Friday, October 31, 2014

Thrift Store Doll Therapy

Lot of dolls found at local thrift store

In addition to yesterday's post on September and October doll purchases (that have arrived), I purchased the above doll lot from a thrift store this week.   I had a $5 coupon off the purchase of $10.  With sales tax, my final cost for all was $6.44.

It is always hit or miss when I stop in to look for dolls at the thrift store nearest me.  This time was a hit.  So in Style Chandra caught my eye first.  "Oh man!" is what I thought after finding her.  Then I carefully examined each bag of racked dolls and found Darren (what?!?), then Grace (I can't believe this!).  The girls are articulated at the elbows only.  Darren is fully articulated. I grabbed all three bags and tucked the bags under my arm as I continued to look. 

The Bratz doll, Sasha, was packaged with Grace, which is the only reason she was purchased.  Before the discount, Grace and Sasha were $2.99.  Chandra and Darren were $1.99 each.

I found the seated 13-inch articulated doll  by MGA Entertainment on one of the shelves where larger dolls and stuffed animals are displayed.  Also there was the 12-inch 1973 drink and wet baby by Lorrie, which did not have a price tag.  Curious about the baby's price, even though I did not desire it as much as the others, I took it to the register with the others to inquire.

Group/Individual Photos:
Group and individual photos of the dolls after removing them from their baggies illustrate their bring-home condition.

Chandra wears denim shorts that are too small for her wide hips.   Her previous little owner styled her hair in one braid in back.  Darren's pants appear to be original.  Grace with mussed hair was nude. 
1973 baby by Lorrie wears a slightly over-sized jack-o'-lantern T-shirt; other than a few cheek and lip rubs, s/he is in relatively good condition.

Unknown 2001 MGA Entertainment doll was $2.99.  She is 13-inches tall with multiple joints and molded-on sneakers.  Her hands are in a gripping position.  The bottom of her right shoe has one hole; the left shoe has two holes.  These probably allow her to  stand on something. 

Her brown rooted hair has fuchsia strands in front which match the color of her sneakers.  As illustrated above, the hair was quite wiry.
MGA Entertainment Bratz Sasha's hair was just a little tangled and didn't require much to restyle.  Poor girl is missing her shoe-feet, as most Bratz dolls are when found.  This one, fortunately, is fully articulated.
With vinyl disposable gloves on, all dolls were given a disinfectant soapy hand wash and rinse. Hair, with the exception of Darren's and the baby's, was shampooed and conditioned.  Some required more conditioner and detangling, which I spent the better part of the evening of purchase doing to make them presentable.  Photos capturing portions of what was done and the end result follow.

Pre-dressing Photos:

Chandra and Grace's hair has been shampooed and conditioned and is still slightly wet. When it dried, it looked a little dry, so I added Karelen Dry Oil to give it a non-greasy sheen.

The MGA Entertainment doll's hair was originally styled in two ponytails based on the way the hair is rooted.  I managed to detangle it, but the ends remained bushy and lacked luster even after applying a small amount of Smooth 'N Shine Hair Polisher.

With the exception of an orange stain to her right cheek, and her bushy ponytails, she did clean up nicely  I plan to apply Oxy-10 to the cheek area in hopes of removing the stain.

Sasha's hair has been shampooed and conditioned.  It is still damp in these photos. 
Post-Dressing Photos:

Sasha's hair is styled in an I Dream of Jeannie-style ponytail.  She is dressed and has found a friend.
Sasha wears LIV Alexis' tunic, which has been tailored to fit her.  Her cowboy boots are original to the dress her friend, Yasmin wears.  Yasmin was kind enough to allow Sasha to borrow the brown boots after we searched the shoe stash and found the lavender Barbie boots that match Yasmin's dress. 

The dressed SIS trio
Chandra and Grace wear Sparkle Girlz fashions.  Darren wears a Ken basketball outfit with white sneakers that have yellow soles.  His jersey actually reads KEN/61, but for this photo, we photoshopped his name onto it.  The girls' hair turned out okay, but I am considering a boil perm for them later.

MGA Entertainment girl now -- if anyone knows this doll's ID, please let me know.
The 13-inch MGA Entertainment doll wears Teen Trends Deondra's jogging suit and backpack.  The color is a perfect match for her sneakers.  I added four clear rubber bands to help tame each ponytail.  I think she has a very pretty face.  

12-inch all vinyl doll by Lorrie has one-piece body, jointed neck, sleep eyes and a nurser mouth.

At checkout with this lot, I asked the handsome young guy the price of the Lorrie baby.  He looked at me and asked my approval to charge me 0.99 cents.  Of course I agreed.  This baby cost the least of all and took minimal effort to make presentable.  I dressed her in a Daisy Kingdom romper with matching bonnet.  We will probably ax the bonnet.  In fact, I know we will, but since it came with the new-with-tag fashion that I purchased several years ago along with several others in different colors, I photographed her wearing it. She is now displayed in a doll baby bed with other baby dolls.

For under $7, finding this doll lot and making them presentable was a pleasurable, therapeutic experience.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

September and October Dolls

The dolls featured here (among others) arrived in late September and October.  I recently took the opportunity to enter them into my Excel spreadsheet and decided to photograph and share their photos here.

Moxie Girls Amorie and Cameo
MGA Entertainment Amorie and Cameo are Target-exclusive Moxie Girlz Friends.  I believe they were either $2.99 or $3.99.  They are approximately 5-1/2 inches, all vinyl, with rooted hair.  Both have the signature over-sized Moxie Girlz eyes that I dread, but because of their size, I brought them home with me that day while shopping at Target.

Evie Kishlet from 2003 (left) and the 2003 IDEX Convention Evie On Top of The World (right)

Evie Kishlet (the doll on the left) arrived in her plastic cylinder near the end of September.  She is a 4-1/2-inch resin doll by Helen Kish, released in 2003.  The other Evie is an IDEX 2003 convention doll that stands atop a globe.  It was the newer Kishlet that I "thought" I was purchasing when a certain doll shop had the dolls reduced by 50% in 2004.  They sent me Evie On Top Of the World by mistake, which had not been reduced in price.  When I inquired about the mix-up, original Evie was sold out.  I have wanted her since then.  The newer-to-me doll wears a peach Boneka dress that has embroidered flowers at the bodice, white molded-on socks and mauve molded-on shoes.  Tiny thread-like fibers create her copper hair.  Evie has brown painted eyes.  I am happy she is finally here.  Note:  Evie On Top of the World has been rewigged in a brown Heidi-style wig. Her original wig, which I still have, is identical to the original doll's wig.

Anastasia by Medline, 2007

Anastasia by Medline has a box date of 2007.  Representing an anesthesiologist or anesthetist, Anastasia wears navy blue scrubs, stars and stripes surgical bouffant, surgical mask,  and light blue plastic shoes.  She has a decal of a stethoscope, canvas medicine bag with Anesthesia Department on front, and holds a paper chart.  Medline released a full line of dolls representing surgical healthcare professionals beginning in 2005.  The dolls are generic Barbie clones.  

Asha appears on the back of Anastasia's box.  How were they able to do this?

The back of Anastasia's box illustrates Mattel's Asha as Anastasia, dressed in lighter blue scrubs with the Medline logo on the shirt.  I wonder if Mattel knows Asha modeled for Medline.

There is a Pinterest board of illustrated Medline dolls that can be seen here; and as seen here, a Google shopping search for Medline dolls shows a few dolls available through various online sources.

African American action figure body (wide shoulders) includes three extra hands, thigh plates, and extra neck knob.
This action figure body was preordered in 2012 from Cotswold Collectibles with plans to use it for a Michael Jordan head purchased as a gift for someone.  After a several-month wait without the figure in stock, I cancelled the order.  Instead of a refund, Cotswold issued a credit to my account.  I happened upon the receipt for this 2012 credit recently and called Cotswold to check availability.  It was in stock and I had them fill the order. 

GI Joe Adventures of Save the White Tiger figure stands next to the action figure body from Cotswold.  The body is almost as tall as the action figure.  The possibility of rebodying this handsome guy to add to his height exists.

My fuzzy headed, bearded, handsome GI Joe arrived nude.  According to this website he is part of the Save the White Tiger Adventures of team.  At approximately 11-1/2 inches, he's a shorty, which is why the option of rebodying him with the action figure body is a consideration.

Dressed in a blue turtleneck, black pants, and black sneakers with blue stripes, he poses with Janay, who dwarfs him even further.

I might leave him as is to display with one or all three Keyshias as their father.  I think the latter option is the way to go. 
Keyshia seems to like the idea of having this guy as her dad.

Shauntee by Rainbow classics, circa 1990s
After discovering Rainbow Classics Shauntee through another collector, I have had her name in my eBay saved searches for over a year   I only wanted one.  These two, however, were offered in the same auction with a beginning bid of 0.99 (that's right, ninety-nine cents).  I was the only bidder.  The final price with shipping was about $11, and I would have been willing to pay that for one without shipping.

Shauntee has a deep ebony complexion identical to my only other dolls by Rainbow Classics, Special Friends, which can be seen here.

Shauntee, close-up view
 Shauntee's head sculpt resembles Grace Jones to me.

The doll on the left, stock #11510 has an extra fashion.  The doll on the right, stock #11590 does not.  Both have an original Toys R Us sticker price of $6.99.  As a collector of black non-Barbie fashion dolls from any era, I am happy to finally own Shauntee as well as Medline Anastasia. 

The other September and October doll acquisitions are welcome as well.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Guest Post by The Pattycake Doll Company

Why Do You Do What You Do?
Guest Post by The Pattycake Doll Company

            When we asked Debbie what kind of post she thought her readers would like, her answer was along the lines of “just tell them why you do what you do.” 
            It’s an interesting question: Why Do You Do What You Do?
            Why do Adrienne and I run The Pattycake Doll Company?
            Let’s start with how we got started. Believe you me, when we were children and someone asked: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We never said: “Be the country’s largest online specialty doll store owners.” 
            So we have to admit that how we got here was as much of a surprise to us as to anyone else. But to make a long story short, we tried something else, (gift baskets for parents of new babies) failed miserably, (never sold a one), and before we shut down the store, tried selling some of the stuff ‘inside’ the gift baskets separately. Surprisingly, an Asian rag doll named ‘Ling’ by the Russ Berrie company, sold out almost immediately.
            We made a few ‘customer service’ follow up phone calls and asked: “Why’d you buy the doll?” (This was back in the very early days of the internet, and not so strange as it would be today, when you get emails after you buy.)
            We got the same answer several times: “We just got back from China with a little adopted girl, and couldn’t find any Asian dolls in the stores, so we came online and found Ling.”
            Aha! Here was a need!
Ling by Russ Berrie inspired the owners of Pattycake Doll Company to sell a large line of multicultural dolls.
            So instead of continuing along with what we wanted to do - sell Baby Baskets - we decided to do what ‘they’ wanted us to do - sell multicultural and ethnic dolls for children. And then a few years later, we discovered that there was a pretty big demand for boy dolls so we added them too. 
            So that’s how we got started. And we found that we loved it! 
            The other part of the question of “Why do you do what you do?” is probably: “So why are you still doing it?”
            There are three parts to that answer:
            First: We had a family to support, we loved our work, so yes, part of it was to make a living so we could support our children.
            Second: We love what we do because we understand that we’ve helped create happiness and joy for thousands and thousands of people! 
            When a child unwraps a doll, and sees its face for the very first time, the sheer joy and pleasure that child feels was - just a little bit- caused by us. And the smile on the face of the Mom, or Dad, or Grandma, or Auntie when they see their child’s joy; well... we’ll take a little credit for that as well. We’re in the happiness business.
            And finally, Third: We donate 10% of all of our company’s profits to charities that help children. So in addition to the thousands of families that have purchased and gifted our dolls, there are hundreds of children who needed help who got help from our tithe. So the bigger we build our business, and the more doll happiness we can create, the more charity we can give to children who need it. 
            That’s why we do what we do.

Your friends,
Peter and Adrienne Laudin
The Pattycake Doll Company
America's Specialty Doll Store
Black, Asian, Hispanic, Biracial and Multicultural Dolls
Dolls for Boys, Learn-to-Dress Dolls, Musical & Animated Dolls
And the softest, cutest, most adorable plush dolls in the world!

Adoption Certificates, Stationery and Gifts

Helping Children to Sleep

In addition to doing all they do to serve the doll community and giving back, Peter and Adrienne also maintain The Doll Blog where you can find a guest post from me today.  Thank you, Peter and Adrienne for sharing your story with us and for allowing me to share my passion with the readers of your blog.  

Thursday, October 23, 2014

♥Jazlin and James♥

Jazlin and James, photo courtesy of fellow collector, Dawn

Fellow doll collector, Dawn, shared the photo on the left of Jazlin and James, 14-inch anatomically correct, all-vinyl dolls made in Spain.  Jazlin and James are two of the 34 dolls purchased by Harpo Studios from Pattycake Doll Company that were used on several recent episodes of  Iyanla Fix My Life.  Even though I no longer collect baby dolls, I am so impressed with their actual appearance that I am quite tempted to order a pair for myself.  Prior to purchasing James (before discovering Jazlin), Dawn wrote, I believe this doll is going to be talked about years from now like the black doll used in the [Doll Test] color experiment.

I too believe the dolls will become historically significant, but more than that, I think they are precious!  I find their ethnically correct facial features quite impressive.  It is apparent the doll maker took extra measures to ensure the dolls look authentically black.

When browsing the Pattycake Doll Company's website, after publishing a previous post about this pair, I saw another doll that interests me because she looks like a real little girl.  Her name is Kayla.  See her here

Kudos to the makers of these dolls and to Pattycake Doll Company for offering them and so many other multicultural dolls from which parents can choose for their children, ages newborn and up.  Their store is proof that dolls for all children are available if you know where to look.

Thanks again Dawn!

(Jazlin and James are $34.99 each.) 


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Janay's New Fashions, a Mini Photo Shoot

There is so much mixing and matching that can be done with the tunics and leggings I ordered for Color Infusion Janay from Shasha of atelierniShasha.

The items purchased were revealed in a previous post, seen here.  Janay has tried on the textured black leggings, which fit her like second skin.  She wore the red paisley tank with these for about a week before trying on additional tanks, with and without the black leggings, this past weekend.  Her photo shoot follows:

Red paisley tunic is paired with black textured leggings and Janay's black high heels.
A yellow tunic is worn with black textured leggings and Janay's black boots.  I made a "temporary" black belt for her waist.
The tunic is actually long enough to wear as a mini dress as shown above.  It looks great with the boots which have a strip of faux leather in front center with black mesh sides.  The books conveniently have a back zipper.
Black and white striped tunic is worn as a mini dress with black knee-high boots.
Black textured leggings look great with the black and white striped tunic.  Janay wears her black heels and has added a faux diamond encrusted, bow-shaped choker.
In this final photo, Janay wears her black felt hat as she waits patiently on my desk for her next photo shoot.  She is accompanied by Darla Daley who has been waiting patiently on my desk for over a year to be joined with two of her sisters who arrived after her.  Darla just happens to be wearing another Shasha fashion that I won in a contest by Shasha in February 2013.

Janay has many more fashion options with other leggings and tanks that have yet to be tried on.  Let's not forget her slip dress in beach colors or the black and white tribal chevron dress, which should arrive soon. 


As mentioned in the previous post about Janay's new clothes, Halle attempted to get my attention with the hand gesture illustrated above.  I incorrectly assumed she wanted to borrow some of Janay's new clothes, which still might be true, but I discovered yesterday that her earrings had fallen out.  One was on the shelf below her chair.  The other had fallen into a box of doll items purchased for my niece that was on the floor in front of the shelf where Halle is displayed. 

Now that both earrings have been found and replaced in her ears, Ms. Halle is content and so am I.  (Yeah, the shelf below Halle is mostly used for storage; ignore it.)


Monday, October 20, 2014

Cute International Travel Friends by Madame Alexander

Madame Alexander Travel Friends are BOGO (buy one get one) 25% off until October 31, 2014.  The dolls are 7 inches tall, vinyl, jointed at elbows and knees, priced $16.95 each and 25% off when the code FRIENDS 25 is used at checkout (scroll down for the link to the Madame Alexander website). 

Source of above photo and following text from Madame Alexander Doll Company, LLC:
NEW YORKOct. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Celebrating world cultures through play, the Madame Alexander Doll Company introduces a new play doll series, Travel Friends - International Collection, first, in a new series of dolls for children ages 3+.  With a rich history of designing dolls that are admired and cherished for their beauty and craftsmanship, Madame Alexander's newest series of play dolls has been created to showcase nine countries, encouraging children to learn about and embrace a variety of cultures from around the world. Crafted with the quality and details of each country's cultures and costumes, these dolls are perfectly sized for playful portability. 
Each doll welcomes you into her world with a Hello! from her county and offers fun facts and highlights of interesting places to explore in her hometown. These beautiful 7" dolls are small in size, with key attributes including traditional and ethnic removable outfits and accessories. Along with being fully bendable and poseable, each have rooted, playable hair, which will keep girls entertained for hours and wanting to collect them all! The countries in the series are France, Italy, India, Kenya, Ireland, Mexico, Germany, China, and Russia.  Each doll is retailed at $16.95.
A winner of Dr. Toy's 10 Best Toys of 2014, Madame Alexander Travel Friends were hand selected to receive the prestigious "10 Best" award. These products are carefully chosen from many hundreds of reviews at toy fairs, catalogs and many other sources, and by using extensive criteria developed over many years.  The Dr. Toy 10 Best list is chosen as a service to consumers who want to purchase safe, affordable, educationally oriented, and stimulating toys and products for children.

Madame Alexander Travel Friends

Screen-captured image of Travel Friends Kenya

I think these little ones will make nice companions for each other as well as for playscale dolls.  The availability of more than one dark skinned Travel Friends would have been my preference for the BOGO offer.  As an alternate buying source, Kenya and some of the other Travel Friends are available for $16.99 with free shipping for Amazon Prime members.


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Ask and It Shall Be Given

... if it is meant to be.
Postage stamps from Spain

Fellow collector "Bego," who authors the blog, Mis Barbies Negras (My Black Barbies), and I are members of one of the same Facebook doll groups.  Bego recently posted a photo to the group of one of her new dolls, a black version of Nancy, by Famosa.  In January of this year, another Facebook friend sent me a link to a blog post about Famosa's Nancy dolls.   A contest was held at that time to vote on your favorite Nancy.  I voted for the dark skinned one and immediately developed doll want-itis.

Nancy Mulata Minishorts (the name used at the manufacturer's website) is made for and sold only in the Spain market as a limited edition doll, which I am told is now sold out.  According to Famosa's American website, white versions of Nancy are sold in the US.  The dolls are a reproduction of Famosa's 1970s Nancy dolls with the dark skinned version representing a girl from 1975.  The one I desired is described on the manufacturer's website as follows, translated (and edited) from Spanish to English:

The new reissue of Nancy Collection is bold.  As fans decided last February in the "Help us to decide" competition, the favorite was the Mini Model Nancy Shorts, original 1975 model year.

Nancy has flowing hair covered with an orange visor, and wears jersey and white shorts, knee-high boots of the same color. At the neck is a knotted orange scarf with an “N” in black.

The outfit is inspired by the hostesses of a TV show very famous in Spain called "1, 2, 3."

This edition is limited, includes certificate of authenticity and is numbered.

Un, Dos, Tres TV show hostesses inspired Nancy Minishort's fashion. 

After Bego posted the photo of her Nancy, with a comment, "My new purchase, this is a Spanish doll Nancy from the 70's, and they are making renditions now."  I wrote, "I want one!"  Bego asked me to send her a private message, which I did, and the rest is history because I now own my Nancy thanks to Bego.

Nancy Minishorts is a 16-inch, all-vinyl doll with hazel sleep eyes.  She wears a white blouse, white shorts, white knee-high boots, orange scarf, and orange cap with visor.  Her extra fashion is an orange and white striped romper with orange skirt.  These pieces can be mixed and matched as shown on the back of the box.

Two additional dark-skinned versions of Nancy are shown on the back of the box:  Nancy Tusset and Nancy Negrita.  Nancy Negrita has blue eyes.  

After sending the Paypal payment to her in Euros at her request and thanking her again, Bego wrote:
"I'm happy to help you now, you were very kind when you sent me Ken Texas without meeting me before."

Based on her blog and her Facebook photo shares of dolls in her collection, I sensed that Bego is a die-hard Barbie enthusiast.  In September 2013, after she expressed her intense desire for the African American Texas A&M Ken, I offered to get one for her as soon as Walmart's stock was replenished.  This was done, never expecting anything in return except the cost of the doll and shipping.  Who knew that almost a year to the date of our first transaction that Bego would be able and so willing to return a doll favor to me.  

Thank you again, Bego!

Nancy Mini Shorts by Famosa made and sold only in Spain.
Nancy is as adorable as I expected with such a cool '70s flair.