Barbee0913 and I went to The Chicago Toy Show again late October. It was a strange show this time around. There were very few sixties play dolls (like Little Miss No Name, Giggles and Swingy) and antique composition dolls. The room was filled with Barbie’s, more recent play dolls and, surprisingly, Sasha dolls! The doll room itself was kind of small. The showrunners decided to dedicate a large part of the space to dining with a food stand and tables, which makes me think they had less doll vendors than usual. Enough of the negative, though, here’s what I picked up at the show! To see what my mom bought, be sure to watch the show video we did.
Madame Alexander Teen Maggie Face:
This was my largest purchase of the show. I have gathered a nice sized collection of hard plastic Madame Alexander’s over the years, most of whom are Margaret faces. This is my second Maggie face Madame Alexander. She’s 14″ tall and is wearing her stock outfit. Maggie’s hair is still styled well, even though she’s over 50 years old.
Homecoming Queen Skipper:
I’ve recently talked about the AA versions of this Skipper. (If you didn’t see that post, I recommend checking it out!) This white version seems to be the second release, judging by the light pink roses on her dress. At $5.00, she was a steal!
My Little Ponies:
Twinkle Eyed Locket (year 5), Magic Message Floater (year 6) and Firefly’s Adventure VHS Firefly (year 9) were well priced at one of the booths, so they came home with me. Just prior to me finding the booth, there was a girl who purchased all the Sea Ponies, which I would have gladly taken home with me, but alas, that’s how the cookie crumbles sometimes. (I don’t have any Sea Ponies.) These three, however, caught my eye and at buy 2, get one free, I was sold. (Now, if I could only find an inexpensive Mimic to join my Year 5 Twinkle Eyed Ponies.)
It’s not very common I buy Skipper outfits, because the prices are always insane. I was light on cash during this show, so I decided to dive into some of the outfit boxes that offered played with/not mint pieces at affordable prices. They may not be perfect, but I’m not one who needs an outfit to be 100% complete to buy it. I ended up buying these three Skipper outfits, Skinny Stripes (first photo), Wooly PJ’s (middle photo) and Red Sensation (third photo).
Also worth mentioning are some of the smaller pieces I bought. I picked up this cute little Corolle outfit. I recently received a Corolle– you’ll see her soon– and wanted a new outfit for her to wear. And last, but not least, I bought a handful of Disney pins, which I proudly display on my American Girl Grin Pin Holder.
My mother picked up a few nice items, as well, including some Kathe Kruse dolls. To see her picks, you’ll have to watch the video, linked earlier in this post. Overall, it was a fun show. I may not have had a lot of money to play with, but I like what I picked up.
Have you found anything fun at a show recently? Share your thoughts below!
This past weekend was very busy for my mom and me. Friday, we attended the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2). I was looking forward to it, being the first convention of a very convention heavy summer. Overall, it was a fun day. I put together my first ‘real’ cosplay, which was exciting. (Past years, I’ve usually just tossed on a Her Universe Everyday Cosplay look.) I’m very proud of my costume, actually. A few people recognized my slightly obscure character, Daria, which made me really, really happy.
Besides that fun, we actually found some pretty nice doll related items in the vendor hall. Besides growing my C3PO collection a bit with a few affordable action figures, I picked up a fair amount of Jem and the Holograms items, too! Now, these are all fan made items, no actual dolls, but still, finding one Jem thing is usually a big deal for me and at C2E2, I walked away with a few neat pieces.
If you’ve followed my blog, you’ll know I love when a doll related product can be used in real life. That is what drew me to my first Jem and the Holograms purchase– a belt. Yes. It’s a new Jem and the Holograms belt with vintage promotional graphics on it. Being a huge fan of the promotional/box art, I couldn’t not buy this Seatbelt Belt from Buckle-Down. I just noticed Kimber and Shana aren’t on the belt. Strange, right? I love the graphic with Rio, Jerrica and Jem, though. It’s always been my favorite.
The second item I picked up was the first issue of the new Jem and the Holograms comic with the subscription cover (cover art by Sara Richard). I had been searching for this at my local comic book shop since it made its debut, but hadn’t found it yet. I’m glad I didn’t, because the cover artist was able to sign this for me at C2E2.
Last, and this is totally due to my mom, I picked up this amazing Jem and Cheetara print. You might remember Cheetara from Thundercats. This is a truly outrageous print, in my opinion. I love the classic, yet updated look the artist, Catherine Saturn, gave Jem.
To see the full photo album, visit my flickr. It has pictures of the other items I bought and some of the guests I saw, including the dreamy Eoin Macken. Embedded below are two blind box videos we shot after the show. They include a cameo from my brother!
Now, onto the following Sunday, when mom and I went to the Chicago Doll and Toy Show. Usually, I leave the Kane County Fairgrounds with bags of goodies. This year was a little different. Nothing really spoke to me, like it has in the past. One whole walk around and nothing really said, “Buy me, Ashley!”. The ‘Doll Room’ seemed lighter than usual, vendor wise. We didn’t see what we usually do, either. There were a lot of porcelain and older composition dolls, but not a lot of baby boomer dolls, like Little Miss No Name, Sketchy or Giggles. There also weren’t as many fashion dolls or Madame Alexander’s for sale. It was a really strange showroom floor.
That being said, we still managed to buy some pretty awesome things and the best part? We got them for amazing prices. One of the dolls I purchased was a reproduction Terri Lee doll, Bonnie Lou. She was part of the KMart exclusive line, according to the seller. There were a few on the show floor, but the one I picked up was the cheapest to be seen at $15.00.
Another purchase, my first for the day, actually, was a 21″ R&B (Arrenbee) composition bride doll from the 40’s or early 50’s. She wears a brown mohair wig, has dark brown eyes and tan skin. This bride doll is my first R&B doll and my first composition doll. I’m currently on the hunt of finding the exact name of this doll and a more definitive year of production.
The third item I picked up was a 14″ Madame Alexander hard plastic Amy. This was the only lonely Madame Alexander doll in the dealers booth and when she saw us taking an interest in her, she came over to tell us the dolls story. It turns out one of the vendors dear friends had passed away and she was trying to get her friends doll collection into good hands. The marked price on the doll was $85.00, but by the time I got to the booth, she had been lowered to $35.00. There wasn’t a question about if she would go home with me at that price. Her face needs some work, but her hair is practically perfect, due to the previous owner being a hair dresser.
My mom picked up a number of fun dolls, too, which include a mint in box Baby First Step and Rosebud. Watch the video reveal to see everything we bought and some fun little banter, as well. Also, visit flickr for a few more images of these beautiful dolls!
Did you see anything fun at a doll show recently? Have you added something new to your collection? Do you know the name of my new R&B or have you seen an Amy in the outfit mine is in (because I haven’t yet)? Share your thoughts below!
This past weekend was the Chicago Doll and Toy Show at the Kane County Fairgrounds. My mom and I have gone twice a year for the past few years. It’s an amazing day of shopping for doll and toy collectors. For a look into the show and atmosphere, check out my Dolly Field Trip post from last year.
This years show had a different feel than past years. The usual dolls we see weren’t there– Patti Playpals, Little Miss No Name’s, even Madame Alexanders. Nothing really screamed ‘buy me’ or ‘you need me in your collection’. Not to say we didn’t leave with a bag full of items, but the items we picked up weren’t the usual sort we traditionally do. We didn’t pick up any big ticket items, but we did manage to snag some cheaper, smaller items from this October show.
To hear fun banter about the show and our items, make sure to check out the video reveal, featuring my mom.
My first purchase was a very affordable Ideal Giggles. I’ve rerooted a handful of giggles for my mom’s collection, but this is my first Giggles. I picked her up with the intention of giving her a new head of hair. At $15.00, she was a steal.
At a booth featuring American Girl and other 18″ fashion doll clothing, I purchased two reasonably priced American Girl outfits. I didn’t actually get these for my American Girls, however! I bought them for my A Girl for All Time. I know there are some amazing patterns out there for the A Girl for All Time dolls, but as I can’t sew, I have to go other routes for outfits. Amelia is wearing Julie’s Calico Dress, minus the leggings. Not all American Girl outfits will fit A Girl for All Time, but certain ones, ones that were meant to be baggy looking and that have just the right shoulder, look pretty good! This Calico Dress sure looks amazing on her!
The second outfit didn’t fit my Amelia, so it ended up on my Girl of Today. Surprisingly, it doesn’t even fit my Girl of Today very well. The bodice is super tight and the neckline doesn’t look right, either. It seems the Pleasant Company Girl of Today dolls must be a little larger than the current Just Like Me and My American Girl dolls. Still, with this white sweater from the American Girl Store, the outfit looks just fine. (And I am very happy to know that not all American Girl outfits will fit my dolls well.)
By far, the best deal of the day came at the same booth I picked up the American Girl outfits. The seller had Quints merchandise mint in box! Any kid who grew up in the 90’s had, or at least knew of, the Quints line. It consisted of five babies and their corresponding play sets. I had a bunch as a kid and, knowing my cousins enjoy playing with them, was super excited to see them represented at the show this year. I picked up two mint playsets and a handful of Quints that were in played with condition for the grand total of $6.00! She had two Cousin playsets at $2.00 each, but I passed on those. In hindsight, I should have picked them up, too!
With all my recent coverage of Japanese dolls, I picked up this cute Japanese doll. It’s dated 1938 on its tag, but I’m not sure if that is accurate or not. I still have to research him a little bit. This little asian boy ningyo-like doll isn’t in the best shape, but he’s adorable and that’s all that matters!
I also picked up a few puzzles, including one with two Popples playing in a gumball machine. I love quirky puzzles like this. They make great wall art!
Because no shopping trip is complete without a Skipper item, I picked up this adorable Skooter in titan hair and this fun mod outfit for her.
My mom left with some fun items, as well! She found a Soul doll from Hasbro’s 1970’s doll line World of Love. She also found a replacement body for her Peace doll, from that same line. My mom found a Buffy and Baby Go Bye Bye doll in nice condition, as well.
While neither of us left with what we imagined we would, this October Chicago Doll and Toy Show was still pretty awesome. Have you found anything fun at your local doll show? Share your thoughts below!
This past weekend, my mom and I shopped in the open sales room of the Kenvention. The 2014 show marked the third year of the Kenvention, hosted by the He’s a Doll! Club. Our first experience with the Kenvention was back in 2012, when my mother and I decided to hit up the room sales advertised on the convention site. Room sale shopping was a first for me. The idea of a room sale is that dealers will set up shop in their hotel room and wheel and deal from there. It was a fun experience, especially for me, as I had never been to a convention with room sales! It made it a lot easier to connect with the dealers, who all turned out to be fellow collectors!
This year (and apparently the past two years), the Kenvention opened not only room sales, but the entire sales room to non attendees for a small fee ($5.00). I’ll be honest, the convention itself was out of my budget, which topped off at around $350 a ticket , but getting access to the dealers hall for the small sum of $5.00? There was no way we were going to miss that! The dealers hall itself wasn’t tremendously huge. The convention allowed for 150 attendees and is still growing. After stopping by the room sales, we headed to the open sales room. There were around ten vendors, all of which were different.
The first vendor that caught our eye was the most unique out of all the tables. It had charms, earrings, pins and prints featuring vintage barbie and friends graphics. This table belonged to Lisa Varuolo. I wish I could provide a link, but, alas, I can’t find an online store. Super cool stuff!
Another fantastic purchase came from Arnaldo’s Restorations. My mom and I met Arnaldo back in 2012 during the room sales. He was even kind enough to do an interview here for the blog. From his booth, I snagged an ooak Skipper repainted with brown eyes and rooted with vintage hair in the style of Midge.
I, also, picked up this cute sheath dress that will eventually be worn by a Barbie I am having restored. It is made with a fun fabric decorated with vintage Barbie graphics and fits my Barbie perfectly! The seller is unknown, as I must have lost the card with the store name.
One other neat coincidence at the Kenvention was meeting a woman named Ann Grahek of V4 Designs. She makes fantastic looking travel cases with vintage Barbie and friends graphics. When we first noticed her table, some of her pieces reminded us a lot of an ooak my mom ordered for me 10 years ago. As it turns out, this is the same customizer! She is still making super cool items and selling them via her website.
Overall, my mom and I had a blast crashing the open sales room of the Kenvention and will definitely be making a return trip next year. While there weren’t a ton of vendors, it still turned out to be a very worthwhile shopping trip!
Have you found anything fun at a doll show recently? What was it? Share your thoughts below.
Twice a year my mother and I go to one of the most wonderful places on earth– The Chicago Toy Show at the Kane County Fairgrounds. The Chicago Toy Show has hundreds of vendors with antique to modern toys and dolls. As you probably can guess, my mother and I go there for their doll room! Inside the doll room, it’s easy to stumble upon early Madame Alexanders, Pink box Barbie’s, Patty Playpals– you name it and it’s probably there somewhere!
Every show is different. Some shows have more of things than others. For example, this show had a lot of pink box Barbie’s, a lot of cardboard Barbie play sets from back in the day and a lot of big baby and walking dolls.
I know many of you aren’t located in the Midwest USA, so I thought I’d share with you a few things we saw at the show. I’d like to thank all the vendors who allowed me to film their booths!!! I really do appreciate it!
Not included in this video are the Star Wars character’s that came out to celebrate the shows 40th year. This is the first time I’ve seen characters at the show. They even had a radio station there, which is a first.
Now that you’ve seen a little of the show, I thought you guys might be interested in seeing what my mom and I picked up during this little trip to the Kane County fairgrounds. So, without further ado, here’s the grand unveiling!!!
My first purchase was at a booth we stopped by early on that had a $1 bin. In the bin, there were two Barbie puzzles (from the 80’s) that I grabbed. One is Barbie and the Rocker themed and the other is wedding themed. They’re not mint, but the price was right!
My mother’s first eBay purchase was this Baby Face. That was years ago! Up until now, this Baby Face was wearing an outfit that was too large for her. At this past show, she picked up a slightly more appropriate outfit for this cutie! It fits her SO much better.
I try to feed my Skipper collection every time I go to the show. This time, I ended up with two cute outfits for my dolls. The one of the left is Ship Ahoy. I have had my eye on this outfit for years, but never found it priced low enough for me to get it. This outfit ended up costing me $50, which I think is pretty good, considering it came with the socks, shoes and toy boat! (It’s only missing a few pieces, but since I can’t display extra’s, I don’t mind!) It’s also a very clean outfit! The outfit on the right is a mod outfit. I haven’t dug into my Skipper price guide yet to see what outfit it is exactly. It’s really cute, though, and was a steal at $15.
My mom has loved Little Miss No Name‘s forever. I’m not surprised at all that she ended up coming home with new ones! These two needed a little TLC and will need a hair job (done by yours truly), but they cleaned up pretty well. One of these two dolls, the vendor said, was standing in his music room for years. He’d look over at her and think ‘wow, she’s a creepy doll.’ He brought her to the show on a whim and after a bit of negotiating, Little Miss No Name ended up in my mom’s bag!
The outfits came from the same vendor we found Baby Face’s outfit at. The seamstress worked for American Girl and when she retired, she brought patterns home with her and started a side business. The seamstress passed away last year and her stock was bought by a lady selling at the show.
My Amelia has been wanting a new outfit for a while. The problem I’ve had, though, is that she’s not the most universal size and I have found very few outfits on sites like Etsy. This American Girl outfit is a little big on her, but it looks great! My mom found this in a bucket for $10. The colors work really well with Amelia’s coloring and the brown boots match, too!
I have a good number of Skipper cases (none of which I can display due to space), but I’ve rarely seen a Skooter case. This came from a vendor that was downsizing her collection. You could tell she was trying to sell her items to people who would love them. This case is in great shape and has the boxes on the inside. And most importantly, the graphics are great!
My mom’s first purchase of the day was a steal. This Baby Crissy was priced super nice and in great shape! I think this AA Crissy might be even cuter than the white version!
It seems like every winter show, I end up with a hard plastic Madame Alexander. The hard plastic dolls are really the only dolls I collect from Madame Alexander, to be honest. I’m not sure why, as it wasn’t influenced by my mom, because she only has one hard plastic Madame Alexander. I just adore them, especially Maggie and Margaret faces.
One of the best things about this doll was her price. She was half off the asking price, which you rarely see on Madame Alexanders! Especially when an Alexander is clean, strung well and has good face paint!
I picked this girl up thinking she was a Madame Alexander Alice in Wonderland doll. After doing a bit of research and only finding a Maggie face Alice, it was pretty clear that she wasn’t an Alice all of her long dolly life. My mom saved the day by ID’ing her as a Little Women Amy, redressed in an Alice dress from a later release by Madame Alexander. I’m thinking she’s from 1951 or so. (Can I just mention here that I really don’t like how the Madame Alexander Price guides don’t include pictures? It’s so hard to figure out who you have based on a one line description!!!) That being said, if you have seen a hard plastic Alice in Wonderland with a Margaret face that is around 14″ or you think this girl could be another Madame Alexander, let me know!!!!
So, that was our Kane County Chicago Toy Show experience in a nut shell! This trip proved to be quite an affordable one with lots of vendors offering deals. I highly recommend you check out this show if you’re in the area!
What was your most recent toy show find? Do you have a favorite toy show? Do you have an item you actively search for at shows? Share it in the comment area!