Dolls and Doll-related Items for Sale

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

My Collection Part One: Mini American Girls

Since Chris and Rachael are both sharing pictorial records of their collections, I decided to jump in too. It's something that I ought to do anyway, and it will be an easy photography option when I am otherwise uninspired.

I decided to start with the mini American Girl dolls. They are 6 inches tall, and are tiny versions of the regular 18" American Girl dolls, and their friends, who also had dolls for a short period of time. I think I'm in the minority, but I prefer the soft bodies that my mini dolls have, like the 18" dolls. At some point, Mattel changed the minis so that bodies are all vinyl. Most of the American Girls' stories start with them being nine years old, and later on show them celebrating when they turn ten. There are several more mini dolls out there; these are the ones that I own.

This is Felicity, and her friend Elizabeth. Their story starts in 1774. Although they are friends, Felicity's parents are Patriots, while Elizabeth's are Loyalists, which leads to some tension in their friendship.
Felicity's dress changed when Mattel re-introduced Felicity to the doll line. I think the original dress was much more period accurate in its print choice. Elizabeth is wearing a dress from Felicity's Christmas story. She and Felicity are invited to the governor's mansion for a dance lesson along with other well-born girls. Mini Felicity in her Christmas dress was also released, along with several of the other mini AG dolls. You'll see an example two dolls down.  

This is Caroline. She lives in New York state, on the coast of Lake Ontario. Her father runs a shipyard, until he is kidnapped by the British, during the lead up to the War of 1812.
Caroline's dress is pretty accurate to her time, with the high waist and simple trims. The dress on my mini Caroline is a little strained in the bodice, though.

Meet Josefina. Her story starts in 1824, where she lives in New Mexico. She has recently lost her mother, and her aunt comes to live with them, bringing new ideas.
This is the dress from Josefina's Christmas story. Josefina's meet outfit is Hispanic style, with a loose blouse, gathered print skirt and woven belt. Her Christmas dress is more in line with European fashion of the time, although she also wears her black headscarf, or mantilla, to Mass. The 18" doll also came with a hair comb, and Josefina wears one in the pictures in the book. If you look at this extant 1820s girl's dress, you can see how accurate Josefina's dress is.
At one time, this dress could be seen at Vintage Textile. The image survives on Pinterest, and although all the images link back to Vintage Textile, I couldn't find the dress anymore on the website.

Here are Cecile and Marie-Grace, from 1853. They were unusual in that both were main characters in their stories, and also friends interacting in the other's life. Each girl had her own Meet book, and then two other books of her own, making for six books total. Both girls have to help their family and others around them when a yellow fever epidemic hits their home city of New Orleans. Cecile also faces challenges as a member of a well off, "free people of color" family, when most black people in the United States at that time are slaves. Marie-Grace has lost her mother and recently moved to New Orleans with her father, feeling overwhelmed in the big city.
Many collectors agreed that mini Marie-Grace's face is... unfortunate. The solid pink straps on Marie-Grace's dress are called bretelles, and they come off much better on the 18" doll than here. Cecile's dress is also pretty accurate, although in real life, the white center of her dress could have been tightly pleated in "fan front" style, and she probably would have had at least one more velvet bar across the bodice.

This is Kirsten. We meet her in 1854, when she is moving to Minnesota as a pioneer from her home in Sweden.
Kirsten's uncle, aunt and cousins have settled in Minnesota before Kirsten's family. Kirsten receives this "American dress" from her cousins pretty early on, to replace the traditional dress Kirsten wore from Sweden. Since Kirsten's family is not well off, her dress is simpler than those of Cecile and Marie-Grace. The 18" doll's dress is more accurate, having a slight gather in the bodice at the waist. Kirsten's looped braids don't translate to the mini doll very well.

Here is Samantha. She lives in New York state in 1904, with her grandmother, who is wealthy. Through Samantha's eyes, we see all the new things that are changing the way people live, such as automobiles and the telephone, and new ideas about things such as votes for women and child labor.
This outfit is Samantha's meet dress from her original story. Bangs weren't in fashion for girls in 1904, but the rest of her outfit is perfect. Don't get me started on the clothes the re-released Samantha doll wears.

This is Ruthie. She is the friend of Kit, who is the main character of the stories. They are facing the Great Depression together in 1934. Kit's dad has lost his job, while Ruthie's father is still employed.
The cut and print of Ruthie's dress is just right for the 1930s. My Ruthie's hair is unruly.

So here's an introduction to my collection. I hope you don't mind that it also turned into a mini-lesson on historical fashion, but that's right in my wheelhouse. My interest in historical fashion is what attracted me to American Girl dolls in the first place.

Total dolls: 9

Thursday, March 19, 2020

More Scrapbook Paper

Even though I've been spending the huge majority of my time at home lately, I haven't felt in the mood to do a lot of doll photography, craft work, or sewing. I have cleaned up my craft area a little, but the creative item that I've wanted to work on the most is a human-sized afghan that I'm knitting.

I did hit Tuesday Morning a couple of times recently, and got the yarn for the afghan, a few crafty things, a few doll things, and a few pads of scrapbook paper. This pad will be great to provide backgrounds for holiday themed photo shoots.
This one has some wood floor and log cabin images that might work out for doll room settings. There are also a couple of pieces, like the bike leaning against the wall, that might make a good backdrop for photos.
I couldn't resist the fairy tale one, even though I already have a fairy-tale themed scrapbook pad with different images. If I get into a good sewing groove this summer, I may be able to make some nice fairy tale outfits for my Ever After High dolls, and take some "artsy" pictures.
Are any of you working on any doll projects whilst staying at home?


Friday, March 6, 2020

Managing to Post

Well! My winter has been going pretty well as far as mood. Using my light box also helped me maintain something resembling a normal sleep schedule, instead of my body insisting it couldn't be nighttime, because there hadn't been any daylight yet! However, I wasn't really very motivated, which is different from being depressed. I have interest in doing things I find enjoyable, but my body hasn't been responding with physical energy to get things done. From experience, this should start getting better very soon, so I'm trying not to let myself get discouraged. I'm thinking that I should do as many photo shoots as possible through my more productive time of the year, although I've also been suffering from lack of concentration lately. It's frustrating being bored, because you can't even focus on a five minute YouTube video!

However, I'm doing a lot better today (after being sick for almost a week on top of everything else!) These are a few things that I've been wanting to share, that won't require a ton of writing on my part.

For one thing, I'm going to an annual Pullip doll lovers event called PUDDLE. This year it takes place on June 6th, in Elk Grove, Illinois, which is a suburb of Chicago. I've been wanting to go to another doll convention since the Tonner event, and there really don't seem to be that many out there anymore. The Barbie convention is out of my budget, besides which I'm not that big of a Barbie fan overall. I'm hoping that PUDDLE will be an enjoyable experience.
Partially to get to know other Pullip doll collectors before the convention, I'm going to be trying to post more Pullip pictures on my Instagram account. This is the best I could do last month, but March should be better.
Of possible interest to doll photographers are these two sets I saw in the #SNAPSTAR line. I think Aspen's studio is more interesting, as it has the star shaped spotlight *and* a separate spotlight with three color filters. Echo's set only has one spotlight, although it also has the "pink carpet" props. Anyway, these sets might be a budget opportunity to pick up some small-scale lights for photography.
I have so many posts that I've been wanting to make! Hopefully, the rest of 2020 will be better for this blog.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Vacation!

Yep, it's early in the year to have a vacation, but Mr. BTEG's employer paid for him to attend CodeMash again this year. CodeMash gives a yearly tech conference, based out of the Kalahari indoor waterpark in Sandusky, Ohio. There are a handful of hotels that offer overflow rooms, and one of those is Great Wolf Lodge, also an indoor waterpark, and just down the street. Mr. BTEG has attended CodeMash before; you can read a review about the waterpark and general facilities here. You can see a doll-sized 3D printed tea set that I had printed at CodeMash here.

We as a family have very fond memories of Great Wolf Lodge. The first time we attended was in 2004, and we've been back several times since. Since Mr. BTEG knows how much I love GWL, he booked his room there this year, and I hung out and used the waterpark, while he was attending classes and functions at Kalahari. So I had a lovely vacation from Monday night to Friday morning.

Great Wolf Lodge is really targeted more for younger kids. There are no large water slides or more adult-friendly only water activities at GWL. There are several storytimes, including one at night when kids get to come down in their pajamas. There is a "dance party" where they play kid-friendly dance music, and the kids bop around in their jammies.
There is an "interactive, live-action, roleplaying game" called MagiQuest, that is really slanted towards tweens and younger, although I have seen some enthusiastic roleplaying adults running around the hotel. There are various treasure chests, and interactive screens and so on, situated throughout the hotel lobby area's four floors, and there is a scenario that you go through, after you buy a "magic" wand to activate the items. There are also accessories like capes and swords available for purchase. My niece had a great time playing this back in September. She was ten.
There's also a small craft area, where coloring pages and other simple activities are offered throughout the day. It was fun to see that the chairs are the same as the one as I have in the doll-sized Ikea furniture set that I bought. For some reason, I forget to get a picture of the doll-sized chair back then, so here it is, and then the (small) human sized chairs.
Here's a picture of the waterpark, and of the giant water bucket that fills up and tips every so often.

There is a doll (figure) involved here! The gift shop at Great Wolf Lodge offers some of the World's Smallest brand items. This trip, I picked up a Totally Hair Barbie mini. Despite the name, this Barbie is definitely not the world's smallest Barbie doll. The mini original Barbie, that I got with the 40th Anniversary Barbie doll, is much smaller. The stand is a nice touch with Totally Hair, though.
There was also another figure involved in the trip, a 3D printed one. Thursday night, CodeMash paid Kalahari to keep some of their water attractions open late, and there was food and free beverages, as well as alcohol to buy. There were also a bunch of board games available in one of the conference rooms. Some of the CodeMash coordinators hid mini, 3D printed Baby Yoda figures around the conference area, and if you found one and turned it in, you got entered into a drawing to win a larger Baby Yoda, about a foot and a half high, or 31.75cm.  Mr. BTEG found one, but he didn't win the big Baby Yoda.
He did win an Artistic Achievement award in the Badge My InternetofThings Life competition. Badges were given out (run by an ESP32, if you're a geek) and people customized them. Mr. BTEG designed the 3D printed case, but he also created a program on the screen that Rickrolled other convention goers.
Lastly, I wanted to share this picture with my Australian readers, especially. It's a ride at Kalahari, that gives you the chance to surf, if you can get up on the board. Most of the people that tried it couldn't stand up. A few did a 360 in the wave; most just held on. It's the closest thing that we have to surfing here in Ohio, although I did have a Surf Ohio shirt when I was in my twenties. :)
I hope you don't mind this mostly off topic post! It's what has taken up most of my time so far this year!

Monday, December 16, 2019

40th Anniversary Barbie

This won't be much of a review, since this is an older doll. But I wanted everyone to see pictures of this pretty doll I picked up a couple of months ago. I was fortunate enough to find her locally, so that I didn't have to pay shipping costs to get her.

Since she was made to celebrate Barbie's 40th anniversary, she's wearing a takeoff of Barbie's iconic black and white striped swimsuit. She has the Mackie face mold, and she came with two accessories, an anniversary bouquet of roses, and a miniature original Barbie doll. The miniature doll was actually my biggest reason for wanting to buy 40th Anniversary. The mini doll was supposed to be on the pink box next to Barbie, but one of the rubber bands had deteriorated, and the doll slipped down to the bottom of the box. A couple of rubber bands in here had fallen apart; this doll herself turned 20 years old this year!


She's got quite big ruffles at the bottom of her mermaid gown. I think the one ruffle is standing up so much because it was put in the box that way. Her shoes look nice, but the heels have bent in, as happens with a lot of Barbie shoes. Her skirt is unfinished on the inside, but I imagine Mattel was looking at this doll as strictly display.  She does come with a stand, but that skirt is so tight, I don't know if I could get her on it. And her gloves are pretty nicely cut.
I personally love the Mackie face mold, and this doll's makeup is fairly nice too, I think. I like her French twist up-do, although there's a little bit of a "space" in the back.



And I had to take a picture of a Barbie doll holding the mini Barbie, to give you an idea of scale (especially since the mini doll wasn't visible in the big box!)
This is a nice doll to add to my collection. I don't know how much you will see her with my other Barbies, as this doll looks pretty swanky as is, and I don't want to mess with her hair style. She'll probably be in a photo or two at some point, as well as the roses and mini Barbie. Speaking of which, my daughter just walked past my computer, looked at my monitor, and said "Is that a doll holding a doll?" with a little eye roll. But only a little one. She knows her mom's doll craziness, and as she pointed out, her dollhouse when she was little, had a mini dollhouse. :)

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

#SNAPSTAR Green Stand, and Barbie Comparison Photos

Boy, November really got away from me. I've been trying to get my Vitamin D intake and light box use at the right balance, and there were just too many days where I wasn't up to doing as much as I did during the summer. The BTEG family has also been busy with other things, including making six homemade pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving, but I'll talk about that after the doll stuff.

In the comments of my previous post, Rachael asked if the green stand would work with other dolls. I promised her I'd check the stand with one of my Cu-Poche dolls and let her know. I didn't think it would take so long, Rachael!

Looking at the two stands, you wouldn't think a doll could use both, would you? However, note that both stands have a round peg at the end, and that they are close in size.
Yes, my Cinderella Cu-Poche can actually use the green stand! Now, the green peg is very close to being bigger than the hole in the Cu-Poche back, so it's not a perfect fit, and thus the doll can fall off the green peg very easily. Then again, I haven't done a lot of photography with the white stand yet, so maybe Cu-Poche dolls don't stay on those that well, either.
Since the green stand does work with Cinderella, you know what I had to do.
I green-screened her onto a beach on my beloved Lake Erie, from a picture I took a few years back.
Here's some other examples of green screens I have done. These two are from last Christmas.
 I put Poppy skating into this picture of me taken on the ice many years ago.
And here are Madeline and one of her friends driving down a snowy road.
Lastly, here's a picture from the first chapter of my storyline, which I really need to get back to. I had to dress Hunter in clothes other than his customary green top, which would have disappeared right along with their green background. I do have blue screen capabilities too, but not a nice blue backdrop, at the moment.
Also in the comments, Dana asked if the #SNAPSTAR body could be used with a Petite Fashionista. Unfortunately, the answer is no. Dawn is very much shorter than the Petite Fashionista and the Skipper body, which I threw in for further comparison.
If you'd like to hear about the BTEG family Thanksgiving, continue below the fold.

Monday, November 11, 2019

#SNAPSTAR vs Liv

When the #SNAPSTAR dolls first launched, so many people compared them to Liv dolls, myself included. And since I wasn't interested in the #SNAPSTAR dolls themselves, I really just cared about seeing them with Liv dolls. I was interested in their similarities and differences more than the dolls themselves. When I found a #SNAPSTAR doll for a good price, this was my chance, and if you were interested in comparing these two dolls in more detail, I hope you'll enjoy this.

Meet Daniela Liv and Dawn #SNAPSTAR. In this picture, they don't seem to have much in common, other than inset eyes, and oversized heads.
However, there is one thing that makes them stand out from most other doll lines, and resemble each other. This:
Yep, both of these lines have removable wigs, and both lines also have/had separate wigs available for purchase to change your doll's look. (I say have/had because the Liv line is long gone, although of course you can still purchase Liv items second hand, including those spare wigs.)

Not only do the dolls wear wigs, they both have holes in their noggins for a wig post.
So of course, I had to know if the dolls could swap wigs. One thing I noticed during the wig sharing was that Dawn's wig cap is much harder, kind of like a hat. Liv wigs, at least in my experience, need to be almost peeled on or off. This is not easy either, as the wig cap, while not as hard as a plastic hat, is fairly stiff.

Here's Daniela wearing Dawn's wig. It really does change her look quite a bit, and although you can see some of her painted on hair in the front, it's not a bad look for her.
I could see her wearing one of the #SNAPSTAR wigs that had bangs or something, very easily.

While Daniela's wig did not fit Dawn quite as well, it doesn't appear completely out of place, and it changes her look too.
This wig is loose on Dawn, and the wig cap doesn't touch all of her head. It wouldn't be good for play, as it would fall off all of the time. But it doesn't look bad here, and I like being able to see more of Dawn's face than her wig shows.

Wigs aside, one look at Dawn and Daniela will tell you they can't share clothes or shoes. Liv can wear some Barbie clothes; I do know that. For this post, I wanted to look at the newer doll on the block. Naked doll with clothing and shoe images under the fold.