Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Update: Moxie Girlz Sale Price Discrepancy @ Toys R Us

After speaking with a 3rd customer service representative at ToysRUs online about the price discrepancy in Art-Titude Sasha and the other Art-Titude Moxie Girlz, I have come to the conclusion that a discount for Sasha was never intended online.

During today's call, I was told that the online price is not necessarily the same as the in-store price for items.  I can accept that, but as I pointed out to the CS associate, the other Art-Titude dolls (Lexie, Sophina, and Avery) are discounted while Sasha is not.  The CS associate attempted to explain:

  • The sale is on "select" dolls.
  • Sasha's retail is really $22.99 (I haven't seen this price anywhere in my area). 
  • She is discounted to $17.99 at a NY Toys R Us. 
  • She is not on the same promotion as the other Art-Titude dolls.

It is true that NOW Sasha is not on the same promotion as the other dolls, but earlier this week when the sale commenced, all Art-Titude dolls had the same "SAVE $10 of any purchase of $30 or more!" promotion written in red print below their online images.  That promotion has been removed from all dolls except Sasha and replaced with "SALE ~ Hurry ends 10/03!"

Instead of lowering Sasha's price to match that of the other Art-Titude dolls' lowered online price, TRU online removed the promotion from the others and kept their prices at $14.99.  This is their work around to keep Arti-Tude Sasha's price at the regular price of $19.99.

The games merchants play.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Thank you, Take a Walk with Me!

I just won the One Lovely Blog Award from Margaret of Take a Walk with Me. Thank you so much, Margaret! I am honored. I do not have 15 recently discovered blogs to pass this prestigious award on to, but am passing it on to the following blogs that I have recently discovered and feel are well deserving of it:

Black Threads
Celebrity Dolls Made in America by Alesia
Don't Just Play Barbie... Be Barbie
Jenny's Paper Doll News
Fashion Doll Chronicles
Sasha Doll Musings

Okay, the rules of the "One Lovely Blog Award" are:

Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you have newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award. Now it's my turn to pass it along!


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Moxie Girlz Party, Save $10 BFC Ink 18-inch Dolls

I just read my online Toys R Us sales ad and noted the following, which applies to my area (check your local ad):


Saturday, September 26, 2009

These Three Must Go!

This morning I checked my favorite online auction site to view the status of some items that I am watching.  I noted an offer to list 5 items free (no insertion fee).  I decided to relist a couple of items and add three additional ones.  I listed 2 porcelain dolls and 1 vinyl doll--all three are artist dolls and have been part of my personal collection for several years.  I hope I am able to find new, loving homes for these three as they must go... to make room for more, of course. 

The trio can be viewed at the following URL:
Please wish me luck... blessings... God's favor... or just plain old good thoughts on getting these three adopted.  Feel free to share this blog with others who might desire to own them.



Friday, September 25, 2009

WPK Parajumper

I returned the World Peacekeepers Navy Seals figure with the curiously flat feet to Big Lots and replaced him with this handsome, WPK Parajumper... love his 5 o'clock shadow!  I stored his weapons away but allowed him to wear his empty leg holster. 

I wonder which of my 11-1/2 inchers has eyes for him. 


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mixis Dolls and Fashions Sale

The sale on Mixis dolls and fashions is currently being honored through the end of the year or while quantities last online at DollsLikeMe. If you live in the US, shipping will be more economical ordering from this US merchant as opposed to ordering from the Mixis website.

Hurry while supplies last, but remember this sale is only for the Sunshine dolls and the Mixis fashions.  The Limited Edition dolls are not included in the sale. 


The Two Opals Get Redressed by a... Barbie Girl?

After reading about the super sale event now until the end of the year in a blogspot post by D7ana, a Philly Collector of Playscale Dolls and Action Figures, I hurried to the Mixis website and ordered the two denim outfits that my two Sunshine Opal dolls are modeling (with and without their denim jackets--click the images to enlarge).

After seeing these denim fashions several weeks ago, I placed them on my "needed" list, but I "needed" them for less than their original $25 each retail. For this sale event, they are $15 each and all Sunshine dolls are $29.99 each.  This is an unbeatable sale.  If you have been on the fence about adding Mixis dolls and/or fashions to your collection, now is the time to stock up on these well-made, multicultural, mixed-race, 12-inch, vinyl dolls and/or their very well-made fashions.  I am quite impressed with everything about this line, which teaches diversity and celebrates everyone's unique individuality.  There is a doll or two in this line for everyone.

My 3-year-old grandson observed me as I redressed the two Opals yesterday.   It was not very hard to choose which girls would be redressed since I favor the original outfits worn by all of my other Mixis dolls over Sunshine Opal's turquoise sundress.  As he observed my diligence at removing one of the Opal's dresses, Logan whispered to me, "Barbie Girl."  I am not sure if he was referring to me or the Mixis dolls.  I, however, am far from being a Barbie girl.

Note:  If you're interested in stocking up on some of the Mixis sale items--dolls or outfits--after you click the "Mixis Store" icon, click the "PROMO LOGIN password required link" to enter the store (instead of the "Online Store" link).   The password is mixisrock, which will take you to the sale items ordering page.

Thanks again, D7ana, for the heads up.  You rock!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Buy 2, Get 1 Princess

Until Saturday, September 26, 2009, at Toys R Us, buy any 2 Disney princess dolls and get the third one free.  I purchased 2 toddler Princess Tiana dolls and the 11-1/2-inch Princess Tiana (as pictured).  Just One Kiss Princess Tiana was not in stock at my local Toys R Us.

I would love for every little girl, regardless of ethnicity, to own at least one Princess Tiana doll and to see the Princess and the Frog movie this fall.  The dolls and the movie are proof that princesses have always come in all colors... always.  It just took Hollywood and Madison Avenue several years to realize this. 

Additional items are also included in this week's buy 2 get the third free sale at Toys R Us.  Visit their website or store for more details.  


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Barbie - Fashionistas - Artsy Doll

Of the six Barbie Fashionistas that I have seen, this one more closely resembles an African American.  Described as a "bohemian cutie," she is the only doll of color in the group. 

I want to see her on the shelves of my local Toys R Us soon.  I checked this past weekend.  Obviously, her flight has been delayed. 

She'll arrive to this Texas address in time to strike some pleasing poses in the eyes of the multiarticulated males in my collection.

Note that the above link is for Toys R Us Canada... where a Barbie Fashionistas case is also available! 


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Examine the Hands and the Feet!

World Peacekeepers Navy Seals (Tunnel Hunter-top; Special Ops-below)

After being overly enthused recently with M & C Toy Centre Ltd's World Peacekeepers 12-inch action figures, I returned to Big Lots this past Thursday and purchased two additional figures. I went with a plan of bringing home guys wearing clothing that was as close to civilian as possible and hopefully guys with ungloved hands.

I made-do (I thought) with two Navy Seals—a Tunnel Hunter and a Special Ops. The Tunnel Hunter is dressed in black fleece shirt, camouflage pants, and black boots. His outfit is practical enough, but his hands are permanently gloved. He’s still workable because his black fleece shirt somewhat camouflages the gloved hands.

I deboxed both guys today, which resulted in great disappointment with Special Ops’ molded-on black shoes over flat-as-a-board feet. I understand they were made this way to accommodate the extra fins included in the box (after all, he is a Navy Seal). I tried placing shoes over his molded-on, shoed feet, but he was still unable to support his own weight well enough to be paired with any of my 11-1/2-inch females. So back in his box and to Big Lots he must go.

A few words of caution:  If you plan to purchase these or other action figures to use for purposes other than the manufacturer intended, be sure to examine their hands and feet, especially their feet!  I mean, what
good is all that muscle if it's not self-supporting!

World Peacekeepers Navy Seal Special Ops' flat, molded-on shoes

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Red Boots, Clouded Thinking

I deboxed World Peacekeepers Green Beret action figure and Glam Barbie, both found at Big Lots a couple of days ago for $10 and $5, respectively.  The two developed an immediate attraction for one another.  This attraction was conveyed through words and facial expression, as follows:
Green Beret (in his best Billy Dee voice):  Girl, you look good in those red boots.
Glam Barbie just smiles because his visible muscles cloud her thinking.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Yesterday's Great Finds

Yesterday, I went to Big Lots to look for microwavable plates for my BIL, who is scheduled to be released from an extended care facility within a few days. His PCA needs the plates for the meals she plans to precook for him on a weekly basis. After finding the plates, I ventured to the toy section where, I found some great doll buys. I’ve listed them in great-buy order:

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Barbie – I already own one, but could not resist the price, $20. The box has creases, but I plan to debox this one.

Celebrate!, Disco Doll Barbie traveled home with me because of the $12.50 price. For $12.50, I can overlook her pink lip color.

World Peacekeepers 12-inch “generic,” fully-posable, AA military figure – I purchased one that wears a black T-shirt and denim pants. He will be used as a mate for one of my 11-1/2-inch dolls (possibly the fourth doll find). A variety of different styles were available for $10. Most wear military gear.

Glam Barbie has the (overused) Asha face, but I like her red, knee-length boots! Another one dressed in a different fashion was available wearing heels. This one is eager to get deboxed to check out the generic action figure. $5

I had no intention of purchasing dolls when I ran into Big Lots yesterday prior to picking up my grandson from Mother’s Day Out. The dolls were there with unbeatable prices. How could I resist? While there, I met another doll enthusiast who purchased an AAADT Barbie.

If there is a Big Lots near you, stop in. These and/or other great buys might be available.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Educator-Inspired Paper Doll, Edie May

After being introduced to Edie May several months ago by my favorite paper doll artist, Diana Eufrasio Vining, purchasing one had been on my to-do list until this past Friday when I took a moment to revisit Diana’s website. After seeing Edie May and several other paper doll items, I placed my order. I recalled that one of Diana’s favorite teachers was the inspiration for her creation but I wanted to know the in-depth story behind the inspiration. So, after my too-cute, adorable, precious, little paper girl arrived yesterday with her delightful, dress-like-dolly-inspired clothing, I e-mailed Diana and asked,

Can you refresh my memory on Edie May's inspiration? Wasn't she named after a favorite teacher? Thanks!

Diana replied,

Yes, she is named for Edith Mayner, who was the best teacher ever! She was African American, and since she never married or had kids, she treated ALL children as her own, regardless of race or background. She was my brother's teacher before I even went to school, so she became a family friend. I knew her since I was a toddler, and we always stayed in touch… she ALWAYS encouraged me to do something with my art [and] taught me to make sure to represent all types of God's people in my artwork.

In more recent years, I discovered that she had become a doll collector! So we put on a doll show (mostly black dolls) for the elementary school children. The last time I saw her alive was when she (and her sister Dorothy, who was principal when I was in elementary school) attended my wedding in 2005.

Everyone in my hometown of Roselle, NJ knew the Mayner sisters. They were so involved in the school system and did SO MUCH for the community. I believe they made a special scholarship in Edith's honor at the time of her passing.

Edith Mayner was such a great inspiration to me, and I love her dearly. I know she would have loved to see the "Edie May" paper doll. Sorry for the long answer, but it is so sweet to just think back on what a great person she was (is).

I was awe-inspired and compelled to share this beautiful story. Edie May, the paper doll, is a wonderful way for Diana to preserve treasured memories of this extraordinary educator.  We need more educators like her!

I am honored to own the Edie May paper doll sheet, which includes several extra outfits, dolls, and bed. I will forever treasure it and its provenance.


PS I typed this blog in Microsoft Word before publishing it here. I attempted to save the document as "Edie May" but discovered I already had an "Edie May Paper Doll" document. I opened it and immediately understood why I knew the paper doll represented one of Diana’s former teachers. The document contains a note from Diana that was posted to my WeLoveBlackDolls message board on 03/05/09.  It reads:

In case your [March/April 2009] Doll Castle News hasn't arrived yet, just wanted to give you a heads up that they have been shipped. This is the issue with a special focus on black dolls.

The paper doll, Edie May, was created by me and is a tribute to Ms. Edith Mayner, my teacher and lifelong friend who taught me the importance and beauty of diversity. She was an extraordinary AA woman, and very beloved in the community. In recent years I discovered that she had begun collecting black dolls, so we had even more in common then. I'm so sorry to say that she passed on in 2005, but she remains one of the greatest influences in my life. So I just wanted to share that, so you know about the inspiration behind this paper doll.
If you don't get Doll Castle News, you can check it out at You can subscribe, or just get the single issue if you like.
Amazing!  I saved this message because I knew I would eventually own Edie May.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Black Dolls from Brazil -- Updated 9.14.09

I received the following e-mail and photos from a black-doll enthusiast from Brazil who recently received a copy of my second black-doll reference book, Black Dolls:  A Comprehensive Guide to Celebrating, Collecting, and Experiencing the Passion.  With the collector's permission, I am sharing the images as a testament that the passion for black dolls is shared globally.

Hi, dear Debbie.
I am so happy with your book.
I already made some search and purchases in ebay through it.
I left positive feedback for you in ebay and a review in Amazon...
I will take the liberty to send pictures for you of 5 of my oldest black brazilian dolls.
Best greetings from Brazil. Rossano.
Here's what Rossano wrote about the dolls in the four images:
I must tell you that I chose these dolls probably from 50's to 70's because I did not see any of them in the USA black doll guides I have (that is because Estrela was the main toy brazilian industry these years and ESTRELA usually bought the rights from USA doll industries to produce in Brazil dolls already made in your country).

I only know the story from the first picture doll:
1-Estrela first produced SUSI in the 60's as a reproduction of Ideal Tammy and there were only white Susi dolls.   In the 70's Estrela changed the doll face and put glass eyes in it and produced the black Susi(s) dolls.  They are very rare (I only knew about 4 of them in all my life-) and I bought 1 of them (first picture)...

2-Second picture is of 2 celluloid dolls (maybe from the 50's).

3-Third picture is of TERNURINHA (tender love), black doll identical to the white one.

4-And I do not know the name of the last picture doll.

I deeply appreciate Rossano's kind words about my book via e-mail, his review, and the time he took to share photos and the information about each of his delightful black Brazilian dolls!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Philadelphia Doll Museum... still online.  When I checked earlier today, I received a message, "website suspended."  The correct url/link is:

I. Roberta Bell's Dolls can be viewed at the following url/link under the African American Heritage icon.

Thanks, Gwen H. for the correct url.


Preserving and Imparting Black-Doll History: I. Roberta Bell Dolls

I received the following e-mail inquiry from a Black Doll-E-Zine subscriber.

Hello All, [does] anyone have any information on Alberta Bell who was a Black Doll Artist out of Chicago? I believe she was a member of UFDC. Thank you in advance for any info you can give me.

My reply:

Thanks for writing me and prompting me to do mini research based on your question about "Alberta Bell" dolls. I knew the name rang a bell. Last night I conducted a cursory search for information about her before retiring to bed, but the results were unfruitful.

With dolls constantly on my mind and always wanting to increase my black-doll and black-doll artist knowledge, I woke up thinking about the Bell dolls and recalled having seen dolls by Roberta Bell and hearing Barbara Whiteman of the Philadelphia Doll Museum speak about her dolls.

This morning, I sadly discovered that the Philadelphia Doll Museum's website is no longer online. I was going to share the link to it with you because I believe some of Bell's dolls were featured on the website.

Some of Mrs. Bell's dolls are featured in Black Dolls an Identification and Value Guide Book II by Myla Perkins, Collector Books, 1995. The artist is listed as "I. Roberta Bell" in Perkins' book.
After sending my initial reply to the BDE subscriber, in an effort to preserve and impart black-doll history, I took the "liberty" of photographing two pages from Ms. Perkins' book, which illustrate additional Bell dolls (see above image).

According to Perkin's book II,
Ida Roberta Bell, 1904-1992, was the first black American elected into the prestigious organization of doll artists, NIADA, (National Institute of American Doll Artists).  She was inducted into the organization in 1970 as a result of the excellence of her Dr. George Washington Carver doll...

Bell was born in Nashville, Tennessee... and moved with her family to Kansas City... where she received her formal education.  She became an educator and retired from Chicago, public schools in 1969. 

Bell came from an artistic background.  Her father and brother were artists and sculptors.  When Roberta... was a young child, her father was upset at the fact that she had only white dolls to play with and once removed the pink and white bisque head and hands from a doll and sculpted black ones to replace them.

Bell first began making dolls in the early 1940s.  She used paper-mΓ’chΓ©, oven-hardening clay, and cloth.  Wanting to perfect her craft, she took classes in mold making and painting facial features.  Her famous black Americans series were made by first modeling the head in plastilene.  A mold was then made and the head and hands were poured with brown porcelain slip.  The bodies are stuffed with sawdust.  All costuming was done by Mrs. Bell and was thoroughly researched for detail.
To quote Ms. Whiteman, from an online article (no longer accessible at previous URL link),
Whether for reasons of cost, the negative racial stereotypes presented in some manufactured dolls, or the fact that often black dolls were just an afterthought to white dolls, many blacks made their own dolls. 

I honor trailblazers like I. Roberta Bell, her predecessors, and the modern-day doll artists, who recognize the need for accurate portrayal of African Americans in doll form.

Update (12/28/2014) - The Philadelphia Doll Museum's website is back online.  I. Roberta Bell's well-known African American Historical Dolls owned by the museum can be seen at their website here.

Ms. Bell is shown in a screen capture from a May 1972 issue of Ebony magazine with some of her dolls representing historical African Americans, L-R, standing:  Harriet Tubman, Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, Dr. George Washington Carver, Crispus Attucks, W. C. Handy, Mary McLeod Bethune, and Sojourner Truth.  Ms. Bell holds her portrait doll of Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Kaya Has Her Book

My American Girl, Kaya, now has the mini book written about her that was offered as the girl's toy with McDonald's Happy Meals.  Kaya's mini book, like Addy's, was purchased minus the Happy Meal.  They were purchased from two different McDonald's and differed in cost by 22 cents.
I did not photograph Kaya's book, but wanted to report that my two-doll AG collection now includes  these mini books from McDonald's.  The stories are cute and the paper dolls are an added plus!

The American Girl promotion at McDonald's will end soon.  If you've missed adding any of the mini books to your AG collection, rush out to Micky D's soon. 

Supposedly, Barbie items will be the next Happy Meal girl's toy. 


Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Today I "treated" my 3-year-old grandson to a McDonalds Happy Meal (Chicken McNuggets, a Sprite, and a boy's toy). After confirming at the second drive-through window that they would sell the mini American Girl books separately (which is the current girl's toy with the purchase of a Happy Meal and the sole purpose of my visit), I specified to the associate that I wanted to purchase the Addy book. Addy's book is #8 in the series of 8. The associate's facial expression indicated she did not understand which book I meant. So I said, "I want the A-D-D-Y book."

As I drove home, I realized I should have also inquired about the
K-A-Y-A book. Addy and Kaya make up my two-doll American Girl collection and Kaya needs her mini book, too!

Maybe we'll visit Micky D's again tomorrow.


Monday, September 7, 2009

MIA Moxie Girlz Sasha

The Moxie Girlz by MGA Entertainment, the manufacturers of the infamous Bratz dolls, does not include Sasha, the dark-skinned Moxie Girlz, as a basic doll, while a blonde and brunette are offered as basics at Target stores. Sasha is also excluded from the Best Friends Dollpack (a set of two dolls), and to add further insult to injury, salt to my gaping wound, the Moxie Girlz commercials (I've seen two versions) also exclude Sasha as well as a real-live Sasha counterpart. It's interesting to note that the commercial begins with a girl saying, "It's okay to be kinda different..."

Commercial 1

Commercial 2

When little African American girl doll lovers view these commericials, they are presented with at least two options: 1) To desire one of the other dolls in the line because, based on the commercial, Sasha does not exist; and 2) left wondering why a Moxie Girlz that represents them, a) does not exist, and/or b) is not included in the commerical. Is it not okay for them to be different?

The fact is that two Sasha Moxie Girlz dolls exist--Moxie Girlz Jammaz Sasha and Moxie Girlz Art-titude Sasha. There is also a Magic Hair Torso Sasha, but the dark-skinned doll is missing in action from some Moxie Girlz offerings including the commercials I have viewed.

Why not be inclusive MGA Entertainment and offer all versions of the dolls in every product and include Sasha in all advertisements?


Sunday, September 6, 2009

My Favorite Barbie... Barbie, that is. Several online retailers are taking preorders for Mattel's reproduction of the first black Barbie (blogged about here in a March 28, 2009 entry). In celebration of her 30th anniversary, Mattel is reproducing the first black doll given the name Barbie. The doll retails for around $50 and comes with a so-called 80's inspired, white tuxedo-looking costume. I like the doll but the extra outfit... not so much! Because I own the original, it is highly doubtful that I will purchase the reproduction, but the jury is still deliberating.


Friday, September 4, 2009

Dark Skinned Male Dolls

For the past six months or so, I have had a keen interest in male dolls that vary in size from 12- to 17-1/2-inches in height. My first male doll was Russell Williams, boyfriend of Esme. Russell was the king in this doll land for several years. Even though Esme is his artist-created girlfriend, here, he has his pick of several 16-inch dolls.

Post Russell's arrival, several 12 inchers have joined the collection: DID's Barack, a "generic" dreadlock wearing male, and another that looks like the actor, Djimon Hounsou.

This morning I visited where I read the full description and noted the price of Tonner's newest dark skinned male doll, Laurent, as portrayed by Edi Gathegi in Twilight. I am not into vampires and things of that nature, but Laurent is intriguing. After seeing only his image yesterday via an e-mail link shared by another doll enthusiast and realizing he is by Tonner, I knew his price would be over $200. Cherished Friends' price is $153. Laurent has, thus, become a possibility for me... vampire and all. Oh, but no, he won't be a vampire here.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Off to Australia...

...two books, that is. I had promised to send a copy of my book to an artist that I met on eBay. She undercharged me for shipping, but did not want me to pay the extra amount owned. She mentioned my book and I offered to send her a copy. The promise was to send it "sometime this week." I was exceedingly busy yesterday, so was unable to mail it then.

As a result of our conversations via e-mail, she informed another collector about my book. The collector, who has a collection of over 1000 black dolls, purchased a copy of my book. So my "sometime this week promise," will become a reality in about 45 minutes when I arrive at the post office to mail not one, but two books "down under," to Australia.

What do I know for sure? I know that God is good and that he cares for me.


PS The remaining cover creased copies are slowly but surely flying out the door.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Dolls In Black...

"Silicone-Vinyl Alert" and "The Doll-Buying Gamble" are my most recent "Dolls in Black" blogs at the following URL.

There are other blogs at the above URL by other bloggers as well and older ones that I posted.

I'll post an update here soon. Until then, happy dolling!