This past month, my mom and I decided to really use our 3D printer to the best of its abilities– to 3D print some ball jointed dolls! Found on the popular 3D printing site Thingiverse, these projects turned out to be winners!
The first project we decided to print was Froggy. Froggy was designed by an artist named Loubie. I am estimating it took me 26 or so hours to complete this print. I didn’t start keeping track of the hours each piece took until Robotica, who you’ll see next! Unlike the other two projects you’ll see, Froggy took some gluing before he was able to be strung. My favorite parts of him are his huge frog feet and his fantastically sculpted/designed face. Froggy was printed in green Dremel brand PLA filament. He wasn’t the simplest thing to string, but eventually we got him together.
The second project we printed also took around 26 hours to complete and is pretty awesome! Meet Robotica. She’s the creation of doll artist Shira (aka Sonja Verdu). Shira made an amazing sculpt/design for Robotica, which includes a cool panel like skin, a well defined bust/torso and some pretty awesome leg pieces. Robotica has a headcap, which allows you to do whatever you want with the eye area. My Robotica is currently using dark blue beads as eyes. She was printed with InLand temperature sensitive PLA. In cold temps, she’ll turn dark blue and in warmer temps, she’ll turn white-ish! For some reason, as you will see in the pictures below, she photographs purple in low light.
Because I strung her legs poorly, she won’t stand, but if someone who was a master at stringing worked on her, I bet she’d be really great at standing. I’m not going to worry about it for now, though, because she looks fine sitting and her arms and head are strung tight enough for me to pose her upper body. Robotica’s hands move forward and backward. Her wrists were supposed to turn, but my printer fused these pieces together.
The last project we tried was also designed by Shira. This time, we printed her smaller Jointed Robot. My mom requested him. He took about 9 hours to print and was a terror to string (those darn arms), but we managed it eventually! I love how the robot turned out, myself. The print, especially his face, is adorable. I think I may try to print this guy larger one of these days. (The same goes for Robotica. There was a company that printed her human size and the results look pretty cool!) If you do decide to print this Jointed Robot, you may run into issues with his fingers. I printed the hand, which included three fingers, multiple times and each time I did, the fingers, made to move independently, would break (or fall off). In the end, we had to glue these fingers into place.
Now, you may be thinking, ‘I don’t have a 3D printer, so I can never make these.’ Wrong. Many libraries nowadays are buying 3d printers and things for their patrons to use, so there’s a good chance that if you’re determined and okay with making several trips to, for example, your library, you can actually print one of these for your own collection! (Many schools are buying 3D printers, too, so if you’re a student, you may have access to one!) On top of that, there are sites that will actually print STL files for you and then ship you the results. Shapeways offers this service, but I’m sure there are also many other sites around that might be able to do this for you. It may be a little more costly then finding a local haunt with a rentable 3D printer, but it’s an option!
The number of projects on the internet for BJD’s like these are slim at the moment, but I hope more artists try their hand at making 3D printable dolls for us to enjoy! This whole thing makes me think about Makies, the 3D printed doll company that closed up shop early this year. (Find real printable Makies files on Thingiverse here!) Wouldn’t it have been interesting if they had evolved into something that was more ‘do it yourself’, rather than doing all the printing in house? If they had created files that were easy to print and modify for users to print on their own printers, saving them the cost of all that filament? (Sure they wouldn’t be as pretty or well constructed, but if printing these three dolls taught me anything, it’s that it’s so cool being able to say you printed your own BJD!) It’s an interesting thought.
So, I’ll leave you with this question. With 3D printers making their way from industrial plants into homes, how do you see them affecting the doll market? Do you plan on trying your hand at printing your own BJD or even designing your own? (I’m not talented enough to do that, so if you are, why not try!) Let me know in the comment area!
A few weeks ago, Tonner announced that the license to produce Sindy was ending and discounted all the remaining stock to crazy awesome prices. Tonner’s time with Sindy was, well, not perfect. They missed the anniversary and never marketed this iconic British series properly to the US audience. Another thing they never got right was the pricing. Sindy was priced way too high. As much as I hate to say it, I would have felt so ripped off had I paid full price for the Sindy you’ll be seeing in this review. Tonner would have done themselves a huge service had they aimed this series towards the younger set and not solely collectors. If Tonner Toys, for example, had produced it and gotten a select number into big chain stores, I think this could have been a real hit. However, deciding to make her a collectible with a high price tag just didn’t work.
But, to the review! The Tonner sale saw Sindy’s usually priced between seventy to one-hundred or more dollars marked down to as little as thirty-five US dollars! Clearly, the time to buy! When I logged in, Tonner had pretty much most of their stock available. Very quickly, though, they started selling out. I was lucky enough to snatch up two, one for me and one for my mother for Mother’s Day. The latter is being kept a secret for now, but I would like to introduce you to my new Sindy (which is also my first Sindy) Sindy’s TV Dream.
Unknown to me at the time of ordering, Sindy’s TV Dream was limited to 225 pieces and exclusive to the Guilty Pleasures Tonner Collectors Convention in 2015. This doll comes dressed in a mod style outfit with a pink and green checkered jacket with a peter pan collar, a pink top and mini skirt in the same pink and green checkers. There are small details like white buttons on the jacket, a thick pink belt on the skirt and matching pink heels. She also comes wearing pantyhose and undies. One element I particularly like is the long silver chain necklace. It totally completes the look.
Sindy has a cute little face! Her blue eyes are large and round. Sindy’s round face has two chubby cheeks. Her lips are a nice mauve color and there’s light blush on her cheeks. Sindy has ‘real’ eyelashes and a handful of painted ones. Her real lashes are a bit disappointing. They’re not done very well, to be honest. They’re hard and thick, not effortless, like you’d expect from a brand known for high quality products like Tonner. Between these and painted lashes, I’d have much preferred painted lashes.
Sindy has the most adorable brown wigged hair! I love her short bob with bangs. It goes perfectly with her groovy outfit. She wears a pink ribbon in her hair. It’s just a normal pink ribbon, nothing special, but it looks nice. At 11″ tall, she’s a great size. Her vinyl is surprisingly thick and of a nice quality. There’s no hollow limbs on this girl! It’s very apparent when you feel her head. Her head is made of very thick, hard vinyl.
As far as articulation goes, Sindy is lacking in that area. Now, I can’t fault Tonner for this, because if they were making a true reproduction, then many they purposely decided against giving this girl articulation. But, in this current doll market, she would have been much more popular, I think, if she had some more articulation. Sindy’s shoulder and leg joints only allow her limbs to move up and down, not out. If you put her in a sitting position, she will sit in a straddle. She has no elbow or knee joints. On the upside, she does have a twist and turn waist and a head that moves in all directions. While I love the TNT waist, she’s hard to pose in natural and different poses due to her lack of elbow and knee joints.
I thought it would be cute to take a few photos of Sindy with my Big Chief 11th Doctor, seeing they both hail from across the pond (in relation to Illinois, at least). The prop TARDIS you’ll see in the background is actually from a convention I attended earlier. A company was selling mystery boxes shaped like the TARDIS. It turns out the box was the coolest thing about the mystery box, because it was perfectly scaled for MSD sized dolls or those of a similar size. (It’s a little big for these two, but it works!) Due to Sindy’s lack of articulation, poses were limited between the two very different dolls, but you know what? I think these turned out so cute!!! (And no, I don’t know why I always make my Doctor pose romantically with his assistants. It just happens.)
Overall, I like this Sindy, I really do. But I can see why she may not have gone over so well with consumers. Her lack of articulation isn’t really on trend for today’s collectors. Sindy’s high prices didn’t help, either. I think, if you find a Tonner Sindy for $50.00 or below, you’re good. She’s a solidly made doll and was produced in some super cute looks. At the time of this writing, there are still two outfits (no doll included) for sale at $20.00 a pop, originally priced at $70.00 (yikes!). You can easily find Sindy’s TV Dream and others in the line on eBay and most likely at your favorite doll shops.
Do you own a Tonner Sindy? How do you think she compares to the original Sindy line? Do you think her original price tag is justified? Share your thoughts below!
I received an Italian Seashell with a collector pose head that has no freckles or blaze. This pony is in the sitting position, which is my favorite pose. I think this is a very pretty pony!
I just so happen to own the US version of this pony. Here’s a few shots of them together. You’ll notice a few differences. As I mentioned before, the Italian pony has a collector pose head, as opposed to the head Bubbles uses, which curls in more. Italian Seashell looks straight ahead with no tilt of the head. Besides the Italian Seashell not having freckles or a blaze, it seems her cutie mark coloring and hair are a darker shade of green when compared to her US counterpart, as well.
And then, there are the blue eyes, which seem to be a staple when it comes to Italian My Little Ponies. Similar to my other Italian ponies, the blue eyes seem to have been painted on quickly and aren’t perfect.
Besides Seashell, I also received a number of other fun accessories! Like last month, I got a Dolly Mix pony, comb, seapony pin, Firefly sticker, seapony coloring sheet and, finally, a bandana from Oat Couture (seen on my US Seashell).
Did you receive a My Little Pony Express box in April? Who did you receive? Let me know in the comment area! And of course, don’t forget to check out My Little Pony Express on Facebook!
I’m a huge fan of MiWorld and have been since they debuted last year. This Christmas, I received a new MiWorld room, Sprinkles Cupcakes. I’ve never actually heard of Sprinkles before, so I can’t say much about how this miniature set compares to the real life store. I can, however, give you a sneak peek into what it looks like and how it compares to past MiWorld sets!
Sprinkles is considered a ‘starter set’, not a deluxe set. That means, it is one room as opposed to two rooms. Sprinkles has a very colorful back drop. The walls are decorated in lots of bright colors. One wall features merchandise, like t-shirts. The second wall features the menu board and 2D cabinets holding supplies. The backdrops fit well into the base. Before you place the wall into the thin cardstock floor panel, remember to place down the thin pink floor piece. The walls attach with a very tiny L shaped piece of plastic. It’s very easy to lose, but, unlike past sets, seems to stay in place!
As far as large furniture pieces, this set has a few. The biggest accessory is the display case. It comes in multiple pieces, so you’ll have to put it together. I’ve found that mine stays together well and looks pretty neat when all is said and done! It holds accessories well, too!
The second piece you have to put together is the table and chair set. The table and chair aren’t the best accessories I’ve seen in a MiWorld set. They seem flimsy. My table is just slightly off due to pieces not fitting properly. I love the ‘peanut butter cup’ look to the table top, though!
Besides the large set pieces, this set includes a number of smaller accessories. Inside are twelve cupcakes, two t-shirts, two canisters (of what, I’m not sure), two coffees, two plates and two flavor capsules. There are also three foldable boxes.
Like other MiWorld sets, there are some stickers you’ll have to apply to get the full effect. The stickers are easy to remove, but they have a few problems of their own. Mainly, it’s hard to tell where some of the stickers go. For example, there’s this huge Cupcake ATM sticker, but I’m not certain where to actually put it!
It would make sense to put it in the empty white space on the second wall, but then again, why would a cup cake ATM go behind the register? The cupcakes get stickered with dots, which was strange to me at first, but I went with it anyway.
One major issue with the stickers is that they don’t like sticking to the miniature accessories. To make sure the stickers stay on, you’ll probably want to tape these down with clear tape.
I think the MiWorld sets are really great, in general, but this set is a bit of a let down. I love the color of the backdrop and the fantastic display case, but the table and chair set is a disappointment. It seems to me that this set, more so than the rest, went through the most changes from prototype to actual product. Still, though, you couldn’t ask for a better backdrop for your tiny dolls.
Do you have Sprinkles Cupcakes? What do you think of it? Where did you put that Cupcake ATM sticker? How does this set compare to the actual Sprinkles Cupcakes? Share your comments below!
I had high hopes for Lorna and, for the most part, she lived up to them. However, not everything was as expected. Lorna is the daughter of the Loch Ness Monster. She’s a younger student and as such is on a body similar to Twyla and Howleen.
Lorna has a fantastic head of rooted burnt orange and peach hair. It’s curly and has some bounce to it. Her fringe-less style is done up in a half pony tail with sausage curls. I was happily surprised to see her hair wasn’t super sprayed down like some Monster High dolls and was still somewhat light to the touch. Her burnt orange pony tail does employee a lot of spray, but the peach that hangs down is very natural.
Her skin is an iridescent sea foam sort of green with molded scales. She has fins on her arms and legs. I love the color of her skin, especially compared to her hair. The contrast is really neat. Lorna has fun, fin-like ears.
Lorna has joints in the usual spots. Here, though, is where my main problem with this doll comes into play. Poor Lorna has an elbow issue. Her forearm doesn’t go all the way into her upper arm. This, as you could imagine, limits her posing in a big way.
We called Customer Service at Mattel the same day we opened her and were sent a replacement forearm. That didn’t fix the problem, though, so they eventually shipped a new Lorna with a working arm.
Lorna has a fun face! Her green eyes are very large. Instead of the heavy black lashes we’ve seen recently on many releases, Lorna has long, thin lashes. Highlighting her eyes is a thin layer of baby pink topped with a muddy military green that goes around her entire eye and an iridescent white. Her brows are painted in a burnt orange sort of color. Lorna has white fangs painted on her pink lips.
My favorite part of Lorna’s face are her large eyes. The matte paint on her lips and brows is a little strange on the sparkly skin, but I don’t get the same feeling at all with her eyes.
Lorna wears a Scottish tam on her head, which blends nicely with her outfit. Her cap sleeve top is red with a line design and black neckline. She wears a plastic sash of sorts that is removable. Her skirt is my favorite part of her outfit.
Similar to a row of picture frames, it features tiny, repeated images of Nessie, the sea monster. Last, but not least, Lorna wears amazing shoes.
Her shoes play on the idea of stone walls, it seems, with a grey, stone-like platform that lead up to a black mary jane-esc style shoe. For some reason, while I love her shoes, I find them really hard to describe! The best description of them? They’re fantastic!
Like the rest of the Monster Exchange dolls, Lorna comes with a less than awesome purse. It opens, but is pretty much a piece of flimsy plastic. She also comes with a passport, diary, stand and comb.
Overall, Lorna is a nice doll. The fact that there are still quality issues with the fish limbs is a bit of a problem for me, but Mattel took care of Lorna’s issue in a quick and timely manner. Her face and contrasting body and hair colors will most likely not please everyone, but I personally love them! And her shoes– can I have a pair in size 5, please?
What do you think of Lorna? Leave your thoughts below!