Monday, May 23, 2016

This Chair Feels Juuuuuuuust Right

It's been an expensive month so far. Hot on the heels of saying I was bored with vintage dolls I ended up buying two of them. However they weren't Barbie, she's still boring me, although I did have to talk myself out of buying a TLC Talking Christie the other day. I really do not need another project to never finish. My new dolls are still on their way from Japan so this post isn't about them. Since I've been so bad lately I want to be better about other things mainly listing stuff on E-bay and talking about stuff on here. So today you get to hear all about today's new arrival.

This post isn't about Barbie, it's actually about Ginny... well, her furniture. 

Growing up I had some doll furniture. It was a table and some chairs made by Hall's Lifetime Toys for Ginny sized dolls. It was my Great-Aunt's growing up and when my Great-Grandmother passed away my mother ended up with them. They were sturdy wooden toys, but I was not a careful child and they ended up getting ruined. One of the chairs did survive into my childhood years, but it too ended up getting ruined. All I have left of that is part of the back rest with a couple of the spindles. As an adult I was upset with my carelessness and did feel bad ruining one of my mother's childhood mementos. I wanted to get a replacement for it, but it wasn't easy. They tended to be rather pricey and while I wanted another set it wasn't a top priority. I knew that someday they would be mine once again.

The other day I was searching E-bay (a major weakness of mine). Sometimes Ginny furniture gets listed under Barbie even though Ginny is 8 inches compared to Barbie's 11.5. Someone had listed some Ginny furniture, not the right kind but it get me thinking and searching. I searched for Hall's furniture and that pulled up mostly dollhouse scale furniture. I also did a search for wooden Ginny doll furniture and there, low and behold was the same from my childhood. A table and three captain chairs. They were pre-loved, but not in terrible condition (and certainly better than my original set). They were an auction with several days to go without any bidders. I put them under my watch list and waited. On the last day with several hours to go there were still no bidders. I put in my bid and walked away. I couldn't be there when the auction ended since I had to work, but once I got home I saw that I had won them for the opening bid. I got lucky since they weren't identified beyond being wooden doll furniture and I got them for 15 dollars plus 10 dollars shipping. Not too bad since I couldn't even get new furniture for that price. Even plastic furniture would set me back roughly that much. The seller got them into the mail on Saturday and by Monday they were in my hot little hands.

Our first item is the table. Made from wood it has a lovely cherry finish. It has a circular top with four legs on an angle. I think one of the legs has been re-glued since it's not as angled as the other three. That leg is a little loose, so hopefully I can remove it and fix it. It does throw off the balance of the table. It's not a huge issue since it's not like it's a real table or anything, I'd just prefer it being more level. The table is in very nice shape, on the bottom there is a scratch, but other than that it looks to be in decent shape.

Since Ginny is 8" tall and I don't have one Penny Brite offered to be our model. Here you can see her against the table and see how her proportions line up. I have my hand on her head since Penny decided she didn't want to stand up and I had a hard time propping her up. (Why must models be so difficult?!?)

I also got three chairs along with the table. I'm not sure if I had three as well, I know I had at least two. Two of them have the same Cherry finish as the table, and one is noticeably darker. *Edit* They were sold two to a set, the third one must have come from a different set. In childhood I used the last remaining one as a office chair for Joe in the "Barbie House" (a bookshelf that I made into a Barbie house that I LOVED). They are really neat chairs with a curved back. All of the chairs are in more played with condition than the table. They have some pitting, some scratches, and what looks like some melting to the varnish (I honestly have no idea what caused that). One of them has bunch of marks to the side of the seat, either something was chewing it, or something was stabbed there. I'm not too bothered since I didn't pay very much, and if I want to restore it I should be able to. 

To accommodate Ginny they are low to the ground and have a very wide seat. Most dolls had the V-shaped hip joint and didn't sit like a lady. Penny Brite sits like a sailor so you can see how comfortably the wide seat accommodates her legs.

Even being so low, the chair can still work for other dolls, you just have to cheat out how they sit. Here we have Mari on a made to move body sitting on the chair with her legs bent to the side. Dolls with a hinged knee can also sit on the chair, they just need to have their feet further out in front of them. It's not the most natural look, but they can still use the chairs.

When they're seated at the table, you really can't tell how short the chairs are. 

I put Joe in the picture to show that even a larger doll can still use these chairs without it looking odd. I can put vintage Barbies on the chairs as well, I'd just have to position their legs so that they weren't pushing each other away from the table. I did try the chairs with a Homme doll, I had the hardest time with them since their legs are so long. They can sit at the table, but the other dolls would need to move their legs out of the way. Side note, you can't tell, but Joe's not wearing pants in these pictures. It's nothing inappropriate, I was just too lazy to dig out a pair. I did however dig out some glasses for him because, you know, priorities.

Right now my plans are to use this table and chairs for the Momoko dolls. Right now they're all posed sitting in wicker chairs with a small wicker table in front of them so I think I will swap that out for this one. The only issue is that there's only three chairs and I have four Momoko dolls. We're going to have to play musical chairs!

While we're on the subject of Hall's furniture, that's not the only piece I have. Couple months back I found someone selling a rocking chair from them. The table and chair set wasn't on the horizon, and it was only 20 dollars shipped. So I bought it. It's got some minor pitting to the top piece and some blue paint on one of the arm rests, but it's still so cute. Also the top piece is a little slanted to one side. Penny Brite was kind enough to stand for this one so you can see how tall she is compared to it.

Mari can still sit in it, it's a bit low but doesn't look too weird. I could also add a cushion to it to give the seat a bit more height and raise Barbie sized dolls to a little more natural height.

So that's my Hall's Lifetime doll furniture collection. I'm not sure if I'll get any more of it. From my research it appears there's a lot of different ones out there, including different styles. The dining room "set" also included a hutch and buffet. The dining room set also came with a square table and different style chairs. There is also a bedroom set that had a four post bed, a vanity with a stool, a dresser, and a bureau in the wood. A couple places there's a desk and chair set but it looks like those are only in white. Also in white there's a nursery set and a set of double beds with trays so the doll can eat in bed. Apparently the double bed set was made for Barbie sized dolls, so it should fit her. I don't think I'll actively seek out any more furniture, but I wouldn't not get it if I found it. I actually do like the vanity and the white desk set and the double beds are pretty cute. I wonder if Joe would fit in one.....  

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Shoe Discovery!

I was playing around with some Barbie shoes the other day and discovered something neat.

See these curvy Barbie Shoes?

See these Barbie Look feet?

See those curvy Barbie Shoes on those look feet?

The curvy Barbie high heel shoes fit the left/right specific Barbie feet really well. I even tried a second pair on the doll to make sure it wasn't a fluke. 

Now the shoes aren't perfect, the arch of the doll's foot is a bit higher than the shoe so if the doll is standing the heel doesn't touch the floor exactly. 
Notice how the doll's foot is higher in the back than the front.
However after a lifetime of Barbie flats being worn on tiptoe, this slight raised heel really isn't that extreme. 
They even fits Silkstones. 

I don't have any flat curvy Barbie shoes yet, so I can't say if they fit, but I am excited about these shoes fitting. I do have a small collection of model muse shoes, but these shoes are a little more casual so I'm excited that they fit since more shoe options is always a good thing!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

"We are sisters, you and I!"

Haven't been in much of a vintage Barbie mood lately. I bought an expensive vintage doll back in Mid-March and .... I don't really like her. Now, she is lovely and a stunning and should be a jewel in my collection, but there's just a really odd unfulfilled feeling I get when I look at her. Maybe because she was so expensive and I didn't really get a great deal on her she's not as satisfying as some of the other dolls I've gotten. But either way she killed my vintage desire and while I'm still looking at vintage Barbie, nothing really catches my eye. I haven't bought a vintage doll for over two months now, which for me is very unusual. I have picked up a few newer dolls lately (including one that I finally broke down and overpaid for since I didn't buy her at retail prices years ago) but most of those are for their clothes or accessories.  There really haven't been too many new dolls joining my collection. Which I guess is a good thing since I really shouldn't be spending money and I have so many dolls already. With my plans to move, space is limited so the less I have the better. I don't want to leave any dolls behind, but if I run out of room I'm going to have to.

Even with a seeming bored attitude toward new vintage I still have a literal pile of dolls to share with you all. This post will be introducing two new dolls, but not vintage dolls. It's a couple of modern dolls that I added to the collection recently, but still a while ago. At least once I get them introduced I can move them from the pile they're in ... to another pile. We have a lot of piles around here. At least pile B is a bit more organized than pile A.

The two dolls I'm going to be talking about today both share the same head mold, thus the title. I'm going to be talking about the LA Girl Fashionista doll and the Cat Burglar doll from that Barbie Superhero movie. They both use the current Skipper head mold, just bigger. The Skipper head mold is getting used a surprising lot in the Barbie line. Not sure why, but it is a cute sculpt. I'm glad they're using it for Barbie since the current Skipper dolls really doesn't interest me.
Poor Picture Quality Brought to you By: The fact that it's raining and there's no Sunlight!

Let's talking about LA Girl first. When she was announced she was one of the most wanted fashionista dolls. Everyone wanted this edgy doll with her half shaved head and blue and pink streaked hair. Sadly by the time the doll went into production she had lost her blue streaks (and the sleeves on her shirt). I however still wanted her. But she was really hard to find. This is a doll that I never found in stores. I had to buy her online. I bought her from the Mattel store with a few other newer fashionistas that I bought for their shoes or accessories. She suffers from slight wonk eye, but it's not terrible. The doll's rooting gets a little shaky at the back of her head, but it's something I can ignore. I might end up doing a partial re-root on this doll. I like her hair as is, but would like to add the blue streaks. Also the hair at the very top was cut a bit short. I'd really like for her hair to be all the same length. I'd love to get another one of these dolls to re-root without the shaved head part but now that she's no longer in production the odds of me finding another one is slim. Also I don't really need another project I literally have a dozen vintage heads that need hair that I haven't started on. I really shouldn't be adding more work to the pile (see, there's another pile!).

One of the first things I did when she arrived was take the head off the body. She came on a body that was only articulated at the neck, shoulders, and hips. Ever since the original fashionistas came out I've become spoiled and want my modern play line dolls to be articulated. I stuck her on a Barbie Glam Style Lea doll body that I bought for that very purpose. This body has limited articulation, but it's good enough for me. Ideally I'd have the under-bust articulation but other than the Made to Move body I don't think they've released a pale play line doll with that joint. In time I would like to swap out her legs to some with bending knees, but I'm fine with straight legs for now. I really wanted arm articulation. I could have given her a Divergent Tris body I had, but I'm trying to hold onto those for other dolls. I'm fine with her being on a limited articulation body, at least she can now move her hands. I did end up selling her body to recoup some of my costs for the doll. I also sold her outfit (minus her shoes) and got some money back that way. I think with everything I ended up making most if not all of my money back on her (not including the costs of her new body). I really do like her and out of all the newer fashionista's I've bought, she's the one most likely to stick around for a while.

The second doll is the doll of the character of the Cat Burglar from the Barbie Superhero movie. I'm pretty sure she's the villain and I'm not sure of her name (and am not interested enough to look it up). I bought her from Amazon as soon as she came out. She's a really cute doll with mostly purple hair, but with a few pink streaks. I don't know why, but I'm getting more into dolls with fantasy hair colors. Right now I have orange, blue, pink, and purple. I'm not counting Monster High in that since they're a fantasy line but dolls with a realistic skin tone but fantasy colored hair. She has slightly pursed pink lips and purple eyes. The really neat thing about her eyes is that she has cat pupils! I really like her eyebrows, they have a little more attitude than your usual Barbie eyebrows.

 Just like with LA Girl, she's on a new body. Her original body was smaller (think around Francie sized). It also had molded on clothes, which is something I detest. The only removable piece of clothing she had was a blue plastic vest. Her rubber skirt might have been able to come off too, but I couldn't figure it out. I ended up selling her body but kept the jewel bracelet thing and her headband/glasses contraption. The rest of it was sold to recoup some of the costs. (I knew I'd never use it). She's now on a later edition fashionista body that had the under-bust joint. I did a leg swap with Barbie Director doll so she also has the ankle joints. I wanted to see if I could do it (you can, but you need to sand down the leg posts on the torso to fit the legs). The head and body aren't a perfect color match, but I'm not too worried about it. She's a lovely doll and I'm glad I have her, but if I have to do some serious culling of the collection I'm not sure she'd make the cut. But right now she's here and I'm enjoying her. I even took her to one of the doll meetings several months back.

So that's two of my newer dolls and the only dolls I have with the modern Skipper face mold. I believe there's two dolls coming out from the newest Barbie movie that use that face mold, but they have stiff bodies and fantasy skin tones so the odds of finding a replacement body is going to be impossible, so I most likely won't get them. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Alice fell down the rabbit hole and she is a mess!

I went to Walmart today before work. I was on the looking for the African American Made to Move doll, no luck there. They had Barbie and Lea, but neither of the other two dolls. I was disappointed, but I have plans to get her. I was just hoping to find her there since it does make it easier.

However I did see that my Walmart had gotten a display of the Jakks Pacific Alice in Wonderland dolls from the new Disney movie. I was curious to see them in person and was tempted by the Alice in the blue dress for the blue dress. I was lucky since that doll was the cheapest at 19.99. The line ranges from 19.99 to 59.99. My store had a large display with around 12 Alice dolls and on the side they had the more expensive dolls. I looked at the expensive dolls, but fantasy dolls really aren't my thing.

I also looked at every single Alice doll and let me tell you, every single doll was a MESS. The most consistent issue I saw was the neckline was very messed up on a lot of them. It's a sheer neckline sewn with black contrast stitching so it really shows when it's off. I did see a couple dolls where the neckline was both even and lay properly, but every single one of those had their issues too. I saw dolls where the fabric had gotten tucked and sewn down in random places, a doll where the bottom ruffle had gotten misaligned and sewn down, and I even saw a doll where the cut edge of the fabric where the skirt and bodice met was on the outside! Several doll's skirt had these random dark spots on them (like they had gotten wet or something had spilled on the fabric). I did pick out a doll and was almost going to get her, but she had these three random black spots on her face. I wasn't sure if it was a stain or something molded into the plastic that will never come out, so I left her. I sort of still want the doll, but not sure if I'll ever find one that's decently done.

These dolls are definitely a don't buy online item. I cannot stress how poor quality these dolls were. And it's super shocking, the Oz doll I bought from them was very nice condition. And they are 20 dollars! That's the price Mattel sells the Style dolls, who have an outfit made up of separate pieces, two pairs of shoes, and articulation. Jakks Pacific must not have any quality control. These dolls were seriously all a mess.