Skipper Highlight Reel: A New Kind of Skipper

In this installment of the Skipper Highlight Reel, we’re going back to 1987. In the late 1980’s, after a few years of limited Skipper releases, Mattel debuted a brand new look for Barbie’s little sister. Besides developing a chest, Skipper’s eyes became rounder and more animated. The first releases of Skipper with this brand new look were under the title Teen Fun and included Teen Fun Cheerleader, Teen Fun Workout, and Teen Fun Party.

Big Eyed Skipper- The First Year (87/88)

Interestingly enough, none of these Skipper dolls were produced with blue eyes. Teen Fun Cheerleader has brown eyes, Teen Fun Workout has green eyes and Teen Fun Party has purple eyes. It’s interesting because most Skipper’s, I’d say at least 85% of them, have blue eyes. Various shades of blue, but blue, nonetheless. It’s almost like Mattel was trying to work out what worked and what didn’t.

Teen Fun Cheer Skipper

Teen Fun Cheer Skipper

Teen Fun Workout Skipper

Teen Fun Workout Skipper

Teen Fun Party

Teen Fun Party Skipper

It’s no surprise that all three Skipper’s have different hairstyles, but there’s also another fun thing to point out here. As far as I recall, Cheerleading Skipper is the only Skipper doll with a mix of brunette/dull blonde hair from this era. Some dolls with the same mold have been brunette, like Wendy, but that doll wasn’t portraying Skipper. The other two dolls have great hairstyles, too. I mean, how amazing is the curly hairstyle on Workout Skipper? I also love the creamy blonde color Mattel gave to Party Skipper.

In the top picture, you’ll notice one other doll, Teen Sweetheart Skipper. Teen Sweetheart Skipper has the more traditional blue eyes and a 2-in-1 outfit. The 2-in-1 concept would be used a lot during this era of Skipper releases.

Skipper's Spotted Legs

One trait that all these dolls share is, unfortunately, defective vinyl. The vinyl they used on these releases doesn’t age well. It’s common to find dolls from the late 1980’s with spotted legs. This happens in both white and African American skin tones. All the dolls pictured here have spotted legs and most of them were bought mint in box, so this problem has nothing to do with them being played with. You can see the spots on the picture above. They’re the white spots under the tights. A viewer on YouTube said that at this point in Mattel’s history, the company was trying to cut corners by melting down old vinyl and mixing it with new vinyl. That’s most likely why these bodies are so prone to this problem.

So, these three dolls were the worlds first introduction to the new tweenage Skipper. Which of these four dolls is your favorite? Share your thoughts in the comment area!

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December 5, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized. 5 comments.

Dolly Review: City Girls Harper (New York Doll Collection)

From the New York Doll Collection comes the City Girls, a line of dolls themed around the boroughs of New York City. City Girls are 18″ tall dolls with stuffed torso’s and vinyl limbs. Sent for review was Harper, a girl made to represent the Bronx. Harper has the darkest skin tone of the dolls so far. She’s a little lighter in real life than in her promo photos.

NY Doll Collection City Girls Harper

Each doll in the line has their own unique background. Here’s a bit of Harper’s story, as written on the company’s website. “…I live in Riverdale with my Dad, Grandma Elaine, and younger sister Violet. My mom passed away when Violet and I were really young, so Grandma Elaine came to live with us. I love Art. I am a painter and love to sew. Grandma Elaine taught me how to sew dresses and accessories. I’ve gotten to be so good at it that I now design my own dresses, shirts, and accessories!… My favorite place in New York is the Metropolitan Museum of Art… My biggest dream is to have my own fashion line for girls and women who want to look artistic, unique, and express their creative sides through what they wear.”

NY Doll Collection City Girls Harper

One of the things I like about this line is the face mold. Harper has a round face with chubby cheeks. I think it’s rather cute! She has dark brown sleep eyes and long lashes.

NY Doll Collection City Girls Harper

Harper is wigged and has long silky dark brown hair. You can comb and style it. I’m very happy with the quality of the hair. Sometimes 18″ dolls like this can have course, rough hair, but Harper’s is the opposite.

NY Doll Collection City Girls Harper

As I mentioned earlier, Harper has a stuffed torso with vinyl limbs, like many other 18″ dolls. Because of this, I wasn’t sure if she would be able to stand on her own. Surprisingly, though, she stands like a trooper! This is because of her hard, densely stuffed torso. On a similar note, the cloth body is a good color match to the vinyl limbs, which isn’t always the case.

NY Doll Collection City Girls Harper

Since the character wants to be a fashion designer, it’s no surprise that she’s wearing a stylish outfit. I love the fur vest, long orange shirt and black leggings. The fur boots complete the look. Harper wears a Queen Elizabeth the Second pendant. I don’t know about you, but I’d totally try to rock a look like this! Per usual, velcro is used on the outfits, but the way they utilized it is a little better than other companies.

Overall, I like Harper. Having never seen these in person, I wasn’t sure what I was going to think, but I am happy about the quality that I see in the City Girls dolls.

NY Doll Collection City Girls Harper

You can order a City Girl for yourself via their website. Don’t forget to follow them on social media, too: Facebook, Instagram. What do you think of Harper? Who’s your favorite City Girl? Share your thoughts in the comment area!

November 30, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized. 3 comments.

Fashion Doll Quarterly, Winter 2017 Issue

Do you subscribe to Fashion Doll Quarterly (FDQ). If so, you may see a familiar name in it! Jane Easterly, the showrunner of the annual Pullip convention PUDDLE, was kind enough to ask me if I felt like writing coverage for the 2017 event, that would later be submitted to a magazine. That magazine turned out to be FDQ!

Winter 2017- My PUDDLE Coverag

Check out my PUDDLE coverage in the Winter 2017 issue! I touch on a bit of the history of the show, as well as the day’s activities, vendors and contest winners! PUDDLE may have started out as a small gathering of Pullip fans, but ten years later, it’s grown into much more than that.

At PUDDLE, I went around and asked people why they attended the show year after year. While, of course, they mentioned their love of the doll brand and seeing all the amazing custom dolls on display, the one answer that everyone gave me was this: the people. It’s all about the people, the community of collectors that attend every year. While I didn’t directly quote anyone, hopefully that point came across loud and clear in this write-up.

PUDDLE Coverage 2017 Page 1-2

PUDDLE Coverage 2017 Page 3

So, next time you’re at Barnes and Noble, check their magazine section for the Winter 2017 issue of Fashion Doll Quarterly! I hope you enjoy reading the coverage as much as I enjoyed writing it!

November 17, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Collection Close Up: Madame Alexander Dionne Quint- Restored!

At a doll show recently, I picked up a fixer upper composition Dionne quintuplets doll made by Madame Alexander in the mid to late 1930’s. She was in dire need of a little (well, a lot of) TLC from my favorite doll doctor, Dr. Noreen. Dr. Noreen has restored a few other dolls for us, including an antique bisque doll and a smaller Dionne baby.

Madame Alexander Dionne

This new Dionne had good eyes and face paint, but suffered from large cracks in her face and, unbeknownst to me, a bubble in her composition. Bubbles form when air gets stuck between the composition and the base of the doll. To fix this, the good doctor would have had to restore a lot of the eye area, which would have disrupted the original paint and been a much more costly and invasive restoration. She decided against doing any work on the bubble, which was fine with me, as I didn’t even notice it until Dr. Noreen pointed it out.

Dionne Quint (Pre Restoration)

But, lesson learned. If you see a composition doll with a lot of bubbles under the composition, you may want to pass on picking it up or, at least, barter the seller down a bit. And definitely ask the seller if a doll has any bumps or bubbles on their face when shopping online.

The real thing that I wanted Dr. Noreen to fix were the large cracks, which took away from the doll’s cute face. Also, I really wanted her to work on her hair, which was a mess. Well, in a few short weeks, Dr. Noreen delivered on all fronts! Check out her handy work.

Dionne Quint (Restored)

Her chin had to be repaired, as it had lost some of the composition.

Dionne Quint (Restored)

The Dionne’s torso had some cracks, too, which were expertly filled in.

Dionne Quint (Restored)

The human hair wig was restyled by Dr. Noreen into something that resembles an actual hairstyle (and not a bird’s nest). She did a wonderful job cleaning this girl up!

Dionne Quint (Restored)

It’s amazing how much better she looks with the cracks filled in! It will always be obvious close up that this Dionne had some face cracking, but from a far, you can barely tell. Now, instead of the cracks drawing your eye, it’s her cute chubby cheeks and delicately painted features!

Dionne Quint (Restored)

Dionne Quint (Restored)

Truth be told, I wondered if buying this $30.00 Dionne had been a mistake after purchasing her. But, after seeing the magic Dr. Noreen did on her, I’m very happy to have picked this girl up! You can find Dr. Noreen on Facebook or, of course, her website. What do you think of this restoration? Share your thoughts in the comment area.

November 13, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Dolly Review: Little House Covered Wagon/Horses (The Queen’s Treasures)

The Queen’s Treasures has always been kind to my blog and channel. They’ve sent many awesome things to show off on the blog. This last item, though, takes the cake for being the biggest item sent for review. Today, I’m going to show you the Little House on the Prairie inspired Covered Wagon, complete with two of the plush horses (sold separately from the wagon). The Covered Wagon/Hitch comes with a conversion kit that allows you to make your wagon into a sleigh.

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The wagon and hitch measure just over 4 ft long, which makes this a huge statement piece! Made of real wood, this 18″ doll accessory requires a bit of set up. Instructions are included, but, truth be told, they are a little wordy!

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Eventually, we got this together. However, we decided to not change it into the sleigh, because we didn’t want to risk not getting it back together. (To make this a sleigh, you remove the wheels and replace them with sleigh pieces.) Watch the video review, linked below, to learn a bit more about putting this together, as well as to really see the scale of this piece. It’s hard to tell how big it is in photographs!

The Queen’s Treasures Covered Wagon is large enough to fit two 18″ dolls in the front seating area. There’s also room for dolls to lay down in the back half. I’d imagine this could hold at least three 18″ dolls, if not four, which makes it a great display piece!

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On top of that, the wheels actually move, so you can pull the hitch or push the wagon for active play. I love the colors of the wheels. They look great against the grainy color of the wood used for the rest of the wagon.

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The wood is a little rougher than I expected. That being said, at least this isn’t made of plastic. The use of real wood makes this piece stand out among other 18″ doll accessories, which doesn’t surprise me, as The Queen’s Treasures is known for their quality!

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I love, love, love the little trunk included in this set. To not take up needed doll space, there is a special spot to store the trunk, just outside the seating area of the wagon. The trunk opens and closes and has enough space to hold small accessories.

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While the hitch is included with this wagon, the horses are not. Those are sold separately. They’re plush with no articulation. The horses and wagon aren’t exactly scaled to the 18″ Laura Ingalls doll, also sold by The Queen’s Treasures, but for this set to truly be scaled for the doll, it would have had to be much larger.

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Besides sending these awesome products for review, The Queen’s Treasures also set up a coupon code! Use “CONFESSIONS” while checking out on their website to receive 10% off of any item, even sale items! (So, if an item is already 35% off, you’ll get an additional 10% off of the sale price!) I encourage you to check out the site and do a little holiday shopping! The winter holidays are coming up fast!

You can follow The Queen’s Treasures on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I love the Covered Wagon and think it will make a great display piece my dolls. I love that it fits multiple 18″ dolls, too, and that it has the ability to be converted into a sleigh fit for winter. Photographers, this is a great prop to have on hand for your dolly adventures. It’s also a wonderful accessory to have under the Christmas tree for the Laura Ingalls fan in your life. Alongside this release, there’s a whole slew of other Little House on the Prairie merchandise on their website.

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Definitely check out the video review to see the massive size of the Covered Wagon/Hitch and two horses. And don’t forget to use the coupon code “CONFESSIONS” to get a little extra bang for your buck for a limited time on The Queen’s Treasures website.

What do you think of the Little House inspired Covered Wagon/Hitch set from The Queen’s Treasures? What are you picking up with the provided coupon code? Share your thoughts in the comment area!

November 11, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized. 2 comments.

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