Friday, October 30, 2015

Integrity Toys 2015 Cinematic Convention-Exclusive Tobias Alford

The doll that arrived in this box is a convention-exclusive collectible from the Integrity Toys Cinematic Convention held in Long Beach, California October 21-24, 2015.  The back of the box notes this.  His head shot image is shown next.
Color Infusion Style Lab Tobias Alford

This is just a quick post to share first photos of 1 of 2 Integrity Toys 2015 Cinematic Convention dolls that were must-haves for me. The first one to arrive is Tobias Alford.  Two words:  Love him!  Check out that strong jawline, those lusciously full lips, and those dark brown bedroom eyes.

The handsome Tobias will remain in his box until I find something suitable for him to wear.

Playscale women might get all starry eyed over Tobias, but he will not be wearing the separately sold Stars in Your Eyes suit shown here.  I will have to find something more classically conservative or casual for him.

Finding shoes to fit him might pose a problem as his feet are huge!  An extra pair of hands with fingers in different positions is attached to the inside of box.

His black short hair is flocked and forms a widow's peak hairline.

Tobias stands a full 13 inches tall with articulation underneath his pecs, at elbows, wrists, ankles and the other usual areas (neck, upper arms, and upper legs).  He has a pleasingly warm caramel complexion which is very similar to Color Infusion Janay's skin tone.  The two would make a lovely couple, but Tobias has his mind focused on the next doll to arrive whose identity will be revealed in a subsequent post.

Stay tuned.


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Target-Exclusive 18-inch and 5-inch Minis

Vanessa and Vanessa by Collector's Lane as seen in a "vintage" photo because I was too lazy to take an updated one. :-)
Before They were Our Generation Girls

One of Target's answers to the 18-inch doll craze brought on by the American Girl folks in the mid-1980s resulted in a line of dolls called Collector's Lane Kids manufactured by Dayton Hudson Company, circa 1999. The line included 18-inch dolls with a variety of brightly colored fashions and accessories. There were also 5-inch, all-vinyl, exact replicas of the 18-inch dolls. The black doll's name was Vanessa, shown above with her mini-me.

From this line, during the early 2000s, I also purchased a doll trunk, which is very well constructed of heavy wood covered with burgundy fabric.  I use it for the doll shown at the link.

What I enjoyed about the Collector's Lane dolls is the uniqueness of Vanessa's head sculpt.  Instead of using one sculpt for the white and African American dolls, the company created a separate head sculpt with ethnically correct features for Vanessa.

For the past several years, Target's 18-inch doll line has been sold under the name Our Generation Girls (OGG).  The dark-skinned dolls use the same head sculpt as Collector's Lane Kids Vanessa. The name Vanessa has been retired and different shades of brown are used for the six different dolls with African American skin tones.  Unless things have changed in countrywide Targets, all dolls may not be available at all stores.

This was a known fact in the past based on a 2013 video that went viral because a Deluxe African American OGG doll with book and other accessories was not available at a Target store in Staten Island, New York.  On the day of the video, only the Basic African American package was in stock which includes the 18-inch doll and a hairbrush priced the same as the Deluxe dolls that were all white.  A year later, in another video, a different parent pointed out the same scenario.  She stated, "If I were to purchase the [Regular] Abriana doll, I would have to spend $12 extra in order for me to have accessories.  Something isn't right with the picture."

Someone brought this disparity to my attention in 2013.  I checked the company's website where I found Deluxe versions of the African American doll that did, in fact, include a book.  So the fault must have been with the buyers at Target.  While Deluxe dolls were at the OGG website at the time I researched the issue, even did not offer the Deluxe African American doll.  So something definitely was askew.  


Specialty and Deluxe offerings of Our Generation Girls Maeva and Nahla seen in Maryland recently

Fast-forward to 2015.  There seems to have been some improvement in the Our Generation Girls buying department at some Target stores.   Did those online videos help?  Probably.  Bad press usually results in positive change.

At the OGG website, currently there are five categories of 18-inch dolls:  Regular, Deluxe, Specialties, Hair Play, and Retro.  African American and/or Hispanic dolls are offered in all categories except Retro.

At Stores Now
I recently saw photos of OGG dolls and accessories taken by another Debbie.  Her photos included a Deluxe package of the dark-skinned doll, Nahla, shown above with Maeva.   Maeva is a Specialty OGG that comes with jewelry for accessorizing.  Nahla's Deluxe package includes the doll,  her jumpsuit, underpants, apron, two pairs of shoes, gardening gloves, hair bow, knee pads, small rake, small shovel, bucket, garden markers, tomato, pepper, zucchini, three seed envelopes, storybook, and bookmark.  (I understand why customers voiced complaints that Deluxe black dolls were not on shelves in the past.  Who wants to pay the same amount or almost the same amount for a Regular doll when the Deluxe package comes with so much more?)

Debbie V. took the following additional photos of items available at her Maryland Target.

Abriana is the Regular doll that was usually the only OGG doll available at Target stores when Deluxe versions of non-black dolls were usually plentiful.  This one was seen in a Maryland Target.
Before proceeding to additional photos, here is a video of a beyond adorable little girl offering a review of her Abriana. (The video is over 5 minutes long.  You might want to watch it later, but do watch.)

These mini dolls were seen in Maryland along with their fashions and accessories.  The piano and stool are too cute!  The backdrop is a ballet studio complete with mirrored wall (which I blurred to remove the reflection of the photographer that was captured by the camera).  The mirror has an attached balance rail.  I am uncertain if this was just a store display or actual merchandise.
While shopping at Target a few weeks ago myself, I noticed the presence of several new mini dolls and fashions and was surprised to see a dark-skinned mini.  I have been browsing the OGG section for over a year looking for the black mini that was always absent. I had almost come to the conclusion that she was nonexistent.  The minis I saw locally are shown below.

Poor resolution phone camera image of Our Generation Girls mini dolls recently seen at my local Target.

Cyarra (the dark-skinned mini OGG) is accompanied by a redhead, Zarya.

While I was happy to see the availability of Cyarra, I was not happy that her head sculpt is identical to the other dolls'.  Unlike Collector's Lane Kids, Vanessa, nothing sets Cyarra apart from the others except her slightly darker complexion. Another unfortunate feature about the minis in general is they are no longer all vinyl.  They have vinyl heads, arms, and legs but the bodies are cloth!

I do love the fashions that all the minis wear as well as the extra boxed fashions shown next.

OGG mini denim fashion

OGG mini winter fashion

Two additional OGG mini winter fashions

I did not bring any OGG items home.  Will I do this at anytime in the future?  Only time will tell.

For those who create doll stories, I do think the possibility exists for the minis to be incorporated in dioramas as children or other family members of playscale dolls.


Monday, October 26, 2015

Fashionista #12 is Finally Here, Red Ruffles, Too

I looked high and low, both locally and online for the doll I was formerly referring to as "blue sweater." No one had her -- not Target, not Walmart stores or  their dot coms.

I never made special trips to these places, well maybe to Target, because I have not shopped there as a routine since their security breach a few years ago.

Whenever and wherever I looked, this doll was nowhere to be found.  Frustrating.

Red Ruffles is a caramel complexioned 2015 Barbie Fashionista.

During a trip to one of the two Walmarts that I checked, I saw Red Ruffles up close and personal and, although she and Goddess Emerald share the same head sculpt, her complexion and hair color combinations were inviting enough for me to bring her home.  Unlike Goddess Emerald, this doll has high-heel feet.  I have not deboxed her yet, but will soon and will share better photos than the one above and the next two in-box photos.

Her dress makes it pretty obvious why I refer to her as "Red Ruffles."  Her box refers to her as this as well.  She will be given a real name later.

The number 11 and Red Ruffles appears on the lower right-hand corner of the doll's box.

Red Ruffles' presence preceded "blue sweater's" by almost three weeks until  I casually mentioned my desire for her in a Facebook group.  I received leads from a couple of members.   One led me to Toys R where the doll was priced $12.99 (more of course than I desired to pay compared to Walmart's price of $7.94) but my patience to find her was wearing thin.  Shipping was free since I purchased something else costing $7.99 as a qualifier for free shipping for orders of $19 or more.

She is here and is as lovely as I expected.  Because of her Tyra Banks resemblance, I have named her Tyra (even though her box refers to her as, 12 Pants So Pink).

Tyra also has not been deboxed, but I did take the following additional photos.

Like Goddess Emerald, Tyra's feet are flat.
Tyra will make a return appearance along with Red Ruffles once they both have been freed.


Friday, October 23, 2015

Barbie Clones Owned and Styled by Escobar Artforall

Barbie Clones/Competitors, Bild Lilis, and other dolls from the collection of Escobar Artforall
While working on a few doll projects on a Saturday evening, Facebook friend Escobar Artforall caught me online and shared images of some of her wonderful Barbie clones, Bild Lilis, and other fashion divas. I salivate each time I see dolls in her collection as I still long for a dark-skinned #1 Barbie clone and at least one Black Bild Lili.

At the time the photos were shared, she was awaiting the arrival of a swirl ponytail that looks like the one shown above.  I immediately recalled having seen a similar doll on eBay in a buy-it-now that was beyond my reach.  During our chat, I shared the link to the auction and asked, "Were you the winner?"  She was.

Aren't these Wonder Woman-inspired dolls great?
While she awaited the arrival of the swirl, she was working on Wonder Woman dolls.

Wondeisha "don't" play!
Wondeisha (who looks like a bad mother… shut yo’ mouth), as seen in this graphic image, is a perfect inspiration for the dark-skinned Wonder Woman dolls.

Two 15-inch Bild Lili/No. 1 Barbie clones are shown above. The one in red was seen here before. They have molded ponytails.

What is my name?

This is an interesting 14-inch doll dressed as a nurse, marked Sharing 3001 on the nape of the neck and Made in Hong Kong on the back (see next photo).

The Sharing doll has heavy blue eye shadow and an oddly shaped, hitch hiker's thumb that Escobar initially thought was a flaw until we located a white version online with identical thumbs.

Height comparison photo of Sharing and 15-inch Bild Lili-type

Update: 07/17/21. The Sharing doll was sold as Dr. Ben Joins the Nurses Doll, circa 1974. The Sharing doll is a possible clone or competitor of Dr. Ben Casey's nurse doll that was sold through the Sears catalog.

Barbie clones in lingerie.
These clones/Barbie competitors have bubble cut, ponytail and straight hairstyles.

Another Barbie competitor
More Barbie clones in before and after repainting/restyling photos:

The next one is a vintage bubble cut Barbie repaint.
Doll's complexion had darkened some with age, which Escobar indicated she liked.

The next doll asks, "Who am I?"

Unknown doll with side-glancing eyes has darker complexion than most with a face that is lighter than her body.  Raised back markings are blurred.

The unknown doll could be a Shillman clone. Her face is very similar to a Shillman doll I own as illustrated in this side-by-side head shot image.

These are a few Bild Lilis, two with repainted, melanin-rich-appearing complexions.  Black versions were never manufactured.
Escobar shared:
The irony is that most of these dolls were originally for men. Cigar shop gag toys. Bild Lilis were men's dolls you would find on dashboards or hanging off rear view mirrors.

In this Internet-captured photo, a Bild Lili is seen in the cockpit of an aircraft with two amused pilots.

Escobar's tan Momoko lounges in a cozy setting.  She has been seen before here.

Here she is once again in the same setting.

A few days after our initial Facebook chat, the swirl ponytail had arrived and had been restyled. Those shared photos follow.

Swirl Ponytail is Escobar's most recent acquisition.  This is how she looked upon arrival.  The one-piece body with unjointed legs is interesting. 
Swirl Ponytail, restyled above, is next joined by others.

About her doll hunts and finds, Escobar Artforall added:
I look at a doll & get a sensation like rescue her. Look at the environment & how they display you. You are not valued, I will value you. I will make others desire you. I purchase the doll & clean her, restyle or sometimes repaint her. I sage each doll & pray over them. I know that I [am] the temporary owner. I enjoy sending the previous owner pics of how their doll looks after their make over. They seem to glow & almost smile. I get either a wow is that the same doll or give me credit for the eBay picture I posted that I use as a comparison pic. My goal is to sell the dolls & find homes where they will be seen, displayed, treated & valued as I do. I enjoy styling, re painting & photographing them to represent my imaginings. I create the dolls I don't see & imagine someone drawn to my creation like if it were a painting. Since I am a painter. I [am] intrigued how dolls represent how women were perceived in history as beautiful objects one could own.