Artist Spotlight: Arnaldo’s Restorations

Back in 2012, my mom and I crashed the room sales at the Kenvention.  It was there that we met Arnaldo.  His room sale was practically an art gallery.  Seriously, this guy creates amazing OOAK creations.  For that reason, I decided Arnaldo should be the first doll artist to spotlight here on Confessions of a Doll Collectors Daughter. If all goes well, I plan on spotlighting a new artist each month or so.

Without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to Arnaldo.  Arnaldo was kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions for me regarding his work.


Arnaldo of Arnaldo’s Restorations

Name: Facebook, Arnaldo’s Restorations

Location: Jersey City, New Jersey

Customizing since: 1995

Question:  When did you start working with dolls?

Answer:  While finishing my first Masters in Art and Art Education at Columbia University in New York City around 1989, my way of relaxing from stress was going every weekend to the Chelsea Flea Market. I found dolls and action figures but in deplorable condition. It was then that I started to repaint the missing lips and eyebrows of dolls that were in played-with condition.

OOAK Skippers

Restyled Skippers/Skooter

Question: What started you in customizing?

Answer:  Most of the dolls I started to find had missing hair. Thanks to some doll magazines I learned that hair can be rerooted. Then, I found dolls with such bad hair that all their hair needed to be rerooted. To respect the age of the dolls I started to reroot using hair from similar dolls with cut faces and much damage. Later I realized that nobody was able to do that; instead other people used new hair with a different feel and texture.

Titan American Girl Re-root

Titan American Girl Re-root

Question: In what do you specialize?

Answer:  I specialize in restoring vintage Barbie dolls and her family and friends. What I am known for is for rerooting with original vintage Barbie hair. What I do appeals more to the vintage collector. Instead of customizing I consider that what I do is to restore, studying the lip color, shape, correct hair style and hair texture of the doll I will be working with. I also like to try to create dolls that were never produced like, for example, a titian #3, a titian #4, and titian sideparts. I also do Grandpa Kens that are bald and bearded. Allans were all red heads so I make them brunettes with blue, brown and green eyes – overall, dolls that are one-of-a-kind but that keep their vintage look.

Twist and Turn Pigtails OOAK

Twist and Turn Pigtails

Old Man Ken

Grandpa Ken

Question: Are you a collector yourself?

Answer:  Yes, I have a big collection of vintage Barbies and Kens, including European and Japanese exclusives. I also collect GI Joes, Captain Action, Mego, Tammy, Ginny, Madame Alexander and German and Hong Kong Lillies.

Restored Lilli's

Restored Lilli’s

Japanese Midge

Japanese Midge

Question:  What are some of your favorite One Of A Kind creations?

Answer:  I have many favorites. I love my #4 and bubblecuts with #1 face paint, My Midge with brown side-glance eyes, my titian sidepart American girls, my pigtail TNT and Francies, my TNT and Francies rerooted with real vintage color magic hair, my Grandpa Kens, my latino Ricky and Allans and my brunette Malibu Kens with goatees. I also adore my silkstones for which I also make their outfits. However, every time I restore a doll it becomes my favorite. It gets harder and harder to depart with them.

OOAK Color Magic's

More Examples Of Arnaldo's Work

More Examples Of Arnaldo’s Work

Question:  What is the most fun/enjoyable thing about customizing?

Answer:  Collecting is fun because people remember the dolls they had when they were kids; however, when people get something that they know was never produced and that is special, the admiration for the work and the respect provided by the people that purchase my dolls is the most enjoyable part. The most fun part of all is the amount of doll friends me and my partner Dale have acquired through the years.

OOAK AA Francie's

OOAK AA Francie’s

Fantastically Flocked Color Magic Kens

Fantastically Flocked Color Magic Kens

Question: Where can people find your work?

Answer:  I usually sell all my dolls at the National Barbie Convention. During 2013, I will be attending the (GAW) Grant-a-wish convention in Michigan during April, the National Barbie Convention in August and the Kenvention in October. Also, starting in March, I will be posting my new collection of One of A Kind dolls on my Facebook page. You can find me by searching Arnaldo’s Restorations or email me at Hope all of you keep experiencing the joy of collecting and appreciating what doll artists do.

Ricky in various hair colors (How cute!!!)

Ricky in various hair colors (How cute!!!)

Bearded and Flocked Ken dolls

Bearded and Flocked Ken dolls

Personally, I’m a huge fan of Arnaldo’s and hopefully will own one of his pieces eventually.  Which one?  After seeing his work in person, I’m not sure!  I’m a huge fan of his Ricky repaints, as well as the new takes on Color Magic and Japanese exclusive repaints.  He truly is talented!

A big thank you to Arnaldo for answering my questions and sharing his work with us.  I encourage you to visit Arnaldo’s Restorations on facebook and check out his photo albums.  There are a ton of great dolls that I just didn’t have space to feature in this spotlight!  And as always, feel free to let us all in on your thoughts in the comment area down below.

January 23, 2013. Tags: . Uncategorized. 16 comments.

Dolly Review: Disney Toddler Princess- Prince Eric

For Christmas, I received the Prince Eric doll I mentioned in a past installment of ‘Walking the Toy Aisle’.

The Basics:  Prince Eric is one of three male prince dolls introduced recently in the Disney Princess Toddler line sold in various retail locations.  He’s about 14 inches tall and has molded hair.  Prince Eric, as you know, is the true love to none other than Ariel, the little mermaid.

IMG_0107 copy

Prince Eric Disney Toddler Doll

Articulation:  Prince Eric is a playline doll for the younger set, so his articulation is limited.  His arms and legs move up and down and his head moves left and right.  Prince Eric is is a sturdy doll.  He’s not heavy, but he feels like a doll that’s made to last!

Clothing: Prince Eric is a well dressed toddler!  His clothing fits perfectly and is so cute!  The quality is on par with what I’d expect from a playline toddler doll.

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Prince Eric, Long Shot

What I like:  I was drawn first to these Prince dolls because of their faces.  They’re so cute!  I love Eric’s big grin and his large blue eyes.  He looks so innocent and a lot like I’d picture Prince Eric as a kid.

Another thing to note is his hair.  It’s molded black hair, you say, what’s so special about that?  Well, I have a thing about molded hair.  Some doll lines think molded hair doesn’t need to have any ‘style’.  They think they can just paint the top of a dolls hair in some basic cut and boom, they’re done.

Prince Eric, however, actual has some style in his hair.  You can see where they tried to create parts or waves.  It’s details like that that make me really love this doll’s design.

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True Love- Prince Eric vs Disney Animators Ariel

Toddler Doll Line vs Animator Collection Toddler Doll Line:  One huge draw for me when I added him to my Christmas list was that my Animator Collection Ariel was in need of her prince.  I wasn’t sure if their proportions would be similar, but now that I have both I can tell you that they are slightly different.

My Ariel has a much larger face with larger facial features than Prince Eric.  Their bodies are, for the most part, similar.  Height-wise, they’re nearly the same height.  Ariel may be a twinge taller than Eric.

What I Would Like to See:  Honestly, I’m not sure that I’d improve upon anything on this doll.  This is a playline doll meant for 3 and up, so it doesn’t really need more articulation and in the cuteness department, it’s all there.

True Love

True Love

Overall: While Prince Eric may not be the exact proportions of my Ariel, they really do look good together!  All in all, I think Prince Eric is a winner of a toy.

Feel like video?  Why not check out the video review?

What do you think of Prince Eric?  Share your thoughts below with a comment or two!

January 23, 2013. Tags: . Uncategorized. 3 comments.

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