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!

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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.

Dolly Review: Disney Parks Attractionistas Holly

I actually bought Disney Parks Attractionistas Holly sometime last year, but am now just getting around to writing about her. She’s no longer available at the Disney Parks, so far as I know, nor is she on DisneyStore.com, but you can still find her on eBay.

The Attractionistas dolls are 12″ vinyl dolls themed around popular Disney Park attractions. The original series had six dolls, with two being added later on (Holly and Briar). I was lucky enough to visit DisneyStore.com one day and see both Holly and Briar on the site.  I am kicking myself for not picking up Brair (themed around Splash Mountain), who was nowhere to be found on the website when I looked again a week later.

Attractionistas Holly

Holly is themed around the popular Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. The story goes like this: “Classic stars of the silver screen sought rest and relaxation at the Hollywood Tower Hotel during the Golden Age of Hollywood. In 1939, during a gloomy Halloween night, 5 unfortunate hotel patrons were riding in the elevator when a violent storm struck the building… and they were never seen again. Whatever became of them and wherever they may have gone has remained a mystery to this day. The hotel closed down that night and has remained abandoned ever since.”

Attractionistas Holly

Holly caught my eye for a few reasons. First, I loved her monotone coloring. Her grey skin, silver eyes and blue-ish grey hair make her look as if she stepped out of an old black and white movie. Holly has a super cute 1940’s inspired hair style that adds to the mood of the doll. She’s very ‘old Hollywood’.

Attractionistas Holly

Her fitted red bellhop outfit is the second thing that caught my eye. It’s so cute and looks great with Holly’s coloring. Holly comes with a hat, gloves, shoes and purse. I love her purse’s design. While it doesn’t open, it is shaped like an old film reel tin! It’s very cool. Of course, Holly wears stylish knee-high boots to complete her look.

Attractionistas Holly

Terra is Holly’s pet Owl. He’s a solid molded accessory and super cute in his own right! Terra wears a hat that matches Holly’s. Overall, I’m happily surprised to see that Terra wasn’t an afterthought (which happens sometimes with pets).

Attractionistas Holly

Attractionistas have mostly hard vinyl bodies. Their legs are made of a more rubber like vinyl, which gives them clickable knees. They can feel a bit weird, but I found Holly to have less sticky legs than my other Attractionistas, Pearl. Her shoulders move up and out and her head turns well. Her hips should have movement, but it’s constricted, as she wears a tight 1940’s era pencil skirt.

Of all the Attractionistas produced, Holly is my favorite, even if the Tower of Terror is a ride that I would never, ever go on! (I don’t do rides that fall great distances! Nope! Never!) You can still find these on eBay and you may be able to find these at Disney Parks (but I suspect they went on clearance a long time ago).

What do you think of Holly? Share your thoughts in the comment area!

September 8, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized. 6 comments.

Dr. Noreen Works Her Magic Again!

About a month ago, my mom and I went to an Estate Sale aptly named “The Doll House”. At the sale, my mom bought an Alt, Beck & Gottschalck German bisque doll in need of a little (well, a lot of) TLC. Naturally, we turned to the one and only Dr. Noreen to restore this pre-1930’s bisque doll.

Doll House Estate Sale Finds!

See the video recaps of our Estate Sale finds below!

This bisque doll was owned by a collector/amateur restorer known as Gypsy Gene. This German bisque doll was part of a massive collection that featured many dolls that were in various states of repair. Unfortunately, Gypsy Gene seemed to be guessing on the proper restoration methods, especially when it came to the Alt, Beck & Gottschalck toddler doll we have here.

Before- Doll Restoration

Let’s start with some before images. You’ll notice that this baby was very shiny. Also, she had a lot of damage on her right leg and stomach. Her glass eyes were so loose that upon bringing her home, they promptly fell inside her head. Thankfully, her face, which holds most of the value in these dolls, was the least damaged part of her.

Upon inspecting the doll before her restoration, Dr. Noreen discovered that one of the dolls legs was most likely replaced with a leg from the same era in a similar size. (Gypsy Gene earned a point for choosing a pretty good replacement leg for this Alt, Beck & Gottschalck doll!) Dr. Noreen decided that Gypsy Gene had tried to fix her with heavy resin and enamel, which is why this toddler doll looked so shiny. To fix that, Dr. Noreen had to sand off the old enamel, sand and fill the rough areas and repaint the problem spots with the proper paint. She couldn’t get all the heavy resin off, but the matte paint makes it less noticeable.

Face- Doll Restoration
Fast forward to the other day when a big box arrived from Dr. Noreen’s Florida based hospital. Inside was this lovely girl! Her leg and stomach look much better. She’s restrung and now can hold her arms up! Her glass eyes have been reset and her red felt mouth has been replaced. Overall, it’s a miraculous transformation!

After- Doll Restoration

See the grand unboxing in the video below!

We highly recommend checking out Dr. Noreen’s Doll Hospital if you are in need of doll restoration. You can find her online. Don’t forget to ‘like’ her on Facebook, too, where she posts behind the scenes looks at her patient’s time at the hospital! And in case you missed it, check out the ‘Spotlight’ I did on her here on the blog.

After Restoration

We have two more dolls waiting in the wings to send over to Dr. Noreen, so hopefully, this won’t be the last of the restorations you see here. Until then, what do you think of this transformation? Let us know in the comment area!

September 6, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized. 3 comments.

Collection Close Up: Magic Nursery (Mattel)

One of my favorite doll brands from childhood is Magic Nursery. Magic Nursery dolls were produced by Mattel from 1989 through the mid 1990’s. To this day, mint in box dolls go for hundreds of dollars. Why? Because they had a super awesome gimmick. Magic Nursery dolls were packaged in a way that you didn’t know if you were getting a girl, boy or even twins! Their hair was covered up and they wore a robe that, when dropped in water, would dissolve and ‘magically transform’ into an outfit and gender reveal card (“It’s a Boy/Girl/Twins!”). They came in toddlers, babies and animals.

Magic Nursery

Between my mom and I, we have 17 Magic Nursery dolls. Most of them belong to my mom, actually! We took all our dolls out recently and shot a Collection Close Up video. It’s embedded below.

Here’s a small sampling of some of the dolls in our collection. Below are my twins!

Magic Nursery

The Christmas babies are some of our favorites, too.

Magic Nursery

And, of course, you can’t forget the animals. How cute is this bear!

Magic Nursery

Do you remember Magic Nursery dolls? Do you have any in your collection? Leave your thoughts below!

September 4, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized. 2 comments.

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