Friday, October 30, 2009

The Excitement Has Fizzled...

...actually it fizzled a couple of days ago upon hearing disappointing reviews for Danbury Mint's Michelle Obama Inaugural Doll.  My doll arrived today.  While her appearance is not as dreadful as I had imagined, I am not happy enough with her or with the quality of her cheesecloth-like dress to keep her.  Before returning the doll, I took several photographs.  A side-by-side image of Danbury Mint's ad image with that of the actual doll is offered for comparison.

L-R Danbury Mint's prototype, presale image of the doll and the actual Michelle Obama Inaugural Doll

Click here to see a larger side-by-side comparison.

Close-up view of the doll

View of the dress from the rear; the fabric is a very thin, gauze-type material, embellished with rhinestones.

The doll's jewelry is nice--rhinestone ring, three-strand bracelet and...

...rhinestone drop earrings.

The high-heel shoes are painted on.  The bottom of her feet have two metal pegs that attach to two holes in the wooden base. 

I was expecting to receive a doll that looked exactly or as close as possible to the image shown in Danbury Mint's ad.  Unfortunately, that is not what I received.

I created a poll.  Please share your opinion about this doll.  Thanks!


Postscript: After reboxing the doll, I discovered an insert ad that includes an image of the Barack Obama Inaugural Doll. Interestingly, DM used an image of the actual Michelle Obama Inaugural Doll in this ad. Why couldn't they have done that initially?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A collector shares her opinion...

... of Ayako Jones by Byron Lars, here.

Thanks again RJ.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Girls in White Dresses!

Effie, an OOAK by Patricia Coleman-Cobb

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes,
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes,
Silver white winters that melt into spring
These are a few of my favorite things.

Renowned doll artist, Patricia Coleman-Cobb has produced 13 one-of-a-kind dolls for her Fall 2009 Collection.  They are "Girls in White Dresses."   The creation of these 10 to 11-inch little girls was inspired by Luther Vandross's version of "My Favorite Things." 

The featured doll, Effie, and one other one that *I* know about have already been spoken for and the others are flying out the door quickly, too.  For only $95 plus shipping, they won't last long. 


The Wait is Over, Almost!

I am very excited.  I have received notification from Danbury Mint... my Michelle Obama Inaugural Ball doll has been shipped!

(Image captured from Danbury


Monday, October 26, 2009

Photo Gifts Using Doll Images

Seehere Photo is having a sale on several photo gift items through October 29, 2009.  Use your favorite doll photo(s) or other photos to create a mouse pad and get 40% off when you use the promotional code, mousepad-4 at checkout.  I just ordered two mousepads, one for me and one for my husband, using the above photo for mine and a collage of photos of our grandsons for his.  With the promotional code, the total of the order was $12.97 because shipping is also free.  (The mousepads are regularly $9.99 each.)

Other promotional sale items at include photo mugs (25% off with free standard shipping with promo code: mug-12); photo books (25% off and free standard shipping with promo code: photobooks), and customized T-shirts and sweatshirts (25% off with promo code:  gifts-24).  These make nice gifts, too.

Because is an affiliate, I will receive 12% cashback on the total of my order from Ebates because I entered's website through Ebates. Every little bit helps!

If you are not already an ebates affiliate, join by using this link. It's free.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Every Little Bit Helps

For a limited time, when you purchase $14.99 of qualifying barbie items, you can get $5 off at checkout. There are restrictions and this applies only to products sold by Does not apply to products sold by third-party merchants and other sellers through the site.

Some of the qualifying Barbie items are eligible for free Super Saver shipping with a minimum purchase of $25, but you must select Super Saver Shipping as your shipping speed at checkout.  Read the fine print. 

One of the eligible items for both offers is the featured doll:  2009 AA Holiday Barbie and at least one of the So in Style dolls is also eligible. 


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Doll Fashions and Shoes

Within the past three weeks or so, I have received a couple of doll fashions and two pairs of doll shoes ordered from separate online vendors. 

The fashions are designed for 18-inch dolls, sold by an Emily Rose at Home consultant and friend.  I have not taken the time to dress or select an 18-inch doll in my collection to redress in these very well-made, very well-presented fashions.  I did want to take the time to share these here in the event that you or someone you know owns an 18-inch, American Girl-size doll in need of high-quality fashions*. 

I am very impressed with the ER service (there is usually only a 2-day arrival time after the order is placed); the ER fashions are presented in a gift box complete with lots of tissue paper; and as mentioned previously, they are of high quality.  I have ordered a total of four ER fashions and I am pleased with each one.

Here are the most recent two:

This yellow and white cheerleader outfit is adorable!

This pink Tee, denim jeans, and pink hobo-style purse ensemble, all with flower-power accents is also adorable!

As soon as time avails itself, I will redress a couple of my girls in these fashions and share pictures.


While ordering other doll odds and ends from recently, I browsed one of their dollar links  and found two pairs of velveteen shoes made to fit 32-inch and some 36-inch Playpal type dolls. Again, I have not had an opportunity to try these on any of my companion dolls, but I can never pass up a good doll-related deal and I wanted to share the information about it.  The shoes were less than $2 per pair!

*For questions about ER@ home fashions, to view the ER catalogue, or receive a catalogue, my friend Margaret will be more than happy to assist you.  Click here.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Take a Peek at this Beautiful Baby

I am always awe inspired by this young reborn artist's work.  Brooke Nicole is so talented.  Here's a link to one of her latest life-like creations. 


Thursday, October 22, 2009

In Answer to a Crying Need

L-R 1968-1972 Remco Dolls:  Baby Know it All, Sweet April (seated on Baby Know it All's desk), Brown Eye Billy, Strolling Sweet April, and Winking Winny

The title of this blog was used for a 1968 Remco Toys, Inc. doll advertisement to introduce several black dolls designed by the then young African American doll designer, Annuel McBurrows.  Remco sought to market dolls designed specifically for little brown girls.  These dolls were not just white dolls "colored" brown. Their facial features were true representations of the little brown girls for whom they were designed.  From 1968 through the early 1970s, McBurrows was successful in designing a series of ethnically correct black dolls.  Some of his doll designs were included in the Brown Eye doll series.

I own several of the McBurrows-designed dolls, including the Remco dolls in the advertisement at the link above.  With these, I decided to create Russian nesting dolls or Matrioshkas, which are also very difficult to find in black-doll form.   The first set was crafted this past weekend and has arrived at its new home.  I photographed the dolls before their departure.

They are as follows:

  •  Nesting doll 1: Winking Winny, 1968, the original (three-dimensional) doll winks.
  • Nesting doll 2: Brown Eye Billy, 1969; he’s just cute.
  • Nesting doll 3: Baby Know it All, 1969, the original doll jumps up and down and shakes head 'yes' or 'no' in response to picture cards that activate her battery-operated movement.
  • Nesting doll 4: Strolling Sweet April, 1971, the original doll strolls in her stroller with the aid of a walker rod.  
  • Nesting doll 5: Yes-No Baby, 1976, the original doll gestures 'yes' or 'no' with her head (her image is not included in the first picture.)
Not a black-owned or operated business, Remco Toys, Inc. was a well-known forerunner in the creation of mechanical dolls (and other toys) from the late 1940s through the early 1970s.  I appreciate their foresight and the dolls they manufactured in answer to a crying need.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Girls and Their Dolls ~ Encouraging Doll Play

On page 422 in my book, Black Dolls A Comprehensive Guide to Celebrating, Collecting, and Experiencing the Passion, mini profiles of African American (AA) girls and their dolls are preceded by the following passage:

Doll play allows little girls to exercise their innate nurturing characteristics. During times of doll play, girls usually imitate or reenact the nurturing received from their mothers or other female caregivers. Healthy role play and doll play are vital to a child’s development. It is even more vital that doll ownership includes dolls that mirror a child’s image. Seeing one’s self in a positive light aids in the development of positive self-esteem and self-worth. When a little girl sees beauty in dolls that look like her, specifically an AA girl – dolls that have hair like hers, beautiful deep skin color like hers, facial features like hers – her form of beautify is personified and she is unfazed by anything to the contrary.  (Copyright 2008)

Last week, I watched the first part of the following 9-1/2-minute Youtube video. I viewed it in its entirety today and thought I'd share it here.  What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My Little Eagle Will Soon Soar (or be in flight)

Faith and Miracle, Native Australian Dolls by Wendy Frank

After Faith and Miracle arrived last month, I immediately craved a little brother for them.  They wanted one,  too.  I asked their talented artist, Wendy Frank, to make a boy according to my specifications.  She did.  Approximately three weeks ago, Wendy emailed an image of my little boy's completed head to me.  It met with my approval.

This past Friday, she emailed images of the completed doll.  After making a few minor changes that I requested, I am thrilled (Faith and Miracle are, too) that my little redheaded boy, Faith and Miracle's little brother, will soon travel from Australia to the US to unite with me, the girls, and the other inanimate three-dimensional, nonbreathers in the collection. 

By the way, Wendy named my little boy, Mullyan, which means eagle.  I will call him Yanni, which is Hebrew for "God is gracious" or "the Lord is gracious."  Yanni is approximately 16-1/2 inches (42 cm) tall.  His sisters stand 17 inches (43 cm).

Read about how Faith and Miracle found me here.

Learn more about the artist and her delightful Lenci/ Kathe Kruse-style, one-of-a-kind dolls here.

dbg (Faith, Miracle, and Yanni's mom)

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Votes are In!

L-R Pretty as Is™ Ivy, Ivy Rose, and Rose

The poll closed this morning for the Pretty As Is™  dolls created by Madame Alexander exclusively for the Sisterhood Boutique.  Votes were for the favorite individual doll and for the combined trio.  The results are as follows:

Ivy received 27% of the votes
Ivy Rose received  6% of the votes
Rose received 27% of the votes
The trio received 40% of the votes

Individually, Ivy and Rose are faves, but most voters favor the trio as a whole! 

Additional information about this collection:  Dolls have been produced as limited editions, only 300 pieces each.  According to the Sisterhood Boutique's recent newsletter, they are celebrating their one-year anniversary (post creation of their first Ivy Rose doll, which is now sold out!)  The newsletter further states, "All orders placed for the Pretty As Is™ collection prior to Dec. 14, 2009 will be shipped from The Sisterhood Boutique™ between December 15 - December 22, 2009, for a Christmas Delivery."


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Avon Calling

Madame Alexander 18-inch Dolls (photo from

Do you know a little girl (or big girl) who would love an 18-inch, posable doll by Madame Alexander?  If you answered yes, the three featured dolls are Avon exclusives.  Natalie, a brunette; Erica an African American; and Gracie, a blonde regularly sell for $49.99 but are currently available at for $29.99 with the purchase of select children's items.  As an added plus, some of the children's selections coordinate with the dolls' fashions.  

Use the code, AUTUMN20, at checkout to receive free shipping on orders that total $20 or more.

A selection of Avon beauty products is currently discounted  up to 65% off  at their website. is an affiliate. If you join or use a preexisting Ebates account to enter Avon's website, you will receive 5% cash back from Ebates on the total of your order!

Happy shopping and happy saving,


Friday, October 16, 2009

Thank you, Stacey!

This is a "lazy" picture of my S.I.S. dolls (I didn't want to disturb the stacked-up-the-wall display by photographing them individually.  I need to create space for S.I.S. Stylin Hair Grace, who has yet to arrive). 

This doll line has received some negative press in the past week or so.  To counter the negative, I blogged my
kudos to the dolls' designer, Stacey McBride Irby, here.

By the way, tweeters can follow McBride-Irby here


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sew and Style Barbie

I assume this is the commercial my husband saw earlier today while lounging in the den with our grandsons with the TV on whatever children's channel they were watching. I was in my doll room/office, which is adjacent to the den when he yelled what I thought was, "Sew and Style Barbie?" to ask if I was interested. Without moving from my chair (because he lost me with the word "sew"), I repeated what I thought he said.  Then he said, "They're all black,"  which jogged my memory. I then replied, "Oh… So In Style Barbie. Those are the dolls that have sparked the controversy among mostly non-doll collectors." (He'd shared an article with me last week that described the dolls as ghetto!) "I already have them, remember?" I said.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Barbies by Byron Lars the First Through Current, Updated 02/18/2018

Top to Bottom:  Byron Lars' In the Limelight from the Runway Series 1997,
Charmaine King from the Passport Collection 2010, and Mackenzie Fenella Layla from the Passport Collection 2011

Actual image of Mackenzie Fenella Layla, courtesy of Romona J.

Since Barbie dolls designed by Byron Lars for Mattel are not documented together anywhere on the Internet by their series, and because a curious collector wanted to know the names of the dolls in each series, I decided to document the dolls in list form here.

The Runway Series (Models)
In the Limelight 1997
Cinnabar Sensation 1998 African American and
Plum Royale 1999
Indigo Obsession 2000
See them all here

Treasures of Africa (Africa is their theme)
Moja 2001
Mbili 2002
Tatu 2003
Nne 2004
Tano 2005
See them all here

Chapeaux Collection (these have a hat theme)
Sugar 2006 (Designer, Sharon Zuckerman)
Coco 2007
Pepper 2008 (Designer, Sharon Zuckerman)
See the trio here.

Byron Lars Passport Collection
Ayako Jones 2009
Mackenzie Fenella Layla 2011 (Designer, Ann Driskill)
See this trio here.

Several images of these dolls (not in any certain order) can be seen in the results of a image search.  

Full descriptions and values for Lars Barbies made prior to 2009 are included in two of my books:  The Definitive Guide to Collecting Black Dolls, 2002, and Black Dolls a Comprehensive Guide to Celebrating Collecting and Experiencing the Passion 2008.  Purchasing links are located under the Black Doll Reference Books tab.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Pretty as Is ~ New Sisterhood Dolls by Madame Alexander

L-R above:  Ivy, Ivy Rose, and Rose

I received the following press release from Ms. Lila Brown, regarding a new doll collection by Madame Alexander created exclusively for the Sisterhood Boutique.  The dolls elegantly promote sisterhood.

New African-American Sorority Collector’s Doll Debuts 2009 Line, Pretty As Is
October 11, 2009
A new African-American sorority doll inspired by sisterhood has been created exclusively for The Sisterhood Boutique by the Madame Alexander Doll Company. Ivy Rose is a "first" for the Alexander Doll Company.

The creation of the Ivy Rose doll collection hopes to unify women who like creator and founder, Rochelle McAllister, desire a purpose driven lifestyle and a natural appreciation for fashion and style.

The three dolls for the 2009 Pretty As Is collection are named Ivy Rose, Ivy, and Rose. Like the first Ivy Rose doll created in 2008, each aspect of the 2009 collection has been meticulously considered as each doll is hand-crafted by Alexander Doll Company. This exquisite heirloom doll is perfect for sorority sisters, gift giving, and doll collectors alike. Ivy Rose, Ivy and Rose, celebrate the diversity of beauty within the sisterhood of women. Pretty, takes on many forms, the bonds we honor and the ties that bind us help us to realize pretty is physical, mental, and emotional and as created beings we are “Pretty As Is,” says McAllister as she created the collection’s concept.
View the Pretty as Is video here.
Vote for your favorite Pretty as Is doll here.

For more information about the Pretty As Is collection from the Sisterhood Boutique, visit and follow Ivy Rose on Twitter at


About The Sisterhood Boutique
The initial concept for The Sisterhood Boutique came about when Rochelle McAllister was preparing to apply to business school. The process of preparing essays allowed her to dream big and to realize her passion lies somewhere between the world of fashion and the universe of femininity. McAllister seeks to build a company that combines her personal affections with her eclectic and entrepreneurial spirit. Through The Sisterhood Boutique and the dolls we create, McAllister’s aim is to inspire the next generation of women entrepreneurs. Additionally, it is her hope to collaborate with other women who like her, in addition to being purpose driven, also have a natural appreciation for fashion and style. We actively seek to build business relationships with like minded individuals.

McAllister is currently a first-year law student at Howard University School of Law. She received her MBA from the Goizueta School of Business at Emory University in 2006 and her Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Oakwood University in 1998. Ms. McAllister was initiated into Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. on January 26, 1997 and currently resides in Silver Spring, MD.

Lila S. Brown
Ella Bee Social Media and Public Relations
Atlanta, GA
Twitter: @EllaBeePR

Sunday, October 11, 2009

World Peacekeepers~Comparison Headshot

This is a comparison headshot of the four World Peacekeepers action figures purchased from Big Lots on various occasions. From left to right they are:  WPK Parajumper, WPK Green Beret, WPK CIA SOG (Special Operation Group), and Navy Seals Tunnel Hunter.  The two in the middle share the same head sculpt.

These guys make perfect companions for 11-1/2-to-12-inch fashion dolls.


One More World Peacekeepers Added to the Mix

I visited Big Lots on Saturday and browsed the remaining World Peacekeepers action figures.  I purchased one final figure that I had declined purchasing at the time of my other WPK purchases.  This one has the same face mold as  World Peacekeepers Green Beret action figure, but his outfit differs to reflect his CIA SOG (Special Operation Group) status.  It consists of a black T-shirt, khaki fatigues, black flak vest, camouflage cap, sunglasses, wrist watch, and much to my surprise when I opened the box this morning, tan low-top boots/sneakers (as opposed to military boots or other military foot gear).  Like the others, his weapons will be removed and stored. 

SOG doesn't need weapons when he has his pick of 11-1/2 inchers to accompany him on display:  Desiree-Adria (my Barbie Fashionista), Boogie Beach Reese (after the replacement arrives, which is on the way from the merchant), or Electro-Pop Dayle, who was recently released from her box.

Electro-Pop Dayle


Friday, October 9, 2009

Talking About Bad and Good Hair

In an attempt to eliminate the frizz from the ends of Artsy's hair, I heavily moussed it, rolled the ends using rod rollers, and allowed it to dry before removing the rollers and gingerly finger combing it.  Finally, I used 24-hour hold hairspray to maintain the set.

(The first image, above, is my grandson's unbraided, washed hair*. The second image, above, is Artsy's hair before resetting.)

Several images of the doll's hair after setting follow:

What a difference a combination of mousse, rod rollers, hairspray, caring hands, and patience make!  Artsy's hair looks very good now!

*At his request, after growing his hair for multiple years, my now 8-year-old grandson's beautiful braids have been cut.


I Finally Found Artsy!

Over the past few weeks, I periodically visited the physical Toys R Us store (before discovering their online price discrepancy on another doll line*) in an attempt to locate Barbie Fashionistas Artsy doll (the featured doll).  Later, multiple visits to Wal-Mart and a visit earlier this week to Target to catch their $9.99 sale were unfruitful. 

Yesterday, I reluctantly visited TRU where I finally found "Artsy."  I had to pay more for the doll at TRU ($11.99) compared  to this week's Target sale price and Wal-Mart's regular price of  $10 and change, but at least the hunt is over! 

  • Love her ability to pose, although I haven't tried posing her in 100 positions just yet.
  • The doll is very photogenic (as illustrated at this link... I had big fun).
  • Her bohemian-style outfit is nice; I love the brown and pink color combinations (but I've already redressed her!).
  • Her boots have a back slit for ease of doffing and donning.
  • I like her facial sculpt.
  • I also like her skin tone and hair color combinations.
  • The dress is way too short... don't bend over, Artsy!
  • The molded-on flesh-tone undies give a pantiless appearance... again, don't bend over Artsy.
  • The foot size is too small for her body.  Mattel... can you please give Barbie and Friends feet that are proportionate to their bodies?  
  • I dislike the poor quality hair.  The ends are frizzy and very unruly.  This is my biggest problem with the doll... I hate the hair.
Since the pros outweigh the cons, I do like the doll. I'd like her more with better quality hair and the addition of undies.  I can overlook the "baby" feet.


*TRU Online Price Discrepancy and TRU Online Price Discrepancy Followup (The physical store's price for all dolls was the same, however.)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Michael Jackson Paper Dolls!

Image from

I just received notification from DollsLikeMe about the soon-to-be-released Michael Jackson Paper Dolls:  Commemorative Edition 1958 - 2009.  The scheduled release date, according to Dover Publications, is October 27, 2009.  I plan to preorder mine today!


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

She's Come Undone

Boogie Beach Reese of the Dynamite Girls by Integrity, a Jason Wu and team design, arrived on Monday.  I removed her from her box this afternoon and thoroughly examined her.  On attempt to test the range of motion of her left knee joint, her lower leg from below the knee down fell off!  Yikes!  Repair will require a specialist because the ball portion separated in half and the remaining upper half is seated unevenly in the socket.  Since I am untrained in limb repair and the ball appears to have been defective from the factory, I emailed the merchant.  I am awaiting their answer on the steps to take to return the doll for a replacement at their expense and/or a full refund.

Reese makes the third doll in the past few weeks to arrive with issues.  Maybe I need to slow my doll buying "role" for a while.


PS  After several hours of waiting to hear from the merchant, I decided to contact Integrity since they offer a one-year limited warranty on this doll.  I sent the following note and must wait 3-5 days to hear from their "Patient Care" department:

"I purchased from one of your authorized merchants and received Dynamite Girls Boogie Beach Reese. The doll's left leg fell off due to a defective ball and joint mechanism, which split in half. One half of the ball is in the upper leg. The other half is in the lower leg. The two parts cannot be put back together because the upper half appears to have been inserted incorrectly at the factory."

Their website states they will not provide return postage and I have to provide clear JPEG photos of the damage for them to determine if repair or replacement is necessary.  If the doll requires replacement (and she does), I will have to DESTROY it and provide pictures as proof that it has been destroyed. 

I hope this story has a happy ending. 

Monday, October 5, 2009

Totally Dolls...

Yesterday was a perfect day. I completed two doll articles that both have a first-week-of-November deadline. Next, I opened up five packages that arrived between this past Wednesday and Saturday. It was like Christmas in October. All of my new dolls have been acclimated to their new environment, and I managed to photograph them and enter their information into my doll database. 

One of the new dolls arrived nude, requiring clothing and shoes. After finding clothing for this 1950s baby and allowing her to borrow a pair of shoes from another doll, the other doll became shoeless. So what did I do? I made a pair of flat sandals using foam sheets. Here's what I did:

• First I traced the doll's foot onto a white foam sheet. I used this as a pattern for tracing the soles for both sandals by flipping it over to trace the sole for the other sandal.

• After tracing this three additional times using both yellow and white foam, I used a 1-inch wide x 2-1/2-inch long piece of white elastic to create the top of the sandal.

• The elastic was stapled to the undersurface of the white foam on both sides, allowing enough space for the doll's foot to fit between the elastic and the white foam.

• Next, I glued the yellow foam to the bottom of the white foam using Aleene's Tacky Glue.

• Paper clips and paper clamps were used to hold the two pieces of foam in place while the glue dried.

• I repeated these steps to create the other sandal.

Lil Miss Make-Up, (an inherited doll from my daughter's childhood collection), who unselfishly gave up her shoes, now has sandals to match her yellow and white pants outfit.

Yesterday was, indeed a dolly good day.


Friday, October 2, 2009

Barbie Fashionistas, The Artsy One ~ Found and Links to 48 Images ~

The Barbie Fashionistas are still MIA here, but Cyano Barbie Dolls & ReRoots found them at the Super Wal-Mart in PA.  As of this writing, the dolls are not available at

Another collector has shared 48 images on Flickr of the Artsy Fashionista... the one that I NEED.

A visit to my Super Wal-Mart is most definitely planned for this weekend.



Thursday, October 1, 2009

I am so looking forward to this one!


Image and partial ad captured from The Danbury Mint's website.

I ordered this beautiful doll after seeing it advertised in the May 31, 2009, issue of Parade Magazine.  As a rule, I do not collect porcelain dolls, but an exception was made for the Michelle Obama Inaugural doll.  I eagerly await her proposed fall arrival.  My prediction is that it will be a complete sell out and extremely hard and costly if acquired on the secondary market.  Don't sleep on this one.