Sunday, January 30, 2011

Mattel.com - So In Style Stock

Before running out to Target, Wal-Mart, Toys R-Us or other local retailer to scoop up the remaining quantities of So in Style dolls, shop online first.

Below is a link to the current So In Style dolls at Mattel.com -- not all items shown are available.  Click on each item to see if the "add to cart" button is there.  Currently, Mattel.com is offering free shipping on all orders (not sure how long this will last), and if you join their mailing list (before you place your order, I suppose), you will receive 10% off. 

Okay, here's the link.

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Stacey McBride-Irby's S.I.S. Dolls Beyond 2012





It's official... as of Friday, January 28, 2011, Stacey McBride-Irby resigned her position as doll designer for Mattel. I was saddened to read about her departure this morning. The news actually reached my in-box Saturday, January 29, 2011, via an email (that I opened today) from the So In Style Fan Club email group, of which I am a member. The note assures that "She has already designed So In Style dolls through 2012, so we will still have many more surprises to look forward to in this line."  Stacey assures us of this as well in one of her tweets

I am happy that Stacey's dream job as a doll fashion designer for Mattel became her reality and that obviously her endeavors have opened a larger door of success for her. I wish her only the best.

I am left wondering, however, how will her departure from Mattel impact the So In Style doll line beyond 2012. Will the line cease? Will it continue? How will her depature affect the value of the dolls she designed? If the line continues, who will be the new designer and what quality of dolls can we expect? Questions, questions, questions.

What do you think will happen?  Please share your thoughts.

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Body-Swapped and Gorgeous OOAK Michelle Obama


Tonner's Tia Dalma and Franklin Mint's, now-articulated Michelle Obama

Below is a an email I recently received from blog follower SON OF ELLIS (Bobby):

I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blog. Thanks to you, I found the Michelle Obama doll that I really like. I have traded her body for a more mobile one and now she poses like a dream.

I look forward to reading your blog for new ideas.

Thanks!!!
Bobby
SonofEllis
I was so impressed with Bobby's transformation of Franklin Mint's Michelle Obama that I asked a series of questions.  Bobby kindly answered these and permitted me to share his answers here along with his images. 

Which body did you use for the transformation?
[I used] Robert Tonner's Check This Out! Esmé body.

Was it difficult to remove the head from the Franklin Mint body?
It was fairly easy to remove the head, but placing it on the new body required the hole inside the head to be enlarged.

Who is the other doll in the image?
The other doll in the image is Tia Dalma , Robert Tonner's version of the character from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.

Whose dress is FLMO wearing?
The dress that MO is wearing is a Mel Odom, Gene outfit, I believe. It was given to me by a fellow doll collector.
Did you change Michelle's hair?
I did smooth her hair out a little with some styling product. I found that the texture of her hair is totally different from my Tonner dolls.

Bobby added:
I kept looking at the neck of the doll after I switched her body. It looked really long, so I ended up switching her to an Antoinette Spice body. Now she looks more natural to me.  Here is her final look.



OOAK Michelle Obama by Franklin Mint on Antoinette Spice body wearing a SON OF ELLIS-designed fashion


Thanks again Bobby for sharing this fabulous transformation with me and for allowing me to share it with the readers of this blog.  I am certain they agree with me that you did a fabulous job, and she's working that outfit you designed, too! 


SON OF ELLIS is a popular Tennessee-based contemporary digital artist who has garnered much recognition for his passion for art. Self taught, his work deals in realism and is full of feeling, inspiration, and depth.SON OF ELLIS' art is reflective of today's pop culture. He is most known for his vibrant portraits and use of color. His preferred mediums are a combination of pencil and ink, which he then digitizes to color.
Visit and/or follow SON OF ELLIS here.  You may also view his work at myspace.com/SonofEllis and on facebook.

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Meet Kara Irby, A Real American Girl...

... Magazine paper doll that is.

Kara's paper doll is shown with booklet and outfits worn by her great-great grandmother, her grandmother,  her mother, and her Kwanzaa celebration costume.

Kara is one of several real-live American girls who have had paper dolls created in their likeness by the American Girl company.  The featured girls traced their family roots and sent in photos of themselves along with photos of female ancestors. A punch-out, card stock booklet containing the results of the girls' research was included with each paper doll along with fashions representing clothing worn by the girl and that of the girls' ancestors.  The back of each fashion contains information about the real girl's family member who wore it.  The opposite side of the paper doll contains highlights about the girl. 

Kara is paper doll #38 in the series.  Her booklet includes her profile, her mother's, her grandmother's, and her great-great grandmothers!  At 9, I am sure she enjoyed conducting the research that led to knowledge about the remarkable women in her family, past and present. 

In 1999, when Kara's paper doll was published, she aspired to be a minister (like her father).  She wanted to help make the world a better place.  Kara's booklet states her "great-great-great grandmother helped start a church in Washington, D.C. that's still going strong." I wonder (some 12 years later) if Kara's aspiration has become a reality (she is approximately 21 years old now).

The Real American Girl paper dolls were published in the bi-monthly American Girl Magazine beginning in 1992 through at least 2000.  I am not sure if American Girl Magazine still includes these unique, real-live girl paper dolls in their publication, but you can view headshots of past paper dolls here.


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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

LIV Dolls' Strabismus


Have you ever noticed that the Liv dolls appear to suffer from strabismus or crossed eyes?   I've determined the reason their almond-shaped eyes look crossed is because they are inset at a downward slope.  This causes the off-centered (crossed) appearance. 


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Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Doll Blogs: When Dolls Speak I Listen



On December 6, 2010, Google launched a new service that allows you to purchase and read books online:  Google ebookstore.  My third publication about dolls, The Doll Blogs:  When Dolls Speak, I Listen, is a Google ebookstore title as is my second black-doll reference book, Black Dolls:  A Comprehensive Guide to Celebrating, Collecting, and Experiencing the Passion. 

About The Doll Blogs: To serve the doll-collecting community, particularly avid Black-doll enthusiasts, Ms. Garrett continues to write about the dolls she loves. In this, her third doll publication, dolls, both old and new, blog their experiences over a two-year period as chosen dolls in Garrett's extensive and quite eclectic Black-doll collection. Dolls by various artists and manufacturers, from vintage to modern, play dolls to one-of-a-kind dolls are included in this 297-page electronic book. If you love dolls, possess a vivid imagination, and enjoy combining the two, you will derive great pleasure reading The Doll Blogs, another first for Debbie Behan Garrett.


Garrett takes the reader on an imaginative voyage in doll-collecting world where she meets and greets new dolls, reacquaints herself with old ones, and continues the passion for all as a doll whisperer, allowing the dolls to speak through her. This first book devoted to dolls that speak in blog form is masterfully engaging, a sure delight.

Reader Review:

I have read the preview of The Doll Blogs and really enjoyed it. Debbie Garrett is near genius to come up with such an idea to impart information about dolls from what appears to be the dolls themselves. I have to admit it was totally different than what I expected and a lot more entertaining than just reading mere facts about each doll.
Leslie Whitaker
You, too, can enjoy reading The Doll Blogs and viewing its well-over 400+ illustrations in full color using a variety of Google eBook-compatible devices —everything from personal computers, laptops, and netbooks to tablets, smartphones, and e-readers (it is not on the Kindle, just yet, and unfortunately is only available to domestic customers.)

If you live in the US, you may sample and/or purchase The Doll Blogs now from the Google eBookstore with a major credit card, but you must first be a registered Google.com user (which is free).

To access both titles, click here.

Thank you in advance for your support, for your reviews after you have purchased and read either title, and for forwarding the link to this blog to others who may be interested!

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Top 35 Barbie Blogs...



...according to Alex Deeds.    Check them out here.

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Monday, January 17, 2011

LIV's Alexis with Dark Hair

On a recent trip to Toys R Us to return some items, I purchased "It's My Nature Alexis."  Instead of providing a credit to my CC or giving me a cash refund for the returned online-purchased items, I received a TRU gift card.  What nerve of TRU to think I would want something from their store.  :-)

I "forced" myself to browse the doll section where the shelves still looked pretty bare from the recent attack of Christmas shoppers.  There I found the lone Alexis marked down from $19.99 to $9.99.  "Her funky outfit is worth $9.99," I thought.  Plus, she seemed to beg me to bring her home.

In comparing this dark brunnette version with my first Alexis, I've determined she looks much better with darker hair (even if her eyes still look a little crossed). Maybe she needs corrective lenses... hmmmm...

She'll be deboxed soon and paired up with Alexis #1.


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Going, Going, Gone...

...I hope. 


I placed a couple of dolls on eBay and several interesting doll articles that date back to 1991.  Here's the link.

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

No Dolls! Reminiscing MLK's Vision

Age 13, dressed for church, waiting for Mama to get ready for our departure, I watched TV to pass the time and listened to a replayed snippet of Dr. King's "I've Been to the Mountaintop," speech (his last one) thinking he must have known his time here was almost over when his emotional, prophetic words of having been to the mountaintop and seen The Promised Land resounded in my ears.  This was Sunday, April 7, 1968, three days after Dr. King was murdered by assassin's bullets fueled by fear, hatred, and unwillingness to acknowledge the rights of all Americans according to the Declaration of Independence.

This was a lot for a 13-year-old to absorb. 




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Friday, January 14, 2011

Too-Cute Kids at Play

Willy by Helen Kish has borrowed DJ's plane.

The above and following images were taken and shared with me by fellow doll enthusiast, Phyllis Schlatter. 

Mowgli enjoys riding a three-wheeler while DJ pouts because Willy took his plane.

The girls are having fun playing with their dollies.

Willy finally gave DJ his plane back and opted to play with Little Sis, Jessamyn instead.

Thanks again Phyllis for the share.

dbg

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

LIV's Alexis as the Queen of Hearts (QoH)

Alexis as Queen of Hearts Full View
LIV's Alexis as Queen of Hearts, a Target exclusive

QoH Alexis has tanned.  She also has a new wig, a new costume, and a new attitude, as illustrated by the heart tattoo on the side of her face and her Kool-Aid red-streaked hair. 

Alexis as QoH Close Up

I am not sure that I will keep her.  Until I make the final decision, I decided to photograph QoH Alexis and include a comparison photo with the less attitudinal, Alexis #1.

QoH Alexis and Alexis #1
Comparison photo:  QoH Alexis has a light caramel complexion while Alexis #1 has a yellow-tan complexion. 


dbg

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S.I.S. Pastry Collection

In addition to wearing Pastry-inspired outfits designed by Vanessa and Angela Simmons, the S.I.S. Pastry dolls each carry their own Pastry shopping bag.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Barbie Basics 002 Denim Collection Online

Domestic collectors, who cannot wait for the dolls to arrive locally, can now order the Barbie Basics 002 Collection (the denim dolls) from BarbieCollector.com. Unfortunately, shipping and possibly tax will be added to your order.  
Happy shopping!

dbg

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An African American Doll Authority Speaks

An African American Doll Authority Speaks

Thank you again, Jeanine, for featuring me on your blog. I appreciate you.

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Monday, January 10, 2011

S.I.S. Concert Close Ups + S.I.S. Julian Comparison

Headshots
"Concert" Trichelle has straight side-swept bangs with tightly curled/textured hair in back, which looks a little wind blown.  This photo was taken looking up at Trichelle.


"Concert" Grace has straight, brunette hair with red highlights.  The top is pulled together to create a ponytail.  The back hangs loose.


"Concert" Kara's auburn hair has a small ponytail at top, similar to Grace's.  The rest hangs loose in an upflip that rests on her shoulders.  Her gold dress complements her hair color and vice versa.

Comparison
Julian, from the Little S.I.S. Friends line, is still just too darn cute.  Julian #1 has auburn hair with golden highlights.  Julian #2 has darker, brunette hair, but maintains his freckles.


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Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Obama Family Paper Dolls by Thomas Soderberg

Based on an Amazon.com review, these may be for the adult collector only -- someone who does not plan to cut them out.

As an adult paper doll collector, this is the first paper doll book/set of the first family that captures the likeness of all members.  Since I will never cut the dolls or their clothing out, the thinness of the cardstock used for the dolls is not a problem for me, as it was for the Amazon.com reviewer, who purchased the book for a child too young to cut them out on her own.

Sold by thepaperazzi.net/store.html for $14, the price included shipping. According to The Paperazzi website, this paper doll book was, "recognized as hot memorabilia by MSNBC..."

The book contains six outfits each for President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. The girls have three outfits each. There is also a Bo paper doll.

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Friday, January 7, 2011

They Got it Right, Part 2 (Michelle Obama by Franklin Mint)

Franklin Mint Michelle Obama

After viewing actual images of Dawn Spears' Michelle Obama doll by Franklin Mint and sharing those images, with her permission, on my Four Words:  They Got It Right! blog of December 10, 2010, I became even more eager for my doll to arrive   The wait is over.  My doll arrived yesterday. 

After opening the well-packaged box and seeing my doll up close and personal for the first time, I added two additional words to my prior four-word description:  She's breathtaking! 

I am very impressed with Franklin Mint's ability to so adequately capture the image of First Lady Michelle Obama in three-dimensional, vinyl doll form.  I love everything about this doll from her well-styled wig to her shapely legs and pedicure. 

In addition to more than adequately capturing First Lady Obama's likeness, quality and attention to detail are evident in every aspect of the doll, clothing, and accessories.  The satin-lined black dress is very well made with a zippered back closure.  The black vinyl pumps fit properly.  The removable wristwatch, two-stranded faux pearl necklace, and faux diamond stud earrings nicely replicate those worn by First Lady Michelle Obama in her official White House portrait.

I took a total of 16 photographs with and without the camera's flash using two cameras.  Before I completed the photo shoot, my husband noticed the doll for the first time and commented, "She looks like Michelle Obama."  I replied, "It is!"   Surprisingly, since he pays very little attention to my dolls, he said, "Finally, someone got it right.  The other ones look nothing like her."  [By other ones, he meant the dolls by Danbury Mint and Ashton-Drake that I purchased and returned.]

By the way, this doll is currently reduced in price at the Franklin Mint website. So if you do not already own it, now is a great time to add it to your collection or inform other doll enthusiasts who might want to do the same.  I believe anyone interested in items that commemorate American history would enjoy owning this doll.   

I uploaded the additional images to my Flickr account.


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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Doll Controversies, Which Ones Can You Recall?

In search of my Flower Power Christie to examine her retro 1970s fashion, Butteryfly Art Christie's (BAC) box caught my eye.  BAC reminded me of the 1999 controversy this doll line caused.  The ability to tatoo Barbie and friends was reportedly a no-no in the minds of many parents who felt the dolls were not a good example for little girls for a couple of reasons:  skimpy outfits and tattoos.   Hmmm.  Did Butterfly Art Barbie and her friends cause "inking" to become commonplace among more females in the last decade? 

Doll controversies usually create little harm for manufacturers because their product gets attention.  Because of  this particular controversy, I purchased Christie, Barbie, Teresa, and Kira!

What other doll controversies (not necessarily Barbie, but she has had a few) can you recall?  Which of these influenced your purchase of the doll?


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Monday, January 3, 2011

Inexpensive Doll Display


This week at Target stores* you can pick up either a 3-shelf bookcase by Room Essentials or a 5-shelf bookcase for $16 and $26, respectively.  Available colors are maple, expresso, and white.  Use these to display Barbies or other similar-sized dolls. I purchased two of the 3-shelf bookcases in maple. They have been assembled to accommodate Barbie Basics and S.I.S. dolls using the two bottom shelves.  The first shelf will accommodate up to 9-1/2 inch standing dolls, smaller standing dolls, or taller dolls that are seated.   The top of the bookcase can also be used for doll display.

At the sale price, these adjustable-shelf bookcases are an inexpensive way to display dolls. Of course they can also be used for books.

:-)

Keep in mind that the shelves bookcases are made of particle board and are very lightweight, especially the back, which is quite thin; but they are still adequate enough for doll display.

*Available in stores only; check your local listing.

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Sunday, January 2, 2011

S.I.S. Pastry, S.I.S. Basic "Concert," & Little Friends

Barbie So In Style Pastry Collection:  Kara, Trichelle, Grace, and Chandra

Today At My Local Walmart:  The S.I.S. Pastry* dolls and S.I.S. Basic "Concert" dolls were in stock along with all three dolls in the S.I.S. Little Friends collection (including Julian!).  The rack that held the Pastry dolls did not contain a price.  The Pastry dolls and Little Friends were $7.97 at Wal-Mart.

Barbie So In Style Basic "Concert" Grace, Trichelle, and Kara

ToysRUs.com:  The S.I.S. Pastry dolls are also available at TRU.com for $11.99 as well as the S.I.S. Basic "Concert" dolls (pictured above), which are $7.99.  TRU.com is currently offering free shipping on everything for orders that total $100 or more.  Images of the dolls are not available at TRU.com, but the Pastry dolls are named and described there.  The Basic "Concert" dolls do not have images and are identified merely as Barbie So In Style 1, 2, and 3 at TRU.com.  I was able to match their numbered descriptions with their actual IDs using the UPC code on the boxes of the dolls pictured above.  If ordered from TRU.com prior to images and full descriptions being added, the Basic "Concert" dolls are as follows:

Barbie So In Style - 1 is Grace (UPC code ending in -3524).
Barbie So In Style - 2 is Trichelle (UPC code ending in - 531).
Barbie So In Style - 3 is Kara (UPC code ending in -3548).

*The Pastry dolls wear authentic Pastry fashions designed by Vanessa and Angela Simmons (daughters of Rev. Run Simmons; nieces of Russell Simmons). 


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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Where the Woodbine Twineth

I took these still shots to capture, study, and share the black doll featured in the 1965 episode of Alfred Hitchcock, "Where the Woodbine Twineth." 



Top to bottom images feature Numa (the doll), Eva (role portrayed by the young actress Eileen Baral), and Suse (the maid, actress Juanita Moore).

Hitchcock's "Where the Woodbine Twineth" is about an orphaned girl who goes to live with her grandfather and his stern sister, her great-aunt.  Grandfather gifts Eva, who already has imaginary friends, with a black doll that she calls, Numa.  In classic Alfred Hitchcock style, a turn of events brings the doll to life (live doll played by actress, Lila Perry). 

After viewing this episode, I wondered whether Numa was on the market in or around 1965 or if she was a mere set doll.  After viewing the episode, taking and examining the still shots, I believe Numa was a white doll painted black/brown. 


Click the play button to watch this 45-minute episode.

Commentary:  During the 1960s when this Alfred Hitchcock episode aired, status and perceived privilege were often  depicted in televised shows as well as in film.  Art imitated life, particularly southern American life where most whites were quite blatant in their actions to prove and maintain their "privilege." The portrayal of  African Americans as insignificant beings or hired help was the unfortunate norm on film and TV, as evidenced in this Hitchcock show.

We've come a long way here in America, but we still have an even longer road to travel. 

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This is it! My Last Online Doll Purchase! I Quit...

...for 2010, that is. But! I resolve in 2011 to be more discerning about my doll purchases.  I will think them over first without allowing my emotions to determine the dolls I buy. The days of thinking, "I've got to have it. She's so cute. I need this one, too. I can't pass up on this price.  She will display well with..." etc. are (need to be) over.  I mean it (this time). 

I resolve to use a "cooling off" or "think it over" period before making the final decision to buy another doll.  I will not conduct spur-of-the-moment-I'm-bored eBay doll searches.  I have already removed several saved eBay searches, as eBay is my main doll buying source, and I will continue to gradually wean myself from it.    
I will do this.  I need to do this.  I am running out of room. 

This, I know, is easier said than done, but I'm determined to curtail my spending.


My last online doll purchase included these four AA Kelly Club dolls, from L-R:  Dress-Up Deidre, Holiday Angel Deidre, Lemonade Stand Tamika, Deidre (dressed as a Barnum's Animals Crackers lion).

Let's use the featured dolls as an example of past emotional purchases. I had no intentions, whatsoever, to buy additional Kelly dolls. I do not even collect them (well, I do own a few, but to actively seek them out has not been part of my doll-collecting modus operandi.  But, I was enabled.  Actually, I enabled myself. 

After owning Kwanzaa Keeya for umpteen years, I got the bright idea to remove her from her box to photograph along with Festivals of the World Kwanzaa Barbie.  Doing this led to the discovery of the  Kelly Club poster enclosed in Kwanzaa Keeya's box, which illustrates several AA Kellys manufactured up to 1999.  These dolls were previously unknown to me.  I immediately went to eBay to search for one of the (I need this one) dolls on the poster, Lemonade Stand Tamika (LST).

In addition to finding LST, the same seller offered the other featured dolls.  How could I not purchase them all and save on shipping, too?  (I asked.)

Going forward, I am going to utilize and further develop my "think it over first" skills to determine whether or not I really need to purchase another doll.  I am also going to limit my eBay visits as well.  Seriously, I am.  I will.  I must


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