Re-Roots: Giggles and Pebbles

I have not spent as much time re-rooting this year as I should have. For me, I think it’s because I enjoy doing big dolls more than Barbie’s and those can be hard to come by sometimes! This week, my mom and I finished two re-root projects that I wanted to share with you all!

At the last doll show we attended, my mom brought home a Giggles doll (Ideal) that was in need of new hair. She requested a cool nylon blue fantasy color called After Midnight, which I ordered from Dollyhair. Dollyhair considers this to be ‘a gorgeous dark navy blue’. It’s a good description. I like this color, because while it is a bright blue in most light, it has a strange black tone to it at certain angles. Giggles took two hanks of Dollyhair’s Barbie Long hanks. It may take an extra hank if you tend to have a lot of waste when re-rooting. (It took me a while to figure out how to not overload my re-rooting tools needle!)

My mom had her own project on her hands– rerooting a Pebbles doll (Ideal) that had a lot of missing hair plugs. We didn’t get a perfect color match for Pebbles, unfortunately, with the nylon Carrot Cake hair we ordered. Carrot Cake is an interesting color described as ‘more muted than pumpkin spice, but it is still an auburn color. It is more red than amaretto’. I see a lot of light pink hues in Carrot Cake, to be honest. Pebbles also took 2 hanks of Barbie Long hair. We styled her hair differently than the original doll, because it seemed complicated to try to recreate her unique style. I think Pebbles turned up super cute!

Watch the video reveals below!

What do you think of our most recent projects? Let us know in the comment area!

October 29, 2018. Tags: . Uncategorized. 7 comments.

Doll Shows 101: Preparation/General Tips

Last week, I wrote a post about the etiquette that should be followed while attending a doll show. For this post, I thought I would touch on some ways you may want to prepare for attending a doll show!

1: Save, Save, Save!

I don’t know about you, but I don’t attend a show expecting solely to window shop. Doll shows are the best places to shop, so it’s super important for you to save some cash before your doll show! A month or two prior to your doll show, begin saving a few bucks here and there in case you see your next favorite doll. Maybe pass on that Iced Chai Latte you pick up once a week and put that money towards your doll fund. Did you just have a birthday and receive some cash? Move that directly into your doll fund. It’s tempting to think that having actual money saved for a show isn’t super important if you have access to a credit card or two and you’re good at keeping your credit card debt low and/or paid off. But, there’s a huge caveat to that…

Kane County Doll Show Highlights

2: Remember, Not Everyone Accepts Debit/Credit Cards

There’s nothing worse than spotting a grail item of yours at a show just to find out the dealer doesn’t accept debit or credit cards. This is why saving your money and hitting up the nearest ATM is very, very important when preparing to attend a doll show. I’ve been in a few situations where I fell in love with a doll, just to have to leave it at the show because the dealer could only accept cash. It’s an unfortunate situation for both buyers and sellers!

More and more dealers are signing up for services that will allow them to take card, but if you’re dealing with someone who is, say, a ‘retired’ collector who’s working their first show table, you can’t assume they’ll accept anything other than cash. I’ve also run into situations where the on-site ATM was broken or out of money to dispense, which is another reason to remember to bring cold, hard cash to your next doll show. That being said…

kane County dol show highlights

3: Budget, You Should

Knowing how much you can or should spend at a show in advance is an important thing to keep in mind. Overspending at a doll show can be very, very easy. (I know, I’ve done it many times before.) Buyers remorse is a thing that is real and, rest assured, like many of you, I’ve felt it, too!)

How does one budget for a show when they don’t know what will be on display, you ask? I find it helpful to make a mental list of what I would like to pick up at the show to add to my collection. That way, I have a clear idea of what I’m looking for and how much of my money I am willing to part with to cross the new acquisition off my list.

For example, if I haven’t added a new Skipper to my collection in a while, I’ll make that my ‘goal’ at the show and will be careful about dropping too much money on other dolls. I did that a few doll shows ago when I realized I had very few of Skipper’s friend Skooter in my collection, so at the show, I made an effort to keep an eye out for one. (I ended up finding one that day!) This helps with budgeting, because then you can figure out how much money you want to dedicate (theoretically) to what you’re looking for. Knowing what you are looking for and if it fits in your budget is a great way to not overspend.

kane County dol show highlights

4: Ask For a Card

Sometimes, it’s not possible to take home a doll that you fall in love with, because you just don’t have the cash at the moment to afford it. If that happens, have no fear– just ask for a card with contact info so you can reach out when you do. Also, it may be wise to inquire about if the vendor is open to something like layaway! They want the sale just as much as you want the chance to add a doll to your collection. It never hurts to ask what other options there are to successfully not go broke, while still getting the doll you’re looking for!

Kane County Doll Show Highlights

5: If You’re Selling, Remember To Put On A Show

This is a tip for future doll vendors/dealers that was mentioned in a comment on my last post. I thought it was worth shining a little more spotlight on it, because the dealer made a good point. If you see yourself moving into the world of doll dealing at doll shows, you have to put on a show. That includes advertising that you’ll be somewhere via social media sites, stocking your booth with dolls that are fairly priced, greeting your shoppers with a smile and making an impact on your potential customers by learning about them.

If I were going to move into doll dealing, I would definitely look at the show itself as a jumping off point. Shoppers don’t look for dolls just during the yearly doll show, they look year round, so it’s an asset to know what they’re looking for and to make good, solid connections with your customers. Who’s to say they don’t love one of your dolls, but just can’t afford it? Hand them your card and tell them to reach out when they can, assuming the doll is still available. The doll show itself is just one part of what will help you sell your products.

That being said, I am not a doll dealer and never plan on being one. My collection will eventually just be handed down to people who want the dolls, with no monetary gain for myself. (Nothing is wrong with selling your dolls, but I’d rather just give them to people who like them, personally.) These tips for point number five come from a comment from a reader, my five years working customer service at Barnes and Noble and being a born showman when I need to be!

So, there you have it– Five tips on how to best prepare for your first, tenth, or 100th doll show! Do you have a tip you’d like to pass along to other readers on how to prepare for a doll show? Is there a question you’ve had about doll shows that you’re curious about? Share it in the comment area!


October 27, 2018. Tags: . Uncategorized. 4 comments.

Savannah and Jamie from Maru and Friends

Meet Savannah from Maru and Friends! Savannah is 20″ tall and has a body made completely of vinyl. Her beautiful sculpt was done by doll designer Dianna Effner for this Florida based doll company. I’ve talked about Maru and Friends before here on the blog, reviewing both Maru and Tanya. Today, we’re going to talk about the 20″ Savannah and 13″ Mini Pal Jamie.

Savannah has the most gorgeous face in the Maru and Friends line! Her pale skin paired with the beautiful coppery hair and delicately painted features make Savannah one of my favorites in the series. She has inset blue eyes that sparkle and quality lashes.

Her freckles are adorable and her face shape is perfect! Savannah really does stand out on a doll shelf, even among other dolls in the series.

Savannah wears a cute tan outfit with colorful collars and sleeves. The outfit utilizes velcro, which is a bummer, but it looks great on her. It also allows her joints to move well. I love, love, love her boots! They look great!

As far as articulation is concerned, these dolls do have their limitations. A huge perk of their body is that, because they’re totally vinyl, they stand well. They have good movement in their necks, shoulders and hips. They do not have elbow or knee joints. That being said, the lack of some articulation is fine with me, as these dolls have so much quality in them that I can forgive the exclusion of elbows and knees.

Compared to Savannah, Mini Pal Jamie seems very small. That being said, she’s still 13″, so Jamie is big in her own right! Made of the same quality vinyl as the big dolls and sculpted again by Dianna Effner, the mini dolls are fantastic options for doll collectors who may not have space for a doll as large as Savannah or the other Maru and Friends dolls. Unlike the 20″ line, besides the girls, you can also pick up some male dolls, as well!

Jamie has the same articulation as a 20″ doll. Her skin is paler than Savannah’s– almost too pale for my taste. It’s definitely the most porcelain looking doll in the line, skin tone-wise. Jamie has beautiful tiger eye colored inset eyes and blonde hair that is done up with cute curls in the front. She wears a blue dress that is reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland.

While I like the idea of the Mini Pals, I think I prefer the 20″ dolls. But, these mini dolls are great for those who don’t have the space for the large dolls (not that I have the space, at the moment) or prefer smaller sized dolls.  Either way, I think Maru and Friends are very well made dolls. I love them! What do you think of Savannah and Jamie? What size do your prefer? Let us know in the comment area!

October 17, 2018. Tags: . Uncategorized. 4 comments.

Mattel Introduces Doctor Who Barbie

Most of what I’ve seen from Mattel recently has been underwhelming. However, the announcement of their newest doll, the 13th Doctor based on the long running (and highly entertaining) BBC series Doctor Who has me very excited! This is a doll I might actually buy, which I can’t say I’ve really felt like doing with many of Mattel’s Barbie products recently.

The 13th Doctor, played by Jodie Whittaker, is the first female Doctor (a time traveling alien who picks up companions and travels through time and space with them saving worlds) in the 50+ year run of Doctor Who. As the Doctor is a pop culture icon, I guess it should be no surprise that Mattel picked up the license to produce the first female doctor under their Barbie banner.

Based on promo photos, I’m very happy with Mattel’s interpretation of the 13th Doctor. They definitely captured her unique style. She wears a rainbow-striped t-shirt paired with cropped trousers and a trench coat. Additional true-to-character details include her signature suspenders and lace-up boots. Also included is her brand new Sonic Screwdriver!

This gold label doll is fully posable and sculpted to the likeness of Jodie’s Doctor. I think they did a fantastic job on the face. The face mold and paint choices really do make this 1/6 scale Doctor look like the actress! This doll sized version of the Doctor has the same alien sass Jodie is currently bringing to the character, based on the two episodes I’ve seen so far!

The one missed opportunity I have found with this release is the box. I would have loved if they had packaged her in a box that looked like her ship, the TARDIS (a blue police box), with doors that would open so you could then see the doll, like she was exiting the ship. The current box design is nice, too, but I would have loved if they’d used the TARDIS as the model for the entire box.

At $50.00, the doll is a bit pricey, but you know what? I think she looks pretty darn cool! I am definitely going to consider adding her to my collection! You can find her online and in stores. What do you think of the new 13th Doctor Barbie from Mattel? Are you going to pick her up? Share your thoughts in the comment area!

October 16, 2018. Tags: . Uncategorized. 6 comments.

Doll Shows 101: Etiquette

For a doll collector, attending a doll show can be as exciting as stepping through the gates of Walt Disney World. Even the most narrowed minded collector is sure to find something they find appealing when they’re faced with tables filled with dolls of all shapes, sizes and ages. Doll shows are great places to shop for your next favorite doll, mingle with other collectors and learn about doll lines you may not have seen before.

At the most recent show my mom attended she started a conversation with a vendor who shared some less than flattering interactions with customers shopping the showroom floor. It prompted me to write this post. Why? Because we, as collectors, should be better than what this man and his wife experienced.

So, let’s talk doll show etiquette. Just like you’re expected to follow unspoken rules in schools, churches or life in general, there are some unspoken rules that you should follow when attending a doll show.

Rule #1: Ask Before Snapping a Photo

I’ve definitely broken this rule before. Since my doll show videos are some of my most popular YouTube videos, taking photos at the shows I attend is pretty important. Since most of us have access to a camera all the time via our smart phones, it’s pretty much second nature to whip it out and snap a photo whenever we want to. However, at a doll show, we (myself included) really should ask permission before snapping a picture of a doll we’re admiring. There are a few different reasons for this. Some sellers are leery about photos, because they’re worried about con artists using that doll photo on eBay and scamming people. Other sellers find it insulting or just plain sad when all it seems the potential buyers want to do is take a photo of the dolls on display and aren’t looking to really shop.

This was what the dealer my mom spoke with said. He mentioned how disheartening it was that people didn’t seem to care at all about buying anything in the booth, but they would happily snap a photo. It made him and his wife sad to see people not taking an interest in the booth for the reasons they were there (to sell). In this case, he and his wife were lifelong collectors selling a collection that no one in their family wanted. So, seeing people pass by these dolls that were taken care of and loved by a collector (and not a doll dealer) or just snapping a photo made them a bit irritated.

To be honest, this rule is also a generational thing. Most older collectors aren’t chained to their cell phones. They don’t ‘do’ apps or sometimes don’t have or understand social media and the importance of sharing information visually on those platforms. So, it’s important to ask before snapping a photo, just in case you are dealing with a dealer who isn’t as wired to post or share on the internet as many of us younger collectors are.

Rule #2: Don’t Just Walk By, Open Your Mind

Not every sellers merchandise will be to your liking. That’s just how it goes. But, next time you go to a show, consider stopping in and looking at everything the show has to offer by going into every booth. It’s sad when you are walking around a show just to overhear sellers saying, “no one’s even stopping to look at what we have.” You may know that you won’t be leaving with something from a particular sellers table, but throw them a bone and give it a walk through. It may make your stay at the doll show a little longer, but is that really all that bad? Not to mention, you may make someone’s day by just showing a passing interesting in what they brought to the show, especially if it’s a collector selling their collection of beloved dolls.

Rule #3: Strike Up a Conversation

Small talk is not something everyone is comfortable with and I completely understand why. It can be hard sometimes! To be fair, some sellers at doll shows don’t give off an approachable vibe. They’re looking at their phones, chatting with other sellers or they’re just… staring. Were I working a table, I would make an effort to greet people or acknowledge them, as a way to get them into my space. Not all sellers do this, at some shows very few do this– so this is not just a rule for buyers, it’s for everyone. Sellers, acknowledge people as they browse or pass your booth. Buyers, engage with sellers as you enter their booth. A smile and a simple hello will suffice.

In some cases, striking up a conversation with a vendor might help you find just what you’re looking for. If you’re shopping for something specific and a seller has something in the same vein, it never hurts to ask if they have what you are looking for. You never know, they may have it, but didn’t bring it. It also is completely allowed to ask questions about a doll that you’ve never seen before. A good seller knows what they have and on a slow day, they may welcome the chance to talk about the history of the doll you’re looking at.

Rule #4: Just Because It’s In a Cardboard Box Doesn’t Mean It’s Trash

Lots of sellers will bring dolls in plastic bins or cardboard boxes. Sometimes, for the ease of packing them up after the show, they’ll keep the dolls in those bins and let potential buyers sort through them. Not every plastic bin or cardboard box is a ‘bargain’ bin, so they shouldn’t be treated as such.

The gentleman my mom spoke with at the last show she attended recounted to her a story about an attendee haphazardly tossing around the fragile dolls that were in a box, resulting in her breaking three of them. That’s not right. Don’t assume because something is in a box or bin that what you’re sorting through isn’t worth something to the seller, whether it’s money or memories.

Rule #5: It’s Not Hard To Clean Your Dolls (Sellers, I’m Talking To You!)

This rule is completely in the hands of the sellers. You don’t know how many sellers I’ve seen stock their tables with dirty, dusty dolls and slap them with a huge price tag. Newsflash– if it ain’t clean and priced as a ‘fixer-upper’, then it isn’t going home with me or probably anyone else. Sellers, please take heed of this and before your next show, make your dolls presentable.

If they are the kind where you can comb their hair, why not try? If they’re composition or hard plastic, pick up some special cleaner to make them look fresh. (We use Dream Clean Doll Cleaner for our dolls and it works great!) Spruce them up a little to show buyers that you care about your merchandise, because that is what will sell your doll and allow you to lighten your load a little.

For those who missed it, here was our latest Doll Show Haul video:

These are just five points of etiquette I thought I would point out. Feel free to add your own in the comment area!  What tips do you have for those who are attending their first doll show? Share them in the comments!


October 16, 2018. Tags: , . Uncategorized. 7 comments.

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