Monday, February 24, 2014

Gone for a While

I'm having surgery this Wednesday morning, so I might not be around for a while. I don't own a laptop, so I'll have to be able to sit at my computer to do any writing, and I'm not sure how quickly I'll bounce back. I'll probably still be checking out the dolly world using my phone, but definitely not blogging on it. I hope you all have lots of fun!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Place to See Toy Fair Pics!

For years, I've been depending on pictures from the guys at ASM. While they're mostly interested in more traditionally boy toys like Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, they provide lots of photos of other toy offerings as well. Right now they have the latest LEGO Friends and Princesses lineup, My Little Pony, Monster High and Hearts 4 Hearts. Check them out here.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Tonner Kripplebush Kid Sweetheart

Just in time for Valentine's Day, I'm pleased to share some pictures of my 2001 Kripplebush Kid Sweetheart, by Robert Tonner. She's 8 inches tall, made of plastic, with wigged hair. Her body is strung with elastic, and she has straight arms and legs.

She also has sleep eyes.

Nap time!
Here's what she looks like when she is awake, and standing. She stands fairly well on her own because of her feet and her sturdy child-like body. She certainly loves roses and lace!


And speaking of her child-like body, her stomach protrudes a little, like a little girl's might. I should have taken this picture more as a profile.


How old do you see her as? I'm thinking around six.

I'm currently posing my Kripplebush Kids with my Tonner 16" dolls. Even though the Kids have set-in eyes and the 16" dolls have painted on ones, they seem to look passable together. Here I put her with my Basic Tyler standing on her flat feet, to give you the best idea of height, vs. a doll on high-heeled feet.


Sweetheart came with a heart to pose with, but mine didn't hold up well over the years. I got the doll second-hand, and this is the way the heart showed up:


My photo is not really the best at showing the damage, but do you see the dark spots on the trimming on the right side of the heart? The darkness is actually worse than that, and also if you look you can see the faint yellow staining on the top of the heart. The seller was totally open about it; that wasn't an issue. I think what happened here was just glue deterioration, but I'm not really sure. This is two felt pieces on light cardboard, glued together with the ruffled trim in between, and the ribbon rose on the front. There's also a piece of thin elastic across the back to allow the doll to hold the heart. I presume it's supposed to look like a candy box. I only keep the heart for the sake of completeness.

There is a helpful resource put together by Diane Drummond which will let you see Kripplebush Kids from all four years of their production, 1998-2001. Unfortunately, some of the dolls in the catalogs were never produced. Also, only white dolls were ever made. The series was mostly made up of three girls: Marni, Hanna and Eliza, and they came dressed in various outfits. There were also characters like fairytale princesses, a cowgirl, and the 1880s series which is what first got me interested in the Kripplebush Kids, with my weakness for Victorian dresses. And there were some separate outfits sold.

Tonner did use the Kripplebush Kid body more recently for his Merli Stimple character in the Gowns by Anne Harper collection. Merli got a new sculpt, with painted eyes. So it's not out of the question for Tonner to reuse the body again, perhaps for another little girl line with more characters added to the group. Of course, Tonner's Patsy line is really drawing in collectors right now who like child dolls, so who knows if the Kripplebush Kids would sell. These girls remind me a lot of Madame Alexander's short-lived Hannah Pepper line. And of course Madame Alexander's own 8" doll line. What do you think?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

J-Doll Spitalgrasse

This doll was one of my Christmas presents for Christmas 2013! You've already seen her modelling a dress for me. Now I'm finally going to review her for you. As you'll see, I love the doll but am ambivalent about her outfit, so this might have contributed to how slowly I got this review out.

When I first saw the doll, I was thinking Spitalgrasse was somewhere in Austria. Actually, it is the main street in the capital city of Switzerland, Bern. This Australian site that sells fashion dolls has a little information on Spitalgrasse and stock photos of the doll.

Here she is in person:


Lots of pieces of plastic were holding her in, which equated to lots of tabs in the back, held on with stickers. One of the things I hate about the way J-Dolls are packed, is that the stickers completely cover the tabs, ends and all. So you have to peel the stickers off to loosen the tabs, instead of just grabbing the end of the tab, and pulling.

I didn't take a picture of the back, so the next shot is her as she looks straight out of the box.


I didn't think J-Dolls would be able to stand alone on their feet, as the feet are so relatively tiny. However, they can. But shoes mess all that up, so you will see the J-Doll with this chair when she needs to stand.

Anyway, she is wearing a blouse which is deliberately cut to be worn open (it doesn't shut) to show a sort of bandeau top underneath. She is also wearing a skirt with burn out stripes over what looks like red leggings, and brown plastic shoes with a slight heel. Her hair is done in two braids, on each side, of different sizes that are held at the ends with a piece of red ribbon and a piece of lace. There is also some brown string unobtrusively wrapped around the ends of the braids.