Collection Close Up: Madame Alexander Dionne Quintuplet (with Hair)

Amazingly, in one week, I won two of my Grail items on eBay. For years, I’ve been searching around for the perfect 1930’s Dionne quintuplet to add to my Madame Alexander collection. When I say perfect, I don’t mean I was looking for something so minty fresh it looked like it had just left the Alexander Doll Company. Of course, I wanted a Dionne with a pretty face and good limbs with no cracks for a good price. But, the main thing I wanted, was for the doll to have character, for it to call to me.  And somehow, within the span of three days, two Madame Alexander Dionne Quints did that!

The first one I purchased isn’t actually here yet, so we’ll revisit that later. But the second Dionne is here!  I am waiting for both to arrive to do a real photoshoot, but until then, here’s a photo or two to tide you over!

Madame Alexander Dionne Quint (1935-39)

I suspect this Dionne quintuplet is Annette, because her dress looks like it could have been yellow at one time. However, I’m not sure and don’t think I’ll ever be sure. There’s a possibility Annette has, according to a few internet sources, a human hair wig. I’m still looking for a good resource on the Madame Alexander Quintuplets, as they released a lot of different versions from 1935-1939.

Madame Alexander Dionne Quint (1935-39)

Annette is composition and 8″ tall. She has beautiful hand painted brown eyes. There are a few scratches on her face, but nothing very noticeable, considering she’s roughly 80 years old!

Madame Alexander Dionne Quint (1935-39)

I’m beyond thrilled to have added this Dionne Quintuplet to my Madame Alexander collection. I can hardly believe another one, slightly different, is on the way to join her!

Have you added a grail item to you collection recently? Let us know in the comment area!

January 22, 2016. Tags: . Uncategorized. 11 comments.

Collection Close Up: All American Barbie, Christie (1991)

Months back, I won a lot of Pink Box Barbie’s.  This is Christie from the All American Barbie line. This series came out around 1991.  Besides Christie, this line featured Barbie, Ken, Kira and Teresa. A unique characteristic of this line is that Mattel had partnered with Reebok, a popular shoe brand. Christie, for examples, came with two pairs of colorful hi-top sneakers!

All American Barbie, Christie

90’s pink box Barbie’s are essentially my youth. I love everything about them, like their crimped hair, large bangs and high ponytails, cool makeup and bright outfits. They remind me of the popular trends that I lived through in the 1990’s.

All American Barbie, Christie

In Christie’s case, she has some fantastic eye colors– brown and green. I also love the big baggy jean jacket that covers the crop top/short skirt outfit underneath.

All American Barbie, Christie

The Reeboks are neat, as well. The actual Reebok branding is fabric that slips over a white plastic shoes. You get two pairs with Christie. Christie also wears fluorescent tie-dye socks. They’re so 90’s!

All American Barbie, Christie

See the video here:

So that’s a quick look at All American Barbie, Christie.  Do you remember when this line hit store shelves? What’s your favorite pink box Barbie? Let me know in the comment area!

January 18, 2016. Tags: . Uncategorized. 7 comments.

Makies Are On the Move

UPDATE 10/2016: The Makies brand seems to be dead right now. The site never re-opened and social media hasn’t been updated. As of this update, I am considering Makies out of business. Brands have been known to surprise us before and come out of oblivion, so you never know what will happen. But, for the time being, I would try to find a Makie second hand if you’re looking to add one to your collection. The fandom is still alive and well on Facebook, so I recommend searching Makies there and joining one of the fan groups.

If this first week of 2016 is any indication, it’s going to be a whirlwind year for doll collectors. Fresh off the heels of Mattel and their Monster High reboot fiasco, Makies has announced a quick change of their own. Operations are moving from the UK to the United States. Shocker, right? Part of the fun of Makies for me has always been that they weren’t produced by a US based company. Knowing this doll was printed and shipped from the UK made the wait for her very exciting. It was like my Makie was already having an adventure, even though she hadn’t yet arrived at my doorstep! On top of that, the 2 week shipping promise was usually on point, which is a very short wait for a custom doll from another country.

Various Makies

Various Makies

I first became acquainted with Makies back in November of 2013. A Facebook ad for Makies had popped up on the sidebar of my timeline and it stirred my curiosity. 3D printed dolls that you could design? How cool was that? Shortly after, I sent out an e-mail to Jen, who was the Communications Director at the time, asking for more information on the line. Honestly, I didn’t expect an e-mail back. Not many companies care about tiny blogs like mine. But surprisingly, shortly after sending the message, Jen replied back and answered all my questions. That’s when I realized that MakieLabs wasn’t your typical doll business. Since that original correspondence, I’ve tried to keep track of Makies and have tried to add one to my collection every few years. Most recently, I posted an interview with Christina, current Chief Marketing Officer, in an effort to understand some of the recent changes Makies has been going through this past six months.

Pippi, My New Makie

The most recent bombshell from the company happened the other day, when the website displayed the following message: Makies are moving to America! Things are afoot and so the MakieLab is moving to the USA. The land of opportunity awaits. Will they be back online soon? Have they gone back to the future? Watch this space…

Makies Moving to US
Makies Moving to US

The line, “have they gone back to the future” makes me wonder if they’ve devised a way to keep the new price, but still have fully 3D printed bodies. The new plastic bodies they introduced a few months back look like they have a lot of kinks to work out still, so maybe they’re going back to the original concept of having your doll be 3D printed from head to toe? I’d be more than okay with that!

There are a few reasons why this move could be happening, but honestly, it’s all speculation at this point. All the company has officially posted is the blurb on the website. Does it have something to do with being accepted into the Disney Accelerator program for 2015, a program where they receive funding and mentorship? Maybe, but I don’t see any rule stating the companies need to be in the US full-time to be accepted. Could it be that the US has allowances for businesses that the UK doesn’t? I have literally no idea. It’s a huge question mark as to why this move is happening.

Makie Cosplaying as Doctor Whooves
What I can safely deduce, though, is that most likely the move has very little to do with the fan base or competitive sales (US vs UK). There are a lot of collectors here in the States, but the UK collectors are far more boisterous about the line. In fact, most of the people I’ve talked with who own Makies are based somewhere in the UK, not the US. At least, that’s how it seems based on the doll shows I’ve attended with my Makies, where people tend to ask me lots of questions about them, because they have never heard of the line and/or weren’t sure if they could trust it.

The move itself is frustrating to me, because it seems to have come out of nowhere. Thank goodness I didn’t buy anyone gift cards this Christmas! With no re-opening date posted and no idea what this new Makie store will look like and offer, I would hate to think I gave someone a gift that they couldn’t use for who knows how long.

Makies Banner

Makies Banner

Those in the UK have even more reasons to be frustrated, I’d imagine, because I’ve heard the horror stories about the fees that are tacked onto packages from the US and elsewhere. I would hate for Makies to be hard to get in the country that they originated in. I also feel bad for the people who helped build MakieLabs (the brand), who may not be able/want to move their entire lives to the USA.

My hope is that MakieLabs will give us a bit more information as soon as they can.  Collectors young and old would really like to know more about the future of the line or, at the very least, when the shop will reopen. And then there’s the weird boys in the website screenshot (ie: the guy with the beard). What’s the deal with him? I don’t dislike him, but I’m hungry for information.

What do you think of Makies and their move to the US? Pros? Cons? Share your thoughts in the comment area!

January 5, 2016. Uncategorized. 24 comments.

Made To Move Barbie and Pullips

If you’re like me, you’ve dabbled in replacing your Pullip‘s stock body with an obitsu body. You’ve probably also wanted to rip your hair out, because of the crazy wobbly head (and/or torso) some Pullips have once you do re-body them. There are other options, like Liv bodies, but they’re not very easy to come by these days.  Now, there’s an option you can find in your local retail store!  Pullip communities over the internet have been buzzing over Mattel‘s new Made To Move Barbie line. The Made To Move line is basic in look and outfit, but offers more articulation than ever before, even double jointed knees and elbows.

Made to Move Barbie

The Barbie herself is a bit plain. She has a pretty, clean face. Her workout outfit includes black leggings and a stretchy short sleeve top that is bright pink and blue. Her joints are on full display in the box, where she sits in a yoga-esc position.

Now, I have to admit, I didn’t buy this Barbie for the actual doll. I only bought her for her body! If there’s any way to get my Pullips into better, less wobbly bodies, I am willing to try! After taking out the insanely long neck knob (which I neglected to take a photo off, but rest assured, it’s over-kill for sure), it was relatively simple to tweak it into something Pullip friendly. Usually, I’m sanding for hours, but, in this case, it took less than 30 minutes. Here’s the result of my little experiment.

Made to Move Barbie on Pullip

I love the proportions of the Made To Move body way more than the obitsu’s, to be quite honest. The size of obitsu’s can be odd sometimes and most of what I dress my Pullips in are Barbie clothes anyways! Using this kind of body might help the clothing fit better! And better still, the head isn’t wobbly! It actually fits really sturdily on the body and doesn’t pull back on the torso joint, either!

Made to Move Barbie on Pullip

Video Tutorial Here:

The color matching isn’t perfect, but I’ll take it! Have you tried to switch out your Pullip stock bodies or obitsu bodies with a Made To Move Barbie body? What do you think of this easy to find replacement body? Share your thoughts in the comment area!

January 3, 2016. Tags: . Uncategorized. 23 comments.

Dolly Review: Monster High Frankie’s Designer Booo-tique

I didn’t plan on reviewing this for the blog, but due to a surprising characteristic on the Frankie, it seems worthy of writing something up on this release. Here’s the gist– Designer Booo-tique Frankie comes with Frankie and five outfits for you to decorate with three thin fabric markers and stencils. You also get a small page of stickers you can use to add extra details to your designs.

As far as designing the outfits, there’s not that much to it. The outfits have one stretchy side and one non-stretchy side, which looks a little odd in person. The coolest of the outfits is made up like an adult coloring book with an intense pattern you can color in. Other than that one dress, the rest are free form. You can do whatever you’d like with them.

Booo-tique Frankie

The reason I am writing about this set, though, isn’t because of the gimmick, but because of the Frankie. She’s super disappointing. Right off the bat, you’ll notice one very disappointing element– the lack of articulation at her elbows and wrists.  Upon closer examination, you’ll notice another irritating feature. Frankie’s shoulder joints don’t swivel out. All they can do is move up and down. Her leg joints look normal, but who knows what will happen to them in the reboot.

Booo-tique Frankie

As if that wasn’t enough, Frankie has lost the painted stitch marks on her arms and legs and has now received molded unpainted ones. The molded marks don’t stand out half as much as the 2D painted ones.

Booo-tique Frankie

Body issues aside, what about her face? Both my mom and I thought the same thing when we saw her: why does she look so mean? Seriously, this Frankie looks far less friendly than other releases. Maybe it’s the dark make up around her eyes and the bright pink lip color, but she looks like she has a chip on her shoulder.

Booo-tique Frankie

While I can’t say this is how the bodies will be come the 2016 reboot of Monster High, just today I saw a few budget dolls with the non-articulated arms. I really hope that they aren’t moving away from elbow and wrist joints, not to mention decent working shoulder joints.

For more details on this release, check out the video review (linked above). I wanted to make sure to cover the big stuff (like her cheap arms) in this mini written review, but skimmed over some of the smaller details.

What are your thoughts on the Designer Booo-tique Frankie? Let me know in the comment area!

January 2, 2016. Tags: , . Uncategorized. 16 comments.

%d bloggers like this: