2013-03-05

Unknown articulated plus-size 1/6 doll (Simba Toys)

The truth is, I'm more or less obsessed with articulated playline bodies.

I remember how frustrating it was trying to make Barbie's stick-straight legs fit under her coffee table. I also remember the bright pink convertible my sister's Barbie drove had lots of leg room. Or rather, lots of empty space into which you had to wriggle the stiff legs before the doll could sit down properly. Good thing that car didn't need an engine. Tables are a whole different thing, though. More than one doll sitting around the table at once? Forget it. Sorry Ken, you'll have to stand.

Breakfast in the Roberts household in the '80s involved more careful logistical planning than in the early, unpatched version of The Sims 1, except at least Barbie wouldn't move around on her own and get stuck between the table and Sindy's empty cornflakes bowl, and then stand there shrugging her shoulders forever until you deleted the wall or something. (I'm sorry, if you've never played The Sims all that probably didn't make much sense.)

What I was trying to say is, I'm really happy there are more and more fashion dolls with articulaton around!

Although I realize articulated bodies of different brands have been around for years before Mattel's Fashionista body, I've been out of touch with the doll hobby for so long that I still feel like they're a rarity. Every time I find one I haven't seen before, my brains goes gotta catch 'em all, gotta catch 'em ALL!!!1 Fortunately, my brain also realizes I don't have a lot of money, which is why I do most of my doll shopping in thrift store. Also, that's where you can make the most unexpected finds. I usually find myself looking for dolls that are as far from the blonde Superstar-faced Barbies I grew up with: an interesting facemold, or an articulated body.

The doll I found yesterday has both.

Unknown Simba Toys articulated body!
Who's that girl???
Unknown Simba body 1
Headless posing ftw

She came in something nice but ill-fitting. I'm trying to ID her, but no luck so far. The back of the head says Simba (no logotype), the body says MADE IN CHINA and is, as far as I can tell, identical to an old articulated Steffi Love body (good shots of it here) except for the torso, which I guess could be called plus-size (or rather, what passes for plus-size in the world of fashion dolls). I think she would take the same size as Mattel's Rosie O'Donnell. Flat chest, no waist, short neck. As far as I know there are just a few 1/6 scale female dolls with this body type, and here's one I hadn't even heard of! (Another annoying thing with '80s Barbies was trying to make clothes that fit their odd, angular hourglass shape.)

Unknown Simba face 2 - stains!
Stains!

For some reason her face seems really familiar to me, although I can't place it. It's definitely not the usual Steffi mold, that much I can tell. She has a wide nose and more marked folds by her mouth - I wouldn't call them wrinkles, but, you know, fashion dolls - and basically no makeup. The hair is mostly blonde but could pass as gray-ish.

My guess is she is someone's grandma or mum - did Steffi Love ever have family members? All I can find is a Kelly/Shelley clone little sister. I know Simba makes other dolls, but it seems to be mainly Disney characters and cartoony is the last thing this doll is. Possibly a short-lived line of "more realistic" dolls? Or it's a clone, although she seems pretty high quality for a knock-off. Well, the search continues...


Unknown Simba face
and more stains

Unfortunately, the head has some bad staining. It's faint and not very visible in photos, but you can see it on the eye print. It looks like a kid doodled on it with an orange marker and it didn't wash off completely. Not entirely sure how to deal with that. I've had success with vaseline and a bright windowsill before, but I'm not sure how safe it is. (I know about Twin Pines, I just want to avoid shipping across the globe unless it's absolutely necessary.) Well, that's what Google's for.


Unknown Simba sitting
Alright, so she's no Obitsu.
   

I'm really happy with this find: she has articulation, an interesting facemold AND an unusual body shape! Now I just have to find out who she is...

(As usual I took a lot of bad photos and dumped them all on Flickr.)

6 comments:

  1. That's really intriguing! And I thought I've heard about most things Simba made.

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  2. Even if she is a clone she has some quite interesting articulation. I've never seen one with an angled waist like that. Nice find!

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    1. The regular Steffi Love and Petra (I think) have that waist too. It puzzled me as a kid, but now I realize it's probably to give the doll a little extra articulation: twist her waist to make her lean back or forward slightly.

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  3. I would follow or subscribe to your blog, if I could, but it doesn't look like you've make that feature available.

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    1. Thanks, I'm glad you like it! :) I must have messed up the settings somehow, but you can still follow by manually adding my URL to your reading list on Blogger's dashboard.

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