Amazon sale, new Arklu doll, stain removal tricks

The GQ Christmas issue got awfully arty this year...

Happy Those-Days-Inbetween-Christmas-And-New-Year, everyone! I'm not sure whether there's a name for this period in English, but in Swedish it's literally known as The Inbetween Days. In case you're wondering why I'm spending my precious holidays doll blogging, I'm just waiting for this cold to pass so I can go visit my parents and help them finish the last of the christmas food. Not that I've ever needed an excuse to babble about dolls!

One of my favorite little Christmas traditions is actually buying yourself a present at the post-holiday sales. Maybe you got some Christmas money from Grandma, or you're returning the sweater you got for one in your favorite color and for half the price. Maybe you just spotted a good deal. Last year I finally caved and ordered Howleen Wolf from ebay - not necessarily a great deal, but not too bad, and at least I finally got her! - and this year I'm getting EAH Cedar Wood from Amazon's toy sale. She's not in stores here yet, but I signed up to CamelCamelCamel to keep track of Amazon's prices - it's quite handy actually: if you register, you can specify a price level and they'll send you a notification once the price drops below that. (Or if you don't want to give them your email, just check the site every day and analyze the graph of the price fluctuations.)

I have a list of a few EAH dolls I sort of want, several of which are on sale right now, but when I had to limit myself to one (otherwise I'd soon be broke and drowning in dolls) there really wasn't a question: of course I'm getting the fake wooden girl! That might sounds weird considering I'm working on a real wooden doll, but there's just something about fake plastic wood grain I find - kind of hilarious, I guess. And that's not a bad quality in a doll. I actually love that Mattel has taken this fairly unconventional approach to individualizing the MH/EAH dolls, even with the same basic body mold.

Anyway, as I poked around Amazon's doll department a bit I discovered this guy:

That's right - Arklu's Lottie now has a friend! A friend who is a boy, but probably not a boyfriend. To be honest I'm not at all tempted by this doll, even though I'm actively looking to add more boy dolls to my collection - he looks weird and troll-like, and his hairline is way too high. The clothes and shoes look ok, though, realistic and versatile - plus there's at least one new clothing set to go with him. I like the one that comes with a fishing rod and what looks like tiny boat shoes, which is kind of cool. Unfortunately British Amazon doesn't do free international shipping anymore, so that'll have to wait. :/ 

Oh, and I managed to remove a stain (sharpie or ballpoint pen) from a doll dress with hairspray! I didn't have stain remover, alcohol or ammonium, but after a bit of googling I found this guide which suggests shaving foam or hairspray as a last resort. Since this is just a ratty old goodwill dress, I wasn't too worried about ruining it. 

Look closely and you can sort of see a darker spot center-left on the skirt. Silly me forgot to take a before pic, but the spot was VERY visible. 

I once ruined the print on my shower curtain with shaving foam, but this stain didn't budge. Hairspray did the trick, though! The fabric is blue nylon and the spot was black or dark blue and perfectly visible on the front, but now there's only just a darker shade on the inside and no visible damage to the fabric (although for a seconf it looked like rubbing might bleach it). Who'd have thought?? A chemist, perhaps, but not me. 


Darren and his fancy pants (Triad Omega and Uptown Suit)

You know who we haven't seen in a while? This guy:

Mr. Fancypants

Darren the Triad Toys Omega guy, for whom I bought a ridiculously expensive suit, the Triad Toys Uptown suit, that's tailor made for the Omega body and its broad shoulders. (Actually, the suit got almost twice as expensive since I got scammed by the first seller, but that's a story for another day.) After almost putting a stain on it as soon as I opened the package, I decided to be super careful with it, and so after dressing Darren in it I ended up putting him in the glass door cabinet and kind of forgot about him. Which is a waste really, since he's the only properly articulated guy I have so far.

more fancy pants
Let's just say he's been on a long vacation in Hawaii and hasn't had a chance to change his shirt yet.

(Come to think of it, my second best articulated guy - Texas cheerleader Ken - is also languishing in a box somewhere, due to his glue-y hair. I'm going to do something about it sometime, but until then it's just put me off him a bit. It just isn't fun, handling dolls that have sticky goop seeping out of their heads.)

This won't be a review since he's only wearing the pants for now (the rest is in the freezer right now just in case the moths got to them). Sorry about the shirt, by the way - Generation Girl Blaine's fashion sense was not the most sophisticated - but at least it's better than the sweater I made him, so it'll have to do for now.

Nice shoes, kind of short pants
The only thing I don't like about these pants is they should have been a little bit longer. Some socks would have helped of course, but I don't think I could ever squeeze the shoes on then. In fact, this is the first time I managed to do it! It wasn't actually that difficult, not after softening them in hot water a bit, but I was still pretty careful. They're really nice shoes, actually one of the biggest reasons I originally wanted this suit set, and I didn't want to rip them. They are still huge, of course, like all action figure shoes, but they don't look as out of scale as I thought they might. I think it's because they're so realistic, you just accept them because they look right.

Hey, the '00s called...
"She said WHAT about my shirt??"

Speaking of glue head, here's the latest (but surely not the last) casualty:
Gluehead Ariel
This Mattel Ariel looked perfectly fine until I dipped her in hot water. Now I'm not sure what to do. I'm out of hair so I can't reroot, and she looked good in red. She will get articulation, though, since her skin is almost as peachy-pink as Steffi Love's but first I have to sort out her hair...


Who's that Belle? It's World on Ice Belle!

ETA: wow, that was fast! She's got a name: World on Ice Belle. Don't know why she needs another face sculpt just for ice skating, but there you go. Also - as I scrolled down through the comments on that photo, I realized I had in fact left a comment years ago, saying how much I liked her face. Well, at least we know my amazing taste has remained consistent through the years. (Also see Jawn Pickles' link below for good shots of her sculpt without the paint.)


Don't worry, I haven't given up the plastic entirely! On Monday I made a little pilgrimage to the new crafts store, and also took the opportunity of popping into the nearby goodwill. There I found this Disney doll that I'm having a bit of trouble identifying. Her hairstyle leads me to think she's a Belle, but the face mold doesn't look like any Belle I've seen. Back of neck says (c) DISNEY, MADE IN CHINA, body is stamped CHINA. No other markings. I would guess she's a clone, but they're not usually stamped with the original's copyright, are they?

As usual, I bought her for her face. She has a fairly straight nose, closed mouth, and almost Lagoona-like bulging eyes (also the paint is a bit wonky). No holes for earrings, which seems to be unusual among these dolls. I guess that could mean she's a "village Belle" and came in some version of the blue dress.  

The feet are TINY.

The body is kind of weird. It certainly doesn't look like Mattel (although I know I tend to underestimate how weird-looking older Mattel dolls can be). The neck knob makes me think Simba, but I don't recognize this body type from them either. My other articulated Simba Disney princesses has more or less same body as the old articulated Steffi Love, which doesn't really look like this one.

So far the closest I've got to a match is this slightly odd-looking Belle, who according to the comments is an older Disney Store doll. I'm not sure they're the same, but at least that proves there's some variety among the Belles out there.