Thrift store finds: more IKEA furniture

Another post, another IKEA dollhouse set! 

I found this yesterday - a nice surprise since I'd almost given up on that particular thrift store. It's pretty close so I pop in now and then, but recently the findings there have been so scarce I almost thought they stopped selling toys entirely. But apparently I've just been having bad luck and/or timing. 

I've seen this set in photos and liked the bright 70s colors (although I assume it was made more recently). The design is the same as the chairs and table I already had. Of course most of it is slightly too small for my dolls, but I really like the look of this furniture so I got it anyway.

The bed has a knob missing. There are matching holes under each leg so you could probably stack them and make bunk beds.

The bed and chairs will probably be re-donated, but the desk is almost the right size for Lottie, and the shelf can just be a very low shelf (maybe for shoes?). 

Oh, and I found this rather terrifying lady: 

(c) 2006 Mirage Studios and Playmate Toys. Google tells me she might be Silver Sorceress, a name that doesn't ring any bells with me. I think her eyes and breastplate are supposed to light up, but I haven't got the right type of batteries to try it. She's the same height as Lottie (almost 8") and for some reason cannot balance with both feet flat on the ground. Not sure if that's a bug or feature, but she looks cool so whatever. 

-I'm sorry, you can't deduct your travels to and from Alpha Centauri as a business expence unless you saved the receipts.

MH Avea & Sirena

Videos! Very short and not terribly informative videos, but at least we get to see Avea and Sirena properly. Avea seems to have knee joints (are they even called knees in horses?) but only in her front legs, and shin guards as the obligatory plastic accessory instead of shoes. I want to see her for myself before I decide, but she's lookig pretty awesome so far (Wydowna is still #1 on my wishlist, though). 

Meanwhile, Sirena is looking less and less appealing to me. Her face sculpt is pretty bland, and there's the lack of articulation. I feel like she doesn't have enough character to stand out - I realize that might seem like weird thing to say about a freaking ghost mermaid doll, but that's the downside of raising the bar like Mattel keeps doing with the MH dolls. 

But if you always wished Lagoona were spookier, you might love Sirena. I do like her tail fin, it's very spooky and sort of mushroom-like. Also we get to see how she stands up! 

Avea Trotter:

Sirena von Boo:

(I know the formating looks weird. It's the telephone's fault.)

And now I really want to see an octopus girl, although Disney's lawyers might have something to say about that...


Too many Monsters!

The problem with Monster High is they're too awesome. There's so many fun and inventive dolls, and with every wave it's getting more difficult to choose what to spend my rather limited funds on. OK, I know - not exactly a problem in the big scale of things! Still, at this point I'm almost relieved when I see a new monster I don't like.

Anyway, this may be old or unreliable news, but I saw photos of the centaur and mermaid dolls yesterday. (I was googling a completely different doll and stumbled upon them here: http://shadowbinders.com/monster-high-avea-trotter-pic-is-going-around/ They're originally from the MH facebook group.) I known everyone has been anticipating the centaur, but personally I was more interested in the ghost mermaid. Now for some reason she doesn't speak to me at all, and I breathe a sigh of relief - because that means I can afford the new Wydowna instead! The centaur does look pretty cool (and articulated, I think?) but 6 arms still beats 4 legs, at least in my book. 


Skipper/Super Model, Twilight Teens Nemonia review, carving out shoes

This changes everything!

This is a bit enbarassing, but: I only just realized the Super Models' arms come apart! Elbows AND hands. I don't know how I missed it, but I can tell you how I found out: from purplemonkfish's review of Nemona, one of the new Twilight Teens dolls (Simba's Monster High clones who use the same body). I'm still not sure if I want a "Pneumonia", but it's a pretty informative review anyway. 

Speaking of the super models (again), I took a few comparison shots of them next to my old Skipper. Skin tone doesn't match all that well, but may be acceptable (I guess it's possible different Skippers might be slightly different shades, but I only have this one). 

Juls, Skipper, Sarah

Same but in a slightly different light

Skipper and Hadley's original body don't match either, in case you were wondering.

Anyway, some people out there have tried the Skipper/Super Model combo. This Dollforum.ru thread has pics of a Skipper on Juls's body (scroll down a bit) and here's blogger Barbiebeauties' Skipper rebodied on Sarah. I'd probably go with the latter.

Also, I sliced the soles off those boxing boots for Steffi Love and will attempt to hollow them out to actually fit flat feet. I don't have a dremel, but the plastic is pretty soft so I'm using a knife and an old lino cut gouge. I'm not sure if it'll work, but these shoes were pretty useless to begin with so I don't really have anything to lose. 

After slicing off the sole. Note "toe hole". 

The story so far. Also pictured: gouge.

Both Headmistress Bloodgood and the CAM mummy + gorgon pack are on sale,  but as I've already spent all of this month's doll money and then some, all I can do is sigh and hope they don't sell out too fast. 


Rebody WIN: Hadley and Isla on Simba Super Model

Well, less of a fail at least.

As I mentioned I've been looking for bettee articulated bodies for Hadley and Isla from 12 Dancing Princesses for som time. They're not only short (25cm/10") but also have those slim neckposts, so I thought it might be hard to find a match. So far I've been considering EAH Ashlynn Ella (seems to match skin tone but neck knob requires modification), Fairytale High (slim neck but tall, weird bodies, skintone might not match) and Disney Fairies Pixie Party by Jakks (slim neck, skin tone unsure, one blog review found the articulation lacking). 

Anyway, since Roxanne of Roxanne's Dolls mentioned she had her Hadley and Isla on Liv bodies, I decided to try using the Super Model bodies I had at hand. Since they have about the same neck circumference as Liv and Barbie I had ruled them out, but... 

Simba Super Model strikes again! 

Also, I think OHC Briana Joy might look better on Bel's body.

A bunch of comparison pics under the cut!

L: Isla(?) on Sarah's body, R: Hadley(?) on Juls' body, original body in the middle. 

I think this might work!

I used different bodies since those were the ones I had at hand. Sarah is slightly darker and Juls slightly lighter than the original body (which doesn't match the heads perfectly either), so it's a matter of taste really. I don't have the AA Hadley and Isla so I'm not sure whether Bel would match them, but Liv Alexis' skin tone seems closer. 

L: Hadley #1 on Juls, showing off weird top of the neck, compared to Hadley #2 on original body (R)

She can turn and tilt her head even if it's a bit tight. The neck looks a bit odd when she looks down, but not too bad. The vinyl does get a bit stretched over the bigger neck post, and I'm not sure how that will work out over time. I really really hope it won't split. 

A smaller neck post would have been ideal, but the vinyl around the neck hole doesn't bulge that much. (This is the thrift store Hadley with a damaged nose, btw. I files it down a bit but it's still a bit rough.) 

The Super Model body isn't quite as elegant as the original, but it's pretty close in proportions. As long as the neck hole doesn't split or anything this will probably be their bodies for now. 

Since I was playing musical heads already, I did what I should have tried before ordering a Sarah and put OHC Briana's head on Bel's body instead. It's still not perfect - her head still looks a bit green in comparison and she's still too tall - but a better match overall. Poor DeeDee will have to be a floating head for a while until I can find an articulated Bratz or another Bel (although now that I've got one each of the super model girls I'd like to concentrate on other types of dolls for a bit). 

Palm Beach Juls lost her body too, of course, but to be honest I never really bonded with her.

Briana on Bel. As usual it all depends on the lighting. 

3x Simba Super Model bodies
L-R: OHC Briana Joy on Bel, Isla(?) on Sarah, Hadley (?) on Juls 

Same as above in different light.

All four Super Model skin tones, just for reference. L-R: Miri (with original head), Juls, Sarah, Bel  

L-R: Juls, fashionista Barbie, Isla/Hadley original body, Sarah, fashionista Nikki 

...and again in different light


Reroot progress

Started rerooting Fashionistas Nikki yesterday. Her head still felt a bit sticky, but I decided it's probably from the Formula 911. It's great for removing dirt etc that the washing-up liquid won't touch, but it seems to leave a slightly greasy surface, plus it smells rather strongly of citrus (I think). It makes me wonder whether it contains lemon oil or something, and how that affects the vinyl in the long run. (I should point out I've never had any problems so far and that it seems carefully tested and developed, I'm just wondering.)

Nikki yesterday... 

...and today (with the first row of plugs tied down over her face to keep it out of the way).

This is my second try with the reroot tool and I'm learning as I go. I'm using nylon, about 30-40 hairs/plug (15-20 folded), which I hope is enough. If I pull on them they will come out fairly easily, but I'm planning on covering the inside with glue later. If I used maybe 40-50/plug I could probably rely on tension alone, but I'm worried of splitting the vinyl or something and besides I'm not really a fan of the ridiculous amounts of hair most playline dolls seem to have. Last time I used thicker plugs (becuase I couldn't get the head off) and the hair ended up a bit too thick in places. 

Also, re: my latest rebody fail, I discovered there actually are articulated Bratz bodies, and they seem to be about the same height as the unarticulated ones (depending on what shoe-feet they're wearing, I guess). Here's one compared to Monster High: http://heyitsmuff.blogspot.se/2012/08/from-fairy-to-human-teen.htmlI'll have to try and find one and see if they match OHC Briana Joy better. (Yes, that means I'll have to start carrying a doll head with me every time I expect to come close to a toy store.) 


Nikki vs glue

I found a Fashionistas Nikki at the thrift store the other day. She had both the torso joint and the knees that swivel, and as I didn't have a Nikki yet I didn't hesitate a second. (Unfortunately she  doesn't match OHC Briana Joy either, and even if she did she'd still be too tall.) 

She had an ugly dress but was in good condition, and I couldn't help wondering why someone gave her away. Well, when I came home I found out why: seeping glue! Half of her head was completely hard, the earring was stuck at an odd angle, and the hair was completely sticky, like a kid would notice it (or a concerned parent). Seriously, Mattel!

After washing her hair several times, only making things worse, I decided to just cut it. My reroot list might be long, but it's mostly for lack of materials. Black nylon is one of the few hairs I do have, so I'm going to try that on Nikki, and maybe use the reroot tool again since that was a lot quicker that needle and thread.

Now, I've only tried removing all hair from one modern Barbie head before, and that resulted in lots of torn plugs due to all the glue. When I "de-haired" an older, pre-Glue Mania head that I couldn't remove from the body, I discovered it's easier to prevent torn holes if you pull the hairs from the outside, just a few strands at a time. (You just need to remember not to cut the hair as short as you can but leave a bit to grab with your tweezers.) That way you can control what exactly you're pulling on and avoid ripping the holes. Unfortunately, that doesn't work if every plug is stuck together in a big lump of glue, and that lump is stuck to the inside of the head. (Again: Seriously, Mattel??)

This time I was very careful, clipping the hair close to the scalp with a nail clipper, and repeatedly soaking the head in almost-boiling water so it was all soft when I worked on it. And it worked! Maybe it's because she didn't have much of a part and not a lot of plugs close together, but I got everything out with only a couple of tears. Hooray!  

There's one tear in the hairline and another a bit further up, plus one you can't see from this angle, but that's all. Go me!

While I was at it I used my thinnest knife blade to carefully slice off the barbs on the earrings posts inside her head, until I could pull them out without ripping the ear holes. They look like they might glow in the dark, but so far they've been a disappointment on that front. 

Nikki's earrings sans barbs (well, mostly)

The whole head still feels a bit greasy, so I'll try to get rid of that before rerooting. I have a bottle of isopropyl alcohol but I've been hesitating to use it since I'm not sure I know how to handle it properly. I live in an apartment and the communal back yard doesn't feel like the place to work with chemicals, so when something calls for "a well-ventilated area" I just stand by the open window, and I'm not sure that's OSHA approved... Oh well, at least she's rid of the glue. 

ETA: Based on the earrings and the hairstyle, I'm pretty sure it's this Nikki doll: 
(As seen here on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Mattel-W3899-Barbie-Fashionistas-Nikki/dp/B005VDU55G )

I think i've seen those in stores actually. Good to know they're fully articulated (since Mattel likes to make that a surprise nowadays).


Rebody fail: OHC Briana Joy on Simba Super Model

Well, back to the drawing board!

L: Only Hearts Club Briana Joy on Simba Super Model Sarah's body, R: Barbie and the Rockers' DeeDee rebodied on Super Model Bel.

As I mentioned, I just bought another Simba Super Model - a Sarah this time, the only one of the four dolls I didn't have before. I was hoping she would be a close enough match to rebody Only Hearts Club Briana Joy on, but it turns out she's too pale after all. The hues don't match very well either -  Briana looks almost green in comparison. Plus her head looks way too small.


(More comparisons and photos of naked dolls below)

Briana and Sarah, pre-Frankendollying. You can already tell it's not going to work. 

I was really hoping this would work out since I've been meaning to rebody my OHC dolls forever (or since I got them, at least). They have soft stuffed cloth bodies with some kind of wire skeleton, making some posing possible, except their arms wind up looking like bananas. (Also, the fabric used is my Least Favorite Fabric Ever. Seriously. I don't even know what it's called, I just know I've hated it since I was a kid. It's what they used for the seats on the school bus, maybe that's why?) 

Their hands and feet are vinyl (I think?),  except the first wave which only have cloth feet. The soccer player Briana I bought turned out to be the old version, and so I decided she would be the first to receive a new body. 

Unfortunately there aren't that many options for articulated bodies in the 8"-9" (or 21cm) range, particularly not for AA dolls. Volks Mini have the right proportions, but only come in pale pink and paler pink (and also are possibly discontinued? It's a bit unclear, but their international online shop hasn't had them in stock in forever). 

I've seen people use Juku Couture bodies (like here), but they're a bit hard to come by and it doesn't look like Kana would match Briana either, plus their necks look really skinny. Here's Briana rebodied on a Bratz body, which unfortunately doesn't solve the articulation problem. ETA: Somehow I never realized there are articulated Bratz! They don't seem to be any taller than the unartiulated ones, so if I find one with a matching skin tone that could be an option. (Of course they seem to be discontinued now...) 

Using a full-size Barbie body (like this Taylor Angelique on a Model Muse) would provide more options, but with a head that small and obviously designed to resemble a child, it just doesn't look right. I wanted to keep the doll as close to kid size as possible, and the Super Model body seemed like an acceptable compromise at 25cm. 

Well, at least the neck has the right dimensions, and the articulation works fine: she can look up and down and tilt her head without problem. Getting the head off the original body wasn't too hard either (thanks to Roxanne's guide on what to expect). Still, I have to admit it - it just doesn't look very good. Sigh.

Clothes can camouflage/distract a bit... 

...but that's still a very long and missmatched neck.

Here's a couple of comparison pics I took: 

L-R: Briana's original body, Briana on Super Model, MH Clawdeen (whose neck is too thin and uncompatible)

L: Briana on Super Model, R: Fashionista Barbie. (As usual, the mismatch shows up differently depending on the light.) 

L: DeeDee on Super Model Bel's body, which sadly doesn't match either.

I think she'll stay on this body for now until I find something better. Her original soccer outfit still fits, just a bit tight (although the socks with built-in shin guards looked a bit silly protecting only the lower half of her shins). 

At least Sarah came with a new outfit (modeled below by DeeDee from Barbie and the Rockers, rebodied on Simba Super Model Bel's body) and most importantly with a new pair of shoes! They do fit over the socks, although it's a tight fit. Liv can wear them too (without socks). I wish they had made them white with a pink or blue star instead, though.  

Sarah's shoes + socks

Actually, the soccer shoes that Briana came with was one of the reasons I got her:
OHC Briana's shoes

Seams are a bit wonky as usual, but nothing too bad. The color scheme is almost identical to Dreamhouse Summer's jacket. 

So I heard the 80s were back 


Random sewing and wig buying

And now for something completely different: 

After I put that headband that came with the mini BabyBorn clothes on Lottie, I realized she needed a white dress to go with it. Super simple model, made from a cheap white t-shirt. I quite like how it came out, although I still need to close it in the back. 

Currently looking at shoes for her (she came with gumboots/wellies). The accessory packs get a bit expensive with shipping, but there is a set with a little robot (to go with Robot Girl Lottie) that comes with two pairs of shoes that I think are supposed to fit the dolls too, but I haven't been able to unambiguously confirm it.

ETA re Lottie shoes: 
The robot set comes with the robot wearing a pair of pink shoes, but the promo pics shows it wearing the second green pair as well. This reviewer apparently managed to change the robot's shoes: http://pleasegivepeasachance.blogspot.se/2013/11/lottie-dolls-review-and-giveaway.html 
This reviewer on the other hand says she couldn't get the first pair off the robot's feet, although she mentions the second pair fits Lottie: https://rebeccahains.wordpress.com/tag/lottie/ 

Both reviews are from last November, so unless they started glueing the shoes onto the robot sometime in between, the second reviewer probably just got a dud. I really hope that's the case, because two pairs of shoes (and a robot) clearly beats one pair of shoes and a dress in terms of value for your doll money.

In other sewing news, I made Mimi Bobeck a simple hat after hacking most of her hair off. I want to finally get started on that makeover I've been meaning to give her, and it looks like a wig is the best alternative.

Her head is pretty hard plastic and I'm not sure I could get it off without breaking something (although crazybarbielady seems to have managed to do it). The hairdo I have in mind for her is probably above my skill level anyway. 

I'm really hoping that eye shadow hasn't stained. One day I shall find out...