A Girl for All Time’s New Indiegogo Campaign

They’re at it again! A Girl for All Time started a new crowdfunding campaign this week to bring to life two brand new dolls. Already over 70% funded in only two days, I wouldn’t be surprised if the company reached their $20,000 goal within well within the month. Up for pre-order is new contemporary girl, Bex, who you learned about earlier here on the blog, and new historical girl, Elinor. Elinor, sixth in the historical doll line, was inspired by the Elizabethan era, 1558–1603. I’m no expert on British history, so through Google, I learned that the Elizabethan era was dubbed so in honor of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. A renaissance of sorts, the Elizabethan era saw the arts, like poetry, music and theater, grow and flourish.

Photo Credit: A Girl For All Time

Both dolls being introduced through this crowdfunding effort are 16″ tall and have nine points of articulation. They’re made of quality vinyl and wear high quality (and well designed) outfits. The dolls are priced a little lower than they will be later, when they eventually make their way to the A Girl for All Time website. So, if you’re looking to save a few bucks and help out this fantastic company at the same time, consider ordering through this crowdfunding campaign.

Will you be picking up Bex or Elinor (or both)? Share your thoughts in the comment area!

May 12, 2017. Uncategorized. 5 comments.

Collection Close Up: Sasha Dolls

I received my first two Sasha dolls a few years ago for Christmas: Caleb, a dark skinned boy, and Gregor, a tan brunette boy. Since then, I’ve gathered five more (two babies, two girls, and a bald Gregor). Seven Sasha’s sounds like a lot, until you see my mother’s collection. She has, at least, double the amount of dolls I have. Sasha dolls have been a favorite of hers since she was young and found her first one, a Gregor, for under $20.00, at a store that was going out of business.  Both collections together make for quite a few Sasha dolls!

Sasha Dolls

Sasha dolls, produced from the 1940’s through 1986 (with a re-launch in the mid 1990’s) are unique looking when compared to other doll lines. Most noticeable are their unique faces. It was important to creator Sasha Morgenthaler that her dolls have a neutral expression. According to reference book “Sasha Dolls: A History“, Sasha, who lived in Switzerland during World War II, Sasha thought that “No grotesque caricature can awaken a child’s true feelings. A piece of wood, barely carved, is far superior to a conventional doll with an exaggerated smile.” It makes sense in the context of the times. Children going through Switzerland during the war may not have wanted a doll that was always smiling, always happy.

Sasha Dolls

Interesting, as well, are that Sasha dolls are asymmetric. Arms and legs are not one uniformed length. Their eyes are also not completely even. She designed her dolls this way, because we ourselves are not symmetrical. This asymmetry also helps the dolls do something not all doll lines can– stand on their head! If strung properly, these boys and girls should be able to stand on their heads without falling. It’s neat to see.

Sasha Dolls

Sasha Morgenthaler, as a person, was kind of incredible. While reading about her in “Sasha Dolls: A History”, it’s clear that she was powerful in spirit. I’m not going to go into her entire history in his post, but I encourage you to read the book mentioned above. Sasha wore many different hats in life, including wife, mother, midwife and artist. At one point during World War II, she even started a woman’s auxiliary group that taught woman how to help the men coming back from the war.

Sasha Dolls

One of Sasha’s dreams was to create an affordable, durable doll. It took many experiments with different materials before she found one that fit her criteria. For that reason, you may see Sasha dolls made of various materials. The early dolls are harder to find, because the material Sasha used was more fragile than the vinyl she eventually created and used for the doll line.

Sasha Dolls

Many different companies made Sasha dolls, including Gotz and Trendon. The history of Sasha doll production is complicated and filled with legal drama. The book, “Sasha Dolls: A History” goes through all of this. The dolls in this post are all from the England base company, Trendon.

Sasha Dolls

Sasha dolls can vary in size. They started at 15″ and grew as the molds outstretched to be 16″ or 17″ tall towards the end of the run. You can see that in the picture below, where Caleb (right) looks smaller than Gregor (left).

Sasha Dolls

For those who like video presentations, below is a video Barbee0913 and I shot talking about Sasha dolls. In the video, my mom shares a few other facts about Sasha and her dolls. There’s also a bunch of great links in the video description to books and websites that will help you learn more about this unique line.

Sasha Dolls

Sasha Dolls

Sasha Dolls

Sasha Dolls
Do you have any Sasha dolls? What do you think of them? Let me know in the comment area!

May 9, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized. 19 comments.

World Doll Day Toy Drive: May 1st-June 30th

Hello amazing, fantastic readers! Confessions of a Doll Collectors Daughter’s World Doll Day Toy Drive (that’s a bit of a mouthful!) is now OPEN! Details are below.

In honor of World Doll Day, we’re hosting our first ever toy drive! This year, our toy drive is supporting the Marillac St. Vincent Christmas Store. Serving the Chicagoland area for over 60 years, the Marillac St. Vincent Christmas Store came into my life a few years ago, when my mom and I started donating toys in honor of a co-worker who passed away. Since then, it’s always been in the back of my mind that through this blog and its corresponding YouTube channel, we could probably make a difference, even if it’s only a small dent, in the holidays of many children in need.

Toy Drive Graphics

What is the Christmas Store, you ask? Every year Marillac St. Vincent Family Services invites parents, grandparents, and child guardians that they serve throughout the year, to sign up for the Christmas Store. On the Saturday before Christmas, registered families get to “shop” for toys, stocking stuffers, books, games, clothes, and stuffed animals for each of their children, have their gifts wrapped, and finally, leave with a full bag of food – enough to make a big meal on Christmas day, complete with a turkey!

The Christmas Store is a fun shopping experience for parents and grandparents, giving them agency to choose the toys that best suit their children’s interests. Their Christmas store serves over 250 families, which accounts for 800-1100 children, who may not have received holiday presents otherwise.

What I like about this cause is that children, because their caregiver is handpicking their presents, will receive a truly personalized gift, as opposed to one that they may not care for. With this set up, Marillac St. Vincent’s Christmas Store puts the power of choice in the parents, grandparents or caregivers hands, which is far more empowering than receiving a generic donation, in my opinion!

What is Marillac St. Vincent’s looking for? New, in box dolls and toys for ages 0-12. Per their request, they’d prefer not to receive weapon type toys, but everything else is fair game. They’ve set up an Amazon wishlist, which will give you an idea of the sorts of things they like. However, as this is a doll blog and done to celebrate World Doll Day, I imagine many of you will choose to go that route! The toy drive window is two months long, to give you a chance to search for deals. For example, my mom and I picked up a $3.00 Tween Scene doll on clearance recently to save for this event. So, search those clearance aisles! Remember, though, this is for new or inbox toys only. (There are probably exceptions to the rule, like if you have a like new American Girl or something you’d like to donate. If you do, just e-mail me and we can discuss if it would be right for this drive!)

Toy Drive Graphics

How can you donate? I’ve opened up a special mailbox. This isn’t a PO box, so you’re not limited to certain mail carriers. The shipping address is:

Dolly Confessions
2413 W. Algonquin Rd
Ste 110
Algonquin, IL 60102-9402
United States

I realize shipping can be pricey, especially if you’re located outside of the US. If you’re interested in helping with the drive, but can’t support it with a physical doll or toy, consider sending a gift card to Amazon or Toys R Us. You can send a virtual gift card to taps1223(AT)sbcglobal(DOT)net. Please, title your e-mail with TOY DRIVE DONATION. Of course, you can also send a gift card via snail mail to the special donation mailbox. Please put your mailing address inside the package, envelope or e-mail, so I can send a thank you card to you!

Toy Drive Graphics

I hesitate to set a ‘donation goal’, because anything will be appreciated, but if we, together, can make fifty kids happy this holiday season, I think we’ll have done a wonderful thing. And I’d like to think that this sort of wonderful thing is just what Mildred Seeley had in mind when starting World Doll Day.

 photo blog graphic basic info.png

This snail mail box also will double as a ‘fan mail’ address, for the next three months, at least! Feel free to send non donation correspondences there, too! Questions? Just ask! And please, share this with your doll clubs, groups, etc so we can get the maximum amount of toys to donate to this great cause!

May 1, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized. 8 comments.

The Toy Box on ABC

Early April, ABC’s newest reality series, The Toy Box, hit the airwaves. Hosted by Modern Family’s Eric Stonestreet and produced in collaboration with Mattel, this competition show gives toy creators the chance to pitch their idea in hopes of getting their toy produced by Mattel and sold at Toys R Us. In order to win the competition, toy creators need to first pitch their idea to three mentors: Dylan’s Candy Bar owner Dylan Lauren, toy guru Jim Silver and Pixar’s creative director of consumer products, Jen Tan. If the contestant can convince two of the three mentors that their idea is solid, creators then move onto four pint sized judges: Sophia Grace, Aalyrah, Toby and Noah. From the looks of it, the show will feature five aspiring creators, three going onto the four kid judges. Of those three, one is chosen to go to the finals, which will air at the end of the series.

Four weeks in and this is my opinion of the series so far. I’m not in love with the overall format of the show. As someone who’d tried to get a reality show about toy production off the ground, I found myself critiquing the production and format a little more than your casual TV viewer! “If I were producing this, I’d…” was definitely something I found myself thinking a few times while watching The Toy Box! The biggest head scratcher for me is to the point of the mentors. Since Mattel will be distributing this product, you would expect one of them to be a Mattel employee, right, like a VP of design or something? But none of them are attached to Mattel, as far as I can tell. Jim Silver, I can sort of understand, being the head of TTPM, a large toy review site, but the other two judges from Dylan’s Candy Bar and Pixar seem out of place. Besides their qualifications, I’m unsure as to if they are really necessary. Unlike Shark Tank, they don’t really seem like long lasting mentors. They are taking no stake in the toy at all. It seems like they’re only going to be in the toy creators life once (to pitch) and then that’s it. Moreover, unless production is cutting out a lot of the discussion between the mentors and the contestant, they don’t seem to be giving good, constructive advice.

I can’t say anything negative about the kid judges, though. They were quite entertaining. (Plus, they’re just kids!) One thing that entertains me is when the adult mentors will throw shade, so to speak, at a toys concept or construction, just to have the kids say that they love that particular element in the three toy face off.

There have been some interesting toy concepts put up for the competition, though so far, none of the dolls have been all that great. One bright note so far is the fact that My Ballerina Dolls, which competed in The Toy Box week 2, won a place in the finals.

At this point, there are many things I would change about The Toy Box. First, I would drop the adult mentors. They’re kind of useless, especially since none of them represent or work for Mattel. Second, I’d theme the weeks to specific types of toys: dolls, games, outdoor… It doesn’t seem like putting a doll against an outdoor water tag game against a parachute toy is fair to the toy inventors. I’d rather see five dolls battle it out and then, a week later, have five outdoor toys duke it out. At the very end of the series, the top toys in their categories could then go head to head in a battle royale. But, alas, they didn’t ask me.

Are you watching The Toy Box? What do you think of it? Share your thoughts in the comment area.

April 28, 2017. Uncategorized. 5 comments.

Dolly Review: Wonder Crew James

A month ago, I was sent a Wonder Crew doll for review. Wonder Crew is a line of 15″ dolls that come in a variety of skin tones, including Caucasian (Will), Asian (Erik), African-American (James) and Hispanic (Marco). Unlike most doll lines, the main players in this line are boys, not girls. The Wonder Crew website states that the line was “Inspired by boys but truly meant for any child, Wonder Crew builds emotional intelligence, imagination, confidence, and is 100% fun!”

Wonder Crew

Wonder Crew dolls come dressed as superheroes complete with a vibrant red cape and mask. These dolls are meant to inspire active play right out of the box and come with a matching child sized cape and mask. If you feel like switching up the fun, other outfits are sold separately. Like the basic doll, each outfit comes with a fun child sized accessory! For example, the Snuggler Adventure Pack, green pajama’s with a rocket ship theme, comes with a blanket that is the perfect size for a child and their Wonder Crew to snuggle with! See this outfit in the video review, linked below.

Wonder Crew

The body of Wonder Crew dolls is part vinyl and part cloth. With James, who is pictured in this post, his torso is stuffed, including his shoulders and hips. Three quarters of his arms and legs are vinyl, though. Posing isn’t really a trait these dolls have or need, as they are meant to be huggable playmates. And huggable they are. One thing I wish the Wonder Crew did better was sit. Unfortunately, they don’t sit well, unless propped up by something strong.

Also worth pointing out is this: the cloth body is made of a white fabric with a quilt’y sort of feel to it. With this particular doll, I would have gone with a fabric that matched his skin tone better, but you can always pretend that the white under his clothing is an undershirt.

As far as the sculpt is concerned, I think the Wonder Crew team did a great job on James. The doll, to me, looks like he stepped out of a comic book or cartoon. The molded hair has texture to it and the face is cute. The hands and feet are also sculpted well.

Wonder Crew

I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the outfits and extra child sized accessories. More care was put into them than I expected. They are put together well and made with quality fabric.

Wonder Crew

Overall, I think Play Monster’s Wonder Crew dolls are cute. They’re sculpted nicely and have some quality outfits. The extra child sized accessories don’t come off as an afterthought, either, which happens a lot in the industry. Learn more about Wonder Crew on their website. What do you think of Wonder Crew? Share your thoughts in the comment area.

April 28, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized. 8 comments.

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