New year new goals

Did I mention how annoyed I am at the lack of features in the Blogger app? I did? Oh, okay then. 

So it's a new year (soon) and I'm thinking about resolutions, specifically doll related. I seem to recall I promised to buy less, make more, and finally do some repaints during 2013. Well, that didn't really... happen, did it? Now, I could just recycle that resolution, but I think that would be a mistake. 

Instead, for next year I promise to accept that yes, sometimes I just want to buy pretty things, and yes, it's okay to have a hobby that isn't always about being creative and productive. I think that's probably a healthier approach in the long run. (The trick to a good New Year's resolution is to only promise things you definitely can and want to do. I also promise to occasionally eat pizza and to buy more socks. I did get socks for Christmas, of course, but you can always use more socks.)  

I also promise to acually post my doll pics instead of leaving them to gather metaphorical dust on my phone. This blog I found yesterday does their Monster High reviews in pictures only, which I thought was pretty refreshing (of course, that requires knowing how to take good photos!). Here's Dance Class Howleen: 

(That's also my excuse for not having any pics in this post: the new year hasn't started yet!)


Bratzillaz shoes, disappearing torso joints, and complaining about the Blogger app

There are so many functions I'm missing in the Blogger app. Not only things like putting things behind a cut, making hyperlinks and centering images, but also having access to settings, stats and subscribed blogs would be nice. Oh well. 

Once Upon A Zombie Belle arrived from ebay. She was my chistmas present to myself, just the right mix of cute and creepy. I took pics, of course, but I'm too annoyed with the app to try and embed them! They're on Flickr though, if anyone's interested. Of course, now that I've used up my "doll allowance" for the month suddenly all the toy stores decided to have a sale. I saw a really good price on MH Skelita online, but she'll have to wait. C'mon, I'm supposed to be spending money on other people this month! Too bad no-one I know shares my taste. (Also spotted the first Ever After High dolls online, but the prices were ridiculous. I'm actually holding out for the less elaborate versions anyway, since I prefer my dolls in more realistic clothing and mostly want these for the new bodies.)

Actually, I got a couple more Bratzillaz outfits on sale. Since they fit MH so well I felt like I should stock up while I had the chance. For all the amazing footwear in the MH line, simple black boots are few and far between. Sometimes you just want something that goes with more than one outfit. The high boots even fit Liv and Barbie - or rather, the shafts fit the legs and keep the boots on, even though they're comically oversized. I wasn't sure what to do with the clothes, but they turned out to be a close fit for the Simba Super Models, so nothing will be going to waste here! 

The rumors about the Fashionistas (or at least their articulation) disappearing seem  to be true. All I could find when I went to the store was the glitter/jewel/something Fashionistas with the unarticulated torso (something I discovered purely by chance, luckily before I bought one). Bad news, since I still have a bunch of heads to rebody and the Dreamhouse dolls are way too expensive to be donors. They still had the 2-pac fashion designer dolls, though, so all is not yet lost. Once those are gone, it's back to hunting for reasonable international shipping deals on ebay...

Really, though, I can't complain. It's been a good doll month so far. :)


Reroot update

It's going pretty well, actually. As you can see we have reached the Cousin It stage (note elegant pipecleaner garotte, a must-have accessory this spring!). 

The tricky part was figuring out how thick to make the plugs. I think I started out too thin, then (after I pulled one and realized it came out) maybe too thick. Some glue would probably be a good idea, but there's a split in the neck and I don't want to risk making it worse. He gets to keep his head on, and I'll just finish this and see how it turns out. There's another doll I need to reroot without removing the head, so I'm happy for a chance to practice. 

Rooting with the tool was really quick, a lot faster than I expected. As a beginner it's reassuring to know a mistake won't take hours and hours to fix.


Super short post to avoid another hiatus

Today I:

• put some glue on two floppy elbow joints. Much tighter now, but lots of residue. Will have to tidy them up tomorrow. 

• bought a Bratzillas fashion set on sale. Very nice shoes, too big for Simba Super Models but almost perfect for MH! I know someone said they were, but I at least expected the angle to be a bit off. Might have to go back for more. 

• Rooted a few plugs with the reroot tool I made yesterday. It's a lot easier than the knot method or needle and thread, which I've tried a little bit. Subject is thrift store Alan with terrible hair, whose head just refused to budge. He only has plug holes on top, so I think he may have had long hair originally. He'a getting short grey hair, although I have no idea how to cut-and-style it to make it look good. Maybe give him a '90s bowl cut like my Generation Girl Blaine? (That would of course mean they're related. Barbie genetics is pretty simple.)

Rerooting will continue tomorrow. Now: bedtime! 


The Doll Blog Strikes Back (with naked pics of unarticulated Kevin)

I think I've discovered one of the fundamental rules of blogging:
As soon as you make a post where you applogize for your absence lately and promise to start posting more regularly, your blog will immediately go on hiatus for at least a month. I can't believe I fell for it! (Also, your next post will then be an apology for the unannounced hiatus and has approx. a 50% chance of being the last post on that blog ever. I'm on thin ice here.)  

I haven't been in much of a doll mood lately. My interest in this hobby tends to come in waves, and I think might just as well accept that instead of feeling bad for being an inconsistent blogger. Anyway, last week I read this article by an(other) adult collector of Monster High, and suddenly dolls sounded like fun again. I still haven't mastered the Blogger app, so this link probably won't be clickable ETA: now clickable! http://m.xojane.com/issues/im-37-years-old-and-i-collect-monster-high-dolls

So, what's new on the doll front? Well, I was hoping Ever After High would appear here before christmas, but so far I haven't seen a trace of them at any of the big chains. What I have seen is DVD:s of the webisodes though, so the dolls shouldn't be far behind. Seems like a missed opportunity to leave them out of the christmas catalogs, though. 

I'm not entirely doll-less, though! I finally got my hands on an older Fashionista Ken. He doesn't have a name yet, but according to Mattel he's Prince Derek from 12 Dancing Princesses. He came in good condition with boots and all his clothes (except for the crown), and his hair still glued down with conditioner. A bit overpriced but still a good thrift store find. It turns out his shoulders are a lot wider than my unarticulated Ken's. I'll have to make some pattern adjustments. Oddly enough, even though their feet and legs are virtually the same size, Derek wears larger shoes and boots much better.  

Let's see if I can get these pictures to work: 

ETA: putting a cut here in case the pics turned out huge


Oh, right. The blog.

Not much bloggable happening at the moment. I did get a Lottie doll, though, one of the new ones released last month. There will be pictures, as soon as I figure out this iPhone thing and remember that it gets dark (and therefore unsuitable for photography) early this time of year. Lottie is one of those dolls I wasn't terribly interested in at first, but she grew on me. It's a cute kid doll that looks like she could be the younger sister of the Super Model girls (although with much less articulation), and this new batch had several different styles I liked better than the original few. Apparently the pirate girl is popular, but I just had to have one with glasses, and since my store only had one of them the choice was easy. My old computer is still horribly slow and noisy so I try to avoid using it, but hopefully I'll be able to find the perfect app and return with some pictures.


Miss Uncanny Valley 2013 (thrift store find)

The instructions on the Liquitex varnish says to wait at least 3 hours before applying a second coat. If we assume that goes for painting on top of it too, and then take into account the limited daylight this time of year and the fact that I can't paint anything after sunset since the lighting is my apartment is so bad, the maximum number of face-up attempst per day is about... one. And that's if I'm not feeling lazy that day (and I usually am).

So while the varnish dries, heres' some random thrift store finds. Today: Clone Barbie make-up head!

Clone make-up head

...or that's what I thought, but now I'm not sure. She already has make-up on, so maybe she's meant for displaying jewelry. The head looks exactly like any Barbie clone, except blown-up. She has that strawberry blonde nylon hair that seems quite popular on clones. I actually like that shade, I should see if any of the doll hair resellers have it.

ETA: I forgot to mention (and I'm not sure you can tell from the pictures) that this thing is quite small: only about 6'' from base to top of the head.

In true clone style, all the parts are different colors and plastic. The shoulder-piece-thing is hard plastic, while the arms are really thin hollow plastic and swivel from the base. I'm not sure what the point is. They're originally the same height, but the base of the left one (her left) is slightly bent.

Clone make-up head - behind the scenes

I'm not sure if you can see, but the arms just end in hollow blobs to stop them from falling out of the sockets. It's a very simple construction. I can't help but wonder what those little loops at the bottom are for. Mounting her on the hood of your car? Creating the worlds most bizarre necklace?

This thing was really cheap, and the seller commented on how scary she looks. I told him that's what I liked about her, although when I think about it I probably won't put her in the display cabinet next to my bed. Dolls usually don't have much of an uncanny valley effect on me, but If I woke up in the middle of the night and find her staring at me from behind the glass, I'm not sure I'll be entirely at ease. Doesn't she look a bit like one of those cursed fortune teller machines from horror movies?



Trial and error: repaint, stain removal

The computer crash most likely ate my ever-growing backlog of Doll Pics I've Been Meaning To Post Some Day, and maybe that's for the best. The more photos you have, the less you actually get around to using them, I find, and modern technology doesn't exactly discourage hoarding. Now that I'm stuck with an old and slow computer and a lower-resolution digital camera, I'll have to be more economical. Maybe a good time to be a bit creative IRL instead?

So I finally took a stab at repainting a couple of doll heads. I wiped the Bratz head and one of the surplus Steffi Love heads and covered them with brush-on sealer, just to have something to practice on. Since I don't have a respirator yet, I used ordinary nail polish remover (with aceton) and Liquitex brush-on Matte varnish. Neither is ideal - I discovered the varnish doesn't quite stop the heads from staining, and I have no idea of the long-term effects of the cleaner, but for practice they're fine.

Watercolor pencils and brush-on sealer. Not recommended.

Face-ups are hard. Really hard! I wish I could blame the brushes, or the paint, or the weather or something, but the truth is I just nead practice. A lot. The pics of my first two attempts at the Bratz head were lost in the crash (and thank goodness for that - she looked like a raccoon) but I took a few pics of the latest version, which is me giving up entirely on acrylics and trying out some water color pencils to see if I still knew how to mix colors at all, then trying to put sealer on top of it to see if it really is as impossible as everybody says. I could, and it is! Good to know. She looks a bit spooky, like the death mask of L'Inconnue de la Seine, which isn't exactly what I was going for, but then again you could argue that anything is less scary than the original Bratz look.

I think I'll name you Dusty. Or maybe Visible Brushstrokes.

I don't have a lot to say about the Steffi, except I should probably have a plan before I start. And try to steady my hand against something. And learn how to use the brush properly to get a better line. And I should probably vacuum this place so I don't get so much dust in the paint. And she looks a bit like one of the girls from ABBA. Okay, that's quite a lot. Even if it isn't particularly good, it's interesting to see how much of a difference a new face-up makes on the same face sculpt!

I used liquid acrylic paint, which is something I've been meaning to try. I'm using a mix of Liquitex Ink!, Schminke Aero Color and Dr. Ph. Martins's Spectralite because that's what happened to be on sale when I visited the art supply store. The consistency is really nice and seems more or less perfect for this. I found the Schminke got lumpy easily and the Spectralite Bright Yellow is a bit too bright for my needs, but most of all I wish I had invested in a few brow hues. I thought I'd be clever and save some money by just getting the basic colors and mix the rest - a good idea in theory, but it's really time-consuming and very hard to be consistent. Some raw umber and burnt sienna is really useful for skin tones, so that's on my shopping list for next month.

What happens when you don't follow instructions

Just to keep you updated on my other experiments, I tried some Remove-Zit on some of Cool Kevin's clothes stains. The instructions says to proceed with caution and leave the stuff on for 1-2 days, but I decided I didn't have time to be careful, so I slapped some on and then forgot about it. Probably not a good idea. I left it on for at least three days, and the plastic did not react well. On the other hand, the stains seem to be gone! Maybe I'll try to file it down. I also tried it on the rubbery upper arm of a Mystic Girl Steffi. No damage, and I think the stain got at least a bit better. So at least now I know what not to do, and if I squint I can almost see this as a sign I should buy a brown haired Cool Kevin like I originally wanted.


Who's that clone? It's Sandy!

Looks like I have an ID on the clone dolls: Sandy! Or, one of the Sandys.

Flickr has been weird lately and won't show me the BBcode or HTML for sharing photos, and it's not because people have it disabled: I can't even see the option on my own photos when I'm logged in. Apparently they moved the button to a secret location just to annoy me and make me feel stupid when I stumble upon it by accident in a few weeks or so. But since I'm not entirely sure people have explicitly made sharing available on their pics, I feel a bit weird downloading and sharing them, so you're getting beautiful and fascinating text links instead.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lilavati112/4463214068/ - this is obviously the same doll as the one I found with the cut-off blonde hair. Also, I would recongnize those shoulders anywhere.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/54076701@N05/8005772326/ - in this photo you can see the makeup better. There's also a link to an article on Sandy dolls on Barbieplanet.ru with photos of different bodies etc. Here's the google translated version for anyone interested to take a guess as to why a cheap hollow clone doll is known as a "pectoral sandpiper" in Russian:

So that looks like a match, at least for the blonde. I haven't found any pics of the bubble cut dolls yet - at first I thought this Japanese Sindy clone (who's also named Sandy) might be it, but this one has different, if similar, headmold, and I'm pretty sure that the blonde and the bubble cut dolls are identical after all. The body is described as slightly bigger than Barbie, and it doesn't look right either. I'm thinking the girls with bubble cuts may just be older versions (or were bubble cuts in at some point during the '80s? I can't remember). There's also the fact that none of my dolls have any markings, and the Barbieplanet article has photos of the markings on different Sandy dolls. I'm not sure what to make of that, actually. Maybe clones of clones?

Come to think of it, the definition of a clone doll seems pretty unclear to me. For example: Barbie started out as a clone of Bild-Lili, then got clones of her own (many of which are listed at this page). Then came Sindy, who doesn't look a bit like Barbie (at least not the early version) but nevertheless probably wouldn't have existed without her - and then there are dolls like Licca and Betty Teen, who clearly borrow their looks from Sindy. And then there are clones of Licca and Betty! Maybe it's a bit like that saying about how a language is just a dialect with an army: once it's a recognizable brand in its own right it graduates from clone to competitor? I don't know, but at least now I'm pretty sure of the origin of the headmold.

Well, it's a big internet to google through. The search continues! (I feel like the host of an old-timey radio show when I write that... :D)


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).


Mars Needs Shoes!

Well, my cell phone (and by "cell phone" I mean "camera") seems to have finally given up the ghost and refuses to be recharged. It's been my excuse for neglecting the blog lately, but enough is enough.

I was planning to write something about looking for some place to buy a Twilight Teens doll while I'm waiting for Ever After High and Life in the Dreamhouse Midge (aka Steffie!). Twilight Teens are basically Simba's Monster High-ified version of the Super Model dolls i.e. they can share shoes! Also clothes, but the ones I've seen aren't much to write home about, so I'll probably pick based on shoes and accessories. Ghostilla is the Spectra clone and white all over, except from a few black streaks and tattoos. You can't go wrong with a ghost girl, and if you do the repaint possibilities are endless. (Probably the staining possibilities too, though.)

The only places I've found that sell the basic dolls online will send you a random doll, so I might shell out for Ghostilla's scooter set. I don't really want a scooter, but there may be others that do. (Zombia comes with a pink and black coffin-shaped wardrobe - the same one from the Mystic Girlz set - that looks pretty cool, but I'm not much of a zombie fan and she's just too grey for me. One Ghoulia is enough.)

Scooter set Ghostilla has in my opinion marginally better clothes than the other Ghostillas (black "leather" and zebra stripes, woooo!), but comes with neon green shoes for some reason. That put me off a bit at first, but then I remembered that Rockers DeeDee can't wear any of her old shoes since she got her Super Model body, and she needs green shoes to go with her spacey '80s makeup and fashion. Can't conquer the galaxy without shoes now, can you? Not even with a pink hair dryer for a weapon.

...that's what I was going to write about, but it turned out pretty uninteresting and I thought it needed an illustration of some sort, so I opened up Sai and got distracted. Have a DeeDee the Space Invader (Without Shoes but With Hair Dryer). Glorious '80s space outfit belongs to Mirra Crysta (fron Tonka's Aurora line). The lack of neon green shoes should be obvious to anyone.
It isn't even plugged in.


note to self

Dear Me: Next time you buy something online, don't use DHL even if it's one day faster, because that pick-up place closes at 6 and you'll never remember to get there on time. Besides, the other place has better and cheaper candy.


Knitting for Ghoulia

Seems like it's time for my annual attempt at this 1/6 knitting thing. This started out as some round knitting practice before I decided to practice sleeves instead, that's why the fit leaves something to be desired. But it has sleeves! Woohoo!

It looks a bit weird when you lift her arm but it still kind of works.

Still looks pretty okay, but...
...here's the terrible truth.
 30 fairly loose stitches on 2mm needles, if I remember correctly. The yarn is a bit too heavy as well. On the other hand: sleeves!


Preliminary gushing about Ever After High (ETA: more links)

Sorry, I don't really have anything interesting to say today, or any dolls to post pics of. I just wanted to say I made the mistake of looking at some pictures and videos, and now I'm starting to really look forward to the Ever After High dolls. Apparently they're just coming out, which means it might take months before they appear here ("here" being faraway exotic Sweden). Or we might not get them at all! Not that I'm worried: if they do well they'll definitely appear on shelves here too, and I suspect they will.

I like that they actually made a completely new doll (well, some parts are recycled), not just a new line of Monsters but with more traditional face sculpts. The torso doesn't have the arched plank look that makes the MH dolls so difficult to fit (though elegant). They actually remind me more of china dolls than of fashion dolls, with their big heads and cute, entirely non-scary make-up (just look at Apple White). (On a related note: when did everyone decide to make ~25cm dolls with big heads rather than ~29cm dolls with more realistic proportions, like Barbie? Was it Bratz that started it?)

I showed the promo pics to my friend who finds Monster High creepy and she really liked them. Maybe I'll be able to rope her into the hobby after all!

And that concludes today's preliminary gushing. Here are a few links to people who have more to say than I do (just in case you haven't already seen them).


This has a more in-depth (although a bit out-of-focus) look at Briar Rose and her accessories, along with a comparison with several similar bodies:

Here's a good comparison pic that someone on the forum dug up:

More comparison pics. Briar Rose's skin tone is close to Cleo, apparently.

ETA again:
Lots of good comparison shots of the dolls compared to MH and others.

Madeline Hatter guest review @toyboxphilosopher!

and ETA yet another review:


Chic City Walk Miri (an almost-review)

My cell phone seems to have died, and with it my camera, so we'll have to make do with the rather blurry photos from yesterday.

I think I mentioned Miri was the one I wanted originally, but since the Super Model dolls have been very much "subject to availability" around here, I was a bit reluctant to get attached to any particular version of either doll, figuring I'd wait instead until I came across one that I liked. The Chic City Walk line wasn't one that particularly drew my attention when I saw the dolls online. I try to avoid dolls with accessories I don't want since they tend to drive up the price a bit, and I'm not particularly interested in dogs.

When I found the last Miri in the store, I took a closer look and decided I actually liked her. The shoes sealed the deal, of course, but the rest of her outfit isn't bad either.

This is a pretty simple and realistic ensemble - my favorite kind of doll clothes! The color theme is pink, white and black, and not much else.

The t-shirt has a pink bowtie print. The seams are a little bit uneven and also loose to allow the fabric to stretch - probably unavoidable. The pink necklace was actually sewn to the shirt and for a while I was wondering whether I was supposed to cut the string or never change her clothes, but it was just a single stitch that turned out to be fairly easy to cut. A kid might tear it before mum or dad has a chance to get the scissors, though.

The denim jacket looks like it might stain, but I haven't seen any trace so far. It's black with pink seams which I suspect will turn grey when I wash it. That by now familiar mesh fabric is used to protect the seam of the sleeves, but nowhere else. It's better made than Scary Couple/Mystic Girlz-Steffi's jacket which had a similar cut.

The pants did stain - not much, but still enough that I want to be careful and wash them out - except I can't, because it turns out they and the little tutu are sewn together. Well, more like "crafted as one single garment" - I don't think I'll be able to turn them into two working pieces of clothing. We'll see if I give it a try. I don't want the tutu to turn grey if I wash the whole thing, but I don't want to risk further staining either. Apart from that, they look nice.

I don't know if I've mentioned, but these dolls don't have holes for earrings. Miri comes with a row of bracelets of the same kind as Palm Beach Juls did - I love these.

The shoes are pretty much perfect and yes, I love them. The only thing I can think of is they're the same for both left and right, which is a bit odd for a doll with feet that actually look like feet. The resulting gap can be seen here. They still fit though, so it doesn't really matter. They're just sliiiightly too small for Liv. I don't want to damage them, but it could possibly work, maybe if you do an evil stepsister and file Liv's toes off. I'll let Miri keep these, though.

The hair is slightly wavy and feels a bit thicker than Juls', but otherwise much the same.

She came with the top layer of her bangs glued down flat with gel, and this weird plastic strip that kept the hair under the bangs in place. This is just as confusing as it sounds, and I'm not sure you can tell from the pics what's going on: the bangs start high up on the head, while the front row of plugs (the ones along the hairline) are kept long and just swept to the sides under the bangs. It does add a bit of volume, but then why the gel? To add to the confusion, the whole thing seems to be rooted a bit off-center on my doll, and a few plugs that should have been kept long have been cut and are sticking out at the side. A bit annoying but no disaster. She does have a lot of hair, there's plenty of room to hide the mistakes.

She has very light makeup, just pink lipstick and some glittery copper eyeshadow, same as Juls.

Apart from the dog she comes with a little black clutch, which is cute and fits the overall style but is just a solid piece of plastic. Do kids actually play with those? I can't see the appeal, but I'm just an old lady who is eternally disappointed in fake handbags that don't open.

I think I've discussed the articulation of these dolls before. No news there, she has the same floppy ankles that I'll have to find a solution for. The left leg isn't quite straigh so she looks slightly bowlegged, but not too bad. Something else I've noticed in most of my Simba dolls (Super Model, Steffi Love) is they often have what I guess is traces from the molding. It's usually little lines and patches of rougher surface on the arms, lower legs and feet. Miri has some very visible wrinkles on her feet. It doesn't particularly bother me, but since it seems to be a recurring feature I thought it should be mentioned. I don't think I've seen it in any Mattel doll I own, for example.

I took a few shots for skintone reference, but the lighting was even worse than I realized at the time so they may not be entirely correct. Both Miri and Juls are a more yellow hue, making Fashionista Barbie and Obitsu look reddish pink in comparison. The closest match out of my dolls is the Volks EB Beauty, who is just slightly more neutral/greyish pink. And yes, that's my new Obitsu to the right. :) The head is a Takara Jenny friend doll (but more about that another day).

Volks, Miri, Obitsu natural, Fashionista

Show of arms: Miri, Volks, Obitsu

Volks and Miri