A Little About Doll Cleaners

One of the most popular questions thrown at us here at the blog is ‘how do you clean up your dolls?’. I figured I would address it here in a blog post! For the past few years, my mom and I have been using Dream Clean Doll Cleaner to freshen up dolls in our collection.

Sold by ‘The Classy Kid Collection’ on eBay, the Dream Clean Doll Cleaner is a waterless doll cleaner that works with a variety of doll types- antique to modern. We’ve used this concoction on composition, hard plastic, bisque and vinyl dolls with no problems. There’s a bit of a scent to this particular doll cleaner, but it’s not overbearing, in my opinion. It smells kind of nice. Besides just removing surface dirt from your dolls, Dream Clean Doll Cleaner also conditions the dolls, which should help keep them in good shape!

How do you use this? Well, it’s pretty easy! Using a soft rag, dab on some of the Dream Clean Doll Cleaner and gently rub it onto your doll. Because it’s not watery, you don’t necessarily need to undress your dolls or worry about the solution getting all over the place. You don’t need to rinse this off. Just rub it onto the dolls body and you’re set! This solution also works on doll clothing, though I haven’t really tried that.

One important thing to know about this particular cleaner is that there are two versions. There’s the Dream Clean Doll Cleaner, which is a milky white paste, and the Dream Clean eXtra Doll Cleaner, which is similar but with microbeads for those dolls who are dirtier than others. The seller says the latter doll cleaner works best with composition or hard plastic dolls.

Recently, I picked up another doll cleaner, because it never hurts to have options, right? Cathie Lee Doll Cleaner is sold by CathieLeeDollCleaner on eBay. According to the description, this cleaner is what the seller used in the past in her very own doll hospital. She claims it’s good for all kinds of doll types, including composition, bisque and hard plastic.

The consistency of Cathie Lee’s Doll Cleaner is very different from the Dream Cleaner. Cathie Lee Doll Cleaner is like a watered down liquid soap. It’s messier than the first cleaner we discussed, so you’ll want to remove all the doll’s clothing before using this. Also, be careful around the wig area when cleaning your dolls face. Just like the other cleaner, using this is simple. Just dab a bit on a rag and gently rub it on the doll.

I found that this worked just as well as the Dream Cleaner. When I used this on my vinyl Skipper doll from Savers, it worked really well. The only thing that this cleaner seems to lack is conditioning. It doesn’t specifically say anything about conditioning the material of your doll, like the other cleaner.

Last but not least, here’s a cleaning tip for your doll’s clothing. Next time you’re looking to clean your doll’s clothing, try a few scoops of Oxi Clean in a sink or bowl. Soak the outfit in the Oxi Clean and you should notice a difference. I tested the Oxi Clean on my Effanbee Tintair Doll. Her cream colored outfit had yellowed due to age and storage. We soaked her dress in the Oxi Clean for about an hour and, wow, it was so much better than when I put it in! The yellow transformed into a cleaner cream color. With more time in the Oxi Clean, I’m sure it would have turned out even creamier. On top of getting all the dirt out of her dress, the Oxi Clean also helped remove some of the ‘storage’ smell the dress was carrying.

What kind of doll cleaner do you use for your doll and/or their outfits? Let us know in the comment area!

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March 15, 2019. Tags: . Uncategorized. 10 comments.

Phyn & Aero Says Goodbye

Just announced in his e-mail newsletter, Robert Tonner’s Phyn & Aero will cease operations as of March 31st, 2019. This is fresh off the heels of the closing of the Tonner Doll Company back in December 2018. Now, here’s the thing about Phyn & Aero– I personally was never a fan of any of the dolls they produced. They were, in my opinion, over priced and not my taste. It’s always sad, however, when a company closes down, because it means less dolls on the market to keep people interested the hobby.

My favorite Tonner dolls will always be those aimed at the younger set, like Maudlynne Macabre or his 18″ doll line My Imagination. I had a soft spot for Agatha Primrose, but she wasn’t out long enough for me to grab the doll or the fashions. (If I found one at a good price with some cute fashions, I would still pick one up! She appealed to the comic con, manga reading, pop culture fan in me.)

But, back to Phyn & Aero, here’s Tonner’s reasoning in his own words:

“As I stated back in January, the only thing you can count on is change, and I’m afraid I must change course yet again. As much as I’ve always loved manufacturing, on-going production issues have continued to wear me down, and as a result, Phyn & Aero will cease operating as of March 31st. Please know, when I refer to production issues, I’m referring to continuing rising costs and ever-growing lead times. I’ve always been proud of the fine work done by the factories—they care about the product every bit as much as I have—and the wonderful people we work with are as disappointed as I. Please know that this was not an easy decision for me or for us, nor a decision made lightly.

This decision, however, does create an opportunity for you to secure the last of any Phyn & Aero product. This includes Lila, Annora, Kadira and Nancy Ann—some of which have just arrived. Look for discounts on the product, but please note there will be no returns nor refunds. Also, should you order a Kadira item look for a little “freebee” in your box!

Please note, the Phyn & Aero website will be accessible through April but mainly to print off any images or descriptions you may want to retain.”

He goes on to say that while he’s saying goodbye, there’s still one new doll that will be hitting the market. That doll is Rayne. Sculpted by Tonner, Rayne is a 16” realistic fashion figure with 15 points of articulation. She’s made of the finest hard plastic and vinyl with rooted saran hair (or unrooted for wigs). Packaged wearing no more than sport underwear and shoes, she’s pretty basic. However, that’s where Tonner is stepping outside the box a bit.

Clothing patterns will be available to download for this doll on Tonner’s new site and you’ll be able to order 3D printed accessories, such as shoes, breastplates, cuffs, hats, sculpted wigs, jewelry, historical foundations and much more for your doll via Shapeways. Because Shapeways allows you to choose many different filament types, colors and has many other options to personalize the printing process, this means whatever you order for Rayne will be unique to your doll.

Finally, Tonner ends with a bit about what he’ll be up to in the future.

“So, you may ask, what the heck am I going to do now that I’ll be out of the doll business? Well, I may be out of manufacturing, but I’m certainly not leaving the doll world. I’m working with various companies on freelance projects—and I’ve even signed a deal to do human (not doll) handbags and jewelry. So, I’ll be around. Be sure to check out my new web-site and friend me on Instagram.

I can’t tell you all what a wonderful ride this has been. The events, the parties, Toy Fair, the Magazines, and mostly you—the collectors—have made this entire doll world experience more than I could have imagined it to be. I sincerely thank you all from the bottom of my heart for the fun, friendship and the mutual love of this hobby—doll collecting.”

His full message is below.

Having met Tonner personally before, I can say that this guy is an asset to the doll world. He’s passionate about dolls, the hobby and collectors. I’m happy to hear he’s still freelancing in the doll world and expect to see more great things from him in the future. What do you think of the closing of Phyn & Aero? Are you surprised? Let us know in the comment area!

March 15, 2019. Tags: . Uncategorized. 3 comments.

Pop Up Barbie Shop at Old Orchard

Happy 60th Birthday, Barbie! Because she’s celebrating such a huge birthday, expect to see a lot of cool things happening around the line throughout 2019! This weekend, we went to Westfield Old Orchard Mall (Skokie, IL) to an Amazon sponsored pop up Barbie store! The glass store was decorated with cool Barbie graphics, making it hard to miss! Inside the store featured a life-size Barbie box and a variety of different Barbie dolls to purchase. Since it’s Barbie’s birthday today, it’s the perfect time to share a few of the photos I took at the Pop Up shop with you!

With Toys R Us gone, I haven’t really seen a good Barbie aisle in a while, so it was nice to see so many Barbies in one place!

It’s a shame they weren’t selling the t-shirts on display at the pop up. I would have bought one or two if they had! You can, of course, order these t-shirts on Amazon!

And, of course, to make the shop even more “instagram worthy”, they had a life-size Barbie box set up to pose in! Below is me being a Made To Move Barbie!

What are you doing to celebrate Barbie today or all year long in 2019? Let us know in the comment area!

March 9, 2019. Tags: . Uncategorized. 7 comments.

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