Monday, December 15, 2014

Smartees Alert - Handle With Extreme Care

Do you have any of the Smartees fashion dolls? These are the Barbie alternatives produced between 1999-2001 whose focus was careers outside the fashion and modeling industries. Amanda the Architect, Destiny the Doctor, Emily the Entrepreneur ... yes, those dolls. If you do have them, I suggest that you handle your Smartees dolls with extreme care because they are more frail than they seem. Several of mine have had the legs break at the right hip connection.

Taylor the Teacher was the first doll whose right leg snapped off. She fell from my hand to a table. Okay, I suppose I should have been careful. The fall distance did not seem far to me. I have dropped click bend kneed Barbies from greater distances than that. Oh yes, I winced. Then Caitlin the Cook's right leg cracked when I tried to cross her leg. Oh no, I wailed. Then Amanda the Architect's right leg snapped when I was taking off her black stockings. Oh sh-t, I said. Three breaks at the same place - what are my Smartees trying to tell me?

Sigh. You can see the break in this photograph.

Close-up of Smartees doll's broken leg-hip connection
Smartees leg-hip break

Okay, these fashion dolls are from 13-15 years old. While the material is decent enough for a "small name brand" doll, it was not intended to last for centuries. So I and others interested in "playing with" these dolls should be careful and gentle with them. Or be prepared to find them replacement bodies.

I would rather not swap articulated bodies for the Smartees dolls because their original bodies are good quality. No leaky plastics, no sticky residue. The waist twist. The knees bend. The arms bend at the elbows - although they have no articulation at the wrist ("paddle arms"). I prefer to save my articulated bodies for dolls with limited posing ability.

Smartees Amanda with leg broken and showing "paddle" arms
Smartees Amanda and "paddle arms"
So handle your Smartees with care, but if they should break as mine have done, please remember their age. They aren't antiques or "vintage," but they are mature in doll years.

Monday, December 8, 2014

New Pinterest Board: I am NOT B@rbie

Collector Confession: when I see Fashion Royalty dolls labelled as "Barbies," I correct the error in my mind, but I would love to have a magic eraser to remove the error and a magic pen to enter the correct name. It's not a value matter - Integrity Toys' Fashion Royalty dolls have their good points. Mattel dolls have their good points. But ... they are NOT the same. Think Kleenex brand versus the generic word, tissue. Barbie is NOT the generic word for all playscale or all plastic fashion dolls. Other manufacturers deserve credit for the products they create. 

A doll enthusiast buddy, Playscale Poser, suggested I  upload photos of non-Barbie dolls I have to help others identify those dolls.

So I have decided to do my part in seeing that dolls and action figures are properly identified. 

Drumroll ... I unleash a NEW Pinterest board, I am NOT B@rbie . There, I'll post photos of other dolls and action figures. I only have about 14 pins up, but I plan on adding more. Suggestions always welcome.

Lanard I-Girl Sahara
Do you recognize me?

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Playscale Booty Babe Dolls? Links to Adult Content

Warning: links show voluptuous female statues. Do not click if such images would offend you.

Booty Babe is a series of full-figured female resin statues created by Spencer Davis in 1998. The artist added clay to an unspecified 1/6 scale fashion doll, and some time later, voilà, Booty Babe was born. (You can read this interview about the artist and his work.) I first saw Booty Babe on doll enthusiast Roxanne's blog: the rounded Booty Babe offers an interesting contrast to the more familiar slim fashion dolls and action figures.

Recently, Mr. Davis launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the production of additional 1/6 scale Booty Babe dolls/statues. That campaign netted $29, 231 dollars - surpassing the goal of $15,000 - this January. Successful campaign, yes? However, I think that these art doll/statues will remain more statue than doll in spite of the scale and the rooted hair. The line breaks for articulation would probably "disrupt" the vision.

Would I buy this doll if she were produced as an articulated doll with joints at her neck, shoulders, hips, elbows, and knees? For body diversity? To have a new face? Maybe. However, her eyes are shut. Closed eyes to me means sleeping, dead, or tuning me out. My dolls can *sleep* when I am not around - wink. I don't have any uses for a dead doll. No zombie stories pending. Tuning me out - well, that seems rude. But that's me.

Here are two other opinions. A male guest reviewer discusses his enthusiasm about Booty Babe. Another reviewer has a different stance.

You might wonder if there are any buxom fashion dolls in East Philly. Yes, there are. And they make standard Barbie look small. Here are three of them: Eegee Dolly Parton, Blue Box Perfect Body action figure, and PhillyCollector regular, Aoshima/Skynet Girl's Mission Mai

Additional Reading?

Monday, December 1, 2014

December Themes and Catching Up on Past Themes


That phrase will appear a lot this month. I want to complete viable post drafts. Get better photos up. Like this photo of Dragon Ben Yahzee (Adam Beach) and Mattel Barbie Princess of the Navajo that was to have been part of my Native American doll and action figure post. I think they look great together.

Dragon Ben Yahzee (Adam Beach) and Mattel Barbie Princess of the Navajo
Dragon Ben Yahzee (Adam Beach) and Mattel Barbie Princess of the Navajo

Other topics I want to address this month:

December 17 Chanukah/Hanukkah 

December 21 December Solstice

December24 Christmas Eve

December 25 Christmas

December 26 Kwanzaa

December31 New Year's Eve

Happy December, all!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

October Theme: Filipino American Representation in Playscale, Pt.2

Here are some dolls or action figures I have "borrowed" to expand a Filipino American collection. Which ones do you think "work"  for this role?

Asian/Asian American Dolls and action figures
Asian/Asian American Dolls and action figures

Let's meet them, going from left to right:

Hasbro Special Response Team G. I. Joe (Asian)

Hasbro Special Response Team G. I. Joe - yes, he is an Asian American G.I. Joe.

Mattel Captain Li Shang from Mulan

Mattel Captain Li Shang - per the Disney Mulan story, he is Chinese. Maybe he has
Chinese Filipino background?

Jakks Pacific G.I.R.L. Force Kulture Shock Jaz

Jakks Pacific G.I.R.L. Force Kulture Shock Jaz - I need to find her box, but I don't think she was assigned to a specific Asian group.

Dragon New Generation Mong Kok C.I.D. "Wai" Sir

Dragon New Generation Mong Kok C.I.D. "Wai" Sir- okay, he is assigned to a specific part of Hong Kong, Mong Kok, so he's Chinese or a Hong Konger.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

New Desi Barbie, Kiyaa Celebrating Girlhood

Looking for a new Desi (Indian) fashion doll? Welcome Kiyaa, the newly touted Indian counterpart to Barbie, created by Hima Sailaja Theerdala. The former software engineer and present entrepreneur created Kiyaa to represent Indian looks and values. Kiyaa is a sixteen-year-old, "girl-next-door type." While the doll's height is not explicitly stated, she does look Barbie-sized in the photos I have seen of her online. Kiyaa is presently up for pre-order from the entrepreneur's new design house, Shel Studio, which also offers designer fashions for children. Price? 698 rps ... magic of translates to $11.21 USD.

Would I add a Kiyaa to my collection? Yes. Once I have thinned my present collection. I am waiting to hear if Shel Studio will ship to the U.S.A. If there were a limited issue of the dolls, I would leave them for their intended audience, Indian children. If they were religious icons, likewise. But mass produced, playscale, fashion dolls? I am in that line.

Anyone reading this post have a Kiyaa doll now or plan on getting her? Do write and share the link to your photos. I LOVE new dolls. 

Mattel Indian Barbie
Competition comes to Mattel's Indian Barbie

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Glue-head Barbie Information Requested

Does anyone know if there is a list of glue-headed Barbies online? Are the dolls issued from one or more countries? Does anyone know which dolls started with this problem? Any links - including your own - smile - to blog posts or online articles about this problem.

Why do I want to know?

1. so that I can not buy those dolls

2. because I was asked about it.

Thanking you in advance for any feedback.

P.S. Does anyone have the url of the petition demanding Mattel eliminate the glue-filled heads problem. Thanks again!