Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Understanding African American History Through the Eyes of Dolls


Jim Toatley sculpted Shindana's Baby Nancy and other Shindana dolls.


This is a cross-post, which is also published in DeeBeeGee's Virtual Black Doll Museum.

Background: Sneha Sureshkumar was a 10th grader at the time she conducted extensive research for the documentary, "Understanding African American History Through the Eyes of Dolls." This was part of the History Day project in her state. Shindana’s Baby Nancy was her inspiration. Using Baby Nancy and other Black dolls, the documentary offers a glimpse at Black dolls as parallel communicators of the past and present African American experience. View the approximately 10-minute documentary below.

Link to the documentary here.

***
After the documentary was graded, I received the most heartwarming email from Sneha. She wrote:
My entire works Primary source is you. Without you this project would never have been possible. You are my true inspiration. I have read everything you have in your blog. Your deep commitment to provide people an understanding on the difficulties communities face because of inadequate representation became my inspiration. Your blog and Jim Crow Museum have shaped my views on how I want to fight prejudice and racism. For that I am very grateful to you.
Sneha's documentary was one of the primary final winners at the state level. After the second round of judging, ultimately, she received "honorable mention" at the state level. I am proud of her efforts and hope that she will indeed fight prejudice and racism when and wherever it is recognized.

For more about this year's National History Day Project, navigate 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.

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Thursday, May 6, 2021

Chadwick Boseman Figures Dyeing

Black Panther T'Challa figures 351 and 352 by Funko


After the untimely death of actor/artist, Chadwick Boseman on August 28, 2020, I began looking for collectibles, specifically dolls that would honor his memory as a talented actor. I purchased the above two 3-1/2-inch T'Challa Funko figures immediately after he transitioned. 

1/6 head sculpt of Chadwick Boseman


A Black Panther T'Challa head designed for a 1/6 scale body was later purchased in October 2020 after unsuccessfully finding a complete figure at a price I was willing to pay that was not dressed as the T'Challa character. I wanted a figure of the man, Chadwick Boseman, to dress as I desired.

Color mismatch


The complexion of the body I purchased did not match the complexion of the head as illustrated above and in the next two close-up pictures. 

The body is a couple of shades lighter than the head.

With the head attached to the muscular body, the complexion differences are more apparent.


I waxed and waned for several months on whether or not I should buy the body that an eBay seller suggested, or if I would attempt to dye the one I had. I opted for the latter. I had been wanting to test Rit DyeMore to see if hard plastics will absorb it and now was the opportune time to find out.

What Was Done



I ordered Brown Rit DyeMore from Amazon and gathered the necessary items I'd need to complete the dye job. In addition to the dye, I used a disposable aluminum pan, tongs to turn the figure and hold it down if necessary, enough boiled water to fill the pan so the body would be completely covered, and a few drops of liquid dish detergent (because the dye instructions indicated to use a few drops of liquid dish detergent for dyeing synthetic fabrics). A plastic trashcan liner under newspaper was placed under the aluminum pan of dye to protect my work area from dye stains.

The figure and all its unconnected parts (lower arms, two sets of hands, extra thigh muscles, and feet) were placed in the dye bath and rotated several times using tongs.

As illustrated in the above picture, the torso of the figure, which is made of pliable plastic or vinyl, absorbed the dye quickly while the other more rigid areas did not. Bummer!

From the dye bath, within a few minutes, I had to immediately remove the pliable extra thigh muscles, lower arms, and hands (which are attached in this picture but were not attached in the dye bath) because they were becoming too dark.

Likewise, the torso and upper arms were already as brown as I needed, but the rigid lower half of the body and legs were not absorbing the dye as quickly, if at all, as illustrated here.

I placed the figure into the seated position and sat it in the dye bath water which covered it from below the waist down. The unattached, rigid plastic feet were still in the dye bath, too.

The seated figure was left in the dye bath for at least 30 minutes. Unfortunately, the rigid plastic did not absorb the dye and the parts that did were a deeper brown than the head (see the next picture).


The body dyed a reddish-brown color that is not an exact match for the head.

Plans were already in place to dress the Chadwick figure in a turtleneck that I made several months ago using an infant-sized black crew sock*. So the head and neck color differences would not matter since the neck would be covered.

Final dyeing results

Even though the rest of the body would be covered with clothes, I had to have a body that was one color. I would either have to toss this figure and buy another one or keep it and paint the lower half. I opted to paint.

Dyeing and painting completed

I used the acrylic paint color Maple Syrup by FolkArt for the areas of the body below the waist and for the feet. Again, it's not a perfect match, but the body is now one color, as illustrated above, and the head and neck colors are closer than before dyeing was done. See the combined before-and-after comparison photos below of the head and neck. 

Before- and after-dyeing comparison


The inside opening of the head is about 1/2 inches wide -- too wide for the head not to fall off. To fill in the hole, I purchased 1/2-inch PVC tubing, cut about 1/4 of an inch of it, and inserted that into the head. There was still too much slack between the neck knob and the inside of the head, so I wrapped the neck knob with a small piece of self-adherent bandage to increase the circumference of the knob.

A piece of PVC tubing (seen on the right) inserted inside the head and a strip of self-adherent bandage wrapped around the neck knob result in a snug head and knob fit. This hack does not impair articulation of the head.

All Dressed and Posed

He's ready for whatever.

The long sleeves of his jacket cover the odd sleeveless turtleneck I made. (I have since broken down and ordered a real 1/6-scaled white turtleneck that had not arrived at the time of this post.)

He struck a serious pose here...

...and here,

...here,

...and here.

A couple of profile pics were taken.

Final pose, for now


About the Clothes and Shoes

The denim jacket and pants, designed to fit this muscular (V1-M) figure, were purchased on eBay shortly after the body was ordered. *After the body arrived, I made the turtleneck. The ribbed ankle area of an infant's crew sock covers the torso. I cut about 1-1/2 inch below the ribbed area to fold over and create the turtleneck area, which was tapered to fit the neck snugly. A hole on both sides of the ribbed area creates sleeveless armholes. Hand-stitching the edges of the armholes prevents fraying. For several years, I've had the black dress shoes the figure wears, which were part of a three-piece suit for 1/6 scale figures. 

Chadwick is finally whole and dressed, and he found someone to pose with for the last two pictures.

Chad and this lovely lady (Fashionista #156, the doll whose lips were originally blue) look like they are straight out of an action film or series where they are co-stars, fighting crime or racial injustice.

Closeup of the lovely couple

The real Chadwick Boseman left behind a great body of work, completing his last movies while battling stage IV colon cancer. Posthumously, in 2021, he received the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama for his role as Levee in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. He was such a talented artist who was dedicated to his craft, and for some he will forever remain a Super Hero.

Watch a video montage of the artist 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
Check out my eBay listings here.
Please follow my sister blog Ebony-Essence of Dolls in Black.
*New*Visit/Follow DeeBeeGee's Virtual Black Doll Museum
Donate here to support this blog. Thank you!

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Whimsical Vintage Doll Room Tour (Video)




Thank you, Julius, for sharing the link to the following doll room video, "Whimsical Vintage Doll Collection Room Tour with Cheri Miller." I love the layout of Cheri's doll room and her doll displays. I hope readers will enjoy this 30-minute doll room tour as much as I did.


If the video isn't visible on your device, here is the direct 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.
*New*Visit/Follow DeeBeeGee's Virtual Black Doll Museum
Donate here to support this blog. Thank you!

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Ucanaan 1/6 BJD

The front of the Ucanaan BJD box has a full-length image of a blue-wigged 1/6 BJD and the URL to their website.

A couple of members of my doll group shared pictures of their 1/6 (12-inch) Ucanaan dolls, which piqued my interest in purchasing. I don't usually like dolls with anime facial features, but I decided to order one of these after I viewed their photos and had questions I posed answered to my satisfaction. I am more pleased with the doll  than I had imagined.

Inside the box, the doll, accessories, and a pair of yellow sneakers (a gift from the seller) were wrapped securely in plastic.


The Ucanaan 1/6 scale BJD is made of sturdy vinyl with unstrung ball joints that will not become "kicky" like other BJDs I have encountered. BJDs with multiple points of articulation can be posed several ways, but when they are strung, after a while, the stringing becomes tangled inside the dolls' bodies and the joints tend to move in undesired directions.

That won't happen with this girl whose unstring joints are in the five usual areas (the head, upper arms, and upper legs) and under the breasts, at the waist, at the elbows, wrists, knees, and ankles.

My doll was ordered from Amazon where a few different styles were available. I chose the doll dressed in a white T-shirt, blue jacket, and lavender crinoline skirt that has a gray fabric lining. Inside the box with the doll was also a Ucanaan booklet that features other 1/6 BJDs. The booklet text is written in Chinese.

Accessories include a comb, mirror, scepter, crown barrette, two elasticized ponytail holders, and several pastel-colored plastic hair bands.

Facial close-up

She has big brown eyes with applied upper eyelashes. Her light brown wig is straight with slightly flipped ends. The gray fabric headband has a gray fabric bunny on the side.

She took a few photos in different poses while wearing her original clothes.

Her clothes are stylish and made well.


The white T-shirt has an applique that reads "Doris" on the front. Initially, I thought "Doris" was her name, but the box identifies her as Xinyi (pronounced si-ne). Interestingly, DORIS DOLL is on the back of her head. So, I don't know what her name really is. Xinyi and Doris are probably both brand names.

The back of the wig is illustrated here.

What's Underneath

Except for the blotted-out breast area where the articulation is underneath the breasts, all points of articulation are illustrated here.


Two strips of Velcro hold her wig in place. One strip is on the top of the head.

The other Velcro strip is on the lower back of the head. The eyes cannot be changed because the head does not open.

Redressing

I found a few clothing items and shoes designed for 10- to 12-inch dolls as well wigs in size 6/7. I had fun redressing this girl as illustrated next.

This dress was made to fit Ann Estelle and her doll friend, Georgia. It fits perfectly and her free yellow sneakers match!

The above dress came with a raincoat, matching rain hat, and rain boots.

She likes this cute fashion.

In this picture and in the two immediately above, three ponytails were created with multiple clear rubber bands added to each ponytail. (She has two ponytails on the side and one in the back.)

This Boneka dress made for Donna Effner's 10-inch Monday's Child Daria is paired with white Mary Janes and her original white ankle socks.

The dress is cute, but it's a little too short.


Last one for now

She tried on one more dress with a couple of different shoes, and she changed her wig twice as illustrated next.

I believe this dress was made for Friends 2B Made dolls or it could be a Groovy Girls doll dress. The wig is the poor quality Afro wig that came with Tonner's All-Natural Lizette shown on the right in this photo. The black shoes she's wearing are too big for her, but she tried them on anyway.

This black mohair wig is a better fit and a better look for her. The black Converse-style sneakers complement the poodle dress.

Here is a close-up of the better wig that she borrowed from my American BJD by Paulette Goodreau. The Goodreau BJD now wears the straight wig that came with All-Natural Lizette seen on the left in this picture

Here is her final photo for now.

I ordered two more fashions for this girl and some extra pairs of shoes. She'll be back in a while after the new fashions and shoes arrive. 

In case your interest is also piqued, here is a link to the Amazon 1/6 Ucanaan BJD doll page.


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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.
*New*Visit/Follow DeeBeeGee's Virtual Black Doll Museum
Donate here to support this blog. Thank you!