Saturday, June 30, 2012

Ultra Limited Edition OOAK Fashion BJDs

Mogamu Fado, OOAK BJD
Photograph courtesy of T.U.E.D.

Produced in an ultra limited edition of 15, in various complexions from light to dark, the doll to the left is one doll currently offered by The Urban Eclectic Dolls (T.U.E.D.).  These 10-1/2-inch (26.67 cm) ball-jointed dolls are made of resin and are fashion divas.  Each doll is a one of a kind with individual face ups and body painting, hand made wigs, unique fashions, and accessories. 

The T.U.E.D. web site currently includes three sales pages and a size/proportion comparison page. 

Here's the link to the first sales page: -- link to the other two sales pages and to the comparison page using the tabs at the top of each page. 


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Friday, June 29, 2012

Is Shill Bidding Legal?

I was going to post a link to a "High End Barbie" auction on my Dolls for Sale Blog until I read the following disclosure:

Auction Information and Special Terms of Sale:
PLEASE READ: At the request of the auction company, this auction permits bids to be placed by the auctioneer, an employee of the auctioneer, or the seller or an agent on the seller's behalf, even if such bids are placed solely for the purpose of increasing the bid. While [Auction Site]'s Unified User Agreement prohibits this behavior, in accordance with UCC 2-328, this auction is permitted to engage in this activity by providing this clear disclosure to you, the bidder.

"... even if such [permissable] bids [by the auctioneer, an employee of the autioneer, or the seller or an agent on the seller's behalf" are placed solely for the purpose of increasing the bid."

This sounds like shill bidding to me, which I thought was illegal.

In addition to a 14% Internet buyer's premium, winners will have to pay shipping.  Unless potential bidders are enthused about 1990s Barbie's, with the exception of Wild Bunch Francie, I did not see much worth taking a chance on getting outbid by someone whose sole purpose would be to increase the bid and not to win the item.  Some of the bids that are currently at $1 might possibly receive what sounds like shill bids before the auctions end.  For this reason, I won't share the link to the site. 

I guess what happens in Vegas should stay there. 


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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Muscle-Bound Man's Surpise Gift

A few weeks ago, a surprising treat in the form of a tiny blue envelope from Paulette of Limbe Dolls was found in my PO box.  The accompanying handwritten note described the contents as a belated birthday gift.  How special I felt!

It was early June.  Even though my birthday is in mid-May, I was still celebrating and delighted to have someone favor me in such a manner. 

I found the perfect guy to wear the handmade pair of black ribbon-woven sandals with foam soles.  He had been wearing the green striped Ken Fashionistas tank that he still wears.  The tank, however, was the extent of his proper attire for the 92-degree weather we were experiencing the day the sandals arrived. 

Temperatures have soared above 100 here in Texas since then and I know my muscle-bound man is happy he was chosen to wear the sandals.  The khaki Ken shorts that replaced his thick denim pants were a welcome change the day the sandals arrived. 

Later that day, after the weather cooled, my guy and I went outside briefly where he first modeled his new sandals and then struck a muscle-flexing pose for his full-length photograph.  See below.

Black ribbon, basket weave sandals by Limbe Dolls, scaled for Power Team figures

My muscle-bound, Ultra Corp guy, flexes his deltoid, biceps, and triceps muscles as he cools off in summer clothes and new sandals.
Doll people are so very wonderful and Paulette is no exception to this fact.  Her generosity as well as her creativity are beyond measure.

Thank you again, Paulette, for your thoughtfulness and for sharing with me your creative works.


If you have not already viewed the Limbe Dolls tutorials on how to make sandals and other items for your playscale guys and gals, here is a link to the Youtube channel.  Visit the Limbe Dolls Etsy store where Paulette sells some of her creative works from time to time, and follow her blog, as I do, for updates on "the serious business of doll play."  


The title of this post is taken from the 1964 song, My Guy by Mary Wells.  "No muscle-bound man can take my hand from my guy... my guy... my guy.  No handsome face could ever take the place of my guy... my guy... my guy.  He may not be a movie star, but when it comes to being happy, we are.  There's not a man today, who can take me away from my guy. 

(A good fourth grade memory, imagining true love.)

Press the play arrow to see and hear the beautiful,  Mary Wells perform My Guy.


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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

New Head Love

After leaving a thrift store empty handed without a suitable articulated body there in sight, I returned home where I intermittently scanned the doll room for several days.  I needed a body for a Dollar Tree fashion/styling head like one of these.  Finally, I spotted Alexis in the corner, still dressed for winter, waving one hand frantically in the air with a pleading facial expression,  "Pick me!  Pick Me!"

LIV Alexis volunteering as a body donor

Alexis, hugging her new head, is pleased to be the chosen body donor.
Alexis immediately latched on to the new head long before I placed it on her body.  Eager for me to complete the swap, I felt her extreme gratitude after the styling head replaced her original, oversized cranium.

Here she is, looking relieved, in her original, Makin' Waves fashion, with the weight of her former big head off her shoulders.  At a cost of only $1, the fashion styling head has a pretty face.  The hair is not well rooted, so I left it styled in the original two side ponytails. 

There is a minor difference in the complexion with the new head being a shade darker than Makin' Waves Alexis's body, but "Alex" -- the transformed doll, does not mind.   

I did not realize the extent of LIV dolls' cephalomegaly until completing this head swap.  Those heads are enormous!  What was Spin Master thinking or why were they not? 

The last photo of Alex (looking quite youthful) was taken outside after a final redress in the tunic from a Liv'n Fab fashion (formerly worn by BB Model 8, aka Jean Shanté, before she underwent a recent fashion and wig change). Alex's earrings and shoes are also by LIV.   


(Most) LIV dolls and fashions are on sale this week at Target.  I picked up the following two  Liv for Hair fashions for $6.98 yesterday.  The Liv in Color dolls were on sale for $7.98, not a bad price to pay for their colorful fashions, but I left them there.

Liv for Hair fashions on sale at Target this week (06/24/12 through 06/30/12)


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Monday, June 25, 2012

Patience Yields a New Look for Model 8

A new, more brown than auburn 1/6-scale doll wig arrived a couple of weeks ago, packaged in a pretty handmade box with a cute note card from Loanne of Tabloach Productions.  I could tell this wig and everything that accompanied it was made with love and care.  I also knew my patronage was appreciated.

At the moment of purchase, choosing a doll to wear the wig became a challenge because I have an extreme phobia about shaving a doll's perfectly good head of hair.  Cutting any doll's hair, even a dime... wait, I mean, a dollar store doll's hair is difficult for me.  This is more avoidance behavior than phobia.  I associate doll hair shaving with intentional doll damage.  Therefore, I avoid permanently altering a doll in that way.  Perhaps this is something I will overcome in the future, but right now, I choose not to do it.

Now, I did fall in love with this particular wig when I saw the online image on Facebook, which  appeared auburn.   Since 2001, when my grandson was born with a headful of auburn, actually fiery red hair, I have had an affinity for auburn haired black dolls.  Throughout his decade +1 years, Grandson's hair has become more sandy brown with red highlights and is now worn closely cropped, but I still love black dolls with auburn hair. 

I chose BB Model 8 from the "Denim Collection" to wear this wig because her original short gelled hairstyle did not require cutting for the wig to fit.  Since June 2011, she had worn a Limbe Dolls braided wig.  After initially trying on the Tabloach wig, which did not seem to work well for her, I replaced her true auburn braided wig and stored the Tabloach wig in the original box.

Viewing a similar Tabloach wig last week in a Chynadoll Creations post, prompted me to work with the new wig a little more.  I determined that Model 8's clothing may have been in the way of her new wig, so I removed the tunic and scarf  (part of a LIV, Liv'n Fab fashion) that she'd been wearing over her original black tank top and skinny jeans.  With that, she was already beginning to wear the wig well.  "Earrings... she needs earrings," I thought.  A quick trip to the beauty supply store's 99 cents earrings section yielded her modified "Basketball Wives" earrings. 

Prior to my modification, Model 8's new earrings had been nearly 6 inches long!  The above image illustrates the bottom 4 inches that I snipped off.

Wearing the new wig and earrings, I took several photos of "Jean" with and without the camera's flash.   Her best close-up and full-length photos are shown below.

Barbie Basics Model 8, Denim Collection, in new wig and new dangle earrings

Jean and I love her new wig!  All it took was patience on my part and the correct fashion and accessories for her to "work" it.


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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Word Verification -- Annoyance or Savior

In the past week or more, Blogger's spam protection measures have detected several spam comments.  These start out with a generic praise, written by "Anonymous" users, and always conclude with a link to a non-doll related web site.   The most recent one, received today (minus the web site link) is shown below:

I really love your site.. Excellent colors & theme. Did
you build this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as I’m looking to create my own personal blog
and would like to learn where you got this from or what the theme is called.

Really?  I mean... really?  Am I supposed to fall for this?

Short of moderating all comments before they are published, word verification, which had been turned off, is now back on and my blogs no longer accept Anonymous comments.   Comments to post older than 14 days have always been and remain moderated. 

Valid comments regarding posts I publish are very important and encouraging.  So sad it has to come to this, and I hesitate to ban valid "Anonymous" commenters, but future comments on this blog will only be accepted from registered users.


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Friday, June 22, 2012

Cute as a Button by Cheryl Hill

A brochure from Ashton-Drake arrived recently that I almost discarded before noticing these cute brown mini babies by Cheryl Hill.  It may be my monitor, but in the brochure they appear more brown than portrayed in the website images. 

Miniature babies by Cheryl Hill for Ashton-Drake, click to enlarge

In any shade of brown, their prototype images are indeed as "Cute as a Button," the name given to the first in this series of mini babies.  Others include "Sweet as Honey,"  in yellow and "Gentle as a Lamb," in blue.  Whether or not the actual dolls will look like their prototypes is unknown.  Ashton-Drake has failed at replicating some artists' sculpts in the past

No longer a baby-doll collector with a preference for non-sleepers, I still enjoy seeing cute doll portrayals of babies.  At only 5 inches and poseable, one of these might be a consideration.  We shall see.


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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thelma Bates - Preserving Our Doll Making History

Thelma Bates doll maker extraordinaire, photo courtesy of The Gist of Freedom BlogTalk Radio show (2010)

I have not had an opportunity to add a Thelma Bates doll to my collection.  The probability is slim.  After seeing her one-of-a-kind President Obama, purchased by doll-friend, Yvonne Peters, I contacted Ms. Bates in 2010 about the possibility of making a "little girl" doll of about 10 to 12 inches for me.  She explained that most of her dolls are larger dolls that represent adults, but she had made some smaller ones in the past.  Most of her dolls are inspired by pictures of family members and other people with whom she has come in contact.  She said she would try to make one for me.   At that time, Ms. Bates was experiencing the onset of vision problems, which according to my friend, Yvonne, who received a letter from her recently, have worsened.  It is doubtful that Ms. Bates is still making dolls.  I tried telephoning her prior to publishing this blog, but the call was unanswered.

In order to preserve our doll making history as I know it, I am taking the liberty now to showcase some of Ms. Bates' doll art here in image form found on the Internet and from my personal doll ephemera.  More such artists' work will be shared in the future.

One of a kind, "Zoot Suit" by Thelma Bates, stands 17 inches, made of cernit.  "Zoot Suit" was nominated for the 2004 Dolls Awards of Excellence in the OOAK category of dolls under $1000.  Image scanned from the front of a postcard; the back of which contains Ms. Bates' contact information.

At the 18th International Black Doll Show in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, I met Ms. Bates at the table she shared as a vendor with another doll artist (whose name escapes me now).  After we briefly chatted, she gave me the above postcard of her "Zoot Suit" man. 

One-of-a-kind, "President Obama" made of cernit, by Thelma Bates, stands among other President Obama memorabilia, photograph courtesy of Yvonne Peters

I received the image of Yvonne Peters' President Obama by Bates in a letter Peters wrote me in 2010.  Along with the photograph, Yvonne wrote:  "I ordered this O'Bama from a school teacher, doll artist in Maryland, Christmas 2009." 

Ms. Bates' online bio, which dates back to 2002.

The following two photographs of dolls made by Thelma Bates were found on Photobucket, uploaded by the Gist of Freedom Talk Radio.

Elderly woman by Thelma Bates, made of cernit.

Regal gentleman by Thelma Bates

Ms. Bates used cernit in her dollmaking, which is a type of clay.  The sculpted dolls are backed in a special oven.

September 2010 The Gist of Freedom TalkRadio Interview with Ms. Bates on doll making -- the interview is over 30 minutes long.  There is about a 2-minute musical pause near the beginning before the interview resumes.


Update 02/23/2018:  I woke up this morning thinking about Ms. Bates and decided to conduct an online search for her dolls in hopes of finding one for sale.  What I found instead, sadly, was her obituary.  Ms. Bates passed away on December 8, 2017.


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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

All of a Sutton Enabling

My Scene Jammin' in Jamaica Sutton, Mattel 2003

Certainly I know the correct spelling is s-u-d-d-e-n, but I thought the title spelling was catchy.

If you are a doll collector and associate with others who share your passion for dolls, you have been enabled to buy a doll or two.  I know this has happened to me more times than I can accurately state or wish to recall. 

Have you ever enabled yourself to buy a doll? 

My purchase of Jammin' in Jamaica Sutton was one such self-enabled yet aided purchase.  You see, I read D7ana's My Scene Jai post, which sparked my initial interest.  D7ana encouraged me to write about My Scene Madison (MSM) and Westley

After the MSM/Westley post, sudden Sutton Internet research ensued (what a mouthful).  Man Behind the Doll offers extensive information about My Scene Sutton, which includes images, year of release, and a full description.  While browsing that site, I initially considered purchasing the Justin Guarini look-a-like My Scene doll, Bryant, but after seeing the rooted hair versions of Sutton, his darker complexion drew me in.  Maybe I'll add Bryant later if I find one reasonably priced (here I go, self-enabling again).  But, (justifying the enabling) Westley needs a mate, too, since Madison has her claim on Sutton.


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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ping Lau @Down East Doll Show

Leonie by Ping Lau

Emei by Ping Lau

These two babies will accompany Ping Lau at the Down East Doll Show, which will be held on June 22nd and 23rd, 2012 at the Greenville Convention Center, Greenville, NC.  Additional show information is here.

Ping describes the babies as follows:

1) Leonie – OOAK, Puppen Fimo, blown glass eyes, modacrylic hair, infant clothes with polymer clay lollipop and toy rabbit, 30 inches

2) Emei - OOAK, Puppen Fimo, blown glass eyes, modacrylic hair, original costume, 28 inches
Visit Ping's website here.


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Monday, June 18, 2012

Incredible Realism and Price!

Will Smith as Agent J by Enterbay
Curious, I wanted to know how the new Men In Black 3 playscale figures look, specifically Will Smith.  The current retail price is around $230.  Say what??  The realism is remarkable, but with that price, I'll have to make do with my Headplay-on-an-action-figure-body Will and admire Enterbay's from afar.   


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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Letters From My Daddy

My daddy during the 1940s
While he was the biological father of four, in my eyes, I was his only child.  My siblings as well as my mother often referred to me as his favorite.  Subconsciously, I knew this, too, and knew that if I asked Daddy for anything, he'd never deny me.

He was my nurturer. It is his arms that I recall cradling and rocking me as a toddler. He sang lullabies to me (go to sleep little baby), gave me lots of hugs and kisses, and told me often that he loved me throughout my life.   It was Daddy who greeted me in the afternoons at the busy intersection that my 6-year-old self had to cross to get safely home from school.

When my sister was 5, Daddy found her packing her little belongings in a brown paper bag and asked her where she was going.  She explained that she was mad at Mama and was running away.  This was a couple of weeks prior to a planned trip to New York that she and my mother were taking.  To calm Robin down, Daddy, said, "Well baby, don't you think you should wait until you get back from New York to run away? That way, you'll be able to take your trip.  If you leave now, you won't."  This was food for thought for the young 5-year-old, who said, "Yeah... that's a good idea!"  Of course, her anger at Mama subsided long before that trip took place and probably seconds after Daddy's brilliant manner of convincing her not to run.

Daddy and Mama some time during the 1970s
Greater than his love for me was his adoration of my mother.  He'd do anything for her, too.  As Mama sat on the floor on a cushion, Daddy would comb and brush her long black hair and massage her scalp afterward.  Daddy would take us shopping and wait patiently while the three of us (Mama, my sister, and I) shopped for hours at a time because Mama never learned to drive.  Affectionately, she was his "Boo."  He was a very good husband, provider, and father.  A great role model for his sons, but of course he had his faults too.  All of us do.

His marriage to my mother lasted 25 years before irreconcilable differences ended it.  Daddy remarried and moved to Paris, but his love for my mother never ceased.  

After their divorce, during each of our visits, telephone conversations, or in his handwritten letters to me postmarked Paris, Texas, he'd always ask, "How's Mama?"   Often he'd say, "You know I still love her."  Sometimes he'd jokingly ask, "Is she still fussing?"  I'd say, "Yeah," to which he'd reply, "she's all right."

Yesterday, I re-read some of my daddy's letters that he wrote to me from 1992 through 1998, the year he died of prostate cancer.  They brought back pleasant memories that will live forever in my heart.


To add some doll flavor, I'm sharing the following picture of Chandra, who has found a love interest.  Chandra's beau reminds me of my father.  Perhaps I should name him Charles since he looks nothing like the person he's supposed to portray.

Chandra and her new beau, formerly Michael Jordan, now Charles


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Mattel's Carla to Debox or Not

First issued in 1974 as Tutti's new black friend, I found the 1977-reissued, Carla on eBay in approximately 2002.  Bendable, poseable, 6-1/4-inch Carla arrived from a US seller never removed from box and remains in that state.  I recently thought I would take some out-of-the-box photos of her but decided against it.  Her box is too pristine. I can see her through the cellophane, so there's really no point in removing her.  I admit, I am a little obsessive about preserving certain dolls in their manufactured state.

I did take the following photos of the front and back of Carla's box to share here. 
Carla is a 6-1/4-inch, all-vinyl doll with bendable arms and legs, wears orange dress with white pockets and trim.  Her white socks and shoes are enclosed in plastic attached to box liner. Carla has black, rooted hair styled in two side ponytails with bangs; brown painted eyes.  
The back of Carla's box illustrates Tutti (Barbie's little sister); Tutti's friend, Chris; and Todd (Tutti's twin brother).
Shortly after becoming an adult doll collector, I was reunited with Carla's friend, Tutti, which I believe was my sister's childhood doll.  Tutti, now mine, was found by my mother in December 1995 among my remaining childhood Barbies.  Neither of us owned Tutti's twin brother, Todd. 

According to Doll, Tutti, and her friends were discontinued in the US after 1971, but still sold in Canada and Europe until 1980.  My doll's box date (1976) and the four-language box text (English, German, French, and Italian) confirm her non-US market status.

For my own pleasure and to share here, I found the following links to images of freed Carla, Tutti, Chris, and the original Todd.  Note:  The original, 1960s Todd and the 1990s Todd, twin brother of Stacie, are not one in the same.   I do wish Mattel would reissue the 1990s Todd, the dark-skinned version specifically; and for those who want her, Carla would be a nice reissue, too. 

Enjoy the links!


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Friday, June 15, 2012

Why Do You Have Black Dolls - Documentary

"Why Do You Have Black Dolls?" is a 25-minute film of interviews with black-doll enthusiasts by Dartmouth student, Samantha Knowles.

The film has been accepted into its first film festival: Run & Shoot Filmworks, Martha's Vineyard African American Film Festival, which will take place from August 7 through August 11, 2012.

Click the play arrow to watch the trailer:

"Why Do You Have Black Dolls?" also has a Facebook page! Knowles urges you to "like" it to receive updates:

Read more about this remarkable young woman, here.

Thank you, Ms. Knowles for your research and work to further expose the historical and cultural significance of embracing black dolls through the joy of doll making, collecting, and play!


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No, No! Sergio

During the 1980s, Sergio Valente jeans were "hot" in the minds of some.  To this day I still love and wear denim jeans.  They are a staple for me, but I never, ever-ever-ever wore Sergio Valente jeans or any others like them.  The pocket design and gold bull's head-shaped logo on the sides of the pant leg are just not my style. 

A decade later, after I began collecting dolls, and after reading Myla Perkins' Black Dolls, an Identification and Value Guide, I discovered African American versions of the Sergio Valente female and male fashion dolls.  Back then manufacturers rarely took the time to create a unique head sculpt for black dolls when white and black versions were made.  The Sergio Valente dolls typify the use of shared molds for all ethnicities. 

Miss Sergio Valente had the potential for entering my collection, but the male never did.  Even though both dolls have white facial features, the male doll screamed (in my mind) white doll painted brown.  His 1980s, black, molded, Vinny Barbarino-style hair added volume to that scream. Fashion dolls were also of little to no interest to me at that time, especially none dressed in Sergio Valente (SV) jeans. 

Of course, collectors' tastes change and I am no exception.  I recently desired both dolls.  Interestingly, I wanted the male more... probably because I'm on this dark-skinned playscale male quest.  While finding black male dolls is not as difficult as it was in past years, it is still no easy feat, ethnically correct facial features or not. 

I found Miss Sergio Valente first.  She is shown in the following images along with close-ups of her SV jeans.
Miss Sergio Valente (1981 Toy Time Inc.) has a swivel waist, black-rooted bubblecut hairstyle, and brown painted eyes.  She wears a pink polyester SV logo'd top and SV jeans.  Her white high-heel shoes are enclosed in plastic, still attached to the box liner.  (The reduced 1980s Toys R Us price was $2.98; I paid $9.99 plus shipping.)

The Sergio Valente label is on a pocket; the bull's head-shaped logo streams down the sides of the jeans.

About a week following Miss Sergio Valente's arrival, I decided to conduct a quick Google search for the male (even though I had a saved eBay search already in place for him).  Much to my amazement, that Google search result led me to a California pawn shop owner's auction page for the African American male priced at $9.99 (buy it now) or best offer.  What-t-t-t?  (I thought!)  I didn't want to take a chance on attempting to get him for less, so I completed the buy it now and immediately paid the $14.99 total -- shipping was only $5.  Woo hoo! 

He is shown below, in close-up and full view, with his chocolate self, and I don't e-ven care if he's just a white doll dipped. 
"Oh, Oh, It's Sergio!"

Sergio Valente the Male Fashion Doll, also has a swivel waist. (The original, circa 1982, Toys R Us Price was $5.97.)

As illustrated on the back of the male's box, there were separately sold Sergio Valente fashions for the dolls.
Click to enlarge for better detail.

While I have welcomed the Sergio Valente dolls into my collection with wide open arms, I'll still never, ever-ever-ever wear Sergio Valente jeans or any jeans like them.

For readers too young to remember Sergio Valente jeans, I've included the following Miller's Outpost commercial. 


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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Letters to Editors

As mentioned in yesterday's post, Past Doll Articles of Note, I am in the process of purging my doll magazine library.  My doll magazine reading is now limited to digital subscriptions and referencing hard copies of the back issues I plan to keep.  I can read digital versions online with an option to print articles of note at my discretion.  Selling the issues I no longer need is part of my self-imposed reduced paper and clutter act. 

I became aware of now, doll-friend Bettie Ativie during the late-1990s when I penned the "Spotlight on Collectors" column of DOLL-E-GRAM, which is no longer in circulation.  Betty graciously allowed me to profile her by submitting answers to my questionnaire and sharing images of her dolls.  I shall never forget the very impressive photograph she shared of herself with twin Fatous by Annette Himstedt.    This period was pre-Internet access for both of us when our communication was solely by snail mail. 

I am so happy my process of magazine elimination includes reading the Letters to the Editor.  Otherwise, I would have missed Betty's letter to the editor of Contemporary Doll Collector, which was published in the May 2009 issue, some 11 years after our initial correspondence.  As a result of this letter, Betty and I reconnected and have since communicated on a frequent basis through mailed letters initially,  by email now, and by phone on a couple of occasions.  Betty has also shared dolls from her collection for my blog and has inspired some of my other blog posts.

Letter written by Betty Ativie to the editor of Contemporary Doll Collector, published in the May 2009 issue (click to enlarge).

The second letter to the editor of a doll magazine that I am keeping was written by my dear friend, Ruth Manning, whose friendship I will cherish and whose memory will live forever in my heart.  As mentioned in this blog post, Ruth and I met in 2003.  During one of our many telephone conversations, she and I discussed the routine absence of magazine articles on black dolls.  We asked ourselves, "Why do we subscribe to these publications when they rarely include articles on the dolls we love and collect?"  I suggested that she do what I had done in the past, pen letters, either mailed or electronically, to doll magazine editors to broaden their awareness of our unmet need.  She did.  One of Ruth's letters to editors was published in the August 2009 issue of Doll Reader.  Before discovering her letter, I made a mental note that this magazine would spark interest on eBay from Annette Himstedt doll enthusiasts.  Himstedt is featured on the cover, dolls from her personal collection are shared, and her farewell to dollmaking is the overall theme.  

A snapshot of Ruth's letter and Doll Reader's reply follows (if necessary, click to enlarge). 

Ruth Manning's letter to the editor of Doll Reader magazine, published in their August 2009 issue

Their ability to spark interest will remain a mystery because these two magazines will remain in my existing doll reference library.

To view the doll magazines I am selling, which are currently listed on eBay, click here.  In order to take advantage of eBay's 50 free listings per month and up to 12 free pictures for each listing, it will take me several weeks to list all magazines I am selling.  So please continue to check my listings and feel free to share the link.  Thanks in advance!


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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Little MissMatched Girls Real-Live Dolls

In my blog post of April 5, 2012, I shared information about the Little MissMatched casting call for girls ages 8 to 14 to become human versions of dolls:   Artsy Girl, Rock n Roll Girl, Sporty Girl and Uptown Girl

The winning real-live dolls have been revealed and can be seen here.


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Past Doll Articles of Note

I am in the processing of selling back-issues of doll magazines on eBay.  Much to my surprise some have been quickly snatched up in buy it now auctions with destinations as far away as The Netherlands.  As of this writing, I have approximately 50 additional magazines to list.  This process includes browsing every page of every issue before the final decision to sell it is made.  While browsing,  I found the some interesting articles and letters to editors.   This post will be devoted to two interesting doll articles.  I will create a separate post for the letters to editors I found interesting.

In the June/July issue of Doll Reader appears an ad for dolls that must be the never-released predecessors to the Mixis dolls.  Browsing this 2006 issue of Doll Reader jarred my memory of reading about Younique Gemz in 2006.  I immediately recognized how similar in appearance they are to Mixis dolls.  Learning that YNU Group was their designer practically confirms they are Mixis prototypes.

Younique Gemz, a presumptively never released doll line of multiracial fashion dolls, possible Mixis prototypes, are from L-R, top-bottom:  Diamond, Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald.  Not shown, but mentioned in the article (click to enlarge), are Turquoise, Amethyst, Topaz, Opal, and Amber.  Did YNU Group return to the drawing board to perfect the Younique Gemz with the end result being Mixis, Opal, Emerald, Rosa, and Houda?

God's Girlz by Kerusso, a Christian-based gift retailer, made it to market, but are now sold out.

Imani (the brown-skinned 11-1/2-inch fashion doll with natural textured hair) caught my attention while flipping through the April 2010 issue of Dolls magazine.  This is another doll line that I knew of but hesitated to purchase when released.  My thought was the dolls would be around for  a while.  Imani and the other God's Girlz, Sarah, Abigail, and Hannah; designed to be a wholesome alternative to doll play, are sold out.  An accessory pack or two may still be found in Internet search results.  For me, missing out on Imani, which means faith, confirms that when you snooze, you lose.  The dolls' original retail price was $14.99.  One seller has Imani for nearly twice that, but I will pass on that "deal"  because I have "faith" that an Imani will show up at a price I am willing to pay.


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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Black Cloth Doll Presence at 2012 UFDC Convention

The 2012 UFDC Convention (A Jambalaya Jubilee) will be held July 23 - 26, in New Orleans, LA and will include a special black cloth doll exhibit. 

A Stitch in Time - Folk Art Black Cloth Dolls – 1800s to Present
Joyce Stamps curates this special exhibit of folk art black cloth dolls, assisted by members of the Black Gold Doll Club of New England. These dolls have been loved and survived over the years. Some of these rare cloth dolls also had another purpose other than playthings. The early dolls reflect the times in which they were made. Members from other doll clubs in Region 15, Region 11, and Region 8 will be lending dolls for this historically very important and moving exhibit.

About Joyce Stamps (click image to enlarge):

More About the Convention:
The UFDC National Convention is for members and guests only; you must be registered to attend.  However, the UFDC National Sales Room will be open to the public on Thursday, July 26, 2012, from Noon to 7:00 PM for a nominal fee.

Convention Hotel
Sheraton New Orleans
500 Canal Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 525-2500
(800) 325-3535

I extend my best wishes for a well-received exhibition.


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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Honey-Chile and Mandy; Our Gang, Too

Honey-Chile and Mandy paper dolls by Whitman

Until acquiring them recently, Honey-Chile and Mandy paper dolls had been on my paper doll wish list for years.

The dolls and their descriptions are included in my book, Black Dolls a Comprehensive Guide to Celebrating, Collecting, and Experiencing the Passion (2008).  The book-documented dolls were photographed and described for me by their owner, Bonnie Lewis. It was Bonnie's dolls that enticed the black-paper doll enthusiast in me to desire the pair. 

Because of the black-doll she holds, this is my favorite of Honey-Chile's four outfits. Mandy came with three extras.

Bonnie shared, and I documented in Black Dolls, this pair's 1930s origin.  After receiving my dolls and their outfits, I wanted to pinpoint the exact year they were made.

Results of an Internet search for additional information on the dolls leads me to believe Mandy and Honey-Chile were possibly included in the paper doll book, The Paper Doll Family, by Queen Holden (Whitman, 1937).  A copy of  Holden's paper doll book sold for $200 in a June 2010 specialty auction of fine and rare paper dolls.  The book is described as follows: 

17" x 12" Featuring a blue sedan on the front cover with die-cut windows that allow the faces of the paper dolls on the inside to show through as though seated in the car. The auto has the license plate of "Yourtown". The paper doll family ranges from 3" baby to 9 1/2" father and also includes mother, boy and girl, along with black servant in uniform named "Mandy" and black child "Honey-Chile". The back cover has toys including Hurdy-Gurdy, along with dog "Mickey". Inside are four pages of costumes, accessories and toys. Whitman, drawn by Queen Holden, 1937.

In the absence of the book, I am content with Honey-Chile and Mandy and their extra fashions.

Queen Holden's paper dolls are said to have been popular playthings in the U.S. in the 1930s through 1950s.  Holden also drew an Our Gang paper doll book of characters and outfits based on the film shorts and TV seriesFarina and Stymie are included.  Their cut versions are also featured in Black Dolls courtesy again of Bonnie Lewis.  Farina, Stymie, several clothes for both boys, along with Petey (the dog) were eventually added to my paper doll collection.  They documented their arrival on Thursday, May 14, 2009, which was recorded and published in my third book, The Doll Blogs:  When Dolls Speak I Listen.


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Monday, June 4, 2012

Daddy's Babies™ and Hamilo, Inc

Angel Baby Celeste from the Daddy's Babies™ series, 3-1/2 inches seated

Recently, through Internet interaction, I met the CEO of Hamilo, Inc. with the following introduction:

My company is Hamilo, LLC and we own all of the existing original inventory of KVK, Inc. Daddy's Babies™ .  We have never had the complete inventory of the collection but have a large quantity of 19 lettered A, B, C, dolls of the original 26 in the set...  We also have the [Daddy's Babies™] Clowns, Angels and a few Fairy babies, in addition to the A, B, C dolls. My website is The A, B, C dolls are not on the site.

The story continues...

I became aware of the dolls around 2002 and started a small vending business just selling the dolls. I established a business relationship with Karen and Brent Germany. They are the original owners of KVK, Inc. that developed the Daddy's Long Legs ™, and Daddy's Babies ™, as well as other things. The Germany's retired and I purchased the remaining inventory from them in 2006. I thought they were so adorable I just had to provide them with a good home and share my enthusiasm with other people. My teenage son and I work together in our small business. It is a desire of his to become a business professional and this is his entree' into that career path. He is a rising senior in high school and searching for a college choice to fulfill his goal.
It is by God's grace we have been able to sustain in this economy; however, we do lack the advertisement we need to promote the business. We operate on an extremely limited budget since I am in between jobs and have been looking for a year. Please share our story and let us know if we can do anything for you!


Hamilo, LLC
From my personal collection, Daddy's Babies ™ Ollie measures 5-1/2-inches from head to toe (2-1/2 inches seated).  She is a fully jointed, resin A, B, C baby whose special letter is "O" -- of course!  Ollie has a special toy in her Daddy's Babies™ drawstring bag.

Thank you, Hamilo, Inc. for finding me and entrusting me with the story of your company.  I think the complete line of Daddy's Babies™ are adorable with sculpts that exude realism and the love that went into their design and manufacture.  While I do not own any of the larger ones, like Celeste in the first image, I have a few of the A, B, C dolls in my collection, one of which is shown immediaely above.   I use dolls like Ollie for larger dolls to hold, as illustrated below. 

Ollie is the perfect size for Mindy (the larger doll on the right) to lovingly hold.

Affordably priced, Daddy's Babies™ are nice to begin a collection as well as to use as gifts.  Please visit Hamilo, Inc. to see if any of their existing quantity interests you or click the contact link on their website for additional information. 

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Sunday, June 3, 2012

2012 Black Doll & Art Show - NYC

Black Doll Shows and Events (Doll art by Deborah Grayson)
When:  Saturday, July 21, 2012
Time:  From 11 AM to 6 PM EDT
Where:  New York City at the Riverside Church, South Hall.
Click here to obtain directions to the Riverside Church


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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Chandra is So In Style

SIS Chandra wears a SIS Club-exclusive fashion

So In Style Rocawear Chandra #2 was redressed in a two-piece purple, So In Style Club-exclusive fashion by doll fashion designer, MashauDe'.  This two piece ensemble is crafted from a rich silk shantung fabric.  It is fully lined, featuring a top with a wide décolleté, shoulder straps with button accents, a gathered bust line, and button over snap back closures. The matching pencil skirt is fully lined with button over snap back closure and is tailored specifically to fit the S.I.S. doll hips. 

Doesn't Chandra look absolutely stunning? 
Chandra's accessories, which were not included with the ensemble, include:

1.  A faux diamond necklace (made from an expandable toe ring).
2.  Faux diamond stud earrings.
3.  Faux diamond bracelet (made from a strand of a dangle earring; clasp together with a clear rubber band wrapped several times around the two adjoining faux diamonds at the ends.)
4.  Glimmering clutch bag (made from heavyweight silver wrapping paper, folded into a clutch shape, and painted with silver glitter nail polish, sealed with clear nail polish).
5.  Glimmering silver strappy high heels, painted with silver glitter nail polish, sealed with clear nail polish).

I created the background of Chandra's redressed photograph using Microsoft Paint to type the purple words, So In Style in Freestyle Script.  Next, I stood Chandra on a small doll box in front of my monitor and snapped several photographs using a variation of light techniques.  The best three photographs were cropped.  Using a combination of Microsoft Paint and Adobe Photoshop, I painted away the unwanted items in the background to create one color.

Below is a photo of Chandra wearing her original Rocawear fashion.  The images that follow illustrate some of the steps and photos taken to create the first picture in this post.
Chandra before the redress
Chandra stands on doll box in front of a computer-generated background for an initial photo; this photo captures the true color of her dress, but the monitor reflects the camera's flash.

This photo was taken with the camera's flash off.  I did use a snap on lamp for extra lighting.  Before deciding not to use this picture, I painted away some of the background from the lower portion of the monitor -- you can no longer see which programs I had open when I took this photo and the DELL logo is no longer visible on the monitor.  I used Microsoft Paint to "paint" that away.


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