Monday, December 28, 2020

Waldorf Doll Fraud



On September 15, 2020, I was enticed by a Facebook ad placed by Happykomi.com (a.k.a. Kimiss, a.k.a. Langruian Electronics Commerce Co. Ltd.) for a Black Waldorf Doll that was supposed to include several different clothes.  

Minus the clothes that appeared in the ad, this is what I expected to receive.

This is what I received -- sorry about the poor quality photo, but I was so upset and hurriedly took the photo to share with the scammer.

What I received is shown above. A plush white doll and an extra piece of clothing that probably won't fit it. It arrived balled up in a plastic envelope with an Inglewood, California return address.

I immediately contacted the fraudulent company through their email address (having previously written them through their website, Happykomi.com, after having reservations about the order and receiving a reply from that email address. I informed them of their error and my desire for the correct item or a refund. 

I received an initial email reply offering a 10% refund, which I refused. Several subsequent emails followed with their last email offer on October 22, 2020, being a 50% refund. I initially ignored that email, hoping Paypal would side in my favor.

During the time I communicated back and forth with the scammer, I had already contacted Paypal to open a case. Paypal, taking their usual long time to investigate, on 10/21/2020 wrote the following:

To continue with this investigation, a report must be filed with a law enforcement agency or government organization. You may choose to contact your local law enforcement agency (such as your local police or sheriff's department) or you may choose to file a report with any other governmental agency of your choice. 

I filed a complaint with the Internet Crime Center and submitted a copy of the complaint to Paypal. Their investigation continued.

On October 30, 2020, Paypal informed me that Langruian Electronics Commerce Co. Ltd. had agreed to refund my money if I returned the item (at my expense) to their China address. Really? It would cost me over $35 to return the dollar-store-valued junk doll. The shipping cost would be a few cents less than the potential refund I would receive. I wrote Paypal the following note:

Per your request for me to return the incorrect item I received from Langruian Electronic Commerce Co. Ltd., it would cost more to ship the incorrect item (a plush toy worth about one dollar) to the China address than the refund I would potentially receive. Langruian Electronic Commerce Co. Ltd. (Langruian) is at fault because they advertised a product and did an intentional bait and switch.

They know it would cost more to return an item to China than the refund and I am sure they are laughing at you for helping them complete the scam and at me and countless others for falling for their scam. Provided that the return address on the package is not also fake, I am willing to return the junk item to the return U.S. address printed on the package I received from Langruian. The U.S. return address on the package containing the junk item I received is copied below:

Shipping Department

Dept. CA

10722 South La Cienega Blvd.

Inglewood, CA 90304

For your information, in addition to reporting this matter to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, it has been reported to the Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission. All additional reports include your decision to side with the scamming company, Langruian. I have also shared the incident with social media contacts to inform them that Paypal and Facebook are helping a China-based company defraud customers. I have urged others on Facebook not to buy from Langruian, a.k.a. Happykomi.com, a.k.a. Kimiss and similar companies that others have been warned about. See the attached screen snapshot that was posted on the Waldorf Doll Shop Facebook page* (where Happykomi.com is listed as the second fraudulent company). Had I been aware of this warning before ordering from this scammer, it would have saved me $36.48 and the time it has taken me to request your help in obtaining a full refund.


On 11/06/2020, Paypal wrote the following with the email subject: Your Paypal Case... Denied

We received the case(s) you filed on October 14, 2020.

We have reviewed this transaction(s) and are denying your case(s). This decision was made because we did not receive valid proof or tracking that you returned the merchandise.

Before Paypal made their unfortunate decision to side with the company, I had already chalked this experience up as a loss, but I would have felt worse about the ordeal had I not at least tried to get a refund and report the scammer. I will donate the toy to the National Kidney Fund when they make another round in my neighborhood to pick up donatable items.

On the same day Paypal denied the claim, I replied to Happykomi's last email to me. Their email, my reply, and the communication that followed are captured in screenshots


Email sent on November 6, 2020, in reply to their October 22, 2020, email.



They replied to my refund request the following day and I replied to their reply.


Our final communication


The partial refund notification from Paypal was sent within an hour of my final communication with Happykomi/Kimiss/Langruian representative. 




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The day I placed the order for the Waldorf doll, several similar, if not identical, ads appeared on my Facebook timeline for the same Waldorf doll package, but these ads were from companies with different names. I am not sure if these ads were placed by the same company I placed my order through (Happykomi.com) or if there are several copycat scammers. According to the Waldorf Doll Shop Facebook warning (see the links below), there are several fraudulent companies like Happykomi.com that steal pictures of dolls and post ads at ridiculously low prices. So buyers please beware and know (like I already knew, but did not heed my own advice) if it sounds or looks too good to be true, it usually is. Also, think twice before purchasing anything based on a Facebook ad unless it is from a major, reputable company. With the goal of increasing revenue from ads, Facebook is obviously not concerned if ads are legitimate. 




If you have been a victim of an Internet sales scam, report it to the authorities listed below.




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There are countless items to collect and write about. Black dolls chose me.
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Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Merry Christmas!




Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy, Prosperous New Year!
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There are countless items to collect and write about. Black dolls chose me.
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Thank you for reading. To contact me, please use the contact form on the right of the home page, which is visible in "web view." A link to web viewing should be visible at the bottom of this page.

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Monday, December 21, 2020

A Christmas Tree Dress for Barbie


The doll in this Internet-captured photograph is the doll that inspired my Christmas Tree Skirt Dress for Barbie Project. 

I saw the above photo during the 2019 holiday season and agreed with the member who posted it that it would be a great project for my doll group to complete in 2020. A few of us completed the project this year. We used our own creative methods to fashion a Christmas tree skirt dress for Barbie or another playscale-size doll. I made two. The dresses I made and how I made them are illustrated in this post.

Doll 1



For doll 1, I wrapped a piece of heavy 8-1/2 x 11-inch cardstock around the doll's waist to create the skirt. The cardstock was taped in place with packaging tape. The bottom of the cardstock was cut to the proper length to make the hem even. 

The cardstock was pressed against the doll's waist to create a tapered fit before the edge of the cardstock was taped in place.



I wrapped a decorative red Christmas ribbon around the doll's chest area to create a strapless bodice.

The bodice and the skirt base have been created. A gold braid cuff creates a neck choker for the doll.


Next, gold garland was glued to the cardstock to embellish the skirt as illustrated next. 

This doll now has a gold garland skirt -- the gold is more vibrant than my camera was able to capture.


The pink lip color was changed to red and a wired poinsettia-print ribbon was fashioned into a stylish headband.


Red glittery bows were attached in the front and back of the garland. Not shown in this photo, she also holds a red glittery giftbag ornament. 

Doll #2



I used a different technique that required more steps (some of which were unnecessary) to create a Christmas tree skirt dress for doll #2. 


I used a large liquid dish soap bottle as the form for this doll's skirt. The bottom was cut off where the red line is drawn on the above image.


The top of the bottle underneath the neck was also cut off using an X-Acto knife. Next, (and this is one of the unnecessary steps), I covered the bottle with wet green tissue paper, which was allowed to dry overnight. I did this because I did not want the bottle to show through the garland.

After the tissue paper dried, I inserted the doll temporarily.

I had already created an opening in the back of the bottle to accommodate the doll's hips. Here, I am squeezing the top portion which would later be taped to fit the doll's waist, but before the taping, I added a layer of Mod Podge to the tissue paper to seal it in place. Next, I created the bodice of the dress.

Similar to doll #1, I used ribbon to create the bodice of the dress. This time I used 1-inch wide gold glitter ribbon.

Several evolutions of the ribbon were wrapped around the doll's torso before the skirt of the dress was taped in place in the back.

A shimmery green pipe cleaner was wrapped around the doll's waist -- this is another step that could have been omitted.

The skirt was covered with Mod Podge again to use as glue for placement of the garland.

Green garland was wrapped around the Mod-Podge-covered skirt.

Alternately, red and green pom-poms were placed in the doll's hair that frames the face. Next, a string of red and gold Christmas bells was wrapped around the skirt of the dress.

Another pipe cleaner was wrapped around the top of the bodice and two green pom-poms were placed in the center of the bodice. Two strings of red battery-operated lights were wrapped around the skirt of the dress.



The battery compartments for the lights were taped to the sides of the skirt.

I repainted this doll's lips red; the light pink had to go!

This is her almost-final look. I thought the skirt still needed a little something-something...


So, like doll #1's skirt, I added bows; this doll's bows are glittery green.

The green bows add extra pizzaz!


One of the dolls has gone to live with another collector. As a result, I purchased a replacement and was surprised to find that Mattel is now using plastic zippered pouches for the Fashionista Barbies. These can be repurposed.

New Barbie Fashionista packaging

There is a zippered opening on the side of the pouch.

The pouches can be used later to store doll clothing and accessories. Because the pouch is see-through, you can see what's stored inside. Nice move, Mattel. I like this idea better than the cellophane boxes which require discarding by those who debox their dolls and that creates waste.

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There are countless items to collect and write about. Black dolls chose me.
__________

Thank you for reading. To contact me, please use the contact form on the right of the home page, which is visible in "web view." A link to web viewing should be visible at the bottom of this page.

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Friday, December 18, 2020

Ruby B. Pencil

Ruby B. Pencil by Karen Oyekanmi

After I saw this Ruby B. pencil by Karen Oyekanmi in her video during the American Black Beauty Doll Artists (virtual) Festival of Black Dolls Show and Sale, I went to her Etsy shop to get a better look. I then contacted the artist directly to order. I love it!

The Ruby B. doll is attached to a pencil. In its pipe-cleaner arms, the doll holds a mock book (this one is titled Thumbelina). The wooden head has painted hair and two Afro puffs and a center white bow. Too cute! She wears a white dress and has lace-wrapped ankles and painted-on black shoes.

Certificate of authenticity


It comes with a certificate of authenticity and will display well with my Ruby B. doll by Karen as illustrated in the last picture.
 
The recently released book, Ruby Bridges This is Your Time by Ruby Bridges, is displayed with a Ruby B. doll and the Ruby B. pencil by Karen Oyekanmi.


The doll and pencil are a tribute to Ruby Bridges, a civil rights activist who at the age of six, desegregated the William Franz School in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1960. The children's book, Ruby Bridges This is Your Time, is written by Ruby Bridges as a letter to inspire youth to become active and engaged in the pursuit of equality "as the struggle for liberty and justice for all" continues.

Check out Karen's Etsy shop here.

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There are countless items to collect and write about. Black dolls chose me.
__________

Thank you for reading. To contact me, please use the contact form on the right of the home page, which is visible in "web view." A link to web viewing should be visible at the bottom of this page.

Check out what I am selling here
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Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Oh My Wow! Barbie Extra Doll #1

Barbie Extra Doll #1


I wasn't going to order this doll initially. (Yeah, yeah, yeah... tell that to someone who will believe you, Debbie). But really, I wasn't because this head sculpt has been used so much by Mattel. But as time passed and I kept seeing Facebook posts about the doll, she crept into my dolls to consider thoughts. "She's articulated. I like her hair. The clothes are fabulous, at least the coat is, so maybe I should buy her."

So when the buzz about Amazon having the doll on preorder surfaced, I bit the bullet and preordered. Amazon's dolls would not ship out until January. I was okay with that, but then another collector shared that she canceled her Amazon preorder and ordered from Target online's available stock where shipping was free with the use of their Red card. So I followed her lead by canceling the Amazon preorder and ordered from Target with my Red card.

The doll arrived within a few days and she is better than expected.

In-box close-up

Barbie Extra Doll 1's hair is styled in two Afro puffs with two side braids. She wears twisted gold hoop earrings, a red two-piece knit top and shorts with black banded trim on both the top and the shorts. The word "Love" is printed on the trim. White striped sports socks, silver high-heel anklets, a cloud-shaped white handbag, dark sunglasses that have "Shine" above one lens and "Bright" above the other, a gold necklace, a ring, and a fabulous faux fur rainbow coat complete her "extra" look. Also included is a plastic tan French poodle that has its own star-shaped yellow glasses, a bag, and pink bows. 

The doll and accessories are illustrated on the back of the box.

The doll has extra articulation at the elbows and knees. I am not sure about the ankles and wrists since my doll is still in the box for now, but I am thinking those are articulated, too.

Because of her colorful clothing, this doll gives off United Colors of Benetton Barbie vibes.

United Colors of Benetton Barbie from 1990 and 2005



I've placed the doll under the Christmas tree unwrapped as a visible gift from myself.

Watch a cute video of the Extra dolls below:



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There are countless items to collect and write about. Black dolls chose me.
__________

Thank you for reading. To contact me, please use the contact form on the right of the home page, which is visible in "web view." A link to web viewing should be visible at the bottom of this page.

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Monday, December 14, 2020

Fashionista 146 and This Guy

Barbie Fashionista 146 has a prosthetic leg.


While shopping for Christmas ornaments online at Target.com and needing an order that totaled at least $35 to qualify for free shipping (that free shipping minimum gets me every time and they know it), I added this girl to my cart. I had considered buying this doll before and did not want to have any regrets for not adding it to my collection. So now she is here.

Facial close-up illustrates her beautiful, deep complexion.

I recorded her description in my Excel doll inventory workbook as follows:


The doll's left leg is a gold-colored prosthesis.

The price of $7.99 is recorded underneath the price column and a picture of the doll is in the final column of the Excel workbook entry. 

Fashionistas 91, 135, and 146 represent the conditions of albinism and vitiligo, and a prosthetically replaced amputated or otherwise lost lower left extremity.

For now, Fashionista 146 will remain in the box and will be on box display with the boxed vitiligo and albino Barbies that I purchased when those dolls were released. 

Fashionista 133 was purchased in October 2019.

After taking the photograph of the above three dolls, I remembered Fashionista 133, which represents a wheelchair user. That doll was seen here for the first time with Fashionista 130 (cornrow Ken #2) and several other dolls that were seen on the shelves of Walmart in October 2019. Since this pandemic we all face, I have not had an opportunity to browse in-person the toy aisles of any stores, but I was told that all the dolls shown here were marked down at Walmart recently for $4.99.

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Fiber Craft Ken Clone Steve


I found this 11-1/4-inch Fibre Craft Plastic Steve Doll on eBay still in the original package. I added him to my collection because I collect clones of Black Barbie and Ken. He has terribly painted facial features with sculpted straight hair that has a side part on his left. The waist is articulated. The back is marked:

MADE IN
HONG KONG

Close-up of Steve


As the package label indicates, he is made of plastic (which is very thin) and would probably not survive child's play. He appears to be from 1987 based on the stock or number code, H87, which is to the left of the price tag on the package label. The original price was $1.29. This doll, like other Fibre Craft products, was probably sold in craft sections of department stools like Woolworth's or Ben Franklin's or in craft stores like Michaels. 

The doll historian in me will keep him mint in package. If I wasn't such a purist, I'd redress him in a Ken fashion, like I did the guy he is posed with in the next two pictures. But because I am a purist (when I find vintage dolls mint in the package) I usually keep them there.

Steve and another Black Ken Clone

Close-up of the two

I was informed that the guy on the right is the AA male in the 3-figure set by Jakks Pacific, originally dressed as a scuba diver in their 1999 Camp Set. He is made of study rigid plastic and vinyl with click-bend knees, definitely a better quality doll than Steve.

Related Link

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There are countless items to collect and write about. Black dolls chose me.
__________

Thank you for reading. To contact me, please use the contact form on the right of the home page, which is visible in "web view." A link to web viewing should be visible at the bottom of this page.

Check out what I am selling here
Check out my eBay listings here.
Please follow my sister blog Ebony-Essence of Dolls in Black.
Donate here to support this blog. Thank you!