Monster High Wave 1 Retrospective

It’s been seven years since Monster High changed the doll collecting world. Before Monster High, doll collecting as a hobby wasn’t discussed very often, especially with the younger set. That changed when Monster High hit store shelves. From that gothic line based on the children of monsters and other creatures came a wave of collectors who had never bought a doll in their life, but now found themselves addicted to these ghoul-themed fashion dolls. Of course, I wasn’t part of that ‘awakening’ of sorts, but I do remember the hype that surrounded Monster High’s first few years, especially when the first wave was hitting stores. My mom and I would regularly go from store to store to see what Monster High dolls were on the shelves (if any), trying to get the complete set for our collections. Keep in mind, we were doing this because we liked the dolls, not because we thought they’d be ‘investments’ for the future. (As we’ve seen recently, those that collected for investment purposes are finding it hard to make any sort of profit. This doesn’t surprise me.)

First Wave Monster High

We bought our first two Monster High dolls at a Toys R Us. They had received a handful of dolls. Ever the budget collector, I couldn’t buy them all. In the end, I left with Lagoona. My mom left with Frankie. Those two dolls fueled the purchasing of nearly every doll in every line produced for at least two years, if not longer. I shudder to think how much I spent on Monster High dolls over the years. (Especially since most are sitting in wine boxes due to space issues.) The first few lines were released with rubber band legs, meaning that as they age, they’ll loosen. Eventually, the rubber bands will break and the dolls will fall apart. This happened to my mom’s Deuce. Thankfully, he was later released in a Create a Monster body in later years, so fixing the first wave Deuce shouldn’t be too hard.

First Wave Monster High

While Lagoona was my first Monster High purchase, my favorites of this line are Frankie, Ghoulia and Holt. Holt being my absolute favorite male doll ever produced for Monster High. Sadly, Holt only had two releases: his amazingly detailed, awesome looking first wave look and a super boring, basic bathing suit doll sold at Justice clothing stores. I often wonder why Mattel only released Holt twice. Was it the hair that was molded to look like fire? Was it the eye brow piercing? What made them shelve this doll pretty much immediately after the first wave? (Yes, he was released again in 2013, but that was probably to appease us collectors who kept asking Mattel where new Holt dolls were!) Alas, we’ll never know.

First Wave Monster High

Ghoulia is and always will be another favorite of mine. Her zombie look was perfectly done, especially when paired with character traits from the webisodes. Her outfit, too, was a true standout of the entire doll series. So many bright layers of clothing that gave her a punk sort of vibe that fit her face and styling perfectly. Her glasses complete the cool look. Ghoulia and Holt were hard dolls to get in the very beginning. They arrived later, along with the two set of Deuce and Cleo, than the rest of the ghouls. My mom and I had the majority of the first wave ghouls before we even spotted Ghoulia and Holt at Toys R Us.

First Wave Monster High

Frankie is a favorite because she was freakishly fabulous from the start. Her face was great and her outfit super fashionable. Plus, as the main character, you kind of had to love Frankie! Frankie is pictured above with the San Diego Comic Con exclusive Black and White Frankie, the first SDCC release for the line. While I picked this up on eBay, a limited number of black and white Frankie’s were sold at Justice. (Later, Mattel released another Black and White Frankie, this one in a bathing suit.) I was disappointed when Mattel didn’t continue to release black and white versions of our favorite ghouls for San Diego Comic Con. I think it would have been pretty cool to see every doll done up in this style.

First Wave Monster High

First Wave Monster High

Cleo and Deuce were the first ever two pack released in the Monster High line. Unlike Holt, Deuce got quite a few releases of the years. The original release of Cleo is still one of my favorites. I think her design really speaks to the character in the web series. This doll has a ‘regalness’ to her.

First Wave Monster High

First Wave Monster High

First Wave Monster High

I was sold on Lagoona, because of her face. While later releases of Lagoona would be disappointing, this release was spot on perfect. Her face was pretty, but still not ‘conventional’. I still love her big, round eyes and freckles.

First Wave Monster High

Clawdeen and Draculaura, to tell you the truth, aren’t my favorite of the dolls. They were both over produced and over hyped. And don’t get me started on Draculaura being the ‘new’ Frankie in the 2016 reboot. (I just— I just can’t.) These original first wave releases of Clawdeen and Draculaura are nice and speak to their characters well, though.

Check out the video above to hear Barbee0913 and I talk about Wave 1! What are your memories of the original wave 1 Monster High releases? Do you remember which Monster High doll was your first purchase? Did you go on ‘hunts’ for the dolls when they were first hitting stores? Share your thoughts in the comment area!

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October 21, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized. 3 comments.

Collection Close Up: Custom Blythe by Doll Angel

A few months back, my mom bought a Blythe doll on eBay. It wasn’t in the best shape. The eye mech was broken, her face up was bland and she was in need of a wig. Thankfully, my mom was able to get the eye mech fixed, so Blythe could change her eye color and position with the tug of a string. She was also able to find the perfect wig for her mocha skinned girl, a dusty pink mohair wig from Natrume. Last order of business? Finding someone to work on the face! Thankfully, finding the perfect face up artist turned out to be amazingly simple.

If you recall, I debuted a Pullip crafted by the super talented Doll Angel last year here on the blog. She was able to capture a moment in my past, being an extra in Divergent. As expected, Doll Angel did an amazing job. At PUDDLE 2017, my mom decided to bring her Blythe along to see if Doll Angel might be willing to take on the challenge of creating a fantastic new face for her doll. She agreed to give it a shot.

After going back and forth with Doll Angel about the look and feel of the doll, colors, etc, this Blythe finally came alive! See the custom face up by Doll Angel below. Spoiler alert– It’s fantastic!

Custom Blythe

Custom Blythe

Custom Blythe

Just like on the Divergent custom she made for me, Doll Angel added a special surprise to this Blythe.

Custom Blythe

Doll Angel did an amazing job on this custom Blythe. She’s a totally different doll! The pastel colors look so good on the mocha skin. Doll Angel also did some carving, which was a new concept to me. I had no idea that people carved around the noses and lips of these dolls to make them more unique. The outcome of the carving, done around the lips, really makes this girl stand out when compared to what she looked like before. (Unfortunately, we have no before photo, so you’ll have to take my word for it!)

Custom Blythe

I’m jealous! Now, I want a Blythe for my collection! What do you think of this new and improved Blythe doll? Share your thoughts in the comment area!

October 15, 2017. Uncategorized. 4 comments.

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!

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.

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