As I've probably mentioned, the torso-jointed Fashionistas seem to be disappearing, and I still needed one for poor disembodied Diva (who lost hers to Christie Brinkley a few months ago). I'd been putting it off for more interesting purchases, thinking Fashionistas would be around a few years at least (because why go back to less articulation, you know?), but apparently Mattel had other plans.
I'd been planning to try and find one for cheap during the clearance sales around New Year, but for some reason all the toy chains were having big sales before Christmas this year (sorry, LAST year!). I guess times must be bad for retail? I wasn't sure if they were still having the traditional sale as well, and when I found out they were indeed I still didn't have a chance to go into town until last Friday.
By then I figured the good stuff was probably long gone, but I might as well take a look. In order to get the most out of my subway fare I stopped by a couple of my favorite thrift stores too. The first one was scraped bare, but the second one had some great stuff.
The toy shelves were unusually well-stocked. I passed on a bunch of boring Barbies, a molded plastic lavender armchair, and a kitchen section in white and lavender with to few moving parts to be any fun. There was also a shapeless table plus two chairs? footstools? barstools? I honestly couldn't tell what they were supposed to be. No thanks. Also white and lavender - I'm not sure if they belonged to the kitchen set or if lavender has just succeeded Barbie Pink(tm) as the Default Girly Toy Color. But look what I found that didn't have a hint of lavender on it:
A really nice fridge! The front has an elegant curve and all the shelves are removable. The door is slightly yellowed and there's a minor (factory?) damage/ugly visible glue on top, but in great condition otherwise. I first thought it was a bit low for Barbie, but it's definitely too big for a dollhouse, and a search on ebay turned up 1/6 refrigerators of all shapes and sizes, so I guess she'll just have to bend over to reach the ice machine.
I also found these chairs that, apart from being awesome (the folding chairs are fully functional! I love functional Barbie props!), are also two completely different shades lavender, further supporting my theory. But as I said, they're awesome, so I can live with tht.
At this point realized I needed a basket. I went to get one and when I came back another customer had turned up and was going through the bins I'd just cleaned out, lavender kitchen section in hand. Five minutes later and I might have gone home empty-handed! Let's hope she was satisfied with her finds (and that she was just another adult collector and not buying a late Christmas gift for a sick child or something... OK, now I feel bad. But those are the rules of thrift store shopping).
I also found some furniture that's definitely dollhouse scale, but too cute to pass up:
An incomplete IKEA dollhouse set, a bit scratched but nothing too bad. That ABS plastic will probably outlast us all.
A couple of ...school desk thingys, whatever you call those. Fits Shelley/Kelly. Also a couple of educational toys that look like they might belong together, but I'm not sure. The stamp on the bottom says M&C, the desks have no markings.
But the best is yet to come, and I aaaaalmost missed it. Just as I was about to leave I noticed another bin on the floor under the shelves and decided to have a look. It turned out to be full of plastic dinosaurs and farm animals - and this:
A 1/6 scale easel!
It's nothing big, or expensive, or probably even hard to find in the age of ebay, but I've wanted one ever since I realized they existed. I never expected to just stumble upon one like this, though! Since I paint myself, I thought realistic 1/6 scale art supplies would be really cool to have, and I was so disappointed in the weird looking easel in the I Can Be... An Art Teacher set.
I'm not even sure where this is from, maybe a Fashion Avenue set? Didn't they have some pretty good realistic props? All I've found out so far is you can buy one here for just a little more than mine cost. I would, but I'd have to buy about twenty of'em before the international shipping charges would start making sense - and I totally would, but they didn't have that many. It would have been fun, though: I could set up a proper atelier for my dolls, with Cool Kevin as a nude model (I'm sure he wouldn't take much convincing).
By contrast, the toy stores initially proved to be a disappointment. Big Fancy Department Store (which I only ever visit when there's a sale because their prices are ridiculous) had nothing but a Suspicious Big Empty Space right where they usually put the clearance items, and I began to fear the worst. They did have a couple of Lottie dolls at 50% off hidded away on a shelf, but not the one I wanted.
Finally heading over to Big Toy Store Chain, I found even more big empty spaces, and some rather empty looking shelves to boot. I did find out they still sell the I Can Be... A Fashion Model 2-pack (with the jointed torsos). They were on sale before Christmas, and I was kicking myself for not getting them then. I didn't feel they were worth it at full price, but felt reassured knowing they were an option at least.
By now it was nearing closing time and I was about ready to call it a day, but for some reason I decided to take a look at Big Toy Store Chain's Other, Slightly Smaller Store located in the basement of Not Quite As Fancy Department Store a couple of blocks away. And I'm really glad I did, because they had an actual clearance sale. You know, when stuff is so cheap you feel like it's actually worth it as opposed to a-bit-cheaper-but-still-kind-of-expensive? This store is pretty small and they must have been desperate for shelf space (for Ever After High, perhaps? I've still only seen then in online stores here) because they had a bunch of Life In The Dreamhouse dolls for about 60% off! Score!!
I got a Summer (for her body and clothes), and briefly considered another Midge since mine has those annoying unlevel rooted lashes, but in the end I couldn't resist smirky Raquelle. I've been telling myself I don't really want a Raquelle, at least not that bad, but come on. That face mold? If Midge hadn't stolen my heart she would have been my favorite hands down.
The last Fashionista boys wihout leg articulation were on clearance too, so I got one that had boots I liked. I'll see if I keep him, though. I was not impressed with his wrist articulation, but I didn't have the Ryan mold before. He's sticking around for now at least.
"I keep telling you, it's the camera... Well, mainly."
So that's my latest shopping adventure. All in all a great haul, I'd say. Diva is no longer a floating head, and has several new chairs on which to park her new butt.
"We sure did!"
Wow, that was a long post. It reminds me a bit of that Monty Python skit with the guy who wished to hear more fairy tales about the police - except in this case it would be me telling extremely longwinded fairy tales about doll shopping and tiny easels and such, and John Cleese would not be involved in any way. Well, I love reading about other people's finds and bargains, so maybe it's not such a bad idea after all.
"And so you shall!"