Thursday, November 19, 2015

Do I want a Poppy Parker doll?

Hello Dear Readers,

Hot off the success of finally finishing that Eye Doctor Barbie review, I have another post to share with you. My pondering if I want a Poppy Parker doll.

Lately I've been thinking about adding a Poppy Parker doll to the collection. After getting burned three times in a row on vintage Barbie (all on Etsy BTW), I think I need a little break from vintage. However I am unable to take a break for dolls completely. For my interest in Poppy Parker I totally blame the doll club, several of the members are total Poppy Parker fangirls and I really think otherwise I wouldn't be so interested getting one. But while I want one, I'm not really sure that I want one, want one. I'm kind of interested in her, but not super duper I got to have one feeling. I think it would be interesting to own one, but I worry about not bonding with her, so it's kind of a weird place. I will point out that I haven't been to an official doll club meeting since September, so it's not like this was triggered by some doll I just saw, it's been a slow simmer. 

Poppy is available. She's been mass produced for several years now so it's not like it's a matter of hunting one down. I'm in a good position since there isn't a Poppy that I absolutely love, I'm just trying to find one for the best price. I freely admit I am cheap and I'm not sure how much I'll want to spend for a doll that I'm planning on actually redressing and "playing" with. I flip flop between wanting to buy just her head and put her on a Mattel body or wanting the whole doll to have the correct body for her to have the complete Poppy experience. I've been doing searches to find a nude doll at a decent price, but it seems that it would be more cost effective to buy a dressed doll and sell her clothes (depending on which doll it is). They did recently release some new dolls and you can find some of them at retail prices, but lots of times the shipping is so expensive so it's not that much of a deal buying the new dolls.

Not really sure what else to say, just putting my thoughts down in text.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Barbie Eye Doctor Playset From Mattel - Another Review!

This post is several months old. I don't think reviews are going to be an often repeated occurrence here on the blog. It takes me forever to get one posted since I'm so slow to take pictures and I just cannot shut up about mundane parts of the doll (especially the box). But at least the doll is still available on the shelves, so at least if someone is interested in it they can find it at retail prices.

A few weeks ago I had a job related thing up in Raleigh. It was an all day work event and the less said about that the better. Anyway, my father was my ride and spent the day at my sister's house. Since we were in Raleigh where there's a lot more stores than in Asheboro, I asked him to do me a favor. There are three newly released dolls that I've been looking for so I asked him to check Target to see if they had any of them. Out of the three, he was able to find one. The Barbie Eye Doctor play set. When it's in stock at (until it sells out in mere minutes) it's listed for 19.99, with prime shipping. Target sells it for 22.99. I had a 10 percent off coupon that brought it down to 20.69. So if you can find it on Amazon it is cheaper than Target, but only when it's being sold by Amazon and not a third party vendor that jacks up the price. I will be reviewing the African American version since that was the one they had at Target, but all the accessories are the same between the two versions. The only difference the head mold on Barbie and the doll's skin tones.  
Pardon the Reflection
The front of the box is rather simple. The majority of it is clear plastic allowing to see everything that comes in the set. At the very top are two pictures of the Kelly-like doll wearing two of the pair of glasses that come in the set. Below it is text proclaiming "4 pairs of glasses!". However, if you count the pair Barbie's wearing, there's actually 5 pairs in the set. At the bottom of the box it features the Barbie logo in large text followed by "Eye Doctor". I'm not sure if these new sets are replacing the Barbie I can be.... line, but I'm glad they're not using that same phase. It's always bugged me when it says "Barbie I can be .... some career", completely ignoring that there should be an "A" in the sentence. Below the text is a pink image with pink sparkles. I guess they hadn't reached their pink quota for the front and had to really jazz it up. It also has the 3+ age recommendation and the warning that it has small parts and is a choking hazard.

Moving on to the right side we have a repeat of the pink with pink sparkles background and a repeat of the Barbie logo. Not much to comment on.

On the left side we have an animated image of Barbie as she appears in the "Life in the Dreamhouse" series on Youtube. She's actually wearing the same outfit as the doll in the box, they even replicated the sewing construction in the image. I am impressed they even recreated the surging detail at the neckline of her shirt. However some creative liberties were taken of the image compared to the actual doll. The most noticeable one is that the image is of a white doll. Which I don't really understand. This is Barbie as an eye doctor, implying that the doll herself is Barbie. It's not Christie or Grace as an eye doctor, it's Barbie. They could have easily designed the box without displaying this image, or at least designed the image to look like the doll in the box. I mean wasn't that why Black Barbie in the early 80's so important? Because for once a black character was Barbie and not one of her friends? The image also features some other differences besides skin tone. The image has has silver colored earrings with pink stones but the actual doll doesn't have any earrings. She doesn't even have pieced ears. The box image also has different hair. On the box Barbie has a side part that's pulled back in the front and in the back part of her hair is pulled back in a high ponytail. In reality both versions of the doll just have a simple side part with hair that's slightly curled.
Pardon the glare X2
On the back of the box there's an image of the play set de-boxed, looking pretty much as it does in the box (no prototype pictures used here!). It also has a small blurb about eye doctors and what they do. At the top it has the Barbie logo repeated and a pink sign denoting it's the Eye Doctor set. I think the sign image is reused from that Malibu Avenue line. At the bottom features an image from the Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse series with Barbie playing a doctor .... to Chelsea who's covered in pink spots. I kind of get what they're going with this, but eye doctors and physicians are not one and the same. To the right of that image are two pictures of the African American versions in this line, Teacher and Eye Doctor. There's several other dolls in this line, but I guess they only come in the white version. Kind of weird to point out the limited options there are for African American dolls. At the bottom right corner is an ad for the Youtube show "Watch us online!" and in the bottom left corner is the Mattel logo and a production number.

Didn't take a picture of the bottom of the box just know it's got the usual legal speak, bar codes, and whatnot. This particular doll set was made in China.

Opening the box was really easy. I was able to push in and lift up the plastic tabs at the top to open the lid with minimal damage to the box itself. After that I was able to just slide the entire cardboard backer out of the box. I appreciate being able to open the box without having to tear into the box destroy it. It's so frustrating having to arm myself with a bevy of tools to open a toy box and usually all that effort comes at the expense of my hand and the items itself. Hopefully this is the new way Mattel boxes their toys.

Frustrating packaging.      
All of the dolls and accessories are displayed on the cardboard backer. We have Barbie on the right, the eye chart with the little girl underneath it in the center, and the chair with the eye checker ..... thingy on the right. For the most part they were all easy to remove. The majority of the items are held down by clear plastic t-straps. All you need to do is snip them and they come out really easily and most of them have lots of area to get your scissors in there's no fear of accidentally damaging anything. Barbie's head is anchored down by two of those small clear t-straps, but at least it's not three like sometimes we've been seeing. The chair is the hardest thing to remove. It is attached to the bottom of the box with two black plastic pieces. According to the cardboard instructions that they're also attached to (and partially blocking) you need to turn them. This was impossibly until I figured out that you needed to push the sides of the black plastic taps up since they have little nubs that are embedded in the cardboard. After I figured that out they were much easier to spin. So I was sitting there for a bit turning them, I assume I had to unscrew them, however this was taking forever with no progress so I gave them a slight pull and one popped out. It's not a screw, it's just a plastic tab that locks into the bottom of the chair, you just need to align it and pull it through the hole. Now I don't think I'm an idiot, but I really think the instructions could have been a little clearer, and not blocked by the pieces themselves. I could see this really frustrating children (and parents).

Removing all the parts of the play set leaves the cardboard backing as well as a small cardboard piece and the clear plastic piece the eye chart and small doll were attached to. Both of these pieces are easily removed by pushing in the tabs on them and sliding them out. Surprising to no one Barbie's office is very pink. I do appreciate the effort they did to actually make it reflect an eye doctor's office. They could have just slapped a vaguely doctor type office design on there and called it a day. If only it wasn't full of holes and tab slots, it actually could be used as part of the play set if it wasn't so damaged. I think it's really cute that Barbie has eyeglass wallpaper. Featuring pink on pink design it has repeated images of glasses. Looking closely at it you can see that the little glasses the set comes with are repeated of the images they used on the wall.
Barbie has a one room office. Now I've only been to a half dozen or so eye doctors, but usually the examination room is one room and where the glasses are displayed are in another room. I know this is just a box and they crammed it all in together since it's just a throwaway piece of cardboard. Starting from our left, on the side panel, Barbie's office has a display case full of glasses. It's black with a pink accented door. If you look closely at the glasses on display there's only two models repeated on all the shelves, just in different colors. On top of the display case is a circular mirror with a stand. I've looked into mirrors like that a lot when looking at myself trying on glasses. Above the mirror on the wall there is a picture of Ken (also his Life in the Dreamhouse incarnation) wearing glasses in front of a gray and white striped background. You do see a lot of glasses advertising at the eye doctor's so this is a nice touch. Moving to the center panel to the right of Ken's picture is a window. Apparently Barbie's office is in the city. The background features a window with the binds rolled up showing off the view. She is surrounded by several very simplified sky scrapers, including one pink one (shocker). Judging by the perspective it looks like Barbie's office is in the middle of her building. It's apparently a sunny day, but there are some clouds in the sky. Interesting side note, I'm not really sure how Barbie's window works. It looks like it has a traditional window set up at the top, but not at the bottom. It's either open or missing the bottom frame. If it's open, it must be some magic window because there's no way the visible frame could cover the part of the window that's open. Perhaps I'm over thinking it? Below the window and the biggest piece of furniture on the backer is Barbie's desk. It features a black desktop with white legs. On the far right there's a set of drawers with pink detailing and black handles. Also on the far right there's a chrome sink. Barbie also has a matching black, pink, and chrome stool for her to sit on. There is two spaces on the desk for seats, but only the stool is shown. Perhaps there's another chair out of view. On top of the desk Barbie has tissues, a vase with two pink flowers, five books of various colors and sizes, an eye machine (I think it's the tool they use to blow a puff of air into your eyes). Next to the sink they added a soap dispenser. On the wall Barbie has a mounted matte gray phone, with turquoise buttons and a pink cord. It's cute but I wish Barbie had a cuter phone. Yes, she's a doctor, but she still is a doctor with style! Diagonally from that we have Barbie's diploma, at least I think it's her diploma. It's a black framed image with a double black border. In the center it's yellow with the image of a pair of glasses.... I guess to denote she's an eye doctor. I guess we should all be so lucky it's not Barbie as a proctologist play set! It also features a black squiggly denoting text and a pink ribbon on it. Not sure how much I'd trust Barbie's degree, looks pretty home made if you ask me. Diagonally from that we have a shelf. It's a simple white shelf. On it there's a small display of glasses and two canisters, a smaller one with a chrome lid and q-tips, and a larger one with a pink lid and larger q-tips. Why does Barbie need so many q-tips?
Now that we're done with the packaging, it's time to talk about the contents. Up first, Barbie. Like I already pointed out I have the African American version, this doll and the other version have the same clothing and accessories. The only differences are the skin tone and head mold. The other version uses the new 2015 Barbie head mold, while this one uses (I believe) the Desiree head mold.
The reason why I only think it's the Desiree face mold is that while it is marked on the back of the head 2001 the smile lines on this doll looks less pronounced than how Desiree normally does.  It's a very pretty face, when I first saw it I thought it was a new variation on the Desiree face sculpt. Barbie has two toned shoulder blade length hair in both dark chocolate brown and milk chocolate brown color. It almost reminds me of Superstar Christie's hair, Christie's was a bit more vibrant though. It is a good length for play, however it is a bit choppy in the back. I wish Mattel would make Barbie's hair all one length. While it might look decent in it's default style, it can be limited when doing other hair styles. If it looks a bit messy, that's my fault. The doll's been kicking around my desk for months before I finally got around to taking pictures of it. Barbie has two tones brown eyes, natural eyebrows, and light plum colored lips. My doll has a factory flaw in her lip paint. To the right of her cupid's bow she has a small dark line. She came that way out of the box. I'm not sure how to remove it without damaging her lip paint. She also has an
issue with her hairline, on the right side a plug is out of place. It's not super noticeable (her glasses covers it as does her hair), but it is sad to see. She also has some hair coming out of her neck, which is becoming more and more common. There's a few indents on her face here and there from where her glasses were pressing into her. I think these will ease out in time.

Barbie has a basic body with 5 points of articulation (neck, shoulders, and hips). She has the belly button body with one traditional extended hand and one bent
hand that can go on her hips. She also has the usual arched feet for high heels. (Several other dolls in the line have flat feet). Like the Halloween doll she has hard plastic legs. I really do think rubber legs are a thing of the past. She does have a small gouge to her right leg about a half an inch up from her ankle on the outside. I can't remember if this was from packaging or from kicking around here waiting to get her picture taken. Either way she has it, so she's already showing some wear.

Barbie comes with some clothing and accessories. I'm going to start off with her clothing. 
Sadly despite looking like separate pieces, it's all one piece.
I was actually impressed when I first opened it, the shirt and skirt are separate in the front where they could have easily been attached, but it turns out the whole thing is sewn together in the back and on certain side seams. So close Mattel, so close. Barbie wears a classic white doctor's coat. It is made from a white broadcloth with pink stitching. On the right breast it has Barbie's name silk screened on in a pink cursive script, mimicking monogramming. Underneath that Barbie is wearing a black jersey knit tank top. The tank top features turquoise contrast stitching. Surging at the neckline, and a straight hem at the bottom hem. The tank top is only in the front and the partial sleeve holes are unhemmed, it's side seams are built into the coat. Barbie is also wearing a geometric patterned skirt. Made from an almost linen type of fabric it features a variety of greens and pinks diagonal stripes in a very interesting and varied pattern. It's hard to explain, so I'll let the pictures describe what I seemingly cannot. It also features an elastic waist, with contrasting white stitching at the top and bottom. The stitching on mine at the elastic casing is pretty wonky. Looks like the tension wasn't right on the machine. I'm not planning on keeping the outfit, but if I did, I'd end up fixing that because it would bug me. I will point out that despite the outfit being attached it wouldn't take too much work to separate most of it. With basic hand sewing skills and access to a seam ripper it wouldn't be too hard to remove the skirt from the coat and finish them so they could be used independently. I think the tank top is a wash (way too much work to save it instead of making your own) and could be cut out of the coat and leaving the coat it's own piece. It's a shame that Mattel wouldn't use a little more fabric, Velcro, and effort to make these pieces separate from the start. If they did, I'd be a lot more impressed with this play set.

Barbie comes with three plastic accessories;
an ophthalmoscope (thank you Google), 
 her glasses, 
 and her shoes. 
The ophthalmoscope is made from a black slightly flexible plastic. It has molded on detail as well as a handle for Barbie to hold it. It comes bound to her hand with a clear elastic in the box. The handle is actually in the palm of her hand leaving the ophthalmoscope resting along the outside. Now I may be wrong but I always put the handle side out since that would make it more realistically that Barbie was actually holding the item. The ophthalmoscope is interesting, and I'm glad they included it but to be quite honest, it looks like a fancy microphone. I know why they didn't, but I wish it had some painted elements on it to help it read as a doctor's tool.

It turns out that eye doctor Barbie also practices what she preaches, she doesn't just prescribe them she also wear glasses! Made from the same slightly flexible matte black plastic as the ophthalmoscope, these glasses remind me of the ones that came with Reporter Ken, but with some key differences. The biggest one being that these have rounded lenses and Reporter Ken had rectangular lenses. (I say lenses but both glasses have empty frames). On these new frames the plastic is actually a little bit thicker than Reporter Ken's. Also they were just rubber banded to the doll's head instead of having those burrs that were embedded in Ken's head (thank goodness). It does look like the glasses were pressing into the doll's forehead and left an indent in between her eyebrows, but I'd much rather have that (which will most likely come out with a dunk in hot water), than two large holes in her head like Reporter Ken had to deal with.

Barbie's shoes are made from a shinier much more flexible black (I think) vinyl. They are traditional Barbie high heels. They have a strap design around the ankle (with molded in buckles), and feature a keyhole element near the toes. They have slits in the back so you can take them off and put them back on easily. I actually really like these, I wasn't planning on keeping them, but I think they'll be sticking around. I will say that for an eye doctor these are kind of a mature shoe choice especially for someone they imply is on their feet all day. I know Barbie wears heels traditionally, but in this case I really think the flat foot and one of the new shoe molds might have been a better choice especially since Mattel seems committed in including that new style of shoe across the lines. I know that the Babysitter in the line has the flat feet (only available in the white version), but the teacher has high heels. I'm not complaining since I like the shoes and out of all of the pieces of the play set, this one will be sticking around. I just think that in this case Mattel could have done flat feet and it would have been a nice change of pace. (No pun intended).

This play set also includes a small Kelly sized doll. As far as I can tell this doll is just a random character and does not have a name. The doll uses the classic Kelly body but with a different head mold, I think it's new. The body is the later classic Kelly body with the molded on underwear and the wider set legs. The doll has five points of articulation, the neck, the shoulders, and the hips which isn't surprising since that's the same that classic Kelly dolls have unless they had a gimmick and had additional articulation. Like I said I believe the head is new. This doll has painted hair, I assume for cost cutting reasons. It has a molded in center part that's pulled back into two buns at the top of the head. Sort of like Street Fighter's Chun Li or Sailor Moon's Sailor Moon (without the parts that hang down). The painted hair on mine is a bit off. In places the paint goes below the molded in hair line and in places it goes above. It's not too bad, just odd that Mattel can't color within the lines they created. The doll has large brown eyes and bubblegum pink lips. My doll's lips are off center, so it gives her sort of a smug smile. Eyes look good though.

Since Mattel went with painted hair, the doll is a bit unusual in construction. Mattel doll's have mold seams that they usually hide under the doll's hair. Back when they made Fashion Queen Barbie (and Midge) they hid the seam by putting it under the fake headband. This new doll's seam line is around her neck! This leaves the doll with this scar looking line all around her neck. On mine all of the extra vinyl wasn't trimmed off so it looks like she has hanging skin. I have NO idea what they were thinking. It looks like she's been Jack the Ripper-ed. They also put the copyright information under her chin in raised letters. It's not that noticeable from dead on, but if you look at her from the side you can see part of it. Not really sure what that's all about, poor design Mattel, poor design. Oddly enough, looking at Joe or the Disney store male dolls that also have painted hair I can't see a molding line, I guess some companies construct their doll differently when they have painted hair. My doll also has some more quality control issues. On her cheek close to where the extra vinyl was trimmed off she has a small gouge. I kind of think the machine that trimmed off the extra plastic slipped? She also has two lines across her legs where the plastic strap that held her in place was too tight and left a mark on her. Dolls really should not be getting damaged by the packaging Mattel!

In the package the doll comes wearing one of the pairs of glasses the set comes with. Mine was wearing the yellow circle frames, I bet they all do. It is cute they had the doll coming already wearing a pair, but with mine they put the glasses on when the hair paint was still wet. The glasses are fine, but all along the back of the doll's head there's a line where the clear elastic that was holding the glasses on where it took off the paint. So there's another example of the packaging damaging the doll. The straps being too tight is one thing, but they really should wait until the paint is dry on these toys. The glasses are cute, they're bright and fit the doll well. However I do worry about how small they are. They are tiny. I understand that that's just how they are, and I'd hate for Mattel to do something to make them bigger. I would just worry about a kid playing with them since they're so small and could be easily swallowed. I know the package says 3 and up, but I wouldn't give them to a kid that young. Maybe a 6 year old would be a better age choice. These glasses do fit classic Kelly dolls, but with a catch. Those new dolls have smaller heads, so the glasses can be worn but they tend to bow a little in the center to accommodate fitting on the larger heads of the classic Kelly dolls. It does look cute and shouldn't have too much of an issue. I just wouldn't leave it on them in case it warps the glasses. Should be fine for a day or two just don't forget to take it off them before too long.

This little doll comes wearing a pink floral sleeveless jersey knit dress. The dress is simple, but it is fully hemmed. It closes in the back with a small bit of Velcro. Mine does have an issue where the inside hems have rolled showing the un-hemmed parts through the sleeve hole openings. This happens a lot with Kelly doll clothes since the hems are so small. The dress does have a gathered skirt, which is nice since they could have easily made it one piece. The skirt features more gathers in the front than in the back, which is another cost saving measure. It almost has too much gathers in the front leaving the fabric a little too raised. It's very easy to see up the doll's skirt because of this. I wish the gathers were a little more spread out to make that less of an issue. The doll's shoes are bubblegum pink colored high tops. They have a slit in the back for easy redressing. They have lots of molded in details including a cursive B "patch" on the side, however they are unpainted so it's really hard to see any of the details. I honestly do not like them. Mattel has TONS of cute shoe molds for Kelly, these read as baby booties to me. I know Kelly is supposed to be an older toddler (before they aged her up to Chelsea), but these shoes are way too juvenile for her. They seriously do no go with the dress at all. I plan on keeping the dress, it's a cute Spring outfit but those shoes are not staying. They will most likely be sold with the doll. If I can find a buyer for the doll since she has so many quality control issues.

Now onto the play set itself. It's actually rather simple and just consists of two main parts, the chair and the eye chart. I'm going to talk about the eye chart first. Standing at a hair over ten and a half inches tall it's mostly made from a turquoise plastic. It comes fully assembled and there's no easy way to take it apart in case you wanted to. It consists of 5 pieces. The main body, the hot pink rack on the side to display the additional glasses, the pink support back along the bottom, and at the top the glasses decoration is it's own piece that snaps into the base (I assume the smaller piece is easier to paint and it's the only part of the playset with any painted detail). The eye chart itself is a sticker. Looks pretty close to accurate for an eye chart. Mine does suffer from some slight peeling going on at the bottom and top. I do worry how it will age over time since this is a new item and already having some age wear. I guess if need be it can just be glued down again. The light pink support beam at the bottom is interesting. It has a hole on the left side that looks like something could snap into it, but there's nothing to snap it. I think they used this to secure it to the packaging. Which makes no sense. They could have done something less noticeable but with the same effect. When writing this post I realized that the beam is actually really easy to remove. It's supposed to be part of the design, but it just pops right off, so no wonder they needed to support it to the package. However they still could have done it better for both staying in the package and looking good out of the package. The eye
chart comes with three additional small glasses for the little doll. (I wonder if these glasses would fit Dawn, great now I want a Dawn doll). They are all are held in place by clear elastics, which I already removed. We have a black pair that mimics the ones Barbie wears, a purple/pink cat eye pair, and a light pink heart pair (which I think classic Kelly or maybe Stacie had in a larger size). The glasses are all cute and fit the doll that comes with the play set well. Like I already said, they do fit classic Kelly, but do get a little bowed since her head is bigger. I do appreciate that Mattel included some pairs that were a little more unisex than just the pink and purple ones. I've already put the black pair on my Tommy doll and really like how he looks in them, even though he can't wear them full time since I worry about them getting warped.

The second part of the play set is the chair. Made from five separate pieces, it's completely made from plastic and has no painted detail or stickers. It features a silver base designed to look like the chair can be lowered or raised (it cannot, it's stuck in one position). It has a double rounded base for balance, which does a pretty good job. There are times were you can get it off balance, but it does well keeping itself upright. On the bottom it has the copyright information as well as the two holes were it was adhered to the packaging. The chair on it is pink, a bit darker than bubblegum pink. It has two molded on armholes and a low back. The chair is designed for the Kelly sized doll. She can fit in it comfortable, the back comes to the lower part of her head. The chair is big enough for larger dolls, BUT only if they're nude and only because the chair is slightly flexible. I was able to get one of the new Made to Move dolls in this chair, but if she was wearing clothes there's no way she'd fit. The chair still did a decent job balancing her, even with her being a lot bigger (and longer) than a Kelly doll. On the back is a molded in Barbie silhouette logo. Coming out from the left side of the chair we have a light blue L shaped post. This post is stationary. However, with some minor effort I think you could remove it from the back of the chair and just have a regular chair. Not sure if you could do that without damaging the post, so if you do want to do that, it might be permanent. On top of the post is another post, this one is a darker blue and has some molded in decorations as well as a handle for Barbie to be able to use (although not very naturally). It can swivel around where it's connected to the lighter blue post. It also can swivel at the bast where it's connected to the silver eye .... checker..... thing. That part has molded in dials and gears doing decently to mimic the actual tool it's supposed to look at. It has two eye holes for the Kelly doll to look at. It's a cute chair, but it's stuck at that height, even though you can wedge Barbie in the chair, there's no way that item is going to let her look through it. Kind of limiting for a play set. I wish it actually could be raised or lowered.

And that's all you get in this play set. Including tax, I paid a little more than 20 dollars for it and do I think it's worth it? Kinda. I think this could be a decent teaching tool for a child who might need glasses or something fun if a child wanted to play at being an eye doctor. However for me, I think it's overpriced, but I'm not really the intended market for this item. I only wanted it because of the glasses it came with, specifically Barbie's. I have literally told Mattel that if they release a doll wearing glasses, I will buy it. Lately Joe has begun wearing glasses full time. I actually used to have only one pair of doll glasses (that belongs to Velma), but thanks to Mattel's newer releases, have managed to build up a small collection of eyeglasses. I really wanted these for Joe, and luckily since I bought it he's been wearing them. However, I think 20 dollars is too high for this mainly plastic set which is riddled with factory errors. I was going to resell it to recoup my costs, but I don't think it's worth it. I have seen it on sale (a while back) for 15, and I think that's a better price for it, IF you're willing to overlook all the issues it will come with.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

What Should I Do?

Hello Dear Readers,

I have a story/question for you all.

Our story begins at the start of October. I placed an order at for a few things I needed to get, among those things was a Frozen Fever Anna doll that was on "sale". In reality it was like a dollar off, but I figured that I could use her outfit for a doll Halloween costume and if I resold the doll I'd make some of my money back and she did put me over the free shipping amount. So I placed my order and waited. The doll took a little while to get here, but when you get free shipping you take some concessions.

Once the doll arrived I opened her up, and immediately noticed she had an issue going it. It looks like when they were sewing the hem of the skirt the machine messed up and not only had some extra lines of wonky stitches, the skirt had actually gotten torn in two places right in the front. So I returned her. I am not keeping a doll that comes out of the box with issues as bad as that. That skirt really shouldn't have even left the factory. I also ended up returning something else from my order. I got a shipping label from Walmart, packaged them up in the box they came in, and mailed them back.

And waited again.

It took a while to get there, but eventually they got my return. I said I wanted an exchange, but one item had sold out so they refunded my money for that but sent me another Anna doll. This one arrived with a better dress, but now had a weird rust colored line in one of her eyes with some missing eye paint. Again, someone should have caught that at the factory. Unsatisfied with this new issue I decided to send her back. I was just going to return her since I'm not sure if there's any doll out there without any glaring issues. So I go back to to start the final return, and now they tell me the only way to return it is to go back to the store  AND they show they're not refunding me the tax I paid on the item. Shipping I understand since I didn't pay for that, but they certainly charged me tax the first time so I'm not sure why they weren't giving it back to me.

So I sent them an e-mail asking why I now had to go to the store to return an item that I never purchased in a store. I also asked why they were keeping my tax. That afternoon I got an email from They issued me a return for the amount of the doll plus my tax to my Paypal and said that they could set up a time for UPS to come pick up the doll or I could pick a time for when I wanted to return the doll (I think that's what they meant). The next day I sent an email thanking them for fixing the issue and asking for some clarification on how to return it by mail. I was fine with them scheduling a time with UPS, I've done that before with Disney Store. I live in an area where we can just leave the package on the porch and the UPS driver will come by and pick it up easy peasy.

And I waited again. 

It's been over 5 days and I hadn't heard anything back from Walmart, so I sent them a new email. This time I got the email returned to me saying the sender was undeliverable. I ended up sending it again and got the same response. It's weird because when I emailed the first time I never got anything like that and these were really quick. So I went back to and went through their email system and sent them an email about my return. I quickly got a reply saying that I did need to return the doll by mail and cannot return it to my local store. They told me to follow the instructions on the website, but when I go to the website I can't do anything with it since it already claims the doll, both dolls, have been returned. So right now I have my money back AND the doll, and I cannot for the life of me figure out any way to get the doll back to them.

The question I have dear readers is this, what would you do?  I'm spending a lot of time over a return that they should be wanting back, but they're certainly not making it easy on me. Should I email them again?
I'm getting nowhere slowly.

Monday, November 2, 2015

E-bay Updates

Hello Everyone,

Going to try to be a little more proactive in creating new content for the blog, even if it's just something as mindless as talking about my recent E-bay sales.

Sales have been pretty soft lately. I've been good about getting my old listings relisted each month using up the free listings, but creating new ads I haven't been as successful at. And I really should be, things are beginning to pile up again especially since I keep buying dolls for either their clothes and accessories, and justify the purchase by saying I'll get my money back if I resell what I don't want to keep.

Can't really make that money back when the items are just sitting around collecting dust, can we?

The previous week I actually did well and got about 11 new listings finished and posted on the site. From those new listings, I had three sell yesterday. I had lots of watchers on things, but very few bidders. I will never understand why people watch so many things and never bid, lots of times on my auctions you can get the item for the opening bid. You just have to bid to get it!

The items that sold weren't that expensive, but two of them went slightly over their opening bid prices! (And one of them actually ended up paying off the lot of items they came it, any sales from that lot after this is pure profit) It's also great that there's less clutter kicking around that I don't want. Two people already paid for their items and they're all set to go into the mail today. The third person hasn't yet, and I'm not totally sure if they will. They emailed me right before the end of the auction asking me if the Barbie outfit would fit Skipper. By the time I saw the question the auction had only 4 minutes to go and they had already placed a bid. I told them that the outfit was for the belly button body, and would be big on Skipper. I did mention that it should be fine on a larger doll like Teen Skipper. When the auction ended I saw their zip code, I don't think it's in the US so hopefully if they wanted it to fit the smaller Skipper dolls they'll just ask me to cancel their bid. I'd much rather cancel it now then mail it out and have then return it since it doesn't fit the doll they wanted it to even though I never said that doll's name in the listing.

I need to get a couple of listings done this week. I just hope that it'll be sunny tomorrow. I have the day off and pictures always come out lousy when it's rainy (like it's been for the past two days).

*Fingers Crossed* Come on sunshine!