Kane County Doll Show Haul/Loot/Goodies

The end of September marked the first ever Kane County Doll Show. Hosted on the Kane County Fairgrounds and planned by the people behind the popular Naperville Doll Show, the Kane County Doll Show was an answer to some of the negative opinions of the recent changes to the Chicago Toy Show‘s doll room layout. Because we’re not one to miss a doll show, my mom and I decided to check it out. Having gone to the Naperville show before, we saw many of the same vendors. The new location gave them much more space and the booths were far less cramped than in the Naperville show, which is housed in a hotel meeting room.

Open the Gate

There was one small hiccup in the beginning. The usual gates that get shoppers into the parking lot for the fairgrounds were locked, so when we arrived, there were people waiting outside the gate confused. After a while, the show sent someone to help guide us to a very nondescript entrance, with no signing. No one would have known a doll show was going on from outside the actual fair grounds, which was disappointing. The group of us all mentioned this when we finally found the check in desk. The front desk team was a little nonchalant about the ordeal, but it’s not my show, so I’m not going to worry about how many people this may have turned away…

Because one can’t go to a doll show and leave empty handed,  we ended up leaving with a few neat items to add to our collections. Check out our loot below!

Madame Alexander Dionne

This was my first dolly pick up of the day. This 1930’s Dionne Toddler doll was made by Madame Alexander. She’s a fixer-upper, but was priced low enough that I could warrant sending her off for some restoration.

Kathe Kruse

My mom’s first purchase was this adorable Kathe Kruse doll! She’s wanted one of these for a while now and this one was discounted to a price that was too good to refuse. My mom’s favorite feature is that this doll, called Nino, can put his hands in his pockets.

Sasha Baby

For $30.00, I picked up this sexed Baby Sasha doll (male) with molded ridges that represent eyelids. Not all Baby Sasha’s have these elements to them, which means this is an early Baby Sasha.

Baby Kissy

Baby Kissy came home with my mother. While she doesn’t work like the seller said, the face, with its chubby cheeks, is very cute. Now, she has three different kinds of Kissy’s.

Kissy Dolls

Aren’t they darling in this group shot?

Sasha Baby

My Baby Sasha came home with a friend! Well, technically, this black Baby Sasha belongs to my mom. She was on a discount table with a bunch of bisque dolls. This doll is a later Sasha Baby, so there are no ridges above her eyes and she is not sexed. Now, my mom has both the darker skinned version (that was released prior to this) and the lighter skinned doll.

Madame Alexander Dionne

This Dionne baby from Madame Alexander is much bigger than my others. Plus, she’s in great shape with no need for any restoration. Clearly, someone took care of this doll! At her price, she was a steal. Her outfit is most likely reproduction, but that also works in my favor– no need to commission anything!

1937 Knickerbacker Snow White

Last, but not least, my mom picked up this cute Knickerbocker Snow White from 1937 or so. She needs restoration and a new outfit, but the face is very cute.

That’s all our buys at the show. The prices were hard to ignore! Personally, I love this new location for the doll show. The hotel in Naperville is nice, but way too cramped. The only problem I see with this show, at the moment, is that it never seemed like there were a lot of shoppers wandering around. Being used to seeing Chicago Toy Show crowds in that very same room, it was clear that they had less hobbyists in the sales room, at least when we were there. Hopefully, the vendors made enough to come back again.

On a similar note, it would be nice to see some more contemporary sellers there. There were a lot of bisque sellers and older antique’y sort of dolls, but not a lot of Barbie’s or 60’s and 70’s dolls, like Little Miss No Name, Sketchy, Kissy, Giggles, etc. There was one Little Miss No Name, but it was priced way too high and was in dire need of a reroot. I wish sellers would understand that if their doll is crummy shape and they don’t care enough to give it a quick cleaning, they shouldn’t be charging $100 bucks for her.

Have you picked up any awesome things at a show recently? Share your thoughts in the comment area!

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September 30, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized. 3 comments.

Blythe vs Blythe

Casie of BeBe Blythe Company contacted us the other day about an interesting event she’s hosting on Facebook throughout the month of October called Blythe vs Blythe. Blythe vs Blythe is a contest where two Blythe artists go head to head to create a unique doll using the same base model and theme. The event’s theme is Fall. I thought this was a pretty interesting concept and wanted to share it with you, in case you’re interested in watching this unique contest unfold.

Before you get too excited, there is a $10 fee to participate (as a spectator). It covers overhead costs, like raffle prizes, shipping, buying the base dolls, etc. Going into October and through the end of October, Casie has promised that there will be a chance to win small things, making the entrance fee worth it. Just for signing up, you’ll get a free digital gift (a sheet of printable eye chips or a video on carving).

Moving along, the actual competition is against two popular Blythe customizers. Throughout the month of October, they will be posting their progress on their custom doll via a Facebook Group, Blythe vs Blythe. At the end of the month, the members of the facebook page will vote on the winner. The winning doll will be raffled off to one lucky member of the group.

For more information, reach out to Casie. We (Barbee0913 and I) don’t have anything to do with this other than sharing the information with you, so we can’t answer any contest related questions. You can find Casie on Etsy and YouTube, as well as reach out via the event’s FaceBook page. I think Blythe vs Blythe could be a really fun online event and is worth checking out if you’re into Blythe customizing or just like seeing ‘the process’ of making a blank doll truly unique!

September 19, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Collection Close Up: Madame Alexander Dionne Quintuplets New Looks

Did you know that one of Madame Alexanders most loved and well-known doll releases, the composition Dionne Quintuplets series from 1935-1939, was based on a real life family? Well, it’s true! The Dionne Quintuplets were the first set of Quintuplets to be born in Canada. The story of their early years is sad and fascinating at the same time.
Dionne Quints

The Canadian government took the children away from their family and built ‘Quintland’ across from their family’s home. The children grew up in a nursery staffed by doctors and nurses. At certain times throughout the day, spectators could go to the facility and watch the kids play and do other things, like animals in a zoo. The girls couldn’t see the crowd, but they could hear them and knew very well that they were being watched. The story is a fascinating tale. It’s definitely something to look into if you’re bored and want to learn about something new!

Because of the girls popularity, the Dionne’s graced advertising campaigns, souvenirs and, of course, they were eventually made into dolls by the great Madame Alexander Doll Company. Each doll wore a different color dress and a name tag, so you knew which girl your doll was modeled after. The Dionne dolls were sold in various shapes and sizes. Madame Alexander even went so far as to make a composition doctor and nurse doll to care for the miniature sized quints.

Dionne Quints

I own two Madame Alexander quints and want to eventually add more to my collection. For years, my quints have lived in their faded original outfit or, in the case of the bent leg baby, in a diaper. It’s been on my to-do list to give them a new look, since they’ve already been touched up by the fantastic doll doctor, Dr. Noreen. Finally, I’ve done it. Commissioned from Loll’s Doll Trunk on Etsy, my quints now look quite stylish in their reproduction looks.

MA Dionne Quints

For the baby with painted hair, I wanted a romper. Her legs are bent, so they don’t allow her to stand. Instead of dealing with a dress that may not lay right on a sitting doll, this reproduction romper outfit seemed like the way to go. It’s based on this look.

MA Dionne Quints

Lolly’s outfits are so well made! She did a wonderful job. They look very close to the original outfits seen in photos of the Dionne quintuplets releases. My standing girl with hair is wearing a dress very similar to the one she has worn most of her life. Her original outfit was faded and very thin. Most likely, it was yellow or pink. I wasn’t crazy about a yellow or pink dress, to be honest, so instead,  I asked Lolly to make a pretty green dress for this quint. The look was based on this image. I think it looks so great on my doll!

MA Dionne Quints

One day, I hope to have at least one example of each ‘type’ of quint Madame Alexander produced, along with the nurse and doctor, of course! I have a long way to go, but there’s still a few doll shows left this year, so who know what might happen!

MA Dionne Quints

I’m very happy with how these two looks turned out! Thanks a lot, Lolly! Had the Dionne story crossed your path before? What do you think of these looks? Let me know in the comment area.

September 15, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized. 8 comments.

Dolly Review: My Sibling/My Pal Dolls (Outfit Review, Too!)

While at Blogger Bash‘s exclusive ‘Sweet Suite’, I had the pleasure of being introduced to Loretta Boronat and her My Sibling and My Pal dolls. This independent company has been producing high quality 18″ boy dolls with a message for a decade and, by the looks of it, will continue to do so for many years to come!

Let’s break the line down for you. First, we’ll talk about the My Sibling Dolls. This line has a grander cause behind it than just filling the ‘boy doll’ niche. The message of the line is one of awareness. Each doll represents a child who has a sibling with a disability, like Autism or Down Syndrome. To emphasize the point, each doll comes with a simply made booklet with a short story written by Loretta that lets you learn a little more about the doll, his sibling and how they relate to each other. Booklets also include a bit of information on the disability the sibling has and the company’s efforts to “help solve the autism puzzle“.

One thing I really love about this line is that the dolls are prepped and packaged by adult workers with various disabilities through a local US sheltered workshop. Finding a job without a disability can be hard nowadays, let alone finding one when you have a disability like Autism or Down Syndrome. These workers work on everything from dressing your doll, to preparing the booklet, to packaging your doll and prepping it for shipping. They offer training based on one’s skills and “strive to develop more opportunities for these adults, by optimizing their abilities and overlooking the stumbling blocks in the way we design the jobs.” I love this and wish more companies would consider doing this.

Also worth noting is that all the clothing these dolls are outfitted with is made in the USA.  Besides the dressed doll, My Siblings Dolls offers other outfits and accessories, sold separately, including onsie PJ’s, camo pants, basic playwear, sunglasses, shoes and even a doll sized sleeping bag! Not all the small accessories are made in the USA, but the outfits are. There are quite a lot of clothing options available, so if the doll isn’t for you, maybe you’ll see a cute outfit for your custom 18″ boy doll. For dolls, the company offers some customization services. (Learn more about that here.)

My Sibling/My Pal Dolls

For review, I received My Sibling Dolls Andy. Andy was one of the first dolls to be released. He has medium skin, wavy brown hair and brown eyes. As I said, he’s 18″ tall, partially vinyl, partially stuffed. His head, arms and legs are vinyl, while his torso is stuffed. Some dolls with stuffed torso’s are flopsy, but Andy is stuffed very densely. Because of this, he can stand really, really well with or without shoes! (An accomplishment, especially for a doll put together with a stuffed torso!)

My Sibling/My Pal Dolls

Andy has a nicely sculpted face with small details that some other brands might forego. His face looks uniquely ‘boy-ish’. The placement of the features is perfect. I especially love the small details on the lips.

My Sibling/My Pal Dolls

Andy’s hair is rooted and very soft! The style is super cute, too! I love the layered waves. Not all the dolls have this style, you can order dolls with less volume to their hair. So, if this isn’t your preferred style, they most likely have a doll with a hair style you like more.

My Sibling/My Pal Dolls

Andy’s outfit is simple (a two toned t-shirt and jeans) with a blue color scheme. It uses velcro closures for easy changing. Andy wears a hat, which fits well. And his shoes? I love them! I also especially like the Autism Awareness bracelet he wears. (You can order one in adult and children sizes on the website for yourself or your child.)

My Sibling/My Pal Dolls

The second doll sent for review was My Pal for Baseball. The My Pal line is a little more broad in theme. Each doll represents a hobby or cause. There are many to choose from, like World Peace, Autism Awareness, Tennis, School, Going Green, Hanukkah, Christmas, First Eucharist, Giving Thanks and Soccer. For those in a military family, you can also get a My Pal the Patriot doll, which comes in various skin tones/hair styles.

My Sibling/My Pal Dolls

My Pal for Baseball comes in two different ‘looks’. We chose to review the light skin version, with straight brown hair and blue eyes. The body and head are the same as Andy’s. The skin is much lighter than Andy’s medium skin. My Pal for Baseball stands as solidly as Andy does.

His hair is cut in a short boy cut. It arrived a little too perfect for my taste, but after messing with it a bit, it looked very nice. They did a good job on the cut. That can be one of the hardest things to get right on boy dolls.

My Sibling/My Pal Dolls

The baseball outfit is a nice piece, too. There’s a little bit of neck to stuffed body showing, but the color match is good enough that you barely notice.  Again, they use velcro, so it’s easy to take the outfit off/put it back on. Besides the blue uniform top and white pants, you also get a pair of white tennis shoes (not black cleats like the webpage says), a catcher’s mitt (made of fabric) and a cool baseball cap with the My Pal logo on it. It looks very authentic and super cute!

My Sibling/My Pal Dolls

Both dolls have trouble staying in a sitting position. Their hips joints allow them to sit in a straddle, but you’ll probably need to prop them up a bit for them to really stay in a sitting position. Just like the My Sibling line, you’ll get a booklet with various facts and tidbits about the theme of your My Pal doll. In My Pal for Baseball’s case, the booklet included information about the game and the current teams in the league.

My Sibling/My Pal Dolls

Also sent for review were two other items: a suit and doll sized sleeping bag. The suit comes in a variety of fabrics (five!).

My Sibling/My Pal Dolls

Each suit includes a white shirt with tie, suit pants and a suit jacket. The look, from head to toe, looks adorable. My Pal for Baseball looked like he stepped right out of Mad Men when wearing it. Shoes are not included in this outfit.

My Sibling/My Pal Dolls

The sleeping bag is colorful and soft. It’s big enough for at least one doll, if not two. It has an elastic band to fold and wrap the sleeping bag just like you would a normal sized one. The bright colors go hand in hand with the Autism awareness bracelets and other products sold in the online store.

My Sibling/My Pal Dolls

Check out the website to see all the products from this independent doll company. You can also find them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. As a thank you to the company, visit their website and let me know in the comments which doll is your favorite. What do you think of My Sibling and/or My Pal dolls? Share your thoughts in the comment area!

September 15, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized. 5 comments.

Walking the Toy Aisle

My mom and I went to Toys R Us today. The last few visits have been lackluster, with nothing new to show off. However, this time we actually saw some pretty exciting things! You can tell the store is ramping up for Christmas! We’ll start off with the good.

Toy Aisle (9/12/17)

Toy Aisle (9/12/17)

Toy Aisle (9/12/17)

Regal Academy, manufactured by Auldey Toys, is based on an Italian cartoon of the same name. The cartoon has since aired in the US, Canada and other regions. It follows the grandchildren of fairy tale characters. (Something tells me in 20 years, we’ll be seeing series that are based on the great, great, great, great, great grandchildren of popular fairy tale characters!)

Toy Aisle (9/12/17)

The budget dolls have knee joints, but no elbows. The deluxe dolls look to have elbow and knee joints. And then, there’s a singing doll that, you guessed it, sings. She has no elbow articulation. My mom picked up Joy, the granddaughter of LeFrog, for review (doll seen above). Not in the aisles were the two boy dolls. I’m looking forward to seeing them!

Toy Aisle (9/12/17)

Toy Aisle (9/12/17)

Toy Aisle (9/12/17)

Luvabeau is the boy doll in the Luvabella line by Spin Master. Luvabeau is cuter than his female counterpart, I think. This is a doll line that can come off as creepy very easily. I’m interested in seeing how people react to it. At $100.00, it’s a bit pricey, but this baby has a lot of technology inside that allows him to interact with you or your child, as well as learn. (Kind of like a human Furby.) It would take a massive sale or a free sample for me to review him, though. The price is just too high for me!

Toy Aisle (9/12/17)

Toy Aisle (9/12/17)

Toy Aisle (9/12/17)

Mattel’s Kuu Kuu Harujuku finally made it to our store! I think these are pretty cool looking. I like the faces on this doll line and the articulated bodies. My mom picked up one for review. You’ll see it on her channel soon!

Toy Aisle (9/12/17)

Holy Growth Spurt, Batman! Look at this super tall DC Superhero Girls Bat Girl doll from Jakks Pacific! There are other Superhero girls in this size, including Wonder Woman. Not only does she tower above her smaller counterpart (seen on the left of the photo), but she matches Monster High’s Gooliape in height!

Toy Aisle (9/12/17)

Toy Aisle (9/12/17)

Toy Aisle (9/12/17)

These cute and colorful animals, Squeezoos, are total impulse buys, but how cute are they! I love the design and bright color scheme. So kawaii! They’re from MGA and come in both small and large sized products. The giggling pink bear and the blue elephant are both really big compared to the smaller light up figures.

Toy Aisle (9/12/17)

Toy Aisle (9/12/17)

I could see myself collecting Glimmies from Just Play. They’re tiny, but kind of adorable. Alongside the figures, you can buy play sets!

Toy Aisle (9/12/17)

This Disney Princess Little Kingdom gift set is too expensive, but for the person who has none of the figures, it could make a great Christmas present. I prefer the Little Kingdom line to the fashion dolls coming out of Hasbro.

Toy Aisle (9/12/17)

The DC Toddler dolls have hit stores! I showed them off earlier in my Blogger Bash coverage. I still think they’re the cutest toddler dolls to come out of Jakks Pacific.

Toy Aisle (9/12/17)

This toy puts on quite a show if you ‘test’ it while walking the aisles. We recommend trying it out next time you’re at Toys R Us.

Toy Aisle (9/12/17)

Toy Aisle (9/12/17)

The Toy Box exclusives were in a bin at our local Toys R Us. They’re not toys I would actually buy, though the water art is pretty cool. Mostly, seeing these made me wonder what or how My Ballerina Dolls would have changed had they won the first season of The Toy Box. ABC green lit a second season of the toy based reality show and has made some big changes. Some of which, I might add, I suggested here in a blog post. They cut the (useless) adult mentors out completely and are going with just the kids opinions this time around. Let’s hope they take my other suggestion of choosing a ‘theme’ for each week’s entries, too. It’s not fair to put a doll against a sports toy against a STEM toy.

Toy Aisle (9/12/17)

I love this Project Mc2 doll and it’s theme. I want to make fairy wings for her! I also quite like the purple hair and headpiece. It’s very earthy. MGA did good with this doll release (and product line).

Toy Aisle (9/12/17)

You don’t know how much I want to see FurReal’s Roaring Tyler in action. If he’s anything like Hasbro’s Torch, he’ll be awesome, I’m sure. I wonder if he pounces? How cute would that be? Note to self: Must search videos of him out on YouTube.

So, that’s a lot of good, but alas, there was also some bad in the toy aisles. Unfortunately, all of it comes from Mattel’s Monster High.

Toy Aisle (9/12/17)

Let’s talk about Twyla. Twyla had an awesome ‘oddness’ about her pre-reboot. They seem to have taken out everything that was interesting about her, which makes her look very generic. Her face is bland looking and so un-Twyla-like. Sad. So sad.

Toy Aisle (9/12/17)

No articulation. Cheap looking sibling doll. Enough said.

Toy Aisle (9/12/17)

Finally, this Frankie. She’s just so basic looking. Her outfit isn’t horrible. I also don’t mind the glasses or hair bow (though I wish it were fabric). However, the body is sad and not articulated. Not to mention, haven’t we seen this cafeteria set two or three times now? It was a hard sell with a well articulated doll and you want us to buy it again with a cheaper, blander doll? Sorry, Mattel, I ain’t biting.

So, that’s what I saw while walking the toy aisles. What have you seen in the stores recently? What do you think of the things we saw? Share your thoughts in the comment area!

September 12, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized. 10 comments.

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