2015-08-30

Other people's posts: Once Upon A Zombie and #NoMoreGlueHeads

Today I don't have anything of interest to post, but luckily there are others who do.

Good news: Once Upon A Zombie has apparently been un-discontinued, which I guess you already know if you follow their facebook. I didn't, but luckily ChristinaArticulates wrote a post about it - apparently there's a book/web series/something else that isn't dolls coming out, and there's a promo campaign where you can win dolls and stuff if you're American. The rest of us will have to wait, but at least this means their zombie!Alice doll is coming out after all. Alice seems to be a really popular choice for a doll character - there's probably a doll with a blue dress+white pinafore+blonde hair combo in every single doll line, from Licca to Liv. While I'm not automatically a fan of the Alice look, I really liked the OUAZ prototype from the toy fair last year and I'm glad it wasn't scrapped after all.

Also, D7ana/PhillyCollector is gathering links for a pinboard dedicated to Mattel's head glue problem. Got any links to posts, forum threads, reviews, rants about sticky doll hair? Submit'em! Of course, if you're following me you're probably following her as well, but I figure it doesn't hurt getting the word out as much as possible.

Part 1: Request for links & Part 2: Pinterest post promotion @ PhillyCollector
#NoMoreGlueHeads @ Pinterest

2015-08-19

Thrift store find: Arco Office play set

For some reason I've made a few really good doll finds at goodwill this summer. Maybe it's just that I've been looking more than usually, I don't know - after all, part of the charm of thrift stores is the unpredictable stock. So while I'm still a bit annoyed that I'll have to pass on the Steffi Love boutique play set from last post (although I hope I can tempt one of my readers into buying it instead and then post loads of photos of it) I'm still pretty happy with my summer haul, particularly when it comes to furniture. Because last week, I found this:

Arco Office Play Set!
Box and some of the contents

Arco Office play set! In original box, in good condition and almost complete. It was on the top shelf along with a couple of other boxed playsets, which I don't think I've ever come across before. I almost missed it since those square boxes in the corner of my eye didn't register as "possibly interesting doll stuff". There were a couple of fairly boring 80s sets, something with Skipper and t-shirt printing I think. There was also another Arco set, barbecue I think, which I briefly considered but eventually I felt I couldn't afford both. And really, between office and barbecue party, I'm picking office anytime.

Arco Office Play Set - contents
List of contents. As far as I can tell, all that's missing is the pens, file folders and in&out trays.
The price was 95 SEK, which is a little over $11 with todays rates. Interesting enough, there's another price tag under it which says 200! From what I can tell, goodwill pricing seems to be completely arbitrary, and I always wonder how they settle on a final price tag. I can vividly imagine two goodwill employees with completely different ideas about resale value engaged in a low-intensity duel, sneakily retagging items when the other isn't looking... or maybe they just marked it down since nobody bought it, whatever.

I can't place the dolls modeling the set, but apparently Arco is owned by/part of Mattel. I'm wondering why they chose to release these sets separately from the Barbie brand? There was also a Travel Agency set that contains pretty much the same furniture, but in other colors.

ETA: Mystery solved! As Andrea/DollsAhoy explained over on Flickr, Mattel only bought Arco Toys in 1986. This was made in 1985 and on closer inspection does not say Mattel anywhere on the box, so I guess they were free to use any clone dolls they wanted as models.

Greetings from Arco Office!
The Office
The set comes with a backdrop, which lay in the box perfectly flat and apparently unused. I feel like this should be a postcard.

Arco Office - desk stuff
Desk stuff. I love the little statue!
There's loads of little stuff in this set. I tried to fit it all on the desks in a realistic fashion, but it wasn't easy. I need more desks! Also I could do with it being a bit less pink, but it could be worse - the travel agent set was more garish. At least the cabinets are the perfect boring shade of off-white.

hollow furniture
Hollow furniture
The furniture is all fake with nary a working drawer in sight. Oh well.

Playing office
"La la la I don't know what I'm doing"
Anneliese has finally found her calling as a proper Office Lady. Her 27cm Obitsu body is a bit too short to enable her to sit ergonomically, but she makes up for it with her snazzy outfit.



stuff on my xerox
Stuff keeps piling up...
There were a few things in the box that didn't belong to the original set, for example a couple of paperclips and what appears to be a crudely drawn map of the United States on a post-it note. This little computer was the best thing: when you wind it up it whirrs like crazy (I assume computers did that in the 80s?) and displays a rolling wall of text, mostly Mattel copyright info. I didn't manage to get a good photo of  it, but you can find loads of them if you google "vintage barbie computer".


Office pranks
"AAAAAHHH who put all this stuff on my desk!?"
Most of the pieces are pretty straightforward (although what I thought was a lockable storage box for floppy disks is apparently supposed to be a pen sharpener). One thing puzzled me though, and that is the file rack. I've never seen one in real life, and the images of real ones I found on google didn't resemble the one pictured on the box. Another owner of the set told me the original files were just folded pieces of blue cardboard, which doesn't sound very realistic but whatever. I did actually find a piece of dark blue paper in the box, but whether it's part of the original set or not I can't tell. I just stuck it in there for now.

 Oh well. The Mysteries of the File Rack.

Mystery office supplies
"So... none of us actually knows why we have this thing?"

Also, in a coincidence almost too good to be true: when I found the set I had just put the second season of The Office (UK) in my basket. So if I ever get bored of the cityscape backdrop, it's good to know I have other options for setting the scene.

"Haha oh Mr. Brent, you're hilarious!"
I already have the stapler - time to buy some Jell-O...

A few more photos here.

2015-08-16

Anybody interested in an incredibly stylish Steffi Love Fashion Boutique playset? There's one on ebay with a fairly reasonable starting bid, but the shipping to Sweden is ridiculous so I'm leaving it for you guys. Just look at it: