Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!



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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Blogger's Nonfunctional Search Gadget


I recently discovered the optional search gadget offered by Blogger no longer works.  I installed the search box on my blog for both my benefit and for the benefit of readers looking for specific blog posts.

I relied heavily on this feature to quickly locate past blog posts that I reference in new posts.  Since it no longer works, I needed an alternative.   I found and installed Google's Custom Search Engine.  I set it up to search my entire blog when readers enter keywords into the search box.  Unfortunately, it is not configured to open up a second window with the search results.  The reader is moved from the home page of the blog to a new window where the search results are listed. 

Hopefully Blogger will repair the glitch in their search box feature.  Until then, I and those who need it, can use Google Custom Search. 

To create your own Google Custom Search box,
Go here.
Watch the video or click the link to begin creating (which is what I did).

After adding the URL and extensions (your blog's URL and areas to be searched), you will copy the code;
Open the Layout feature of your blog;
Select the HTML gadget from the layout;
Copy the code there;
Save.

Note:  I used the two URLs and extension examples shown below to allow searches to be conducted from my entire site and all subdomains of it:
http//theURLofMyBlog.com/*
*.http//theURLofMyBlog.com

I hope this helps!


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Monday, November 25, 2013

Fashion Icons Janay

Integrity Toys Fashion Icons Janay, 2003

Sought and found!  Integrity Toys Fashion Icons Janay from 2003 has now been marked off my wish list.  She is as lovely as I expected.  No words are necessary to describe her beauty.  I will allow the photos to illustrate this.

She is gorgeous!

Janay shows off her Kool-Aid red streaks as she engages her beau.

Fashion Icons Tariq is happy Janay has arrived, too.
The lovely faux leather-clad couple pose for one final photo.




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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Yoromong and Ami


Yoromong and Ami by Philip Heath, 1992
Another pair of dolls has been removed from my want list and deleted from my eBay saved search list:  Yoromong and Ami by Philip Heath, copyright 1992.

I have been aware of this 24-inch brother and sister pair for several years but did not begin a secondary-market search for them until approximately a year ago.  They have frequently been offered on eBay usually as a pair but also in single-doll auctions.  Past previous both-doll auction prices were always more than I desired to pay, until the ones that were supposed to be mine were offered.

Ami is missing the her water gourd that should be held on a string wrapped around her neck.  Yoromong is missing his wooden staff.  Their boxes (which I did not want) and certificates of authenticity did not accompany them.

Minus the price I paid, my Excel Doll Inventory spread sheet entry for this pair is copied below. The columns are for month of purchase, manufacturer/artist's name, doll(s) name(s), and description:

October Philip Heath/Gotz/A World of Children Collection Ami and Yoromong 24-inch vinyl (mostly) with cloth from waist to upper thighs and mid upper arms, brother and sister dolls:  Ami is marked PSH/194-20 (on head) and PSH on back of shoulder plate.  Yoromong's back marks are the same.  His head is marked, 193-20/PSH.  Yoromong has black molded hair.  Ami has a black wig styled in ponytail with curly loose ends.  Four braids extend from the hairline over her muslin headband, held with muslin tie.  Both have brown stationary eyes with painted upper eyelashes.  Ami wears a navy blue and black African print top, pants, and wrap skirt; off white gauze jacket; dark brown and tan beaded bracelet, leather cord necklace with coin/medal that reads on front:  HUNG BOH LOMBEI  VEN -1/4 FL 1859.  Yoromong wears a navy blue and black African print jacket that matches the print of Ami's top, pants, and skirt; off white gauze balloon bottom pants, brown and tan anklet, added off-white  bead bracelet , leather necklace with coin that reads on front:  BUNDESREPUBLIK DEUTCHLAND 1976; on back:  2 PFENNING.  Both dolls have bare feet. 


Tan beaded bracelet and anklet added by me.

Both dolls had an original 1990s retail of $500.00 each.  They usually sell for $350 for the pair on the secondary market based on condition.  Ami alone has sold recently for $200.  I paid less than this for my pair, including shipping.

About Philip Heath (from the Dollery website, revised, updated:  "Philip was a master at  capturing a child's heart and soul.  All his dolls were sculpted after real children... He sculpted for Gotz for quite a few years, who in turn produced his dolls in vinyl. They started at $500.00 and ended up around $2,000 at the end.  He often sculpted a child after a real child seen in his travels... Philip decided to leave Gotz in 2000 and explore other avenues.  In 2001 he opened his own company."   Heath, age 62, died November 28, 2011, in Worcestershire, United Kingdom.
 
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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Lizette Loves Peach

Wigged out Lizette models a hand sewn fashion and shows off the boxed Ellowyne Wilde fashion, Just Peachy.

Wigged out Lizette received two new outfits recently, well actually three.  She has had the blue dress she is wearing in the picture above since September.  It was a surprise fashion purchased from one of the artist members of an Ellowyne Wilde Yahoo groupMonthly surprise fashions are offered in this group that reflect the fashion sense of Ellowyne Wilde and Prudence Moody.  I own neither doll but their friend, Lizette, can wear their fashions.  Typically, Lizette and I like Prudence's fashion sense and her upbeat mood much more than we do Ellowyne's woe is me, melancholic behavior and fashions.

Lizette recently added the authentic Ellowyne Wilde fashion, Just Peachy, to her wardrobe when it was offered for 50% off at the Ellowyne Wilde website.  We had to have it because it is "our" favorite color and those boots... well, we love those peach suede thigh-high boots!  She had planned to try it on for size but  the October surprise fashion for Prudence arrived.  It incorporates our favorite color and Lizette was eager to wear it.


Lizette is wearing part of her newest fashion that recently arrived (sundress with butterfly hair clip and silver drop earrings).

***
Seated in the driver's seat of my car on the post office parking lot, I opened the envelope that contained Lizette's new fashion.  As I examined it, I and said to my husband, "I wish I could sew like this."  He said, "You can.  All you need is a machine."  I replied, "No, this takes patience" as I continued to observe the intricate details.  "And skill," he added.  I agreed and said, "I have neither."

***
Lizette continued to try on the additional pieces of her newest fashion, taking time to model for photographs, which are shared below:

Lizette models her silver drop earrings that have an aqua gemstone. 

Close-up of the hand made butterfly hair clip
Lizette has slipped on the peach underskirt which has four tiers of ruffle-edged fabric.
The mesh shawl is a perfect accent for Lizette's newest sleeveless dress, but...

...Lizette likes it as a head scarf that she accessorized with the butterfly hair clip.
One final full-length photograph shows how lovely Lizette looks in her newest fashion sewn by Ellen Bierlein.

It is understandable why Lizette begged to wear her newest versatile fashion that is exquisitely sewn and beautifully accessorized.  The Just Peachy ensemble gives her something to look forward to wearing later.

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Monday, November 18, 2013

Kayla's New 'Do

Fashion Fever Kayla's head on Alexis LIV's body wears Limbe Dolls lingerie.

In addition to needing new clothing after she allowed Prettie Girls Lena to wear the Stardolls for Barbie fashion that she had been wearing, Kayla needed her hair restyled.

Kayla illustrates her thick, unruly mane.


Kayla's hair has always been very unruly.  I have tried restyling it after giving her a boil perm, but it failed to hold the curls.  I decided to do another boil perm by first doing double-strand twists and rolling these onto end paper-wrapped pipe cleaners before dipping her head into a cup of boiled water followed by a dip into a cup of cold water.

Kayla's hair was saturated with water before double-strand twisting and rolling was done.  Wet hair is easier to grip and roll.
One of Kayla's double-strand twists before rolling onto an end paper-wrapped pipe cleaner is illustrated above.
I removed the head from the body prior to dipping it into a cup of boiled water.


Before dipping the head, I decided to remove it from the body after noticing there was too much side-to-side movement.  This was caused by the neck knob of her new LIV body not providing a perfect fit.  I closed in the gap between the neck and the knob by wrapping braided cord underneath the knob, similar to the fix used for the Janay head on the SIS Kara body (seen here.)

This out-of-focus picture illustrates my technique of wrapping braided cord underneath the neck knob to close in the gap between the knob and the neck.  The excess cord is trimmed with the end tucked into the neck.


Rollers out, finger combing next

With the rollers out, Kayla's hair was finger combed.  This achieved a huge curly 'fro, as illustrated below.



Kayla has been redressed in LIV Alexis' original fashion, which is very becoming on her.  I made the gold dangle earrings she wears after first piercing her ears.

Kayla is ready for prime time now... I love her new look!
Kayla is even more beautiful now and reminds me so much of a girl who attended my high school, Sabrina (whose last name escapes me).  Sabrina was a year my junior.  She wore her hair in a huge Afro and was voted most beautiful during her junior year by her predominantly white classmates.  I did not know her personally, but from what I saw of her, she possessed the ultimate beauty -- from the inside out.   Even though she's just a doll, Kayla has always had the same inner and outer beauty but even more so now.


***

Kayla's boil perm was inspired by the My Froggy Stuff video, "How to Curl a Doll's Hair."  As seen in the video below, I never dip a doll's head into a pan of boiling water.  I always boil water in a tea kettle and pour just enough of it into a coffee cup or mug before the head is submerged. Instead of single twisting, also seen in the video, I double-strand twisted Kayla's hair before rolling.


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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Throwback Thursday: What In the World Are They Talking About?

On this past "thank God it's Friday" workday, with bleary eyes, I turned the light on as I stepped down into my doll room office to prepare for the last workday of the week.  It was approximately 3:55 a.m.  I glanced at two dolls that were in a position that I do not believe I placed them in, at least not intentionally.  I chuckled to myself before snapping several pictures.

View from the doll room/office entrance, where these two Playpals caught my attention.
Check out the two center Patti Playpal dolls.
The big picture
 
The two Patti Playpals are by Ideal and Ashton Drake.  The Ideal doll is from 1981.  In 2006, Ashton Drake reproduced an African American Patti Playpal using the original 1960 Patti Playpal mold.  These girls appear to be engaged in conversation, with one possibly sharing a deep secret with the other.  The other listens intently after vowing not to share the secret.

In reality, the girls probably assumed this position after I squeezed two other dolls to their right,  D'Azucar's Buba and Kolo.  Buba's head is visible in the third picture, next to the Playpal-type in pink with hair styled in two side braids.  Buba and Kolo had been in a seated position elsewhere in the doll room until last week when I decided to stand them up alongside the Playpal-type.  Placing them there obviously shifted the two Pattis into their current cute position.  Either this, or the girls moved on their own (only they know for sure). 


***

The Ideal toy company manufactured the first Patti Playpal dolls in 1959.  Many companies made their versions of companion or life-size, 36-inch dolls, which are today referred to as Playpal types.  These other companies produced dark skinned dolls in the 1960s and well into the 1970s, while Ideal's first dark skinned Patti Playpal was not on the market until 1981.   (Although I have received an email from a woman who swears she owned an original 1960s black Patti Playpal, I have not been able to document that the Ideal toy company manufactured one.)

During approximately 2003, Ashton Drake began reproducing Ideal's original Patti Playpal dolls including Penny and Peter, but it was not until 2006 that the African American doll was finally reproduced by AD.  (Read more here.)

Commercial of  Ideal's original Patti Playpal and other Playpal members can be viewed below.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Lovely Patsy Fashion Stylist

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas or retailers expect us to think this as they stock their toy shelves with dolls that would otherwise not be there during other times of the year.


Lovely Patsy in a choice of tan, brown, or white complexions is available at Family Dollar for $5 each.  I recently purchased a tan and brown Lovely Patsy for $7.50  for the pair during Family Dollar's buy one get one 50% off sale.  This sale may or may not still be in effect.  If interested, check your local Family Dollar.

Lovely Patsy Fashion Stylist with tan complexion
Lovely Patsy Fashion Stylist with brown complexion
The quality of the dolls is much better than I imagined.  I was expecting to find thin plastic, pliable dolls, but I was wrong.  The heads are made of a soft but firm vinyl.  The bodies are rigid plastic (similar to that used by Mattel for the bodies of play line Barbies and So In Style dolls).  The legs are flexible vinyl with knees that bend.  The hair is rooted, but not closely; so restyling may be a challenge.  The brown doll has larger-than-necessary ear piercings while the tan one's ears are not pierced.

Close-up image of tan complected doll

Close-up image of brown complected doll
Made in China, the Lovely Patsy dolls quite possibly are made in the same factory as Barbie and other brand name dolls.  Their faces are quite generic, but on the positive side, each one uses a unique sculpt.  I was actually more attracted to the tan one initially, but now that I have them both home, the brown one is just as appealing.  Her wider jaw/neck area is what distracted me initially.


The quality of the clothing is not top notch but, for most pieces, it is better than expected.  The fabric of the sateen dresses is a little stiff and nothing is lined.  The turquoise lamé jacket worn by the tan doll, which coordinates with her turquoise and animal-print dress, is made of a thin fabric as is the black dress the brown doll wears.  Included with each doll are two extra fashions in addition to the one they wear and three pairs of coordinating shoes.

At $7.50 for the pair, Lovely Patsy was a good buy for my tentative plan to transplant the heads onto a couple of the articulated bodies recently found at the thrift store.  Lovely Patsy is also sturdy enough to endure child's play and can be used to donate to Toys for Tots and similar seasonal toy drives.   These girls would make excellent repaint candidates for those who desire to try their hands at this.  Their low cost should eliminate any apprehension of damaging a more expensive doll through the process of repainting

***
Incidentally, Family Dollar also carries brand name toys such as Monster High, Barbie (of course), and many others.  Based on your zip code, if there is a store in your area, their holiday toy book can be viewed here (enter your zip code, select your store, then scroll and find the holiday toy book in the Select Circulars window).

Happy shopping!

dbg

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Monday, November 11, 2013

More Thrift Store Finds

Barbies and friends found at local thrift store

These lavender-tagged dolls in their separate baggies were waiting for me to arrive at the thrift store this past Saturday, a random stop before heading on to my mother's house.

I purchased all (except Brandy in the red fashion) because of their articulated bodies.  All, except Brandy, were $2.99.  Brandy was a dollar more.  A couple are duplicates of dolls I have owned for years, but the originals remain in their never-removed-from-box state.  It's nice to see the dolls up close and personal, deboxed, and to discover previously unknown things about them.

Released from their baggies, the dolls are shown and individually described below.

Unknown-to-me Barbie
I spotted this unknown dance/workout Barbie with Asha head sculpt first.  After discovering her extra points of articulation, I removed her from the rack and held onto her.  In addition to the usual articulated areas (neck, upper arms/shoulder socket, and upper legs/hip socket), the elbows, waist, and knees are articulated.  Wrist articulation is absent.  She wears what appears to be her original outfit:  light pink leotard, dark pink tutu with lighter pink over skirt, lavender jacket, and multicolored leg warmers.  She has an up-swept ponytail of dark brown rooted hair that is still silky.  The original rubber band is in place but is broken.  The head has a copyright date of 1990; so the doll was on the market sometime afterward and during the period that the Asha head sculpt was used (repeatedly as Mattel often does with its friends of Barbie head sculpts until a new head sculpt is created).  If someone knows her manufactured name, please share this in a comment.  Much thanks in advance for your shared knowledge. 

Purple Panic Christie
Purple Panic Christie jumped into my hands next.  She is a duplicate of the one I have owned for years.  Her flat feet were an initial turn off, but her articulation and her cute fashion allowed her to come home with me.  At home, I discovered her purple corduroy fashion is actually a full-length overall dress and not pants.  This a pleasant surprise as I had mistaken her fashion as pants based on the view into my other doll's box.  Her articulation is the same as the workout/dance doll's. While her outfit is original, she is missing her shoes and has obviously received more playtime than the previously described doll.  Her joints are lose and her hair is "all over her head" from child's play.  


Amazingly, Purple Panic Christie she still has her original tiny silver hoop earrings and her purple back pack.  According to page 315 of Barbie Doll Photo Album 1959 to 2000 by J. Michael Augustyniak, Purple Panic Christie has a box date of 1989.











Singing Holiday Brandy


I wanted Brandy because of her beautiful red dress.  Before leaving the thrift store, I peeked into the bottom of the baggie and discovered Brandy still wears her original red shoes.  The red platform shoes, to me, justified the extra dollar I had to pay for this doll.  Brandy is one of Mattel's best portrait dolls.  There is no question who the doll represents.  For years, they continued this trend with portrait dolls of other celebrities:  M. C. Hammer, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Lucille Ball and several others.  Their most recent personality doll is an epic fail, in my opinion.  Neither Jennifer Lopez doll (World Tour or Red Carpet) sufficiently captures her likeness, but I have digressed.

Brandy wears red platform high-heel shoes.

Back to Brandy:  I purchased the original Brandy, designed by Kitty Black Perkins for Mattel, when it was released to the market in 2000 (box date 1999), but have never removed it from the box.  This thrift store-find is the Singing Holiday Brandy (box date 2000, probably on the market in time for Christmas 2001).  Brandy's waist and elbows are articulated.

Micro braids and painted-on "baby hair" frame Brandy's face.


Her black rooted hair has micro braids that are swept from the left to right side of her face.  The rest of the hair consists of strands of twisted fiber that give it a lush, full appearance.  There is a compartment in her back that houses her battery and a button in the lower center area of her back that activates the singing.  I will have to replace the battery to hear her sing hopefully in the voice of this Grammy award-winning singer.   The microphone is missing; otherwise, Brandy is in great condition.




Brandy's hair is thick with individual twisted fibers that cascade down her back.


WNBA Barbie
The fourth and final find is another collection duplicate, WNBA Christie, box date 1998.  Christie wears a replica Women's National Basketball Association uniform complete with jacket, knee pads, socks, and sneakers.  The elastic in the waist of her pants is relaxed.  She is missing her basketball and hoop.  Her original box (as I have described in The Definitive Guide to Collecting Black Dolls, page 53) contains a "Picture of Rebecca Lobo on front..."  Christie's dark brown hair is rooted and is still in the original style minus the rubber band that held her pony tail in place.  Christie is articulated at the elbows and knees and surprisingly not at the waist.   I am also surprised that she is not as agile as the other dolls.  There is a nonfunctional button in her back that is supposed to operate her right hand for throwing a basketball into a hoop.  Underneath her right hand is a magnet to hold her basketball.
 
***
These four dolls will be given a proper cleaning including hand washing of clothing and washing and restyling the hair where applicable.  For a total cost of $14.03, this was a good day at the thrift store, minus the unfortunate irritation I experienced at the counter when a customer walked in front of me in line to pay for his items after his wife had paid for hers.  I was too astounded by his rudeness and by the cashier who allowed him to do this.  I am even more surprised that I didn't correct his action by staying, "Sir, I was next."  I did engage in the following conversation with the cashier as the man stood at the end of the register waiting for his wife, who had gone back to do more shopping after paying for her items.


Cashier:  How are you?

Me:  I was fine until that man skipped ahead of me in line and YOU allowed him to do it.

Cashier:  (no apology, just an excuse)  I thought his wife was paying for his items.

Me:  (Thinking to myself, how in the world did you think his wife was paying for his items when her transaction was over; you had handed her change; and he had his wallet out to pay).   I think it was extremely rude (loud enough for him to hear me).

Cashier:  Silent, as she scanned my dolls, obviously at a loss for words.  (A simple apology from her would have diffused my anger because I saw her glance at me for my reaction after the man stepped ahead of me; so she knew what he did).

Me:  (Angrily) If I didn't want what I am buying, I would leave it here.

Cashier:  (Not responding to my comment and probably trying to rush me out the door.)  That will be $14.03.  Do you have one of our Super Shopper Cards... (explaining what they are)?

Me:  No. Yes, I would like one (in answer to her next question).

Cashier, after punching one of the circles on the Super Shopper Card, she handed it to me, along with a sale flyer and said:  We're having 30% of all clothing on Monday for Veterans Day.  (Me, thinking... this heifer just refuses to acknowledge what just happened.)

Me:  Thank you (before I left).  

I was still fuming when I sat in my car and told myself as I drove toward my mother's house, not to sweat the small stuff, but sometimes it is very difficult when people behave so callously.  This is not the first time this has happened and I have had to correct the offenders' behavior.  I would never in my life place my body ahead of someone else in line unless I was given permission to do it.  But everyone does not behave with the same decorum and I have to realize that some people are either just very ill-mannered or ignorantly rude (which often are one in the same). 


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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Flour and Feedsacks Served More Than One Purpose

1930s composition doll in flour sack dress

Studying the antique and vintage dolls in one area of display, my husband noticed a circa 1930s full-bodied composition doll that I have owned for years.  She was purchased along with a much larger full-bodied composition doll from a woman selling her mother's dolls.  It is apparent that the previous owner hand sewed both dolls' dresses with love.  The larger doll wears a handmade dress of yellow Dotted Swiss.  About the smaller one, my husband noted, "She's wearing a dress made from a flour sack."


Really?  How do you know?  Tell me more?  were some of my questions.

He answered:
Mama Jo (his grandmother) used to sew for her children, grandchildren, and people in the neighborhood.  She loved to sew.  Sewing was part of her daily routine.  After she cooked breakfast and did other chores around the house, she sewed until time to cook "supper."

She'd place a piece of newspaper on the floor, have the child lie flat on it, and trace around her body.  She'd place the newspaper pattern on top of two equal pieces of the flour sack and cut the pattern out leaving about an inch around all sides for the seam.  Then she'd sew the dress or whatever she was making completely by hand.  She'd use long strips to create the sleeves by sewing the ends together first.  Then she'd run a loose stitch along the folded edges and leave enough thread on each end to pull through the material to gather the edges.  Other pieces of fabric would be used for the front of the dress and to make a collar.  She'd also make waistbands.  My granny was bad [great]!  She could sew anything!  She took in laundry, too.  Her sheets were so white you'd have to wear shades... and she did everything by hand!

One of Mr. G's recently framed paintings of a rural woman doing laundry with baby in tow was probably inspired by his granny's handiwork.   (Although the woman looks nothing like his granny, the domestic work she is performing mimics what he, as a young child, witnessed Mama Jo do.)

Nice visual, I thought.  Mama Jo, a petite light-skinned woman with waist-length brown hair, was in her 90s when I met her in the early 1970s.  She died a few years later.  Other than owning one of her quilts, I was not able to enjoy the depths of her creativity. 

Closeup of the flour sack material used to make my doll's dress

Mr. G.'s account of Mama Jo's use of cotton print feed sacks is verified in an online article I read:

Farmer’s wives took advantage of this new source of essentially free fabric by turning the empty cotton sacks into everything from dishrags to dresses. Some feed companies, alerted to this reuse of their bags, began to print their sacks in gaily colored patterns—since it usually took more than one bag to make a dress, the idea was to give the farmer an incentive to keep buying their products.
I own several other dolls form the 1930s and prior.  Chances are that others also wear hand sewn dresses made from cotton floral print feed sacks during the early 1900s.  This was an excellent way to repurpose and economically sew clothing for dolls as well as for people.  Clothing of this nature also carries with it a piece of the dressmakers' creative spirit long after the dressmaker departs.


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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Neck Work: Janay and Ken

As indicated in my Janay Head Chose Kara post, excessive head movement was followed by a short neck after placing a Janay head on a So In Style Kara body.  Several readers of that post left suggestions on how I might resolve this issue, specifically the wobble that I temporarily removed by pushing the head down further than desired onto the neck, which created the sort neck appearance.


To remove the wobble, first I tried the technique Muff describes and illustrates here.  This helped, but Janay still had more neck movement than I wanted.  I won't blame it on the technique because the cardboard used for the disk I made was not very sturdy (see the disk insert in the above image).  After reviewing Muff's post, I also realized I failed to cover the slit in the disk with tape.  The tape might have added more stability to the disk.

After examining the neck and locating the gap or area causing the head movement, I tried Muff's suggestion to wrap wire around the space between the neck and the prong.  She suggested jewelry or garden wire, none of which I had; so I used braided cord instead.  This was wrapped around the area several times.  I tucked the cut end underneath the wrapped cord.

Braided cord is wrapped around the gap between the neck and the neck prong.

This worked!  The wobble is gone and I do not have to push the head onto the body as much as I did before.  The difference is very subtle, but the neck length is better as the next image illustrates (click/tap to enlarge).

Before and After:  Janay's neck length is slightly longer with braided cord wrapped around the space between the neck prong and neck.
Where does Ken come into play?

Bath Play Fun Ken was given an action figure body several months ago.  The new body added several points of articulation and lots of pose-ability, but Ken's head would rotate even with the slightest movement.  I decided to see if a cardboard disk would stabilize his head and neck.

He's such a show off.  With this new body, I can't keep him still, but especially his head that has a mind all its own.

The above photo was taken before creating a cardboard disk to stabilize Ken's neck movement.  The disk did prevent his head from rotating up to 180 degrees, but it created a gap on both sides of his head.  Again, the cardboard disk was a little flimsy; so I reinforced it by using two disks, one on top of the other.  See images below followed by what I did to eliminate the free movement.


The flimsy cardboard could have been taped together to make it sturdy.  It eliminated the loose head but created an unsightly gap, as shown in the next picture.

Even after trimming the cardboard to decrease the disk circumference, the disks created a gap on the sides of his head.
The Fix:

In a comment to the original post about Kara's head movement, Verona suggested using sports tape.  I cut a strip of self-adhering bandage tape that I had on hand and wrapped it around the stem of the neck prong.  The self-adhering tape added the right amount of thickness to the prong to prevent the head rotation without creating a gap on the sides of Ken's head.

Lengthwise, I cut a thin strip  from the cut piece of bandage tape and wrapped it around the neck prong several times as shown in the next image.



Minus the head rotation and ability to move, Ken is showing off even more now.  See him below making a failed "move" on Janay.

Hey Miss Lady, you sure do have a pretty neck?
What?

Ken has nice (body) movement and his neck no longer rotates up to 180 degrees on its own, but his "mack" is extremely weak. 


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