ChiTAG Returns Nov 18th (Ticket Giveaway)!

For the past few years, my mom and I have attended the Chicago Toy and Game Fair at Navy Pier in Chicago, IL. Also known as ChiTAG, the Chicago Toy and Game Fair is a fun weekend of play. Unlike big toy events themed to buyers, this one is themed around consumers. Instead of getting a lot of talk about the toys on display, you get to actually play with them!

This year’s event is taking place November 18-19th and is sponsored by: Mattel, Spin Master, Goliath, Target, Pressman, Hasbro, Play Monster and LEGO, among others. Also cause for celebration is that 2017 marks the 15th year of the fair!

I'm Going to Chicago Toy and Game (ChiTAG) Week this November!

If you’re in the Chicagoland area, we’re pleased to give you a chance to WIN a family pass to the show! A Free Family pass is good for 2 adults + 4 kids (max) for a family of 6. To enter, fill out the form below! (Note: the form may not appear on mobile devices.) I’ll pull the winners on/around Nov. 8th, so you have time to prepare for the weekend!

Like the Chicago Toy and Game Fair on Facebook for photos and video during the event. You can also find them on Instagram and Twitter. Good luck and we hope to see you there!

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October 26, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

The Chicago Toy Show Loot/Haul/Goodies

Sunday, my mom and I went to our last doll show of the year, the Chicago Toy Show. Held twice a year, this show is now in its 45th year! At the show, we saw a variety of dolls and toys. Like April’s show, the doll vendors were split between two different buildings. The new layout isn’t helpful to the vendors or shoppers, to be honest. One of the dedicated doll rooms could be easily missed due to lack of signage, so much so that the vendors were commenting on it. Hopefully, the powers that be re-think this new arrangement for April 2018’s show.

But, let’s move along to the fun part of this post– the loot! My mom and I hit the jackpot when it came to deals this time around. My budget was very limited, as a savings account doesn’t build itself (sadly), so I went shopping looking for the best deals I could get. My mom, well, she always looks for deals!

Chicago Toy Show Oct 2017

Fluff is Living SKipper’s friend. She was only released once before being shelved, much like Tiff, Skipper’s Pose N Play friend who shared Fluff’s face mold. I only have one Fluff in my collection and it’s not too often you find one in great shape with no melting around the shoulders and hips, so I was very happy to find this doll at a good price.

Chicago Toy Show Oct 2017

For $15 we scored the Barbie, Ken and Skipper “Dressin’ up with Mickey, Minnie and Donald” gift set. It was released at Toys R Us for a limited time. I’ve often seen this set online and thought it was pretty cool looking. The Skipper in the “Dressin’ up with Mickey, Minnie and Donald” gift set has purple eyes, which is pretty rare when it comes to eye colors.

Chicago Toy Show Oct 2017

One booth had a Skipper Teen Time fashion for $3.00. I picked that up! I’ve just recently started picking up more outfits for my 90’s dolls, as I never got many of them as a kid.

Chicago Toy Show Oct 2017

Jetta was $15.00. My Jem collection was in need of a Jetta, so she came home with me. She’s missing her saxophone, but her outfit is pretty much all there.

Chicago Toy Show Oct 2017

The last two items I have to show you are not doll related. I’m a fan of big eyed art prints. These two pieces of art were printed on cork. The colors are bright and the graphics are super cute!

Chicago Toy Show Oct 2017

My mom was looking for a Baby Giggles and the fates smiled upon her with this $6.00 find! She doesn’t really giggle anymore, but her flirty eyes and head still move side to side when you lift her arm.

Chicago Toy Show Oct 2017

Francie is one of my mom’s favorite Barbie dolls. She picked up this cute Francie doll at the show. She even came dressed in a Francie fashion!

Chicago Toy Show Oct 2017

We always see a few Donny Osmond dolls at the Chicago Toy Show. This time around, my mom picked one up. She had a Marie, but was looking for a properly priced Donny. This Donny turned out to be only $3.00. Add the Ken outfit she picked up for him to wear and the total was still under $15.00!

Chicago Toy Show Oct 2017

We’ve seen this My Child at the same vendors booth for over three shows now. It was about time she went home with someone. After noticing a dirt mark under her chin, my mom haggled this red headed cutie down to a good price. She’s now hanging out with her sister, whom my mom bought a few shows ago.

Chicago Toy Show Oct 2017

Another deal was this Ideal composition Shirley Temple. She’s a fixer upper, but how adorable is she?

Chicago Toy Show Oct 2017

Thumbelina was hiding in a booth when my mom spotted her. Besides the great price, she still works!

Chicago Toy Show Oct 2017

Meet Bunson Bernie. He’s missing some pieces, but is in good shape.

Chicago Toy Show Oct 2017

While not everyone is a fan of “Lemonhead” Kelly’s, we are. They made little impact on the Kelly world, so they’re still quite affordable if you see them at shows. They produced them longer in Europe, so some lines were made both in the ‘normal’ pre-lemonhead way and lemonhead style.

Watch the video below to hear us talk about the show and all the things we found! What do you think of these finds? Have you gone to a show recently? Share your thoughts in the comment area!

October 23, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

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.

“Doll House” Estate Sale Loot/Haul/Goodies

Estate sales around my house are never super exciting. Rarely do they have any items that would fit into my doll collection. However, we recently found one that did. So much so that the actual sale was called “The Doll House”. The estate belonged to a couple that seemed like they had to have been lifelong collectors. With no children of their own, their estate was passed to a family member, who most likely had no interest in keeping the hundreds (probably thousands) of dolls that filled the couple’s home.

I didn’t expect to find anything at the sale, to be honest. The collector mostly concentrated on older bisque and french dolls. But, of course, it’s me, so inevitably, I left with something, or somethings.

Doll House Estate Sale Finds!

Grandma and Grandpa troll, made by Thomas Dam, were the first two items I picked up. They’re about 14″ tall. Prior to this, I had never seen an elderly looking troll! The molds have wrinkles and everything. They were just too cute to not pick up.

Doll House Estate Sale Finds!

Doll House Estate Sale Finds!

Doll House Estate Sale Finds!

I usually don’t pick up Cabbage Patch Kids at sales or second hand shops. I am perfectly content with the Cabbage Patch Kids I have. I couldn’t pass up these two soft sculpture Little People, though! They’re from somewhere between 1978-1980, judging by the tag. Meaning, these two Little People were made before the Cabbage Patch Kids even existed. It’s always been a goal of mine to make it to Babyland General to get a soft sculpture doll for myself. Picking these guys up for $8.00 seemed like a no brainer. Even with the less than flattering beginnings of the Little People/Cabbage Patch Kids line, I’m very happy with my purchases.

Doll House Estate Sale Finds!

Doll House Estate Sale Finds!

On the Cabbage Patch Kids shelf was also this girl. I wasn’t sure if she was a Xavier Roberts soft sculpture, but she was cute, so she came home with me, too. It turned out that she was not from Babyland General. She’s a custom Cabbage Patch Kid from 1984, crafted by Janet Waters (edition number 720/1000).

Upon googling, I didn’t learn anything about Janet, other than she worked on a lot of Cabbage Patch Kids. eBay is littered with her work, calling it by the name TJ Tots. All her kids seem to have very unique eyes, when compared to Xavier Roberts soft sculptures. I would love to know more about her, if you have any information.

Doll House Estate Sale Finds!

Last, I picked up these two chairs. They’re perfect for SD sized dolls.

My mom picked up a few goodies, too, including a reproduction Lenci, a My Size Barbie, two bisque dolls in need of TLC and a 27″ composition Shirley Temple from the 30’s. Half of these were purchased on 1/2 price day.

Doll House Estate Sale Finds!

Doll House Estate Sale Finds!

The redhead is a bisque doll with an adorable expression. She needs some work on her arms, as the previous owner may have tried to repair her and didn’t do a wonderful job. This doll isn’t marked anything but “made in Germany”.

Doll House Estate Sale Finds!

The doll below has eyes. They just decided to fall into her head after bringing her home. She’s the first of the dolls to go to Dr. Noreen for restoration. She’s marked “Alt, Beck & Gottschalk”.

Doll House Estate Sale Finds!

Doll House Estate Sale Finds!

Watch the videos here:

Prices were good at the estate sale, which is one reason we were able to pick up these great new additions to our collection. What do you think of these finds? Have you found anything cool recently? Share your thoughts in the comment area!

August 8, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Blogger Bash: Sweet Suite Box 2017

A huge perk of attending Blogger Bash‘s Sweet Suite is the swag box! 2017’s Sweet Suite Swag box was a whopping 24 pounds and filled with toys from a variety of exhibitors who were on the floor of the toy expo. While I may have wanted to see a few more filler programs to round out Blogger Bash in general, I can’t complain about Sweet Suite or how it was organized. The amazing staff shipped these, free of charge, to every attendee’s house within two days of the expo. For some, the box arrived the very next day. My box took a little longer to go halfway across the country and arrived four days after the big event.

Many bloggers and YouTubers have made this box out to be one of the best swag boxes around and I must say, after opening it, I totally agree. While it may not have had many dolls in it, this was the sweetest perk of any conference I’ve ever been to. The sponsors outdid themselves!

So, what was in the box, you ask? Take a peek for yourselves! My mother (Barbee0913 on YouTube) and I did a box opening video, embedded above! For those of you who aren’t into video’s, here’s a few pictorial highlights!

Goodies From SweetSuite17 Box

My Sibling/My Pal put a 18″ doll purse in the swag bag!

Goodies From SweetSuite17 Box

This is a tiny wind up robot from Aeromax Toys. It could make a cute pet for a doll!

Goodies From SweetSuite17 Box

This is just super cool and a much larger set than I expected in the swag box. K’nex put three different sets in the swag box.

Goodies From SweetSuite17 Box

I’m a fan of useful swag and these bpa free water bottles fit that bill perfectly.

The doll merchandise was light, but honestly, there weren’t a lot of dolls on display, so I expected this. Actually, though, I welcome the variety of toys. Some of them sound like fun! You’ll be seeing more of these on my YouTube channel, rather than here on the blog, so make sure to subscribe to my channel for updates on new video posts. And, of course, you can always ‘like’ me on Facebook, where I post new video links, as well.

Goodies From Sweet Suite 17- all the loot!

What do you think of the toys in the Sweet Suite box? Do you have a favorite? Share your thoughts below!

July 22, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized. 2 comments.

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