Thursday, January 28, 2016

Barbie: Tall, Petite, and Curvy

Barbies to be included in the 2016 line have new body types.

The Barbie news trending currently includes the new body types to be offered in the 2016 line. Some, if not all, dolls are shown above in this Internet-captured photo.  What say you:  Yea or Nay?

The little girls in this video give them a "yea."


Read more, see more here.

Some of the dolls are available to purchase or preorder at Shop.Mattel.com.

dbg
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Saturday, January 23, 2016

Searching for Black Dolls on Ruby Lane Part 2


Part two of Searching for Black Dolls on Ruby Lane, "the world's largest curated marketplace for vintage and antiques," of all kinds, including dolls, has been published and can be read here.

If you missed part one, navigate here.  Thanks and enjoy!

dbg


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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Meet Kizzy by Kor January


As mentioned in this week's previous post, Kizzy is my 2015 WLBD Anew Club doll by Kor January. It did not take long for me to determine that I wanted an African name for this little one since her artist is from Liberia, a country in West Africa. The name Kizzy was my first and final choice.

The name, Kizzy, became popular in the United States after the TV miniseries based on the book, Roots, aired in 1977 in which the author, the late Alex Haley, traces his roots back to his African ancestor, Kunta Kinte. While enslaved, Kunta and his wife Bell gave birth to one child that he named Kizzy.

In searching for the meaning of Kizzy, I found the following text: Kunta Kinte was born in Gambia and belonged to the Mandinka/Mandinke tribe. The Mandinka language, sometimes referred to as Mandingo, is a MandĂ© language spoken by millions of Mandinka people in Mali, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea-Bissau and Chad; it is the main language of The Gambia… In keeping with family tradition, Kunta Kinte gave his daughter an African "Christian" name, Kizzy (Keisa in Mandinka/ Mandingo), which in Kunta's native tongue means to "stay put."

Kizzy's hand-carved wooden stoop by Kor January

Staying put on her stoop is what Kizzy enjoys doing. She is a thinker who loves to read. She also loves her dog, Sam, and has aspirations of becoming a veterinarian when she grows up.

Kizzy is currently reading the book she holds, Ruby and the Booker Boys by Derrick Barnes. It is about a sweet and sassy yet tough girl named Ruby who is the exact same age as Kizzy, 8. (According to the book, Ruby plans to “become the most famous woman animal doctor on the planet.”) Kizzy also holds a copy of her favorite children’s magazine, Highlights.

I made ribbons for Kizzy’s two ponytails using green braiding cord (the type used to make bracelets).



She wears a wooden beaded bracelet fashioned from an earring. Kizzy took several additional photos and wanted to share them all with you. She hopes you enjoy them.

Kizzy loves the outdoors.  Her trusty dog, Sam, does too and finds comfort in her lap.

Looking in deep thought, Kizzy sits underneath a shade tree, yet still enjoys the rays of the sun.

Her legs bend and twist at the knees and lock in place to hold various poses.

With her toes perpetually pointed downward, when seated as shown here, Kizzy looks very prim and proper.

I love my little girl.

dbg

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Making of Club Doll Sisters by Kor January

In April 2015 my online doll group commissioned doll artist, Kor January, to make our 2015 group doll. Normally, our dolls are identical, but because Kor is a master wood carver who hand carves all his pieces, our dolls are one-of-a-kind with similar faces, dressed identically by the artist.

We were given several head style choices from which to choose, as shown in the first image.  As a group we decided on the shape we wanted for the dolls' face, eyebrows, eyes, nose, and mouth as well as the wood color for the complexion, hair and shoe style.  A survey was created based on the provided choices with the final results of the survey shown next:




Kor began working on our dolls shortly after the above-described features were selected.  During the doll-making process, he kept us updated by sharing photos of the completed steps.  Some of his photos are shown below.


From mahogany wood, he carved the faces and heads.

The heads and cute faces

Face and bodies painted and attached to poplar wood necks, hair of head carved and painted; arms and thighs added

Lower hinged legs added, socks and shoes carved and painted

Another photo of the previous completed process

Side ponytails of three twisted braids added and dresses made but not sewn on yet

The approximately 8-inch girls with hinged arms, hips, and knees are seated on chairs and wooden stoops. After seeing this photo, a couple of group members wanted to know the cost of the chairs and stoops.

With the costs for the chairs and stoops shared, a few of us had Kor make hand-carved stoops, which were offered in two sizes, shown here.
 One of the member's dolls is shown seated on one of the taller carved stoops.
Before the end of December 2015, all members who purchased a club doll had received their dolls and stoops.  In honor of Kor, many members named their dolls using a portion of his name, such as Kora and Korynne.

I named my doll, Kizzy, first shown here modeling a dress my friend made for her for Christmas. Kizzy will formally introduce herself in my next post.


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Friday, January 15, 2016

Searching for Black Dolls on Ruby Lane


RubyLane.com, "the world's largest curated marketplace for vintage and antiques," has published the first of a two-part blog series entitled, Searching for Black Dolls on Ruby Lane.  The first part can be read here.

I hope you enjoy it!

dbg


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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Anthony Julian (Julian for Short)

Stock Photo
Part of Integrity Toys' (IT) Jem and the Holograms Collection, Anthony Julian was an IT Direct exclusive that sold out immediately when preordering became available in June 2015.  He is now only available on the secondary market, and you know what that means.

This past June, I preordered Anthony Julian from IT Direct before quantities sold out.  His arrival took months and I was just about to inquire about his whereabouts when I received a balance due email from IT Direct last week.  He was well worth the wait!

His official Integrity Toys description reads:

Meet music video director Anthony Julian, friend and collaborator of JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS! Anthony Julian is a fully articulated vinyl figure with sleek rooted curly and flocked hair. The man of the hour comes dressed in one of his key looks from the hit 80's animated TV series. His elaborate layered outfit sends us that "oh so 80s" vibe with his turtleneck, V-neck knit sweater and plaid pants, topped by his signature royal blue driver coat, perfect for those late night takes out by the chilly banks of the Seine river in Paris. Of course, no film director would be complete without his stylish watch, bullhorn (plastic) and movie clap board (cardboard)... Cut! It's a Wrap! For adult collectors ages 15 and up. Figure cannot stand alone; stand included.

Anthony Julian was produced in an ultra limited edition of 500 dolls worldwide.  He stands 12 inches and has a head sculpt that has never been used previously.  He retailed for $130 to the general public with W Club members given advance ordering privileges at a cost of $125.

The following photos provide additional details.

Front of Anthony's personalized box, which is made of heavy cardboard, has a pink removable band of cardstock that contains the Jem and the Holograms logo.

The back of the box has a brief description of Jem and the Holograms.

Closer look at the description -- click, tap or stretch the image to enlarge.

Close-up of the handsome Anthony Julian (I keep wanting to call him Julian and probably will from hereon).

Accessories include doll stand, wristwatch, extra pair of hands, director's cut board, plastic bullhorn, socks, and shoes.

Certificate of authenticity is enclosed in plastic along with an instruction sheet on how to assemble his doll stand and how to remove his hands and feet.  As noted, he comes with an extra pair of  hands.  The feet are removable for ease of removing his pants.

Julian strikes a pose.

He poses with blue jacket removed to illustrate his gray sweater under which is worn a pink turtleneck.

The pullover gray sweater and turtleneck are two separate pieces.  The turtleneck has a hook-and-eye closure in back.  The pleated plaid, dark gray trousers, which have belted sides, also have a front hook-and-eye closure and functional zipper.
Julian has black curly rooted hair on top with flocked sides as illustrated here and in the next two images.



In this height-comparison photo, Julian appears taller than Tobias.

The two are actually about the same height.  It is Julian's hair that makes him appear slightly taller.

Julian takes one final photo.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Anthony Julian is the second dark skinned doll in the Jem and the Holograms Collection by Integrity Toys.  In 2013, IT introduced Shana Elmsford, shown next, with her official description immediately following.

Shana by Integrity Toys introduced in 2013 (stock photo) 
SHANA ELMSFORD is a fully articulated 12-inch vinyl doll with rooted hair and hand applied eyelashes. Always ready for a good jam session, SHANA ELMSFORD comes dressed in her truly outrageous stage costume and includes high-heeled pumps, her signature ultra-detailed bass guitar, complete with realistic miniature strings, whammy bar and plug-in amp cable! It also includes a doll stand and a certificate of authenticity. For adult collectors 14 and up only!

I do not own IT's Shana, but I do own the original Shana and Krissie of the Starlight Girls, made by Hasbro in 1985 and 1987, respectively (shown next).

Jem and the Holograms Krissie Starlight Girl (1987) and Shana (1985) by Hasbro.  Shana is dressed in Smashin' Fashions Winning is Everything outfit.
In the absence of IT's Shana, I wonder if Julian and the original Shana will make a connection (probably not since the original Shana has a more mature face.)

dbg
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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Needs Help Finding a Childhood Doll



I offered to post this query from a young woman seeking to find her childhood doll.  In her initial email, she wrote:


I'm sorry for troubling you, and I hope this isn't too bothersome, but I've been trying to find the brand name of a doll I had when I was a little girl, back around 1997-1999-ish (though she may have been older than that, but she was in good condition when I had her). I don't know many doll collectors, but I was recommended to your blog.

To the best of my recollection she had a soft body and feet made of cloth, but wasn't especially floppy; her body was white (the color white, not the race) with different-colored shapes like triangles, squares, and circles all over. (It's been suggested to me that she was supposed to have actual clothes to go over that, but I don't remember her ever having any; I might have gotten her second hand.) She was black, of course, with a plastic head and I think plastic hands, curly hair that I'm pretty sure was in puffy pigtails, and a small roundish nose. I am pretty sure there was also a white variant (really they were just palette swaps of each other) with blond hair, but I never owned it; I think I just saw that one at a Goodwill somewhere, also when I was very young.

If that's not enough to go on I can try drawing a diagram, but my art skills leave much to be desired, haha.

Again, sorry if this is in any way a bother!
I shared the doll's description with other collectors and like me, no one could identify her childhood doll. The following drawing was shared in a subsequent email, which might help others recognize the doll by its distinct cloth body.
About the drawing she wrote: I've taken a shot at drawing it. I was super lazy with the eyes because I don't remember if it had irises or not. I also am not entirely sure if the feet were green or not. 

Readers, if you know the manufacturer of this doll or the doll's name, please post a comment.  Thanks in advance.  



dbg

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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

2015's Last Doll Purchase is 2016's First Doll Arrival

Ava DuVernay Barbie, a Platinum Label doll, is limited to 999 dolls worldwide.

In the wee-wee hours (almost 4 a.m. CST to be exact) of December 29, 2015, I decided hesitantly to check personal email on my personal desktop computer before beginning my work day on the company's computer.  I was hesitant because the end of the month is always hectic and I only had one more working day in the year, having scheduled time off for the remaining days of 2015.  Well I threw caution to the wind and I am so-glad-I-did!

As I opened Outlook, an email filtered through from a fellow collector, whom I will refer to as TL. Her email informed that she had just ordered the Ava DuVernay Barbie from Amazon . com and just had to "let another black doll lover know." I am so grateful she chose me!  I could not navigate to Amazon . com fast enough to enter "Ava DuVernay Barbie" in the search box to see if quantities were still available.  There were and I hurriedly one-click shopped, which was followed by a huge sigh of relief.  I kept going back to the "status of your orders" page to double-check that the order had actually been placed.  An email confirmation from Amazon . com followed.  "Yes!"

I am sorry that I could not take the time to post the information about the doll in a blog post, but (as indicated, I needed to begin my work day and I knew by the time I published the blog, the doll might be sold out resulting in unnecessary disappointment for those who desired it but again missed out.   I did share it with a few people in one of my Facebook groups who were as fortunate as I am, (thanks to TL), to successfully place an order.


Thank you, once again TL for the heads up.  By that afternoon, just as I assumed, all dolls had been sold.

I took several pictures of this difficult-to-own, super-limited Platinum Label doll which are shared below.

The first five photos were taken with the doll in the box.

The real Ava has dreadlocks.  The doll has double-strand twists, which extend almost to her waist.  She has beautiful brown eyes and lush, painted-on eyelashes.  Her hint of lip color is lined with a contrasting color.

Side view of the two-strand twists

Another in-the-box photo was taken at an angle to eliminate as much flash as possible.

Close-up in-box photo

Ava DuVernay Barbie comes with a personalized director's chair (lights, camera, sound!), an acrylic doll stand, and...


...a numbered certificate of authenticity, the front of which reads:  This certifies that your Ava DuVernay Barbie® was created through the collaborative efforts of designers and artists at Mattel.

In the next seven photos, the doll, still attached to the box liner, has been gingerly removed from the box to photograph.  The last of these were taken in natural light.



The graphics on the box liner create a perfect director's setting with cameras and lights that appear three-dimensional.

Ava wears a black long-sleeved turtleneck shirt...

...denim pants, and red and white sneakers for comfort.

Almost as stylish as the real Ava DuVernay, on one wrist, the doll wears a copper-tone chain bracelet with one disk-shaped charm.  On the other wrist...

...she wears a faux wood bangle.

Here's another look at the director's chair.

The back of the box has a beautiful portrait of Ava DuVernay and offers a brief bio, which I have copied below.
AVA
D            Nominated for two Academy Awards and four Golden
                Globes, writer/director Ava DuVernay’s most recent film
u             “Selma” chronicled the historic 1965 voting rights
                campaign led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  She won the
V            Best Director Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in
                2012 for her acclaimed feature “Middle of Nowhere.”
E             Her previous narrative and documentary work includes
                the feature film “I Will Follow” and the documentaries
R            “Venus vs.,” “My Mic Sounds Nice” and “This is the Life.”
                In 2010, she founded ARRAY, an independent film
N            distribution and resource organization for filmmakers of
                color and women filmmakers.  Prior to her directorial
A            career, DuVernay worked as a film marketer and
                publicist for more than 14 years through her company,
Y             the DuVernay Agency.  She was born, raised and loves

                life in Los Angeles, California.


~*~*~*~*~*~


Shortly after the first dolls sold out at TheBarbieCollector . com, this photo circulated on Facebook of the lovely actress Viola Davis (How to Get Away with Murder), posing with her daughter's Ava DuVernay doll.  I was happy Ms. Davis was able to get one for her daughter.

Marsai Martin and her Ava DuVernay doll
I was also excited to learn that my favorite child star, Marsai Martin, who plays Diane Johnson on Black-ish, snagged one of the first available Ava DuVernay dolls.  Go Diane... I mean Marsai! (I love her character on Black-ish).


Deb and her Ava DuVernay doll
Here I am, happy for myself, to now be the proud owner of an Ava DuVernay doll!


dbg
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