Bye, La Dee Da!

Sadly, another toy line bites the dust.  La Dee Da dolls are officially discontinued.  Apparently, 2013 was not a good year for new toy lines, with new comers Pinkie Cooper also being discontinued.  Now is the time to pick these guys up!  Who knows how easy they’ll be to find when they’re no longer on toy shelves.

Sad News

Sad News

I’m quite sad about this!  I loved the look of these dolls and thought they added color to the toy aisles.  What do you think of this news?  Share your thoughts below!

April 14, 2014. Tags: , , . Category: Uncategorized. 5 comments.

Dolly Review: Mattel’s Ever After High Cedar Wood

Before I get to this review, I just wanted to apologize for missing one or two of the weekly updates!  March and April have been tough months for me, schedule wise.  It didn’t help that the toy aisles have been empty of new stock recently!  So, starting this week, I plan on getting back to my one post a week goal.  :)  Thanks for being awesome!

Cedar Woods

Cedar Woods

IMG_0425

Cedar with Hunter

Cedar with Hunter

And now, the regularly scheduled doll review!  I’d like to introduce you to the newest Ever After High release, Cedar Wood!  Cedar Wood is the daughter of Pinocchio and falls into the ‘rebel’ category.  She hit store shelves officially April 1st, though I found her at Justice a few days before then.

Cedar's Purse

Cedar’s Purse

Cedar's Bracelet and Ring

Cedar’s Bracelet and Ring

As per usual, Cedar comes with a stand, comb and purse. She is decked out in earrings, a bracelet and the standard two-fingered ring.

Cedars Hair

Cedars Hair

Cedar has rooted brown hair.  It’s styled in loose curls.  These curls are sprayed down, so they should keep their style well.  While simple, I think this style suits her. What I really love about her hairstyle is the braided headband (of sorts).

Cedars braided headband style

Cedars braided headband style

In the small braid, you’ll notice she has lavender highlights. My doll is very light on highlights.  If it weren’t for the strands by her part, it would be easy to miss them.  I don’t mind that the highlights are lighter than we’ve seen on some dolls.  I feel like they needed to keep her hair simple for other elements of her design to stand out.  What other elements? We’ll get to that later.

Cedars face paint

Cedars face paint

Cedar has an adorable face!  Her eye make up is very earthy, with brown eye shadow surrounding her brown eyes.  Right above the brown eye shadow, there is a nice translucent white to lighten the look up a bit. Cedar’s long eyelashes really stand out on Cedar’s lightly done up face. Cedar has very light blush, light enough that it’s hard to notice at first.  The main focal point of her face has to be her lips. Like we’ve seen on Cupid before, her lip color is comprised of a dark red center surrounded by a light tan tone.  It took a while for me to get used to this lip design, to be completely honest.  But after owning her for a few weeks, I don’t mind it any more.  It’s grown on me!

 

Cedar's Dress

Cedar’s Dress

Cedar is dressed in a cute purple dress with some pink and gold elements on the skirt.  It’s put together nicely and it seems to fit her character well.  I like the bodice and the peter pan neckline.  The thing I don’t love about this outfit?  It’s kind of blah.  There’s nothing super special about it.

Uneven Nylons

Uneven Tights

Cedar wears knee high tights.  My doll’s knee high’s are way off.  The right knee high is much longer than the left one.  I can’t say I paid enough attention to the socks while buying her, so I don’t know if this is just mine or if it’s a styling choice made by Mattel, but the uneven tights are a bit annoying.

Cedar's Shoes

Cedar’s Shoes

As usual, I adore Cedar’s shoes!  They’re cute.  They’re not as elaborate as Ever After High or Monster High have been in the past, but I love the simplistic nature to them. They are a dark brown, bark like heel with pink straps holding them on.  I love these shoes!

Cedar in Pizza Hut playset

Cedar in Pizza Hut playset

Cedar Wood

Cedar Wood

The coolest thing about Cedar for me is her body mold.  Cedar is Pinocchio’s daughter, so the wood carving theme was taken to a max while designing her arms, legs, torso and even her head mold.  Her body is decked out in ‘bark like’ carvings.

Notice the carvings on her arms

Notice the carvings on her arms

Cedar's legs.  Notice the carvings!

Cedar’s legs. Notice the carvings!

This was even brought into her face mold, from her neck to just around her lips and on the sides of her hair line.  Kudo’s to Mattel for going all the way and for keeping to her character’s aesthetic.

Those lines on are face are NOT shadows!

Those lines on are face are NOT shadows!

Cedar with Venus

Cedar with Venus

The limbs creaked a bit when I first moved them, which did frighten me at first, but now that they’ve been worked in, I’m less worried about them!  She has the traditional jointing–  shoulder, elbow, wrist, thigh, and knee.  Her head rotates as it should.

Cedar with Hunter

Cedar with Hunter

For me, Cedar is a great addition to the Ever After High line.  She’s not 100% perfect, but she’s near perfect!  I wish her outfit was a little different from the cookie cutter styles we’ve seen so far and I really wish her tights weren’t so drastically uneven.  Of course, I think Mattel worked wonders with the tree like elements put into her body and head mold.

Cedar with Hunter

Cedar with Hunter (and look at the lines on the top of her hairline– those are NOT shadows!)

The video review is below:

What do you think of Cedar? Share your thoughts below!

April 13, 2014. Tags: , , , . Category: Introductions & Reviews, Category: Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Bye, Pinkie Cooper!

Fans of Pinkie Cooper will want to complete their collection soon!  Sadly, the adorable anthro is discontinued as of this spring.  I confirmed this late March when a reader asked me to look into it, but completely forgot to post it here on the blog.  Sorry about that!

Confirmation

Confirmation

 

This is a such a shame!  I think Pinkie Cooper added a bit of pizzazz to the toy aisles.  What do you think?  Share your thoughts below!

April 13, 2014. Tags: . Category: Articles and Doll Histories, Category: Uncategorized. 5 comments.

Collection Close Up: Hard Plastic Madame Alexander’s

Many readers have asked for a closer look inside my collection.  Here’s the first spotlight on one of my sub-collections- Hard Plastic Madame Alexander dolls.  I didn’t set out to collect Madame Alexander’s.  In fact, the 14″ to 17″ hard plastic dolls stand out amongst the many fashion dolls in my collection. My passion for hard plastic Madame Alexanders was very much fueled by attending the Doll and Toy Show at the Kane County Fairgrounds.  While beautiful on the computer screen, some of these vintage dolls are just magnificent looking in person.  After seeing so many fantastic examples of hard plastic Madame Alexanders while walking the show floor, it was only a matter of time before I decided to take the plunge and buy one.

Before we go into my collection, here’s a brief history on Madame Alexander.  Madame Alexander was founded in 1923 by 28 year old Madame Beatrice Alexander Behrman.  Working in the doll industry was in her blood, as her father ran the first doll hospital recorded in the United States in New York City.

Part of my Collection

Part of my Collection

Still going strong in 2014, Madame Alexander was the first company to create dolls based on licensed literary and movie characters, the first to use ‘sleep eyes’, the first to create dolls based on living people and the first to create a line of US Armed Forces dolls during World War II.

On top of all that, they were, also, the first to use DuPont hard plastic on their products, which was a very smart decision, because their hard plastic dolls are quite possibly the most sought after dolls to come out of Madame Alexander.  During the hard plastic years, Madame Alexander was the recipient of the Fashion Academy Gold Medal Award four years in a row, 1951-1954.  For more information on the Fashion Academy Gold Medal Award and Madame Alexander, I highly recommend watching this video on the elusive Portrait dolls created by Madame Alexander at that time.  It’s a little long, but the dolls are gorgeous!

14" Cinderella

14″ Cinderella

My first Madame Alexander was this adorable early 1950′s 14″ Margaret face Cinderella. She’s the only Madame Alexander I purchased online. My first foray into this kind of doll, I didn’t feel the need to buy a really expensive, pristine looking doll.

14" Cinderella

14″ Cinderella

14" Cinderella

14″ Cinderella

Cinderella isn’t in the best shape, but she was a great starter doll.  Her face paint is a little light and her wig has seen better days, but I don’t regret purchasing her at all!  Her dress is a tagged original Madame Alexander garment.

17" Lucy Bride

17″ Lucy Bride

In 2011, I picked up a 1953 17″ Lucy Bride from the Kane County show. She was a total ‘love at first sight’ doll.  As this was the October show, my mom helped me out a bit for her. We called it part of my birthday gifts that year! Dressed in her original tagged wedding dress, this Lucy Bride is near perfect.  A collector herself was selling these dolls, which helped me a lot.  It seemed she wanted her dolls to go to a good home, rather than to go for a lot of money.  As a new collector, I was eternally grateful for that!

17" Lucy Bride

17″ Lucy Bride

This Lucy Bride was my first 17″ hard plastic doll and she pretty much sold me on that size.  While I like 14″ dolls, I love 17″ dolls!  This Lucy Bride is the first of two brides I currently own.

17" Unkown Bride Doll

17″ Unknown Bride Doll

October of 2012, again at the Doll and Toy Show, brought me another Madame Alexander bride with a Margaret face.  This 17″ hard plastic doll is still a bit of a mystery to me.  She is clearly a Margaret face Madame Alexander and is wearing a tagged outfit, but for the life of me, I can’t place her as any specific doll.  Her dress can sometimes be seen on a Wendy Bride doll, but I have yet to find one that looks like my doll.

17" unknown bride

17″ unknown bride

17" unknown bride

17″ unknown bride

This bride has an adorable blonde mohair wig.  I love the mohair wigs on Madame Alexanders.  They seem to be much rarer than the floss or dynel hair wigs, though!  Her face paint is great for being over 50 years old!

17" Maggie Walker

17″ Maggie Walker

One of my favorite Madame Alexander face types is the Maggie face.  I just love the wide eyed expression she has.  It took a few years (and three Margaret faces) for me to get a Maggie face doll.  That doll is this adorable 17″ Maggie Walker.  Now, this doll isn’t as prestigious as some other Maggie’s out there, but I love her!  She came out sometime in the early 50′s.

17" Maggie Walker

17″ Maggie Walker

She is different from all my other Madame Alexanders in many ways.  First, she’s an adorable brunette with brown eyes.  Her face paint leaves a little to be desired, but for her age, I think it’s fine.  Second, this Maggie Walker still works!  If you move her legs, her arms go up and down and her head turns left and right.

17" Maggie Walker

17″ Maggie Walker

My Maggie Walker was purchased (again) at the Doll and Toy show.  She must have been a well loved doll, as she came with her own handmade wardrobe, complete with matching shoes and props, as well as a bright red travel trunk.  I always wonder about her previous owner– who she was, what the rest of her collection looked like, how she came about this doll…

14" Little Women Amy

14″ Little Women Amy

My most recent addition to my little collection is this 14″ Margaret face.  I purchased her under the assumption she was an Alice in Wonderland.  However, it turns out she’s a Little Women Amy, from the early 50′s.  Her outfit is a Madame Alexander outfit, but wasn’t meant for this particular doll.  (In fact, it’s a bit too small!)  However, it looks fine on her for now.

14" Little Women Amy

14″ Little Women Amy

Amy apparently had two different hairstyles that make it possible to ‘date’ the doll.  It depends on how the wig is styled.  Dolls made before 1951 have loop curls.  I don’t know what my doll’s curls looked like, since they are no longer in their original style.

14" Little Women Amy

14″ Little Women Amy

There you have it. Needless to say, I’ll most likely be adding another hard plastic Madame Alexander to my collection in 2014.  As always, I created a video to go with this post!  Check it out below.

My Collection

My Collection

Do you have a favorite Madame Alexander?  Why do you think these dolls are so sought after?  Share your thoughts below!

April 3, 2014. Category: Articles and Doll Histories, Category: Introductions & Reviews, Category: Uncategorized. 12 comments.

Skipper Highlight Reel- Japanese Skipper

One of my favorite vintage Skipper’s is, as it so happens, one of the hardest to find, the elusive Japanese Skipper.  The Japanese Skipper hit store shelves in 1964 and was exclusive to the Japanese market.

Japanese Skipper

Japanese Skipper

Like traditional Skipper’s, she had three hair colors– titan, brunette and blonde.  The Japanese Skipper is usually associated with ‘pink’ bodies, which means many are found with faded faces and limbs.

Japanese Skipper

Japanese Skipper

This exclusive Skipper was sold as a basic doll, wearing her classic red bathing suit.  She was, also, sold wearing more elaborate fashions.

Traditional Skipper vs Japanese Skipper

Traditional Skipper vs Japanese Skipper

One of the most interesting aspects of this Japanese Skipper are her eyes.  Traditional Skippers have side glancing blue eyes.  This Skipper, however, has large black side glancing eyes with painted lashes.  They look great in person.

Japanese Skipper

Japanese Skipper

I couldn’t nail down any hard facts about how long this Skipper was out or why exactly Japan was the only country with such a drastic face paint change.  If you know, please share your info in the comment area!

Japanese Skippers are pricey on the second hand market, but for good reason.  They stand out in a crowd of sky blue eyes with their unique eye design.  For that reason, my brunette Japanese Skipper is one of my favorites.

Traditional Skipper vs Japanese Skipper

Traditional Skipper vs Japanese Skipper (note: they’re the same size, but my stand is a bit too high for the Japanese Skipper.)

I’ve spotlighted this doll on my YouTube channel, too. The video is below!

What do you think of the Japanese Skipper?  Share your thoughts below! And stay tuned for another installment of the Skipper Highlight Reel next month (see last months)! And of course, if you have more info on this doll, please share it!

March 23, 2014. Tags: , . Category: Introductions & Reviews, Category: Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Mark Your Calendars!!!!

Did you miss out on the 50th Anniversary Skipper?  Good news!  She’s coming back later this year and in a new hair color!

She's Back!

She’s Back!

Mark your calendars! She’ll be back in August!  I’m loving this 2nd release way more than the original blonde release.  What about you? Share your thoughts below!

March 23, 2014. Tags: , . Category: Articles and Doll Histories. 4 comments.

Dolly Review: Siena, my Makie from MakieLabs

Back in January, I ordered a Makie, the brainchild of MakieLab‘s.  Makies are the first 3D printed dolls that you can customize.  When my Makie arrived, I posted a box opening video and post, promising a real review when I had enough time to really play with her.  Here’s the promised review!

Makies Banner

Makies Banner

Let’s talk a bit about Makies in general, before jumping into details about my Makie.  When ordering a Makie, you’re ordering a few things.  First, you’re ordering a custom made head (eyes included) that you create in a special web based app (or on your Apple device) on a jointed stock body.  Because no doll wants to arrive naked, you have the option of a handful of outfits (chosen in the app).  Last, but not least, you choose a wig.  Wigs are non-removable unless you write the company after you order and request the wig be removable.  I did that for my Makie, because I wanted to add that extra level of customization to her.  (We all like changing our hair every now and then, right?)

Screen Capture, Eyes

Screen Capture, Eyes

Creating my Makie, who I eventually named Siena after my favorite Italian city, was really easy.  The website application worked fine and it was relatively easy to see how you were manipulating the head mold.  It didn’t take long at all to create something I loved.

Communication after ordering was fantastic. I e-mailed them with a question and got a response very quickly.  They kept me informed as to what part of the process my Makie was at, too, via e-mail.  As promised, about two weeks later, a package from MakieLab’s arrived from London!  (Apparently, it made a stop in Germany, too!  Siena’s already been to more countries than myself!)

Various Makies

Various Makies

I’ll be honest– there are some Makies out there that I just don’t like.  But their owners?  They seem to love them! I guess that’s the nice thing about Makies– since you are the ‘designer’, there’s a good chance you’ll create something you think is aesthetically pleasing.

Siena, My Makie

Siena, My Makie

That’s what happened with Siena.  There were things I knew I didn’t want.  I didn’t want a block-like, square face.  I, also, didn’t want very squinty eyes and I definitely didn’t want my Makie to be stark white or a light peach.  I’d seen images of Makies that were light skinned and I wasn’t won over by them.  Plus, I figured my collection needed a bit more diversity to it.

Siena, My Makie

Siena, My Makie

Let’s talk about Siena. I’m sure the burning question on your mind is this: is she a good representation of the graphic I created when I ordered her?  Yes.  I believe Siena looks a lot like her virtual self.  The skin color is a slightly different shade than expected, but as these are hand dyed, I expected so much.

Siena, real vs computer image

Siena, real vs computer image

Siena came with a light face up on her cocoa skin.  I chose to give Siena large eyes  (angled down slightly), round cheeks, a large mouth with defined lips and a button nose.  One of my favorite aspects of her design are her pointy ears!  There was no way she was going to have normal human ears!

Siena, My Makie

Siena, My Makie

Her eye brows are shaded in with a dark brown.  I made my dolls eye brows pretty thick, so I’m happy the face up included those.  Directly above the eye is a thin line of black eyeliner, topped with an equally thin line of light pink.

Siena, My Makie

Siena, My Makie

It looks like they used a watercolor pencil or something similar to that for the face up.  She doesn’t have drawn on eye lashes or ‘real’ eyelashes, though I have seen some Makie’s leaving London with what look like ‘real’ lashes. (Don’t quote me on that, though!)

Siena, My Makie

Siena, My Makie

The eye make up is very simple.  If you’re looking for something more elaborate, you have to e-mail the company to see what options they might offer you or order the girl without a face up and do it yourself.  I don’t believe there is any blush on Siena’s cheeks, but she does have rosy lips, also done in what looks like some sort of watercolor pencil.

Siena, My Makie

Siena, My Makie

I chose to give Siena bright green eyes.  They are roughly 16″ eyes.

Inside a Makie

Inside a Makie

The look inside Siena’s head is kind of interesting.  The head cap is super simple to take off.  (Just pinch the top and bottom of it and it’s off.)  Once open, you’ll expose a unique eye mechanism.  You’ll also notice the thing that draws this apart from most 1/6 bjd’s– the eyes.  Makies don’t use full round eyes, like you see in other dolls.  They use strange half eyes.  You can remove these eyes and put in eyes of your own, but know that the perfect balance these have might be compromised if you do that!  Also, the eye mech might not work very well, so you’ll probably need putty.  I don’t plan on changing Siena’s eyes because they look great as is, but you can change them if you’d like.

Hujoo vs Makie

Hujoo vs Makie

Siena has a hollow sort of feeling to her body that makes her feel lighter than the similarly sized ABS plastic Hujoo.  I don’t feel there’s a great difference between Siena and a Hujoo, but of the two, Siena is a little lighter.

Siena, My Makie

Siena, My Makie

She has a number of joints. Her head moves as you’d expect, up, down, left and right.  It takes more force to move it into position than you’d think.

Siena, My Makie

Siena, My Makie

She has joints in her shoulders, elbows and wrists, as well.  There is no joint in her torso. Of course, she has joints at her thighs, knees and ankles.  Her limbs move more fluidly than her head does.

Siena, My Makie

Siena, My Makie

As far as posing, I think she holds her own to other 1/6 bjd’s.  There are some limitations to her joints.  Her elbow joint is the most limited when compared to other bjd’s.  It doesn’t rotate left or right, just moves up and down. The knees are similar.  They don’t rotate left or right, either.

Notice the removable limb!

Notice the removable limb!

Because this doll was made with customizing in mind, most (not all) of the joints were made to be removable.  Her head, shoulder, wrist, thigh and ankle joints can be removed from the ball joint and then placed right back on.  The shoulder was a little tough for me to take off, but the other parts were easy.

Siena, My Makie

Siena, My Makie

One surprising aspect of Siena’s body is her back.  There’s a huge battery compartment like square in her back.  Apparently, this is so you can ‘mod’ or ‘hack’ your Makie.  To be honest, adding wires to my dolls has never occurred to me, but I guess I can see how this could be a fun for the engineering types. Older style Makies had a hollow neck, so you could literally move wires from the ‘battery compartment’ into the head.   It looks like they have modified the neck mold to no longer allow wires to move up and into the head.

For those, like me, who have no interest in modding in any way that would need a battery compartment, note that you might want to limit the number of ‘low back’ tops or back photography you do with your Makie because the compartment goes relatively high on her back.

Besides the large rectangle on her back, I have to talk a bit about the shape of her torso.  It’s not as feminine as you’d expect.  It’s kind of blocky and her bust looks a little strange to me.  This probably has a lot to do with the hidden compartment on her back, though.

Fork like hands

Fork like hands

While proportionate to her limbs, her hands do have a bit of a fork like look.  The fingers are very straight and pointy. I hope they improve on those one of these days.  I should have ordered an extra set of hands.

Makie's Feet

Makie’s Feet

I really like her feet, though!  They’re not too large or too small and they even have toe-nail imprints on them.

Now that we’ve gone over a bit about the body’s look, how does it feel?  And, because many of you asked, how does it compare to the ABS of a Hujoo? Siena’s body feels different, that’s for sure, from a resin or ABS plastic bjd.

Siena, My Makie

Siena, My Makie

It’s textured, like wood grain.  You’ll see on the 3D printed limbs circular patterns that are reminiscent of the top of a tree stump.

Makie vs Hujoo

Makie vs Hujoo

If you’re a Hujoo collector, you’ll notice a difference right away between the smooth, shiny plastic of the Hujoo and the wood grain like plastic of a Makie.

Siena, My Makie

Siena, My Makie

Siena balances beautifully!!!  Seriously, I never have to worry about her.  MakieLab’s did a wonderful job on creating a doll that stands in various position on both legs or even one leg!  (Disclaimer- it did take me a few tries to get her to stand on one leg, but any doll that can do that at least once, earns a gold star in my book!) Because of the tight ball joints, she holds poses super well, too.

Hujoo Wings vs Makie

Hujoo Wings vs Makie

Siena, My Makie

Siena, My Makie

As I mentioned in the beginning, Makies come with an outfit and a wig of your choosing.  This is where the company really needs to improve,  I think. I have a few different Makie outfits and they all look like hard work was put into them.  For that, they get kudo’s.  I’m not a huge fan of the construction of the outfits, though.

Makie dress

Makie dress

The outfit my Makie came in was a pretty purple dress.  The fabric was nice and the color worked really well on Siena, but, sadly, the fit was off in the torso.  It was just too big for her.

Siena, My Makie

Siena, My Makie

Most of the separates I received as part of a special they were running were decent, but nothing to write home about.

Extras

Extras

I do love the little pink apron.  That has a lot of personality.  And the jeans are great!

Siena, My Makie

Siena, My Makie

My favorite dress is actually the long, blue polka dotted dress.  It fits much better than the purple dress.  The fabric used on the top portion sticks a bit to the textured plastic, but it looks super cute on Siena!  Add the awesome 3D printed glasses and Siena is ready to go out!

Siena, My Makie, in My Scene

Siena, My Makie, in My Scene

What else can Siena wear?  You’re probably safe with most outfits that fit 1/6 scale dolls.

Siena, My Makie, in My Scene outfit

Siena, My Makie, in My Scene outfit

I tried Siena in a handful of Mattel My Scene outfits and they fit well enough.

Siena, My Makie, in My Scene outfit

Siena, My Makie, in My Scene outfit

Siena, My Makie

Siena, My Makie

For Siena, I chose a long blonde wig with a side part.  I chose the long wig because after seeing owner images of some of the shorter ones, I wasn’t sure about them. I feel like some of the wigs look much better in the creation app than they do in real life, especially the short wigs.

Siena, My Makie

Siena, My Makie

Long was the safest choice, I thought.  (Again, this is such a subjective point– you guys might love the short wigs.)  I see now they have many more wigs to choose from when ordering.  The purple, blue and red wigs look pretty nice, actually.

Siena, My Makie

Siena, My Makie

I’m pretty sure, if I were ordering now, my Makie would have a fantasy hair color!  The wig cap itself is a little loosely rooted, but it fits Siena’s head well enough and, with a little bit of styling, looks pretty cute on her!

I requested my wig be removable for Seina.  She seems to fit the same wigs my MSD bjd’s do.  Most of those are a size 6-7.

The fact that Makies are created with 3D printer technology still amazes me.  I think it’s so neat that this kind of tech is being introduced in the doll world. The staff at MakieLabs really do deserve a pat on the back for making so many strides and improvements upon their product.  Some of the early Makies are, let’s be honest, not the most adorable things around.  But with any product, there’s a learning curve and these guys aren’t afraid to make the necessary changes to improve on their designs, seen most recently with the introduction of the ‘Cutie’ style faces.

Siena, My Makie

Siena, My Makie

I don’t think you can make a Makie and dislike it.  In the end, the doll was designed by you.  My Siena may look like some of the other dolls on the Makie site, but somewhere in the specs, there is a key difference, even if it’s something as subtle as the bridge of the nose or the angle of the ears.

Siena, My Makie

Siena, My Makie

Makies aren’t the cheapest dolls around, but from what I can tell, a lot of time and effort is put into making the whole experience (from ordering to receiving) enjoyable.  The quality is there.  Makies are a solid doll from head to toe.  I’m very happy with my Makie.  Siena turned out just as adorable as I hoped she would.  I would highly consider adding a Makie to your personal collection!

As usual, I’ve put together a video review.  It’s super long, but I wanted to get as much in as possible!!!

Questions?  Comments?  Share them below!

 

Update: Sorry for the typo’s!!!  WP didn’t save any of my changes and of course, I noticed after posting!!!!

March 18, 2014. Tags: , , , . Category: Introductions & Reviews, Category: Uncategorized. 7 comments.

Liebster Blogger Award- Q/A from April of ‘Of Dolls’

I was awarded the Liebster Blogger Award from April, blogger for ‘Of Dolls‘!  The award rules are simple.  I answer 11 questions thought up by April, write my own 11 questions and then award up to 11 bloggers the Liebster Blogger Award.  Their job?  To answer MY 11 questions!

Ta Da!

Ta Da!

Below are the questions April asked!

Question: Which doll in your collection have you owned the longest?
Answer: Stitches.  He’s a stuffed bear that was in my crib upon my arrival home from the hospital.

Stitches

Stitches

Question: Do you have a specific style/type of doll that you enjoy collecting most?
Answer: Skipper, Barbie’s Little Sister, of course!

Skipper, Barbie's Little Sister

Skipper, Barbie’s Little Sister

Question: If you could have any doll ever made, cost not an option, what would it be?

Answer: Oh my goodness.  This is a hard question!!!!  Any doll?  There are SO many dream dolls.  Do I choose a complete set of baby Dionne Quints from Madame Alexander? Or a pristine vintage Patti Playpal?  A number one Barbie?  Seriously, this is a HARD question!

Hard Plastic Dionne Quints

Hard Plastic Dionne Quints (Photo Credit)

Question: What is your favorite doll or toy that you have ever had?
Answer: Victoria. She was given to me when my brother was born.  My mom has the same doll and my cousins are given one when their siblings were born.

Victoria

Madame Alexander Victoria

Question: Your favorite TV show (doesn’t have to be currently on)?
Answer:  Once Upon a Time!  I’m addicted to that show.  If you haven’t seen Once Upon a Time, Netflix it now!  It’s amazing!!!!  Doctor Who is equally fantastic, though I’m not 100% on board with Moffat’s style.

Once Upon a Time = Awesome TV

Once Upon a Time = Awesome TV

Question: What are your hobbies, outside of dolls?
Answer: Does watching TV count?  I have started writing fiction again (ie: scripts). That’s a lot of fun!  I read a lot, too.

Question: Where would you love to visit for your next vacation?
Answer: Wales, Ireland and Scotland.  I would LOVE to see those places within the next year or so.  Ever since I read The Dark is Rising, I’ve been dying to go to Wales.  (And of course, then Doctor Who came into my life and I wanted to go even more!)  I wouldn’t mind finding a man in Scotland or Ireland, either!  Maybe one like Colin O’Donoghue (also known as Captain Hook on Once Upon a Time)?

Question: Do you speak any languages besides English?
Answer: I wish.  I feel like I should understand Japanese or Korean, since I’ve watched a ton of anime and korean drama’s in my life.  Unfortunately, though, I have a horrible ear for language learning.

Question: What is your favorite food?

Answer: Pierogies!  Yum!

Perogies

Pierogies

Question: Who would you want to play you in a movie about you?
Answer:  I’d want to play myself!  :)  If I could reverse this question, I have been told on multiple occasions I could play a young Sandra Bullock.
Question: Who is your favorite author?
Answer:  I don’t have a favorite author so much as favorite books.  My favorite book is “The Grey King” by Susan Cooper.  It’s a huge reason why I want to go to Wales (besides Doctor Who).  My other favorites include: “The Host” by Stephenie Meyer, “Immortal Beloved” by Cate Tiernan, “Keeper of the Lost Cities” by Shannon Messanger and “A Certain Slant of Light” by Laura Whitcomb.

The Grey King

The Grey King

So there you have it!  Thank you, April, for thinking of this little blog while filling out your questions!!!  Now to pick a few questions of my own.  First, the blogs.  I’d like to pass this onto:

Barbie Beauties

Once Upon a Doll Collection

Dolly Panic

Red Riding Hood

Never Grow Up

Of course, don’t forget to check out ‘Of Dolls‘, as they are the reason I’m writing this post!  (Honestly, I’m always so honored when people think of this little blog for these things!!!)

Now, to the five blogs mentioned above, here are the questions you should answer in your post.  Some are borrowed from April!

1- What’s one doll you didn’t get during your childhood that you loved enough to buy as an adult or are actively trying to buy currently?  (My answer: My Pet Monster WITH chains, still looking!)

2- If you could have a vacation home anywhere in the world, where would it be? (My Answer: Siena, Italy!)

3- Do you collect in box or out of box? (My answer: Out of box!)

4- What is your favorite TV program?  (See above!)

5- How long do you usually wait before buying a doll?  (ie: Do you jump on it the moment you see it or do you wait?) (My answer: It depends on the doll.  If it’s cheap, I jump.  If it’s expensive, I wait!)

6- What’s your favorite color? (My answer: Purple!)

7- What is the ideal doll collection to you? (My answer: My ideal doll collection is something displayed neatly in lots of glass cases! Very unlike my collections current state!)

8- Who is your celebrity look a like? (My answer: Sandra Bullock, apparently!)

9- What’s your opinion of ‘Reborns’?  (My answer: I think many of them are cute, though some are a little too realistic for my taste. I adore the Monkey’s!)

10- What’s your favorite book?  (My answer: See above.)

11-What is the biggest misconception about the doll collecting hobby? (My answer: That we’ve never ‘grown up’.  Who says you can’t be a grown up and still have dolls?!)

So, those I linked to this post, answer the questions and post the link here in the comment area!  Of course, I invite everyone to comment and answer whatever questions you’d like in the comment area, too!

March 13, 2014. Tags: . Category: Articles and Doll Histories, Category: Uncategorized. 5 comments.

Collector Spotlight: Courtney

I don’t know about you, but I love learning about fellow collectors!  In the past few years, I’ve heard from a lot of you regarding your collections and your interests.  Recently, I put out the call for collectors to answer questions and send me photo’s for a chance to be featured in their own Collector Spotlight post.  The previous posts can be found here and here.

I am very happy to introduce you to Courtney, doll collector and blogger.  I gave Courtney a few (well, more than a few) questions to answer regarding herself and her collection.  Here are her responses!

Meet Courtney!

Meet Courtney!

Question: Tell us a bit about yourself…

Answer:  My name is Courtney. I’m 32 and from Colorado. I just love collecting dolls. All kinds of dolls. I love making clothes for my dolls and just sewing in general. I suppose I also have a particular love for blue haired dolls.

Look at all that blue!

Look at all that blue!

Question: How long have you collected?  How did you catch the collecting bug?

Answer: I have collected dolls since I was a little girl. I always loved Barbie, and of course like many people, that’s where my collecting started.

Little Courtney with Strawberry Shortcake and Pumuckl

Little Courtney with Strawberry Shortcake and Pumuckl

Question: What do you collect?

Answer: Mostly these days I’m only getting Monster High and Ever After High, but that’s only a small portion of the whole hoard. I have at least 1 of every character of the Monster High dolls, well except the pink haired gorgon.  I haven’t found her yet! I have 4 American Girl dolls – Samantha is my favorite doll, always has been, and always will be. I got a Felicity but all her hair was removed, so I bought a Blythe wig and renamed her Temperance! I love making clothes for my AG dolls – it’s very easy!

BJD's Mina and Juste

BJD’s Mina and Juste

I also have 2 1/4th size Asian BJDs – an Angel Region(his name is Juste) and an Angel of Dream (her name is Wilhelmina, or just Mina). I absolutely adore them. I even learned to make wigs just for Mina!

Littlest Pet Shop and Blythe

Littlest Pet Shop and Blythe

I have several mini Blythe dolls that came with my Littlest Pet Shop pets (I’ve got over 1000 pets!), I have the full collection of Little Apple Dolls. Mentis is the only one who ever escaped her box, but as much trouble as she is, that’s probably a good thing!

My Scene Bins

My Scene Bins

I collected every single My Scene barbie until I couldn’t find them in the country anymore. I have 5 tubs full of them – even got extra bodies for the ones with interchangeable heads! I have a whole tub of Halloween barbies and another tub full of fairies and mermaids. Dolls have taken over my house!!

Question: Do you share this hobby with anyone?  Did anyone inspire you to to collect?

Answer: I share this hobby with my mom for sure. My mom and I just love dolls. It’s fun to know someone else doesn’t think you’re to old to play with dolls.

American Girl Samantha

American Girl Samantha in a homemade Hanfu

Question: What are your ‘grail’ items?  Have you found any of them yet? Why are they your ‘grail’ items?

Answer: Samantha was my ‘grail’ item. I got Samantha from my best friend for Christmas one year – she bought the best friends set, Samantha & Nellie. I had wanted Samantha since I was 7 years old, but we never could afford her when I was young. I waited 15 years to get that doll. I made my best friend a quilt that year for Christmas. I can easily say we have never been able to top that Christmas

Doll Shelf

Doll Shelf

Question: Spotlight a few of your favorite pieces in your collection.  What are they? When did you find them?  What makes them your favorites?  Tell us their story.

Answer:  Well there’s Samantha, but you already know that. There’s Laurel – Stardust Classic. She’s not made anymore and I scored her in her box, off of eBay for $40. It was a mega squee moment, I had never seen her go for under $100 ever. $100 was her price brand new!

Juste and Mina are favorites, how can my only 2 BJD’s not be? Juste was bought for me by my mom, and I wanted Juste’s sister(Angel Region Cosette) but she cost too much. Mina, however was a manageable price, and I just loved her face.

My Ellowyne Wilde(A Case of the Blues) is also one of my big favorites. She is probably the prettiest doll I’ve ever seen. She also never takes a bad picture.

Question: Do you collect in box or out of box?  Why?

Answer: I’m don’t have a preference really. I keep a few in the box, like my Little Apple Dolls, I just love how they are in the box. Several of my monster high dolls are still in their boxes, but mostly they sit around on shelves in the open.

Mina in handmade outfit

Mina in handmade outfit

I like to play with them :)  I have kept the boxes for most of my more pricy dolls even though they aren’t in them.

Homemade doll, Violet (cloth with yarn hair)

Homemade doll, Violet (cloth with yarn hair)

Question: What is the most fun aspect of collecting?

Answer: I just love playing with them and making their clothes. I’m very touchy feely with my dolls.

Homemade doll outfits

Homemade (and a few purchased) doll outfits

Question: Do you have any personal stories you’d like to share that deal with your doll collecting?
Answer: This is about how I learned Little Apple Dolls weren’t what I thought. When my boyfriend bought me the first three Little Apple Dolls, I thought they were porcelain. Looking at them in the box, they looked porcelain. I didn’t take them out. I didn’t want to take them out really. I love the boxes, the whole look.

Little Apple Doll Mentis

Little Apple Doll Mentis

When the second series came out, I ordered them online. I was so excited to open the box and see them and what did I see? Mentis, in her box, with her head in the bottom of it!!!! I freaked! So for the first time I took one of these dolls out of her box.

Turns out, Mentis was plastic. I forced that head right back on that doll. She never wanted back in her box either. (Also all the LADs come with a story book, an apple, and pins, but they were missing from her box.) I ended up buying another Mentis to stay in the box, but the first one has free reign. It’s honestly pretty funny to think about Mentis missing her head, as her story was a girl who heard voices.

Little Apple Dolls

Little Apple Dolls- Courtney owns 22!

Question: What advice would you give new collectors out there that feel they need to ‘hide’ their hobby?

Answer: No one should have to hide their doll collections! I’ve known several guys who collected also. You are you and this is what you do. There is certainly someone out there who can connect with you about your hobby.

My Child dolls

My Child dolls

Question: Give me 3 tips (in general) on how to cultivate a great doll collection.

Answer: Tip #1 – Check yard sales. You can find some awesome things! -

Tip #2 – Don’t feel bad waiting for a clearance sale. I have got half my stuff that way!
Tip #3 – Be picky. You don’t want to be stuck with stuff you hate.

Question: What kind of future do you see for this hobby?

Answer: I don’t ever see dolls going away. I would have loved dolls like Monster High when I was a kid – awesome stuff is always coming out.

—————————————

I want to give a big THANK YOU to Courtney for sharing her collection with us! I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about Courtney in this Collector Spotlight.  I know I’m completely jealous of her My Scene collection! That amazing homemade Hanfu totally brought me back to my Fushigi Yugi days!  And these Little Apple Dolls, I need to look into them more!

Be sure to check out her blog, Jupiter’s Closet! If you would like to be featured, send me an e-mail with the answers to these questions.  Photo’s, too!  (Questions can be reworked or skipped– whatever is comfortable for you!)

I invite you to leave kudo’s to Courtney in the comment area!  Of course, feel free to leave questions, too!

March 9, 2014. Tags: . Category: Articles and Doll Histories, Category: Uncategorized. 6 comments.

Dolly Review: Disney’s Frozen Toddler Anna Doll

Do you want to build a snowman?  If it’s with this adorable Anna toddler doll sold at The Disney Store, then yes!  Disney films are things that I don’t think anyone truly grows out of.  Frozen is a perfect example. The animation is fantastic, the songs are superb and the story, while simple, is entertaining for those of all ages.  If you haven’t seen Frozen yet, then you should really give it a go!

Frozen's Anna

Frozen’s Anna

Now, onto the dolly review!  Like many, I fell in love with the toddler dolls for Disney’s Frozen before even seeing the movie.

Frozen's Anna

Frozen’s Anna

Frozen's Anna

Frozen’s Anna

Interestingly enough, while Kristoff is packaged in a Disney Animators Collection box, Anna and Elsa are not.  They’re in a box that is more reminiscent of the standard toddler dolls.  Packaging aside, they look like they belong with the Disney Animators Dolls.  I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw these two reboxed in the coming months in Disney Animators Collection boxes.

Frozen's Anna

Frozen’s Anna

I’m crazy about this 16″ toddler Anna doll!  She’s adorable.  Let’s start at the top.  Anna has rooted ginger pig tails and wispy bangs.  I have a feeling the head is loosely rooted, but if you keep the hair in her original style, it looks great.  Very cute and innocent.  I love pig tails, in general, and these look great on Anna’s large head.

Frozen's Anna

Frozen’s Anna

Frozen's Anna

Frozen’s Anna

Similar to the Disney Animators Collection, Anna has large, side glancing green eyes.  There is a small bit of eye shadow above her eye.  Not too much for a toddler doll, though.

Frozen's Anna

Frozen’s Anna

Anna’s round cheeks are lightly freckled.  I give Disney a ton of credit for making her freckles asymmetrical.  (Because, I’ve never known anyone to have symmetrical freckles.  I sure don’t!)  Just below the freckles, is an adorable button nose and pink lips in a closed smile.

Disney Animator's Collection Belle vs Frozen's Anna

Disney Animator’s Collection Belle vs Frozen’s Anna

Anna has the same body as the Disney Animators dolls. Anna’s head tilts up, down, left and right and is super easy to pose.  Her arms have more movement than the Disney toddler dolls you see in the large retail stores, like Toys R Us.  Anna’s arms move up, down, left and right.  Her legs, however, only move up and down (not to the side at all).  She has painted on undies.

Frozen's Anna

Frozen’s Anna

Anna stands really well.  I love how easy it is to get these guys in poses.  She sits well, too.

Frozen's Anna

Frozen’s Anna

Frozen's Anna

Frozen’s Anna

Frozen's Anna

Frozen’s Anna

The only disappointing thing I really found with this doll was the outfit. In terms of design, it’s a green smock dress with light green stockings and black shoes.

Frozen's Anna

Frozen’s Anna

The thing that disappoints me, though, is the craftsmanship.  There are strings hanging from the outfit, like it was cut poorly.  However, the outfit is removable.

Frozen's Anna

Frozen’s Anna

Without a doubt, Anna is an adorable toddler doll.  She fits in perfectly with my other Disney Animators doll.  I’m very happy this new addition to the toddler line!

Check out the video review below!

What do you think of Anna?  Share your thoughts below.

March 5, 2014. Category: Introductions & Reviews, Category: Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

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