Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fashion Madness Kenya - 6!

With the store manager's permission, I took the following images of the six different 12-inch Fashion Madness Kenya dolls found at Family Dollar.  Their complexions are light, medium, and dark.  It's not easy to differentiate the light from the medium in the images.  I've used initials in parentheses behind each doll's name to indicate their skin tones (L-light), (M-medium), (D-dark). 

LR:  The first four photographed were Fireside Chatting (D), Rock Star (M), Vegas (L but possibly M), Movin On (L)

Fireside Chatting is dressed in a holiday fashion and has straight hair. Rock Star has a pink guitar and textured hair.  Vegas wears a white faux fur coat and hat and has curly hair.  Moving On has textured hair, wears eyeglasses, and sports a leopard print coat.  

Vegas and Movin On were captured again in this image; the fifth doll photographed is Riviera Kenya (D)
Riviera Kenya wears a pink two-piece suit with white blouse and pink headband.  Her image appears on the cover of the booklet that accompanies each doll.

The sixth doll on the far right is Beverly Hills (D); Vegas and Rock Star make another appearance in this photo. 

Beverly Hills is dressed in a black and white polka dot suit with aqua top and hat.

The heads and hands are soft vinyl.  Rigid plastic was used for the arms, legs, and body.  The elbows, wrists, and knees are articulated.  The waist is not.  A nude image of Riviera Kenya can be viewed on Ms. Leo's blog.  The quality of the clothing and accessories is decent.  I wasn't expecting the dolls to retail for $20, however.

Because of her eyeglasses and tightly textured tresses, Movin On Kenya is the only one of the 12-inch girls that came home with me.  I also liked her fashion the best.

Movin On Kenya -- the one that came home from Family Dollar with me.

Close-up of Movin On Kenya

Also in stock at Family Dollar were the six different 6-1/2-inch Kenya Mini Hair Madness dolls.  Their accessories include a hair pick and a package of rubber bands and beads for styling the dolls' rooted hair.

Kenya Mini Day Dreamer has a medium complexion and stands 6-1/2 inches.
Because her leopard print dress matches Movin On Kenya's jacket, this little one came home with me, too for a much better price of $5.

The other Kenya Minis are illustrated on the back of Day Dreamer's box:
The six Kenya Minis

I need a medium complexion and a dark complexion Kenya Fashion Madness.  Since Rock Star appears to be the lone medium complexion doll, I'll buy her eventually even though her hairstyle is almost identical to the one I purchased.  Riviera may be the one I will purchase to represent the warmest complexion Kenya, particularly since her head shot appears on each doll's booklet.

I asked the store manager about Denise, TJ, and Keyshia, the dolls shown on the back of Movin On Kenya's box.  She indicated there was more stock to put out and suggested I check back.  A second Family Dollar only had the six girls described above and the minis.  The friends may or may not have been released yet.

Vegas Kenya is shown on the back of Movin On Kenya's box along with her best friend, Denise; boyfriend TJ, and little sister Keyshia.  These were not in stock at Family Dollar. 

Update (10/31/12):  For additional information about this line of dolls, where else to buy, release dates of other products, etc., Kenya's World LLC, the manufacturer, can be reached at: 1-855-MYKENYA (1-855-696-3692). 


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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Tunics and Leggings by Atelier ni Shasha

One of my BJDs was in need of a pair of leggings to pair with a LIV tunic.  I was referred to Etsy Shop owner Atelier ni Shasha, who makes clothing for Momoko, Fashion Royalty, and Barbie. 

I was so impressed with the presentation as well as the fashions that I wanted to praise Shasha for her lovely work and superior customer service. 

A piece of heavyweight black paper was used to create a card, tied securely with a sheer white ribbon.  Shasha's contact information is on the lower right corner.

My doll's fashions were neatly taped to the inside flaps of the black paper with a personal note from Shasha hoping that I enjoy them.

I do.

The leggings were already in stock.  I only needed the black pair, but her price for the four in different colors was not one I could pass up.  Since I needed tops for the other colors, I asked and Shasha agreed to custom make the two tunics for me. 

Feel free to browse Shasha's Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/AtelierniShasha. I found her prices and shipping to be very reasonable.

Shasha also has a blog.  Here's the URL/link (http://ateliernishasha.blogspot.com/)


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Monday, October 22, 2012

Enabled and Cut Off At the Ankles

After reading Limbe Doll's Kid Stuff post, I ventured out to a couple of Dollar Tree stores this past weekend in search of teen-sized fairies.  I only needed one fairy to redress in the Bratz school girl fashion I purchased several months ago. 

Fairies were in stock at the first store but none were dark skinned.  There were, however, several dark skinned fairies at the second Dollar Tree.  I examined several boxes before choosing what I thought was the best of the ones examined.

After the purchase, I returned to my car and deboxed and disrobed the fairy.  I placed her box, dress, wings, wand, shoes, comb, and purse in the Dollar Tree shopping bag with plans to discard this immediately upon returning home.  I did not want the shoes because one shoe would not stay on the doll's deformed left foot.

On the drive home I decided how I would remedy her foot and shoeless issue.

Dollar Tree fairy has a slender body and extremities; one leg is little longer than the other, but for a dollar she's still cute and useful.

The great toe area of the left foot appears "swollen." Plastic protrudes from the inner seam of the other leg.

I used scissors to cut off the feet at the ankles.  The fairy's legs now fit perfectly inside the shoes that came with the Bratz school dress.   
Shoes that came with Bratz school girl fashion

De-fairied and dressed, she has become an eager-to-learn school girl.


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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Barbie Collector's Dolls Provide an Educational Experience

Read the MPR News article at the "read" link below and/or have key points of the article read to you by clicking the audio link within the article.   In the audio you will hear girls' fascination over dolls that look like them.  Hear Robin Hickman (the owner of the dolls) speak about her dolls and the effect they have on her. View the slide show of 13 of Hickman's Barbies that incite the fascination and effect.



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Friday, October 19, 2012

UFDC's Doll News Catches the Wave

I have been a UFDC member-at-large since 2005, which includes a subscription to their quarterly publication, Doll News.  In the past seven years, I have never been as fascinated by a Doll News issue as I am with the current one.  I reveled at the following:

  1. A black fashion doll graces the cover. (There may have been one issue of Doll News in the past seven years with an antique black cloth doll on the cover, but never a modern black doll of any type), 
  2. There are four (count them:  1, 2, 3, 4) articles on black dolls in this issue, and
  3. A black paper doll is also included!
This is history.

Deva Dolls 2010 limited edition Malaika is a lovely cover girl for the Fall 2012 Doll News!

The gorgeous cover doll of the Fall 2012 issue of Doll News is Deva Dolls 2010 limited edition Malaika redressed in Summer Nights Cami and Jon fashion by Robert Tonner with wig by Michael Hawaii.  Malaika and several other haute couture dolls, many if not all have been restyled, are featured in the 24-page article, Black in Fashion by Ian Price. Yes, there are 24 pages that comprise mostly full page images of beautiful black dolls! (In a doll periodical, this was unheard of before now.) 

The Lady of Sudan Goes to Paris, a paper doll by Peggy Jo Rosamond from 1988 follows the Price article.  

A Doll Jambalaya is a two-page feature on Cynthia Orgeron and Northshore Doll Club's special doll exhibit held at the UFDC Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana this past July.   Several black cloth dolls are shown in the included images.

A Stitch In Time Folk Art Black Cloth Dolls is an image-intense, eight-page report of the special black-cloth doll exhibit curated by Joyce Stamps at this year's UFDC Convention. 

Among several other genres, a nice collection of South African Ndebele dolls is featured in the fourth article in the current issue of UFDC's Doll News.
 Curator, artist, and educator Nashormeh Lindo talks with Ian Price about the exhibition she curated at the African American Art and Culture Complex in San Francisco.  This 12-page article features several genres of vintage-to-modern African and black dolls.  The article also references my first book, The Definitive Guide to Collecting Black Dolls, along with other noted black-doll reference books.

In Black in Fashion, Ian writes:  "Nowadays, doll makers have embraced the diversity of our culture and black fashion dolls are represented as never before."  I hope the publishing industry catches up and rides the black-doll inclusion wave as successfully as Doll News did in their current issue.   Collectors of black dolls not only understand and appreciate the significance of all black doll genres, they also enjoy and deserve to routinely see the dolls they love in print.


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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Five for Five: Kelly Knock-Offs

At Dollar General I found this set of five, 4-inch, all-vinyl My Fairy/Mis Hadas dolls by Lovely Patsy (Made in China, of course).  The dolls are dressed in pastel colors with pink fairy wings attached to their dresses.  Made from the same mold, they resemble Mattel's original Kelly. When I saw them and their $5 price, I immediately thought of some of the great doll finds shared recently by Limbe Dolls

The back of the box reads:
Lovely Patsy, she is every girl's best friend.  A girl of big dreams, Lovely Patsy believes she can be anyone she wants to be with just a little creativity and imagination, be a trendy fashion model, a graceful ballerina, a fairytale princess or a blushing bride on her wedding day.  Lovely Patsy has the style and the outfits to be all she wants to be and much more.  Each Lovely Patsy doll comes with fun and excitement in the Lovely Patsy tradition of providing quality toys for little hands and growing minds. 

I took the following comparison photographs comparing one of the dolls in this set with an original Kelly.  The differences are eye color (the fairy has darker eyes); complexion (Kelly is a couple of shades darker); hair color (the fairies have light brown hair); their hands are the same with the middle and ring fingers on each hand molded together; the legs (the fairy's are thinner); and the feet are about the same length, but Kelly's are wider.  

This particular Dollar General also had a dark-skinned Barbie clone, but it was not comparable in appearance to any of the clones Limbe Dolls had shared and did not warrant the $3 asking price, in my opinion, not even for the fashion.  I left the Barbie clone there but was happy to bring home these cute quints, as it is very unusual to find Kelly-type dolls with this complexion in my area.


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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Seen Today at Target

African American Photo Fashion Barbie

Prior to today, I did not know an African American version of Photo Fashion Barbie was planned.

Product Description:
"If you can picture it, Barbie doll can wear it! Girls can customize this 11.5-inch Barbie doll's shirt by taking photos with the embedded digital camera-the pictures are then displayed immediately on the shirt! Or girls can select from several preloaded graphics for the same effect. Plug Barbie doll into the computer via USB cable to edit the pictures further using the web-based software. Control the viewing through three buttons on Barbie doll's belt. The technology features capacity for more than 100 photos! Includes Barbie doll with embedded digital camera and LCD screen, stand, USB cable, rechargeable battery and instructions."

I had only seen the white version online at several websites and blogs without mention of the African American version.  This led me to believe Mattel had overlooked the segment of the market that would want this version.

Photo Fashion Barbie, back of box

I am as happy, as it appears the young girl is on the back of the box, that this version does, in fact, exist.  I saw her up close and personal at Target today.  Upon my return home, I googled the doll's name to see if merchants were still omitting information about this version.

Toys R Us does have the AA version on their website (the source of the above product description).    The doll is currently $25 at TRU since all Barbies, play sets, and accessories are 50% off (valid through today, 10/13/12, excludes collector dolls).


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Friday, October 12, 2012

These Lips Are Not as Augmented

Dynamite Girls Dayle with her former parted lips reminded me of Basketball Wives Malaysia.

Here she lies allowing her new mouth to dry after an application of a mixture of white, pink, toffee, and burnt sienna acrylic paints.

No longer in jeopardy of being sold, with lips that are closed and not as full as my previous repaint, Dayle strikes a final pose.

Thanks again Jorge Ramiro and Sheilla B Silver for the inspiration. 


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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Leave My Dolls Alone!

Glam 'N Groove Christie

(Leave my dolls alone!) That's what I want to say when he discovers I finally realized Glam 'n Groom Christie was moved to the doll room minus her pet poodle.  I just made this discovery. When I saw her alone in the doll room, I rushed to the living room to retrieve her dog, which had been overlooked by the "mover."

Christie was purchased after entering the market in 2001 (box date is 2000, so she probably wasn't available until the following year).  I thought a dog with authentic-looking hair was a novel feature.  (I didn't know how gnarled and tangled the hair actually was.)

Christie and her pet had been in the living room on the display shelf underneath an end table along with a couple of other tiny dolls.  There are very few dolls in there as most are confined to the doll room and a bedroom.

This afternoon I noticed Christie in the doll room and I know who brought her in here.  He's moved a couple of larger dolls from the living room into the doll room in the past.  I think his goal is to get them all relocated into the doll room.
I photographed Christie and her dog for this post and left her set up in the "studio" where he will see her when he returns.  He'll then know that I know what he did.  I'll give him a look or two when he reveals his guilt by saying something like, "So you finally noticed, huh?"  That look that I'll give, which will cut like a knife, will prevent my having to say,  "Leave my dolls alone!"

But then again, he may think she's just another doll that I have photographed or am planning to photograph.   We shall see.  In the meantime, I'll practice the "leave my dolls alone!" look. 


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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Smile Inspired by Sheilla B Silver

After seeing the new look given Beach Party Nikki by another blogger, I planned to try my hand at using paint to close in one of my doll's toothy grins.

Beach Party Nikki (stock photo)

Sheilla B Silver (Jorge's doll) began as Beach Party Nikki.

The lovely Sheilla B Silver (photo courtesy of Jorge Ramiro of Clicking Dolls)

With Jorge's expertise at styling and what he describes as his technique that "cut the teeth and pasted the lips," he was able to successfully close in Sheilla B's toothy smile.  Sheilla B (as shown above) is now absolutely gorgeous!

Swappin' Styles Barbie before the repaint
I used Swappin' Styles Barbie as the doll subject for my painting-only technique of closing in a toothy grin. 

Without any acetone on hand, I used fingernail polish remover to remove the lip color.

During the repaint process, I decided to repaint her eyes, but was too afraid to remove the original eye color.  In the above image, the teeth have been filled in with paint that matches the doll's complexion and the eye repainting initiated. 

Allowing time (but due to my impatience, never enough) for each layer of paint to dry, I continued to layer it in the middle of the mouth to fill in the teeth area and give the illusion of a closed mouth.  I completed the eye enhancement, thickened her eyebrows, and gave her a beauty mark above the lip.   Fingernail polish was used for the final lip color.

Swappin' Styles Barbie, Repaint After Photos

Although she's not as glamorous, I like the new luscious smile inspired by Jorge's Sheilla B Silver. 


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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fashion Madness Kenya

Screen-captured image

I look forward to seeing Fashion Madness Kenya and her friends up close and personal.  I wonder if they will have articulated or nonarticulated bodies.  I like the face sculpts and the fact that Kenya has one female friend, a male friend, and a little sister (probably Skipper sized).   Three complexions will be available. 

Check them all out here and read Kenya's blog here.  

Prices and where to buy are not yet listed on the Kenya Friendship Club website


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Monday, October 8, 2012

The Wig Makes the Man

New playscale (1:6) male

He's been here for a while, dressed in boring jeans, gray dress shirt, and black boots standing atop my desk waiting for something else to wear.

After receiving my recent order from Shop.Mattel.Com, which included two fashion packs for Ken, I decided to try one or two of the fashions on New Guy.  In doing so, I have determined the Fashionistas Ken fashions can only be worn by slim-bodied dolls, which my new guy is not.  To illustrate this, I decided to share images of him dressed in the yellow print "Malibu Beach" hoodie and gray pants from Ken fashion Asst. N8329 X3134.

The pants will not close completely in the back due to New Guy's wider hips and larger bottom.

The hoodie fits a little too snug for me (and him).

The sandals from this fashion pack also have a snug fit, which makes them too short.   If I decide he needs to wear the sandals with something else in the future, I can dunk them in boiling water for a few seconds to stretch the vinyl for a better fit width and length-wise.

For now, I will allow him to swap clothing with "Afro" Ken (Sunsational Malibu Ken, 1981), whose was wearing the extra fashion that came with (Flavas) Tre.

Limbedolls dreadlock wig

To complete New Guy's look, I added a Limbe Dolls dreadlock wig recently received with an order placed through her Etsy shop.

Marley (this name just came to mind for him) is looking and feeling pretty good now. 


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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Kenya Doll Scheduled to Return in November

Do you remember the Kenya doll from the 1990s by Tyco?  I do.  Kenya was made in three African American skin tones:  light, medium, and dark.  Included with the doll were hair-styling accessories and a magic lotion to "straighten" the doll's hair.

My daughter owned the first Kenya.  In the late-1990s/2000 Daughter agreed to sell her doll to someone online who contacted me for help in locating one. That was an easy $35 plus shipping for her.

Kenya Growing Up Proud! by Uneeda, 2003
In 2003, Kenya was re-released by Uneeda.  The doll was identical to the first version in concept and accessories.  I purchased the darkest complexion version from Wal-Mart (shown above) for myself.

According to a Huffington Post article, the third time may be a charm for this "Growing Up Proud" doll line.  In addition to the original Kenya with three complexions, the new company, Kenya's World, LLC, plans to include cloth dolls for infants in three complexions as well as fashion dolls for tweens. 

Read the article, view the gallery of soon-to-be released dolls as well as dolls from the past, and watch the video here.


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Friday, October 5, 2012

I Want Twist 'N Shout!

Image from Wikipedia.com

If you are thinking about the 1960s song Twist and Shout, first recorded by the Isley Brothers (1962), then The Beattles (1963) that is not what I want(ed).  I am referring instead to friend-of-Poppy Parker, Twist ‘N Shout Darla Daley by Integrity Toys (IT)  from the 2011 collection whose bio reads as follows:

Introducing Poppy's best friend, Darla Daley. They met in a record shop and now, they are inseparable. Darla is an upcoming young singer who just made her television debut on the Ted Mullivan show. Thanks to her appearance on the show, she now has her first hit single!

Limited Edition of 400 Dolls Worldwide

After seeing a Facebook friend’s headshot of the original Darla Daley and asking, “who-is-that-doll?” my I want one antennae rose.  The mission to find Darla was not immediate, but she loomed in the back of my head for weeks to months.  Occasionally I would search eBay for her, but knew I did not want to pay one hundred+ dollars.  For a while, I waited for Toonaroona.com to discount Hit Single lower than their sale price of $70, but quantities sold out at that price first.  Thank goodness that happened because I would have been very disappointed with the purchase. 

I recall Facebook Friend writing, “I’m glad I got her before the mold changed.”  I wasn’t quite sure what she meant, but later discovered some interesting history about the original Darla Daley… the head sculpt I desired.

Thanks to Dolly Panic’s blog of March 2, 2012, I discovered why the one I had been hoping would be discounted would not be the version of Darla I wanted.  Dolly Panic wrote: 

…someone at the factory Integrity uses broke the original Darla face mold (so I've heard ... apparently, this was revealed at Integrity's convention this past October). They had to re-do the Darla sculpt, which is why the original promo photos of "Hit Single" look so different from the production doll. She even managed to go from left-glancing eyes to right-glancing.

See the comparison shots of the original and the new Darla Daley here.   Dolly Panic’s PoppyParker-dedicated blog again mentions Darla’s damaged sculpt.  

After nailing down for certain which Darla I wanted, I googled “Darla Daley Twist Shout” in hopes of finding a reduced price doll.  Bam!  I found one down under, literally, in Australia for $59 shipped from the merchant's American store.  The seller accepted Paypal so I immediately ordered and a few days later received a shipping confirmation minus tracking number.  After waiting a couple of weeks for the doll to arrive, I contacted the seller to  request tracking information and to find out if the doll was shipped from Australia or from their American store (if shipped from Australia, that could have been the reason for the delay, I thought).  That email went unanswered.  Panic and worry set in. 

Long story short:  After no word from the seller, I filed a Paypal dispute that was later escalated to a claim.  Because the seller failed to answer Paypal’s inquiry about my purchase, they sided in my favor and issued a refund on September 29th (the doll had been ordered on September 2nd, the claim filed on the 12th and escalated to a dispute on the 14th). 

The day after Paypal issued the refund, I found a nude OOAK repainted Twist 'N Shout Darla Daley waiting for me on eBay.  The auction had been listed for several days with two more days to go.  I wondered why no one had purchased it for the low, buy-it-now price with free shipping, a price that was less than what I paid for the one that never arrived.  After emailing the seller with my routine questions to ensure I would be happy with the doll, I completed the buy it now and realized the seller had spelled Darla's surname incorrectly.  I must have inadvertently spelled it "Dailey" like she had in my final eBay search for the doll. 

After the postman rang my doorbell this past Wednesday, I felt like twisting and shouting when I saw one of two packages left on the porch.  Based on the size and shape of the smaller package, I knew it contained my original-sculpt Darla Daley... at home at last.

Twist 'N Shout Darla Daley
Twist 'N Shout is temporarily dressed in SIS Trichelle's dress and Top Model Nikki's extra shoes.


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Thursday, October 4, 2012

The President's Internal Fixation

The reader is referred to my previous post regarding my TrueType (Obama's) fractured arm where I decided to either turn the repair over to my husband or to secure the broken pieces with tape or a Band-Aid after my initial Super Glue fix did not work.

Immediately after publishing that post, I decided I did not want to put a Band-Aid on the problem.  I wanted a permanent fix.  I consulted my husband to get his opinion.  Doc Garrett's assessment and procedure are outlined below:

You'll need to remove the inner peg from both pieces and create a stent [rod] to hold the two pieces together.

He attempted to remove one peg with a corkscrew-looking device he had on his desk, which bent the device.

This will have to be heated in order to melt the plastic to create a hole large enough to insert a wooden or plastic rod.  This might work better (handing me a metal math compass for me to do it). 

I took the compass into the kitchen, heated the pointed tip on a burner, and attempted to create a hole in the inner section of the upper arm.  Doc arrived in the kitchen to observe my failed attempt.  "It bent."  I said.

Doc:  You didn't get it hot enough.  (Takes it from me.)

He successfully melted the inner areas of the upper and mid-sections of the arm and bored out the plastic pegs from both.  Meanwhile, I searched the kitchen for a rod-like device.  He picked up one of my wooden paint brushes and said, "It needs to be something like this that will fit the holes."

Holes created in upper and mid arm joints using a heated metal compass tip

Rod created using a plastic paint brush

Not wanting to use one of my good brushes, I retrieved a yellow plastic bristle/plastic handled paint brush to use as the internal fixation device.  A section of the lower end of the brush handle fit perfectly after Doc trimmed off the bristles.   The trimmed end was super glued and allowed to dry but the procedure had to be modified.  The paint brush would not remain securely in place inside this hollow section of the upper arm.

Another piece of the yellow handle was trimmed to fit the hole in the mid-arm where it was secured with cement glue and allowed to dry for 24 hours. 

Next, Doc trimmed off the excess rod that was glued to the mid-section of the arm.

After trimming, this is how the internal fixation device (rod) looked before inserting into the upper arm.

The mid-section is now connected to the upper section and the lower arm is screwed into the mid-section as it was before the injury. .
Shirt, jacket, and tie are back on along with the hands.

With my husband's assistance, the President has recovered nicely from his injury and is almost as good as new.


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