Ready for a blast from the past? We’re going to venture back the 1980’s for this Collection Close Up and talk about My Child dolls! Made by Mattel, My Child dolls were around from 1985 through 1988.
They are known for their soft (felt like), adorable faces. According to websites, they were made to be ‘one of a kind’. Each came with their own serial number, making each one special. The serial number is located on a tag on the dolls torso. Some numbers were hand written (like on my doll), others were stamped (like all the rest of the dolls featured here). These numbers can come in handy, especially if you are trying to date your doll or figure out if it is made in Taiwan (1985) or China (1986-1988). My Child dolls were manufactured in a variety of hair and eye colors, as well as in both genders and multiple skin tones. Commercials like to point out the fact that they can stand (with shoes) on their own.
My Child dolls were only out for a few years in the US. Taking into consideration the fact that there was a whole slew of My Child dolls released solely outside the US (Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Italy, France and Canada) in 1987 and it should come as no shock that My Child dolls still command pretty high prices on auction sites.
My only My Child (serial number 3645L) was gifted to me in 1985 by my grandmother when I was about 2 years old. My mother says that my grandmother hunted around to find one that resembled me. At the same time, she also picked one up for my mother. Below is my My Child. She’s lost pretty much all of her delicate face coloring, which I might get fixed up one day. She’s still in her original outfit, minus the shoes. Her hair is currently in two braids. With brown eyes and hair, she does look like me! (While my expression in this photo below doesn’t exactly scream enthusiasm, I really did like the doll!)
My mom’s has ash blonde hair in curly pigtails (serial number: 1708HR). Her face coloring is much better than mine. This My Child seems to be wearing the ‘pink Floral outfit‘. Of the two of us, my mom is more of the My Child collector. She has four in her collection and I’m sure would jump at the chance for more.
Over the years, my mom has gathered a few more My Child’s and has even tried her hand at restoring a few of them. The My Child below was a gift from yours truly to my mom. This dolls serial number is 1646R2. I thought the short pale blonde hair was adorable and so far, she hasn’t needed any restoration done.
Like many dolls, sometimes you’ll come across some that are in less than perfect shape. With My Child’s the main problems seem to be face sagging and facial color fading (like their lips and eye lashes, similar to my doll pictured above). Thankfully, there are a lot of helpful sites online that talk about how to restore your doll! My mom has tried restoring two dolls so far with great results. See the first restoration attempt in the video below on this pale blonde My Child (serial number: 1136L)
Usually, restoration includes giving your dolls a ‘face lift’ by doing a blind stitch. A great reference for this is found on YouTube. Click here to see a playlist of tutorials. If you just need to re-do your My Child’s make up, you may want to look at these tutorials, also found on YouTube. (The first playlist also has a make up video.) Besides these, there are quite a few videos online about My Child care. It’s worth searching for the doll on YouTube and seeing what’s out there.
The doll above (serial number unknown) was picked up at the 2016 My Little Pony Fair. The seller said her mom was a collector of My Child and asked her to bring a few to the show. My mom spotted the one doll they brought and bought it. She gave her a face lift and ordered her an outfit online. In the end, she turned out looking so much better than she did before!
There are a few really amazing websites out there aimed at My Child. A few are below:
So, that’s a closer look at the My Child dolls in our collections. Do you have any My Child dolls? Share your thoughts in the comment area.
It’s time again for another Skipper Highlight Reel! You’ll be seeing more of these as this year continues. With Christmas on the way, I can’t buy many new dolls for myself! It’s far cheaper to highlight things I already own.
This Skipper Highlight Reel is covering one of the more controversial Skipper releases, 1975’s Growing Up Skipper. Growing Up Skipper is a doll with a gimmick. Her box read, “Make her grow from a young girl to a teenager in seconds”. How, you ask? Well, by cracking her left arm in either a clockwise or counter-clockwise fashion! You turn her arm counter-clockwise to make Skipper “grow slim, tall and curvy” and clockwise to make her “cute and young again”. (Quotes taken directly from the packaging.) Essentially what happens is when you turn Skipper’s arm counter clockwise, her torso grows in length and her bust grows slightly. Doing the reverse, will pull her torso down and make the bust disappear. (Watch the video review where I show this on a nude doll if you’re confused.)
Growing Up Skipper came with two different hair colors, pale blonde and strawberry blonde. Of the strawberry blonde dolls, there are two different hair styles. One release had long, shaggy layers in her hair, while another had a slightly shorter, more tame cut. The difference is slight, but noticeable if the two dolls are close together.
Above: Shaggy Strawberry Blonde, Pale Blonde, Shorter Cut Strawberry Blonde
Above: Pale Blonde, Shorter Cut Strawberry Blonde, Shaggy Strawberry Blonde
In 1976, Skipper made friends with Ginger. Ginger was only released in this Growing Up Skipper line. Ginger used the same face mold and body type as Skipper. My Ginger is not in her original outfit. Ginger’s original outfit was similar to Skipper’s, but had a teal color scheme. Her skirt is currently on one of my Skippers. (In case you’re wondering, my Ginger is wearing the Fun at McDonalds Fantasy Fashion.)
Of the two dolls, I think Ginger is the cutest. The brown hair and eyes look much cuter on this face mold than Skipper’s strangely painted face. It’s hard to tell from the grainy commercial above, but the prototype Skipper looks much cuter than what was on store shelves.
Because Skipper and Ginger grew in length when they changed from being a child to an adult, Mattel included a lot of accessories with this doll. You got a red unitard top, a long red and white skirt, short red and white skirt, white sandles, red flats and a scarf. My dolls aren’t mint and are missing certain pieces. Mattel released a handful of outfit sets for these dolls over the three years, as well.
Above: “Teenager” Skipper, “Child” Skipper
Do you remember Growing Up Skipper and Ginger? What do you think of these two unique dolls? Share your thoughts below!
It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a contemporary doll here on the blog. Today, though, I’m going to talk about not one, but two dolls I know you’ll want to hear about! Introducing The Prince/Nutcracker and The Snow Queen from My Ballerina Dolls. A year ago or so, I reviewed the first doll in the My Ballerina Dolls series, Clara Marie. I expected we’d see the Prince this year, but the Snow Queen was a happy surprise.
Let’s start off with The Snow Queen. The Snow Queen is 22″ tall and made of a vinyl/hard plastic mix. She has a unique face mold when compared to Clara. The Snow Queen has a more regal, adult expression with expressive dark brown eyes and thin pink lips on her heart shaped face.
Unlike Clara, whose expression and face mold gave off a very anime like appearance, The Snow Queen’s look is more realistic. The face paint is delicately placed with dark brows and painted lashes. Her cheeks have a light blushing of pink on them and, as I mentioned, she has thin pearly pink lips.
The Snow Queen wears a light blue tutu with a velcro back. Her ballet shoes are identical to Clara Marie’s, pink and knee high. The Snow Queen’s sleeves are a little loose, as is the outfits fit around her torso. It’s not a deal breaker for me, though, because the loose nature of it allows her many points of articulation to work well. Speaking of which, like the original doll in the line, The Snow Queen is ball jointed. Her neck moves fluidly in all directions. Her shoulders do, as well. Under her shoulder is twist and turn sort of joint, a double jointed elbow and a wrist joint.
Her hips allow for great extension forward and sideways. Her leg doesn’t extend back unless you move her torso forward. Like her arms, she has a twist and turn joint right below her hip for turn out, double jointed knees and an ankle joint.
Now, onto the most interesting part of this review and something that I think will make many of you quite happy! As expected, The Snow Queen is wigged. Under her wig are five pieces of velcro that surround her (get ready) head cap! Yep. She has a removable head cap. (Clara Marie did not.)
Now, going back to the wig for a moment. The quality is fine, but you may want to consider re-wigging her with a softer wig one day. Also, you probably don’t need five pieces of velcro to hold her wig on. It stays on fine with one well placed piece.
The picture above and below are of the Prince’s head, but The Snow Queen has a very similar design. It’s just missing the writing under the heart.
So, her head cap. I was surprised to see one, knowing that Clara Marie did not have one. To remove her head cap, you will have to align the heart and lift up. Before you get too excited, if you want to be adventurous and customize your doll’s eyes, you’ll still need to do a bit of jury rigging. The Snow Queen’s eyes are glued in. (If you do customize her eyes, I’d love to know how they turned out!)
Changing topics a bit, it’s time to talk about the Prince/Nutcracker! The Prince’s face is very anime inspired. I like it a lot! He has wide blue eyes, painted brown lashes and thick eyebrows.
My Prince’s face arrived a little scuffed due to him being packaged with his Nutcracker helmet on in the box. Speaking of the box, both of these boxes are worth saving. They’re packaged in a soft cardboard box with artistic renderings of ballerina’s. The color scheme and design are great and I definitely see them being useful for storing outfits, accessories or whatever else you might think up! (You can see the box in the video reviews.)
The Prince is packaged with his Nutcracker helmet on. Because of this, there is a heavy vinyl scent when you release him from his cardboard prison. He seems more vinyl’y than the girls. The helmet itself is pretty cool. I wouldn’t keep it on him all the time, but for active play or photos, it’s neat and surprisingly well made.
Like the girls, the Prince is wigged. His wig is fine for the price point. It’s not the softest wig, but it doesn’t have any bald spots, so for me, it is okay for now. The Prince’s wig was also held on with multiple pieces of velcro.
For ease of use, I decided to just keep one on the top of his head. Also like The Snow Queen, The prince has a removable head cap. You can’t do much with the inside of his head since the eyes are glued in, but it’s a start. As I mentioned, there is writing on the back of his head mold (and not The Snow Queen’s) that says ‘Fairy Lily’. I tried to dig up more information on that, but couldn’t find anything.
The Prince has a very velour like outfit. It doesn’t exactly make it easy to move his heavily articulated body. What I noticed immediately was that the blue used in the outfit had already started staining (lightly) his wrist joint. Keep an eye on the outfit.
It’s heavy with reds and blues, which are prone to leaving their mark unintentionally on dolls. The outfit is well thought out, though, with details that they definitely didn’t need to include. I like the idea of it, but just wish it was a different fabric. The Prince’s faux leather boots, though, I love! They’re simple, but chic.
The articulation on this male doll is the same as it is on the female dolls. All his points of articulation move fluidly. His torso joint is a little troublesome. My doll leans forward on the joint, so without clothing, it looks a little weird. However, it does seem to move decently enough for play. It just doesn’t like holding poses as well as the other joints.
Overall, I’m impressed with these two dolls from My Ballerina Dolls. Both the Snow Queen and the Prince are quality dolls for their price. Their size, face molds, points of articulation and the ease of customization (to an extent) make them definitely worth looking into!
What do you think of The Snow Queen and the Prince? Share your thoughts in the comment area!
Back when I had a PO Box for those that wanted to reach out via snail mail, I received a naked Flying Wendy doll from a reader/viewer. Thanks to a lucky find, Wendy now has an outfit! She was released back in 1993 when Mattel would use the Skipper face molds for some of the Disney Store exclusives and was released in conjunction with a Tinkerbell and Peter Pan. Like Flying Wendy, the Tink also used a Skipper mold.
Flying Wendy is unique when compared to Skipper dolls, because of her wavy light brown hair and blue eyes. I think she has a very pretty face! Her body is the same you’d see from any other Skipper doll released in the early 90’s. Flying Wendy is a great example of the other characters this face mold can play.
In 1997, Disney released another Peter Pan set, which featured another Skipper mold, the Teen Skipper mold that was used after this large anime eye face.
Both this set and the 1997 set go for some pretty high prices on eBay and would be great additions to any Skipper collection! Do you own this doll? What do you think of her? Share your thoughts in the comment area.
The last few Skipper Highlight Reel posts have been about doll cases, so I thought I’d break it up a bit with this installment and talk about two of Skipper‘s lesser known best friends. We’ll start with Living Fluff. Making her debut in 1971, Fluff was the first new Skipper friend since Skooter and Ricky were discontinued in 1967.
Fluff’s blonde hair is styled in two pigtails with curly bangs/fringe. She has a Living Skipper body, which when compared to previous bodies is more articulated. The ‘Living’ body is prone to melting, especially around the shoulders and hips. My Fluff, for example, has some pretty annoying melt marks around both shoulders and hips. Thankfully, they don’t hurt the arm movement. Fluff’s colorful swimsuit doesn’t help much, leaving little room for her shoulder and hip joints to breathe.
One of my favorite things about Fluff is her adorable face with ‘real’ eyelashes. I love Fluff’s long thin smile and round brown eyes. For reasons unknown to me, Fluff was only on the market for one year. She was available as a single doll and in a Sears exclusive Sunshine Special gift set. The exclusive included Fluff (in her traditional yellow swimsuit) and two hip outfits.
As 1972 rolled around, Fluff made a quick exit and was replaced with Pose ‘n Play Tiff. Tiff, described as Skipper’s ‘tom boy’ friend, was the best pal of Pose ‘n Play Skipper. She shares the same body and face mold as Fluff, not to mention the depressingly short release window.
Unlike Fluff, Tiff has painted lashes and straight brown hair. Playing on the tom boy theme, Tiff (in her original outfit, not the one pictured above) wears a white tank top and jeans with decals that read ‘Stop’, ‘Help’ and ‘Go’. Her accessory of choice? A skateboard.
By 1973, Tiff disappeared. Nowadays, she’s one of the rarer Skipper dolls to find, especially with her original outfit and/or mint in box. Both Fluff and Tiff may not have lasted long in the line when compared with friends Skooter and Courtney, but they definitely made an impact with their adorable face mold and interesting looks!
Do you remember Fluff or Tiff? Do you have one in your collection? Share your thoughts on these two in the comment area!