Monday, November 30, 2009

Die Another Day Barbie®


Photo from Vogue Collectibles, Inc.

Designed by Linda Kyaw, this gorgeous Barbie® doll pays tribute to a favorite Bond Girl (Jinx Johnson), inspired by the movie, Die Another Day.  Halle Berry... I mean Barbie® wears a vibrant orange two-piece swim suit and retails for $39.95.  Dr. No Barbie® and Goldfinger Barbie® complete the trio of 007 Bond Girls available in doll form.

Remember, shipping is only $1 at Barbiecollector.com through December 8, 2009.
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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tiana's Showboat Jubilee

Get a glimpse of Prince Naveen and Princess Tiana, here, the characters in Disney's, "Tiana's Showboat Jubilee" and see a video of Princess Tiana's official welcome to Magic Kingdom.  The second video at this link describes Prince and the Frog merchandise available at the theme parks which includes dolls, Princess Tiana figurine, child-size Princess Tiana gowns, etc.

The Princess and Prince are played by different characters at this link:
http://micechat.com/forums/disneyland-resort/127776-princess-tianas-showboat-jubilee.html


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Black Friday @Toys R Us

I was surprised to see the Barbie Basics dolls on Black Friday, including two of the AA versions at Toys R Us.  The one with the deepest complexion, Model 004 was missing... possibly sold out. The dolls are all beautiful.  Model 008's complexion and hair color are pleasantly deeper than the prototype's online image.  Their basic black dresses are simple, which is to be expected for dolls priced at $21.99 at the store and $19.95 online at BarbieCollector.com. 




I also saw three adorable, 14-inch babies by FAO Schwarz  at TRU:  Emma, Kiri, and Lily, priced at $34.99. It was a pleasure to see a line of multi-ethnic babies; however, a Hispanic baby is not included. 

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Top-Bottom: FAO's Emma, Kiri, and Lily

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

All Things Princess Tiana and other Tidbits

During a recent trip to Wal-Mart in an unsuccessful attempt to locate Princess Tiana magnetic paper dolls, I purchased several Princess Tiana items (coloring book, a storybook with an attached writing device and magnetic pen, and another storybook) to send to my 4-year-old niece along with the Princess Tiana toddler doll that I purchased for her several weeks ago. 

After reading an inspirational blog written by a lovely Ms. Santa philanthropist, who is donating  Mattel's So In Style dolls and other toys to day care facilities in her area, I remembered seeing Princess Tiana dolls for $4.99 online at Target.com.  I revisted the website today to confirm that this price is still valid.  These are excellent for donating to Toys for Tots or other organizations that distribute toys to needy children.


While searching Target.com, I discovered Princess Tiana's BFF, Charlotte La Bouff, available in doll form for the same reduced price of $4.99.  Until now, I assumed Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen were the only dolls available in this line.

According to Target.com, shipping will be within 2 to 4 weeks for both dolls.   The links follow:


BTW -- Target.com is an Ebates.com affiliate.  If you are an Ebates.com member and link to Target.com through Ebates.com, Target purchases qualify for 3% cash back from Ebates.com.  If you have not joined Ebates, use this link to join now -- it's free!

I also found a downloadable/printable Princess Tiana paper doll!  This will have to do until I find the magnetic version.


dbg


MSNBC News Nightly report:  Princess Tiana... a long time coming

(Images obtained from Target.com)


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Happy Thanksgiving!



"I want to thank you, Lord, for life and all that's in it.


Thank you for the day and for the hour, and the minute."


— Maya Angelou
 
Happy Thanksgiving!
 

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Holiday Decorating with Dolls


Below is a link to my most recent DOLLS magazine blog and slideshow.  Enjoy.

http://dollsmagazine.com/blogs/dolls-in-black/359-holiday-decorating-with-dolls.html

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Monday, November 23, 2009

40% Off Lee Middleton Dolls Through 11.28.09


Bye Bye Blue Bird (image obtained from the Lee Middleton website)

All dolls at the Lee Middleton Home Store are discounted 40% off through this coming Saturday, November 28, 2009. I called and specifically asked about dark-skinned dolls.  The following were available at the time of the call:


Puppy Kisses Boy
Merry Little Snowman
Glory Days
Bye Bye Bluebird
Blessings of Hope
Harvest Ball
My Cupcake
Tiny Cheer
Little Bailey

Images of these can be viewed at the Lee Middleton website by entering their names (individually) in the search box at the website.

To place an order via phone, call 1-800-233-7479 or to inquire about other dolls that are included in the sale.

Shipping is $12.50 for one doll; $15 for 2. Extra shipping will be calculated for any amount above 3 dolls.

Note to reborners:  Many of these dolls and others that are not listed will be perfect reborn specimens. 

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There's Not a Demand For Them

This is often the excuse used by doll manufacturers and doll artists for excluding black dolls from their lines of production.  Manufacturers and artists have used variations of this excuse time and time again after receiving requests for and inquiries about the absence of black dolls. 

If there is no demand for black dolls, why does my collection and the collection of several fellow black-doll enthusiasts exceed numbers in the 3 to 4 digits?  Are we using our ever-decreasing disposable income on three-dimensional inanimate objects that have no meaning to us?  Personally, I am not. 

I love black dolls and would enjoy being recognized as an avid black-doll enthusiast by the people who create them.  I become incensed and frustrated when I hear statements like:

"Black dolls don't sell."
"I don't see color when creating my dolls." (This statement was from an artist who usually only creates non-black dolls--well, I guess she doesn't see color.)
"Black dolls are more expensive to make."
"It is difficult to find the right color brown for my medium."
"We can't get the color right."

To artists and manufacturers who have used any one of the above excuses why black dolls are not incorporated into your lines, know this:

Excuses only benefit those who make them.
The right types of black dolls are in high demand.
Black-doll collectors do exist; we are not invisible!

In my book, Black Dolls a Comprehensive Guide to Celebrating, Collecting, and Experiencing the Passion, I referenced the frustration that black-doll collecting sometimes causes.  The chore of finding appealing black dolls and the above types of excuses are the two main causes of this frustration.  On page 10, I wrote the following:

Cures to collectors' frustration woes do exist.  Certainly doll manufacturers and artists realize that dolls represent people and are used as playthings and cherished collectibles by people of all ethnicities.  With this certainty, the need for adequate doll representation for everyone is apparent.  The inclusion of black dolls in all doll lines will allow artists and manufacturers to service the entire doll market.  Excluding black dolls results in the loss of potential business revenue from black-doll collectors and from parents who desire to expose their children to dolls reflective of their image.
Based in their familiarity, inspiration, and immediate association with fellow African Americans, AA doll artists most assuredly can supply the demand for creating beautiful black dolls.  There are many talented AA doll artists whose dolls "live" in obscurity because of the artists' anonymity...
Doll manufacturers should incorporate the talents of  black doll artists.  Manufacturers and mainstream doll artists can and should solicit opinions from black-doll collectors via focus groups and surveys.  By any means necessary, they should think inclusion not exclusion.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Got Sam's?

I've been a Sam's Club business card holder since 1991.  Today's Sam's Club sneak preview email contained a link to a free, printable one-day pass for me to share with non-Sam's card holders.  The pass is good from November 22 - November 29, 2009.  The link follows:

Sam's Club One-Day Membership

To keep this blog on the subject of dolls, below are links to specific dolls and doll categories available at Sam's Club online.

Friends Forever Girls® Doll - Nika

B. Girlz 18" Doll and Extra Outfit Set

Hearts a Flutter

Madame Alexander's "Mammy Visits Atlanta" Doll

All Madame Alexander Dolls

All Dolls (I think)

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Reward and $1 Shipping = Big Savings


Image from BarbieCollector.com

After receiving yesterday's email from Barbiecollector.com announcing a sneak peek at the 2010 dolls and offering $1 shipping through December 8, 2009, I hurriedly visited the site, viewed, and preordered three of the Black Label Collection Barbie Basics designed by Bill Greening.  The order qualified for the $1 shipping.  I was also able to use this quarter's Barbie Fan Club Reward, worth $30, which helped tremendously with the final cost of the order.  I eagerly await the December arrival of my stunning trio.



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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Prince Naveen -- Too Lukewarm for Some

Has Disney finally, totally gotten it right by introducing an African American princess into their cast of animated princess heroines? I hear a resounding "yes" from doll collectors, parents, along with a host of others who have longed to visualize a character of Princess Tiana's magnitude, who finds her ideal companion, Prince Naveen, the person with whom she realizes that pleasant dreams do come true. This resounding "yes" is from an African American female perspective, however.


Disney's Prince Naveen character from the movie, The Princess and the Frog

Let's completely exhale and consider the African American male perspective. Prince Naveen's ethnicity is clearly not African American. My best guess, using his tanned appearance as my first clue; his straight black hair, and the name, Naveen, as additional clues, is that he is of East Indian descent. So, our beloved Princess Tiana finds herself in love with someone "other than a black male," as one astute African American male, whose opinion is highly respected, describes Prince Naveen. He further adds:


The bottom-line here is that the young black boys and girls will not find themselves trusting, helping and loving each other by this movie's conclusion. It will be the beautiful black woman and the "tanned-other-than-a-black-guy-with-overt-white-features" who emerge together in perpetual bliss. And for many current and future black women who lack the presence of positive black males in their lives, this will help germinate seeds of doubtful character, insecurity and lack of trustworthiness in the black men they meet. And [there] are already droves of them out here who have literally stopped dating "their-own-kind!" Yup, this is really going to help the black family!
All children are impressionable and our babies, especially, need to know that there is nothing wrong with being black, regardless to what others attempt to insinuate.

I realize that Disney's attempt with this movie is to create a first as well as appeal to a wider audience than African Americans by incorporating other cultures into the mix. Princess Tiana's BFF, Charlotte, is Caucasian and, as stated, Prince Naveen is something "other than" African American. For Disney, it all boils down to the mighty dollar. Greater appeal equals greater profit from moviegoers and merchandise purchasers.


L-R:  Princess Tiana todder doll, Just One Kiss Princess Tiana doll, Prince Naveen and Princess Tiana Wedding Gift Set

While the concern that Princess Tiana's prince is not African American has always been my reality; like many others, I have been blind sighted by the ideal of our first African American animated princess, overlooking the obvious in the tan, other-than-black male character, Prince Naveen. While Princess Tiana is part of my doll collection in full force, Prince Naveen is not. This is not to say that I won't eventually purchase the doll and contribute to Disney's profit margin, but in this collection, he will not be someone "other than a black male."


After viewing the movie, parents should discuss it with their children, stressing its make-believe nature, emphasizing their individual morals and cultural values, and iterating and reiterating again and again that there is nothing anomalous about possessing a high concentration of melanin pigment. This especially needs to be stressed to young, black princes because they do exist.

What are your thoughts?


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Monday, November 16, 2009

Julia Discounted @ Big Lots


Mattel's reproduction of their 1968 doll tribute to actress Diahann Carroll for her role as the first African American to star in the nonstereotypical primetime TV sit-com, Julia, is currently discounted at Big Lots.  The doll's original retail was $49.99.  Big Lots has it for $20.  This doll has been seen in other cities at Wal-Mart for the same price.  Quantities are limited.  There were only 2 at the Big Lots that I visited today.  I did not purchase either as I already have 3. 


The doll uses the original Midge or vintage Christie head sculpt, features a twist 'n turn waist, bendable legs, and wears a two-piece nurse uniform complete with hat and white high-heel shoes. Also included is a reproduction of the original 1968 booklet printed in full color, which features other Barbies and friends from 1968.

The reproduction doll was created in celebration of Barbie's 50th Anniversary and commemorates the 40th Anniversary of the landmark Julia show, which proved to be a hit by excalating "to the top ten list of most watched programs during its first year..."*


*http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/J/htmlJ/julia/julia.htm


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Friday, November 13, 2009

I Believe in Angels...

...JC Penney does, too.  Their Angel Giving Tree online allows customers to adopt an angel during this gift-giving season and grant the angel's gift wishes.  I just did. 



Image from JCPenney.com

It was very convenient to shop online and select items from the angel's list and have them shipped directly to the Salvation Army based on the zip code I chose.  Shipping was free when I used the promo code and validation number provided by JC Penney after I selected my angel.  I chose a 6 year-old girl who wanted a baby doll, clothing, and shoes. 

If you decide to participate, at checkout, remember to choose the checkout + promo code option.  To have your angel's items shipped directly to the selected Salvation Army, choose their address (which will be provided to you) as the shipping address along with your angel's ID.  This is explained under the FAQ link at their website.  You can also have the items shipped to you and hand deliver them to the Salvation Army. 


To select an angel or browse the angels' wish lists, click here.

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A Joyous Barbie Reunion

My latest DOLLS magazine blog can be accessed at the following URL.
http://dollsmagazine.com/blogs/dolls-in-black/355-a-joyous-barbier-reunion.html

Happy Friday!

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

More S.I.S. Dolls... New Gear... New Friends

New "rocking" gear, and two new friends may be added to Mattel's So In Style doll mix soon.  Check them out here.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

If I Were a Blade or Wesley Snipes Fan...

...I'd certainly own this Hot Toys Blade II figure. 


Photo from HotToys.com

But I'm not, so chances are slim to none that I will ever acquire it. 

The figure retails for around $189.  Additional information and more realistic images can be viewed here.

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Nice Black Barbie Memorabilia

After reading a recent blog by Who's the Mama Here? and learning about HSN.com's Barbie Loves Stila sale ($13.98 reduced from $40), I immediately ordered the Foxy version featuring the 1980 first Black Barbie -- or first black doll given the name, Barbie.




Instead of receiving the item ordered, I received the above paint can that features the Jewel Girl Barbie from the year 2000.  I called HSN to report the mishap and was instructed to return the item using the return shipping label provided.  A credit for the return shipping was applied to my account and the correct item shipped to me.


Today, the Foxy version arrived. The colorful, numbered, limited edition paint can contains black crinkle packing paper and the above featured items:  the Foxy doll palate of two eye shadows and cheek color, tangerine lip glaze, and waterproof black mascara.  Attached to the can is a "Barbie Look Book" with a brief illustrated history of each top-selling Barbie doll over the last 5 decades.

This is a nice piece of Black Barbie memorabilia. 

At the time of this post, the HSN sale is ongoing but Foxy is the only version that remains.

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Can you tell by now...

...how well the Black Doll Enthusiast blogger name fits me?  My collection is very eclectic and incorporates a few antique, but mostly vintage-to-modern black dolls of all types and mediums.  While a black porcelain doll began my adult collection in 1991, porcelain is my least favorite medium.  I shy away from it as much as possible.  One recent exception was made, but because the doll did not appeal to me 100%, it was returned to the manufacturer.

I wrote the above blurb as an explanation for sharing the following "dolls" that I spotted online at JCPenney.com - ventriloquist dolls!  Yes, I own some black versions of these, too.  If anyone else is interested in just looking at them (even if you find them creepy), the link to their image and ordering information follows:

Ventriloquist Dolls

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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Male Action Figure with Dreadlocks ID'd for Kerri



A link to the above image was used in a previous blog about Dark Skinned Male Dolls, read by one of my readers (Kerri) who wanted the identification of the dreadlocked figure.  The dreadlocked action figure was purchased from Old Joe Infirmary for $4.99.  It was sold as a "Nude African American figure" and has since sold out at OJI.

A Black Doll-E-Zine subscriber, Willena Nanton, informs that this figure is based on the role of Tyr Anasazi played by actor, Keith Hamilton Cobb, in Andromeda.  It was made by Blue Box Toys.   Ms. Nanton asked that I share this information with Kerri. 

I'll go a step further by adding a link to a merchant from whom the figure can be purchased for $14.99, never removed from box:
 
http://www.collectorsgateway.com/Gene-Roddenberrys-Andromeda-Tyr-Anasazi-Action-Figure-_p_435.html


Thanks again Willena and thanks Kerri for asking. This information is helpful to me as well.

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Friday, November 6, 2009

Poll Results and E-mail from Danbury Mint

The Michelle Obama Inaugural Doll "I like it; I don't like it" poll closed today.  Based on the photos of the actual doll that I took and shared in last week's The Excitement Has Fizzled blog, 18% of voters like the doll and 81% dislike it.

With reference to the aforementioned blog and the photos that I shared, I received the following e-mail from  Mr. Jerry March, Vice President, Danbury Mint.  I asked and was granted permission to share the contents of this email including its photo attachments:


Dear Debbie,


I am the marketing manager for the Michelle Obama Doll, and I just came across your posting and photos on your blog. I am very sorry that you are not happy with your doll. We've done everything possible to make sure that our doll is as close a likeness as you can get in a 16" porcelain doll, and we take your criticism seriously. In looking at the photos on your site, it appears that the doll is not positioned or styled as we had intended. Attached are two photos taken of a production doll from our warehouse with a standard camera that shows the doll after it has been styled as described in the unpacking card. Though it is not identical to the photo in the advertisement (which used an artist's rendering based on our actual sculpture since the doll had not been produced yet), I hope you would agree that it is an attractive doll, and actually a very good likeness of the First Lady. We've used only the finest quality porcelain, the dress is embellished with real crystals, and all the materials used for the dress and jewelry are of the highest quality. We chose to paint on the shoes because you can get much better accuracy and detail with hand painting than with constructing shoes that size.


We take our customers' opinions very seriously, and we are dedicated to creating the best products possible. I hope you will take another look at your doll and perhaps change your mind about its quality. If not, please accept my apologies, and know that we will do everything in our power to create the best product possible going forward, and will continue to go to great lengths to make our customers happy.

Thank you for understanding.

Best regards,


Jerry March
Vice President




I conveyed my appreciation to Mr. March for his personal attention and informed him that I had already returned the doll. 

There is a definite need for more companies like his, where customers' opinions truly matter.




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Monday, November 2, 2009

Faceless Dolls N-E-1?

Annie Lee Sass 'N Class Girls Night Out Collection

If you like faceless dolls, you might be interested in acquiring the full set or individual dolls from the Annie Lee Sass 'N Class, Girls Night Out Collection, from 2004.  They are currently deeply discounted at Sandy USA Direct from an original retail of $85.00 each to $5.99 each or the complete set of 10 for $39.99!


I own Beckoning in Blue and Ravishing in Red (RIR), which are featured in chapter 5 of my book, Black Dolls A Comprehensive Guide to Celebrating, Collecting, and Experiencing the Passion.  My RIR is featured in the November 2009 issue of Contemporary Doll Collector.

These 17-1/2in/44.45cm, all-vinyl, individually numbered, LE of 2000 dolls have hangtags and were inspired by the original Annie Lee painting, "High Roller."

Find out more about the artist, Annie Lee, and why facial expressions are absent from her artwork here.

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