Thursday, December 29, 2016

Asking for help from re-rooters! (Cross Posted Everywhere)

Since I'm on an uneasy break from collecting vintage Barbie I'm thinking it might be time to work on some of the re-roots I've had for ages. This isn't easy because I have to decide hair color and I'm so indecisive, especially when I'm trying to color match a vintage doll.

I have a small collection of saran swatches of doll hair colors I've collected over the years that I've labeled and put on a jump ring to help me decide what hair colors would work best when I'm deciding on a doll's hair color. However with Dolly Hair doing away with their free sample program (you can still get samples when you order but I like placing large orders to save on shipping) I have lots that I'm still missing. So I was wondering if any people had any spare hair from one of the main sellers of doll hair they could give me. I don't need much, just a hair plug of each color. I'd gladly pay shipping since it'll fit in a regular envelope.

Right now the colors I'm missing (from Dolly Hair's website) are:

Ice White, Snow White, Dark Summer Sand, Golden Brown, Mocha Brown, Milk Chocolate Brown, Russet Brown, Red Red Wine, Wild Lavender, Vineyard Violet, Great Grape, Violet Iris, Foxglove Lavender, Mauvelous Pink, Shocking Fuchsia, Chromatic Pink, Sherbet Pink, Cupcake Pink, Sugarless Gum Pink, Cotton Candy Pink, Pillar Box Red, Torch Auburn, Flame Auburn, Copper Auburn, Rusty Auburn, Golden Auburn, Tangerine Orange, Sunshine Yellow, Mint Ice, Seafoam Green, Lagoon Blue, Phthalo Blue, Midnight Blue, Raven Black, and Silver Bullet.

I also don't have any of the mystic hair colors, but I figure that would be a long shot since it's so expensive.

If you have any Restore Doll hair you'd be willing to donate please let me know the name and I'll gladly look up to see if I have the color already.

Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

A quick post

Hello Dear Readers,

I know I said there wouldn't be any posts for December, but you know how I love to contradict myself.

I wanted to give everyone a quick E-bay update, this is as much for my benefit as yours. I had a banner month for November, with a grand total of 21 sales! I think it's a record breaking total. I purchased the Elena of Avalor doll gift set from the Disney store earlier in the month since Joe can wear the Prince clothes, but it seems in a cost cutting measure Disney made all the prince clothes tighter so he couldn't fit in any of them! *Curse his meaty thighs* It looks like they also made the female clothing tighter too, one shirt I couldn't even get on a doll since I was worried I'd tear it. I also noticed a few details missing on one dress they including in the singing doll set. From the entire gift set I ended up keeping two pairs of shoes and listing the rest of it. Very disappointing overall since I didn't really want the shoes and they bumped up the cost of the set by 10 dollars. I'm pleased to say that everything sold, with several people doing Buy it Nows so I more than made my money back from it. I wish that the Beauty and the Beast Gift set sold like that. I still have several things left from that gift set, including some doubles since I bought the set twice.

Even with a lot of the sales coming from the Elena set I had a good mix of old and new selling. I even managed to sell John Littlechap! Now I just have two more of them to get rid of..... I still have lots of things to sell, but I am pleased when something does sell, especially when it's something that I've had kicking around for ages. Every listing that sell means money and another listing space for something else to move out.

It wasn't all sales, sales, sales for the month. I had 3 non-payers. One person emailed me saying their daughter bid and would like to cancel the bid. I don't believe them, but I still cancelled it. Surprisingly the email came after they won the auction... The other two people never contacted me at all, so I just had to open a case against them and wait to get my money back.

Things have slowed down a lot for December. I actually got two free weeks of listings. I assume people aren't listings things for the month and E-bay wants to keep their auctions numbers up. Even with so many things listed I haven't had very many sales. I think I got 3 in the first week, including one non-payer who I just closed the case on, followed by 6 in the second week. So far out of those six, two have paid. Hopefully the rest pay. I'm tired of having to open cases and waiting to be able to close them. I still have my 50 free listings for the month. I thought about listing them this week but then they'd end on Christmas which I think most people won't near a computer for. So I'll be listing them on Christmas and letting them end the following Sunday. I'm not expecting too many bidders, but even if a couple things end up selling I'll be happy.

I haven't done any new listings for the month. I tried earlier in the month but didn't get past the picture taking phase. I went up to working 6 days at work, and over 40 hours each week. I just don't have time to work on E-bay on my day off. I don't do much on my days off, I'm just too tired. I do have lots of new things to list come January, I've bought several new dolls mostly for their clothes and shoes so I'll be selling off what I don't want. I'll just have to unearth them first. With working so many hours I haven't been keeping things as organized as I should be, and I was never really great at that in the first place. At this point I'm going to need a team of explorers to help me uncover the desk in January.

Luckily after Christmas things will drop off and I will hopefully get a handle on things.

I probably won't be able to post until after Christmas (I'm working 49 hours this week), so I hope everyone has a great Christmas and gets lots of fun stuff!!!!!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Goodbye (for December)

Hello everyone.

Just so everyone knows, I will not be able to update this blog next month, or the rest of this month. I work retail and this is our busy season. Tomorrow starts a 5 day work week where I have 37 hours. It's quite a step up since the previous weeks I was just working 4 days averaging 25 hours a week. We're quite short staffed at the moment with only having two new seasonal people (one I don't have much hope lasting much longer) and still being down people since they fired 4 people several months back. At least I'm lucky, right now all our full time people are working 6 days with 50+ hours. I don't think I could do that. 

Right now I'm focusing on surviving the holiday season. I haven't been sharing much with you, but I have been getting new dolls (including a Titan Ponytail), working on E-bay (I did 10 listings today!), and sewing. The past few weeks I've actually made a pair of underwear, a pair of socks, a shirt for Joe, a pair of pants, a shirt, a skirt, an underskirt, and two dresses. It doesn't sound like much but when I was working at that new place I wasn't sewing anything. This is actually quite a step up from then.

I'll see everyone in January. I hope everyone has a safe and happy Holiday season. And please, be nice to retail associates, they're trying to do their job as best as they can and are pretty powerless.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

It's begining to look a lot like Christmas!

Now that I'm working in retail I've decided to start celebrating Christmas for myself after Halloween was over. Last year was my first year working retail and I just had no time for anything outside of work, so nothing got done. So to combat that I decided to give myself permission to start my personal Christmas decorating early. It's either that or not have it happen at all.

So today I decided to clean Charlotte's shelf on the bookcase and dress the dolls in their Christmas outfits. The bookcase (like everywhere else) has kind of become a catch-all for things, so I now have a bunch of things to find another potential home for, but I always feel better when the bookcase is more organized. Even a little bit.

So without further ado, here's what I spent my morning doing: 

My apologies for the blurred face. It's a very special doll that I haven't shared with you all and I'm not ready to share just yet. You will meet her in time.

For the most part, it's a pretty traditional display. Artemis (far left front) is wearing a skirt I made .... last year? for Charlotte that Artemis ended up with. She's wearing the wrong shirt and I couldn't find her belt so she needs a few tweaks before she's "fully" dressed. Vanessa is wearing her usual Christmas outfit. Audrey Hepburn is wearing a Harlequin costume from the Nutcracker that I made years ago for Charlotte. She did have a Christmas outfit I made for her, but another doll stole it and I don't have anything I like better. The blurred doll is wearing a matching top and dress I made several years ago that I didn't like on the doll I made it for. I still like it, so I use it for a temporary costume for the dolls that "visit" Charlotte's shelf. Mary Clair is in her usual Christmas outfit. Her pleather gloves are really starting to crack badly. Might be the last year for them. The Number 4 Ponytail is wearing her usual outfit. I also had to give her a dusting of baby powder to her face. Poor gal was super greasy. Midge in the back is wearing her usual outfit, she's actually worn that since last Christmas. I just don't like anything else better on her, so she gets stuck wearing it year round. Modern Circle is wearing her usual Mattel made dress. I couldn't find her correct boots, so I stuck those on her for now. I'll hunt down her correct boots eventually. (She also needs underwear). Ashley is wearing her usual outfit. I couldn't find her correct socks or shoes when I first dressed her. I found her socks but they're a little dingy. They're also a little large since she's on a ankle joint Fashionista and they have very thin legs. I might make her a new pair that fits better. Sebastian stole Joe's Christmas pajamas from last year. They're very roomy in the torso but fit surprisingly well in the length. The nail decal sticker has survived an entire year on the shirt. It did curl up but for a sticker I'm pleased with how long it's lasted (and it still looks good!). Tommy and Kelly are wearing their usual Christmas "fancy" clothes. Her's are more formal than His' since I don't have that many Tommy clothes. Maybe some year I'll break down and buy a Holiday doll just to steal the clothes from for him. (I keep saying that, but never do).

Charlotte and Joe are missing because they don't have Christmas outfits yet, hopefully they will get some this year. I have an idea for Charlotte just need to buy some material. Joe I don't have an idea for yet, but am thinking about it. Blaine is missing because he's in the middle of getting modified for an articulated body (it's been months without any progress) and Pierre is missing since I'm not happy with his body so he's away for the time being.

I realized I have too many decorations for such a small space that I decorate. I still have to set up my mini-tree, so some of them might find their way over there. I don't have too many more but I could always break down and decorate another shelf (even though most of the shelves are cluttered with nude dolls).  

I switched out Charlotte's current chair for a Christmas one. It has a music bottom on the bottom with a metal piece that allows the chair to rock back and forth as it plays. I actually have two of these chairs, both found at thrift stores at different times. This one my second one. The first one is currently in hiatus from me trying to sand off the red paint to make it a regular rocking chair. The first one had a broken music box. I was trying to get it to work in the car when I bought it, handed it to my dad who did something and a TON of black ants started swarming out of it! Luckily we were parked so he just threw it on the ground and left it there until all the ants were gone. Music box never worked even after cleaning it out. This one is ant free. I did remove an oversize stuffed stocking and Santa hat from the top of it. It looked goofy. There's still some hot glue residue on it, but I'm not too bothered by that. I have a Happy Meal Gingerbread girl plush toy seated in it. I hope to find the boy some time too so I can have a set. Standing to the side of it I have a vintage doll Christmas ornament I bought at a thrift store. It's very similar to something my mother had from her Grandmother's house years and years ago that we no longer have. To the side of that I have the reindeer figurine I restored years ago. I still love it, it's so pretty and one of the nicest restoration jobs I've done. For using just Elmer's glue for the rhinestones they've held on very nicely for over 2 years now. At the very front we have two dollar store nutcrackers that I've used for several years now. I think they work perfectly for the shelf. They're large but not too large.

We also have a new addition to the decor, even though I've had them since last year. In the summer of 2015 I found a cross stitch booklet that had some small Christmas patterns in it. I asked my mother, who cross stitches, if she would please make the Santa one for me. I asked her to make two of them, mirror images of them since I like things to be balanced. I hunted around for a suitable frame for them. I wanted something small but protective. I found the ones I used at the dollar store. I don't love, love them but they suit my needs for now. I gave the frames to my mother then promptly forgot about them. I was working so much last year in December I wasn't even thinking about things like that. One evening after I got home from work my mother handed them to me completely finished. I hadn't even known she had started them. It was such a lovely surprise. I didn't have them up last year since I didn't do any Christmas stuff (other than replace the base on my mini-tree since I cracked the plastic one) but I wanted to make sure they got displayed this year. I love them and am so happy they're part of my Christmas display.

Although I need to switch them since I want their Santa hat's pointing out not in.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Four dolls .... ish....

In September I was pretty good about buying new dolls. I only ended up with four dolls officially joining the collection. I know I was trying to quell my new doll purchases and four is still a pretty high number but I'm happy with what I got and I can find room for them. Also I did sell 17 things this month, so at least I'm making room somewhere (right?). I decided instead of giving each doll their own separate post about them, their condition, and why they joined the collection I'm going to do a Master post about all of them. So I hope your chair is comfortable, I know this post is going to be a long one.

Our first doll of the month I found in a thrift store. Early in the month my father and I both had a Saturday off from work, a truly rare occurrence. We decided to hit up our usual stores as well as make a trip north and hit up a few stores out of town that we used to go to but haven't gone to together in a while. Most of the stores were a bust, but at one of the outside of town stores I found a small plastic tub of dolls. This was there the last time I had went so I wasn't expecting to find anything new in it, however there were new things! I dug through the tub and pulled out a Giselle doll! Yay! I found the animated version from Mattel which is my favorite version of this character. I actually already own one of these dolls. I wasn't collecting dolls when the movie came out and by the time I had gotten back into it, she was off the store shelves. She's one of the dolls I was kicking myself for not getting when she was readily available instead of paying extreme secondary market prices. I was always hoping to find one second hand at the thrift stores, but after waiting years to find one I eventually bought a played with condition one off of E-bay for a fair-ish price.

This new Giselle is in decent shape. Her body is nice with minimal play wear and her face paint is really great. Her biggest issue is her hair (which is an issue my first one has too). When I got this doll her hair was in a really nasty ratted braid. It took me ages to detangle her hair and get the snarls out without ripping out all her hair. She's had several condition treatments so I think her hair is as good as it's going to get. It's not terrible, terrible, she just has a lot of short pieces in it, especially at the front of her part line (it was so matted there). I do think someone gave her earring holes, but that's not an issue for me. They're pretty even and small. I won't be putting earrings in her myself, but she can live with the holes. I know I already have one, but I'm glad I have a second one. I was worried that I'd have to wait until Enchanted 2 to be able to get a Giselle doll and that was before the switch from Mattel to Hasbro. So now I have two good condition examples of a "forgotten" Disney Princess (since Disney doesn't want to pay Amy Adams to use her likeness) and I'm pleased. If I did stumble across another one at a thrift store, I'd probably get that too.

Clearly it's an addiction at this point.

(I also found a TLC Raquelle Fashionista and Ken at the same time, 
but am not counting them since they're just body spares now).

Our next doll came from online. I was over on "In the Pink" and saw that someone had posted some dolls for sale. I knew this person (I'm actually Flickr friends with them), but never had bought from them before. On a whim I clicked the link, big mistake. I saw that they had the Black and White Chiffon Dress Collector Barbie doll nude for 35 dollars including shipping from Hawaii. This is the doll that uses the Mari head sculpt from the Generation Girl line for the first time since that line ended back in the early 2000's. I actually bought this doll new from Barbie Collector when it first came out. It's my first year as a member so I wanted to see how the waiting room process worked plus I do really like my Mari doll so getting another version of her was exciting. I thought I'd get the doll, keep her head and sell her body and dress to recoup most of my expenses. However, that really didn't happen. When I got her she ..... made me really uneasy. She was such an expensive doll and if I took her out of the box I'd lower her value. I just felt very uncomfortable by her. I think she's been looked at for a grand total of 5 minutes and got tucked back into her box and is back in the shipping box. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with her but I decided by buying this new doll my decision would be a lot easier. If I had this doll I wouldn't have to debox the new one and I could sell my original one still in the box. That's the plan, it just hasn't happened yet.

She arrived SUPER fast from Hawaii. I bet it cost a pretty penny to ship her. She came in her original box and came with half of her stand. I immediately upgraded her to a pivotal Barbie. I had her on a Fashionista Barbie body but her proportions looked odd. Since the pivotal body uses the same proportions as the Model Muse body I think it works better. Luckily I had a matching body from one of the new Look dolls in my spares box that worked well for her. I already sold her original body on E-bay to get some of my money back for her.

I am glad I got her, but she's just okay. She's pretty, but I prefer my first Mari doll better. My doll came with a weird bump under her lip, like she has a wart there. Her lip paint also has some air bubbles because God forbid Mattel actually have decent quality control on a 85 dollar doll. Interesting note, her hair is actually brown on top but blonde on the bottom. I learned that when I took her hair down. I don't really care for the two colors, I much prefer her as a brunette.

Our third new doll of the month was one that I've had on the back burner for a long time. It was a doll I wanted, but never had the money for her since all my cash was spent on vintage Barbie dolls. Now that (as I've said before) I've cooled on vintage Barbie dolls it's time to revisit my want list. While dolls are my main hobby, I also have a big interest in animation, both old and new. A lot of that focus is on Disney, but I also really like vintage animation from the 1930's, including one of that era's biggest stars, Betty Boop. Growing up I did have a Betty Boop doll, but over time she most likely got thrown away. I'm not too upset over that. From time to time I get an urge to own another 1:6 scale Betty Boop doll but never purchased a new one. My not getting one was not from a lack of them, King Features has no problem with issuing licenses for a TON of Betty Boop products, including dolls. The issue is, I didn't like most of them. A lot of them like giving Betty super high arched eyebrows that always make her look worried. And while Betty does have high eyebrows they're not always so up on her forehead. So after watching her cartoons on Youtube (If you've never seen her version of "Snow White" you have not lived) I decided to search yet again. However this time I was going to search for the Mattel version of her. Yes, Mattel did a version of her. Back in the early 2000's they released her in the short lived "Timeless Treasures" line. I don't think it was very popular. I remember seeing Betty for the first time as an thumbnail picture in an ad in Barbie Bazaar and then never again. I might be wrong, but I think she was first and last in the line. I really can't think of who else would fit in the line with her. There's not too many vintage cartoon characters. The only two I can think of that's her caliber are Olive Oyl and Minnie Mouse.
Ether way she really didn't make much of a splash. I looked for her on E-bay and found just two listings for her. One for 50 something and one for 20 plus 7 dollars shipping. I bought the 20 dollar one. She arrived quickly and packed very well. She was MIB but not for long. For the most part she is a lovely doll, but her legs were POURING out plasticiser. Her legs were coated in a wet, sticky, clear goo. The dress was sticky from it soaking into it and it had pooled into her shoes. To make matters worse Betty came with a white feather boa and it was shedding everywhere and sticking all over. It was disgusting.
Even before I found out about the sticky legs I wasn't planning on keeping Betty on her original body. She comes with a standard Barbie body with Shani arms (and no molded on panties, the little flapper!) As you can see in the pictures Betty has a very short neck. She actually shouldn't have any neck, but I guess Mattel decided she needed some neck. Her head is vinyl, but embedded in her head in a hard plastic plug (think bell shaped). The plug fit into a channel in her neck while the top of it is secured around the neck knob in the body and anchored down by post on the neck knob. To take off her head I had to remove the vinyl head from the plug, snap the post off and the plug comes of easy peasy. The plug goes back into the head with minimal force and then she can pop onto most Barbie bodies. I had her on a solid leg Glam Life Fashionista Lea body for a while but on a whim put her on a Made to Move body. I like that one the best of all for her. I love how the arms pose, but hate how the joints look. I was going to make her a version of her classic red (or black depending on your source) dress but it would look weird with those exposed joints. However,  think with her not 100 percent accurate neck proportions it would look weird on the Lea body too, so I think if I did want to make that dress I'd just modify it to cover the upper arm joints. One of the things I like about the Made to Move body is that the neck is smaller than the Fashionista body. This means Betty's hard plastic neck plug isn't touching the neck only the neck knob. I was really worried about dirt getting under the plug and grinding into the body and damaging it to a point where I couldn't use it for another doll if I decided to give Betty a different body. Now it sort of "floats" around the neck. Betty's head is a little more mobile on this head, if you shake her the head does wobble, but it is secure on the neck and gives her a slight bobble head feature. It's not bad at all, she still poses fine in fact I might even prefer the neck posing on this body compared to the Fashionista. 
For a doll I waited so long in getting I really like Betty. Out of all the dolls I've bought this month I've found myself playing and posing her more often. Mattel did a really great job on the sculpt for her. Betty is a character who could really be difficult translating from 2-D to 3-D, but Mattel did a really great job with it. The only things I don't like is that I think her nose is a little oddly shaped. I think her nose should be a bit rounder, but for the most part I hardly notice it unless I'm looking at her in profile which is rarely. I think her lower profile in general is off, but that is something they might have had to do to make her look correct from the front. I'd rather have her look on model straight on than have  correct profile. Also the light reflection triangle in her eyes only goes through her pupil and not her iris. However, it looks like this is actually correct for how she's drawn in color. It bugs me because the "pie eye" style is for black and white, and even when in color, the light reflection should still go over the iris. But again, they might have decided that for a style choice. Overall these are very minor gripes and I'm happy with her. I am very glad I got her especially for a decent price. I do have her original body listed on Ebay very cheaply since her legs are going to get sticky again and I hope to be able to clean her original outfit and list that as well.

Our final doll from the month is an anomaly. As I've said before, even in this very post vintage Barbie is kind of boring for me lately. I have a large collection of the common dolls, have added a lot of my major wants to the collection, and the ones I don't have are too expensive right now. Despite my feelings on Barbie, I'm still on the hunt. I have been good about not checking E-bay's new listings, but Etsy is still a weakness. I was checking out the new listings and found someone had listed a high color American Girl for 50 dollars the seller was actually someone I had bought from before so I knew they were in Canada and shipping would be high, but it was only 10 dollars to ship her to me and even with the higher shipping the price was worth it. Usually low color American Girls sell for over 100 easy, so a High Color? I'm on board.

Quick explanation, there are two types of American Girls. There's low color, dolls whose lips oxidize to a butter cream color and high color dolls who retain their original lip color. I think high color doll's make up is a little more vibrant but I might be bias due to their brighter lip color.  

She is a little TLC, but nothing I can't live with. I'll start from the top and work my way down. She is a brunette American Girl, I think they call this the "Sable Mink" hair color. It's a rich brown color that's similar to my own hair color. I think she has some sort of styling product in it, I haven't washed her yet. Her face paint is lovely, not sure if her nose dots are original or repainted. Looks like the only issue is some minor rubs to her eyelash ridges. She does have a couple of pin holes in her ears, but not terrible, her hair does cover it. And she doesn't have green ear! Her face is a little dark, but overall it's not too bad. Her body has a fair amount of issues. Her arms look good, lots of nail polish and all her fingers. Her torso is in good shape, no cracks or anything but someone did poke holes in her breasts. She does have a broken leg, but it doesn't look bad. Her left leg is the broken one. She does have some spots on both legs, I'm hoping they'll come off. It looks like someone painted her toe nails, both red and a silver color. Most of it looks gone, but might need a light scrubbing to get the rest of it off. She needs a bit of care, but I think with a bath and some styling she's going to be a real jewel of my collection. She's so pretty!

So that's the four dolls that joined the collection this month. More than my intended goal, but each doll brought something special that I think is a great addition to my collection.

Here's to next month! (Always spending moving forward!)

Monday, October 3, 2016

Begone Septepmber 2016.... now take October 2016 with you...

Now that it's the start of the new month it's time for the E-bay update!

I got a free go around of listings from E-bay earlier in the month so that was nice. I had some pretty decent luck and had a grand total of 10 sales. Everyone paid too, even though I did have to open a case against someone. Eventually they did pay so I was able to get that item out into the mail and out of my life. I did do another round of listings that ended last Sunday. I had had one person do a buy it now on an item during the week and ended up the month with six more items selling, leaving me with a grand total of 17 for the month. As of this post all but one person has paid. That remaining item has been purchased like 2 times before without payment so hopefully this time it actually sells. I have a funny feeling about it I won't get paid for it once again and will have to open a case but I would love to be proven wrong. If that does happen again, I'll just keep listing it until it sells, someone eventually will want it.

Despite having a good number of auctions end with bidders, these weren't really high ticket auctions this month. Most of them ended in the 6.99 range, so while the overall auction amount was good, the total sales amount was pretty small especially after E-bay and Paypal took their cut. I'm not upset over that, I am the one that set the prices after all and getting rid of something I didn't want it's part of the reason why I'm listing stuff over on E-bay in the first place. So despite my goals of wanting to have E-bay pay for my doll expenses I'm still in the red from the last month and from this month. I haven't put any money in yet for September and I still have expenses from August to repay. I did a quick count, I think I'm 204 dollars in the red in total. It's actually not that bad since 135 dollars of that was from the previous month, I actually only spent 69 dollars this month on dolls. So not too much of a set back. I already paid my seller fees for the month and from the past two months I have about half of the money in my accounts. I'm going to wait until people get their items to transfer it to my bank account but that should be some decent progress when I do.

Despite all the items selling I've been so neglectful in creating new listings. It's not from a lack of merchandise, I have plenty to sell I'm just having a really hard time getting motivated enough to do it. I was doing good the previous months but lately I've been having a streak of terrible news/luck/life for me and my family it's just killed my motivation. I've been really bummed lately and just finding the motivation has been really difficult. I'm hoping to get back to work, but it's just been so hard. I would just like for things to go right for a little bit. I'd say October was going to be better but the 1st of the month was absolutely terrible (which might get a blog post of it's own) so I'm not holding out much hope. The first part of 2016 was not great but the second part has just been awful.

I'm just ready for it to all be over. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Now she's really living!

Disney recently released several dolls from their new Elena of Avalor TV Series.

So far there's a classic doll of Elena and a two pack set with Isabel (that Elena doll sings). There's also a classic doll of both characters sold at J.C. Penny. Classic Elena is pretty much the same, except the Disney store has articulated elbows and wrists. The Isabel doll has a different outfit and her legs are made from a white rubber to mimic tights. There is also a gift set coming out eventually that has I believe all the outfits from every doll in it. Don't think the doll will sing though.

I've purchased both Elena doll's from the Disney store. Pretty much just to get their shoes. I thought that the Isabel doll was wearing the classic Disney flats, but they're actually different. They're smaller, made slightly different, and marked on the bottom as copyright Disney. They do fit Charlotte, so they technically work, but I didn't keep them in the shoe collection. It just didn't feel right. Singing Elena's shoes are really cute gold shoes with kitten heels. They fit the Poppy Parker foot really nicely. The classic doll's shoes don't fit as well since her foot in thinner. They are a lot longer than the average Disney/Barbie foot. I think they fit the Tall/Curvy Barbie high heel foot.

I ended up with two sets of the singing dolls since my first one arrived with issues, most of them with Isabel. The worst one was that her hair wasn't rooted properly and part of the vinyl was lifting on her forehead. Despite their shoddy quality control Disney is pretty good at sending out replacement sets. The doll was better in my second set but the dress hem on Elena's dress was really mangled, so neither set was perfect. I ended up taking the head off the first Isabel doll. She has a very unique body. It's the Disney Store fairy body, but without the wings and with wrist articulation. She does have internal clicking rubber knees. She pretty much has the same level of articulation as the classic dolls. I believe this is the same body as will be used for the upcoming Alice and Queen of Hearts Heroes and Villains set. (For Alice, not the Queen of Hearts, her body is stuffed).

I searched my stash for a head that could work for this body. It's a bit small, so it's hard to find just the right size. She's roughly Skipper sized, but more curvy and a little taller. The body is a pink/orange skin tone. I ended up putting a Living Skipper head with cut hair that I had on it. I did have to rubber band the neck knob to get it to fit and it's a bit wobbley, but it works for now. I've kept her like that for a while so I must like it. Skipper is a little pinker than the body, but close enough. I'm curious to know how the body would work with a 90's Skipper head, but I don't have one here to try with it. The neck is pretty thin (but feels sturdy) so it might be an option for all those Skipper dolls with broken or cracking necks.

I do kind of want to modify the body. Ideally I'd replace the legs with ones that are hard plastic and articulated but can't see that happening since I don't have smaller legs to use and the color match would be hard to do. The other thing I'd like to do (which might actually happen) would be to mod the elbows. The fairy body has this weird flap on the elbow at the top that keeps the lower arm from bending a certain way. At least in theory, the material it's made out of is very soft so you can push it out of the way. It does interfere with some of the doll's mobility and can look down right odd. I'd like to trim it off, but am hesitant to do that just in case I mess it up. I'd like to trim her wrists too since they have too much material there and it interferes with her mobility and looks weird. But again, worried to do so.

Skipper does need a re-root but I'm not sure if I will give her one just yet. While I like the head and body combo I'm not in love with it. The head does feel slightly small too me. She stays as is for now, but time will tell how things go in the future.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Ebay Update

I had two non-payers from the last E-bay go around. Both Disney dolls oddly enough. One of the buyers had like 70 feedbacks, the other one had 0. Everyone else paid pretty quickly and got their items into the mail at the start of the week. I decided to be patient with these two. The auction ended on a Sunday I waited until the middle of the week and sent an invoice as a reminder and nothing. So on the following Sunday I opened up cases against them for not paying. That seemed to get the one with feedback to actually reply to me. They sent a brisk two sentence email telling me they had changed their mind, didn't want the doll any more and to please cancel it.

Which I ignored. 

Had they contacted me after they had bid or after they had won it but before I opened the case I would have canceled the bid. I would have been annoyed, but I won't (and actually can't) make someone buy something if they don't want it. Also, they could just pay for it and return it and I'd be out shipping both ways. So it is in my best interest to not make people follow through on something they don't want.

However once I open a case, the only way I will shut it is if they pay. Once you end a case early you can't open another one and have to cancel the auction which means the buyer has to agree to it. And it's not like I have any confidence in their communication skills or anything. So if they ignore the cancel request, then you're out the fees for that listing and nothing happens to them.

So random E-bay person, the issue is now closed, so you kinda got what you wanted but now you have a nice little strike against you. Perhaps next time you'll bid on something you really want.

And I never heard anything from the other auction so whatevz.

I heard from Integrity!

Thanks to a suggestion from John on my last post I ended up posting a comment on Integrity's Facebook page. They told me to send my email with my issues to Patient Care and gave me the e-mail address.
I contacted them and they wrote back the next day asking for pictures and the names of the dolls so they could see the issue and find out which skin tones I needed for replacements. I sent them the pictures and names and they wrote back that they'll be shipping out replacements. They're apparently coming from Montreal, so it'll be a few weeks until they show up here. Which I am fine with. These dolls are just sitting around right now so they can keep their discolored hands and feet for a little bit longer. I am impressed with how quickly they responded. Not sure where my first email ended up, but I do know those things happen. I almost want to contact them about my other doll who had her hair rooted in one spot too closely and it tore her scalp, but not sure if they can do anything about that.

Since I took/edited the pictures already, you get to see them too.
Here is some of my budding Homme collection:

Thursday, September 8, 2016


Hello everyone,

September continues to be just as awful as August. My parents got the check for my father's totaled truck and were forced to return the rental car, well before the original date they were told so we're down to one vehicle for the family. They have been looking for a new car every day in the morning, but have not had much luck. They're working with a limited budget so it's hard to find cars that aren't a mess. They were close yesterday to getting one, but after checking it out with a mechanic it needed over 2 grand in repairs so they didn't get it, leaving us with just one car yet again.

So I've been forced to call out of work twice this week. I told them I had messed up my ankle. I have today off, but work again tomorrow and I'm worried I'm going to have to call out again. I'm supposed to be showing them I'm worth more than minimum wage but I'm thinking I'm going to be stuck at that rate for another 30 days due to this setback, if I'm even working there by then. Where I work has a point system, you get a point every time you call out. You get 6 points within a 6 month period they are forced by the company to fire you. The store itself has no say in the matter, they have to due to corporate. I am very worried that might happen. I've never been fired from a job before and I'm extremely worried how this is all going to play out.

So needless to say I've been extremely depressed lately. I hate having to call out of work and let the store down and the fact that there's no end in sight that might lead to my dismissal really sucks the joy out of my life. Things have not been going well, and life just keeps piling more crap on. I don't seem to be the only person having a crappy August/September. I have yet to hear any good news from anyone these past weeks. It's all been bad, bad, bad.

At least my depressed state helped talk me out of buying another new doll. I've been eyeing the Charlotte Olympia doll since I love her face and cat shoes but figured I wouldn't get a chance to purchase her. I saw she was listed over on Barbie Collector but managed to talk myself out of buying her since I'd just want her head and shoes and I really didn't need to buy another doll right now especially such an expensive one. I'm still in the red for 136 dollars for this past month so I really shouldn't be adding any more to that. I reasoned with myself saying that for that money I'd rather buy a vintage doll or one of the My Little Pony dolls, but right now I'm so glum I don't want to buy either of them.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Has anyone ever contacted Integrity Toys before?

I've been noticing an unsettling issue with some of my Homme dolls.

Two out of the three Color Infusion homme dolls from the 2015 convention have discolored hands and feet. It's turned a sickly yellow color. My Poppy Chip doll has this same issue. I'm not sure how it happened, they're nowhere near and sunlight and the male Jem doll sitting next to them doesn't have any issues, neither does the third color infusion doll I bought at the same time who is also sitting near them. I sent Integrity an email asking them for help but it's been over a week and I haven't gotten any reply not even a we can't help you. I have hard that Integrity has good customer service, but is there some other way to contact them to get it?

Alternately does anyone know how to repair this? I do have some spare hands I could use to replace these, but a lot of the spares are in weird poses so I'd like to be able to salvage these. Is there a way to recolor their hands and feet?  

I know I keep hearing rave reviews over how much better Integrity is than Mattel, but in terms of quality control, they seem about the same. I don't have too many of dolls from Integrity, but one doll I own has very uneven eye paint, one of them has a torn scalp due to the hair being rooted too close together, and the Homme dolls have discoloring going on. And several dolls have arrived stained from their original outfits. Maybe other people have better luck than I do, I guess I just keep drawing the short end of the stick.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Awful August

Hello everyone,

It's the end of the month so it's time for our traditional end of the month retrospective. I know it's the month isn't actually over until the end of day tomorrow but I won't have time to do it then so I'm getting it over with now.

In a nutshell, August sucked.

My father was in a car accident and his truck got totaled, one of my aunts has very bad cancer, my grandparents are dealing with a very nasty bug infestation, and the cat got sick again this month. 

Luckily my father is still alive and the cat wasn't as bad as she was the first time. It took her several days to bounce back but it wasn't as dire as the first time. She had less of an appetite, but at least she was eating and started to get better sooner. The other two things, we will just have to wait and see how that all goes. Please send good thoughts my way. 

I also left my current job to go back to my old one. I realized that I hated where I was working now. I was tired all the time and depressed. I was taking naps a lot more which was both signs of exhaustion and depression. The pay was terrible, well not the pay my hours. Most of my days I'd come in for 3 hours and 15 minutes. I know that's a short day and you can still get a lot done, but that's not taking the time of getting ready and traveling to work. And even with a short day I'd be so tired nothing would get done after I got out. The amount of money I made last month was laughable. Plus there was a co-worker there I could not stand working with. Most of the people in my department were really nice and helpful and I liked working with but this one woman was so snide and passive aggressive I was just done working with her. I of all people know I'm not perfect but I was trying my best. The negatives just outweighed the reasons for staying. So after running into my old boss and her saying she'd welcome me back I decided to go back. I ended up taking a pay cut, it's hopefully a temporary one while I get my metrics up, but it's what I had to do. Tomorrow is my final day at that job. 

Last week I was working at both places, 40 hours in 6 days with several days over 8.5 hours going from one job to the other. Lots of time spent on my feet and running around. I was exhausted but I do feel better with my decision. I wrestled a lot before deciding to go back, I even had lots of weird dreams about it but I like the people there and at least I'm not running up and down stairs multiple times a day. I feel happier going back and I did request to only keep working 4 days a week, so that will give me more time for sewing and E-bay. I haven't sewed a single thing since I started that other job. I'll still be very active at this other job but it's not exhausting. Also I think I might be able to wear sneakers there which would be great and really help my feet.

In a minor glimmer of good in a rough month I've had an amazing E-bay month. I think I'm at a record breaking 15 sales for the month with several people doing the buy it now option. I even got another go around of listings for the month that's going right now so I'm hoping for more sales and more things leaving. I did a big push of getting new things listed this month and put a nice sized dent on the pile of stuff on my dresser. I was doing well but the other day I was looking for something that had sold and couldn't find it. In my search for it I managed to unearth several more things from the Dollpage I had forgotten about. Did you know I still had a cabbage patch doll? I sure didn't. I also found several random dolls that I had been meaning to donate. The ones in good shape I put in the Doll Donation Meeting pile. We actually finished the last of the surplus dolls we had at the last one so we need more so it'll be good to have those to donate.

I'm still trying to make E-bay pay for the new dolls, but right now I'm 175 dollars in the hole. I was 100 dollars more in the red but I was able to put that money back into my account (and then promptly spent 75 more) from my sales. I was doing real good but last weekend Disney had another buy more save more sale. I hemmed and hawed for a little bit but ended up buying another Beauty and the Beast gift set like I was planning to. I knew I was going to buy it, but I was thinking about waiting for when they release the Elena of Avalor gift set but why wait to have an even more expensive Disney order? The gift set alone almost puts me at free shipping and I bought a few Christmas presents to push me over the limit. When the Elena set comes out I'll buy some of the sketchbook ornaments like I usually do and get the free shipping then too. I already got the first Beauty and the Beast set completely listed over on E-bay so I know I can do it and I'm hoping to use the listings with a few tweaks to save me time. I've already had several parts of it sell, I just need one more to break even. I have 4 listings from it so I'm sure it'll happen. I also ended up buying two harder to find articulated dolls today since they were a good price. I plan on selling their heads and clothes. I ended up paying 15 dollars in shipping which I am not pleased about, but I think I can still make my money back from them. So in reality most of what I'm in the red for I will be reselling and making my money back on. I just have to get my act together and list them (when the arrive), which I am confident that I will do. I've been pretty good with E-bay lately. 

I also bought another expensive Disney doll for her shoes (who will also be resold) as well as a Japanese exclusive doll (who I am still waiting for in the mail). So while it's been an expensive month, most of it will be resold in an effort to recoup my expenses. Which is a good thing since I really, really, really want to get two of the Integrity Toys My Little Pony dolls. They're expensive at 130 each plus shipping, but I just need to remain focused and keep selling. I also would like to cross a few more off my wish list, but most of that is modern play line so I'm waiting for some good sales for that. 

To the future! And please let September be better for my family than August, but I wouldn't mind keeping the E-bay sales momentum. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

¡Hola! Me llamo Barbie!

I have mentioned several times now that vintage Barbie has been boring me, which is true. The last vintage Barbie doll I bought online was way back in March. However, a couple months later I bought a cheap lot of parts from E-bay. It was really cheap. I think it was like 11 dollars with shipping and that was mostly shipping.

I clicked the link because it looked like it had the same head as that Sweet Sixteen clone doll I had bought a while back (I think I told you all this before). It was actually the same knock off head. I would have just clicked off the page, I don't really need another clone head, but something else caught my eye. The pictures were a bit blurry, so it was hard to totally confirm, but it looked like in this lot was something unusual something I hadn't seen before. I did some research and didn't find too much information about it I decided to buy it after thinking it over for a little bit. It wasn't a lot of money, and even if the parts lot wasn't what I was hoping it was, I can still use the parts.

It took a little while for the lot to arrive. This was partly my fault because the person said they had other parts for sale and I asked them what did they have and it turned out that was text from a different listing that they reused and was talking about that listing. So that little discussion delayed us a couple of days, but at least it arrived before the weekend and I didn't have to wait through an entire Sunday for it to show up. 

The majority of the lot was junk, some of it headed straight into the trash can when it arrived. The Sweet Sixteen clone head is nice, might get a re-root. Her hair is the cheap 70's era fiber that frizzes easily. If I do re-root her I'd probably bring her hairline down, she has a huge forehead. But for right now she's in storage with the rest of the random heads I have since I don't need another re-root project right now. I also got a TLC Hair Fair Barbie head that's missing paint and severely yellowed. But neither of those were the main attraction for this lot.

What is this mystery that's got me so interested? A Talking Barbie, a doll who's not particularly rare, but she had an unusual variation. She had the Japan style hands. By this time in Barbie history the majority of the Talking dolls were using the Mexico style arms. Those style arms would become the norm for Barbie for a long time. Dolls were not made in Mexico for a very long time (I remember hearing that Mattel had issues with theft) but it did create some unusual variations compared to some other places where Barbie was made.

This is one of those variations. Francie With Growing Pretty Hair also can be found with the Japan style hands. I say hands because at least with mine, it's a hybrid of the Japan arms and the Mexico arms. The arm is pretty much the same as the Japan arms, except the way it connects to the body. The original Japan arms had a post that connects into the body, the Mexico arms is where they started having the post on the torso that the arm wrapped around. The Mexico arms are notoriously fragile and snap off easily. This arm has the Mexico style connecting system. It doesn't even share the same mold lines as the Mexico arms, it looks exactly the same as the Japan arms, just with a different top part. Mine's a little more unusual since it has painted nails. Francie never had painted nails so when she accidentally got Barbie arms they weren't painted. I thought these were done by the doll's original owner but they are factory.

When I got this doll, she was in pieces. Her arms and legs had both snapped off. And I actually didn't
get her head in the lot. So I'm not exactly sure what head she should have. I gave her a 2nd issue Talking Barbie head that I had already, but I'm not sure if that's the correct issue head, or if she's even Barbie. She doesn't talk any more and when I pulled on her pull string it came out but didn't retract (darn it), so I'm not sure who she is. I do have the repair book for talking dolls and would eventually like to learn it so eventually she might get repaired. If I do manage to do that I'll learn who she is and what issue she is and get the correct head for her. Right now she's fine with that head. (Which is lovely except the hair is frizzy and one eye has a couple of missing eyelashes).
She took a while to repair because I actually ended up replacing her original legs. She did come with what I believe were her original legs, but they were pretty damaged. Her feet has been chewed up and for such an uncommon doll I wanted to fix her up with a better pair. I
just didn't have a nice pair of matching legs to give her. Luckily my friend Bradley had a pair and gave them to me. I was able to salvage her original arm knobs and one of her leg knobs. The other one was missing half of it, so I just ended up replacing it. I have rebuilt these style of knobs before, but figured in this case it was just worth it to replace it. Her melting wasn't actually too bad, her torso actually reminds me of the plastic they used on my made in USA Busy Barbie torso. They don't actually melt, but the plastic is super brittle so they end up breaking from that. They might need some minor melt repairs, but it's nowhere as bad as the traditional Talking Doll/Busy Doll melting. I'm glad I have this uncommon variation, she will need some light cleaning but she's a very nice doll. You just never know what you'll find on E-bay!

Monday, August 15, 2016

I finally took the picture...

Here are the pants that the TLC Skooter doll was wearing when I got her:
They're totally unmarked, but look factory made. They were mid-calf length on her, so they might belong to a smaller doll. Anyone recognize them?

Updated Neck Knob?

I bought one of the newest Look Dolls recently. I needed her to get free shipping at the Barbie Collector website. I wanted to buy something different, but it was back ordered and wouldn't let me order it. So I was like, eh, might as well get her. I liked her shoes and could always use another pale articulated body despite having more bodies than head already.

Her outfit and head are already listed over on E-bay (trying to have a quicker turn around with new listings). However when I took of her head I noticed that the base of her neck knob was thicker than average. Not sure if this is a new thing or a fluke, but if it's the way they do it now I'd like that. The thicker plastic is where the knob tends to stretch out when trying to remove the head giving you a wobbly neck. Hopefully a thicker neck knob would fix that. This change might not all be good, it also might mean Mattel is using a cheaper plastic for the neck knobs and the cheaper material can't support the neck at the original thickness. I've had a neck knob shear off on me before from minimal force (Fan Bing Bing doll), so this might be their way to deal with that.

Or maybe like I said, it's a fluke.

Here's a poor quality picture of the Look doll (on our right) compared to a first issue Fashionista body (on the left). The Fashionista has had the top prongs removed.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

"It's like she's looking right at me!"

This post is going to be about a doll I've had for a while. I have a box top full of dolls to share on the blog. I'd like to get them all shared with you so I can move them from the not yet introduced pile into the not yet dressed pile. It's progress, I swear.

I have a minor interest in Tammy. She's a lovely doll but with her large head and younger teen body she really doesn't fit into my collection. However largely in part to Flickr I kind of want to collect her and her family (I also really like Sindy). I already have a Tammy that I found locally, I also have a TLC version of her father, as well as a possible clone doll of Tina Whatshername that uses the mother's head mold. I also have a Misty head that I've been super neglectful of finding a body for.

Sometimes I will go to E-bay and search for Tammy dolls to see if there's affordable versions of the dolls I don't have. Usually there are but I rarely buy. While I like Tammy I don't really want to spend money on Tammy. Ideally (no pun intended) I'd like to find the rarer dolls for a deal and then pick up the rest of the family cheaply when I can.

My grail Tammy doll would be Bud, but he's hard to find and usually just a wrongly labeled Ted doll. He can be pretty pricey, but nowhere as highly priced as some Barbie dolls go for. However even Bud is something I would like to have, not something I dream of having. I like being informed of what's out there and rare in case I stumble across it on my journeys so I will know what it is.

I feel like I say this exact same story every time I talk about Tammy.
 I apologize if I'm repeating myself.

I usually check for Tammy when the search for Barbie is unfruitful but I still want to window shop on E-bay. So I was there checking out the newly listed items for Tammy trying to see if there was anything rare I recognized (I'm no Tammy expert but I know some things). For the most part it was common stuff and uncommon prices. I know she's getting older but some prices people want for a Tammy doll is crazy. However I did find a new listing for a centered eyed Misty doll. One of the rarer dolls of the Tammy world. She was 40 dollars with free shipping. I did hem and haw for a little bit over the doll unsure if I really wanted it. Yes, she is a rare doll but 40 dollars is still a lot of money for a doll that I only sort of wanted. I decided to go ahead and get her, partially aided by the regret of missing out on the around 40 but can't quite remember the price Ideal Bewitched doll over on the Dollpage that I never bought due to never having enough money. So I bit the bullet and bought her.

I can't remember if she shipping quickly or not, it's been too long since I bought her. I don't think it was an issue. However after she arrived there was an issue with her. Both her head and her arms had yellowing and there was a very faint smoke smell to the doll. I can begrudgingly deal with the smoke smell since it will eventually mostly go away, but the yellowing was something I didn't want to deal with. I contacted the seller apologizing (I hate having to do returns on E-bay, I always feel so awful) for the inconvenience but I would have to return her. I figured that I'd just ship her back and get my money back, but the seller said I could keep her for free. Which is more than beyond what I was expecting. So she stayed. She is a very pretty doll, I'm not sure if recoloring her work to mask the yellowing. She's made from a different material than Barbie.

Other than the yellowing she's in really nice shape. Her hair is really nice, it's a little dry but I think it's in it's original style. Her face paint is nice, her right eyebrow and winged eyeliner on that side is a little worn, but everything else looks good. Her body is in great shape, she does have one leg longer than the other but this really is a common issue for vintage dolls. Barbie has that all the time!

 Misty came wearing some very mature negligee when she arrived. I thought it was a home made outfit, but it turns out it's the stock outfit for Miss Clairol. However I'm not sure if she's Miss Clairol, I don't know of they did a centered eyed version of her. Her outfit was in fair shape. I think all of the pieces are a little yellowed. The sheer overlay is snagged in a few places and missing the flower applique. The elastic is shot in the top and was sewn onto the doll in big stitches. There's also some fraying to the elastic. Someone also added some threads to give it a strap around the doll's neck (I assume to keep it up). I cut those, but haven't removed them yet. The panties are cute, it has ruffled lace on the backside that is super cute! The elastic is shot in these too. Someone sewed gathering stitches at the waist and leg openings to keep it on the doll. It also has some stains on it. Not sure if I'm going to keep the outfit or not. It's a bit TLC, but I rarely keep dolls in their original clothes. Luckily I have lots of stuff to sell before I run out of things to list and have to start thinking about things I could sell compared to what I want to sell.

So welcome Misty into the collection,  she's far from ideal (pun intended), but she's a wonderful addition to the collection!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Photo Editing Magic!

Used the molded in lines as a guide to digitally fill in the eyebrows on the Fighting Ace Head. 
 (With some artistic license)

It's not a drastically different look, but I like it. What do you guys think?

Friday, August 5, 2016

"Be a Lover not a Fighter. Seriously, don't fight anyone."

As I've bemoaned in the past several posts, I'm kind of in a vintage Barbie funk. I freely admit I have a lot of vintage Barbie dolls but lately they just haven't been exciting to me. My last vintage Barbie doll purchase was in March, which for me is an unheard of long time between Barbie purchases. I am still looking and checking for what's out there but lately it's all been things I already have or super expensive (and sometimes both). I'm sure eventually I'll get back into collecting vintage Barbie but this "blah" feeling about Barbie has given me a chance to get into other dolls. (Still in 1:6 scale since I am not buying anybody a new wardrobe)

Traditionally when I'm not focused on vintage Barbie my focus is usually on male dolls. I already have so many women (mostly Barbie) I want some variety. And while I like Ken, I have lots of him and there's a whole world out there of different and unique men dolls, and ones that aren't the human equivalent of an accessory (sorry Ken!). I've actually been getting more into vintage G.I. Joe and action figures. There's a lot of nice and handsome sculpts out there. I actually don't own any of your traditional vintage G.I. Joe's. I did own a reproduction, but I ended up selling him. I could see myself getting one eventually, but I'd have to find one for a decent price. I'm interested in him, but not as interested as I am in some of the clones or knock off dolls of him. Such as the Fighting Ace (Spoiler Alert!)

I was first exposed to the Fighting Ace through Barbie. Someone had listed a lot of dolls that included him, a Walk Lively Miss America, and a Live Action Barbie with her stand. I already owned the two Barbie dolls but I found the unknown action figure bundled with him so interesting. However I did not find the price interesting, 57 dollars for the lot plus 20 dollars in shipping. Both of those dolls aren't really worth very much so even if I bought the lot reselling it wouldn't recoup my expenses so I decided to hold off. Also that's a lot of money for a clone action figure of unknown quality. The listing said he was unmarked. I did do a search for G.I. Joe clones and actually found another one. He was in a lot with two random action figures. They were cheaper, but not by much. It would be 50 dollars for the three of them. And I doubted the figures would be worth much more than the Barbie dolls. Also, in that lot the action figure's feet were put on backwards and I wasn't sure if I wanted something like that. I put both of them in my watch list so I could think about it.

And then they both sold. Darnit. 

And I still didn't know who he was! Both auctions said nothing about markings, so I couldn't even use that to help find him. I eventually found a website that talked about G.I. Joe clones where I finally identified him. He was the Fighting Ace made by Elite. He was apparently one of the nicer quality clones and was harder to find. Darnit. Even armed with this new information I wasn't able to find him. He is totally unmarked, not even with a country of origin. But I didn't let that stop me, I really wanted him. So I started searching for him on E-bay, but I had to be very generic. I tried a bunch of different search terms, but they ended up being too specific. The best one I ended up with was "Vintage 12 action figure", that got me the most results.

It didn't take a lot of time, but it did take some dedication to find him again. He was being sold as an unmarked clone. He also came with another head and a different clone that I had no interest in. He started off at 19.99 with free shipping. I didn't want to bid too early so I put him under my watch list and waited. It was a long and slow wait, but the day before his auction ended there were no bidders. I had to be at work when the auction finished so I bid the night before. I put in a pretty high bid but was hoping I wouldn't have to pay that much for him. I called my mother at work and had her look up the auction when it was over. Someone had bid against me, but well below my highest bid. I got the lot for 28 something including shipping. I had her pay for the auction on my behalf so that the seller could at least have the option to ship it sooner. She did and they did. I had it in my hot little hands 2 days after the auction ended. It must have flown to get here since the seller wasn't particularly close to me. I quickly opened the box when they arrived. From the pictures they looked to be in decent shape, but the description was pretty lacking. They all have some play wear, but overall they're not terrible. Especially since I didn't pay too much for them. I'll start off with the full figure.

Standing at 11.75 inches tall the Fighting Ace is an impressive figure. He has dark brown almost black hair and brown eyes. He has very thin eyebrows and it's interesting to note that he has molded in eyebrow hairs at the inside parts of his eyebrows. I thought it was damage at first, but both the doll and the head have it. They molded them in, but gave him pencil thin eyebrows. He's got pretty pink lips and a surprisingly large amount of blush. He has 13 points of articulation and all of his joints other than his wrists use metal (possibly brass) pins. His articulation is a bit odd. For example, his elbows and knees are fully pivoting but his hips only allow his legs to move back and forth. His head uses a traditional neck knob (I assume since I haven't been able to take his head off) and is slightly down turned so he's always looking at the ground instead of ahead of himself. His wrists can rotate, but not pivot. He's got really nice expressive hands with both pointer fingers separated. Usually action figure's hands are posed in a very limited he's shooting a gun pose, but these are very generic and could be posed in a variety of non-shooting poses. I'm not even sure if these hands could pose with a gun and have it look natural, but that's better for me. Proportionally his body is a bit weird. He's got an extremely long torso and arms, but very short legs. I feel like his legs should be at least an inch longer to really work with his body. He's also extremely barrel chested but has no butt (I dubbed it a Hank Hill butt). He can wear the shirts I've made for Joe, but his torso was too thick for a Disney Prince outfit. I think part of the problem is also his long torso. His groin is a little lower than
most figures so one piece pants/shirts have a hard time fitting properly. I did try just the shirt part on him, but even that had a hard time fitting around his shoulders.He can wear Joe's pants, but they're a little long for him and a little loose at the waist. They fit better if you tuck his shirt in. The best fitting thing I had was John Littlechap's suit. The shirt fit nicely, but was just a little long. That makes sense since John is so much taller. The pants were a little tight, I had to pull the snap to close them. I didn't leave it like that, I didn't want to damage the suit. The suit jacket was a little big, but overall the suit was the best fit in the torso for him. I have to really think about the best way to dress his unusual body type. I did put some padding in the back and it did help balance things out. I might have to make some padded underwear for him. Overall he is in good condition. I did wash him when I got him, but he needs a little more detailed cleaning. He's got some minor paint wear, especially to his hair but its not terrible. I did have to clean up several spots of excess plastic on his body. He had a lot of it at both shoulders. His face might have paled a little bit and he's got places on his torso that have gone yellow. He should all be a pink color. It's not awful though. I think he might have had something pinch his left thumb, it looks to have two marks on it, but doesn't look to be too different in shape from the right thumb. Overall he's in pretty good shape and I can live with his issues. Luckily there's not too many battles around here so he can retire from a life of fighting.

 The head is in a little bit of worse shape, but not terrible. It's got a
little more paint wear than the full figure and it has a cut to the nose and some light scraping to under the chin. You can barely see the chin damage and the nose cut is hard to see except from some angles. I'm not sure what body to use for him. I was expecting a head that could pivot so I could stick him on a pivotal Ken body but he uses a neck knob. I would like to get a body for him, but will need to do more research as to what one he can use. I have no problem modifying a body for him, but won't do anything damaging to the head. I did put him on a Fashionista Ken to see how he looked, I liked the proportions but the neck and head connection looked terrible. We'll just have to see what works for him. At least I have the full doll to play with while I figure out what to do with just the head.

The third guy will be heading back out I have no interest in him at all. I do plan on at least trying to
identify him first. He is a very orange 70's era knock off. I'm not sure if he's a G.I. Joe clone or a Ken clone. His body look very much based off of Ken, especially his torso. He's nowhere near of good quality as the fighting Ace. His torso is a cheap blow mold and his head is a very cheap vinyl. I do like his groovy sideburns. He is articulated at the neck, shoulders, waist, and hips. His legs are attached inside his torso and move together. He's completely hollow and his limbs are very bendy. I thought he might have wires in them so he could hold a pose, but he doesn't hold any poses so I guess not. I did try to peek inside him to see if there's any wires, but all I saw was that his torso is spitting at one of the seams (might have caused that when trying to pull his leg off, opps!) He marked simply on the back with "Hong Kong". He's got these excess plastic bumps all over his limbs. I've gotten a doll like that before, another Hong Kong made clone. I guess it's just how these dolls were made. I'm not going to bother trimming them off, that's for whoever buys him. If someone does. He is interesting and different to what I already have, but not for me.

So that's the Fighting Ace, the newest addition to my collection, and one of the starts of my action figure collection. I really can't see myself adding too many dolls to that group, but I'm sure Joe's happy knowing he's not the only Action Figure around here.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Wish List Update!

Hello Dear Readers,

You might remember that several months ago (I think at the start of the year) I created a wish list of the dolls I wanted. I think I updated it a few times when I found something, but haven't in a while. Here is where the wish list stands as of today:

The red circles means I bought the item, the black circles means I decided to not purchase the item and "crossed" it off the list. I made pretty decent progress on my list. The purple top is the only thing left on it, and that's because I have yet to find it. My Walmart is incredibly slow in getting new things. I believe they haven't gotten any more the little pak items since I found the baking and sushi set and that was quite a while ago.

With that list (mostly) finished and with my want list continuing to grow I've decided to make a new one. Here is that:
*Not my pictures, will removed if ask*

Anyway, for the most part I just want bits and pieces from each item. I'll describe what I want from each set, going from the top left and working my way across.

Up first we have the Deluxe Beauty and the Beast gift set. I actually bought this set when they were having their 25 percent off sale last month just to get the shoes that Belle is wearing. They are a new shoe color of the Disney flats. Turns out the "gold" shoes that go with her ballgown are a new color too. Mine however were two different shades. I had already started to list the dolls on E-bay so I decided to just sell everything (but the shoes and the bluebird) and buy a second one the next time they have a sale and hopefully get a matching pair of yellow shoes. To the right of that we have Barbie Career Teacher. I just found this set on The doll's shoes (not shown in the picture) look like they might be a new high heeled Mary Jane style shoe. I'll need to see them from the side to see if I actually want them or not. They are bright pink so this doll might not actually make the cut. After that we have the Blonde Holiday Barbie. I want her for her shoes and her plastic bodice. She is the model muse body so I'm not sure if it will fit a different sized doll, but I think I'd want to get it to at least try. After that we have the basic Batgirl. I have no interest in the DC Superhero line (they are really cool, just not for me). However I want Batgirl's bat ears. Her head is a bit large so it might be too big for most dolls I have, but I think the headband with horns would be a good thing to have). I am making plans to buy this soon.

On the second row we have the not yet online Toys R Us 10 outfit set. I'm not sure it it's exclusive to Toys R Us or not. It has a cat ear headband that I must have and I like a couple of the outfits. I think I'll most likely end up with this. To the right of that we have a Fashionista. I like her hat and her lip purse. The pizza t-shirt is cool too. I almost bought this one in stores but ended up not being able to. After that we have a Toys R Us exclusive doll. She's 21.99 over on their website which I think is too much for her. I like some of her headbands and sunglasses. If I got her I'd probably keep her body since it's articulated (and clearly I need more of those). But I'm not sure if I'd be able to get my money back if I resold her. She's rather ..... common. After that we have the 2015 Holiday Barbie. Like I said in the last post I'm just waiting for her to drop a little more in price before I get her.
On the third row we have the African American Holiday Barbie. Again I want her shoes and plastic bodice, but I also like her face. It's a newer face mold and I want to get it to see if I like it. She probably won't stay, but I find if I get a doll and end up reselling it I'm far less drawn to getting another doll with the same face later. After that we have the Barbie Game Designer doll. This doll was on the last list and I did get her but I want another one to get another pair of her brown glasses. I'd only get her if I found her cheaply. To the right of her we have the Barbie for President and Vice President dolls. I want the black glasses (shocker) and the shoes (another shocker). I think the Vice President doll has a new shoe mold that's a classic black pump and I need it. I'm just waiting to find it at a decent price. After that we have a shoe pak. I don't have this one yet, but it's a stand in for several shoe paks that are out there (or will be eventually) that I don't have yet. Like I said earlier my Walmart doesn't have any new ones and I have not had any luck finding them online for anywhere near their retail price. I also want to get the Monster High shoe paks if possible. After that we have another Fashionista. I just want to get her for her hat. I'm not sure if I'll get her, but if I find her for a deal I'll see if I can get her.
The final row starts off with the Toys R Us exclusive Pink Passport Ken doll. I want him for his clothes, but I am rethinking if I do. I like the white shirt with the vest top, but I bet the shirt is cheap broadcloth and the collar is unfinished. I like a couple of the other pieces, but overall it might not be worth the 24.99 price they're asking for. After that we have Glam Gown Silkstone Barbie doll. This was shown at the Barbie Convention. I love her face, her dress not so much. I've actually purchased 3 out of the 4 released Silkstones this year. I hate how delicate their bodies are, but I LOVE their faces. This one retails for 100 dollars, so I'm not sure if I'll get her. That's a lot to pay for a doll even if I sell the outfit. After that we have the Elena of Avalor Deluxe Doll set (not yet released). I want the boy doll's clothes for Joe. I also wouldn't mind more of the shoes. I plan on getting this on sale and selling most of it.

*Honorable Mention* Disney released their next go around for the Heroes VS Villains line. It has four dolls; Cinderella and Lady Tremaine, Sleeping Beauty and Maleficent, Belle and Gaston (who looks to have a new head mold and body), and Alice and the Queen of Hearts. They're cute but I don't collect Disney dolls. I'm trying to convince myself I don't need to spend 129 dollars per set to see if they have the flats. I looked it up on E-bay and the last dolls haven't really retained their value so I'm not going to buy them when they first come out. I am hoping they have the high heeled shoes so I won't be tempted by them. However Alice has Mary Janes, so I'm really conflicted if I need her or not. But I'm going to wait, I have too many things already and too many things to buy as is!

There's also some vintage dolls I'm looking for.
I also want to get:
Eegee's Andy with the Swirl Haircut and Sad Eyebrows
Valentine's Polly
A Davtex Doll, who I think is a Midge clone
and Tomy's Nina Ballerina (or at least her head)

So let's see what ones I get and what ones I cross off the list!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Shoe Obsession 2007 - 2016 Holiday Barbie Edition

I was thinking about the newly released 2016 Holiday Barbies today. I personally have no interest in the Holiday dolls or their clothes, however since 2007 the dolls have been on the model muse bodies and their shoes fit the Silkstones as well as the pivotal body of which I have a couple. Thinking about the new dolls also got me thinking about the old dolls, what shoes did they have? So I spent some time compiling a list of what type of shoes each doll wears from 2007 through 2016.

*This list is correct to the best of my knowledge, but I personally do not own the majority of these dolls so things could be wrong*

The list has the year, a small description of what the doll is wearing, the shoes she has, and the link to pictures of the doll at (but no pictures of the shoes).

2007 - Mrs Claus - Black Mary Janes
2008 - Silver Mermaid Dress - White Slingbacks
2009 - Pink Lame Dress - Pink Slingback Closed Toe Sandals
2010 - White Bodice Red Skirt - White Strapped Open Toe Sandals
2011 - Green and Gold Column Dress - Gold Mules
2012 - Red Dress with Embroidered Sash - Red Peep Toe Stilettos
2013 - White Snowflake Dress - White Pearlized Closed Toe Stilettos
2014 - Red with Gold Lace - Red Peep Toe Stilettos
2015 - Red with Sheer Skirt - Red Peep Toe Stilettos 
Blonde - Green with snowflake bodice - White Stilettos
AA - Blue with star bodice - Silver Pointed Toe Slingbacks
Hispanic - Red with flower bodice - Gold Stiletto Roman Sandals

I already own the shoes from the 2007 and 2014 dolls. I want to get the 2015 doll when it's cheaper and would eventually like to get the 2016 Blonde and African American dolls for their shoes (and actually their plastic bodices). Other than that all the shoes I have something similar to or have no interest in. But perhaps someone else can use this list.