Sunday, July 15, 2018

2018 National Barbie Convention Dolls: On the Avenue Barbie

2018 National Barbie Convention Dolls 'On the Avenue,' designed by Carlyle Nuera, are dressed in their extra fashion and presentation fashion.

These dolls are gorgeous! I love that the Curvy Collector Barbie body, which is articulated, was used for the 2018 National Barbie Convention Dolls.  Those lips on the African American doll are everything!


Close-up of 2018 National Barbie Convention Dolls
The designer of this gorgeous pair is the talented Carlyle Nuera whose Instagram post about the 2018 National Barbie Convention dolls fed into my Facebook timeline this morning along with his detailed description (shared below).   With Nuera's permission, the photos are shared here.  Enjoy his photos, his description (and/or regret not attending this year's Barbie Convention where On the Avenue Barbie was part of the convention package, because you know when they show up on eBay or another secondary market, the cost will be astronomical!)

Along with his additional photos, here's what Carlyle wrote:

Presenting ‘On The Avenue’ Barbie, the 2018 National Barbie Doll Collectors Convention Doll! A few firsts for a Convention Doll; the first Curvy Convention Doll, the first Fashion gift set convention doll and the first convention doll designed by me! 

The AA is shown in her presentation fashion, wearing her extra ensemble, and after mixing and matching both.

When I was designing the convention doll and knew that the theme was ‘On The Avenue’, my mind went to the Fashion Avenue line from the 90s, what I played with as a kid. I wanted to design a doll that allowed for one of Barbie’s earliest and purest play patterns; fashion play! 


The redhead is shown in her presentation fashion, wearing her extra ensemble, and after mixing and matching both.

Dressing your Barbie, mixing & matching pieces, styling her to create a lewk. On The Avenue Barbie comes with silver earrings, a pastel organza top that ties in the front with long tails, a shimmering champagne organza ball gown skirt with architectural draping, a black sparkly knit bodysuit (perfect for #Beyoncé #SingleLadies lewks 👯‍♀️), a knee length skirt with layers of silver foiled pewter mesh and silver lamé, a pair of black t-strap heels and a pair of cream strappy heels! I also want to always be forward thinking in my design approach. 

Side-by-side images of the 2018 National Barbie Convention Dolls:  On the Avenue Barbie


I wanted this Barbie to be a Collector example of how inclusive Barbie is now in terms of body type, so I designed her to use the Curvy Collector body that I first designed for Madam LaVinia Barbie. And you already knowww I love unusual face sculpts, so I used the Selma & Daria sculpts painted with side glancing eyes (#shemysterious 😜) and a beauty mark. Hope you all love her and have fun playing!


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Friday, July 13, 2018

The Barbie Doll Has Come a Long Way

Screen capture of the video, The Barbie Doll Has Come a Long Way posted by George Takei on Facebook

George Takei Presents: The Barbie Doll Has Come a Long Way, in a Facebook post. Click/tap here to view the video.

Which Barbie was/is your favorite?

Video URL:  https://www.facebook.com/georgehtakei/videos/253428095272323/

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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Cheap Thrill from China

Fashion doll from China with Afro and articulated body

On Amazon and in actual photos taken by other collectors, I had seen dolls with this doll's head sculpt, huge Afro hairstyle, dressed in a black cropped blouse and ethnic-print skirt.  On Amazon, prices varied between four and six dollars.  I had also seen a doll with a different (not as pretty, in my opinion) head sculpt wearing the same fashion (with two skirt color choices like this one).  Seeing them was all I had done, until recently.

While shopping on Aliexpress with a gift card that had a few dollars remaining, I decided to take the plunge and order this doll wearing the red/green/orange/white-print skirt.

Within a couple of weeks, she arrived inside a clear plastic bag (as shown in the first photo) having been shipped in an unpadded plastic mailer!  Without any protective cushioning, I was shocked the doll survived the trip from China to the US, but she did.

Removed from the plastic baggie, the doll's face is as pretty as the online photos illustrated and as my next photo illustrates.

She has nicely textured, thick, and closely rooted hair made of soft fibers.  She has brown eyes and a smiling mouth with the suggestion of teeth.

Articulation is included underneath the breast area, which can slightly move up, down, left, or right.  The elbows, wrists, and knees are articulated.  Why pink shoes were paired with the dark-colored fashion remains a mystery.

The pink shoes were replaced with a pair of black high heels.  Like her body, her legs are quite thin.

Part of the white Velcro that closes the top is exposed and the waist of the skirt is too big.   

I trimmed the edges of exposed Velcro so less of it would be visible.  I temporarily tightened the fit of the skirt at the waist with a quilting pin.  Later, I will replace the white Velcro with black Velcro and position the new Velcro on the skirt so the waist fits the doll properly.



The original silver-painted plastic necklace and earrings were replaced, tossed actually.  She now wears goldtone drop earrings (which her hair covers) and goldtone hair jewelry for locs or braids that she wears as a choker and upper arm bracelet.  She still wears her original silver wrist bracelet.

China Doll (I guess that's what I will name her) poses in a close-up here.
China Doll and Fresh Dolls' Mia are about the same complexion; China Doll's face is slightly lighter but their bodies are the same color.

These two display well together.

For $5.03 with free shipping, China Doll provided as much of a new-doll cheap thrill as I expected.

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Monday, July 9, 2018

Things Still Fall Apart


Shirley's Dollhouse-exclusive 1980s Sunday Best Ginny Boy and Girl

A look into a curio cabinet for "dressed-up" dolls to photograph, specifically Sunday Best Ginny Boy and Girl, led to the discovery of their limbs and heads being either loose or already fallen off as a result of hardening and breakage of the rubber bands used to attach their limbs.

A third Ginny was in the same fallen-apart state.  Initially, I thought Ginny at the Beach's head was only loose as illustrated above.

However, undressing Ginny at the Beach disclosed rubber bands that had held her head and arms in place had hardened and broken, too.

These three dolls and a host of other Dakin/Vogue Ginnys, as well as dolls by Effanbee, Horsman, Mattel (Barbie), and Alexander Dolls, had been purchased during the 1990s from Shirley's Dollhouse in Wheeling, Illinois.  I was a Shirley's Dollhouse gold-card holding, VIP member.  Many of dolls sold at Shirley's Dollhouse, like the three in this post, were collaborations between Effanbee, Horsman, Dakin/Vogue and Shirley Bertrand (the original owner of Shirley's Dollhouse).  Shirley's Dollhouse exclusives were inclusive of Black dolls, which is why I was a several-year telephone-ordering patron of the shop.


After removing the dismembered dolls' clothing, I photographed the three, labeled their identical bodies and, placed their clothing in separately labeled Ziploc bags.



Each doll was Saran-wrapped and, along with elastic cord, taken to the resident doll doctor where I was informed they would have an extensive wait.  June 24th was the date of discovery of their loose/fallen limbs and their triage for repair.



The doctor told no lie.  The dolls were not discharged until July 2nd when they were returned to me restrung and rewrapped in Saran wrap as illustrated above.

With newly placed stringing, the dolls were ready to be dressed.
Because I was not prepared for their release (not ready to redress them), I placed each doll inside the Ziploc bag that contained its clothing.


Repaired but not dressed
After a few additional days passed, I redressed them before returning them to the curio cabinet.

Sunday Best Boy, Sunday Best Girl, and Ginny at the Beach were introduced in 1988 and 1987 and were only available through Shirley's Dollhouse in Wheeling, Illinois.  They now have newly strung joints that should last another 30 or so years, at least.

Shirley Bertrand passed away in 2015.  It appears the brick and mortar doll shop, Shirley's Dollhouse, is under new ownership and there is also an eBay store.

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Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Little Brother Bernard

Bernard is an 18-inch hand-crocheted doll by Ra'chel Ba'ucham of Creations by Ba'ucham

Bernard is another hand-crocheted doll by Ra'chel Ba'ucham of Creations by Ba'ucham and another one of her creations that I could not resist. When she posted his photos on Facebook, she wrote,

Feeling a little whimsical so I crafted "Bernard." He is a sweet, shy little boy who is bubbling over with character as he shows off his beautiful dread locs. He is 18 inches tall and is a freehand (no pattern) crocheted doll.


I shared Bernard's post in Facebook doll groups thinking someone would purchase him before I gave in to my urge to do so.

With an unused gift card sitting on my keyboard that my son had given me, the temptation was just too much.  Within a few hours, I sent a message to Ra'chel to "hold him for me."  What two things do you not do to an incurable collector:  give her money and show her a doll that she will love.

Bernard was calling my name, so I listened.

Like his sisters CoCo and Precious, Bernard arrived with a certificate of authenticity that states he is a 1 of 1.  His description is recorded in my records as follows:




18-inch hand-crocheted doll has mostly black yarn hair styled in dread locs, some locs accented with cowrie shells; a few are brown. Has black eyes, a stitched nose and mouth, dimpled cheeks. Wears crocheted-on clothing of gold hoodie, denim-blue pants, burgundy sneakers with white soles. Ribbon label on inside of hoodie reads, Handmade by: Ra'chel Ba'ucham 2018. Has COA which indicates he is 1 of 1.
__________



Additional photos of Bernard were taken and are shared below:



Ra'chel's moment of whimsy is written all over Bernard's face.  Just look at that sneaky grin that indicates he is about to get into some devilment but he's smiling to throw you off.
Creating these locs must have been a timely process.
I believe it was Bernard's locs that really won me over.  The fact that CoCo and Precious needed a brother helped him join the family, too.
The extra detail of clothing that features a hoodie was another winning-over feature.
Ra'chel's cloth label is inside Bernard's hoodie.
His sisters, who knew he was coming, were very excited to meet their little brother.  His attempts to get into mischief have been thwarted by the biggest sister, CoCo, who constantly keeps him in check.

The girls and their kaka mdogo (which means little brother in Swahili) display well together.

See other creations by Ra'chel on her Facebook page.

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Monday, July 2, 2018

Robotics Engineer Barbie

Stock photo of Robotics Engineer Barbie dolls

See the Facebook video about Robotics Engineer a.k.a. "Silicon Valley" Barbie, here.  The doll comes with a robot and will retail for $14.

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