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.

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