Camera and Clones (and Dreamhouse Midge)

Finally got some rechargable batteries and brought my old digital camera back from the dead. I haven't used it in years since I have (had!) my camera phone, and I don't remember what half of the buttons do, but somehow I feel a bit more confident messing around with it now. All the photos still turn out blurry and underexposed, of course, but you have to start somewhere. At least I have photo evidence of Dreamhouse Midge whom I got today!

Blurry, under-lit photo evidence.

I thought I was so careful, but I still managed to get one with unevenly rooted eyelashes! Typical. I find it hard to be too annoyed, though - she's still a very pretty doll.

quality control

Also found a few interesting looking old clone dolls at the thrift store. I have no idea who these girls are, but they remind me of something, perhaps vintage Steffi Love or '80s Petra. Maybe it's the bubble cut that makes them look more vintage, but I get the feeling they're fairly old (although probably not valuable). The best part is the chin which has a little dimple in it. The bodies are pretty awful and no parts seem to fit together. No stamp in the back or neck. The hands are tiny and the feet are weird and long.

Check out those shoulders!

There were two of these. This is the one with the bad hair...
...and this is the one with the good hair
The third doll has the same face mold but a very different look
(A few more pics @ my flickr, as usual.)

Check that chin!


Weekly Dollieh News (without pics)

The cleaning products from Twin Pines finally arrived (shipping was quick but there was some order delay due to them moving their lab, I think). I've started attacking (carefully!) the orange stains on the mystery Simba doll with Formula 9-1-1. There's been some improvement at least: particularly the stains on the eyes are almost completely gone. That's more than my regular washing-up liquid managed, so score one for Twin Pines! The stains on the unpainted vinyl are more stubborn, but I'll give it another go before I use the heavy artillery (aka Remove-Zit). I can live with a few faded stains rather than creating new ones. (It's bad enough that I scratched her legs pretty badly yesterday when removing her from the doll stand.)

Also been looking around for a good place to buy Only Hearts Club fashion sets. I need those shoes! Or rather, my Obitsus and various Simba dolls need them. Most ebay sellers seem to be located in Australia for some reason and the shipping gets pretty pricey, but I finally found a couple of local places that has a few sets left. It seems the kinds of toy store that stocks Only Hearts Club is not the big chains, but the small, traditional type that's full of cloth dolls and wooden bricks. Their website (if they have one!) is usually very bare-bone, which makes them even harder to find, and then you have to go there in person to see what they actually have. Of course they also tend to be extra expensive, so I'm deliberating exactly how much I'm willing to pay for a few tiny bits of plastic...

Did a quick stop at the thrift store yesterday and found two more Simba girls that I assume are Disney princesses, althoug I'm not sure which ones. One of them looked like... I Dream Of Jeannie? Hmm. I got them mostly for their clothes, but then I noticed they both had unique facemolds so I might keep them after all. Both had hair in pretty good condition save for the bangs, but I think they would look weird if I just cut them off. One of them had articulated legs but not arms, and I've been racking my brain over which Disney princess that would be in character for. Also got a few random tinies, about 2''-4'' tall, as the dolls' dolls! One of them was missing an arm, so I think she'll be a cyborg.

Researching and buying protective gear for spraying paint sealer still feels like a fairly overwhelming task, so I think I'll start small and just get some Liquitex paint-on matte sealer to start with. It won't look as good of course, but I'll be practicing on an old Bratz head so pretty much anything is an improvement.

And yeah, the camera is still dead. :/


Pony World doll + outfit

Since I can't take any new photos, this might be a good time to post a few old ones I never got around to show you. This was a complete impulse buy from a tiny online shop/cheap toy outlet barn I stumbled across while googling for some doll or other. Pony World jointed female western riding doll + male doll riding outfit. I've never heard of the brand before and google only turned up a couple of hits - a good reason to blog about it, I thought.
(These are just the pics I took while deboxing. A couple more can be found at my flickr.)


Back of the box. I think the guy in the cab is wearing this outfit.

Male rider outfit, sans packaging material

They were really cheap even with shipping, so I got two of each just in case. The outfits had some interesting details, and I wanted to see what the joints on the dolls were like. And of course I always find a non-smiling facemold worth adding to the collection. Maybe it's because I grew up in the '80s, when the Superstar mold and big toothy grins were the norm, but I usually prefer the more serious-looking faces. I think I've mentioned Diva was my favorite doll as a kid: she had that almost-smile that made her look thoughtful, almost melancholy, and set her apart from the others.

Looks ok, right? Well, unfortunately that's just the lighting...

...THIS is what they really look like.

Anyway, getting back to the present: I don't think I realized from the pictures how ORANGE these dolls are. Steffi Love and Teen Betty have nothing on the cowgirl twins here. The body is basically a gymnast Barbie clone, but with slightly smaller flat feet plus the hands are made for holding stuff, like reins or the riding crop that came with the outfit. The material is shiny hard plastic, except for the forearms. (It's all the same shade of bright orange, though.) So yeah, rather cheap and awful bodies, unfortunately, but they do look like they could look fairly realistic on horseback, so there's that. (I haven't bothered to dig up my Barbie horses to try it.)

Boots and men's jodhpurs modeled by Liv

Both the female dolls and the male outfit came with the same boots. I now have 4 pairs of these. God knows when I'll use them. They're made of that thin, stiff plastic and fairly ugly. They're too small for all my male dolls, but the more big-footed girls like Liv and the Super Models can wear them and have plenty of room to tuck in the legs of the pants. Annoyingly enough, the real gymnast Barbie body's feet are too long to get through the

The girls came in a western outfit. The jeans are a pretty loose fit and unfortunately full of surplus dye, so I don't think I'll risk using them very much. Too bad, since my dolls have way too few jeans.
Both outfits come with chaps of different types. I don't know how authentic they are, but they look pretty cool. They're pretty simple, made of a slightly stiff fabric that I guess is meant to be imitating suede.



The shirt (which is attached to the underwear to form that special type of riding garment, the name of which I haven't been bothered to google) is perhaps my favorite part of the female outfit, although it could be a bit smaller. Most female dolls drown in it, but it's big enough for the more generously endowed Volks EB-Beauty E-type. It aaaalmost fits Ken too (but doesn't quite close in the back of the neck), in case he needs to dress up for some reason. The red ...thingy is made of the same suede imitation fabric as the chaps and looks like it might stain, so I'll snip it off in case I wash the shirt.

Oh, and of course there's the hats! Riding helmets for the gentlemen, classic cowboy hats for the ladies. They're flocked black plastic and pretty big, a good size for Ken or girls with lots of hair. Nothing special perhaps, but a pretty cool accessory (Gangnam Style, anyone?).


The men's outfit fits Ken, or at least my cheap unarticulated Shaving Fun Ken. It's a bit small for Simba's Kevin. I had high hopes for the jacket as the most useful piece. It's pretty thick cotton and contained a surprising amount of tan dye. Unfortunately it tends to fray at the seams, or at least it did after I washed it rather carelessly. It's a bit tight on Ken, and the sleeves are too short. Isn't that often the case with cheap doll clothes? I haven't seen a good picture of the male dolls from Pony World, so I don't know how it looks on them.


Flexible riding crop! Not much else to say about that. (Except possibly YEEE-HAH!)

So, there you have it. If for some reason you come across these exact toys, you are now in a better position to make an informed decision as a consumer.

Janet (on a Liv body) wore it best.


Lottie dolls giveaway on Facebook

I don't know if you've seen it, but apparently Arklu are having a giveaway of their Lottie dolls at their Facebook page. I found the link at Never Grow Up who did a review of Snow Queen Lottie last week (here's another Lottie review by ToyboxPhilosopher). Not sure if any of you is interested, but I thought I'd mention it just in case.


Doll blogging without a camera...

...just isn't the same. :( My phone is officially dead, my old cameraphone is forever stuck on "landscape" and won't focus on anything closer than the faraway hills (like, say, a doll held at arm's length), and I'm too lazy to make informative MS Paint doodles, so it's just words for now.

Today felt like fall. The berries on the rowan down by the street are turning red, and I'm getting newsletters from online toy stores about back-to-school sales. It's mostly kiddie pools and Justin Bieber ring binders, but look around on the site and what do you find if not the Life in the Dreamhouse dolls! Finally! They're not super expensive like I'd feared, although I'm wondering whether adult collectors (like me. Ahem.) will hunt them to extinction right away. I've decided I'll take that risk and wait until they appear in the brick-and-mortar store so I can pick out a good one - something tells me those rooted eyelashes might be worth checking before buying. Also because my top priority next budget month is a respirator and some protective goggles. No more excuses!

In other doll news, I finally found a seller who offered international shipping and got Movin' On Kenya! The quality is a bit on the cheap side - her boots in particular are really thin and warped plastic - but when it comes to dolls I'll forgive almost anything for a pretty face, and she certainly has one. Unfortunately she has some bad staining - not only on her legs, but also on the head under the chin and in the back of the neck. The hair and angle hides them pretty well, though, and I've got some Remove-Zit on the way, so hopefully something can be done about them.

Oh, and I got two more Twilight Teens! I decided on the basic spooky school uniform Ghostilla (with the cool glasses!) and the coffin-shaped wardrobe set that came with one of the generic zombie girls. Unlike the Super Model line, the hair on these dolls is pretty awful: thinly rooted harsh nylon. Somewhat justified for the semi-mohawk on the zombie, I guess, but really just cheap. Some light staining from clothing in a few places, but not as bad as I'd feared.
I love the coffin wardrobe! It's not very spacious - there's only one clotheshanger anyway - but the quality seems pretty good, the doors close firmly and so does the little drawer on the bottom. It just looks pretty cool and suits the MH girls perfectly, even if it's too small to haunt properly.

Kara got her boil perm... and will probably get about four more, because that's how much practice I'll need to get it right. At the moment she looks more or less like before, except even more uneven. *sigh* At least I figured out an outfit for her. I should tahe some pic... oh wait.


Not much news today. I finally decided to pop Babyphat Kara's head off and get her ear rings out. I like them but I don't want them permanently installed. I don't have any toddlers around that could swallow them, so it just feels like an unnecessary limit to her fashion options. I rushed it and managed to cut one of the stems too short, but I think it'll still work. I also gave her a rudimentary boil perm while I was at it. It's been a while and I think I've lost the touch a bit, but we won't know until tomorrow (she's still drying).