Dolly Review: Tonner’s Sindy’s TV Dream

A few weeks ago, Tonner announced that the license to produce Sindy was ending and discounted all the remaining stock to crazy awesome prices. Tonner’s time with Sindy was, well, not perfect. They missed the anniversary and never marketed this iconic British series properly to the US audience.  Another thing they never got right was the pricing. Sindy was priced way too high. As much as I hate to say it, I would have felt so ripped off had I paid full price for the Sindy you’ll be seeing in this review. Tonner would have done themselves a huge service had they aimed this series towards the younger set and not solely collectors. If Tonner Toys, for example, had produced it and gotten a select number into big chain stores, I think this could have been a real hit. However, deciding to make her a collectible with a high price tag just didn’t work.

But, to the review! The Tonner sale saw Sindy’s usually priced between seventy to one-hundred or more dollars marked down to as little as thirty-five US dollars! Clearly, the time to buy! When I logged in, Tonner had pretty much most of their stock available. Very quickly, though, they started selling out.  I was lucky enough to snatch up two, one for me and one for my mother for Mother’s Day. The latter is being kept a secret for now, but I would like to introduce you to my new Sindy (which is also my first Sindy) Sindy’s TV Dream.

Tonner's Sindy's TV Dream

Unknown to me at the time of ordering, Sindy’s TV Dream was limited to 225 pieces and exclusive to the Guilty Pleasures Tonner Collectors Convention in 2015. This doll comes dressed in a mod style outfit with a pink and green checkered jacket with a peter pan collar, a pink top and mini skirt in the same pink and green checkers. There are small details like white buttons on the jacket, a thick pink belt on the skirt and matching pink heels. She also comes wearing pantyhose and undies. One element I particularly like is the long silver chain necklace. It totally completes the look.

Tonner's Sindy's TV Dream

Sindy has a cute little face!  Her blue eyes are large and round. Sindy’s round face has two chubby cheeks. Her lips are a nice mauve color and there’s light blush on her cheeks. Sindy has ‘real’ eyelashes and a handful of painted ones. Her real lashes are a bit disappointing. They’re not done very well, to be honest. They’re hard and thick, not effortless, like you’d expect from a brand known for high quality products like Tonner. Between these and painted lashes, I’d have much preferred painted lashes.

Tonner's Sindy's TV Dream

Sindy has the most adorable brown wigged hair! I love her short bob with bangs. It goes perfectly with her groovy outfit. She wears a pink ribbon in her hair. It’s just a normal pink ribbon, nothing special, but it looks nice. At 11″ tall, she’s a great size. Her vinyl is surprisingly thick and of a nice quality. There’s no hollow limbs on this girl! It’s very apparent when you feel her head. Her head is made of very thick, hard vinyl.

Tonner's Sindy's TV Dream

As far as articulation goes, Sindy is lacking in that area. Now, I can’t fault Tonner for this, because if they were making a true reproduction, then many they purposely decided against giving this girl articulation. But, in this current doll market, she would have been much more popular, I think, if she had some more articulation. Sindy’s shoulder and leg joints only allow her limbs to move up and down, not out. If you put her in a sitting position, she will sit in a straddle. She has no elbow or knee joints. On the upside, she does have a twist and turn waist and a head that moves in all directions. While I love the TNT waist, she’s hard to pose in natural and different poses due to her lack of elbow and knee joints.

Tonner's Sindy's TV Dream

I thought it would be cute to take a few photos of Sindy with my Big Chief 11th Doctor, seeing they both hail from across the pond (in relation to Illinois, at least). The prop TARDIS you’ll see in the background is actually from a convention I attended earlier. A company was selling mystery boxes shaped like the TARDIS. It turns out the box was the coolest thing about the mystery box, because it was perfectly scaled for MSD sized dolls or those of a similar size. (It’s a little big for these two, but it works!) Due to Sindy’s lack of articulation, poses were limited between the two very different dolls, but you know what? I think these turned out so cute!!! (And no, I don’t know why I always make my Doctor pose romantically with his assistants. It just happens.)

Tonner Sindy's & the 11th Doctor

Tonner Sindy's & the 11th Doctor

Tonner Sindy's & the 11th Doctor

Tonner Sindy's & the 11th Doctor

Tonner Sindy's & the 11th Doctor

Overall, I like this Sindy, I really do. But I can see why she may not have gone over so well with consumers. Her lack of articulation isn’t really on trend for today’s collectors. Sindy’s high prices didn’t help, either. I think, if you find a Tonner Sindy for $50.00 or below, you’re good. She’s a solidly made doll and was produced in some super cute looks. At the time of this writing, there are still two outfits (no doll included) for sale at $20.00 a pop, originally priced at $70.00 (yikes!). You can easily find Sindy’s TV Dream and others in the line on eBay and most likely at your favorite doll shops.

Tonner's Sindy's TV Dream

Do you own a Tonner Sindy? How do you think she compares to the original Sindy line? Do you think her original price tag is justified? Share your thoughts below!

March 29, 2016. Tags: . Uncategorized. 14 comments.

Skipper Highlight Reel: Purse Pal Doll Case, 1965

The Purse Pal Doll Case has been on my watch list for a long time. It’s quite a unique piece when it comes to Skipper cases. Made by Standard Plastic Products (SPP) in 1965, this purse shaped case is special for a few different reasons. First, it’s not labeled Skipper, Barbie or even Mattel. Also, unlike other cases that feature large graphics of Skipper in action poses, this case features a scaled down Skipper wearing her token look Red Sensation. Skipper stands in a doll-like pose on a shelf alongside other toys, like a guitar, horse and books. (It’s worth noting that SPP worked on various licensed cases for Mattel, so they would have been familiar with her look and had similar graphics to play with already.)

Purse Pal Doll Case (Skipper)

Below the shelf is a girl, sitting by what looks like a miniature Susy Goose furniture set. Stars fall down from the top of the purse, past Skipper, towards the girl and play set next to her. This element draws your eye to the Skipper doll, which makes me think SPP thought it would be a clever way to market this case to girls.

Purse Pal Doll Case (Skipper)

The purse has two spots to place your doll and her accessories.This example is very, very clean! There’s no rust or rips, which is rare nowadays.

Purse Pal Doll Case (Skipper)

Watch the video below!

While this purse pal case has a small strap suitable for hanging at the crease of your elbow, there is a pink version floating around that has a longer strap. Overall, this is a pretty awesome case and I’m happy to have added it to my collection! Do you own this case? What do you think of the design? Share your thoughts in the comment area!

March 22, 2016. Tags: . Uncategorized. 7 comments.

A Girl for All Time Kickstarter- Now Live

A Girl for All Time has just launched a Kickstarter for two new 16″ dolls– Maya and her friend, Nisha. Maya and Nisha fall under their new series, ‘Your Modern Girl’. This new range of dolls will add diversity to their collection, which currently features historical girls from the same family line. (Read my reviews of Lydia and Amelia, two of the historical girls.)

Credit: A Girl for All Time

Credit: A Girl for All Time

If you’re collecting the whole Marchmont family tree, you’ll want to get your hands on Maya. She’s part of the Marchmont family line and has had the family legacy passed on to her. She looks a lot like Matilda, which is a nice call back to A Girl for All Time’s origins. Nisha, the second doll in the Your Modern Girl series, is Maya’s best friend. She has a nice tan skin and a cute outfit. I personally love the shoes!

Credit: A Girl for All Time

Credit: A Girl for All Time

The Kickstarter campaign has just started, so head over to the site to check out the various pledge rewards. A Girl for All Time needs just over $28,000 US dollars to cover the production of this new doll line. So far, they’ve raised over $4,000, which seems like a great start!

Will you be helping A Girl for All Time with their campaign? Share your thoughts in the comment area!

March 17, 2016. Tags: . Uncategorized. 3 comments.

Collection Close Up: Madame Alexander Dionne Quint (no hair)

Earlier this year, I purchased a 1930’s Dionne Quintuplet on eBay. (My second of the year– see the first here.) Made from 1935-1939, the Dionne Quintuplet dolls were big business for Madame Alexander and other doll brands of the time. For me, I’ve always loved their adorable hand painted faces. This particular auction listing tugged at my heartstrings. The seller said that this beloved Dionne Quintuplet was a prized possession of her elderly friend. Because she had no one to pass this Quint on to, she had decided to sell it to help with medical bills and the like.  The Quint had clearly been loved by this lady and I’m a sucker for a good story, especially when they throw in that they have no one to pass such a treasured item on to within the family.

I didn’t ask many questions about the quality of this quint, because the price was low enough that I could get her restored. On arrival, I noticed that she was definitely in need of a few more repairs than I thought. She was completely unstrung and needed some of her composition repaired around her hip and on her foot. She needed to have some work done around her eyes, too, because some of her paint had rubbed off. (That, of course, I knew from photos.) Here’s a shot of her taken after she arrived to my house. Notice she’s missing eye brows and eye lashes.

1930's Dionne Quint

So, in search of a doll doctor I went. Dr. Noreen had been on my radar because of the work she’d done in the past restoring dolls under the Tonner umbrella. She recently left Tonner’s doll hospital and is now working out of her own storefront. (See her in action during her Tonner days in the video below!)

Dr. Noreen was amazing. She restored my Quint in record time and kept me in the loop on the restoration through e-mail and facebook updates. Not only that, her price for the work was much better than I anticipated. At no time during the process did I ever feel worried about my doll, which says a lot! More on where you can find Dr. Noreen below. But first, are you ready to see the newly restored Dionne Quintuplet?  Here she is!

Madame Alexander Dionne Quints

She was restored beautifully! Look at this darling little face. Both Dionne’s in this post are composition. Prior to collecting hard plastic dolls, I had assumed composition dolls were super fragile. After handling a few, though, I’m amazed at how solid they are! Think about it– these two dolls have survived 80 years with only minimal damage. Think of everything that’s happened between now and 1930. This doll has literally seen it all. That’s one of the reasons I love this kind of doll. They carry so much history with them. (If only they could tell us all about it!)

Madame Alexander Dionne Quints

Here she is with her sister, a Dionne with real hair. (And when I say real, I mean it. This doll is usually listed as having a human hair wig!) While the doll with painted hair is meant to sit, the real hair version has legs that welcome standing. Adding these two dolls to my collection means I have successfully acquired another item on my grail list!

Madame Alexander Dionne Quints

Because I was so impressed with her passion and professionalism, I asked Dr. Noreen if she’d do a spotlight here on the blog and she agreed. Below is a quick Q and A I did with her over email. If you’re looking for a doll restoration artist in the US with talent and experience, visit her website! She did an amazing job on my Quint and is highly recommended!

Question: Tell us a bit about yourself and how you become interested in doll restoration.
Answer: I owned my own doll shop and doll hospital years ago and found that all my enjoyment came from the repair and restoration side of the business. Since I was very young, I always loved to rescue dolls (dogs and cats, too)!

Dr. Norren's Photo-- My Doll's Before Shot. Notice her leg damage.

Dr. Norren’s Photo– My Doll’s Before Shot. Notice her leg damage.

Question: How long have you been restoring dolls?
Answer: I have been restoring dolls for about 30 years.

Question: What kinds of dolls do you restore?
Answer: Antique bisque to vintage and modern. I do not work on Barbies or the smaller fashion dolls at all. Sadly, I also do not sew–so cloth dolls are not something I am comfortable with restoring. My favorite are probably the 50’s hard plastics.

Dr. Noreen's Photo. Operation fix Dionne's foot and hip is on!

Dr. Noreen’s Photo– Operation fix Dionne’s foot and hip is on!

Question: What is your favorite part of the process?
Answer: The before and after shots–I love! But the part I find rewarding is the look on the customers face when they see their beloved doll back the way they remember it!

Question: If someone sends a doll to your hospital, what should they expect?
Answer: When a doll arrives, I spend about 20 minutes checking her completely and take many photos of exactly how she arrived. Then, I usually start within a week or two, depending on how many [dolls] are waiting for the dolly O.R. Generally, they are finished within a few weeks. I show the dolls restoration process by photographing and posting [on facebook].

Dr. Noreen's Photo-- You can hardly tell there was a comp issue!

Dr. Noreen’s Photo– You can hardly tell there was a comp issue!

Question: Do you collect dolls? If so, what kinds?
Answer: Yes! I do have a bit of an eclectic collection ranging from late 1800 China Heads to modern ball jointed dolls. Of course, after working for 14 years as the doll doc for Tonner Doll, I have quite a few of those, too.

Dr. Noreen's Photo-- Her 'after' photo!

Dr. Noreen’s Photo– Her ‘after’ photo!

Question: Where can they find out more information about your services?
Answer: On Facebook and my website, Dr. Noreen’s Doll Hospital.

Madame Alexander Dionne Quints

I encourage you to check out Dr. Noreen’s site and facebook page for more information on her services. She did an excellent job on this 1930’s Quint and has become my go-to doll doctor for whatever dolls come my way in the future that are in need of a little TLC.

Have you picked up a grail item recently? Do you own a Dionne Quintuplet? Have you ever worked with Dr. Noreen? Share your thoughts in the comment area!

March 16, 2016. Tags: . Uncategorized. 8 comments.

NYTF16: Super Impulse (SI)

Super Impulse has a line I think some of you will love!  It’s called World’s Smallest. Here’s the gist. World’s Smallest is a line of working miniature replicas of some of your favorite toys. I think these would make pretty cool props for photo shoots and set dressing!

NYTF: Si

Toys featured are popular brands like Etch-A-Sketch, Rubiks Cube, Perplexus, Duncan Yo-Yo’s and Little Green Army Men. The Polaroid is one of my favorites.

NYTF: Si

New for 2016 are popular Mattel toys Fisher-Price Chatter Telephone, Fisher-Price Rock-A-Stack, Magic 8 Ball and Fisher-Price Little People School Bus. These are due out Spring 2016.

NYTF: Si

They also had a miniature GI Joe on display at New York Toy Fair, though it isn’t mentioned in the press release I received, so that may be an early prototype.

NYTF: Si

You can find World’s Smallest at most major retailers, including Walmart, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Hasting, Learning Express, Paper Source, Five Below and Ron Jon Surf Shop.

Another fun product they had on display was called Icon Glam. It plays on the 2D purse trend. (I own a 2D/cartoon purse and it’s very cool.) These sets will allow you to customize your own 2D cartoon purse. Again, what you see here is a prototype, so they’ll be making tweaks and perfecting it before it hits store shelves.

NYTF: Si

What miniatures do you think should be created in the World’s Smallest line? Do you think they’ll make good props for photos? Share your thoughts below!

March 1, 2016. Tags: . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

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