This past weekend, my mother, YouTuber Barbee0913, and I attended the Chicago Toy Show at the Kane County Fairgrounds. Going on 44 years, this show is a staple for the Illinois based toy collecting community. This year, the show revamped its room set up, which was a little disconcerting to many of the long time doll buyers and sellers. Instead of housing the dolls in the ‘Dollhouse’, aka the Robinson building, dolls were housed in the atrium/cafe area’s of two different buildings. I estimate each room had 20-30 vendors. Why the change? Apparently, the “boys toys” are outgrowing their space and, alas, the poor doll vendors paid the price. Admittedly, the ‘Dollhouse’ has shrunk over the years, so we should have seen this coming, but still, I don’t quite understand why the doll vendors couldn’t just be in one room, sharing space with general toy vendors.
Despite the changes, we ended up finding some great dolly deals. Here’s some of the goodies that came home with us from the show. This post doesn’t feature all the items we purchased, just a handful of highlights. To see everything, check out the video below.
Barbee0913 is a fan of Madame Alexander Victoria dolls. She received one when her brother was born. Passing down that tradition, I received one when my brother was born, as did my younger cousins when they first gained a sibling. It’s a fun tradition that I hope to continue on into the future. We rarely see Victoria’s at the toy show, but this year, to our surprise, we spotted two! Barbee0913 got a mini and large Madame Alexander for an amazing price. The vendor was selling her mother’s Madame Alexander collection. Her mother, who had passed, had loved Madame Alexanders. Her collection seemed to be an ‘in box’ collection, as my mom noticed that the Victoria dolls were very minty fresh!
From the same vendor, Barbee0913 picked up this adorable Alexanderkin. We haven’t been able to really identify it, but it’s just too cute. The body has a textured feel to it, like real skin, which feels really neat. But this face? How cute is that!
As some of you know, something I like to collect are Jem dolls. The Jem dolls at the show were insanely expensive, so I didn’t end up with any of those. However, I did end up with this amazing play set, Jem’s Rock Backstage/Speaker! This play set is compact, has some amazing fluorescent shelving and interior pieces and, believe it or not, the speaker function still works!
Toodles came home to join Barbee0913’s collection. Isn’t she cute? Toodles was made by American Character and has eyes that follow you. My mom has been looking for one of these for a few years now and finally found one that was priced right!
My big purchase of the day was an unmarked composition Shirley Temple lookalike. She stands around 20″ tall and is adorable! For being from the 1930’s, she has very little crazing and is in amazing shape. One nice thing about this vendor was that she wasn’t a doll re-seller. Due to downsizing, she was selling her own collection. On her table were pieces that she had loved and enjoyed, not just pieces she picked up to make a profit. This Shirley doll was clearly a piece she loved, as she seemed very remorseful as she started packing the doll up. Don’t worry, I’ll give your Shirley a good home!
What drew me to this girl was her adorable face, her clear tin eyes, her red dress and her amazing wig! I wish I knew more about her maker, but since she’s unmarked, all I can know for sure is that she is from the 30’s, since she’s composition and most likely, over 70 years old! (Think of the things this doll has ‘lived’ though— if dolls could talk!)
This is only half of what we picked up at the show. To see everything else and hear more of our thoughts on the show, check out the video, linked above. Overall, I’m happy with the items that came home with us. Usually, there’s a little bit of buyers remorse that comes along with shows like this, but not this time! Everything we picked up was priced really well and I have no regrets. Have you picked up something from a doll show or flea market recently? Share your thoughts in the comment area!
This past weekend was the My Little Pony Fair. Like last year, it was held in Schaumburg, IL. Being a My Little Pony collector, I wasn’t going to pass up the chance to attend! The My Little Pony Fair is a family friendly celebration of My Little Pony. Mostly centered around G1 ponies, it features a handful of high-profile guests, limited panel programming and, one of the most important elements of any convention, a vendors area!
To be honest, the convention could use some improvement. While it’s more organized than some of the conventions of its scale, it lacks a lot of quality panel programming. It would be great to see them expand on the panel programming for next year and add a little more variety to the mix. That being said, they have a great vendors area!
The vendors hall had a whole slew of My Little Pony sellers, the majority stocked full of G1 ponies. The room that held the vendors was a little small this year, which made it slightly cramped and hard to maneuver. We managed to find a lot of good finds, though! Care to know what they are? Here’s the goodies we came home with!
My main goal (pun intended) was to pick up some Big Brother/Clydesdale ponies. I’m happy to report that I found a few great examples of that kind of My Little Pony at the fair! While I couldn’t snag the Big Brother (series 2) Wigwam, I did buy Chief, a fireman themed pony with his hat and handkerchief. (The number of Big Brother’s missing their accessories was so sad! Half of their charm came from their hats, handkerchiefs, etc! I’m proud to say that both of my childhood My Little Ponies, Slugger and Tex, have their accessories.)
I also picked up the mail order only pony Coats n’ Tails (also known as Tux n’ Tails). He’s a blue Clydesdale with bow ties on his hip. Coats n’ Tails has been on my radar for a while, because he’s be the perfect companion for my Pony Bride!
The last adult Clydesdale I picked up was Daddy Sweet Celebrations. He was part of the Loving Family series that consisted of three (or four) like ponies (mom, dad, baby, sibling). I thought Sweet Celebrations would go well with my birthday themed ponies from the year 4 birthday set, so I picked him up.
The last of the Clydesdale’s that went home with me was Baby Drummer. Baby Drummer was just too cute to pass up with his dark coloring and freckles!
Also added to my My Little Pony family was a So Soft Cupcake and an Italian Peachy! Last, but no least, I picked up a print of concept art for the Pretty Mane series. Only two of the ponies on the poster were produced (both mail order ponies).
Usually, I come home with some OOAK My Little Ponies. This show had some very pretty OOAK ponies, but very few were in my price range. It wasn’t a total bust, though. I did come home with a beautiful Zorse from Sunshine’s My Little Pony Shoppe. She had a nice array of OOAK’s on display, a few of which I am still considering buying if they show up on the Etsy shop!
My smallest purchase was this cute little blind bag repaint by My Little Demon, dubbed a Petina Pony. I couldn’t pass it up!
My mom picked up a nice variety of ponies herself, mostly beddy bye eye ponies. She likes them and because they were only released for a year or so, it’s easy to collect them all. (See them in the video, linked above!) Overall, it was a fun day and resulted in a lot of great ponies being added to my collection!
I didn’t take a ton of photos at the show, but there are a few in my Flickr album. Check it out! Have you picked up a My Little Pony recently? Do you have any favorites of the ones we picked up? Let me know in the comment area!
The Pullip and Dal Doll Lovers Event, aka PUDDLE, was held Saturday, June 4th, 2016. It’s become a bit of a tradition for my mom (Barbee0913 on YouTube) and I to attend. PUDDLE is a one day celebration of Pullip, Taeyang, Dal, Isul and rest of the Groove family. This year, there was apparently record attendance.
What’s neat about this event is that it’s attended by collectors of all walks of life and even though it’s held yearly in Illinois, attendees come from all over the United States. PUDDLE is best described as a fun fan gathering. There are contests, raffles, door prizes and a few organized activities, like the Design Your Own Pullip icebreaker, but 50% of the time, I’d say, is left open for you to shop the vendor tables, mingle with other attendees and check out all the amazing Pullips brought in celebration.
There were a handful of group activities, like the Dress Like Your Doll contest/parade and the Design A Doll breakout session. Yours truly participated in the Dress Like Your Doll contest as Emma Swan. We (Pullip Emma and I) didn’t win, but it was an interesting experience. A lot of cool Pullip and friends were thought up in the Design A Doll Breakout. It would be neat to see these in person one day!
Like the past two years, PUDDLE was a fun way to spend a Saturday. (Shout outs to everyone we saw, by the way!) This years theme? Space! Because of that, there were lots of Star Wars, Star Trek and Doctor Who inspired Pullips on the table displays and a ton of cute sci-fi merch in the vendors area! Both my mom and I came home with some fantastic outfits and accessories for our Pullip family. See what we got in the video recap. (Start 8 minutes or so in if you just want to see our loot!
While we weren’t lucky enough to win any of the customization contests, we walked home with two awesome raffle prizes. I won a pink mohair wig from Sleeping Elf (Etsy) and my mom won a cute Star Trek kimono from Keely’s Cute Kimonos (Etsy). Below are pictures of some of my favorite dolls displayed at this years PUDDLE!
PUDDLE is always filled with some awesome vendors. This year was no exception! Vendors included Denise’s Dolls, Darling Clover, EmmerzApparel, KaleidoscopeBJDWear, Keely’s Cute Kimono’s, Little Lenie, Quaint Quintessence, Sakuras Blossom, Shifty Lizard and customizer Doll Angel. Little Lenie and EmmerzApparel have some great items for very wallet friendly prices! Doll Angel’s customs were pretty amazing, too! Check out her Flickr here.
You can see more photos from the event on my Flickr or Facebook page! (Check out Facebook to watch some of the live broadcasts I did from PUDDLE!)Keep an eye on the event by liking PUDDLE’s Facebook page or bookmarking their website! Have you attended a show recently? Picked up/customized a new Pullip recently? Tell us about it in the comment area!
Before I unveil what we found at the Chicago Toy Show this April, I wanted to let you know that I did a guest post on the Ruby Lane Doll Blog! Read it here! I had a blast searching through the sale posts on Ruby Lane while trying to pick my favorite Madame Alexanders on their site. If only I could afford all the goodies I wrote about in the post! (Maybe one day?) If you like the article, find Ruby Lane Dolls on Facebook and ‘like’ their timeline update about my guest post! Comment on the blog post or the timeline update with what’s on your current grail list!
Now, onto the toy show! Recently, my mom and I went to the Chicago Toy Show at the Kane County Fairgrounds. As far as shows go, this was a pretty good one. There weren’t a ton of ‘oh my goodness, I need to have this in my collection’ moments, but we ended up finding some neat things!
I splurged the most on a mint in bag Pose N’ Play Skipper. Pose N’ Play Skipper is one of my favorites. I love her cute face and hair style. This particular Skipper is usually found ‘in the wild’ with more poofy hair. It amazes me that her two pigtails and side swept bangs started out so close to her head!
Now, you know me, so it should come as no surprise that I opened the bag she was in as soon as I possibly could! I had to free her from her plastic prison. I’m happy to report that her limbs aren’t melted! I was worried about that, because Skippers with her body can easily have melted joints. Her face and hair are also perfect! The one thing that is slightly disappointing is that Skipper is missing her wrist tag. In retrospect, it looks like her bag had a hole in it that was then melted back together. The wrist tag must have fallen off then.
My second Skipper purchase turned out to be more exciting than originally anticipated! Vintage Skippers come in a variety of hair colors beyond Brunette, Titan and Blonde. I went to the show looking for a two-tone Skipper, but instead, came home with a unique looking blonde. Brunette’s dominate my vintage Skippers, so adding a second blonde to the mix has been something I wanted to do for a while. This particular doll stood out to me for some reason. She looked different to me. I thought it was just a different shade of hair that made her standout, but it turned out to be much more.
After going home, I realized she was a Sample/Test Market Skipper. Details are vague as to when and how they were distributed, but Test Market dolls are surprisingly different from traditional vintage Skippers. I’ll go into mine in more detail later, but here’s the quick rundown. One site suggested that Test Market dolls were given to Mattel employees and those in the industry at events like Toy Fair to test out the waters, so to speak, and see what the target market thought of Barbie’s soon to debut Skipper. These dolls have a wider stance and a different weight to them. Their faces have a slightly different look to them and their bodies are actually shorter than your traditional Skipper. Even their faces look a little different to those who collect vintage Skippers. The price was great for this doll, too, as the seller (like me) didn’t know she was a Test Market/Sample Skipper!
A total impulse buy was this adorable Love Me Linda. For those who don’t know, I have always taken a liking to dolls that have that ‘big eyed art print’ sort of look to them. Love Me Linda was in a booth and caught my eye. It was ‘must buy’ at first sight! Love Me Linda is a doll made by Vogue in 1965. I love her big brown eyes! Her red outfit is original and looks great with her long blonde hair!
There weren’t many Madame Alexanders at the show that made me want to lay down hundreds of dollars and I honestly thought I would be leaving without one. That is, until I saw this reasonably priced Little Women Beth with a Maggie face and a nearly perfect brown wig. Now, she needs a little fixing in the eye area, but for the most part, she’s in great shape. As far as Little Women go, I have two 1950’s Amy’s, but no one else. I’m excited to add Beth to my collection.
Last, but not least, one booth had a Totally Yo-Yo Skipper for a whopping $3.00 in box. I snapped that up. The actual gimmick, that Skipper can really yo-yo, works well and is kind of cool! My actual Skipper collection is lacking when it comes to Teen Skipper, so this is a welcome addition to my collection. I think I might try to actively add more Teen Skippers to my collection this year.
To see what Barbee00913 (my mom) picked up, as well as these lovely dolls listed above, watch the video linked below!
Have you found something really cool at a doll show recently? What do you think of these finds? Let me know in the comment area!
This weekend, my mom and I went to the Naperville Doll Show. I wasn’t expecting much from it, to be honest. I had heard it was much smaller than the show we go to twice a year at the Kane County Fairgrounds. But surprisingly, both my mom and I came home with a nice selection of dolls.
My first purchase of the day was a dark skinned Sasha Baby. I’ve been keeping an eye on eBay for one recently to go with Caleb, Gregor and my tan baby. This doll was one of only a few Sasha’s out for sale. This black Sasha Baby has very dark brown skin. Later versions were lightened.
My Luts Aru got a new outfit thanks to the show, which rarely happens. Local forums Chi Town Dolls (and Dairyland, I believe) had set up shop at the show. While they had very few actual BJD’s for sale, there were some cute outfit. This outfit, made by May Day, caught my eye. At $15.00, this four piece outfit was a steal. My favorite thing about this outfit is the cute cape. It makes Aru look like she stepped out of an anime.
If January is any sign of what 2016 may bring to my collection, than I suspect I will need more room on my Madame Alexander shelf. I left this show with a 20″ Maggie face Annabelle. Like many of my hard plastic Madame Alexanders, this one comes to me redressed. Maggie’s poodle skirt and white shirt are very cute, though.
Last, but not least, I picked up this cute red dress for my Parnilla Ghastly. I ordered her Black Friday 2014 and since then, she’s been stuck in a really horrid looking black leotard. While this doesn’t fit her perfectly, it’s much better than the look she was wearing before, believe me!
See what my mom bought in the video below!
Overall, the Naperville Doll Show turned out to be a great success. I found some great dolls at great prices. Not a bad way to start the week! Have you found anything recently that you want to brag about? Share your thoughts in the comment area!