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.