Saturday, November 29, 2014

Black Friday Thrift Store Finds

L-R Moxie Teenz blond, Get Real Girls Nakia and Gabi

The Moxie Teenz blonde was at the thrift store during my two visits last week.  Apparently, because of her missing wig, no one wanted her.  The third time, I guess is a charm.  She was still there on Black Friday, when I went back hoping to use my one-day only $10 off a $20 purchase coupon. 

I walked around the store with the blond trying to decide if I really wanted to pay $5.99 for her.  I knew the two Get Real Girls were definitely coming home with me, but did I really want the Moxie Teenz chick, for $5.99?  At the time I didn't even know her name.

Freed from baggies and condition assessed

As you can tell from the photos, Melrose, the $5.99 Moxie Teenz doll, did come home with me.  At this time, I am not sure what her fate will be:  leave her as is, paint her hair brown, add a wig, or replace her head with a LIV Alexis head. Time will tell.  Since the frayed edges of her layered pink dress are raveling, I will immediately coat these areas with clear fingernail polish to prevent additional loss of fibers. 

The two dolls I really wanted were only $1.99 each, 11-1/2-inch, multiarticulated, Get Real Girls Nakia and Gabi, ©1999.  Nakia, a basketball enthusiast, is missing her New York #10 Jersey.  Gabi loves soccer.  Both girls have a magnet in the right palm, but neither has her ball of choice.  Both are in need of spa treatment and Gabi's uniform needs to be hand washed.

Close-up of Nakia and Gabi, Get Real Girls

The Get Real Girls' facial expressions are quite comical.  It appears Nakia is attempting to hold back laughter while Gabi has a cheesing smile.  I do not particularly care for the molded-on panties and sports bra, but that is the only issue I have with them thus far.  It should be fun sprucing them up and finding shoes to fit their flat feet.  I'll look in the Ken sports shoe stash first.

More information on the Get Real Girl line can be read in a 2012 blog post by Lisa Whitsett, here.  Whitsett claims she was involved in the initial design phase of the dolls. A January 23, 2002, Fox News article sheds a positive light on the dolls, quoting a child psychologist as stating, "... in the pink-smothered world of dolls, they're refreshing."  Unfortunately the anti-Barbie, Get Real Girls' appeal did not last; the line has been discontinued and so has their website.

I did not get an opportunity use my one-day only coupon, but I did pass it forward to another customer after asking, "Do you think you're going to spend $20 today?"  After he answered, "Yes," I gave him the coupon.

Good news!  Melrose's fate was decided before this post concluded.  LIV Alexis, who swapped bodies with Fashion Fever Kayla a couple of years ago, who also was wearing a Moxie Teenz Afro wig has now shared that wig with Melrose.  Alexis is now wearing a LIV wig.  I think they both look great!   My $5.99 was well spent. 


Monday, November 24, 2014

Annie Lee, Artist & Humanitarian, Dies

Beckoning in Blue and Ravishing in Red dolls by Annie Lee
Noted artist and humanitarian, Annie Frances Lee, has died. 

Better known for her African American paintings and other artwork, Annie Lee, also made dolls.  I purchased my first two Annie Lee dolls in approximately 2008.   Beckoning in Blue and Ravishing in Red are shown above.  The two faceless dolls are featured in my book, Black Dolls a Comprehensive Guide to Celebrating, Collecting, and Experiencing the Passion.

Ravishing in Red made a second appearance in a "Lady in Red" feature of the November 2009 issue of Contemporary Doll Collector magazine.

In November 2009, Sultry in Silver and Glamorous in Gold  (shown immediately above) were welcome additions to my Annie Lee doll family.  Their fuller figures and Sultry in Silver's deeper complexion were the two deciding factors that prompted the purchase. 

Lee's 17-1/2 inch, all-vinyl faceless dolls are part of the 10-doll "Sass 'n Class, Girls Night Out" series, which was inspired by her painting, "High Roller."  The 10 dolls are shown above.

At the link, read more about the artist


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Is it 2015, Yet?

Color Infusion Janay wearing Monster High shoes

I have been scouting around online for shoes for Color Infusion (CI) Janay to complement her wardrobe.   IT Direct has another shoe pack for $30 plus shipping that I have delayed purchasing.  It includes three pairs of shoes and a felt hat.  The shoe pack with boots, also at IT Direct, is already here.

Shoes made for Monster High, Jakks Pacific, and America's Next Top Model dolls have been suggested by other collectors, but I have not been able to find styles suitable for Janay's "taste."

There are international eBay sellers who carry more fashionable shoes that fit CI Janay.  The warning in the description regarding some dyes possibly bleeding onto the doll's vinyl was enough for me to continue searching elsewhere.

This past Thursday I found an online seller who carries three different shoe styles in a variety of colors for CI Janay for $13 each.  This price is comparable to the eBay seller's without the dye fading potential.  Before making a visit to the thrift store yesterday, I had planned a shoe order of four pairs in different colors from this seller.  I wanted more, but at $13 each, I decided when I placed the order, I would only order four.

On weekdays, the thrift store prep area is open during normal business hours and workers constantly stock the floor with new items.  Items without price tags must be taken to the prep area for pricing.  Questions about merchandise can be answered in that area as well. Saturday shopping is usually less fruitful than on weekdays and the prep area is closed on weekends. 

Monster High dolls found at thrift store

On Friday, the fashion doll area of the thrift store was well stocked.  I found five Monster High dolls and purchased four of the five.  The one left behind was nude and without shoes.   Janay needed shoes.  Give me those shoes! (A line from the 1950s movie, The Bad Seed.)

Additional dolls found at thrift store, LIV Alexis x2 and Hawaiian souvenir doll

In addition to the Monster High (MH) dolls, I purchased two LIV dolls for their articulated bodies.  One is fully dressed; the other is nude.  A cute little Hawaiian souvenir doll pulled at my heartstrings, so she came home with me, too.

The MH dolls were marked $5.99 each, a little more than I wanted to pay, but $5.99 is a better price than $13 for shoes only (I thought).  So I grabbed the ones I wanted before inspecting each bagged doll carefully.  On close inspection, I discovered the MH dolls only have upper arms.  The forearms are missing on all but one, and the hands are missing on all!  It's a good thing I only wanted those shoes!

I believe I have the dolls accurately identified as:  Draculaura, Clawdeen Wolf, Frankie Stein, and Cleo de Nile, who has one of her lower arms.  All are missing their hands.  With the exception of their missing lower arms/hands, the dolls are in relatively good condition and were probably donated by the same former owner.

LIV dolls and Hawaiian doll, de-bagged

Since the LIV dolls were $3.99 for the fully dressed doll and $2.99 for the nude one, I took the MH dolls to the prep area and asked if the price could be reduced due to the missing forearms and hands.   I was prepared to show them the completely dressed LIV doll for $3.99 to suggest that price.   Instead of $5.99 for each MH, I only paid $2.99 each.  I was a happy camper and would have been even happier had I printed out and taken the coupon I had in my email for $5 off a $10 purchase. 

For a total cost of $23.74, I just knew Janay would have four extra pairs of shoes to wear. This did not prove to be the case.  Only one of the four pairs fits her properly, Draculaura's pink and yellow heels that Janay is modeling in the first picture of this post.  I really hoped Clawdeen Wolf's boots would fit Janay.  Maybe a dip into some boiled water will loosen the vinyl enough for them to fit her. 

I am still pleased with the find.  Never in my life, however, did I think I would buy a Monster High doll to keep or do anything with.  If I cannot get Clawdeen's boots to work for Janay, I will fashion some hands to attach to the long sleeves of Clawdeen's jacket.  Her fangs will be painted and her hair styled to cover her ears.  I am not sure what the fate will be for the other MH dolls just yet, but I'll probably make arms for them as well and make them look less monster-like. 

Alexis and Alexis in Sparkle Girlz clothing

The two LIV Alexis dolls are now dressed in Sparkle Girlz clothing.  (Yes, I said the purchase was for their bodies, but the bodies can be dressed until I need them for different proportionate heads, right?)  Alexis at left wears shoes made by Paulette of Limbe Dolls

Janay took a quick full length photo to end this post.  She knows the shoes do not match her fashion.  She also knows she looks good in anything, even if the colors are not coordinated.

Maybe I should have adhered to my original plan to "not buy another doll before next year," but don't blame me.   The dolls just happened to come with the shoes I purchased for Janay and one can never have enough articulated bodies on hand.  I have no excuse for the purchase of the souvenir doll except for the fact that she was there and she is the most complete of all that followed me home. 


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

D is for Doll and I is for Image Intense

Volume D, World Book Encyclopedia, 1962 and 1987, respectively

"DOLL.  In almost every part of the world, children play with dolls.  They may be made of anything from cooky [sic] dough and candy to cloth and rubber.  They may be made in factories and bought in shops, or they may be made at home and cost nothing.  It makes little difference what they look like or how much money is paid for them.  Dolls are loved the world around."  (World Book Encyclopedia, 1962, Volume D, "Doll," page 234.)

Someone recently asked me if I could suggest ideas for no-sew dolls. I offered a few quick suggestions which included African Wrap Dolls and clothespin dolls.  These suggestions piqued my own interest which led to a search for "no-sew dolls."  Included in the search results was a blog on how to make acorn dolls.  The blogger recalled discovering instructions to make acorn dolls while reading the "Doll" entry in volume D of her mother's 1950s set of World Book Enclyclopedia (WBE).

Reading the blogger's experience conjured up memories of time spent using my first non-electronic search tool:  an A to Z set of encyclopedias.  As a child I could easily spend hours reading several entries in one volume, prompted by an initial desire to gain information on just one subject.  

I was compelled to grab volume D of my 1962 childhood set that I still own to read the "Doll" entry. I am sure I read the entry as a child; and as evidenced by my sister's first name scribbled on one of the pages, she had read it as well or at least looked at the pictures.  Re-reading it refreshed my memory. This was followed by reading the "Doll" entry in the same lettered volume of my children's 1987 WBE.  

I was not surprised by the scarcity of Black dolls in the 1962 entry.  A recognizable few Black dolls are included in the volume published 25 years later.  Both entries cover a variety of doll topics to include historical and modern dolls and dolls as collectibles.  A collector and her collection are featured in the 1987 entry.  Scans of both entries follow in their entirety with the exception that the collector's identity is concealed.

Doll entry scans, pages 234-244, from volume D, World Book Encyclopedia (1962)
Click/swipe images to enlarge.  Alternatively, on a computer, hold down Ctrl and + to zoom in; Ctrl and - to zoom out. 


Doll entry scans, pages 234-243, from volume D, World Book Encyclopedia (1987)


The "Doll" entry in the 1962 edition of WBE contains how-to instructions for making an acorn doll and several other doll types. See also the 8th and 9th scans above of the 1962 volume.

During recent grocery store and post office trips, where acorns are plentiful, I gathered several fallen acorns.  The plan is to make my own acorn doll or two like this blogger did, using the instructions from the "Doll" entry in volume D of my childhood WBE.  

Monday, November 17, 2014

Glitter Glam Is It... For a While

Glitter Glam doll by Madame Alexander (has an over sized head, but I like her anyway).

Glitter Glam (GG) is an 18-inch doll by Madame Alexander made exclusively for Dollie & Me.  I was inspired to purchase this doll after Travel Friends Kenya arrived.  Kenya and GG have similar facial features and I think Kenya will be the perfect doll for GG.

I took the following series of photos of GG in the box and post release.

Removed from box, still attached to box liner, almost free
Removing GG from the box liner was not difficult after each cord tie was untied.
Free at last and striking first pose.
The discount code inserted in the box liner was a pleasant surprise.
The back of GG's box illustrates other Dollie & Me dolls.
GG poses with her sisters, other 18-inch dolls by Madame Alexander.  The doll standing next to GG, Gabbi, was sold through Costco originally, but was a 2009 eBay purchase for me.  She is from the Alexander Girlz line.  The seated twins, Patience (Friends Boutique collection) and Passion (Friends 4 Life collection), were purchased from Walmart in 2011 and 2009, respectively.  Patience has poseable arms and legs.

A portion of GG's doll inventory entry is shared below:
Description Price Retail/Current Value Other

From the higher-end line of 18-inch  dolls by Madame Alexander,  doll is vinyl with cloth torso, has black rooted hair styled in two side ponytails and brown sleep eyes.  Wears black shirt, pink shrug, pink skirt with black tutu, multicolored striped leggings, black high-top vinyl sneakers with pink laces.   Free$39.99 Ordered from with  referral credits.

GG takes one final photo.

GG will be one of the last dolls to arrive in 2014.  I am expecting two more that were ordered some time ago.  Other than that, GG is it!  The plan is not to purchase another doll this year.  With 2015 right around the corner and my focus directed elsewhere for a while, this should be easy to accomplish.

The fact that my doll buying has temporarily ceased will not keep me away from this blog.  I have several projects that I am in the midst of completing and will share the results of those in future blog posts.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Dolls That Inspire Girls to Dream

Prodigyrls Janelle and Nicole photograph courtesy of Dr. Daniela Wiggins

Today's post was originally published at the DOLLS magazine website, written when I was one of their "Voices of the Industry" bloggers.  During a several-week period in 2009, my blog posts were featured, usually weekly, under the heading:  Dolls in Black:  Chronicles and Perspectives.

This week as I prepared to share what inspired me to purchase Prodigyrls, Janelle and Nicole, for a "Doll a Day" activity, I discovered my interview of the founder of the Prodigyrls dolls is no longer accessible at the DOLLS website.   In fact, all blog posts written by the "Voices of the Industry" have been removed. 

Because others might enjoy the dolls' story and because they remain available to purchase, this post is a re-blog of my 2009 interview of Dr. Daniela Wiggins.

Dolls That Inspire Girls to Dream
written November 1, 2009

I recently discovered the Prodigyrls after reading a fellow doll enthusiast’s blog about them (  She noted that two of the planned dolls are available for preorder and urged readers to vote for their favorite doll.

At the website, I voted for the doll I plan to preorder and followed the link to “Design a Prodigyrl.”  I designed a doll collector that would come with her own doll or two.  During my website visit, I inquired via the “contact us” link, why the dolls were not being released simultaneously.  I received a prompt reply from the dolls’ creator, Daniela Wiggins, MD, who wrote, “Releasing our dolls in phases helps with our research and product development.”

Intrigued about the dolls and their concept, I wanted to know more about them and asked a series of questions, which Dr. Wiggins again readily answered.  I believe doll enthusiasts (collectors and parents who desire to expose their daughters to wholesome dolls with a purpose) will delight in learning about the inspiration behind the dolls’ creation. 

Dr. Wiggins shared the following:

“The idea for Prodigyrls (named by combining prodigy + girls) came to me about two years ago. Two completely separate thoughts came together to form our doll company. The first idea came as a result of my frustration with the lack of black dolls on the market. The second idea was to write a series of children's books about health and nutrition based on the millions of questions my children asked me about medicine.  At the time, my daughter was 7 years old and I had NEVER purchased a doll for her.  She had been given dolls as gifts, but I had never seen a doll I felt compelled to buy.  When I asked around about black dolls, I was referred to a doll which was a freed slave.  Although slavery is an important time in our nation’s history to learn about, we have been and are so much more than former slaves.  I was also disappointed by the fashion dolls with heavy makeup and sometimes inappropriate clothes.  Every mother I spoke with wanted the same thing I did, dolls that actually looked like our children and that were positive and inspirational.  

“One morning, as I sat on the edge of my bed, the two ideas merged.  I would create a collection of African-American dolls, each with a special talent or passion, and I would use each doll's story to teach age appropriate health information to children, Prodigyrls was born.  Since then we have created many dolls with varying talents and interests, the first 5 of which appear on our website.  We are still in our research and development phase and are now selling Nicole (the doctor doll) and Janelle (the chef doll). 

“Our target market is African-American girls 5-8 years old.

“We have put a lot of time and energy into creating our dolls with features that represent the beauty and diversity of the African-American community.  This has not been easy. Manufacturers have historically not paid attention to such details.  Our dolls are 18 inches tall with vinyl head, neck, arms, and legs.  The torso is cloth, dyed to match the vinyl skin color.  Our dolls have varying skin tones and hair textures.  The hair is rooted on all of our dolls with Sienna being the only exception.  Sienna has locs and those will likely be wigged.  There will be extra clothing for the dolls and accessories.  Nicole has a doctor set and Janelle has a cooking set. Each doll will also have a picture book which will tell the story of her special talent or what she is passionate about.”

Prodigyrls retail for only $69.99, but the first 300 dolls are being presold, before the official national rollout for only $49.99. The first 300 will be individually numbered and signed by the company’s founder.  


While several dolls were planned at the time of the above interview, to date the only two Prodigyrls that have been produced are the two I own.  At the Prodigyrils website Janelle and Nicole are now reduced from $69.99 to 56.99.  Parents:  Think Christmas.  Collectors of 18-inch dolls:  You'll love them.

See photos of actual dolls here, here, and read more about Dr. Wiggins here


Thursday, November 13, 2014

The One World Doll Project Announces First Order From Walmart

I have been a supporter of the One World Doll Project since day one, beginning with an interview of Stacey McBride-Irby in March 2011.  Several posts about Prettie Girls Lena and the Cynthia Bailey doll have followed.

Prettie Girls Valencia (Latina), Dahlia (South Asian), and Kimani (African) have joined Lena and Cynthia Bailey.

I recently acquired, Valencia, Dahlia, and Kimani, shown above.

I was very excited to learn about the company's most recent accomplishment:  The One World Doll Project Announces First Order From WalmartThis is major because it is no easy feat to get products on the shelves of America's largest discount department store chain.

Trent Daniel, CEO of One World Holdings, announces the Walmart deal in the following Youtube video.

Congratulations to OWDP and Stacey McBride-Irby! 


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Another Head Turner: Jam 'N Glam Christie

Christie's blue hair changes to black.

In my August 11, 2014, post, "Turning Heads," Tiffany Taylor and Taylor Jones by Ideal illustrate their swivel heads and hair color changes.   After Roxanne informed me that Mattel's Jam 'n Glam Christie from 2001 has this 1970s feature, I added the doll to my saved eBay search.  Since then, several eBay listings of never-removed-from-box dolls with prices that ranged from $25 to $50, have come and gone.   Gone, because my goal was to pay less.

Close look of Jam 'N Glam Christie

Jam 'n Glam Christie uses the Asha sculpt.  She has blue nylon fibered hair that changes to black when the crown of her head is turned.  Her new millennium plus one box date is probably responsible for the use of metallic silver fabric for her skirt that has an asymmetrical hemline.  A shimmery sky blue halter top reverses to blue with squiggly purple lines.  The long sleeves of her faux purple shrug are removable.  Sky blue platform shoes complete her look.  In addition to her "Twist 'N Turn" hair, Christie has an "Ever-Flex" waist.

Autographed head shot and two fan cards

CD case and two CDs are attached to box lining.

Accessories include purple sunglasses, headset microphone, autographed head shot card, two fan cards, two CDs, one CD cover, and instructions.   Three hair extensions, one each in purple, lime, and pink are included for Christie or child owner. 

Separately sold tour bus and other dolls in the line are illustrated on back of the box.

As illustrated on the back of box, a Jam 'N Glam tour bus was sold separately for Christie, Barbie and Teresa to travel to and from their "rock in'" concerts.

The doll I purchased was offered on eBay for $25 or best offer.  Within minutes of placing it, the seller accepted my offer of $15.  Based on the green Walmart sticker price of $14.67 that remains on the front of the box, my cost, minus shipping, was just a few cents over retail.