Saturday, November 24, 2012

Riviera and Rock Star Are In the House

I am not a Black Friday in-store shopper and never have been, but for doll sales, I made an exception this year, one day early.

Because of their Thanksgiving Day-only, buy one get one 70% off on all toys sale, I visited three local Family Dollar stores on Thanksgiving Day.  I arrived at the first store at about 8:05 a.m. (they opened at 8 a.m.)  I chose this store first because I had not yet checked their stock of Fashion Madness Kenya dolls and was eager to see what they had to offer.

A few weeks ago, the stock of Kenya dolls was rather depleted at the original store where I purchased my first doll, Movin On Kenya. At the time of Movin On's purchase, that store had only one of the other dolls I wanted, Rock Star, and it had a ripped seam in the side of the pants.  I wasn't sure if they had fresh stock available so I traveled to another Family Dollar first on Thanksgiving Day.

This store (the first one I visited on Thanksgiving) had all six girls in stock, but their odd property loss prevention method was disappointing in the eyes of this doll collector.  The plastic security sensor was taped to the side of the box with several evolutions of PACKAGING TAPE.  This taping method included taping the front center cellophane.  This is the only Family Dollar I have visited that uses this security method.  Why did I come here?  I was not sure if any of the other stores would have Rock Star at regular price and another doll I could buy for $6 or 70% off, so I relented and purchased two dolls there and painstakingly watched the cashier rip the side tape to remove the security sensor without any apparent regard to preserving the dolls' boxes.  "It's a good thing, I plan to debox Rock Star," I thought.  I wasn't sure how I was going to handle the remaining tape on Riviera's box since the plan was not to debox her.   



I paid for my dolls and left.  Inside the car, I gingerly removed the tape from both boxes, and just as I feared, there was lots of glue residue on the cello of each.  As I lifted Riviera's box, I saw her purse fall from her arm, but thought little of it.  From that store, my plan was to visit three more Family Dollar stores, but I actually only went to two more only because I inadvertently missed a turn on a street that would have led me to the store I did not visit.

The next store I visited was the store where I had recently witnessed a shoplifter get apprehended.  I went there specifically to see if the boys, T J and Hang Dwayne*, were in stock.  No such luck.  They only had the "same doll dressed in a different outfit," which is what the tall store clerk kept saying as he handed me each doll's box.  I had solicited his help because their more sensible security measure is to stock the dolls on an unreachable, overhead shelf in lieu of using a taped-on sensor.  I playfully hit him on the arm and instructed, "Stop saying that [same doll dressed in a different outfit]."  I explained, "I'm looking for males.  They are supposed to have males.  Look on the back of the box and you'll see one of them."   He did, and referring to TJ said, "I haven't seen this bald dude.  I've only seen the 'same girls dressed in different outfits'"  Okay, I did, I gave him a final swat but thanked him for helping me before I left the store empty handed. (Yes, Vanessa... I hit him.)

Next, I pointed my car in the direction of home but dropped in to check the stock of the Family Dollar nearest me where I thought the Kenya stock would still be depleted.  Boy was I wrong! 

They had a massive Fashion Madness display right at the front of the store across from the first checkout stall.  The display was filled with two or three shelved rows of dolls in pristine boxes  Unfortunately, no boys were in stock there either.  During this visit, I purchased a couple of household things, left, and went home, disappointed in myself for not going there first.  Oh well... I'll just have to live with a sticky box, I decided.

Back at home, I examined the dolls again from inside their boxes to be certain I had not missed any flaws.   On closer inspection of Riviera, I noticed the pink plastic handle had broken off her handbag and was also at the bottom of the box with the bag.  "Oh heck no," I thought, I'm taking this one back and not to the store where I purchased it.

I made a second trip to the store with the massive Fashion Madness display, the store nearest me... the store I should have gone to at 8:05 a.m. Thanksgiving morning.  I handed the bagged doll with receipt inside the bag to the store manager, who was working the register and told her the reason I needed to exchange it.  She said, "Here (handing me the empty bag and receipt after removing the damaged doll), just get the one you want and you're good."  Now that's what I call customer service.  After closely examining three Riviera's, I noticed that one had the same issue of broken purse handle as the one I was returning.  I put that one back, examined two others and chose the best of those two.  To the store manager as I left, I held up Riviera's box and said, "Got it.  Thank you sooooo much!"


Thanksgiving Day purchases from Family Dollar:  Fashion Madness Kenya Riviera (the one I exchanged for the damaged doll) and Rock Star Kenya.  (If you look closely at Rock Star's box after clicking the image to enlarge, you might be able to see some of the tape residue on the middle of the box from the store's ill-thought out security measure).

Rock Star will be deboxed soon.  I have special plans for her.  I do not have immediate plans to debox Riviera, which is why I wanted a good doll in a good box.  It is her picture that appears on the front of the booklet that accompanies each Fashion Madness doll.  This is the reason I want to keep her pristine, for a while at least. 

*See the entire planned Fashion Madness Kenya line, and scroll to the bottom to see the guys, TJ and Hang Dwayne, here.

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22 comments:

  1. Oh no you didn't hit him. LOL! Congrats! Your trip sounded like my Big Lot trips a couple of months ago. I exercised major constraint and didn't buy any doll stuff on Black Friday. I even had items in my Barbiecollector cart and put them back. I had considered going to Family Dollar after seeing your post. On Thanksgiving day, as I traveled to my dinner destination, we passed at least 7 Family Dollars. Is this a sign, I thought? Or a test? I felt my willpower was being tested. I passed the test. I do plan to get a couple of these dolls in the future if they are still available. Had the men been available I would have failed that test.

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  2. :-)

    I'm proud of you. What willpower (thanks to the absence of the men, I guess).

    Me... a whole 'nother story. I had to see if the men were available after learning that Hang will be available.

    Hope you had a great Thanksgiving.

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  3. Sigh ... now I want them ALL ... well, at least one of each. Thanks for enabling ;-)

    Kidding ... I look forward to adding new faces to my crew.

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    1. I didn't mean to enable you, D7ana, but you're welcome.

      :-)

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  4. Oh no. I missed the 70% sale. I went to Toys R Us today and found that they have the Kenya dolls too for the same price minus the big $20 sign on the front of the box. They did not have the guys.

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    1. I'm sorry you missed Family Dollar's sale, MDW.

      I thought these dolls were $16.99 at Toys R Us.

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    2. So sad. They are/were listed for $16.99 online at TRU when I last checked. Some were not available for online ordering and no images were up when I checked.

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  5. Great choices, Debbie! On my first trip to Family Dollar, I held Movin On and Rock Star in my hands and had trouble deciding between the two. I wanted the little guitar with Rock Star, but I liked everything else about Movin on, so chose that one. When I went back for the sale, I didn't get Rock Star because I felt that it was too similar to Movin On. When choosing a second doll, I had a tough time deciding between Beverly Hills and Riviera. As I inspected them closely, I saw that Riviera had a small chip in the tip of her nose, so I chose Beverly Hills. Thanks for sharing your purchases. Let me know when you spot the guys!

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    1. Thanks Roxanne. I didn't buy Rock Star initially because she is similar to Movin On, whose outfit was the deciding factor between the purchase of the two.

      After purchasing Fireside Chat a week or two later, her face prompted an idea, but her hairstyle and complexion were not what I needed. Rock Star came to mind as the perfect doll for what I needed. I knew I would buy her eventually. This sale was the eventually.

      I noticed what appeared to be a nose rub on all the Riviera Kenyas, including the one I have now. I hope that's all it is. The tip of the nose appears to have rubbed against the plastic front of the box making the tip dull.

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  6. Congrats! This store was on my list to visit and in the end I just couldn't get up the energy. I'm still going to wait on TJ and I see from your link that their are two of him now.

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    1. Thanks, Muff. I am looking forward to getting TJ and Hang. I hope they are released before Christmas and that FD has another buy one get one sale like this one.

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  7. enjoyed your post..you sound like me when I am on a mission..it's like I become possessed. How is the hair quality on the rock Star doll? Is it thickly rooted?
    Have a great Sunday!

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    1. Hi James,


      Possessed is a perfect way to describe my new doll pursuit.

      I haven't deboxed Rock Star yet. Her hairstyle is the same as Movin On, whose hair is thick and closely rooted.

      I would not recommend ordering these dolls online if deboxing is planned. You need to see them in person to examine for obvious flaws like missed seams and broken accessories. These are two flaws I have encountered.

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  8. Love them all! I need to come to where your stores are LOL, I have yet to see these dolls in any store near me or elsewhere ! Im on the hunt for them! Maybe I will find at least one!!!
    Congrats on getting yours :-)

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    1. Thanks, Chynadoll. Have you checked Toys R Us or CVS (if CVS is in your area)?

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  9. I have seen these at a couple of Family Dollar stores down here in NC..the stores are so cluttered with toys and other things you may miss them..I found 3 different kinds on the bottom shelf behind some boxes..they look nice but I decided I had spent too much money lately..I done some damage on e-bay and amazon in the past few weeks..not to mention buying a couple of those cheap Barbie clones at big lots just for the clothes..Kari Mitchell?..but I love this time of year..you never know what you will find in the stores.

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  10. This is definitely the time of year to find new and plentiful stock of playline dolls in local stores.

    The Kari Michell outfits look nice. I have three dolls that I have yet to debox, but I will eventually.

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  11. Funny story Debbie : ). I was able to get Fireside Chat and Movin On. They had them all minus TJ, her bestie and little sister. I plan to get Rock Star as well one day. I am hoping that Fireside Chat skin tone matches the darker skin toned Mattel dolls that I have so that I can possible do a couple as body swaps. I need to debox her soon and see.

    Happy Sunday and great post!

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    1. Congratulations on your purchases GG. I guess we will just have to keep waiting for TJ, Denise, and Keyshia.

      I was thinking that Fireside Chat would be a nice body donor for some of the Mattel girls, too.

      Happy Sunday to you.

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  12. Fun to hear about your Black Friday shopping expedition. To all who plan to use the Fashion Madness dolls as body donors -- use an exacto knife to cut the head off the neck post. Ms. Leo said that she broke hers trying to do a head swap. When I deboxed my first one, I saw that the plastic is rather brittle so I didn't want to take any chances on spoiling the head swap.

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    1. Thank you for the tip on removing the heads, Limbe Dolls.

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