Saturday, December 30, 2017

New Post at Ebony-Essence of Dolls in Black

Brave is part of Tosh Fomby's Heritage Collection
Why Tosh Fomby Creates Black Dolls, Part I is an interesting article on what inspired the artist to begin cloth dollmaking.  It further explains the reason the Black Dolls, Black Makers forum was created. The article about Fomby's dolls and a link to the forum can be read here.


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Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas!

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Thursday, December 21, 2017

Fresh Dolls Review

Fresh Dolls as seen on the back of  Deluxe Set Indigo's box (Indigo is the doll in front and center).
A new line of 11-1/2-inch fashion dolls called Fresh entered the market in October of this year.  This collection of six dolls was manufactured by World of EPI, LLC, the makers of Positively Perfect dolls.  Designed to have more realistic faces, bodies, and clothing to represent girls and women of color, the dolls are a fresh alternative to other fashion dolls that have preceded them.  

"To be Fresh," as described on the back of Deluxe Set Indigo's box," is to embrace your look and wear it with confidence..."

Deluxe Set Dolls Retail for $25.

Deluxe Set Indigo does exude confidence with her micro mini braided black hair and animal-print-inspired fashions.

Indigo has a light complexion and light brown eyes.
The Deluxe Set dolls include Indigo, Gabrielle, and Jacqueline.  Each doll comes with an extra fashion, one pair of shoes, and a purse.  

Deluxe Set Gabrielle has a medium complexion, brown eyes, and brown hair with curly ends.
Gabrielle wears a lovely purple gown and has an extra casual fashion.
Deluxe Set Jacqueline has a light complexion, light brown eyes, and honey blonde straight hair with curly ends.  Dressed in a mermaid-style royal blue gown, her extra fashion has a pointed hemline in front.

The bodice of Jacqueline's blue gown has an Afrocentric print.
Basic Dolls Retail for $10.

The basic dolls are:  Lynette, Mia, and Tamra, each sold separately.

Lynette has the deepest complexion of all Fresh dolls.  She's a brown-eyed brunette and wears her hair in one pulled-up Afro puff.  Her two-piece fashion consists of a red-print top and solid red skirt.

Close up of Lynette, Mia, and Tamra
Mia, the center doll above, has a light complexion.  Her hair is styled in a huge curly Afro with center part.  Mia wears an Afrocentric print romper with black jacket and black wedge sandals. Tamra's complexion is medium brown.  Her straight brunette hair extends below her waist.  Her eyes are also brown.  The bodice of Tamra's dress is orange.  The multicolored skirt has a mock wrap front.   Tamra wears blue strappy wedge sandals.  

Complexion Comparison

Lynette's deep complexion is comparable to the skin tones of S.I.S. Chandra and Barbie Fashionista Fancy Flowers, who flank her in the above photo.

Tamra's medium complexion is comparable to S.I.S. Kara's (above left) and Tropi-Cutie Barbie's (above right).

Mia (above right) is the only Fresh doll I have chosen to debox at this time.  Her light complexion is similar to S.I.S. Trichelle's.

Fresh Fashion Packs Retail for $5.

Each of the above fashions ("Pants Outfit" and "Active Wear") includes a sleeveless solid-color top, multicolored pants, and purse.  Shoes are included with the fashion on the left.

Two denim ensembles, "Glam Outfit," and "Denim Outfit" include a hand bag and shoes.

"Fun in the Sun" includes a two-piece pink swimsuit, pink shoulder bag, and straw hat.
Body Comparison
To illustrate Mia's curves, she now wears the Fresh swim suit.  She has also swapped shoes with S.I.S. Trichelle, whose foot size is the same as Mia's.  S.I.S. Trichelle was designed to have more curves than traditional Barbie and predates Curvy Barbie.  Mia's waist, thighs, and legs are larger  than Trichelle's.

Mia's breast, hips, and bottom are fuller than Trichelle's.
The Fresh dolls have the usual five points of articulation with additional articulation at the elbows and knees.  Their head movement is only left to right or rotational for 360 degrees.  The head cannot be moved upward or downward.  Their waists and wrists are not articulated.  Mia is posed in several ways as illustrated next.

When seated, she is able to cross her legs at the ankles.

Seated with legs crossed at the knees is shown above.

Mia can comfortably do a full split.

She can place her hands on her hips.

Mia can also pat her Afro into shape.

Clothing Comparison
As noted, Mia and Trichelle have a similar foot size; they can wear each other's shoes.  The Barbie fashion that Trichelle was wearing is cut a little larger than most Barbie fashions and has a slightly loose fit in the waist on Trichelle.  The wider cut allows Mia to wear it almost comfortably.  Because of Mia's larger waist, the Velcro closure in the back of the skirt does not properly line up.  See the second photo below:

Mia models a Barbie fashion and shoes, formerly worn by S.I.S. Trichelle.

On Mia, the skirt of this fashion does not close completely in the back.

Mia's romper is an improper, loose fit on Trichelle.  It is loose at the neck.  There is a gap at the back closure.
I took a chance and tried Mia's fashion on Nighttime Glamour (NG) Barbie and was surprised by the fit.

These two were able to swap clothing almost successfully.  Mia's romper is a good fit on Nighttime Glamour Barbie.  It was a bit of a struggle to get Mia's shoes onto NG Barbie's feet and the jacket is a bit snug.  Mia can wear NG Barbie's dress, but the shoes are loose at the ankles.

Mia's romper looks better without the jacket when NG Barbie wears it.  Mia agreed.
Additional Fresh Doll Details 
Their hair is well rooted with each one wearing a different hairstyle.  Hair color, styles, and texture vary.  As illustrated, the dolls' complexions vary from light, to medium, to deep.  The same head sculpt is used for all, but because of the different complexions and different hair colors and styles, each doll maintains her own personality.  All dolls wear permanently placed earrings.  

Where to Buy
The dolls are sold in Walmart stores and on their website.  Target stores and their website also sells the dolls. and sell Fresh dolls as well.  For additional information, visit the Fresh Dolls website at, "like" their Facebook page, and follow them on Instagram.  

Black Dolls Matter Magazine
Dr. Lisa, the founder of World of EPI, LLC and the creator of the Fresh doll line, was interviewed by Black Dolls Matter Magazine.  That interview is scheduled to be published in the magazine's premier issue.  A fundraiser for the magazine is ongoing here.  Backing is needed to make this quarterly publication a reality.  

Geared toward ages 3+, doll collectors have also incorporated Fresh dolls into their collections.  Parents seeking to provide dolls with positive images that better represent their children's physical attributes should seriously consider purchasing Fresh dolls.

As indicated on the back of Indigo's box, "Fresh dolls represent true multicultural beauty and promote self-love in children.  Fresh dolls have beautiful faces, custom skin tones, trendy fashions and hair styles.  With movable joints and more realistic bodies, Fresh girls can do anything!"

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Clowns and ABC Babies BOGO Sale

Through December 20, 2017 January 2, 2018, all Clowns, shown here and all ABC Babies, shown here are on sale at Hamilo Baby Dolls, LLC (  Buy one get one of the same for free.  Made of resin, the ABC Babies are 5-1/2 inches tall.  The Clowns are approximately 6 inches and are also made of resin.

These make great stocking stuffers, can be used as small dolls for larger dolls to hold (as illustrated next), and are great as they are to add to or to begin a collection.

ABC Baby, Ollie (her favorite letter of the alphabet is "O") enjoys being held by My Twinn doll, Karen.

Karen is 23-inches tall.  Ollie and the other ABC Babies and Clowns can be held by smaller dolls, too.

Follow the links above, or visit Hamilo Babies Inc. here to take advantage of the sale.

To keep abreast of future sales and specials from Hamilo Babies, Inc., visit, "like," and "follow" their Facebook page here.

Happy shopping!

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Monday, December 11, 2017

Deborah with Earrings

Using a pair of "human" earrings found at a dollar store, I shortened the dangles of these before inserting the posts into Deborah's earlobes.  Her ears have a hole for earrings, but the hole does not extend through the ear.  To complete the piercing only required poking the posts of the earrings through the soft vinyl earlobe.

Deborah models her new dangle earrings, which match the bling in her two-piece suit.

Without the hat

Profile view

Deborah helps the children decorate the Christmas tree.
I was going to return Deborah to her box because she is not a doll that I plan to display.  Instead, I decided, because of her red fashion, to incorporate her into my Christmas decor before her box return.   

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Sunday, December 10, 2017

Beautiful Blessings Deborah - Review

Deborah by Beautiful Blessings in her signature box, the front of which contains an insert that reads:
She's kind & ambitious.
Her positive attitude,
faithfulness, & good spirit
shine through. Her affirming
self-image reminds each of us
to be the best version
of ourselves. ♥

Left and right box side panels contain the "I am a Beautiful Blessing" logo, and the company's mission statement.  "Our mission is to empower young females & realign the impossible image standards set by other dolls.  Our unique doll collection promotes a more positive, realistic body image and helps inspire confidence and higher self-esteem in girls and young women."

At Beautiful Blessings (the left side panel reads), we believe "The Average Girl IS Beautiful!"
and every girl should look in the mirror and say, "I Am a Beautiful Blessing."

Noted on the back of the box:
Free Inside
Exclusive Beautiful Blessings
Mirror Card
included with every doll
A positive message card to keep you empowered & inspired everyday!

Deborah's mirror card reads:
You are a masterpiece
that was made strong, beautiful
& confident.  Accomplish your goals
and live your dreams!
Have the abundant life that was made
distinctly for you.  Love yourself & show the
world who you were designed to become.
Reach your destiny!
Remember, you lack nothing.
-Beautiful Blessings.

With a more realistic body, dressed in an elegant fashion, Deborah is part of a three-doll collection created to inspire a positive self-image.  Her physical attributes are described below.

Beautiful Blessings Deborah
Height:  12-1/2 inches
Articulation:  Five-points, at neck, upper arms, and upper legs
Hair:  Black silky textured hair, rooted in layers that are from 1/4 to 1/2 inch apart (styling the hair will be limited to the current style or an up 'do).
Eyes:  Painted, brown
Complexion:  Caramel brown with yellow undertones
Clothing:  Stylish red knit two-piece suit and matching hat; jacket and skirt are embellished with a strip of rhinestones.  Red pumps with black soles and red bottoms complete the look.
Body Measurements in Inches (Breasts, Waist, Hips):  7, 4-1/2, 7
Foot Measurement, Length and Width:  1-3/8 inches x 1/2 inch
Medium:  Soft vinyl head, solid vinyl arms, plastic body and legs, which are hollow.
Ears:  Pierced, without earrings.

Deborah has a lovely face which appears to be exclusive to the Beautiful Blessings line (I have not seen another fashion doll line that uses this head sculpt).  Her red hat was attached to her head with three plastic fasteners, which I removed to examine her hair rooting and texture, which are described above.

Deborah poses without her hat.
Her hair extends just below the waist.
Extra Head Shots Taken Outside

Body Examination and Comparison

Deborah has molded-on nude undies:  a strapless bra and bikini panties.  She has curves in all the right places!

Comparison with Boho Glam Barbie

In frontal and profile comparison photos with Glam Boho Barbie, Deborah stands a full 1-inch taller.  The two cannot share clothes or shoes.

Comparisons with Prettie Girls Lena and Big Beautiful Dolls Dasia prove that Deborah cannot share clothing or shoes with them either.

Deborah and Lena


Deborah and Dasia

Unlike Glam Boho and Lena, Dasia's figure is fuller than Deborah's and her feet are larger than Deborah's.  I tried Dasia's dress on Deborah; it swallowed her.

Foot Comparison

Deborah's feet are almost the same length as Draculaura's (Monster High), but her foot is wider than Draculaura's, as illustrated above.

What She Can Wear

The only dress I have available that Deborah can wear is a Sparkle Girlz sundress.  It fits her because of the fuller cut and the jersey knit fabric from which it is made.  Because of her bust size, it was almost a struggle to get the Velcro closed in back.

The white pumps Deborah wears comfortably were made to fit Jem/Color Infusion dolls.  These were ordered for my Color Infusion Janay doll from Facets by Marcia.

Overall Assessment
The adult collector will appreciate Deborah's full figure, but might be hard pressed (unless they sew) to find other fashions that will fit her more voluptuous figure.  The Beautiful Blessings website does have a link to Doll Clothing, but currently extra fashions are not shown at the website.   The adult collector would also appreciate closely rooted hair and more articulation, but because the doll is actually designed for young children the usual five points of articulation will suffice.  The quality of the clothing and shoes is nice and the retail price of $44.99 is reasonable.

The premier doll in the Beautiful Blessings collection, Virtuous Lady, is currently sold out.  Additional quantities will be available in 2018.  Deborah and Mary are still available.   With this three doll collection, the company can easily accomplish its mission to inspire confidence and self-esteem in girls and young women.  Deborah is pinned to my Pinterest board as one of my suggested Black Dolls for Children.

The founder of Beautiful Blessings, Ms. Raveen James, and others provide additional details about the inspiration for this unique line of dolls.


Side Note:  Deborah means "bee" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament Book of Judges, Deborah is a heroine and prophetess who leads the Israelites when they are threatened by the Canaanites. She forms an army under the command of Barak, and together they destroy the army of the Canaanite commander Sisera. Also in the Old Testament, this is the name of the nurse of Rebecca. []

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