Dolls and Doll-related Items for Sale

Monday, September 16, 2019

A Doll Blogger in the Making

I just got the opportunity to scan these photos, and they make me smile to see how I might very well have been a doll blogger if there was internet back then. I was very careful in my layouts, and of course I had to frame the picture properly when I took it, as there wasn't easy access to photo cropping tools back then either. These pictures are from January 1986, when I was 17 years old, and a senior in high school.

Here my Cabbage Patch doll is ready for bed. I wrote on the back of the photo that she was "6 months," so I must have received her for my 17th birthday in 1985.
And here she is seated at a desk down in our basement. It was an old-fashioned desk, with two seats, although the front seat did not have a desk. It looked rather like American Girl Samantha's school desk, with the wrought iron and everything, but ours had the extra seat in front. I'm pretty sure that's a real apple on the desk.
Here's a picture of Samantha's desk, when American Girl was still making nice stuff (did I say that out loud?) I got this from the American Girl Wiki page, but this is obviously a AG sales photograph, and not a personal one.
My sisters and I loved to play "old-fashioned" school with our desk. We especially enjoyed playing Little House on the Prairie school. The Samantha Parkington doll was released for the first time in 1986. How I would have loved the desk set even more if I had owned a Samantha!!

Friday, September 13, 2019

2000 Birthday Wishes Barbie, The Good, The Bad, and the Greasy

I have a Facebook account, only because I need one to be linked to for my LoveNikki online game. I found a local buy/sell account on Facebook, mainly because I want to sell my daughters' graduation gown. But I have to admit that I've also bought a few dolls from there, as well. Birthday Wishes Barbie from 2000 was one of them. I also bought a DC Super Hero Girls Wonder Woman at the same time for my youngest, as Wonder Woman is her "Queen" (as in Yaaassss Queen!) She's strictly not a doll person, but she does have a few dolls representing things that mean something to her, and she loved the Gal Godot movie. The seller and I met in front of the local police station; I paid in cash. It was all easy.

I will admit that I bought this doll mainly for the dress; I don't think I ever would have bought it online. The doll herself is just an old-school straight-arm Barbie, and her face and hairdo remind me of the 1950s Era Barbie (the one with the poodle skirt), only this doll has ringlet curls. I took a few pictures of the doll in-box, which I always try to do.

The dress is very nice (it doesn't hurt that blue is my favorite color.) The bodice is fitted and closes with three snaps in the back. The skirt is attached to a waist yoke, and also closes with a snap. There are lace gloves with a pink ribbon. While they're not beautifully done, I wouldn't expect that from a playline doll. They don't look like oven mitts, at least. Barbie is carrying a gift bag, and wears earrings and a necklace. Once I captured what Barbie looked like in the box, I opened it and began to remove the doll. Unfortunately, when I held Barbie's legs while working on getting the rest of her off of the cardboard, her legs felt greasy. I got the skirt off of the doll as quickly as I could, and realized that both her legs felt like they'd been dipped in baby oil. Yuck! I got everything else off the body, including the head, and then tossed the body in the trash. Maybe I could have cleaned it up, but I have no idea what that greasiness is, and I should be able to find another body for poor ringlet-curled Barbie if I really want one. This doll was made in Indonesia, which I thought had a better reputation for making Barbie dolls, but this one, for whatever reason, had something happen to her. One final note, this doll also came without shoes. I guess she was meant to stay in the box, which seems kind of silly for a play doll. It doesn't bother me much, because they would have just been the basic Barbie pump anyway, but I'm giving Mattel a D on this doll overall.

I did get one more picture of the dress for you, so that you could see it better. What better choice than one of my Cinderella dolls? She was happy to model such a lovely gown.
So, good thing that I only bought the doll for the dress, and that the dress wasn't affected by the greasy legs. I guess I got exactly what I wanted, in the end. :)

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Romantic Alice Pullip

Alice was a birthday gift from my husband back in July, and I finally freed enough space on my worktable to get some pictures of her. Alice in Wonderland is a popular theme in Japan, and Groove, who makes Pullip dolls, has made several takes on Alice, with Pullip's friends filling in occasionally for other characters in the stories. For example, Groove has also made Romantic Alice in pink and monochromatic versions. And my Pullip Alice du Jardin is yet another "take" on Alice in Wonderland. Alice du Jardin is really stretching the Alice in Wonderland idea. Romantic Alice at least has a blue dress, apron and striped socks, even if the clothes are rather Lolita-esque. I took these pictures at different times of day with different lighting, so don't mind if the color in the pictures is all over the place.
Here is Alice, mostly complete. For some reason, Romantic Alice also came with a lace cape. It's pretty, even if you can't see it from the front very well, as it's not very full. However, Alice can't wear hers, because not only is the neck fastening super tight, but instead of a hook and eye, this cape has a hook and... hook. Luckily, it is an easy enough repair if you can hand-sew.
Alice's dress and apron have net, lace and tucks galore. She wears a chain with three charms: a teacup, a key, and a crown. Her necklace was "Made with Love."
Like other Pullips, Alice has an eye mechanism that lets her eyes look left, right and center. Rachael pointed out that with Pullip Alice du Jardin, her eyes seemed to go farther to her left than to her right. Romantic Alice's eyes seem to go a bit further.
A note about the brown hairbow: it's a pain. It came on the top of her head, with the lace ties wrapped around and around her neck. If you want to see her necklace, or put on her cape, or redress her, or whatever, the hairbow has to be tied at the bottom of her head at the back. Tying a top-heavy bow on a huge doll head that has lots of hair, was not fun. Maybe I'll put elastic on instead.

Even under the net overskirt on Alice's dress, there are tucks and lace, that you can't really see because of the overskirt. And I think this color is the closest to the color of the dress in real life.
A last couple shots of Alice, with and without her apron.
I think it's funny that the first doll I debut in my new roombox is really too tall for it. I will probably add more on top of the wood paneling, but I haven't decided what yet. Most of what I will be sharing pictures of in my next posts will be better sizes, although I do have another new Pullip in the queue. I should be able to improve my lighting for those, as well.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Grocery Giveaway Submission

Xanadu is giving away some doll-sized grocery items (in various scales) at her blog. She asked that you post an interesting pic of your dolls on your blog, and link back to her giveaway post. For some reason, I read it as her wanting pictures of tiny dolls, so I killed two birds with one stone. My Cu-Poche girls are enjoying a day at the beach relaxing, with a LORI patio swing that I've been meaning to share. It came with the lemonade pitcher, two glasses of lemonade, the tray, and the "grass" rug for the swing to sit on. Unfortunately, Little Red's big hair made it impossible for her to sit on the swing, so she's lounging on the grass with her lemonade.
This is really made for the mini LORI dolls, and similar dolls like the mini American Girl dolls, but I thought the Cu-Poche girls might look cuter with it. I think they do, except poor Little Red can't sit on it!

I have a huge backlog of new purchases to blog about, so stay tuned! I just finished up a nice new roombox for the photography. It doesn't take up too much space on my worktable, but it's large enough that I can feature a few dolls or items in it at a time. I finished covering the floor last night; I took this photo the day before.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Barbie Sweet Orchard Farm Fashion Pack

I was in Walmart yesterday and checked out the Barbie aisle, like you do. I found a fashion pack I'd been interested in and decided I didn't want it, when I glanced further down the aisle and saw a large pack in the Sweet Orchard Farm section. Mattel has had some farm dolls and play sets for a while, but they currently produce a whole line of dolls, playsets and vehicles called Sweet Orchard Farm. I couldn't find this pack online on either Amazon or after I got home, but there the pack was in the store, brightly colored and appealing. When I noticed that the two dresses both appeared to also be printed on the back, I leaped over and grabbed a box. They *were* printed on the back, and there was also a t-shirt, a skirt, shorts, a vest, a hat, a purse, and a pair of short boots. The whole set looked decent, for $9.97, so into the cart it went. I'm going to share all the pictures from my photo shoot, and then talk about the pros and cons, at the end.

-The only piece that isn't finished in some way is the flowered skirt, and only the hem is unfinished. Since the skirt is made of knit fabric, it shouldn't unravel.
-The pieces are very wearable, for everyday. Although that rose dress *is* a little short. Even the vest, though, looks better on than I thought it would.
-Most of the items were not held on by tags in the package! Maybe Mattel has heard all the complaints about tags tearing holes in clothing? Most of the clothes were merely slipped over cardboard tabs in the box, but they all looked fine in package. The vest was held in by tags, but the fabric is woven, and a little thick, so there was not as much chance of it developing a hole. The hat and purse were also held down by tags, but the tags on the purse went through the "loops" holding the strap to the purse. Once you pulled the tags free, you could slide the tags out because the tags had small ends on the back side of the cardboard.
-The dresses are printed on both sides!! The ribbon belt does not go all the way around the back of the checked dress, but that's not as big of an issue, and happens on real clothes sometimes.

- Except for the shorts, all the clothing pieces have no back openings. You have to sliiiiide the dresses and t-shirt on, and those clothes are tight! There is not a lot of give, even though the pieces are knit. I wonder how they fit on a non-MtM Barbie? The Sweet Orchard Farm dolls all have straight arms and legs.
- The hem isn't finished on the flowered skirt. I think the skirt looks not quite right, because of that. It looks unfinished, because of course it is.

If you find this pack at your local Walmart, or another store that happens to carry it, I'd definitely pick it up. The shirt, shorts and vest will all work with other things, and the boots and purse are cute. I definitely want to perk them up with some paint details. The dresses would be nice with jackets and pumps, to make different looks. Even the hat can be worn with other styles. I would have liked to see back openings, but then again, maybe the backs wouldn't match the fronts of the dresses then. The rose dress does not have a front or a back; it's two identical pieces sewn together. Plus, the pack wouldn't have been $9.97 if more of the pieces had closures. I do wonder what it would cost though; I wonder if I would think the price was worth it.

While I was pulling the hay bale from the back of my storage shelf, I saw the set of three rustic metal stars that I picked up at a craft store, and I used one in my photo shoot. I thought it looked nice hanging on the "barn" wall. Here's my secret: those three stars shed rusty pieces like crazy. Here's residual bits in the plastic bag that I store the stars in.
And the pack that I didn't buy? It's this one:
The flowered print on the right side of the dress looked very dull in the store. The elastic around the neck of the denim shirt was already folded over a bit, and I was afraid that the neckline would fold worse on a doll body. Plus, I had forgotten that the black polkadot piece was shorts and not a skirt. The fact that the purse doesn't look well with either of the outfits is just a plus. Or, a minus.

Autumn is coming soon here, which means farm visits, for pumpkins and apple cider and corn mazes and hay rides! Do you like visiting farms? Do you live on a farm? (I think I know at least one reader does.)

Monday, July 22, 2019

Mattel Wild Hearts Crew Cori Cruize Doll Review

I finally found another doll besides Jacy Masters at my local Walmart. At first, I had just been thinking about grabbing Jacy, even though I wasn't particularly fond of her outfit. But then I saw someone post on Instagram that Jacy was not a rebody candidate, as her neck is noticeably thicker than even the Curvy Barbie necks, so I decided to wait, in case I did choose to rebody.

There were still only three of the dolls available at my Walmart last week. Apparently, available in early July means "If you're lucky, you'll find some at your Walmart, and if not you can pre-order and get it whenever." I really liked Charlie Lake the best, from the pictures, but I didn't want to wait forever to get this review done, as other people have managed to get their hands on several of these dolls and reviewed them already.

According to Mattel's website, Cori Cruize is a musician, who creates her own songs. However, her full paragraph description is actually Charlie Lake's. You can absolutely see the care Mattel took with this new line. Anyway, you can tell Cori is a musician, because she has a Walkman. No, really, it looks like an actual old school tape cassette. Isn't she just so cool and rad?

Part of Cori's hair is done in cornrows, which are really hard to see from most positions.
Underneath her jacket, Cori wears a sleeveless unitard. Her accessories include earrings, a necklace, a belt, shoes and her cassette player. Her given motif is flames, which are on many of the items that come with her.

I know many of you were interested in her body type, so let's get into that. It appears that there are at least a couple of different body types in this new line, but as I said, finding all these dolls was impossible, and I wouldn't want to buy them all anyway. They all are decently articulated, having bending elbows and knees, as well as the usual shoulder, hip and neck movement that standard Barbies have nowadays.

Cori definitely has a fuller figure than the Made to Move dolls. However, she has a much thinner waist, proportionately, than the Curvy crew. I didn't get exact numbers, but Cori's bust, waist and hips are all smaller than Curvy's measurements.

The other big question is often clothes swapping. After all, our girls can always use more clothes, right, even if they get "stolen" from another doll? Sadly, none of the different variations I tried were very successful. I couldn't even get Cori's unitard past Curvy's thighs. However, even though Made to Move is slimmer proportioned, the unitard didn't work for her either. It didn't close in the back, and her torso is slightly longer, so that the unitard pulled up rather awkwardly.

I decided to try a Curvy dress on Cori, and although it looked acceptable from the front, where it hit on Cori's backside was rather... unfortunate. I imagine a tee and an elastic-waist skirt might work better.
I decided to try clothes on Cori that fit my older Barbie dolls, since they had larger busts and hips than some of the current Barbies. Yes, the dotted skirt is from a Made to Move doll, but it is currently being worn by a Fashion Fever Teresa, so it works for older Barbies too. For Cori, not so much. The blouse technically fits, except for being very loose at the shoulders at the back. The skirt went over her hips, but wouldn't close completely.

Lastly, Mattel made Cori's feet a completely new type, because what else does Mattel do? I was hoping the feet would at least be similar to a Curvy body with arched feet, and while the Curvy shoe does mostly fit, Cori's foot is slightly longer.
Since I still have Mattel's Ginny Weasley outfit lying around, I tried one of her shoes on Cory, and it does slide on completely, but was a bit loose, and the arch is not the same.

I have quite a few thoughts on this doll, compared to previous Mattel lines, but first I would like to ask if you now feel some of Mattel's other recent dolls are overpriced, considering this doll sells for only $14.97 at Walmart. Yes, she doesn't have articulated ankles and wrists, but she does have more accessories than you get with many standard Barbies. And how much of a mark-up should wrists and ankles be, anyway? Maybe I'm off base about this.

This new line is touted as being the next in the Monster High/Ever After High mode. One article says the dolls are "offering a new bridge between kids, tweens, and adult collectors alike." Hmm. Didn't know Mattel acknowledged that adult purchasers mattered at all for playline. Anyway, I don't even like Monster High, but I call absolute nonsense on the WHC being successors. For one thing, Monster High had an engaging storyline with the dolls right from the start: they were different from the world around them, because they were monsters. They turned into bats or were sewn together or had lupine characteristics. I don't remember any monster dolls being available in the playline market before. The WHC girls are different because: Mattel tells us so. They wear their hearts on their sleeves! They're into music and photography and skating and dreaming! HashtagDaretobeDifferent!

I'll admit that I'm cynical. I'm old enough that I've seen cycle after cycle of "it's okay to be different/be yourself even if you're different" messages aimed at kids roll around, not that I disagree with the sentiment. As I've pointed out up above, MH dolls really were quite different to the playline doll scene. And my beloved Ever After High did at least offer a new take on fairy tales, with the children of fairy tale characters. I mean, that's been done for ages in literature and movies, but not very much in doll lines. Plus, even though there were plot holes galore, the idea of whether or not the EAH characters should follow their parents' tales, or not, made for a storyline with a little appeal to  it.

Also, I personally liked the MH/EAH clothes a lot better than these new outfits. At least at the beginning of their respective launches, those outfits had more details, and painted accessories. Of course, they were more money, but all of a sudden, everything you got in those doesn't look so bad price-wise. Weren't they close to $20 US?

The doll line I would compare the WHC to, is My Scene. They were "edgier" than your standard Barbie. They had bigger heads. They wore more contemporary clothes. They had slightly fleshed out interests. Fifteen years from now, some doll company will probably produce a whole new line of doll friends that are completely different to these, and yet exactly the same. I guess I shouldn't be too negative about this; it's hard to make a group of dolls that absolutely stand out from any dolls made before. I think that I'm just reacting to the hype around these dolls, and maybe it's also related to the fact that I am that much farther away from the "just setting out to find yourself" stage in life than I was when my kids were into My Scene.

Some of my underwhelming feel for these dolls, though, I lay at the feet of Mattel. The WHC base outfits do not have the care and detail of My Scene, Monster High or Ever After High. The individual outfit packs, from what I've seen, are even worse. *One* item of clothing, a couple of small accessories, shoes that are recolored versions of existing ones, and some temporary tattoos for you and your doll. Hard to see tweens or adults getting excited about those.

I have seen people on Instagram excited about this line, and lucky you if you like it, I guess. They are something new from Barbie after Barbie after Barbie, or even release after release of Disney Princesses. But this group doesn't have a lot to draw this adult collector in, right from the start. It just feels like another gimmick line that will be discontinued in five years or less.

What do you think? Do you like them? Will you buy some? Were you only interested in taking their stuff for other dolls? Are they comparable to past dolls? Since I'm not interested in Cori as a rebody candidate, I'm going to try to sell her here for $7.00 to recoup some of my expense. Without her box, I can probably ship her in the continental US cheaply enough that she'll be close to the $14.97 plus tax that you would pay at Walmart. If you're outside the US and want her badly enough to pay for the higher shipping costs, let me know. I hope you enjoyed this review!

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Asian Lantern Festival at Cleveland Zoo, with Asian Babysitting Skipper

My daughter The Dancer usually works on Sundays, but since she had off, I suggested that we go to the Asian Lantern Festival currently on at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, as we both wanted to check it out. A mutual friend of Mr. BTEG and the Dancer also joined us.

There were so many incredibly beautiful scenes set up, and we had a great time. Fortunately for us the weather was bearable, because we walked around the zoo twice, once during daylight, and once after the sun had set. For anybody familiar with the Cleveland Zoo, we didn't walk around the whole zoo, as a good bit of it was shut down, including the Australian Adventure section. I would have loved sharing pictures with my Aussie readers. :) Of course, we didn't have much time for extensive picture taking. We were at the zoo over three hours as it was, although we did see a show between our two walks, and also took a breather a couple of times.

I didn't take a lot of pictures with my doll, now named Mingmei. There weren't a lot of places to get her into the picture in an interactive way, since the lanterns were usually well behind fences. Also, as I said, I was with two other people, so I didn't want to take forever setting up shots. The Dancer did hold Mingmei for me while I took pictures. Here are the shots that I took. There will be more shots from the event, without Mingmei, below the fold, if you are interested. And although this event was called the Asian Lantern Festival, everything there was focused on Chinese culture and history.

In front of a parasol, which was one of several. I got a good shot of some other ones from the set-up at night, below the fold. I want to make a blog header out of this, but Google is not letting me at the moment.
A goldfish and bubbles. According to a sign, goldfish are symbols of wealth and prosperity in China.
Narcissus flowers.
A blue ball. There was also a pink one, and they both looked like giant Christmas ornament balls.
By the beautiful archway that stood at the entrance/exit of the zoo.