Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ooops I Did It Again - Blog Layout Revision

I've shifted from the Dynamic View layout to the Awesome layout. While I liked the clean lines of the Dynamic View, I missed having My Blog List, Archive Posts, and other features. The Awesome layout allows for those features to appear in the right column. The blog retains some of the airy qualities of the Dynamic View without the problems of that format. I like it. Sure, I could use a logo and maybe some color in the blog title and/or font variation. 

What do you think? Suggestions and problem alerts welcome. If something doesn't work, I'd love to know so that I can fix it. Any suggestions for a specific color or colors? Do you think PhillyCollector has a specific aura color? Do share.

Please note: the color p-i-n-k will not appear. That's right, I will consider any color BUT pink. I do not resent or dislike Mattel or the tradition of associating "the pink aisle" with "little girls and dolls." Barbie is featured often here, but this is not a solely Barbie enterprise. Pink is Mattel's marketing color, not mine. Of course, if you think this blog comes across as pink, let me know that.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Spring Cleaning Pt. 1: Mattel Fashion Fever Favorites - LOTS of Photos

Remember Mattel's Fashion Fever dolls from 2004-2008? I do. Those were nearly four of my most exciting Barbie collecting years. The hunt to find the new Waves and hard-to-find dolls like Desiree and Kayla from Wave L Well, I am going through my remaining tubed Fashion Fever dolls to see which ones stay and which ones go. You are invited to join me. I'm adding photos so you can follow my reasoning.       

Dolls in Waves A, C-F have either been deboxed already or were sold. Originally, I had the complete Wave B Fruits dolls: Barbie, Drew, Kayla, and Teresa. I sold Drew and Kayla some time ago. Shrug. No, I don't miss them. But I retained the Fruits Barbie and Teresa. Here's the Barbie from that set:                                  

Whole lot of pink going on here. Pink and blond hair, pink knit cap, and pink brocade tunic. But I think it works for this doll and this outfit. Check the view from this angle:

I love her pink and blond hair and the blunt haircut with bangs. I love her tanned complexion and kind expression. I love the pink brocade tunic and the dark denim jeans although I would have preferred that they NOT go for that scruffy, tattered style. Sigh. The white vinyl bag is okay. Maybe I will sell that? Not sure yet. I love the color - of the burgundy/maroon boots with their pink top-stitching. There is a story lurking in her.

Here is Wave B Fruits Teresa. Right off, I do not care for this face screening. It leaves me indifferent. I like the hair though. Hmmm ... nah, I don't feel like repainting her face to be more what I want. So, she can go? Not yet ...

I LOVE this outfit. I think I have kept her all these years because I think the outfit is fab. Barbie's Fruits outfit is attractive: I would even wear that one were the top in another color. This outfit, I would not wear - too trendy - but I enjoy seeing. It reminds me of Spring. Looks funky fun ... funky in a good way. The Asian Modern Trend from Wave T would look GREAT redressed in this outfit.

Decision: keep the Fruits Barbie and the outfit for the Fruits Teresa. Sell the Fruits Teresa doll.

Next up, Wave K's Gillian and Drew. I held out on opening Gillian and Drew because I wanted to open them on a special occasion. Never had any intention of selling them - just wanted to find the "perfect moment" to open them.

I like Gillian's freckles, her deep auburn hair color, and her solemn mien. She looks like a fashionable librarian. Just add wire-framed or frame-less glass spectacles. Poi-fect. Drew also has freckles, more of a strawberry blond hair color and an alert, friendly expression. Freckles aren't a feature I actively seek in my dolls, but sometimes, freckles will provide that extra distinction that tips a doll into my shopping basket. 

And for Wave K Drew ...

Gillian and Drew full length below. Decision: keep both.

Wave K Gillian

Wave K Drew

Wave N Shannen and Barbie Styled by Me. Shannen has the Tango face mold - one of my favorite Mattel face molds. I don't like this hair style or hair color on this doll. I would have given her center part black curly hair to her shoulders or a little below. I don't care for the outfit except the silver link belt. I LOVE that belt. It would look great against a black dress. Decision: keep Shannen AND the belt.

Barbie Styled by Me is a pretty doll. Her outfit is cute - lengthen that skirt so that it's midi length - and I could wear that fashion. My favorite item is the belt and the cap. Do I like those accessories enough to remove them? No. Better to leave the outfit intact. So she goes to the sale box. I like her, but paring down, I can let her go. The Oktoberfest Barbie will represent this Barbie look for me. So Styled by Me as well as similar-looking, Mackie-faced dolls can move on to new homes. Decision: sell Styled by Me.

Next, Wave R Modern Trend Kayla. Decision: keep her. She's one of my favorite Fashion Fever dolls. I had had TWO of her, but I sold one. She's shy but friendly. At one time, she was going to be Jilly after a character in Charles de Lint's urban fantasies. But with a Gillian already in the series, I canned that re-naming. Kayla she will remain until I find a better name for her. 

Wave R Modern Trend Kayla

Wave R Modern Trend Barbie - bye bye. Remember the comments about Styled by Me Barbie? Repeat here.

Wave R Modern Trend Barbie
I have a Wave S Modern Trend Kurt somewhere, but I know I want to sell him. The only tubed doll I have left in Wave T is the Modern Trend Asian doll. I don't think she was called Kayla. She's a definite keeper. Cute outfit, but even more, I like her face. She looks quiet and peaceful. 

Wave Benetton Paris Drew and Wave T Modern Trend Asian

Moving on to Wave U ... okay, I have a problem with how Mattel dressed one of these dolls. First, because the top doesn't seem age-appropriate. A teenager would not likely wear a fairytale princess top. Second, the colors do not suit her complexion. Third, did they have to place one of the three Black dolls in a top featuring a blond fairy princess? Really Mattel? Did you have to do that? 

Wave U Christie and Wave Benetton New York Christie/Desiree?

I think that this Wave U Black doll may have been the only Christie among the Fashion Fever dolls - unless the Benetton New York doll was also a Christie. (Kayla was racially ambiguous.) Wave U Christie looks timid to me. (Probably scared because Mattel made her wear that princess top - poor dear. Sigh.) Look how carefree and cheery the Benetton doll looks next to her. Even though Benetton New York wears the ugliest fashion in this series, she throws back her head and grins. She's not wearing the blond fairy top. Yeah, Benetton New York is a keeper - love her sassy strawberry blond curls and that wide grin. The outfit - shudder - goes on sale. It is incredibly ugly. Someone might find that remarkable.

So do I keep Wave U Christie? Heck, yes. Somebody has to get that top off her. And I like her two-toned hair and the surprisingly dark lip color. Re-dressed, she will look less stressed.

Here ends the first post on this theme. Part 1 of Spring Cleaning Dolls and Action Figures.

Happy Holidays, Easter and Passover.

Friday, April 18, 2014

So in Style 2014 - Grins are Back on Day to Nite Dolls!

Thanks, L'ubo for sharing this Flickr photo of 2014 So in Style Day to Nite line. Has anyone seen these dolls yet?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Versatile Blogger Award, Part 2 - Thanks, jSarie!

jSarie of Revenge of the Toy Box bestowed a Versatile Blogger award on PhillyCollector. Thanks, jSarie! I appreciate the honour. Now to complete my part beyond accepting the Award, here are my 15 nominees:

Yes, some who have already won prizes. Please note: if you have won this Award or some other Award recently, I am not a Blog Award Enforcer. Follow through as you will (or not). I appreciate your blogs, and I want you to know that. Thanks. 

If I visit your blog often, but you are not listed here, I still value your blog. Most of these blogs I have followed for years. These bloggers feature playscale figures or playscale news. Some bloggers, I wanted to know - hey, I enjoy your work. I wanted to strike a balance to include review blogs, storytelling blogs, and craft-themed blogs. There are so many good blogs out, it was hard to choose only 15! There will be future blog awards.

Wishing those who celebrate Palm Sunday, a lovely, peace-filled day. Again, jSarie of Revenge of the Toy Box - thanks for choosing my blog. My best wishes to all. Blog on!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

April Holidays Observed in Playscale

Mattel Goddess of Spring Barbie

I missed April Fool's Day. The first week of April is gone. I have yet to submit a "themes of the month" post. Well, here it is. Topics that might be covered in April - my source for these dates is the TimeandDate.com website, holiday tab.

We'll start with the obvious: Spring and Spring Cleaning. Yes, Spring started on March 20th, but we are just beginning to feel it here in Philadelphia. We survived this bitter cold and snow-suffocating Winter; now we are getting a few days of sunshine and warmth. (April showers, too, but hey, it's not slippery ice.) 

Mattel's Goddess of Spring Barbie heads this post as my [once] only Spring-themed doll. Mattel has produced many other Spring Barbie dolls. That's a good theme topic: dress dolls and action figures in Spring fashions. Banish the coats and scarves and boots. Bright and airy fashions for all!

While Spring Cleaning is not a holiday, many people observe it by cleaning and clearing out stuff. This year, I intend to celebrate my doll enthusiasm by cleaning my fine figures and forwarding (i.e., selling and/or giving away) others. Perhaps, the Goddess of Spring Barbie was not my only Spring-themed doll. Time to go through my collection to see what I have and what I no longer want so that I can make room for new characters. Collecting is cyclical like the seasons: time now to do weeding and pruning to allow for new growth. 

Here are more special April days that are or could be observed in playscale:

15th is the first day of Passover. Does anyone else find the absence of Passover Barbies odd given that Ruth Handler, Barbie's human mother/creator was Jewish? I am not making an argument for a Passover Barbie, just commenting. Dolls do not have to match the race or ethnicity or religion* of the person or people creating and distributing the dolls, right? Then again, just because Mattel has not formally created a Passover Barbie, others have.

20th is Easter Sunday Mattel has produced several Easter Barbies and Easter Kelly / Chelsea dolls. With no disrespect or malice meant towards any, I think of Easter Barbie and family as commercial, not so much religious as event-focused. Easter Bunny, Easter bonnets, egg hunts, chocolate eggs, and marshmallow Peeps aside, Easter is a religious holiday. Isn't it? Or can it be that Easter - like Christmas - has become ... more secular? I wonder.

21st is Patriot's Day. Whew, off the hot button of religion and collecting - don't ask why I open mouth and insert both feet at times - and on to a less volatile subject. I include Patriot's Day here although I drew a blank when I first read about it. It isn't a big Philly holiday - so I probably will not do any tributes here. Still, I mention it in case someone else is seeking an April holiday/observation.

22nd is Earth Day. Recycling holiday. Instead of lamenting the plastic gone into making dolls and action figures, we can make sure that none go to waste. Make something new and fresh with your dolls. One artist created her vision of an Earth Day Barbie that strikes me as bizarre because I think of Barbie as being plastic. And she's fine being plastic - that's the medium she began in and can stay in for my interests. So I'm thinking recycling projects for that day. And recycling links! Yes!

23rd is Administrative Professionals Day. As a former and possibly future administrative professional, I will acknowledge this day. Some of my ex-military action figures can have a new career.

25th is Arbor Day. Okay, tree day ... wooden furniture? Ouch! No! Dolls and action figures encircling trees? Yeah, right. Maybe playscale trees ... now that's better.

Will you be celebrating any days in April with your dolls and/or action figures? Share your links in the comments. Thanks!

*added religion to be more accurate.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Help Mattel Harry Potter Transfer to an Obitsu Teen Body

Calling DAF kitbashers around the world: Julian Syphon - né Harry Potter (Mattel) - wants to be articulated.

Obitsu neck and Mattel Harry neck

Several years ago, I bought an Obitsu male teen body to make Julian (Harry) an articulated teen. Unfortunately, I encountered two problems. First: although both Julian and the Obitsu teen body are pale, they are different pale shades. Julian has a pinkish tint to his pale complexion; the Obitsu body, an ivory tint. Not an insurmountable problem once he is dressed. But the second problem is that the necks are not readily compatible. Julian has what I think of as a cookie jar top style head/neck topping a stump neck base/body. The Obitsu body has a slender neck with a toggle to hold the head. That's the real problem: the head/neck variation.

If I remove Julian's head only, it is wider than the Obitsu neck so it would wobble around the toggle. If I glued his head to the toggle, he could not turn his head. A possible solution would involve doll surgery. I could cut Julian's head and most of his neck from his body, fit that head/neck over the Obitsu neck and glue it in place. So Harry would be able to turn his head. But would there be a gap and how to fill that smoothly? Also, that would leave the original Harry Potter body useless except for doll limb retrieval. Hmmm ...

Why bother? Well, I would like to have a more limber Julian. And the Obitsu body feels lost without a head. Every body needs a head, right? See the Obitsu body's moves in the following photos. There needs to be a head atop that body.

Obitsu Male Teen Body Mattel Harry Potter

Obitsu body and Mattel Harry size comparison

Obitsu body and Mattel Harry rear

Obitsu seated

Obitsu pulls in right leg

Obitsu extends right leg

Obitsu lifts left leg

Obitsu knees up

Obitsu knees down

Obitsu right arm bent

Obitsu left arm detail

Obitsu falls back

Obitsu crawls

Okay, you might find the Obitsu body a little delicate. A little on the frail side - compared to Julian's (Harry's) original Mattel body. Sigh. But it is fun to pose him. And since Julian has lost his wizard background and become a mere Muggle, surely he deserves some compensation. Like a limber body that he can dance in.

So, if you have any advice or know someone who could offer some advice, do please share solutions. Help make a head and a body connection.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Versatile Blogger Award, Part 1 - Thanks, jSarie!

jSarie of Revenge of the Toy Box bestowed a Versatile Blogger award on PhillyCollector. Thanks, jSarie! I appreciate the honour. I will list my 15 nominees this weekend, but I will start with sharing about me. Because that's the easier of the actions - wink, wink. So many good blogs out, and how to choose only 15!

Here are 7 things I would like you to know about me:

1.) Some of my dolls and action figures have back stories; others do not yet. 

2.) I live with an intact tom cat named Louie who has black hair and green eyes. 

3.) I will customize a doll or action figure if I think the head is too big sooner than to have better articulation.

4.) I have dolls and action figures in different races because I am curious about the world and its many peoples, but I love the comforts of home.

5.) Eating just the right brands of dark chocolate will make me feel calmer and happier.

6.) I wish my collection were better organized; I am working on making that a reality.

7.) I love using personal computers and accessing the Internet - for work or for play.