Clone doll jewelry store play set (thrift store find)

The thing is, I've got a whole bunch of cool thrift store finds I've been putting off posting about, since all the photos I take somehow end up looking like crap. But in the end I decided this thing was too good to not share, so you'll just have to bear with me.

Thrift store find!
Ooh how exciting!
Jewelry store/beauty salon
There's three separate pieces, I just pushed them together to fit in the frame.
It's some kind of... jewelry store? Beauty salon? Dressing room? I'm not quite sure actually, but it has so many of the things I love in doll furniture. Working lights! Oddly designed jewelry! Even more oddly designed compartments to hold the jewelry! Actually sort of looks like a believable room! This is probably the best thing I've found in a long time in a thrift store - and it was reasonably priced, too! (I will never understand their pricing policy, in fact I don't think it can ever be comprehended by any human mind.)

Oh yeah, working lights:

Jewelry store - lights!
For once the awful lighting conditions work in my favor!
It's those two things by the mirror - I forgot to take a close-up, but they're like little sconces with facet cut "glass" shades. Very tasteful! I'm thinking the mirror section could actually look great on its own in a dollhouse or diorama.

Jewels! And... stuff.
For a sale, it's surprisingly tidy.
There's all sorts of weird jewelry: a couple of tiaras, necklaces, different kinds of Also there's a bag that doesn't open and a pair of fake human-size make-up brushes (one of which are missing in this picture). Why? Who knows. They remind me a bit of the fake make-up set I had as a child: a white and pink compact with plastic squares in different pink shades to rub the little plastic brush on. At the time I think I was vaguely annoyed that it was such a pointless toy (it could have had watercolor in it at least!), but as an adult I love weird fake toy versions of real things. There's also that golden comb, and that... bottle-looking thingy, which I think is supposed to be a perfume bottle? Except the carefully designed compartment has it placed upside down, plus it opens in half but it doesn't seem to be actually good for anything. I've decided it's actually a hip flask, for the poor unfortunate soul that gets dragged along to watch you try on jewelry for hours.

The jewelry itself isn't actually super useful: personally I'm not a fan of this kind of fantasy style 1/6 jewelry, and the shape of the necklaces is a bit off (or made to fit a particular clone doll?) so they don't always lie flat around the doll's neck. But there's one or two I like, and the earrings with the green jewels (well, stickers) are pretty cute, although I'll have to double-check the pins for sharp plastic edges that could tear the earholes before I use them on a doll.

Another fun feature is that the hair clips come with replaceable parts, for whatever reason. It is a pretty odd choice, and it makes them extra big and clumsy, but I like the idea in all its ridiculousness.

Jewelry transformers!
Why? Well, why not?
Also, all the little jewelry parts have their own little place that's made just for them, except they're designed more for show than for convenient storage, which is one of those typical breaks in realism you get with this kind of playline furniture. It does make it pretty easy to determine exactly what's missing, though.

As usual, I marvel at the fact that pretty much all the accessories are still there. There's only one or two missing - yes, I know there's more missing in the picures, but that's because I lost them while I was unpacking, cleaning and setting it up to take the pictures! And I still haven't found the little pink clothes hanger you can see in the first picture. So no, I don't really understand these children who don't lose their toys, but I will be forever grateful to them for eventually donating the intact playsets to goodwill, giving me a chance to lose the little earrings instead. Thank you, whoever you are!

I don't have a definitive ID yet, but I actually came across a picture of a very similar set completely by accident. This is by toomanypictures1/Susan Hall on Flickr:

Identification help please?
It's basically the same set, but a slightly different version: mine doesn't come together into one unit like this, and instead of the floor thing each separate section has its own lavender-colored socket. Someone in the comments suggests it's from a clone doll line called Fashion Corner/Lucky Dolls, but I haven't been able to google up any useful info on them. Come to think of it, I feel like I've seen a similar set sold for Jenny or Licca dolls, but I may be mistaken. Anyway, if you know where it's from I'd appreciate any info.

A clue...?
This "C&M" stamp on one of the necklaces is the only marking.

(There's a couple more photos at my flickr.)


Dollmore 12'' Basic Gem BJD-ish ABS body (a review, kind of)

Well, I was going to post about a bunch of interesting thrift store stuff from the last two weeks or so, but then my Dollmore package arrived and sort of took precendence. This is the first strung doll I own that I haven't made myself, and one that doesn't seem to be very popular - or at least not widely blogged about in any language I read, so I thought I might as well give her a proper introduction.

So: Dollmore Neo Gem 12'' ABS fashion doll, strung and ball-jointed but ...doesn't qualify as a proper BJD according to hobby purists, apparently? Actually, I'm not even going into that discussion. For the purpose of this blog and my collection, this is a BJD - although not a very good one, that much I'll admit. We'll get there in a minute.

Dollmore 12'' Neo Gem ABS body


Easy Rider Kevin Love by Simba on German ebay

This isn't much of a post, but I just found this ad for a used 1980s Easy Rider Kevin Love on German ebay. And in case you're wondering why I thought that worthy of a post, here's what this guy looks like:

Easy Rider Kevin nrfb
Photo by farmspeedracer on flickr

Pretty much the most hilarious doll ever made. Apparently there was a whole tribe of them.

Steffi Love Booklet: Easy Rider Dolls
Photo by farmspeedracer on flickr

Sadly, the seller won't ship outside Germany, but at least you can go look at a few better photos of him for about five more days. And you really should, because his chaps are a thing to behold.


New fabric store and a shirt for Lottie

Good news: I found a fabric store that sells thin cotton fabric with cute prints by the decimeter! Not only that, but they had the exact red-and-black striped fabric I've been looking for for years. I don't know anything about the fabric business, but it's a pretty generic striped fabric so maybe it's just been continuously in production for decades? I only had a tiny square, probably from one of those discount scrap bags, and thought it would make a good Ken shirt, but I messed up when I cut it and didn't have enough for a second attempt. Well, now I know where to find it. For now I just got some cheap white cotton fabric, the thinnest I could find. It really makes a lot of difference when sewing in 1/6 scale.

While I was out and about, I took the chance to go look at the newest Lottie dolls in the flesh plastic. I'm afraid I have to report that Finn looks even more like a troll IRL, and the shoes in his fishing accessory set don't look as good as in the photos. Oh well. The Lottie doll I was mostly interested in is School Days Lottie, who comes with big black glasses and - surprise! - some kind of school uniform. The outfit looks a bit cheap unfortunately, although the backpack with the cat on it is really cute. The doll itself looks pretty much identical to the one I already have (Pandora's Box Lottie, dark brown hair and brown eyes) so I think I'll go with the Robot Girl instead if I get another one.

(Also, there's a hair care set for Lottie now. I don't know what they were thinking, since the brush has what looks like thick bunches of bristles set really far apart - it doesn't look like it would be at all suitable for doll hair. Just give the kid a comb instead!)

Lottie's new shirt

When I got home, I decided to take some inspiration from the less-than-inspired Lottie school uniform and use my new fabric to make a simple shirt for Lottie. I was too lazy to make a proper pattern, so it took a few failed attempts, and I never got the collar quite right. Most of the mistakes are cleverly hidden in the back though, so it's all good. The skirt is just a scrap held on with pins, and a decorative safety pin like on the dress I had when I was a kid.

Lottie shirt - back
Cheating with pins!
Also, here's the Dora the Explorer kitchen section from last week! The clear plastic in the oven was missing, so I just cut a replacement piece from some packaging material. Like I mentioned, the ...burners? light up when you press them, but they require those weird AAA batteries so I don't know if they're working or not. (Come to think of it, isn't it kind of weird to have a toy that actively encourages children to touch a hot stove top?)

Dora the Explorer kitchen
NOOO Lottie don't touch that


LPS Blythe, tiny '80s heart prints, and the cruel fate of well-loved dolls

So while I contemplate a possible blog move/duplicate, I'll keep double-posting my latest thrift store finds here and on Flickr.

The Kid Kore doll from last month has been washed and detangled and has a new hairdo. Her hair had frizzy ends and I had just bought a set of cheap colorful hair accessories, so I decided braids was the best option. She needs a dress to match but I've been too lazy to make one.

Kid Kore Katie - new hairdo
Reminds me of those early '90s United Colors of Benetton Barbies

The hip joints on this doll are hideous, but I kind of like that the design is so no-nonsense. Doll needs to be able to sit? No problem, we'll just slice of a bit of plastic - BAM, done. And, well, she does sit better than many other dolls with more esthetically pleasing joints, so... 

Kid Kore Katie hip joint
Function over form!

Here's a surprise from the bargain bin: a Littlest Pet Shop Blythe! I think she's called Tokyo Tea something or other. I've been able to resist Blythe so far, but she was in such good shape, with only slightly tousled hair, and with actual clothes! and shoes! that can be removed!! that I decided to add her to my collection.

LPS Blythe!
So cute!

 I think her outfit is adorable, although I wish she could have flat feet so she could stand properly. (Not that she'd be able to anyway with that head.)

LPS Blythe shoes
Tiny feet, tiny shoes.

Also found a first edition Rockers Diva that was way too expensive, but her hair was in pretty good shape and she had some of her original clothes (and I thought that orange vinyl belt buckle was really cool), and I've gotten it in my head that I ought to hoard Diva molds whenever they appear. Now I realize I'm not at all a fan of the makeup on the 1st ed dolls - I was going to say something about repaint, but we all know how that ends up, right? She's on a fashionista body now and doesn't fit in her original outfit, but Betty does:

1st edition Diva outfit
I don't know how that belt works, but come on: orange vinyl!

For some reason I've found a lot of romantic '80s outfits with little prints lately. I considered gathering them all in one photo for Valentine's day, but then I got lazy. Anyway, here's two of them:

Thrift store outfit
Usually the edges curl the other way

This lavender set has tiny printed hearts and one of those big '80s collars of flocked syntetic material that always curls up on itself after washing it in hot water, unless you carefully press it while it dries. Which I didn't. I don't know what the deal is, but I have at least three Barbie dresses/shirts with this type of collar. The blouse and skirt itself are made of a rather course cotton. It could have been home made, except there's a tag (MADE IN CHINA). The stripes on the skirt may have been white originally, but they still kind of match the buttons.

Cute heart skirt

Aya is wearing the heart print skirt that I found laying all by its lonesome in one of the doll bins last month. It's not usually you find good doll clothes on their own at goodwill, and I've never really figured out whether it's ok to buy them separately - most likely they fell off some doll, but usually it's impossible to tell which one since they're all wearing pretty much whatever, or nothing at all. There's a lot of wear and tear on the toys at thrift stores, particularly since kids don't really understand the concept of "toys everywhere! except you're not allowed to play with them" and parents often don't seem to care. Sometimes I'll see a doll with missing legs and no clothes that was whole and dressed the week before.

I just read PlastigFfantastig's post about the tiny handmade fashion magazine from the '60s she found in an eBay lot, and it got me thinking about the fate of thrift store dolls in home-made clothes. Lately I've spotted a few dolls that I kind of feel like I should have saved for posterity, even though they're not my usual type. Usually it's a cheap knock-off doll, the kind with hollow plastic "bubble" limbs and no stamp, and with hopelessly cut or frizzled hair, and with clothes made by kids or at least not someone who's good with a sewing machine. Unhemmed edges, big stitches, will probably fall apart if you try to remove it. Not pretty, but it's obvious that someone loved that doll, even though the monetary value may not be very high. Usually when I see dolls like that I take a photo if convenient, but since I don't have unlimited money or space I don't buy them. And then I come back a week later and someone's tried to pull off the dress and torn the legs off in the process. That usually makes me sad, and I'm starting to think maybe those dolls would be more worth collecting than just another Fashionista body for the ever-growing rebody pile. A sociologist might find those dolls quite interesting.


tumblr? also stoves and a question about english

There are a few thrift store finds from last month I've been meaning post about, but I keep forgetting I need daylight to photograph them properly. Yeah, I know. It's probably time for a trip to IKEA's lighting department - not this month, though, since I put all my doll money into that Dollmore body I've been talking about. We'll see how much I regret it at the end of the month, but with the dollar rising and the free shipping offer, I figured it's now or never. It'll be good to have an actual strung doll around to familiarize myself with the mechanism, especially if I'm going to make my own.

Also, I've been thinking of maybe moving the blogging to Tumblr instead: it's a better platform for short smalltalk-y posts or a single (blurry) photo, and I don't write a lot of long essays or reviews anyway. The major downside is only registered users can comment on posts, but you can always allow anonymous questions. On the other hand, I already post most of my photos to flickr anyway, and I sometimes feel just having this blog in addition is a bit redundant (although it's great for following blogs). So I should probably concentrate on one platform instead of trying to *~build a media empire~* or something, but which one? (And they said computers would make our lives easier!)

Anyway, today's thrift store find is a Dora the Explora' Explorer kitchen ...section? You know: the piece with a stove with a cupboard above. The other parts of the set were nowhere be found, so I don't know what I'm missing out on, but the stove top lights up when you press a button which is pretty cool. Plus it's not pink! It is covered in Dora the Explorer stickers though, so not entirely realistic, but I guess I can pretend Kelly or Chelsea or someone put them there.

Speaking of which, here's something that's been bugging me: why are all kitchen sets supposedly made for 11½'' dolls so low? I've passed on nice kitchen sets because I thought they were for smaller scale dolls, before I realized they're all like that. I guess it's nice for Barbie to be able to reach the highest shelves without asking Ken for help, but I still would prefer if they had sacrificed a few extra cm2 of plastic to make them look more realistic. (Not that I've ever really bothered with trying to build a realistic diorama for my dolls to live in - their entire world is basically an IKEA couch in the middle of nowhere, aka the kitchen table. But still!)

Question of the day: I just realized I have no idea what the round parts on top of the stove top that heat up and that you put pots on to cook food are actually called in English. Weird, but true. Google gave me a bunch of technical terms that all seem to refer to one specific type of stove only - is there a good everyday word that covers them all?
You know, these things.