Monday, August 31, 2015

More OG Lori products, plus an outfit review. Also a brief appearance by mini Kirsten Larson

Mr. BTEG and I were hanging out together in another part of town, when he mentioned that he wanted to go to Target. What a coincidence, because I wanted to go to Target as well, to look for more OG Lori stuff! I did indeed find some new things, so I have so more pictures for you. There doesn't seem to be much out there about this line yet.

A doll with dark skin, and black hair in a bun, plus a girl with Asian features. And yet another dance outfit, bringing the total up to three dolls in dance outfits, that I have seen. I'm looking forward to seeing what the ballet studio will look like. That green furry skirt, though!
 A classic peacoat look here, done in red. Plus a dog to take for walks.
I think both of these dolls have made appearances elsewhere on the internet, but they were in the store, so I took a picture. The neck joint of the doll on the left looks odd. Also, her name is Lori. Brown-eyed blonds, like the one on the right, seem popular with collectors.
 This doll was pictured yesterday, but I got a better picture today. I love the ruffled trim on her skirt.
I also got better pictures of the individual outfits, and I have a better feel for why I don't quite like them. The fabric of the animal coat, plus the fur trim, just looks cheap. Also, I don't get the blue purse with this outfit. There's some sort of headband that goes with this outfit, but I don't know what it's supposed to be.
With this outfit, it's not just that the fur trim on the boots is plastic; it's also that the white especially stands out when everything else in the outfit is cream. The trim being plastic just makes it look worse, in my opinion, making it stand out even more. The rest of the outfit has good casual pieces, though.
Everybody seems to love the camper. I like it myself. So I took the time to open the little camper door this time, and take a picture with the light turned on. It is over the kitchen unit, but you could use it for a little bedtime reading, as well, while listening to the music of the crickets and frogs. The light makes the camper look extra cozy. On the down side, the pillows on the bed look thin, and the blankets won't cover a doll well.
 Outfit review plus mini Kirsten pictures below the fold.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Our Generation Mini-Dollapalooza at Target

Mini versions of established doll lines have been increasing in popularity, manufacturer after manufacturer getting in on the wave. Madame Alexander Travel Friends are not a mini version of a larger doll, but still a small play doll. There are mini Lalaloopsy dolls, Moxie Girlz, American Girls, Corolle dolls, Kidz and Cats, and Our Generation dolls. They're a great choice for economical doll play, which is probably driving some of the popularity. Now Our Generation has stepped up the mini doll game with a new line, Lori by OG. There are new dolls, new outfit sets, a camper, a home with a loft bedroom, and more!

Let me start with pictures of the new dolls first. A couple of the pictures are blurry; I was in a bit of a hurry. I spend too much time at Target as it is! There are a couple of dolls in dance clothes; there was a space on the shelf for a ballet studio, but it wasn't out on the shelf yet. Dolls with extra accessories seem to cost slightly more, but they're still a good price.


Here's the two outfits that were out. Lovely lace! is a cute outfit, but the white "fur" around the top of the boots is plastic and to me it throws the outfit off. I spot you! is, um, interesting. A spotted fake fur jacket and buffalo check pants? No. Just no. I still have hope for future releases. Individual outfit sets certainly are a nice thing to have, although they don't always sell well.
Let's move on to the camper, or as it says on the tag, a glamper. Glamorous camper, maybe? Ugh. Anyway, the camper looks full of play value, with two beds, a table with booth style seating, and a small kitchen area, with some cooking pieces included. There's also a small camping lantern, and it appears there are parts of the camper that light up. Probably above the kitchen, or maybe above the beds for a little reading before bed. I didn't take the time to study the interior too hard.

The crown jewel of this line is the house. It's got a built-in kitchen, with a bar and a few stools. As you can see in a picture above, there's also a separate bed and dresser set for the loft bedroom, and I think the last flight of stairs goes up to a rooftop patio. The herringbone fabric for the blanket is an interesting choice, but it does kind of fit in with the diamond pattern on the pillows and the dresser, I guess. I would have gone with flowers. :)
Not only do small dolls offer play value for a much lower price than their bigger counterparts, the extra benefit of play sets for the smaller dolls, like this camper and house, is that they take up far less space than the OG camper for the 18" set, or a house for the larger doll. It's interesting to me how the 18" doll grew to be so ubiquitous in the doll world, and now manufacturers are taking that 18" paradigm, and turning it on its head. I'm interested to see where this goes.

Monday, August 24, 2015

American Girl Doll Caroline

I got my American Girl Samantha doll in the mid-1990s. I loved her clothes, accessories, and time period. I never got the opportunity to pick up many of her accessories, since that was also when we were starting our family. And Samantha has been the only 18" girl doll that I have owned ever since. However, I found myself attracted to Caroline Abbott, who was released in 2012. After only three years, she's being archived, so I had to buy her now, if I was going to. And so Samantha finally got a friend.
One of the things that I liked about Caroline was her curly hair. The curls are not stiffly gelled, and so there's some frizzing of individual hairs not part of a curl. Stiff hair can be annoying, but I imagine this hair would not fare well with rough play.
When I part her hair, the back of the wig looks matted. I haven't investigated this too much yet, because I don't want to mess up her hairstyle. I could have sworn that I bought an AG wire hair brush at some point, but I can't find it. I know I need to get a proper wire wig brush to care for her  hair.
Here are Caroline and Samantha together. Caroline stands better than Samantha does, possibly because she does not have the overstuffed body of the Pleasant Company era. You have to balance the weight of Samantha's head against the weight of her torso, and balance both of those onto her legs, which weigh much less comparatively. Also, Caroline's limb joints seem stiffer. I don't know if that has to do with Samantha's age, or slightly different manufacturing. In any case, that also helps Caroline stand better.
A comparison of the new and older faces. The eyes look different to me. There is less white showing in Caroline's, which may account for it. Also, Samantha's eyebrows are solid lines, while Caroline's are feathered. Also, if you look at the picture below, you can see that there is a gap between Caroline's neck, and her stuffed body.
Samantha's neck and body come together much cleaner. Is this gap common with the newer AG dolls? If you have a newer AG doll, does she have this gap?
One of the things which drew me to Caroline specifically was her outfit. It's fairly true to her time period of 1812, and for some reason, it really appeals to me. Mini Caroline is also one of my favorite minis. Here is Caroline holding Mini Caroline.
One of the advantages that American Girl has in making clothes for the mini AGs, is that they have a factory where they can order things like a smaller scaled version of the ribbon sash around Caroline's waist. Looking closer, though, the eyelet embroidery on the hem of the girls' pantaloons looks to be the same size, although Caroline's is a lovely bright white. Poor Mini Caroline's fabric looks yellowed in comparison. And here's a short few paragraphs talking about the difference between pantaloons and pantalettes. I'm not sure if these specifics applied as far back as the Regency, but I'm using them here.
One of the things that I wish had been done differently with Caroline's story was having it take place somewhere besides New York state. This is not only because there are now three AG historicals who come from New York (the other two being Samantha and Rebecca), but because Lake Erie was home to an important naval battle during the War of 1812, that being the Battle of Lake Erie. If you are from the US, you may recognize a famous quote from this battle, by then master commandant Oliver Perry: "We have met the enemy and they are ours." Caroline's story does revolve around her father's shipyard, but there was also a great deal of important ship building in Erie, PA. I'm biased myself, because I love Lake Erie and its history, but really, AG, we did not need another doll from New York state. :)

In Cleveland, the War of 1812 and Commodore Perry are still remembered, in various ways. :)
Here's a question for you: if a historical doll's history was set in your home area, what notable period of time could she live in? Cleveland was important in the industrialization period of the mid to late 1800s, and many of these industrialists lived at various times on Euclid Avenue in Cleveland. Known as Millionaire's Row, it was at one time called the most beautiful street in America. Our girl's story could focus on a specific industrial advancement, or even touch on monopolies. (!) Or maybe in the mid 1900s, an American Girl's father could be involved in medical advancements at the Cleveland Clinic. Tell me your story ideas!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Teen Skipper and Teen Courtney in Fashion Avenue

Remember when Mattel vaulted Skipper's age from 12 or so, to 16? Only to magically de-age her again? I do like the Teen Skipper dolls, even if I like Skipper to be her younger age. Whatever happened to cousin Francie, though? Did she head off to England in her quest for all things mod? Anyway, I just got a Teen Skipper outfit off eBay, so I'm showing my Teen Courtney in that outfit, and Teen Skipper in another Fashion Avenue outfit.

I need to get some sort of backdrops for my photos. We'll pretend the girls are sitting along a picturesque river walk, talking about fall classes, fall clothes, and keeping that brat Susie from being elected Homecoming Queen.
Here's what the outfits look like without the overshirt and jacket. Courtney's outfit is tagged for Teen Skipper, while Skipper's outfit is tagged for Barbie. I'm pretty sure this dress wouldn't fit Barbie. I think I'll see if I can find this outfit online.
The Fashion Avenue and Fashion Fever lines were great for clothes; shoes were rather meh. Our girls wear the same style shoe, in colors that match their outfits. The molded seam line is at least a nice touch.
The other type of shoe Teen Skipper usually got in her fashion packs was this one with the flower, again coming in several colors.
In addition to the outfits and purses that you see above, Courtney's outfit also came with matching sunglasses. They're cute in that they resemble vintage Barbie cat's eye frames. They're goofy in that they are a uniform color. Are we supposed to believe Courtney can see out of these?
Does it matter if I wear these at night? Can't see out of them either way.
Are you on the hunt for Fashion Avenue/Fever outfits?

Saturday, August 8, 2015

International Cat Day

This morning I found out, via Simon's Cat, that today was International Cat Day! How wonderful that it takes place on Caturday! It is a day to promote feline health and welfare. I couldn't pass this day by, especially as more doll people seem to post pictures of dogs. Cats need (more than) their share of attention, too!

Our featured cat was originally a member of the Sunshine Family. I got rid of most of my Sunshine Family stuff, since it wasn't a good size match for anything else. However I did keep the cat and dog, although poor doggie has an eye missing.

Here Fern pets our orange kitty. She likes more animals than just pigs. :)

The only other two doll sized cats that I own (I think) are these two, whom I got as a table favor at a Gene doll dinner. They make good not-quite-grown-up kittens for the Sunshine Family cat, especially the orange one.

If you are a cat lover and have not watched the Simon's Cat cartoon videos, you need to start now. Here is the first, Cat Man Do.

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

Linda at Darkroom Dolls nominated me for a Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award. She's given me 10 questions to answer, and I need to nominate 5 people for the award.


1. Do you collect anything other than dolls?
As a seamstress and knitter, I kind of collect fabric and yarn. I'm not one of those people who buys what I need for a project, finishes it, then starts another. I'm a person who buys things with an eye for future projects. Or I buy for a project and start something else instead. :)

2. Why did you start a doll blog?
Sometimes a blog is referred to as the blogger's virtual house. Since I enjoy visiting other people's "houses" and looking at their dolls, I decided to invite people to see my dolls too. I wanted to meet people with whom I share some doll interests, and have all kinds of conversations about doll collecting. I've met some great fellow doll collectors in the two years that I've been dolly blogging.

3. Do you have one particular doll that is the favorite in your collection?
I think my favorite would be Calendar Girl Sydney, by Tonner. Her face paint and hair color just seem to all come together for me perfectly. Also, I like that she isn't very made up. She's more versatile that way.


4. Your favorite doll accessory (American Girl or other)?
A croquet set made by Ashton Drake for 16" Gene Marshall. It fitted into one of her stories. I like having it because croquet was all the rage especially during the 1860s, but played in later Victorian and into Edwardian times. Someday I would love to get enough dolls dressed appropriately to photograph them playing a Victorian game of croquet. The set is both great and kind of a pain, because all the pieces are usable and therefore come loose. Thus, I tend to have the stakes and balls and wickets drop on the floor very often.

5. Do you know exactly how many dolls you have in your collection (you don't have to tell the number of course :-) )?
Not off the top of my head, no. Especially since I have some Barbie size dolls put away until I can get more display space. Hopefully less than one hundred, but they do tend to multiply.

6. Do you play any instruments and if so, what?
I took piano lessons in college and for a short while afterwards, to make up for the fact that my parents would never let me take piano when I was a kid. I haven't practiced at all since then, but I could still play one line of notes with one hand.

7. Where is your most favorite place you've ever been?
Cedar Point Amusement Park, Sandusky, Ohio. Known as the roller coaster capital of the world because it has so many of them. A few of them are also among the tallest and fastest in the world as well. I love roller coasters, and amusement park rides in general, plus Cedar Point is on a peninsula jutting into my beloved Lake Erie.
There are five roller coasters alone in this photo.
8. What is your most favorite thing about yourself?
Physically, that I have curly hair. :) Character wise, that I'm a good listener, and people tend to tell me things that they don't tell just everyone.

9. Favorite book or movie?
I don't really have one favorite. When I need some light, fun reading, I tend to go back to one of Agatha Christie's numerous mysteries.

10. If you could design your own doll, what would it look like?
She'd have brown hair and probably blue eyes. She'd wear her hair in a pompadour with a knot on top, and she'd be dressed in an outfit from about 1904. The dress would have lots of tucks, ruching and lace. The main color of the outfit would be blue, and she'd wear high-button shoes. She'd have wrist, elbow and knee articulation, with a twisting waist and moveable head, arms and legs.


I now am supposed to nominate five people. I've picked:

Marta at All4Barbie
Hannah at Never Grow Up 
barbielea at barbiebeauties
Vanessa at Van's Doll Treasures
RagingMoon1987 at Confessions of a Dolly Lover

My 10 questions are:

1. Do you collect anything other than dolls?
2. Why did you start a doll blog?
3. Do you have one particular doll that is the favorite in your collection?
4. Your favorite doll accessory?
5. Do you know exactly how many dolls you have in your collection (you don't have to tell the number of course :-) )?
6. Do you play any instruments and if so, what?
7. Where is your most favorite place you've ever been?
8. Where would you most like to visit, that you have never visited?
9. Is there a retired doll or doll line that you'd like to bring back?
10. If you could design your own doll, what would it look like?