Monday, August 29, 2011

Destiny and the Desegregation Storm

Effanbee's School Picture Day Libbie

From grades first through eleventh, I attended schools in a segregated independent public school system.  Before mandated desegregation occurred in my eleventh school year, by way of busing mostly African American students from their neighborhood schools to white schools, my educators had all been African American.  My fellow classmates were, too.  Most of whom (teachers and classmates) were dedicated, focused on teaching and learning.  I excelled in all areas except higher levels of mathematics.  I paired myself up with those who did excel in math to gain a bit of their knowledge in order to pass math with at least a B average. 

My teachers gave me a sense they actually cared about my academic achievement, but I knew I cared more.  I also knew I would have to deal with my mother's wrath had I not been a high achiever. 

There were one or two teachers who became frustrated with the occasional unfocused or disruptive student. This led them to make such arrogant statements as, "I've got mine [education]. You have to get yours." It was in these classes that I worked harder.

Claudia by Gotz for FAO Schwarz
School Day Ginny by Vogue

Leroy (I should rename him) and his sister, Leneda.

Decades after I graduated with honors, school uniforms become a requirement in the local school system.  The only uniforms I wore were those dreadful white gym suits in PE and my band uniform from seventh through tenth grade. 
Fatou by Annette Himstedt wears a cotton school dress.

Carin by Tonner and big Calista by MGA are both redressed.

My primary grade school attire, selected by my mother, was always dark cotton dresses in solid or plaids for the fall and pastel colors during the spring.  Cable knit knee-high socks in a variety of colors with penny loafers or saddle oxfords covered my feet.  By grade seven, I chose my own clothes and by grade nine, I "needed" at least 10 different outfits or 10 different ways to wear my "new" school clothes to ensure that an outfit would not be repeated within a two-week school period. 

Philip Heath's Aaron looks like an avid reader, eager to learn.

Little Calista and Only Hearts Club Briana Joy fashionably dressed.  (Briana Joy wears Calista's original fashion.)

The school dress code prohibited girls from wearing pants until my freshman or sophomore year.  After repeated requests by students and as many denials, pants were finally permitted after a one-day student protest.  I was one of the protestors.  We all decided to wear pants on the same day, knowing the principal could not expel everyone.  It worked. 

Sometimes "you've got to fight the powers that be."

Hearts 4 Hearts Girls Rahel wears her new School Time Play Set, which comes with a soccer ball, her composition notebook, note pad, and pencils.  (I was prepared to replace the outfit's orange flip-flips with penny loafers, but after seeing the flip-flips on her, I decided against restricting Rahel's shoe choice.)

During my sophomore year, I submitted an application to attend the first school in the United States to offer a magnet curriculum.  Applicants could apply for full- or part-time status to study specialized courses.  I opted for part-time attendance and was accepted.  I would attend my home school in the mornings to take my core classes and ride a school bus to the magnet school to study business courses in the afternoons.   

Before the end of my sophomore year, I learned the 12-year school I had attended since the fourth grade (my home school) would only offer first through seventh grade classes beginning with the next school term.  I was given a choice to choose one of three different high schools as my home school in addition to attending the magnet school part-time.  None of these optional home schools were in my neighborhood.  With either school, I would be forced to ride a school bus to and from it.  Two of the optional schools were in white neighborhoods, the third was in a predominantly black neighborhood, quite a distance from where I lived. 

Wilma depicts the African American girl in Rockwell's painting, "The Problem We All Live With."  The 1963 painting illustrating school racial integration originally appeared in Look magazine in 1964.  The painting was inspired by the first African American child to attend an all-white school in the South, Ruby Bridges.

The optional predominantly black school had been labeled a "fashion show" because many students focused more on wearing the latest fashion than on their education.  Without a desire to compete in their fashion show, and open for change, I opted to be among those blacks mandated to desegregate one of the two all-white optional schools.

"You're a radical," one of my eighth grade teachers to me.  "What's a radical? "I asked.  "Look it up," he said.

After taking the first yellow bus ride from my neighborhood school to the chosen school, I protested by not getting on the afternoon bus to attend the magnet school where I was to study business.  I was not about to spend the majority of  my school time riding a yellow bus to one school, then to another, and back home again.  To and from one school was more than enough bus riding for me.  So, I marched my 16-year-old self to the counselor's office and requested a full class load at the new, desegregated home school.

Determine your own destiny and be radical about it, if necessary.

My first desegregated school year was quite eventful.  I heard about several fights between black and white students, mostly boys.  Differences in culture, skin color, and prohibited racial slurs from whites toward blacks caused these physical altercations.  An ambulance was summoned after one event that caused a head injury during a stairwell fight where several boys attacked another.  Many white parents removed their children from the school.  The majority toughed it out.  By the end of my junior year, the unrest settled; there was quiet after the desegregation storm. 

Was it worth it?  Would it have been better to staff all schools with teachers who possessed the same qualifications and equal desire to educate in equally equipped schools than to uproot children from their communities to others where in most cases they were not welcome?

At my all-black schools, I knew most of my teachers cared about me as a person and as one of their students. Fights were usually only verbal and physical ones were usually limited to the-last-day-of-school-fights between rival students who knew they could not get expelled on the last day.  Racial slurs were nonexistent.  You knew your teacher would contact your mother with sincere concern if you made even the slightest mistake; your neighbors would, too.  So you were usually always "on" your best behavior.  They (the teachers and the neighbors) all knew your parents, so you had better behave or there would be definite and swift consequences.  There was no calling 911 on your parents because there was no child abuse at least not what is defined as child abuse today.

At the desegregated school with its predominantly white staff, the majority of the teachers cared about educating us as a whole, but only a handful gave me the impression they cared about me as a person.  None of them knew my parents.
School kids looking eager to learn and uniformly or individually fashionable. 

Because those AA teachers had years before arrogantly proclaimed they had gotten theirs, long before I entered that desegregated school setting, I knew full well that I had better get mine, too.  So I did, sometimes fashionably dressed in an outfit that had not been worn in at least 10 days, but by senior year, I didn't care who had seen me in what.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Thank You Sr2011ALT...

...for your glowing August 24, 2011, review of The Doll Blogs:  When Dolls Speak I Listen.  I discovered your review a couple of days ago when looking for a review to add to the book's Facebook page.  Your words deeply touched me:

I was SO EXCITED when I went on line and saw that the "The Doll Blogs" was no longer just an e-book. Debbie Behan Garrett is GREAT in everything that she does related to black dolls and their history. The Doll Blogs book makes you feel like you're right there listening to everything the doll has to say (sort of like a doll diary). It was such a unique idea for a book. I have ALL of Debbie Garrett's books and two magazines with articles about black paper dolls that she wrote. Her research is always very detailed and interesting. She is a "REAL DOLL ENTHUSIAST" that I admire. Best Wishes Debbie in ALL that you do.

The Doll Blogs, back cover with reader reviews of prior works
It is because of you, Sr2011ALT, and others who share my enthusiasm for black dolls that I conduct the necessary research and document the results of the same in book, magazine article, and blog form.   My hope is to one day provide the research results and general doll information in subscription-based form. 

Thank you again for your from-the-heart review (and I hope you follow this blog, as this is my only way of reaching out to you to say "thanks").

For the continued love of black dolls, in my life time,


Friday, August 26, 2011

Tutu Precious Wooden Ballerinas

Photograph courtesy of Diana E. Vining (taken before the dolls were shipped to me)

I ordered these girls in April of this year, allowing enough time for the artist (Diana E. Vining, well-known for her paper doll designs) to complete them.  My plan, which has been successfully executed, was to send one as a gift to a friend this month.  They were completed in record time, arriving in June.  Now that the recipient has received her wooden ballerina that she absolutely loves, I can share these "tutu" precious girls here.

These large 18" wooden dolls are part of a series of  one-of-a-kind "Tutu Precious" dolls that Diana is creating. They are each hand-painted, with "real" yarn hair, and come with 3 tutus, 3 bracelets, and a stand!

They can share their accessories with slim-bodied dolls of similar size, and can model some doll clothes (such as Magic Attic, etc). According to Diana, "They can even be a fun way of storing your little girl's hair bows (just clip them all the way down their long hair. Fun to play with, fun to display, they somehow bring the doll and paper doll worlds closer together... They are works of art, and do include small parts so I recommend them for ages 8 and up."

The Tutu Precious Ballerinas are completely designed and handmade by Diana, here in the USA. Price is $28 plus $5 shipping, within the USA. For ordering information, contact Diana or visit her paper doll shop.

Here's a picture of my pretty-in-peach Tutu Precious Ballerina that I also absolutely love.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Zulily Event 80% off Madame Alexander ends 08/26/11

I had to stop and share today's Zulily event notice for Madame Alexander dolls and accessories.  The event ends 08/26/11 at 6 a.m. PDT.  Prices are up to 80% off retail.  The Madame Alexander dolls and accessories that immediately caught my attention are shown below:

Too cute AA cake toppers $24.99 (originally $80???)

Ballet outfit for 8-inch doll, $13.99 (this has my name on it!)

Nefertiti $79.99 (originally $220.00)

Going Platinum Paris, a Jason-Wu design $69.99 (originally $150)

There are several other Madame Alexander doll and accessory offerings during this event, but you have to join Zulily to see them all. 

Joining is absolutely free and their shipping is always reasonable.  It takes approximately 14 days for items to arrive, but they are always as described.  They also offer excellent customer service.  Quantities are usually limited, so if something interests you, "don't sleep on it!"


MacKenzie Fenella Layla, Byron Lars's Last, and...

... the real designer has stood up.

Barbie enthusiast, Romona J. shared image links to the doll she describes as Byron "Lars's last doll for Mattel."  I have not been able to confirm this information and Romona did not share her source.  She did give me permission to share her wonderful images of  "the last Lars" here and wrote, "I hope he comes back for a 20th anniversary doll to mark his work with Mattel." 

Byron Lars and his design-inspired Barbie, Mackenzie Fenella Layla from the Passport Collection
(photograph courtesy of Romona J.)

Mackenzie Fenella Layla joins the two dolls that preceded her, left to right, Lars's Ayako Jones and Charmaine King (all photos are courtesy of Romona J.)

The real designer is exposed:  At the bottom of MacKenzie's description page on, the designer is shown as Ann Driskill.  A big question mark in my head prompted my inquiring mind to investigate this further.  I discovered that Mattel designers "consult" with celebrity designers like Lars, Mackie, Vera Wang, etc. and bring their fashion concepts to life in doll scale. The celebrity designers do not actually work for Mattel, but lend their concepts to Mattel (and of course their names) for these particular dolls.  So while I imagined incorrectly that Lars designed "his" entire collection of Barbies from start to finish, head-to-toe, the dolls were in fact designed by Mattel's designers using Lars's concept (and again, his name). 

Did you know this?


Monday, August 22, 2011

Who Are We: Dolls from England and Germany?

The doll on the left, Jetta, is the "Who Am I Doll?"; the Asian doll is by artist, Dwi Saptono.

Jetta, named by her new proud owner, is a black doll from England whose artist is unknown. 

26-inch doll by Lissi Batz has soft vinyl head and arms; rigid plastic body and bent-baby legs, circa 1980s-1990s*

When I saw Jetta's photo, she immediately reminded me of a doll in my collection manufactured in Germany by the Lissi Batz Company, circa 1980s-1990s. 

To aid in Jetta's identification, I asked the owner to share the doll's markings with me, if any.  I also wanted to know Jetta's height and whether or not she is all vinyl.   Betty wrote:

Jetta is 20" tall, has a soft vinyl head and arms and her body and legs are hard plastic.
Jetta is marked on the nape of her neck and under her hairline:
B50/287  or  850/287 
Since I know that dolls by Lissi Batz are marked with the letters LB within a triangle, Betty's doll was probably made by another European manufacturer.

If you are familiar with these markings, with Jetta's mold, or can otherwise help identify the maker of this doll, please share your knowledge in a comment to this post.

Thanks in advance.

*While I know my doll is by Lissi Batz, I do not know her name.  She was purchased on the secondary market during the 1990s.  I dressed her in the infant’s size 3/6 months mint green and light blue checkered romper and white high-top baby shoes that she wears.  If you know her Lissi Batz-given name, I would appreciate the knowledge. 


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Halle "Livs" the PopLife

The ModelMuse Barbie body is one of my least favorites because of its frozen model pose.  My dolls need to move. 

Die Another Day Barbie (Halle Berry)

After purchasing the Die Another Day Barbie with the Halle Berry head sculpt, I was forced to do my first head swapping on a non-pink box Barbie

Halle and the beheaded Alexis

The prime body donor was Liv's Alexis, specifically the one I picked up at a local thrift store last month.  I used a blow dryer to loosen the vinyl which made the head easily removable.  I did not have to use the same technique with Halle's head because the vinyl is much softer than Alexis's

Halle's head on Alexis's body -- what tiny feet she has 

After the body transplant, I took photos of Halle in her original orange bikini.  It fits the Liv body, but the upper-inner thighs have a wide groove that the bikini does not cover.  I had another outfit in mind for Halle anyway.

I purchased (for the outfit) the redhead PopLife Barbie a couple of months ago.  The doll and box have since "moved" to Poland (thanks to eBay).  I kept the fashion and the chair. 

It fits Halle (or Alexis's) body well.  I was surprised the boots fit the flat feet on Alexis's body, but they do.  If posed properly, the new Halle can even stand without the assistance of a doll stand, but the pink chair will come in handy.

Since I have no use for the ModelMuse body, I listed it and the doll stand on eBay


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Woo Hoo... My Blog is Featured on the Tonner Blog

Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu just informed me via a comment on my "I Stopped Counting at 500" post, that my blog is featured on the Tonner Blog .  Their post includes a bit of Tonner dolls of color history, too. 

A post about the Tonner dolls in my collection has been dancing around in my head for a while.  The first installment is forthcoming.
So much black-doll history... so little time to write.

The featured doll is Tonner's 22-inch American Models Basic African American from 2007, one of my absolute favorites... had to have her!  I named her Rihanna.  Rihanna wears Tonner's "Mountain Retreat" fashion. The outfit, a limited edition of 300, includes the classically styled red duffle coat with Burberry plaid lining, a long-sleeved red turtleneck over distressed jeans; side zipped, tan suede ankle boots; red drop earrings, and tan suede shoulder bag.  Rihanna looks great in anything. 

(The above image and description are included on pages 369-370 in my book, Black Dolls:  A Comprehensive Guide to Celebrating, Collecting, and Experiencing the Passion, 2008. 

Thanks again Kevin for blog nod!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I Stopped Counting at 500

Me, circa 1997 (six years into collecting) holding two Mi-BeBe dolls, which were my favorite dolls at the time.
I began collecting black dolls in 1991.  The story of how this hobby commenced can be read under the About Me tab at the top of the page. 

After the initial urge to collect ensued, I purchased every "collectible" black doll that was not "nailed down."  My definition of collectible was not very well defined at the time.  If it was available, affordable, and aesthetically pleasing, its collecting genre (play, artist, vintage, modern) was inconsequential.  If it was black, to me, it was "collectible." 

I spent early stages of doll collecting buying without regard to a doll's historical significance, target market, production numbers, or rarity.  As a result, the collection grew rapidly, often without rhyme or reason.  Eventually I was urged by my husband to take an inventory or at least conduct a head count.  "I could move one of these dolls and you wouldn't even know it," he once said.  So I counted them, once, and have never since taken another physical head count.

By non-collectors, curious to know why dolls interest a grown woman, I have often been asked the imposing question, "How many dolls do-you-own ?" My standard answer is, "I have no idea."  If my vague answer causes further probing, I add, "I stopped counting at 500, and that was several years ago."  Brows often furrow, eyes look me up and down as my sanity is mentally questioned by these clueless non-collectors.

Recently the cable guy was here to install a cable outlet in the doll room.  After asking the "how many" question, stating, "I've never seen so many dolls," foolishly asking, "Do they talk?"  he blurted out, "This is crazy!"  (I choose to assume he meant the total number and not the fact that I collect, but who knows.)

I would imagine a true head count is in the high four digits, but honestly I do not want to know.  What I do know is that the dolls, particularly the babies that I was so passionate about early on in my collecting infancy, have taken over their allotted square footage.  As a result, it is way past time for me to release them to others who hopefully share the passion and will care for them well

eBay has been my main selling source because I need to decrease the numbers by any means necessary.  I'll stop counting at 500 dolls sold (well, maybe not that many).  If you have time, do check out my current eBay listings.  Feel free to share my listings link with others who may be interested in increasing their doll head counts or simply adding new or different, well-cared for dolls to their collections. 


Monday, August 15, 2011

Horsman's Controversial New Arrival Dolls

Li'l Ruthie and Li'l David by Horsman, 1975
My blog post of August 7, 2011, included four doll controversies with image and/or information links to three of the controversial dolls mentioned.  I promised to share additional information about Horsman's 1975 dolls, New Arrival Li'l David and Li'l Ruthie in a subsequent post.  This is that post. 

I purchased this pair of dolls during the 1990s, shortly after I began collecting, in response to a dolls-for-sale ad placed in Collectors United.  I telephoned the elderly (based on the feebleness of her voice), former owner to inquire about their availability.  She was surprised that I had no prior knowledge of  Li'l David and Li'l Ruthie.  She explained to me that they were the first anatomically correct dolls manufactured by Horsman for the play market.  I agreed to purchase the dolls, sight unseen, based on her description of the dolls and the history she provided.

Because of the correctness of their anatomy (and it is very correct), Horsman knew that some parents might be opposed to their children being so informed through doll play.   

The top flap of Li'l Ruthie's box reads:

New Arrival Li'l Ruthie

(Li'l David's box flap reads the same with the exception that "GIRL" is replaced by "BOY."

The asterisk leads the reader to the warning Horsman included on the lower front of the box to no doubt  eliminate any parental backlash the dolls may have created.  The warning reads:

*This doll has true-to-life features which differentiates little girls from little boys.  For those who feel they do not want their children to be aware of this difference we do not recommend this doll.
This was a clever move by Horsman, one of America's oldest doll companies, having begun operation in the US in 1865.  Horsman is one of the earliest American manufacturers of black dolls (Black Baby Bumps, 1911, being one of their early black-doll products).

More About Li'l David and Li'l Ruthie

Li'l David and Li'l Ruthie  are 13-1/2in (34.29cm) dolls with a one-piece, stuffed-vinyl body.  They have panted hair and painted brown eyes.  With the exception of their different anatomy and outfits, the dolls are identical. 

Li'l David wears a blue and white gingham shirt and diaper that has a front button closure. 

Li'l Ruthie's dress is pink and white gingham.  She has a matching bonnet.  Her diaper also has a front button closure.   Each doll has a pacifier, rattle, and bathing sponge.

An added extra for the little owner is a punch-out birth certificate on the back of each doll's box.

Li'l David and Li'l Ruthie were designed by Irene Szor, who designed dolls for Horsman from 1957 through 1986. 


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Célébrations en Couleurs Exhibit, Images From

Doll-friend, Ruth M. attended the UFDC Convention in Anaheim, California during the week of July 25, 2011.  I blogged about this year's convention, specifically its Célébrations en Couleurs Exhibit (CECE) on June 3, 2011.

Ruth shared five separate image installments of different aspects of the convention.  I thoroughly enjoyed the images taken of the CECE. 

About the CECE, Ruth wrote:
Seeing the exhibit was the highlight for me. It's the only part of the convention that I went back to see many times. Floyd [Bell] gave a group of us a tour of everything in the exhibit and he talked about how he started with Africa, how he happened to make each doll, etc.
I was given permission to share this link to Ruth's images.  (Click the "View Album" link and enjoy!)

Thanks again, Ruth, for sharing the images with me and for allowing me to share.


Friday, August 12, 2011

2011 Barbie Convention: SIS Party and Basics

Spring Break 1961 Barbie and Ken Giftset souvenir dolls
Note:  All photographs herein are courtesy of Ibrahim Ismail

The 2011 Barbie Convention souvenir dolls, African American Spring Break 1961 Barbie and Ken Giftset, were created by designers and artists at Mattel under the creative direction of Matt Sutton and Matt Trujillo.  Matt and Matt autographed the box. 

This is a new face for AA Ken.  Is he working that processed hair, or what?

Ibrahim Ismail (whose lovely one-of-a-kind Chandra was featured in a previous post), shared additional highlights of the 2011 National Barbie Doll Collectors Convention.  His recap focuses on the So In Style (SIS) Party and the Barbie Basics Collection 3.0

Here's what Ismail shared:

SIS Party:
The SIS Party was the best Breakout event at the Barbie Convention this year.  Audra and I put the goody bags together the previous night. We were prepared for The Party!  We set the room up with Cynthia and Stephanie's support as a crowd gathered outside.

I went out a couple of times and teased them about running a little late and the party being cancelled but no one believed me.

At 10:30 pm we opened the doors and I let members in, making sure their name was on the guest list that Kimberley had sent us. This was THE event and we were not going to allow anyone in who was not supposed to be there.

After everyone had been seated, Audra introduced our very special guest speakers:  Katie Phillips and Lauren Doucette from Mattel.

They talked about the new SIS line, and introduced Stephen Sumner as the new designer. We were given a brief history of Stephen's background and his work before he came to Mattel.

We were then introduced to the 2012 line. Although the pictures shown were small, we got a good idea about the line and what is to come.

The one big news story that was greeted with cheers was the introduction of a new character, a Hispanic friend called Marissa.

Then the rumors that had been circulating on the net were laid to rest and the room went quiet as we were informed that Chandra would be taking a sabbatical during 2012. She will not be making an appearance.

There was hush and then the sobbing started. All around the room, not a dry eye in sight. In fact while some chose to sob silently, others found comfort in the arms of fellow SIS friends.

One poor collector who shall remain nameless was wailing loudly whilst beating her chest, reminiscent of a grieving widow from a village in ......................... (please add a third world country of your choice).

She started pulling her hair out and screaming loudly. Audra and I had to restrain her while Katie and Lauren sedated her and she fell on the floor with a loud THUD!

I think if Katie and Lauren had not been in the room, we would have been dealing with mass suicide.

As the news sank in and people tried to compose themselves, we carried on the best way we could.

We hope to be able to share some pictures and names of the range when we are able to but rest assured you will not be disappointed. Marissa and the rest of the SIS team will be flying off the shelves in 2012.
Barbie Basics 3.0
Barbie Basics 3.0
Once in a while Mattel strikes gold and they recognize its value. At other times they strike gold and they mistake it for copper and let it go. This is one of those stories.
When the playline dolls had a makeover, their faces flattened, their heads became bigger and their bodies more rigid (except the Fashionistas).

One of a kind (OOAK) makeover artists could no longer buy cheap beach dolls and sell them for several hundred dollars after working their magic on them. There was a need for an affordable doll which could be customized.

Enter Barbie Basics and their infamous tag line:  Customize, personalize, play.

We finally got a range of fabulous dolls in a wonderful variety of face molds, skin tones and hair colour. OOAK artists everywhere went into overdrive.  Doll collectors too loved the range which was the right price and wonderful to redress.

Add to that a set of beautiful accessories and we are in collector heaven. The price was good too although I thought $10 each would have been better.

But our excitement is to be short lived.

So the new line was unveiled at the Mattel BFC Event and we were introduced to the six new dolls -- the Swimsuit Series. These dolls carry on the wonderful work done previously on the hair and face with two accessory packs to die for.

AA doll from the final Barbie Basics Collection
There are five Caucasian and  one AA doll. The AA doll looks like Chandra but with a slightly lighter skin tone.  (See a slideshow of the Basics including two additional dolls used to model the two accessory packs here.)
So as I admire the new set, I am given the news any collector dreads hearing....... this is the final Basics Collection ever.

I start to weep and sob, but am unable to control my emotions.  I start screaming and wailing, beating my chest reminiscent of a widow......

I found myself being restrained and felt a sharp prick in my arm. Suddenly the room went dark as I fell on the floor with a big THUD!

I think the line is much needed. The price point and diverse range make it so collectible.

Maybe too many dolls were produced too quickly and the designers have burnt out, but they could have reduced the numbers and kept the collection as four or six dolls every six months or so.

I have been reliably informed it's not the sales figures but the fact that the dolls have been in production for three years and they needed to make room for something new.

But those "Happy Holidays" are still going. They first came into production when Queen Victoria was reigning. The vintage reproduction dolls are still going. That started around the same time.

I think Mattel has not been honest with us OR they have not realized what they are letting go.

I was told the Basics are making way for something better. Until I see it, I won't believe it. I finish with a heavy heart, tears in my eyes, and one message about the range........... If it isn't broken, don't fix it!

Thanks again, Ibrahim, for sharing this delightfully candid convention recap and wonderful images.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Barbie's World: New Lars and New Basics

Byron Lars Mackenzie Fenella Layla™ Barbie® Doll
Mattel Stock Photo
The newest doll designed by Byron Lars has as many names as patterns in her interesting fashion.  Its dizzying effect includes stripes, plaids, animal print, argyle, and what appears to be the British flag lining the hood of her cape.  Why not throw in the flag?  It seems to be working for her.  This multicultural doll is available now at for $100.

The multiarticulated Barbie Basics Collection 2.5 is also available at as well as their fashion packs for $19.95 and $14.95, respectively.

The 2011 Holiday Barbie is also available at for $39.95. 


A Pretty Picture... me.

These dolls are displayed on the left side of my work desk.   While working this morning, I glanced at the three Alexis dolls and thought, "How pretty."  I decided to share this true Kodak moment. 

I need a new camera.  My next one will not be a Kodak EasyShare.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Darker and Lovelier Liv Alexis

Making Waves Alexis

Before this past weekend, I absolutely, positively did not have plans to buy any more Liv Alexis dolls.  Honestly, I did not.  However, a recent visit to Toys R Us, just to look, changed that train of thought when I purchased Making Waves Alexis.  Compared to the original Alexis and others that have followed, this doll's darker complexion makes her more appealing to me.  It (the darker complexion) and the dark hair appear to reduce the big-head syndrome from which the Liv dolls all suffer.  Maybe it is just an illusion or maybe this is my way of justifying the purchase of a new doll during my attempt to downsize the collection. 

Making Waves (center) is flanked by two debut Alexis dolls

Justification or not, she is here and I really like her. 

Debut Alexis, Making Waves, another debut, and It's My Nature Alexis -- it is interesting how fashions and different wigs/hair can change a doll's appearance.

Because I was in deboxing mode, I deboxed It's My Nature (IMN) Alexis (pictured above).  I have owned this doll for several months but never felt moved to debox her until now.  Thanks to Making Waves, IMN is now free.  I took a additional photos.  Two are shared below.

Color Play:  An inside shot on window sill

MW and IMN, just chillin' -- MW could use a pair of Limbe Dolls' handcrafted sandals.

I took some additional photographs in a different room using different lighting with my camera flash off and the camera set on the portrait feature.  (Click to enlarge any image.)

These dolls share the same complexion -- click to enlarge any of my images in a new window.

I compared the newest Alexis (Making Waves) with each of the above dolls in the following images:

You can tell by their arms that Making Waves' complexion (left) is deeper than It's My Nature's (right).

Select Liv dolls are on sale at this week.  Sales links follow:

Making Waves Alexis is much darker in person than the above prototype image.