I'm going to talk about the dolls, but just what I think. These will all be my personal opinions, so not everyone will agree.

The Good: Since I am still obsessing about those Disney flat shoes, I'm pleased to see that they're still using them (you can see Snow White has them since her dress is tea length). Hopefully this means the other dolls will have them as well. Tiana has gotten a costume change. She used to wear her lily pad wedding dress, she now is in the blue dress she wears at the costume party. I'm glad they changed it, while the other dress was pretty I like the blue dress better. Also Disney's been cheaping out and just painting her necklace on as a series of gold dots. I'd rather not have the necklace compared to an oddly stylized painted one. Rapunzel's eyes have changed from last year. They now look bigger and she seems to have fuller eyelashes. They could be rather vacant, but I find something compelling about them. Pocahontas has changed a little too. I think her lips are bigger, but she now has side glancing eyes, which I think really works for the character. And the biggest change to this line this year was the Prince dolls, they've all gotten new faces. They're now using the face molds from the designer collection dolls, which are quite a change from their old versions. Some of them are more successful than other in looking like their animated counterparts, but there's a lot of nice faces there and there's always new room for male doll sculpts since there's not as many of them out there.

The Bad: Mulan keeps getting ignored. I'm pretty sure the 2015 doll is exactly the same as the 2014 version, very little has changed if there's any differances. Merida also suffers from the repeating of last year. At least the other Princesses have had something change for this year, however very little has changed for most of them. I'm really not expecting a lot of differences in their shoe colors from last year to this year. The only one I can think will change is Cinderella, but I might have all the variations they can do for that. I'm hoping Belle has different colored shoes (hers and Snow White's shoes are the same color), but I doubt they will. The sad thing is, three of the dolls don't get shoes. This has always bugged me, they're little pieces of molded rubber, why can't each doll have shoes included? They're designed to have their outfits changed, why can't they get shoes? The prince dolls have their own shoe issues. Their feet are roughly Ken sized, but their shoes are HUGE. I don't know why, but their shoes are way, way, way too big for them. You know your shoes are too big when Joe can wear them and they're still way too big on him. The Prince dolls also suffer from some of the worst bodies. Static joints, hinged elbows, minimally bending rubber legs, they're just a mess and just terrible. I wish they would redo the bodies, even to just give them wrist articulation. Sadly, they are an afterthought compared to the Princesses. I'm going to have to look and see what's out there for body replacements for them.

The Ugly: Those darn rubber legs. I just hate them. They stink, they break easily, and they don't look very nice. The sad thing is that Disney has a really nice articulated leg they should be using, they just need to work out the flaws. They need to redesign the hip opening on the torso so the doll's can sit properly (they need to do this period since the rubber legged doll's can't sit properly either) and they need to make the lower legs out of a hard plastic to avoid the bow legged issues the doll's get. A really simple fix they haven't managed to do. And speaking of bodies, the beast now has a body with molded on beast hands and legs, BUT his head is designed to come off I assume revealing the prince after his transformation.... but that leaves him with a human head and beast arms and legs in an unholy mishmash of parts. How creepy is that? Also, sadly this new collection seems to have eliminated the Villain dolls from the line. The Classic line used to have several other dolls other than the Princesses and the Princes. It used to have villains, friends, family, and magical helpers but they've all be dropped from the line. The last hold outs were the villains, but I guess even they couldn't last forever. I was hoping to see some new dolls joining the collection this year, but I guess they're not interested in adding more to the line.

Top Wants: Prince Charming (love his face mold) and Tiana (Want to steal her dress, shoes, and tiara)
Medium Wants: Prince Phillip (for his clothes and different face mold and The Prince (Snow White; also to steal his clothes and for his different face mold), Rapunzel (like the updated face paint)

The rest of them I'm only interested in if they have different colored shoes than what I already have. And speaking of shoes, they still haven't released the Rosetta Fluttering doll here in the US! I'm not sure why they're being so hesitant about releasing it over here when it's in the UK, European, and Japanese online stores. I want her red shoes darn it! 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Say Hello Ladies!

So even though I'm trying to be better about buying new dolls by now whenever you see a new post longer than three sentences it means that I bought something new. 

This is one of those posts. 

Per usual, I will say that I have been better about just buying old any vintage doll because they're a decent price. Even though I can't resist all deals I have become a lot more discriminating in what I will buy and will let some deals pass me by just because I don't need another doll of a certain type. However there are exceptions to every rule. I may be able to pass on Midge, Ken, Skipper, and even Francie, a vintage Barbie doll will always tug at my purse strings. Unless it's a Fashion Queen, I already have several of those and have seemingly no problem passing them by. But the rest of them will always be fair game.

In case you can't see where this is going, I bought a new vintage Barbie doll. 
Two in fact.

I was over on Etsy (my current weakness) checking out the new listings when I saw that someone had listed a number 5 titan ponytail for 45 dollars. Titan ponytails are extremely hard to get since they made them in much smaller numbers than blondes or even brunettes. I do have a titan number 6, but this one was older and too much of a deal to pass up. The only issue was shipping, it was going to cost me 10 bucks to ship the doll! Since I was already paying shipping I decided to look at what else the seller had and found a number 6 ash blonde ponytail on what looked to be a number 4 body.... for 20 bucks! Adding her to the card bumped shipping up to 15. Both dolls had their issues, but for the price I was fine with it. I shelled out 80 dollars for the two dolls including priority shipping.
And then I waited, and waited.... and waited.

This was one of the sellers that delayed shipping the package long enough for me to write a short blog post bemoaning the fact that why should I pay for the expensive shipping for the seller to just hold onto the package for days until they can be bothered to get it into the mail?

It was real touch and go for a while but I did survive waiting for them to arrive. I did complain about the overage in shipping but it turns out that's how much it cost to ship them to me. However the seller used a too large box to ship them and had to pad it out with more packing material, the dolls really shouldn't have cost 15 dollars to ship, priority mail or not.

Either way the two dolls arrived. And now it's time to talk about them!
 I'll talk about the Ash Blonde Ponytail first. 

I was correct, she did arrive on a number four body. I seem to have a real knack for finding number four bodies. This is my second or third doll to come on one of these bodies, however the heads remain elusive. Either way, the body is in decent played with condition. When it arrived the legs from
Seller's Picture
the mid-thigh down was oddly dark. However some time in the sun with acne cream has managed to remove most of the discoloration and it looks pretty good. The neck does have a factory flaw in the back at the top of the neck, a small air bubble. I wish it wasn't there, but these things happen. Mattel had better quality control back then, but it was far from perfect. They were still churning out Barbie as quickly and as cheaply as possible. The body also has an issue to the fingers. It's either scraping or the fingers are aging over time and the plastic is changing? It looks and feels rougher than the rest of the hands. I'm not too sure what is going on there, but it's not too bad. Hopefully it's just play wear and won't get any worse. I'm not really sure what I'm going to do with this body since number 4 heads have been hard for me to find. I did end up giving the ponytail a correct Midge/Barbie body I had so this is now a spare.
So now she is on the right body. I won't talk much about it just that it's in decent shape with minimal play wear. I can't remember where I got it originally. Now onto her head. Like I already mentioned
she's an Ash Blonde number 6. She has the standard blue eyes and has
coral colored lips. Her make up is perfect, no play wear. I was told that she had her original top knot, but I'm pretty sure she still has her original curls at the bottom of her ponytail too. The only thing I've done with her hair is remove the nasty (not original) rubber band and put a clear elastic in it's place. She's actually in really nice shape, one of my better ponytails. She does have green ear, that's her only issue. I haven't started her treatment yet, I'm a little worried about messing up her hair. I'm sure I'll get over my hesitation and she'll be looking killer in no time! She was definitely worth the 20 dollars plus 7.50 shipping she ended up costing me! 

The second doll that I bought (and the main reason I was so tempted by this in the first place) was that Titan Ponytail. Like I already said, she's a number 5, so she has the thinner face and will get a greasy face that I'll have to keep tabs on. She has more play wear than the other doll, but she's still very pretty. Her biggest issue is that her lips have several spots where the paint is gone, she still has
lips though. I see lots of dolls online who are missing all of their lip paint. Her eyebrows might have lightened some, but that could just be how the Titan's eyebrows are painted. Her hair is long and uncut. She seriously has
the longest ponytail of any doll I have. I did have to take a while brushing out her hair. It wasn't as bad as some ponytails I've gotten, but around her hairline it was a bit matted, so I had to be very careful to untangle it working
in sections to make sure I saved as much hair as I could. Her body is in nice shape, she's on the correct Barbie only body. She has some minor discoloration to the back of her legs I still need to deal with. When I got her one of her feet had been chewed pretty badly (by a child, not a cat). I tried easing out the damage by soaking her foot in boiling water, which did help some but it was still deformed. I ended up swapping it out for another leg that I had in my parts bin. They're not a perfect match, but neither was her original leg. Mattel really did not put that much effort in when it came to giving dolls the same sized legs. There's lots of dolls out there with one leg longer than the other (but the same could be said about people). And there you have it, my second Titan ponytail. Most likely not my last, but I am pleased as punch to get a second one when not that long ago I thought I'd never own one! 

Monday, June 15, 2015

I did not buy her...

but I am envious of her. 

Oh Fashion Queen, your painted lips will never say,
what kind of life did you lead before ending on E-bay?