Happy Family Midge! (Thrift store find)

So here's the find from yesterday I was so excited about: Happy Family Midge! Honestly, I couldn't believe my luck when I spotted her. I've been wanting one of these to compare to the Welcome Baby Steffi Love, but the only ones I've seen are the NRFB ones that go for ridiculous prices on ebay. This one, however, was only a few dollars/euro and well inside my budget. I could tell she had a few cracks in her neck, but nothing that couldn't be fixed. She also has one broken click-knee joint, but apart from that she was in pretty good condition: original dress, hair in original hairdo and just a bit messy, no broken fingers or stains - and of course she came with her belly!

Before pic

Hair, before. It's that thin, fluffy fibre - kanekalon, if I'm not mistaken. In my experience, the trouble with kanekalon is you can only boil straighten it a couple of times before it starts to frizz and fry. The tricky thing is, you really need boiling water for it to take, so you have to consider the pros and cons carefully. I haven't tested this systematically though, so I might be wrong about the frizzing being due to heat. Someone mentioned combating the frizz with steam, but I haven't gotten around to try it yet. Midge is in no danger yet, though - her hair looks great after a couple of dips and a combing through.

The braids are mainly original, I just redid a couple of the ends that were starting to ...unravel, I guess?

Back view. The braids aren't another color, they're just wet. 

The neck was a bit worse than I thought at first. There are smaller cracks all around, but also one big crack with a piece of plastic that's threatening to come loose (you can see it just to the left of the seam). To the left of that there's a smaller chip that actually did come loose as I took off the head (and then managed to I flushed it down the drain and had to disassemble the trap to retrieve it). I bought some Loctite gel super glue and I think I got the chip safely reattached and the bigger crack filled in, but I couldn't get inside the neck to fill in the lower part of the crack that's just starting to appear. It seems ok for now, though; I'll just have to be careful. 

(Since the belly is held on with magnets inside the torso, I've been thinking of alternative ways to attach it in case I need to rebody in the future. Magnetic paint?) 

I have to say, this is actually a pretty clever construction. It sounds weird, but having the belly be a plastic shell that attaches with magnets is actually pretty convenient. The shape fits the torso perfectly and looks - well, perhaps not realistic, but not outright bizarre at least, and sometimes with dolls that's the best you can hope for. (I think Steffi Love might have a more realistic post-pregnancy figure, though!) 

Sitting works so-so, but the thing about the magnet-belly is it can shift a bit without falling off. I'm not sure if this is a bug or feature, but it does allow her to sit with marginally more ease, and the clothes hide any illusion-breaking gaps. Of course, franken-Steffi still does it better: 

This is why we Frankendolly. 

Oh, and the baby was still there too! Who are these children who don't pull their dolls apart and lose their clothes and ruin their hair like I used to do?? The baby is actually pretty cute - cuter than Steffi's, at any rate (but sssssshh! Don't tell her I said that). Maybe it's just that the face paint is less wonky. 

All in all, I'm really happy I found this doll. Along with the articulated Sarah Love, this is probably my best find in ages! 

(I also got a couple of Evi Love dolls with cute outfits too, and two 1/9-ish weird old clone dolls with interesting articulation. I'll take some photos of them another day - the clone dolls are more unique-looking so I need better lighting to do them justice.) 


  1. Oh wow, what a great find! And how neat that the baby was still in there! I've got one that I think is the exact same baby, which I found inside a Barbie *couch* I got in one of my last thrifting adventures!

  2. What a great find! And Midge looks great after you fixed her up!

  3. I always wonder when I see dolls in their stick clothes in stores, too! (Maybe this is funny, but, all I've veer found of Happy Family Midge is her shoes, which seems to be the only bit you didn't get...) My theory is that these are the dolls that the kids didn't ever play with...

    If you know of any hobby shops, you can get something called plastic weld, which is a sort of adhesive for hard plastics--what it does is temporarily chemically melt the plastic, allowing the hard plastic bits to be smooshed together so that when it returns to being solid, it's all one piece, instead of simply being held together with glue. I like using that stuff to repair neck cracks.

    I'm curious about the articulated 1:9 dolls! Are they Mego clones?

  4. @Presto Inside the couch? That's one place to keep them, I guess! That's the beauty of thrift store shopping: you never know what you got until you get home.

    @Grandmommy Thanks! It was a great haul.

    @Roxanne Thanks! I'm lucky she was in such good condition to begin with. And I just saw your post with Midge modeling underwear!

    @Maybe some kids just aren't into dolls but still get them as gifts? I wondered about the shoes actually, but that would probably have been too much to ask...

    I'm still trying out different glues so I might look into that! It sounds similar to melting the plastic with acetone, which I've seen suggested somewhere for smaller repairs. I suspect it might be tricky to get in into a thin crack without messing up the surface, though.

    No ID on the smaller dolls yet. They're nothing special, I just liked them. :)