Friday, August 31, 2012

Black Bisque Twins Artistically Repaired

Black Bisque Twins, made in Japan, in need of repair

These black bisque twins marked JAPAN on their backs were an eBay find over 10 years ago.   They stand approximately 3 inches and have jointed arms and frozen legs.  Their cherubic faces are not the typical faces of black characters from their circa 1920s to 1930s era.  Their hair is molded, Roaring Twenties-style waves.  Whether they are authentically black or not, I am uncertain.  I have never seen another black pair like them, but have located similar white versions.

They arrived in horrible shape.  One was missing an arm, some of the black paint had been either rubbed off or scraped off, and some insensitive character dotted them sporadically with red paint (was this supposed to represent blood?). My plan was to immediately remove the existing paint or paint over the existing paint and fashion a new arm for the one-armed one.


Out of sight out of mind took on a new meaning with these twins.  After their arrival over a decade ago, they were immediately stored in a desk drawer in my office/doll room until recently when I rediscovered them and placed them on a kitchen shelf above the sink.  I would see them there and remember to begin the restoration (I thought).  Well, before that happened the one with the two arms fell from the shelf into the sink and broke her head!  Good grief!   

On August 19, 2012, I took the initial photograph prior to repainting, varnishing, reattaching the head, and finally sculpting a new arm before painting/varnishing and attached it to the one-armed one.

New arm formed from polymer clay prior to baking

I used a small bit of my husband's polymer clay to fashion an almost identical arm, which was baked in a 215-degree, preheated oven for 30 minutes to harden.  I bore a hole in the upper area of the arm using a small metal rod, which was left in the arm while it baked to prevent the hole from closing.  After baking and cooling, I painted, varnished, and reattached the arm to the doll's body using the existing wire.

Husband (the resident artist) examined the arm after it had been painted and varnished and said, "Hmm.  It's just like the other one!"

"Almost," I said.  "The top portion is a little fatter than the other arm." 

Later that day when Son came home from work, he found me at the kitchen table touching up some areas of the arm that I had missed painting.  Proud of my work, I said, "Look, I made an arm."

"An arm?" Son, asked.

(I explained why I had to do this.)

He (the other resident artist) examined it closely and said:

"Look at you, trying to make something."  After a few-second pause, he continued,

"You 'is' kind.  You 'is' intelligent.  You 'is' artistic."

We both burst into laughter, recalling a scene from The Help wherein Viola Davis's character, Aibileen Clark, recites similar grammatically incorrect affirmations to the little girl she cares for.

Repaired, no longer wounded, 3-inch black bisque twins, circa 1920s-1930s

Even though I am not as artistically inclined as Husband and Son, the twins have been repaired.  Next, I plan to create or purchase a small shadowbox to protect them from future falls, breaks, and scrapes.



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Thursday, August 30, 2012

FDQ Article by D. Behan Garrett on Van's Doll Treasures

I had not planned to post anything today, but decided to share this image and the associated text.

My most recently published article is in the Autumn 2012 Americana issue of Fashion Doll Quarterly, pages 48-53. Readers get a glimpse of Vanessa Morrison's doll dioramas and her overall creative genius.

Check out her blog, if you have not already, to see why I felt compelled to share her with the fashion doll community at large.


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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Images from Live Action Christie's Booklet

After Generation of Dreams Barbie was released, I longed for a Barbie dress that featured Black friends of Barbie.  Since Mattel would not make such a dress, I made two.  I featured the first dress in The Doll Blogs, When Dolls Speak, I Listen.


I scanned images from Live Action Christie's booklet and scaled these to size for printing on a sheet of  T-shirt transfer paper.  The images were then cut out and ironed onto an 11-1/2-inch doll's party dress.  It turned out just okay.

Later, I copied and pasted the images into an Avery #18680 clear address label template.  I printed out the sheet of labels and trimmed the excess label area before applying the images to a Barbie wedding dress.  I've shared this information on my blog before, but I have never shared the individual images.


After recently redressing another doll in the now illustrated wedding gown, I decided to share the images used for the design. 

Images from Live Action Christie's 1971 booklet of Black Barbie friends and separately sold fashions
These dolls and extra fashions were on the market at the time Live Action Christie was released.  Feel free to click to enlarge the image and grab it for yourself.  Note:  If you use the images on T-shirt transfer paper, the associated text will require trimming before applying to the dress as its mirrored version will transfer onto the paper (the letters will be in reverse).  In order to print these as labels, I saved them individually in landscape view prior to the copy and paste step. Some images were used more than once on the dress, but strategically placed so that no two identical images were close.

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Antique Black Baby Articulated Paper Dolls

Black Baby Articulated Paper Doll Littauer and Bauer (Germany) circa 1885, [is a] 9in/22.86cm die cut paper doll with limbs... secured by brass brads.  Dolls were printed smiling with or without teeth and originally sold in envelopes with crepe and tissue paper in assorted colors for the costuming.  (Black Dolls: A Comprehensive Guide to Celebrating, Collecting and Experiencing the Passion, page 334, Photograph courtesy of my dear, late friend, Ruth Manning.)

This is another version of Littauer and Bauer's Black Baby Articulated Paper Doll.

After the publication of my book, Black Dolls..., I found my own antique Black baby articulated paper doll by Littauer and Bauer.  This one wears pink painted-on shoes and has an open smile that exposes its teeth.  Someone, cleverly dressed the doll in permanently attached fabric clothing.  The dress, separate velvet jacket, crepe and paper trimmings are possibly as old as the 1885 paper doll.   I attached the doll to card stock paper, enclosed it in a sheet protector that is stored in a three-ring binder with other loose/cut antique/vintage paper dolls.  A note was added to the sheet of card stock regarding the doll's known provenance.  Click the photo to enlarge to read the description. 

According to 20th Century Paper Dolls Identification and Values by Mary Young (Collector Books, 2006), these paper dolls were actually manufactured by Dennison Manufacturing Company, printed in Germany by Littauer and Bauer.  After World War I, Dennison's paper dolls were printed in the United States.  Young's book documents a set of four different Black babies with different facial expressions.  Each one has painted-on shoes of different colors.  They are referred to by Young as African babies.

Recently I was led to a completed eBay auction for a set of four Dennison/Littauer and Bauer Black (African) baby articulated paper dolls about which Young writes and values at $35 each in her book.  Although I did not win the auction and neither did the person who led me to it, I was fascinated to see together what I believe is the complete set, but sorry the doll-friend who wanted them missed winning the auction.  I would have also loved being the lucky high bidder who won the auction for $46. 

The doll historian in me reared her head with a desire to document the existence of this wonderful set of antique Black paper dolls.  With head reared, on July 20, 2012, I emailed the seller asking permission to include the auction image in a future blog post.  This is that post.
 
Four different 9-inch/22.86cm articulated Black or African babies by Dennison Manufacturing Co., printed in Germany by Littauer and Bauer, circa 1885, believed to be the complete set.  Dolls' facial expressions and shoe colors differ.   This auction did not include the dolls' original brass brads for attaching their articulated body parts.  - Photo courtesy of eBay seller, olebuttonz.
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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Francie Comparisons for Ms. Leo

My Fuchsia 'N Fur Francie Has Arrived! post of August 20, 2012, received a comment from Ms. Leo of I-Luv-Dolls.  I have copied an excerpt of the comment that contains a few questions Ms. Leo posed.

... This face [sculpt] looks closer to the vintage Francie. The Wild Bunch and Glad about had a flatter nose and the Smashin' Satin's head seemed to be narrower. The new [Fuchsia] N Fur looks spot on!

Is she on a slim Francie body? I couldn't tell from photos. In photos her legs look curvy and not the thin legs of the older doll. BTW, Is it wrong to wish for articulation on this type of doll? Is just the body silkstone or is the head too.
In my reply to Ms. Leo, I promised to do a Francie comparison to provide accurate answers to her questions. 

The dolls used for the comparison:
  • Original Francie from childhood
  • Wild Bunch (WB) Francie, a 1997 reproduction of the 1st black ("colored") Francie
  • Fuchsia 'N Fur (FnF), the 2nd, most recent reproduction black/African American Francie
Original 1965 Francie, Wild Bunch Francie (1997), Fuchsia 'N Fur Francie (2012)

In the above image of the three dolls, you can immediately see that WB Francie (the doll in the center) has a different head sculpt than the original Francie on the left and the most recent repro doll on the right.  WB Francie's nose is not as keen as the other two (click the image to enlarge).  Her eyes appear larger as well.  I did not remove her from the box lining so I was unable to examine her body and legs, but I have concluded that WB Francie is basically a different doll than the original and now the 2nd reproduction doll.


Wild Bunch Francie and Fuchsia 'N Fur comparison headshot (WB Francie's face and nose are both fuller; her eyes are, too).  This picture has too much flash; FnF's color is off as a result.


Original Francie and Fuchsia 'N Fur share the same head sculpt.

Fuchsia 'N Fur's head sculpt, as Ms. Leo put it, "looks spot on" when compared to the original.  She is on a slim body like the original doll.  Both dolls have slightly arched feet, but that is where their similarities end.

Their differences are:
Hairstyle and color
Rooted eyelash length and fullness (original Francie's eyelashes are longer, not as bushy as FnF's).
Eyeshadow and lip color

Hand comparison:  WB and original Francie have same hands.

Hands:  WB and original doll have same cupped hands with fingers molded together; FnF's middle and ring fingers are molded together; the thumb, index, and little fingers are separate.

Leg comparison -- original Francie and FnF Francie

Different Legs:  Original doll has straight legs with bendable knees. FnF has shapely, stationary legs because they are Silkstone.  The right knee is slightly bent.

Body markings differ:

Original Francie is marked on the inside rim of her head:  ©1965 Mattel Inc / Japan

On her lower right buttock:  ©1965
Mattel, Inc.
U.S. Patented
U.S. Pat. Pend
Made in
Japan
Fuchsia 'N Fur is marked on her neck: ©1965 Mattel
On her back:
16421
©2010 Mattel
Made in Indonesia

Finally, the original Francie has a soft vinyl face, arms, and legs, and a plastic body.  Fuchsia 'N Fur is made of Silkstone.

Side Note 1:  According to The Ultimate Barbie Doll Book by Marcie Melillo (Krause Publications, 1996), the original black Francie's markings are the same as the original white version's with one exception.  The copyright year on her lower right buttock reads ©1966.

Side Note 2: Before the 1st and 2nd reproduction of black Francie, I longed to own an original black version and had been willing to pay book value had I found one in mint condition.  With reproductions that closely resemble the original, this is one collector who no longer desires nor needs an original.    

dbg

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Fuchsia 'n Fur Francie Has Arrived!

Fuchsia 'n Fur Francie by Black Doll Enthusiast
Fuchsia 'n Fur Francie, a photo by Black Doll Enthusiast on Flickr.
Fuchsia 'n Fur Francie arrived this afternoon. I took several photos of her including her shipper. All have been uploaded to flicker.

Mattel's use of Velcro on her cap is disappointing. A snap would have been more appropriate for the time period the doll represents. Otherwise, I love her!

View her photo shoot here.




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Delighted by Horsman's 1929 Black Peterkin

Black Peterkin Girl by Horsman, 1929 in need of restoration, photographed with book image of another Black Peterkin Girl

In May of this year, I found this cherub-looking, black version of Horsman's circa 1929 Peterkin doll.  Her extensive vitiligo-looking facial paint rubs probably staved off interest from other bidders and helped me win the auction for a steal.

After the doll's arrival, I entered the following description into my doll inventory Excel spread sheet prior to taking before pictures.

May - Horsman, 1929 - Black Peterkin

13-1/2-inch doll marked E.I.H. Co. Inc., composition head, full arms, full legs; cloth body; wears period-appropriate floral dress, matching bonnet, one-piece underwear; brown painted eyes, black molded hair.

Closer look at the extensive paint rubs

Weeks led to months before the opportune time presented itself to restore her facial pigment and other areas of her composition surface where the original paint had lifted.  Other than that, she had a few crazed areas where the surface had lifted or cracked.  These were all minor cosmetic issues that were easily remedied using an on-hand, water-base acrylic paint mixture of toffee, coffee bean, and raw sienna.  After drying, the paint was sealed with a water-base satin varnish.  Some of the paint rubs, particularly on the doll's head, which were minor, were left as evidence of her aging process.  I made socks for her and found some on-hand, period-appropriate shoes before taking her after photographs.

Black Peterkin Girl now
Full view of Black Peterkin Girl wearing bonnet that matches dress; handmade socks, and period-appropriate shoes

In Collector's Guide to Horsman Dolls Identification and Values 1865 - 1950 by Don Jensen (Collector Books, 2002), the author writes:

In 1916, Peterkin was one of Horsman's first all-composition dolls, made of the new hot-pressed composition, Adtocolite.  Peterkin became one of the most popular character dolls of the composition doll era.  [Helen Fox] Trowbridge* [a young sculptress] modeled the original Peterkin...(page 82).

In 1929, Horsman brought back an old familiar name, Peterkin, though it was not the same all-composition doll that had been introduced in 1918, and marketed into the early 1920s.  The new Peterkin family, which came in a wide range of outfits from rompers to Boy Scout and golf caddy uniforms, bore a strong resemblance to the Campbell Kids... Horsman's new Peterkin had a composition flange head and limbs with a cloth body.  It was marked EIH © Inc.  (Page 131.)

On page 131 of Jensen's book, he values a 13-inch male Peterkin from the late 1920s era at $350 while a 14-inch Peterkin Girl was valued $250.  Both are white dolls.  On page 132, a Peterkin Scout (another white doll dressed in full scout's uniform) was assessed a value of  $$600.  A doll identical to my girl was given a 2002 book value** of $300.00.  Based on the book images, these dolls were in much better condition than my doll.

I did not mind the minor elbow grease required to restore my doll back to a presentable state, no matter her assessed book value.  I enjoy acquiring black dolls from periods long before my existence.  I often wonder about their "lives" before they reached me.  Who were their prior owners?  Did they provide them delight?  Were they loved?  If they could talk, what stories would they tell, etc.?  Sometime their condition answers these questions for me.  In the case of my Peterkin Girl, her condition, other than the missing paint, was basically pristine for her age of 83 years.  Her body was extremely clean as were her clothing, which may or may not be original to the doll.  I believe her previous owner(s) loved her dearly.

Will she provide delight for me?  Yes.  Will she be loved by me?  Yes... for many years to come, I hope.


*Jensen searches for information on Helen Fox Trowbridge

**Book Value is the current market value assessed for a doll or other collectible by an official appraiser or other person with vast knowledge about said item.  Value is based on original cost, current condition, and market trends.  Regardless of book value or other perceived future potential value, a doll or other collectible is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it at a given time.  Book value should never be considered the price at which an item should be purchased or sold.  It is to be used as a general guide. 

dbg

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Fuchsia ‘n Fur™ Francie® -- It's a Done Deal!

Fuchsia ‘N Fur Francie
Pictures from Barbiecollector.com
Graphic editing by mood4mod/Flickr


I marked today's date and set a Windows Mail calendar reminder last week for 11:00 a.m. CST, then scribbled the name (Francie) on a piece of paper last night and placed it on my keyboard as a final reminder to order Barbie Fan Club-exclusive Fuchsia ‘n Fur™ Francie® today at the time mentioned.

My order has been placed with confirmation printed out.  Now I await the arrival of what will be my second manufactured African American/black (no-longer colored) Francie.


Dyed-brown 30th Anniversary Francie and Wild Bunch Francie have 1996 box dates but were released in 1997.
Fuchsia 'n Fur Francie will number five Francies to reside here.  The others include my original childhood doll (shown on the far right here), a reproduction 30th anniversary doll (box date 1996, not shown), another repro 30th that I dyed brown (shown above) before Mattel released Wild Bunch Francie a few months later in 1997 (also shown above).  I do not and probably never will own the original 1967 "Colored" Francie (the first black Francie's original name). 

With my $20 Barbie Fan Club reward for this quarter and BarbieCollector.com's current discount of $10 off orders totaling $50 to $74.99, the doll's retail of $74.95 was reduced to $44.95 plus tax, shipping, and handling.

Woo hoo!  Naturally, as an unfocused (but doing better) black-doll enthusiast, I eagerly anticipate Francie's arrival as much as I anticipated ordering her!  (I have now exhaled.)

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Forgotten But Not Lost


The Gold Label doll that arrived in this box was designed by Bill Greening.  It was released by Mattel on August 1, 2007, at a retail price of $115.00. I purchased my doll during a BarbieCollector.com blow-out sale for $47.95 in September 2008.   At the time of purchase, I was not heavily into Barbie or other fashion dolls. As a result, this super-lovely doll with pivotal body and 12 points of articulation (!) remained in her original box and shipper in a bedroom closet where other dolls, mostly babies, are stored.

Also stored in that closet are remaining quantities of my 1st and 3rd books. After selling a copy of the 1st book recently, which leaves a total of one remaining copy, I stumbled upon this shipper and wondered which doll it contained.

Jazz Diva Barbie in original box with microphone, 2 extra wigs (auburn, blonde), mock dressing table, make-up palette, back stage ensemble, box of roses with a good luck note card from Ken, and doll stand.

I relished at the sight of Jazz Diva Barbie and at the sight of the September/Fall 2007 issue of Barbie Collector magazine, which features the doll on the cover.  I had securely placed the magazine inside the shipper with the doll. Both had been forgotten for years but will be enjoyed out of the box (the shipper box, that is) from now on. I am not sure when or if I will release Jazz Diva from her box because she looks so perfect in her current setting, a perfect diorama for a jazz diva. I would like to enjoy seeing the different looks her two extra wigs provide and the poses she can strike with her pivotal, articulated body.  Maybe I will soon.

Jazz Diva's extra wigs
After this pleasant rediscovery, I noticed that the production doll does not appear to use the same head sculpt as the prototype doll.  The production doll's complexion is also darker than the prototype's.  These two actualities are positives in my book.


Close-up of Jazz Diva Barbie; isn't she lovely?

Does anyone know which head sculpt the production doll uses?

Jazz Diva's full description with prototype image can be read at the Barbiecollector.com website:
Jazz Diva™ Barbie® Doll | Barbie Collector.

Is there an updated Barbie and family head sculpt database anywhere on the Internet other than Kattis's, which has not been updated since the early 2000s?

dbg

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Friday, August 10, 2012

Re-Bodied Determination

The reader is referred to the recent makeover given Fashion Fever Kayla.

LIV's Making Waves Alexis and Fashion Fever Kayla prior to the body swap

I found a LIV Alexis for a decent price online with free shipping to replace Kayla's non-articulated body.

After her new body donor arrived, Kayla examined her from head to toe prior to giving consent for the surgical procedure she was about to undergo.  I had already explained the risks, benefits, alternatives, and possible complications of the procedure to Kayla. The risks included but were not limited to improper neck joint fit, neck joint damage, scarring, shorter stature, and the possible need for a different outfit and/or shoes. The alternative was to do nothing and remain non-articulated.  Kayla felt the benefits of articulation outweighed the possible risks and gave her full informed consent to undergo the procedure.  I did not bother getting a consent from Alexis because she understood her fate. 

The procedure was conducted in a day surgery setting and took less than 30 minutes including recovery time and redressing.  Photos of what took place follow:


The body exchange has taken place in the above image.  Kayla is recovering nicely, waiting for her clothing, and hoping her Limbe Dolls black lace lingerie will fit her new body. 


The Limbe Dolls lingerie is a nice fit on Kayla's new body.  She and I are both happy about this.  The Stardoll ankle boots that she was wearing before are also a better fit on her new feet without the need to Saran-wrap them.


Kayla thanked me profusely for performing the procedure.  She is thrilled that she can now either sit or stand and position herself in several other poses if desired.

As for Alexis... well, I thought her over-sized head was destined for the doll-head cemetery, but she had other plans.


Determined to remain in doll world, Alexis wanted and now has Kayla's former non-articulated body.  She borrowed Moxie Teenz Bijou's Afro wig, dressed herself in a Barbie Fashionistas pink print dress, and found shoes to match.  Now that's what I call determination.  



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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Baby Nancy ~ Shindana's First Doll

Operation Bootstrap (OB) was formed in 1965 by two African American gentleman in the aftermath of the Watts, California riots, which began on August 11, 1965, and ended August 15, 1965.  In an attempt to rebuild the community, provide job training, and jobs for community residents, Louis Smith and Robert Hall are said to have organized OB with a $1,000 loan from an AA businessman.

As a result of Smith and Hall's dedication, Shindana Toys, a Division of Operation Bootstrap, opened its doors in 1968.  Local residents were employed in the Shindana doll factory, thus achieving OB's goal to provide jobs for poor African Americans and improve the economy in their community.  Follow the Operation Bootstrap (history) link below for an in-depth overview of the company, its founders, and other divisions designed to uplift the Watts (Los Angeles), California community.

From 1968 through 1983, Shindana Toys designed and manufactured dolls that looked like real black people.  Their motto was:  Dolls Made by a Dream.  Shindana, which means competitor in Swahili,  trained and employed doll makers and became the nation's largest manufacturer of black dolls and games.

Baby Nancy #1, Shindana's first doll, ©1968
 Baby Nancy (1968) was Shindana's first doll.  Several versions were released.  According to image #36 in the Operation Bootstrap Gallery PDF file (see link below), the first Baby Nancy had short curly, rooted hair.  Baby Nancy #2 had two long side ponytails with bangs.  The hair color for both versions was black.  In the image above, Baby Nancy dolls on the left and right wear their original multicolored dresses.  The use of different fabrics for dolls that may have been produced in the same year was a common practice for Shindana Toys because they used what was available.  The doll in the middle is a played-with, redressed version of Baby Nancy #1.

Baby Nancy Paper dolls, 1971

As shown above, there were also Baby Nancy paper dolls printed by Whitman ©1971, in the likeness of the second, two side ponytail with bangs, version.  The boxed set includes 23 punch-out fashions, the 9-1/2 inch doll, and plastic stand. 



Baby Nancy, ©1969, gets new face.

The Baby Nancy shown above, stock #2002, has a box copyright date of 1969 and was probably released to market in 1970.  Stock #2003 Baby Nancy, released the same year, had short curly hair.  Both dolls use the Zuri (1972) face mold.  Zuri, which means beautiful in Swahili, was another Shindana baby. 

While Shindana Toys received funding and technical assistance from outside sources such as Mattel and Chase Manhattan Bank, initially it maintained full control of its products and operations.  In 1974, Shindana became the first black-owned company to lease space at New York Toy Fair, gaining national recognition. Unfortunately, decline in profits ensued after the 1976 tragic death of Shindana's original president and one of the original organizers of Operation Bootstrap, Lou Smith

Baby Nancy helped pave the way for the hundreds of dolls Shindana Toys produced.  The doll's manufacture changed the Watts riot chant of "Burn, Baby Burn!" to "Learn, Baby Learn!" and pulled "unemployables up by the bootstraps into paying jobs." Operation Bootstrap (history) 

Non-enlargeable thumbnails of additional early Shindana dolls along with images of key players who organized Operation Bootstrap can be viewed in the Operation Bootstrap Gallery.

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Monday, August 6, 2012

The White House Project

Barbie® I Can Be…™ President B Party™ Doll (click the images to enlarge)
I saw sufficient quantities of Barbie® I Can Be… President at Target last week for $13.99 and  incorrectly assumed I could purchase online since I have not used this quarter's Barbie Fan Club reward (worth $20 off a purchase amount above $20).  After checking online, I discovered the doll is now sold out at BarbieCollector.com.   I returned to Target yesterday where quantities were not as plentiful for the African American version.  I immediately carted my doll. 

Barbie I Can Be President B Party Doll has new head sculpt.

It should be noted that the doll I purchased does not have the Desiree head sculpt as shown at BarbieCollector.com.  The face is similar, but is clearly different.  The head does not appear as over-sized as the Desiree sculpt; the eyes are closer set; the face is wider, and the cheek bones a little more prominent.  I like the new face!


President Barbie and Fashionista Artsy (Desiree sculpt) in a comparison head shot.  There is too much flash on Artsy's face, but you should be able to see they are different.


According to the front of doll's box, she can "literally" stand on her own.  I think her clunky pink shoes aid in this ability.  As far as articulation goes, the knees are not articulated, but both elbows and wrists are.

Interestingly, the back of the box illustrates a full length image of the doll using the Desiree head sculpt.

Back of the I Can Be Barbie President box which includes the B Party slogan and motto (click to enlarge)


The designer of this doll's fashion is Chris Benz, whose head shot, which includes pink hair, and brief bio are also on the back of the box.


I will eventually debox President Barbie, but for now, I will enjoy her in the box. 

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Saturday, August 4, 2012

In Search of Christie Love

The Get Christie Love TV series ran for one year from 1974 through 1975 on ABC, airing at 10 p.m. EST on Wednesdays.  Not a weekly viewer, I do recall occasionally witnessing the crimes actress, Teresa Graves solved while working undercover as a prostitute or otherwise incognito. In the process of the villain's apprehension, Christie would always say, "You're Under Arrest, Sug-ah!"  The hour-long TV series was preceded by a TV movie of the same name. Graves is credited as being the first African American actress to star in an hour-long show. 

Prior to her one-year stint as Christie Love, Graves performed on Rowan and Martin's Laugh In from 1969 through 1970.  

After I began collecting dolls in 1991, I became aware of the circa 1975 Get Christie Love doll and had the opportunity to purchase one.  For reasons beyond my knowledge, I declined.  Today, some 21 years after discovering the 1/6 scale doll's existence, I regret not seizing the opportunity to own one.

I have scoured the Internet and cannot even locate a picture of this elusive doll.  I also cannot remember the manufacturer.  Mego, manufacturer of the 1970s Sonny and Cher, Diana Ross, Farah Fawcett, and other celebrity dolls, possibly made the Get Christie Love doll; but I cannot be certain.  LJN is another possibility. 

I purchased the Get Christie Love movie on DVD a few years ago.  After watching it, I was rather disturbed by its sexist and racist content.  The "N" word was used frequently and Christie was also often disrespected by males as well as female characters.  In spite of this, she held her own and became the victor of sorts in the end.

Teresa Graves as Get Christie Love, a Wikipedia.com photo

Graves reminds me of a young Whitney Houston.  After viewing a clip of the movie prior to writing this post, I even noticed similarities in Graves' and Houston's voices.   See the clip below.  (A language precaution is  issued for the racial slurs, but I won't issue one for violence because the physical confrontations pale in comparison to what is seen on film today.)



Teresa Graves ended her acting career in 1983 and died tragically in a fire at her Los Angeles home in 2002 at the age of 54. 

I am in search of the Get Christie Love doll.  If you have one or know someone who does who is willing to part with it for a reasonable price, please let me know.  For now, I'll even settle for a picture until the doll is located.

For those interested, a link is shared to the 1-hour and 13-minute Get Christie Love movie.

 

dbg

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Friday, August 3, 2012

Queens of Africa Follow-up Videos

Near the end of the first video, Taofick Okoya discusses the quality of his Queens of Africa dolls, the materials used for their clothing, as well as their fully rooted hair.  While not articulated, they do have bendable knees, comparable to a basic playline Barbie.  Some had expressed concerns regarding the dolls' quality.  This video should put those concerns to rest.



In this next video Okoya continues to promote his line of black dolls created to promote self-esteem in Nigerian little girls.  If brought to the US, they would certainly do the same for African American girls as well as teach others about the Nigerian culture.  Enjoy the theme song.




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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Glam Barbie's New Wig

Brown curly wig by Limbe Dolls

Glam Barbie with Asha face was introduced here after finding at Big Lots in 2009, purchased because of her red, knee-high boots.

After reading Limbe Dolls' Yogalicious post and seeing the brown curly locks wig worn by the yoga "instructor," Bea Garrett, I wanted this style wig for one of my girls.  I had no idea which doll would enjoy wearing it mainly because I did not want to cut any of my dolls' hair.  

Braided original hair is tucked under in back.

Instead of cutting her hair to accommodate the wig, I gave Glam Barbie two braids, fastened the ends together with a rubber band, and tucked the ends under at the nape of her neck. The wig cap does not completely cover the braids in the back, but the curls of the wig provide the necessary coverage.

Curly locks wig from the back
 As a rule, I do not rename my dolls, but in this case, Glam Barbie has been renamed Paulette, after the Limbe Dolls author and maker of her new wig.

Paulette, sitting pretty

Paulette may eventually get a body upgrade, but for now she sits on my computer hutch where I can enjoy her new look on a daily basis. 

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