Collection Close Up: Sasha Dolls

I received my first two Sasha dolls a few years ago for Christmas: Caleb, a dark skinned boy, and Gregor, a tan brunette boy. Since then, I’ve gathered five more (two babies, two girls, and a bald Gregor). Seven Sasha’s sounds like a lot, until you see my mother’s collection. She has, at least, double the amount of dolls I have. Sasha dolls have been a favorite of hers since she was young and found her first one, a Gregor, for under $20.00, at a store that was going out of business.  Both collections together make for quite a few Sasha dolls!

Sasha Dolls

Sasha dolls, produced from the 1940’s through 1986 (with a re-launch in the mid 1990’s) are unique looking when compared to other doll lines. Most noticeable are their unique faces. It was important to creator Sasha Morgenthaler that her dolls have a neutral expression. According to reference book “Sasha Dolls: A History“, Sasha, who lived in Switzerland during World War II, Sasha thought that “No grotesque caricature can awaken a child’s true feelings. A piece of wood, barely carved, is far superior to a conventional doll with an exaggerated smile.” It makes sense in the context of the times. Children going through Switzerland during the war may not have wanted a doll that was always smiling, always happy.

Sasha Dolls

Interesting, as well, are that Sasha dolls are asymmetric. Arms and legs are not one uniformed length. Their eyes are also not completely even. She designed her dolls this way, because we ourselves are not symmetrical. This asymmetry also helps the dolls do something not all doll lines can– stand on their head! If strung properly, these boys and girls should be able to stand on their heads without falling. It’s neat to see.

Sasha Dolls

Sasha Morgenthaler, as a person, was kind of incredible. While reading about her in “Sasha Dolls: A History”, it’s clear that she was powerful in spirit. I’m not going to go into her entire history in his post, but I encourage you to read the book mentioned above. Sasha wore many different hats in life, including wife, mother, midwife and artist. At one point during World War II, she even started a woman’s auxiliary group that taught woman how to help the men coming back from the war.

Sasha Dolls

One of Sasha’s dreams was to create an affordable, durable doll. It took many experiments with different materials before she found one that fit her criteria. For that reason, you may see Sasha dolls made of various materials. The early dolls are harder to find, because the material Sasha used was more fragile than the vinyl she eventually created and used for the doll line.

Sasha Dolls

Many different companies made Sasha dolls, including Gotz and Trendon. The history of Sasha doll production is complicated and filled with legal drama. The book, “Sasha Dolls: A History” goes through all of this. The dolls in this post are all from the England base company, Trendon.

Sasha Dolls

Sasha dolls can vary in size. They started at 15″ and grew as the molds outstretched to be 16″ or 17″ tall towards the end of the run. You can see that in the picture below, where Caleb (right) looks smaller than Gregor (left).

Sasha Dolls

For those who like video presentations, below is a video Barbee0913 and I shot talking about Sasha dolls. In the video, my mom shares a few other facts about Sasha and her dolls. There’s also a bunch of great links in the video description to books and websites that will help you learn more about this unique line.

Sasha Dolls

Sasha Dolls

Sasha Dolls

Sasha Dolls
Do you have any Sasha dolls? What do you think of them? Let me know in the comment area!

May 9, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized. 19 comments.

Introducing Boy Story

Boy Story is a line of 18″ boy dolls. They have multiple points of articulation. Boy Story’s Action Dolls have ball joints at the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip and knee. Action Dolls come with a certificate of authenticity. They come dressed in some pretty nice looking fashions, which vary depending on your doll, but include underwear, a shirt, a second layer, jeans and shoes. Action dolls have a vinyl head and limbs that are connected to a cloth body. They use ball joints, but aren’t strung, which may eliminate problems with loose limbs after years of active play.

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They have molded hair and inset eyes. Currently, there are two styles available: Mason, caucasian, and Billy, black/AA. Both have unique face molds and outfits. They retail for $99.00 or $115.00 if you want the doll to come with a book starring the character Mason or Billy. Baseball loving military kid Aspen and Asian character Kenji are two other dolls we may be seeing in the future.

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There are three things I really like about this line. First, I love the ball joints, which offer 11 points of articulation. I’ll admit, the knee joint looks really strange to me, but overall, they look like they’ll allow the doll to pose well.

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Second, I like the outfits. There are so many pieces to them and they look authentically male. My problem with some male 18″ doll fashions (fashions for most of the dolls on the market, 18″ or otherwise) are that they often times look too girly. Mason’s button down the front shirt and Billy’s striped hoodie look interesting and authentic. The doll’s shoes look pretty nice, as well! Third, I love the inset eyes and unique face sculpts. Boy Story did a good job crafting the faces of their dolls.

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Boy Story launched their Action Dolls in 2016 after a Kickstarter campaign that saw over $28,000 from 238 backers. The brainchild of sisters Katie and Kristen, the ball was set in motion when Katie, pregnant with her second child, went in search of a doll to give her oldest son to help introduce the idea of having a new sibling. When she couldn’t find anything that fit her criteria, she and her sister decided to create their own brand in this niche market.

On April 13th, 2016, the idea found its way to Kickstarter, got funded and the momentum hasn’t died down since! Just this February, the line found its way into the Launchpad, a section of New York Toy Fair that focused on new and exciting brands that were making their debut appearance at the trade show.

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Not attending New York Toy Fair this year, I missed my chance at seeing these dolls in person, so my thoughts, at the moment, are based on the promo shots. I’d love to see what these guys look like against other 18″ doll brands. In the promo photos, for example, the dolls look like they are very big, in terms of proportions. It would be interesting to see how they measure up against other dolls of this size.

To keep track of the company, like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter! What do you think of Boy Story? Share your thoughts in the comment area!

February 26, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized. 11 comments.

Collection Close Up: Polly Pocket, Part 1

Polly Pockets made their debut on toy shelves in 1989. The idea came about six years prior, in 1983, when inventor Chris Wiggs sought out to create a pocket friendly doll house for his daughter. He took a compact and created a tiny little doll house inside, complete with a doll. The idea eventually found its way to Bluebird Toys, who produced them until 1998.  I was the perfect age to really embrace the world of Polly Pocket and because of that, I have quite a few. This post is one of a few I’ll be doing showcasing my Polly Pocket collection.

Calling all riders! The Wayback Machine is ready to go! Where to, you ask? 1989! We’ll start our look back at Polly Pocket with Polly’s Flat. Polly’s Flat is housed in a circular purple compact. In later years, Polly’s compacts changed from being shapes to more realistic looking houses. However, in 1989, all of the Polly Pocket buildings were hidden within colorful compacts. Polly’s Flat included two figures: Polly and Tina (blonde with pig-tails).

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Polly’s Flat includes a kitchen, living room, bedroom, balcony and bathroom.

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Next on our tour is Midge’s Play School. Midge’s Play School is in a square yellow compact. This was also released in an orange compact with different interior colors. This set comes with two figures: Midge and a baby.

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Midge’s Play School has a front yard filled with playground equipment, like a slide and sand area, a classroom,nursery, bedroom and bathroom.

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Before we head back to 2017, we have one more stop, Buttons’ Animal Hospital. Buttons’ Animal Hospital comes with three figures: Buttons, a dog and a cat.

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Buttons’ Animal Hospital has waiting room, kennel, front desk, exam room and a living space for Buttons.

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Watch the video here:

Keep your arms and legs in the machine as we depart 1989 and return to the present! It may be a little bumpy, since we’re going forward over 20 years. (Yes, Polly Pocket is that old.) And we’re back!

The Wayback Machine needs a bit of a rest before our next trip into Polly Pocket history, so in the meantime, why not share some of your own Polly Pocket memories! Do you have a favorite of the three sets shown in this post or a favorite in general? Let me know!

February 20, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized. 7 comments.

Introducing Your Modern Girl Bex (A Girl for All Time)

Last year, A Girl for All Time launched their Your Modern Girl series with a Kickstarter featuring dolls Maya and Nisha. Unlike their historical dolls, who all belong to the same family tree, Your Modern Girls are unique contemporary dolls that come from all walks of life. In this sneak peek reveal, I’d like to introduce you to Bex. With a release date of late 2017, Bex is English with an Afro Caribbean background.

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Bex met her best friend, Maya, while rollerblading and they are both members of their local hockey team. She loves reading and writing poetry (in secret). One day, she hopes to start a band with all of her friends.

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Bex has a new unique face mold. It looks like she has round features versus the long features that many of the other A Girl for All Time dolls have. Bex, also, has some pretty awesome hair. I love the curls! Her outfit is my favorite of the three girls in the Your Modern Girl line. Actually, of the three in the line, Bex might be my favorite doll so far.

Bex will be available to order later this year. Until then, keep an eye on A Girl for All Time via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. And in the meantime, let me know what you think of Bex! Share your thoughts in the comment area.

February 9, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized. 27 comments.

Introducing Cuddle Clones

Facebook seems to be a great place to find new and interesting companies. I discovered (the now discontinued) Makies there, then the recently discussed Dolls from Heaven and now this company– Cuddle Clones. With a vision of “Happy Pets, Happy People” and a mission “to capture the emotional connection between people and their pets”, Cuddle Clones creates one of a kind plush replica’s of your beloved four legged friends. Based on a provided photo and other facts, such as ear/tail position and distinguishing marks, Cuddle Clones can make a huggable, customized plush clone of your favorite pets, whether they’re cats, dogs, horses, guinea pigs, rabbits or other large and small animal creatures. (See examples here! Click ‘View By’ to see all their different kinds of creations– they’ve even made a chicken!) A portion of the cost of your Cuddle Clone is set aside for animal related charities.

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If plush clones aren’t your thing, you can also order a customized figurines, slippers and more traditional memorials. (See examples here of Cuddle Clones Custom Figurines.) Being a pet parent myself, I love the story behind this company. The company was started by Jennifer Williams, who was inspired by her love for her Great Dane, Rufus. When he passed, she decided it was time to see if she could make an idea she had a few years prior, of immortalizing Rufus in plush form, into a reality. Shortly after, Cuddle Clones was born.

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From the promo photos, it looks like Cuddle Clones is doing a great job and is definitely making special memories for pet owners. I did something similar with one of my pets, Sammi. Since she was a pure bred Golden Retriever, it was pretty simple for me to get a ‘clone’ of her from MyTwinn (before the company went downhill). Cuddle Clones seems to take that a step further by adding the element of customization.

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Besides cloning your four legged friends, they also sell plush creations of your own unique creatures (examples) or lost toys from the past with their Plush Replacement service. See all their products here.

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If this is up your alley, check out Cuddle Clone‘s website and make sure to like them on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram. What do you think of Cuddle Clones? Let us know in the comment area!

January 30, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized. 4 comments.

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