Bobeck's back!

Here's something surprising I discovered last week: apparently Mimi Bobeck dolls have become popular! Not because a new generation discovered The Drew Carey Show, but because doll collectors use her as body donor for Blythe. I'm not really into Blythe so this was all news to me, but from what I understand the trend started about a year ago. If you google or search on flickr you can find lots of blog posts and photos, and laments that the prices on Ebay have gone up (although I checked and most listings weren't all that outrageous, so maybe that was temporary). I have to agree it's a good idea: the result looks a lot like a regular old-fashioned fat babydoll, and the huge Blythe head looks a lot more proportional on Mimi's body than on a regular skinnier doll.

It seems people have encountered the same problem as I did when I bought my NRFB Mimi a few years ago, which is staining. She has a row of purple spots on her thighs from the elastic in her pants. Personally I've just decided they're varicose veins. The bright green staining from her shoes is more difficult to explain away (smelly feet?). Luckily, she didn't have stains around her neck like Drew himself (he wore a black suit jacket which gave him a big black mark on his neck - hmm, street brawl?).

As usual, shoes are the big problem. Mimi has tiny, absolutely flat feet, and most doll shoes have at least a little bit of a heel. That may not be a problem as long as she's sitting down, although she doesn't do that very well either so I prefer to try and make her balance. So far I've only found a few pairs that sort-of work: a pair of Liv sneakers that look pretty oversized on her, a pair of vintage Barbie shoes that I had to carve out the inside of because they were made for high-heel feet, and the black slippers from the new cat themed Barbie accessory set I bought recently. They have a bit of heel, so she can't stand in them, but they're close enough to fitting that I'm counting them anyway.

Barbie slippers on Mimi Bobeck
Barbie 2015 slippers on Mimi Bobeck doll
There's also the single red vintage ballet flat that is almost perfect for her, but I'm not sure what doll it belonged to: it could be Skipper, but her shoes are usually too long and narrow for Mimi, or it could be Francie, but doesn't her shoes usually have a bit of a heel? Anyway, I only have the one, but at least I know they're out there...

Of course, if you prefer the typical Blythe style with big shoes it's easier: you can just fill them out with socks!


ebay yukata dilemma

Never mind me, I'm just complaining again... about doll stuff.

She also needs a better photographer
This is Aya. Aya needs a yukata that doesn't end by her knees, like this one from Daiso does. Well, perhaps not needs, but we both agree she would look good in one. Aya is one of my favorite Jenny friends, and one version of her that I think is particularly beautiful is the one that comes dressed in a kimono by designer Yumi Katsura. She's way out of my price range, of course, but it made me think it would be fun to have some traditional Japanese clothes for my Aya - sort of replicating the look on a budget. Because I'm not made of money, and my dolls don't sit safely in their boxes or behind glass doors, what I've been looking for is a simple, cheap yukata or kimono that will fit 27cm Obitsus.

Now I happen to have a bit of money over this month, so I checked ebay and there seems to be two options within my price range: a red Jenny kimono released in November and the purple Jenny yukata from this summer.

 (stock photos - the print on the red isn't that bad in the finished product)

The kimono comes with the traditional shoes and socks, which is great because I don't have any. The yukata is slightly cheaper and actually the one I like the most, mainly because the color matches Aya's makeup and the floral print is cute (is that peonies?)  -but it didn't say whether shoes are included. As I don't want poor Aya to go barefoot, I asked the seller, and they told me shoes are not included. BUT. Then I checked TakaraTomy's site, and unless Google Translate is messing things up even more than usual, the yukata is indeed supposed to come with shoes! (or sandals, which I guess is a better English term for zori). User reviews on Amazon.co.jp seem to confirm this too, although I wouldn't bet on it since, well, Google Translate.

So - now what? Do I ask the seller why there are no shoes, when according to the manufacturer there's supposed to be? To be honest that seems like a bad idea. Do I hope they were just being super picky with the terminology ("Oh, you meant zori sandals? I thought you said shoes haha"), or that the sandals were hidden inside the packaging and they didn't see them or something...? Or do I just accept the fact that they probably removed the shoes to sell them separately? After all, breaking up fashion packs seems to be pretty common practice on the second hand doll market.

For example, I've noticed the Daiso fashion packs sold on ebay are usually shoeless. Initially I assumed it was because the shoes apparently fit older Licca dolls and so are in higher demand, but then I bought three intact packs from FoundIinJapan and basically threw the shoes away immediately, since they're were so sticky and smelly I knew right away I would never use them. So I don't know.

So I'm sort of annoyed that if I actually buy the yukata I probably won't get what I'm supposedly paying for. Then again, I'm not sure exactly how annoyed I should be, because fact is that the zori and tabi that come with these sets don't actually look very good on a doll that doesn't have toes! For me it does ruin the apperance a bit when a Jenny doll has a big elaborate kimono in a beautiful fabric - and then her zori sandals stick out a centimeter in front of her feet... Of course, that's always the problem with sandals and playline dolls - my Triad Omega guy has separate big toes, but he can't exactly share shoes with Barbie. So if the set comes with zori it's possible I would end up not using them anyway - and then what am I complaining about??

This wouldn't look good even if they were her size

The best option for shoes would probably be these Obitsu zori that come with soft plastic tabi socks - normally I avoid awkward plastic versions of fabric objects - like bunny slippers or knitted hats - for my dolls, but in this case the pros outweigh the cons. But of course they cost a lot, and first I'd need to find someone who sells them. Plus they come in three colors and none of them the traditional plain black and red, so matching options would be more limited. And the sandals would still look weird without the socks - but apparently nobody wears tabi socks with a yukata, so I'd be stuck with weird-looking footwear either way...

So I'm not quite sure what to do yet. Maybe I'll just wait a month and see which one sells out and then buy the other one? And then wait another six months for the planets to align with my economy and the ebay sellers' stock for a chance to buy a matching pair of Obitsu shoes.

...sometimes I think half the fun of this hobby is in complaining about ridiculous details. :D


Last week's thrift store dolls

Here's a couple of last week's thrift store finds that I've been cleaning and sorting today:

Heart Family Mom. I've wanted one of these for some time because I don't have this sculpt and I think it's really cute (Jazzie I think it's called? There's one called Heart Family mom but that's a different one). She's not exactly in mint shape: a couple of locks cut, slightly greasy face, and her skin tone is too pink for the fashionista body I put her on. She's staying for now, though.

HSM Gabriella, I think? (That sounds like the name of a cruise ship.) She has realistic-length hair, which is my favorite length for doll hair, and shares Hannah Montana's sculpt - is it just me, or is this a smaller version of Carnaval?

Compare: Sparkle Fairy Barbie, which according to KattisDolls has a modified Carnaval sculpt. 

I was going to try and put her on a Simba Super Model body, but unfortunately she has the smaller neck hole so I'm not sure it'll work. 

According to the Internet, this is Dramatic New Living Barbie Doll (whew!). She came in her original swimsuit, which was very worn and had stuck to the melting plastic of her shoulder joints. Apart from that she had no broken joints or major damage - the body is terribly dirty, but nothing that can't be cleaned up with some Twin Pines 911 and a bit of elbow grease.

Honestly I'm not sure how this happened - I used to actively dislike Mod era Barbies! But then I got that Ballerina Barbie for her dress, and then I thought I should have one with better hair, and now that I do I'm starting to wish I had one with brown or red air... take warning, kids, this is how an obsession starts. Anyway, she was cheap, and like Gabriella she has a hairdo that almost looks like that of a real person. Also, her rooted lashes are a lot better than the LITD and Style dolls' are. 

Sorry, Cali Girl Barbie, no headshot for you. Your feet are the only reason I got you - that, and the cowboy outfit. I didn't have any bigfoot barbies before, and I had no idea there was an articulated version, so this was a great find. Someone put Cali Girl's legs on an older Fashionista body and I might try that if I find one in a matching skintone. I thought some of my shoes would fit her, but unfortunately her feet are just too wide. Yet again I'm grateful for those kids who don't seem to ever play with their dolls and then donate them complete with shoes.


Tutanchamun or 2$ thrift store Barbie?

Now tell me if this sounds familiar to you:
The conservator said that the mask now shows a gap between the face and the beard, whereas before it was directly attached: "Now you can see a layer of transparent yellow."
Another museum conservator, who was present at the time of the repair, said that epoxy had dried on the face of the boy king's mask and that a colleague used a spatula to remove it, leaving scratches. The first conservator, who inspects the artifact regularly, confirmed the scratches and said it was clear that they had been made by a tool used to scrape off the epoxy.
You know, I always feel bad when I try to fix a cracked neck post or something and make a huge mess of it, but now I can at least take some small comfort in the knowledge that professionals make the same mistakes. 


Orangey's wooden art doll giveaway

Believe it or not, I'm not the only one who makes jointed wooden dolls. Unlike me, Orangey has actually, well, made a few dolls. They're for sale in her etsy shop, plus right now you can enter this giveaway for a chance to win a custom doll!

Since I can't remember how to turn an image into a link, just click here instead: http://orangeyartdolls.blogspot.ca/2015/01/custom-wooden-doll-giveaway.html

I'm not sure whether I'll be able to enter myself, since the import charges + shipping might get pretty expensive, but as I think her dolls are really cute I'm happy to promote the giveaway a bit anyway!
Rules can be found in the blog post above or on her flickr


50 billion shades of pink (+ glitter)

As I survey the big heap of hideously mismatched clothing in different shades of pink, lavender and various neons, which I've yet again failed to combine into something resembling a normal casual outfit, I realize what the problem with Barbie clothes is: no basics. Or rather, no way to just go out and buy those wardrobe essentials: plain white t-shirt, plain blue jeans, 10-pack of white tube socks, little black dress.

Apart from the Barbie Basics, which were a) expensive and b) discontinued I think, there are no fashion packs with just regular clothes. Nope, it's all glitter and weird prints that don't even go all the way around, and if you buy an expensive fully dressed doll the clothes are usually designed to fill a specific function in that outfit and you'll be lucky if there's one or two pieces that don't look out of place on their own (if they're even separate pieces, that is!). Finding affordable fabric, particularly denim, that's thin enough to work in 1/6 scale is a chore, and anyway I'm crap at sewing.

That's all I wanted to say really. On the other hand I found some good stuff at the thrift store yesterday, I'll post when I've gone through and cleaned it.


Doll talk... (Style sale, Volks clone??, rebody musings)

Don't mind me, I'm just thinking out loud about dolls again... 

Why oh why do I always have to be broke when there's a sale?? Oh well, I might be able to squeeze a couple of dolls out of what's left of my budget. The Style dolls are finally on sale, so I got a Raquelle to use as body donor. I think I'll give her body to Mattel Rapunzel, but she needs a reroot and a repaint first so she doesn't look so creepy... Tomorrow I'll see if I can find a Midge. Since I already have LitD Midge and I like her hair better (even though she has wonky eyelashes), Style Midge's body will probably go to Hannah Montana until I can get her an Obitsu. 

Of course, I just saw photos of the 2015 dolls that seem to be fully articulated, with ankle joints, and now I kind of feel like I should wait for them instead... but if I'm going to wait for them to go on sale it's going to be another year at least, and my floating heads are getting restless already. 

(Actually, I just found out Style Midge's belt is just a plastic clip-on that doesn't reach all around! A bit disappointing, but not enough to stop me from getting her if I can.)

I've been thinking about finding a better articulated body for World on Ice Belle, who is a bit too pale for Raquelle. Of the ones I have both Disney store Merida and Liv (Katie) are a close match, but of course they're both taken... Actually, I think a Liv body might suit Hannah Montana better than a full-size Barbie body (Liv bodies work best for teenage characters imo) but not sure which one. Katie is a bit too orange. 

And I still need another articulated Steffi Love for Ariel (and I have to get rid of her glue soaked hair too). 

Oh, and I bought a Volks clone. I think. I'm not sure what the deal is with those bodies - the listings on ebay etc seem to usually say Volks, the package says Holbein Art Materials and looks nothing like Volks, the stamps on the doll says Volks... and as far as I can tell (without owning that exact model to compare with) they're identical to Volks' bodies. I've never seen them before, but from what I can tell from googling they're been around several years at least. I'm not sure whether I should feel bad about buying a clone, but Volks has discontinued their 1/6 line and some of the models are getting pretty hard to get a hold of (particularly when international shipping costs are taken into account). 

Oh well, I gave the new body to Britney - it's not a perfect match colorwise (the clone is sliiightly more pink than Volks) but it's ok until I find the perfect head or body for either of them. The only downside as far as I'm concerned is that you don't get the different neck connectors that the Volks bodies usually come with, so I had to improvise with some rubber bands to get Britney's head to stay on. Also I think the body they cloned here is called S-type, which apparently originally came with extra leg sections to make the doll taller, but of course you don't get them either. This body still has the extra long foot pins to accomodate for them, though.

(There are no pics here because I'm lazy. I might add some later, otherwise they're all on my Flickr.)


EAH Cedar Wood review - with pics!

Got Cedar today! Review is under a cut because I messed with the settings and accidentally uploaded all the images in size huge.


December doll stuff pt. 1

Happy new year! I hope you've had/are having a good holiday. 
Instead of making a new fresh start, I'm beginning the year with some old leftover photos from December.  

This cheap doll set caught my eye at the local... well, I sometimes refer to it as a dollar store, but most things cost a lot  more than that even though it's mostly junk, so let's just call it The Cheap Junk Store. I love The Cheap Junk Store. When I moved here six years ago there were several similar shops, but now there's just this one to cater to all my cheap junk needs. They're great for candy and sketchbooks, but sadly their doll selection is mostly limited to the boring kinds of MH clones with tiny feet. The doll in this set is no better: just your regular Barbie clone with stick legs, but her blouse actually looked pretty cute so I decided to buy it. (Also I love pink plastic tea sets.)

As usual I apologize for the dark and grainy photos.

Boring doll with artfully toussled hair. Or maybe it's just messy. I tore her clothes off immediately. 

World on Ice Belle is on the ballerina Barbie body with a broken neck for now, mostly because the skintones matched. Her molded shoes match the outfit!

As expected the clothes are pretty badly made, but can still be made to look pretty good on the right doll. As usual, it's all about the angle! Ballerina Barbie is a bit too skinny for the skirt, and the apron is just the tiniest bit of fabric they could get away with.

It looks better on the smaller dolls, like Sarah Love here. Kindergarten fingerpainting time, anyone?

(Outside of actual ballet poses, the ballerina body is pretty limited in its posing ability. This is the most natural-looking pose I've been able to coax her into. I assume she's exhausted from holiday preparations.)

Kenya wore it best, though. The pastels match her eye shadow, plus she has a bigger choice of footwear (these are my favorites from the Steffi Love shoe pack).

She fills out the skirt a lot better. The velcro still looks a bit lumpy from the side, but like I said: all about the angle. From the front she looks great!

I'm thinking of replacing the velcro here with a couple of snaps before it tears the fabric, but I'm not sure there will be enough room to put them. Maybe some fabric glue or fray-stopping product might help.

I tried to pick the set with the least obvious faults, but there's still a seam on one sleeve that needs mending. It is a cute blouse, though, and if I find a good fabric that's thin enough I'm going to copy the pattern.  

Meanwhile, Belle is about to take a well-deserved nap under the christmas tree.