Blythe vs Blythe

Casie of BeBe Blythe Company contacted us the other day about an interesting event she’s hosting on Facebook throughout the month of October called Blythe vs Blythe. Blythe vs Blythe is a contest where two Blythe artists go head to head to create a unique doll using the same base model and theme. The event’s theme is Fall. I thought this was a pretty interesting concept and wanted to share it with you, in case you’re interested in watching this unique contest unfold.

Before you get too excited, there is a $10 fee to participate (as a spectator). It covers overhead costs, like raffle prizes, shipping, buying the base dolls, etc. Going into October and through the end of October, Casie has promised that there will be a chance to win small things, making the entrance fee worth it. Just for signing up, you’ll get a free digital gift (a sheet of printable eye chips or a video on carving).

Moving along, the actual competition is against two popular Blythe customizers. Throughout the month of October, they will be posting their progress on their custom doll via a Facebook Group, Blythe vs Blythe. At the end of the month, the members of the facebook page will vote on the winner. The winning doll will be raffled off to one lucky member of the group.

For more information, reach out to Casie. We (Barbee0913 and I) don’t have anything to do with this other than sharing the information with you, so we can’t answer any contest related questions. You can find Casie on Etsy and YouTube, as well as reach out via the event’s FaceBook page. I think Blythe vs Blythe could be a really fun online event and is worth checking out if you’re into Blythe customizing or just like seeing ‘the process’ of making a blank doll truly unique!

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September 19, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Collection Close Up: Madame Alexander Dionne Quintuplets New Looks

Did you know that one of Madame Alexanders most loved and well-known doll releases, the composition Dionne Quintuplets series from 1935-1939, was based on a real life family? Well, it’s true! The Dionne Quintuplets were the first set of Quintuplets to be born in Canada. The story of their early years is sad and fascinating at the same time.
Dionne Quints

The Canadian government took the children away from their family and built ‘Quintland’ across from their family’s home. The children grew up in a nursery staffed by doctors and nurses. At certain times throughout the day, spectators could go to the facility and watch the kids play and do other things, like animals in a zoo. The girls couldn’t see the crowd, but they could hear them and knew very well that they were being watched. The story is a fascinating tale. It’s definitely something to look into if you’re bored and want to learn about something new!

Because of the girls popularity, the Dionne’s graced advertising campaigns, souvenirs and, of course, they were eventually made into dolls by the great Madame Alexander Doll Company. Each doll wore a different color dress and a name tag, so you knew which girl your doll was modeled after. The Dionne dolls were sold in various shapes and sizes. Madame Alexander even went so far as to make a composition doctor and nurse doll to care for the miniature sized quints.

Dionne Quints

I own two Madame Alexander quints and want to eventually add more to my collection. For years, my quints have lived in their faded original outfit or, in the case of the bent leg baby, in a diaper. It’s been on my to-do list to give them a new look, since they’ve already been touched up by the fantastic doll doctor, Dr. Noreen. Finally, I’ve done it. Commissioned from Loll’s Doll Trunk on Etsy, my quints now look quite stylish in their reproduction looks.

MA Dionne Quints

For the baby with painted hair, I wanted a romper. Her legs are bent, so they don’t allow her to stand. Instead of dealing with a dress that may not lay right on a sitting doll, this reproduction romper outfit seemed like the way to go. It’s based on this look.

MA Dionne Quints

Lolly’s outfits are so well made! She did a wonderful job. They look very close to the original outfits seen in photos of the Dionne quintuplets releases. My standing girl with hair is wearing a dress very similar to the one she has worn most of her life. Her original outfit was faded and very thin. Most likely, it was yellow or pink. I wasn’t crazy about a yellow or pink dress, to be honest, so instead,  I asked Lolly to make a pretty green dress for this quint. The look was based on this image. I think it looks so great on my doll!

MA Dionne Quints

One day, I hope to have at least one example of each ‘type’ of quint Madame Alexander produced, along with the nurse and doctor, of course! I have a long way to go, but there’s still a few doll shows left this year, so who know what might happen!

MA Dionne Quints

I’m very happy with how these two looks turned out! Thanks a lot, Lolly! Had the Dionne story crossed your path before? What do you think of these looks? Let me know in the comment area.

September 15, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized. 8 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.

Collection Close Up: Cabbage Patch Kids Through the Ages

Very few doll lines have lasted my entire life. Off the top of my head, I can think of only two: Barbie and Cabbage Patch Kids. This post will focus on Cabbage Patch Kids! My mom and I decided it was prime time to show you all the Cabbage Patch Kids in our collections. (We were cleaning and figured, why not!) When researching, it dawned on me that the Cabbage Patch Kids brand has been brought to life by seven different companies over the years. Remarkably, they haven’t changed as much as you’d expect as they were handed down from company to company. That’s an amazing feat!

The majority of our Cabbage Patch Kids are from the Caleco and Hasbro years. It makes sense, as that was the real ‘hey day’ of the brand and I was the target demo for much of those years. Other companies to own the brand included Mattel, Toys R Us, Play Along, Jakks Pacific and finally the current manufacturer, Wicked Cool Toys.

To see our collections, check out the video embedded above. It’s a little long, but we have a lot to show you (though not as many as you’d probably expect). Do you have a Cabbage Patch Kid that is special to you in your collection? What era is your favorite? Share your thoughts in the comment area!

August 30, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized. 2 comments.

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