Monday, June 18, 2018

My Brown Blythe

Dark-skinned Blythe was described on Aliexpress as "Super Black Blyth Doll."

A birthday doll from me to me, brown Blythe was purchased from an Aliexpress seller where there are currently several offerings from different sellers -- search Black Blyth at that website or use the search link provided at the end of this post.  My doll is shown above as she arrived "wearing her birthday suit" (nude).  As mentioned in my previous post, she stands approximately 11 inches tall and has a mature bosom, which is blurred in this photo.

With the pull of the string located in the back of her head, Blythe's eyes change to gray, blue, hazel, and bright green with directions of either forward or to either side.

The gray eyes glance to the doll's left.
With a forward stare, Blythe's eyes are blue.

When she looks to her right, Blythe's eyes are hazel.

Her bright green eyes stare forward.

Blythe tried on several Sparkle Girlz fashions that she paired with shoes I purchased from an Aliexpress seller.  The fashions are modeled next.

One-piece, one-shouldered striped top with denim pants is worn with her white Mary-Jane-style shoes.  Two white barrettes keep her curly Afro away from her face.

The same shoes are worn with most of the fashions Blythe tried.  This is a two-piece fashion with a multicolored top with pink ribbon shoulder straps and yellow pants.

Blythe strikes a pose wearing the same fashion worn in the previous photo.

She looks cute in these one-piece shorts.  Next, Blythe poses two additional times wearing this fashion.

I noticed that most of the Sparkle Girlz fashions I selected for Blythe to try on are yellow.  This dress has a yellow bodice and a floral-print ruffled skirt.

Pink is the main color of the dress Blythe wears in this photo.

Blythe wears a pair of black shoes with the final dress, which has a multicolored top with bell sleeves and denim skirt.

Still wearing the fashion shown in the photo immediately above, Blythe models one of the two pairs of sunglasses she owns.

Blythe dolls were created in the 1970s and sold in the states by Kenner.  Black dolls were not included in the original line.  Read more about the history of the dolls at the final link in this post. Before discovering the Aliexpress brown Blythe offerings, I purchased two "tan" complexioned Blythe dolls in 2015.  Still longing for one with a deeper complexion than theirs, I had been tempted, only slightly, to have a white Blythe doll customized as a brown doll.  Thank goodness I waited for my authentically brown Blythe, who poses with her sisters in the final two photos.

My brown Blythe is flanked by her tan-complexioned sisters.
The girls each strike a final pose in their pink-themed Sparkle Girlz fashions.
Because of their oversized heads, Blythe dolls cannot stand alone. The tan dolls have Blythe doll stands.  When the order was placed for the newest Blythe, I forgot to order a stand for her; this has now been done. 

Aliexpress Black Blythe Offerings
Blythe Doll History


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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Birthday Dolls

Birthday dolls: 50th Anniversary 1959 Debut Barbie, 18-inch Crocheted Doll, articulated brown-skinned Blythe

Only three new dolls were received as birthday gifts this year. One was an unexpected duplicate; one was requested, and I purchased one.

50th Anniversary 1959 Debut Barbie was released to the market in 2009.  Having purchased my first one when it was released, this one is a duplicate.

As described in a previous post, this lovely doll is a dark-skinned replica of the #1 Barbie from 1959; however, Mattel did not release a brown-skinned doll with this head sculpt until 2002 (Silkstone Lingerie Barbie #5).  The 1959 Debut Barbie is dressed in a black and white sequined bathing suit and wears gold tone dangle earrings, gold tone Barbie charm bracelet, black high-heel ankle-strap shoes; comes with hangtag and certificate.

The friend who gave me the 1959 Debut Barbie had hoped it would not be a duplicate.  "I never know what you have," she said, "so I took a chance" on choosing this doll because she knows I like African American #1 Barbie clones.   Not to worry, this doll lover always accepts twins.

Part of the 2012 reproduction Barbie "Let's Play Dolls" gift set that included a Barbie and four fashion packs for each season, the Fall fashion, shown here was another birthday gift.  It includes one-piece silk sleeveless jumper pants; orange and gold lacy full-length, full-skirted dress; gold lamé wedge sandals, and a Barbie/Ken card.

Should I decide to debox the duplicate 1959 Debut Barbie, I will redress her in the Let's Play Dolls Fall fashion that was a gift from the person who gave me the doll.

Hand-crocheted, one-of-a-kind doll by Creations by Ba'ucham.

During the week prior to my birthday, doll artist,  Ra'chel Ba'ucham shared photos on Facebook of "Precious," a hand-crocheted one-of-a-kind doll.  I asked my daughter and son to buy this doll for me for my birthday.  Precious arrived the day of my birthday thanks to Ra'chel, who paid the extra postage to expedite her trip.  Precious is as adorable in person as her online photographs suggested.  She stands 18-inches tall and has a signed certificate of authenticity that verifies her one-of-one edition.

11-inch brown-skinned Blythe was sold nude by an Aliexpress seller.  Eyes can change to four different colors by pulling the string in the back of the head.  The body has multiple points of articulation.  
After Roxanne's post about her rebodied Babysitter  Inc. Skipper using an articulated Blythe body, I inquired about the buying source.  She shared the eBay seller's link.  While on eBay, I searched for "whole" brown-skinned Blythe dolls and discovered several.  Instead of purchasing from eBay, I purchased my doll and an extra articulated body from different Aliexpress sellers.

An additional articulated brown-skinned Blythe body and shoes that fit the feet were added to my Aliexpress cart when the Blythe doll was purchased.  The bosom of the extra body, like the one on the doll (which I blurred out in the photo), is mature (not flat chested).  I am not sure which doll head will be used for the extra body.
Shoes for Blythe and two pairs of sunglasses (not shown) were also purchased from different Aliexpress sellers.

One-dozen bite-size Buntinis from Nothing Bundt Cakes

A couple of non-doll-related birthday items included a dozen Buntini mini bundt cakes from Nothing Bundt Cakes.  I initially asked my daughter to bake a 7-Up cake for me but changed that request to a dozen Buntinis, which are bite-size bundt cakes topped with cream cheese icing.  They are available in a variety of flavor choices.  I chose four different flavors:  carrot, lemon, marble, and pecan (three of each).  They are delicious!  Ask my son, who devoured most of them.

Collage frame with inserted gift cards
My "bestest" doll friend, Debra R. chose a quite clever way to present the above variety of gift cards, which were included in my birthday bundle from her.  (She gave me the 50th Anniversary Barbie and the Let's Play Barbie fashion, along with several other non-doll related items).  In the collage photo frame,  Debra inserted gift cards into the photo areas.  The gift cards, of varying monetary values, are from Walmart, T. J. Maxx, Target, Visa, Bath and Body, and Subway.  Was that clever or what?  With the gift cards removed, the photo collage will serve its intended purpose with photos inserted of my favorite four (my two children and my two grandsons).


Separate follow-up posts on Precious and my brown-skinned Blythe will follow.


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Monday, June 11, 2018

Bex a Girl For All Time is Here!

Bex's first photo was taken while the doll was still safely secured inside the box.

A Girl For All Time Your Modern Girl Bex arrived last week after over a year's wait.  My preorder through the company's crowdfunding campaign was placed in May 2017.  Bex is the company's first and only dark-skinned modern girl.  Maya and Nisha were the first two modern girls.  Elinor is another and was released with Bex.  Their first dolls represent historic girls from different time periods.

Bex's second photograph is a close-up of her face and hair that was taken while the doll was still attached to the box liner with the liner removed from the box.

Bex is described as 16 inches by the manufacturer; however, with her boots on, her height is closer to 17 inches.  She has brown stationary eyes with painted and applied upper eyelashes.  The lower lashes are painted.  She has a very pensive expression.

First Impression

Bex looks quite like the prototype except that the curl pattern of her black natural-textured hair, which is a wig, is not as uniform as I expected.  The hair texture is mixed:  some fibers are defined curls but most of the hair is very coarse and the length varies.  I was expecting more uniform texture and coils throughout.   Photos of the hair as it was when Bex was released from the box are shown next:

This photo and the next four illustrate Bex's hair as it was when she arrived.

Bex wears an off-white lacy blouse that has three-quarter length, cuffed sleeves, a Peter Pan collar, and a royal blue ribbon neck bow.  Her royal blue shorts are lined with white satin-like fabric.  She wears white cotton-blend undies, orange tights, and black lace-up Dr. (Doc) Martens-style boots.  The clothing and shoes are very well made.

Because I was not 100% pleased with Bex's hair, I worked with it until I was satisfied.  First I finger combed it to get an idea of the overall length.  The results of finger combing are illustrated next.

Finger-combed hair

Bex's hair has been finger combed in this photo and in the next two.  It is long on the top and short on the sides and in back.

I tamed the finger combing appearance slightly in this photo and in the next by patting the hair down a bit.

During my fuss over her hair, I decided to undress Bex to see her body construct.  The next photo illustrates her body.

Bex is articulated in the usual five places as well string articulated as at the elbows and knees.  She has a thin but sturdy body.  I am not sure at this time if she can share clothes with any dolls I currently own.  I was thinking maybe she could wear Hearts For Hearts doll clothing, but Bex is not as thin as those dolls and she is about 2 inches taller.
More Hair Management

After examining Bex's body, I decided to twist her hair with the idea that I might give her a boil perm afterward.  The twists from different angles are shown next:

Bex has had her ears pierced, and gold-tone hoops have been added after she briefly wore royal blue studs.  Several small sections of her hair have been twisted.  The twists are shown above and in the next three photographs taken at different vantage points.

A member of my doll group wanted to see a facial comparison photo of Karito Kids Lulu and Bex to determine if Bex could represent Lulu's little sister.  I took and shared the following two photos after Bex's hair had been twisted.

Karito Kids Lulu is 21 inches tall.  She wears American Girl Addy's African Dance outfit.  She could very well be a big sis for Bex.
Bex's Dolly

Bex and her new doll.

Because Bex's hands, when placed together, form the perfect space to hold a small doll, and because of her orange tights, a mini Orange Blossom doll was chosen as her doll.

Bex's doll, a mini Orange Blossom doll, is shown in this photo taken after the doll was purchased at a thrift store in 2016.

Continued Hair Management

Because of the coarse texture of Bex's hair, I decided to skip the boil perm that I briefly considered, which is only done to hold a set.  Bex has strong hair that defies gravity and did not need to be dipped into hot water to set the twists.  Her hair remained twisted for no more than an hour before I untwisted it.  This gave the hair better definition as illustrated next.

Bex's untwisted hair is illustrated in this photo and the next three.

Another Comparison

For those who would like to know how Bex compares size-wise to American Girl dolls, the following photo was taken with Melody Ellison after Bex's hair was untwisted.

American Girl Melody Ellison poses with Bex for a size comparison.

Bex is shorter with a thinner body and smaller feet than American Girl dolls.  She will not be able to wear clothing designed for American Girl and other 18-inch similar-bodied dolls.

Final Look At the Hair

In the next photo, the four phases of Bex's hair are illustrated.

Of the four hairstyles, do you have a favorite?

Bex and I like her hair untwisted.  Her little Orange Blossom mini doll prefers it this way, too.

Overall Assessment

I am pleased with Bex.  I had hoped the production doll's wig would be more like the wig seen in the prototype photos here and here, but as illustrated, I have made it work to my satisfaction.  I appreciate the nice quality clothing and boots and the extra points of articulation.  Bex can also stand without the assistance of a doll stand, which is always an added plus.

For more information about A Girl For All Time dolls, visit their website.

I was asked the following great question by Betty W. on Facebook:
Thanks for the review of Bex. I have a question. Can she sit with her legs bent? I know she is jointed at the knees but some dolls are strung and when you sit them down the legs will be straight due to the elastic.

My answer:
Unfortunately, no, Betty. Bex's stringing does not allow her to be seated with knees bent.


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