Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mixis Fashion Review

Mixis Fashions:  Piao Liang and Bollywood

After the heads up from D7ana about the Mixis holiday sale, I "ran" to their website and ordered the above two Mixis fashions.  Both are very well made and nicely packaged, as are all other Mixis fashions.  I appreciate the coordinating accessories,which are also well made. 

My favorite of the two is the India-inspired, Bollywood outfit that I believe Rosa will enjoy wearing.  I imagine Emerald will look fabulous in the Piao Liang fashion.  I look forward to redressing them soon.

Had I not already owned the two denim fashions, Rockabilly Girl and Apres Ski Outfit, they would have been included in my most recent Mixis order.

Even if you do not own Mixis dolls (but now is a good time to purchase at least one during the sale), consider the fashions for similar-sized dolls in your collection.


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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Seeing Color

Internet-captured photo

My blog entry of November 19, 2009, "Prince Naveen -- Too Lukewarm for Some," written a little over one year ago, continues to receive multiple page views and additional comments.

The gist of the blog was my concern about the opinions young minds (both male and female) would form as a result of Disney's first animated, African American princess sharing her crown with someone other than an African American or male of African descent.  The text of the original blog also includes an African American male's commentary on Prince Naveen's ethnicity and the roles portrayed by other characters in last year's Disney movie, The Princess and the Frog

Neither commentary (mine, a female's perspective, nor the male's perspective) was a statement against interracial relationships.  Mine, personally was more of a concern over Disney's prince selection, the film industry's perpetual vilification and exclusion of positive African American male characters, and the opinions children might form as a result of viewing this particular movie.

The blog was also written prior to my seeing the movie and now understanding why, for Disney, Prince Naveen had to be someone that would appeal to both Charlotte (Princess Tiana's white BFF) first and eventually to Princess Tiana.  Moviegoers' tempers may have been more than lukewarm if Charlotte wanted to marry an African prince (even if it was only for his money and the status she would gain).  As I initially suspected, Prince Naveen's lack of true ethnic background was also Disney's way of capitalizing on a wider audience of movie-goers and merchandise consumers, wherein the only color of interest is green. 

Did it have to be this way?  No, the plot could have been different.  Princess Tiana could have had a prince of African descent and a happily-ever-after status, too.  But when you see green and already possess enough to write your own stories, you pen them with expectations of "growing your green."  Wider appeal equals "bigger bank," more money, more money, more money. 

According to my blog's statistics, the above-mentioned blog entry ranks a constant #1 in popular posts read, with 484 page views this week; 6,820 page views since it was written; and 28 pro-to-con comments regarding Disney's characterization of Princess Tiana's prince.  Of all the blog entries I have written over the past year, I find these statistics quite interesting. 


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Friday, November 26, 2010

Additional Heads are Sold Separately

Thanksgiving Eve at Target, while browsing the toy aisle, I found and purchased this additional head for Barbie Fashionistas Swappin' Styles Artsy.  Regularly priced $4.99, it rang up a dollar less with their in-store discount.  I have not deboxed it or tried it out, but thought I'd give a quick share that an additional head for Artsy does exist.


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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving Thanks

Photograph courtesy of master carver, Floyd Bell

Be thankful, be blessed, be a blessing... always.


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Monday, November 22, 2010

Journey Girls - Taryn

Taryn is an18-inch, vinyl doll with cloth body below her vinyl torso.  The vinyl torso and full vinyl arms allow dressing in a variety of fashions from short sleeves to sleeveless.

She has mounds of curly black hair that is closely rooted. A black headband keeps her hair out of her gorgeous rich chocolaty brown face.  Her hazel eyes are stationary with applied eyelashes. A gray knit shirt with white long sleeves; tartan plaid necktie*, blue denim skirt, white knee socks, and blue vinyl sneakers with molded laces complete her casual outfit.

One of four dolls in this Toys R Us-exclusive line, Journey Girls (JG), Taryn and the other dolls each have unique head sculpts. No two dolls are alike. Each doll also has a separate set of interests.

Taryn's headshot and her bio from side panel of box

Bio/Interests:  Taryn is a multitalented performer who loves to travel and experience the local music scene. She aspires to perform at the New Orleans Jazz Festival.

Taryn and the other JG dolls are $29.99.  Extra boxed JG outfits are available for $12.99 each. This week at Toys R Us, the purchase of one JG qualifies the buyer to receive a free JG outfit.

Initially, I had no plans to purchase Taryn, but this was the only Taryn left at the TRU I visited yesterday.  There were multiples of the other JG dolls.  Taryn's lone status coupled with the free outfit offer enticed the purchase.


After easily removing Taryn from her box, I redressed her in the above fashion, which is very well made. 

Next, I pierced her ears using a push pin and inserted yellow stud earrings to match the yellow stripes in her tunic.

She can wear her extra fashion with or without the gray hoodie.

*The only con I've encountered is the need to  untie Taryn's necktie for redressing her.  A snap in the back of the tie would have prevented this.  Otherwise, she's perfect... so much so that I am seriously considering a return trip TRU to purchase a BFF for her, Alana.   



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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Can't Get Enough Princess Tiana Dolls

My First Disney Princess Baby Tiana *

I was surprised to discover the newest-to-me Princess Tiana doll yesterday while thumbing through the pages of the Holiday 2011 issue of DOLLS magazine.  The article, "Babes in Toyland" features six Disney Princess babies manufactured by Tolly Tots.  My First Disney Princess Baby Tiana is a 12-inch, soft-bodied doll.  She's dressed in a cute romper and wears her very own tiara.  The lowest online price I found for the baby is $10.99 at FAO online.  Elsewhere, prices vary from $12.99 and often much higher.

My First Disney Princess Baby Tiana*

After searching for images of the baby, I found a new, 15-inch toddler.  My First Disney Princess Tiana is also by Tolly Tots.  She's cute, as was the original toddler by Mattel, but she's much cuter than the one offered at  Disneystore.com.  Priced much higher at other sites, Tolly Tot's todder is $19.99 at Toys R Us online.  Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, the doll is not available online.  Check local stores if this one interests you.

Disney Princess and Me - Tiana*

The 18-inch version of Princess Tiana by Jakks Pacific has been available for a few months.  Size wise, little girls who own other 18-inch dolls may enjoy this one for redressing in everyday clothing.  The best online price that I have seen for this one is again at ToysRUs.com at $49.99.

I am happy about the selection of Princess Tiana dolls available in a variety of price ranges for collecting and for play.  I am particularly enthused about these new playline dolls.  They affirm that princesses and other fairy tale characters, whose stories usually end with a positive note, come in all colors… something all little girls need to know, especially those with similar complexions.

*Camera-captured images

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Friday, November 12, 2010

I Had to Share This Awesome Story

Someone suggested that I read the latest issue of O Magazine.  I haven't subscribed in years and initially said I probably would not buy it (browse it in the store, yes; buy it, no).  Curiosity got the best of me, so (knowing that a doll had to be the reason the the magazine was suggested reading) I googled "O Magazine doll."  The link that changed my initial inclination not to purchase the November December issue of O Magazine follows:


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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Don't Make My Brown Eyes Blue... or Green

Part of the fantasy of owning a BJD, aside from the articulation and pose-ability, is the ability to rewig and change the eye color.  I've mastered rewigging with Goodreau's Mirror, a.k.a. "Cocoa."  The doll's most recent eye changes have convinced me, however, that some things are better as is.  See for yourself.

Cocoa with blue-gray eyes; these are scary but not as spooky as the next color.

Here's Cocoa with demonic-looking green eyes.  These are the ones that convinced me and Cocoa that her beautiful, original brown eyes are the best color for her complexion and her overall appeal.

Cocoa's original brown eyes (shown above) will be left in her eye sockets indefinitely (unless a more appealing brown pair surfaces.)

What do you think?

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Monday, November 8, 2010

New Karito Kids - Giving Girls, Lara

Karito Kids Lara

Lara (a brunette with brown eyes) and an olive (tan) complexion along with "caring" companion Leza (a blonde with blue eyes) are an extension of the original Karito Kids dolls.  The two-doll series, Giving Girls, will be sold exclusively at Sam's (club) through December 31, 2010.

I purchased Lara as a doll companion or BFF for my niece's doll, Lulu, (the authentically dark-skinned doll from the original Karito Kids line). Lara will be part of my niece's Christmas present this year (with my sister's blessing).

Mixis Opal and Karito Kids Lara, complexion comparison

Unlike the original Karito Kids, who represent girls from various countries and come with a book that tells their individual stories, Lara and Leza do not have a specific country of origin. Instead of a book that tells their stories, they both have a mission of caring around the world* and come with an extra fashion. Leza, is obviously white, but Lara's ethnicity is somewhat ambiguous. She could represent an African American, Hispanic, biracial or other olive-complexioned girl.

At $34.88, Lara and Leza are priced a third of the original dolls' price, which is another reason I felt compelled to buy her for my niece.  Last year after my niece received Lulu, my sister expressed a desire for her daughter to own Pita or one of the other girls.

My mission (with regard to my niece's Christmas present this year) is partially accomplished and my sister's desire will also be fulfilled. 

*Every Karito Kids Giving Girl comes with a special Giving Code.  When the code is entered at karitokids.com, the company will donate a percent of the purchase to Plan International, a charity that helps kids in need around the world.

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Monday, November 1, 2010

Hearts4Hearts Girls!

I just discovered these dolls after browsing the current issue of Doll Collector magazine.  I like the concept (a portion of the proceeds of each doll's sale is donated to a children's organization in the country the doll represents).  At 14 inches tall and all vinyl, their size is perfect.  Girls ages 6 to 10 are the target market.

According to their press release, Heart 4 Heart Girls retail for $29.99 and will be sold at Target stores and online at Target.com (eventually). 

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