Monday, April 13, 2015

Something About Henry and Nothing About Wheatsie



Even though I find myself often saying I no longer "collect" babies (with reference to dolls), on a rare occasion I find one that warms my heart enough to purchase.  Such is the case with Henry by Kathy Hippensteel.  As shown on a scan from a 1991 Truly Many Joys catalog above, TMJ was the distributor of Hippensteel's dolls in the 1990s.

My Henry is shown in a close-up after his face and other vinyl surfaces were washed and rubbed with a few drops of Jojoba oil.  His tightly curled hair was gently brushed to loosen and join the curls to form a short curly Afro.

New for 1991, Henry, as the catalog describes, is a 19-inch vinyl doll with pellet-filled, posable body.    My doll arrived two weeks ago dressed in his original burgundy romper, white socks, and white shoes, minus his straw hat.  Even though it was apparent in his auction photos that his eyes and nostrils were crusty and his seller indicated he needed gentle cleansing, there was something about his facial expression that begged me to bring him "home."  So I did, for a winning bid of $19.99 and shipping of $11 and change, a far cry from his original retail price of $178.00.


Henry posed for these two photos and was left undressed overnight to allow the Jojoba oil to soak into his vinyl head, arms, and legs.

In the above photo, Henry has been dressed and given his first new playmate, a stuffed bear.
His original hang tag and distributor's tag were placed back on his left wrist.

Over two decades before Henry arrived, based on an image in a doll advertisement, I purchased my first Hippensteel doll.  Her name is Wheatsie.  Unfortunately, I was never able to bond with the doll.  Even after separating her tightly coiled synthetic curls and piercing her ears, the 15-inch Wheatsie never really appealed to me for a combination of reasons.  The deer-in-headlights stare with eyes that seem too large for her face and a vinyl foot that kept falling off her cloth leg due to the poor construct are a few reasons I never liked the doll. Even with the foot repaired, I always regretted this purchase.

Wheatsie was available in two complexions, a medium brown and dark brown.  The medium brown version was not offered at the time I purchased my doll at retail price. 


After Henry received his bath, was redressed, and given a plush companion, Wheatsie joined him.  In love with Henry, I wondered if there was anything else I could do to help me like his sister. 

Wheatsie and Henry
In cuteness factor, Henry runs circles around Wheatsie's dull expression.  "She needs eyelashes," I thought.  So I gave her some using the end portions of false eyelashes I had available (purchased for dolls... not for myself!).

Before snapping this photo, I had already used a portion of this lash for another doll before snipping another section off for one of Wheatsie's eyes and finally cutting more off the end for her other eye.

After both eyelashes were in place, I shortened the length with scissors (fingernail clippers can also be used for this).  Next, I applied a sliver of clear nail polish on top of the edges of the lashes to seal them to Wheatsie's vinyl eyelids.  She looks better with eyelashes even though I was a little stingy with the lashes on her right eye. 

"Cheek color," I thought.  "She needs cheek color."  So I gave her some.

Using a makeup sponge and Maroon Bordeaux dry brush stencil paint (retrieved from my paint cabinet), I added a dab of color to Wheatsie cheeks and forehead area as well
She looks a little better, but I still find Henry more appealing. 


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13 comments:

  1. Well, let's hope that Wheatsie got the brains since Henry got the beauty in that family. :-)

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  2. Nice story on Henry and Wheatsie.

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  3. Henry face is adorable and I now know that jojoba oil is good to use on dolls. Wheatsie does look better with the lashes and rosy cheeks. She just wanted some attention too, lol.

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    1. Most light essential oils will work wonders to liven up dull vinyl, but it only takes a dab.

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  4. LOL, I feel bad for Wheatsie! It's like she's a cousin who came to visit but doesn't fit in. Henry's arms interest me. It's as though they are shaped to hold something bigger than him.

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    1. Poor Wheatsie gets no love here. I suppose I should stop treating her like a step-doll.

      Henry's arms, now that you've mentioned them, do appear a little long, but their shape aids in his pose-ability.


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  5. Lol. You guys are awful. I looked at the pictures before I read the verbiage. I was immediately drawn to Wheatsie. When I was 2 they removed my tonsils, but not my adenoids, and I couldn't breathe out of my nose. So my mouth was always open. The first picture of Wheatsie with her open mouth, reminds me of quite a few of my own pictures. Then I went and read the verbiage and the comments. Poor Wheatsie.

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    1. That had to be an awfully miserably experience for you, Vanessa. Did you eventually have your adenoids removed?

      Yes, we are wrong on so many levels regarding Wheatsie, but I didn't even mention her tendency to look like a mouth breather.

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    2. Now you know my parents did not take me back to doctor. Pay to have more surgery? Yeah, right. I had to train myself to breathe from my nose. It took many, many, many years.

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    3. That's awful. I'm sorry you had to endure that, Vanessa.

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  6. interesujący ten Henry - choć fiołkowe oczęta
    też zrobiły na mnie pozytywne wrażenie... ;)))

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