Monday, March 30, 2009

Uploaded New Integrity Playline Photos in Webshots Album

I've uploaded more of my Integrity playline - Janay and friends dolls. Have to correct some typos - ack! no! - but there are now five pages of photos. Some need to be deleted, but I'm too tired tonight. Some are surprisingly good or at least good to my weary eyes.

Here's the Webshots URL:

Integrity folder

Thanks for viewing

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Smartees: Smart Friends for Smart Girls

Ten years ago - 1999 - the Smartees were introduced to the doll-buying public. These dolls were "smart friends for smart girls." Though Barbie-sized, they were not beauty-glamor focused. Each doll presented a different career. Career-related accessories were included with the dolls as well as the standard comb and brush.

First there were four:

Ashley the Attorney
Destiny the Doctor
Emily the Entrepreneur
Vicky the Veterinarian

Then there were six:

The original four plus
Alexis the Artist
Jessica the Journalist

And then seven:

Taylor the Teacher joined the group

Nine - two more professionals:

Amanda the Architect
Caitlin the Chef

And finally, ten:

Nicole the Nurse

I have all except Alexis the Artist. You can see photos of my Smartees dolls here

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Indian Kelly Joins Indian Barbie and Indian Ken

India has another Barbie family member: Kelly.

You can see photos of various Indian Kellys available for local (India) and worldwide shipping here at

Please note: I have not purchased from this company so I cannot comment about the service. I am providing the link for the viewing pleasure of Kelly fans or those interested in Barbies from India. If anyone familiar with this company would like to add a comment, I would love to read it. Thanks in advance for any comments submitted about these Kellys.

Happy Collecting!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Roville Update as of March 19, 2009

Robin has a new character showing on Roville. Lovely scenes and settings as usual. No dialogue for this photostory, but you get to see the new character at play and learn her occupation.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

New Doll and Action Figure Sources

I thought when K B Toys, National Wholesale Liquidators, and Value City closed, that my access to local stores selling recent AND reduced-price items was done. I am happy to report that my sad assumptions were wrong. There remain places where I and other DAF collectors can find reduced-price DAFs for reasonable prices. Here are three altermatives to Walmart, Target, Kohl's:

Check individual stores - the 2520 West Moreland Road (Willow Grove) store has the best 1:6 scale selection of the stores I have visited so far; the 701 Market Street (Center City Philly), the 4640 Roosevelt Boulevard, and the 2426 S 23rd Street (South Philly) stores had few 1:6 offerings when I visited those stores. I have not yet checked the new Ross at 3001 W Cheltenham Avenue (Wyncote).

Recently, I bought a Cheetah Girl Dorinda for $4.99 at the Willow Grove Ross.

Check individual stores - the 34 S. 69th Street (Upper Darby) store has a dedicated toy section; the 2370 Oregon Avenue and 101 E. Olney Avenue stores may or may not have 1:6 scale DAFs.

A.J. Wright
Check individual stores - the 1000 Easton Road location (Wyncote) has a smaller 1:6 scale toy selection than the one at 700 E. Hunting Park Avenue.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Photo That Inspired a Custom Sofa

I love the colors in this photo: the dark, peppery red, the tawny-gold pants, the Power Team figure's dark brown hair and his warm, ruddy-tan coloring. Cute as he is, sprawled across the wine tapestry rug, he deserved better.

A black leather sofa, I think. Yes, that's what he needs. So I bought a leather-like remainder piece and set aside two of the Fashion Royalty shipping boxes. Just need to set aside time to put the sofa together.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Customizing Projects - Improving DAF Aesthetics

In addition to repairs needed - and the mentioned Joe and Roxy are just the most prominent ones - I have some customizing projects.

1. Find a washer that will allow me to keep Mattel Flavas P Bo's head on the Bbi Johanna Dark body. I thought that the head for Flavas P Bo was too big for her body. I had a Johanna Dark figure whose head didn't thrill me. While the Johanna Dark body is a little sallow for a perfect complexion match, P Bo's head fits that body much better than she did on her original body.

2. Find replacement bodies for the twin sisters from the 12 Dancing Princesses, Hadley and Isla. Their heads are way too big for their bodies.

3. Repaint the Babysitter Courtney head that I have on a poser My Scene Barbie body. Another case of big head on a small body. I'm thinking of cutting her hair, too.

Customizing dolls and action figures is fun, but even more, you can adjust the figure to reflect your taste and interests. I might create a new photo folder at Webshots to show my customized dolls and action figures. If I do, I'll send notice here.

Mending a Doll and an Action Figure

I've got two Hasbro figures: Misfits Roxy and Adventure Team G.I. Joe that need to be put together. Roxy's inner ring-connector that attaches her upper torso (head, bust, and arms) to her lower torso (hips and legs) broke. I don't think I can glue the broken bits together: the glue might not keep the plastic parts together - or doing so might freeze her to one position. I'll check online DAF boards to see if there are any tips on how to fix this problem.

Joe is a more difficult case. He's one of my childhood Joes, and he's been broke for years. His stringing popped. His head lopped off the silvery nail inside his neck. His arms fell off, and I only have the right one. His left calf unconnected from his left knee. Joe, I might have to send out. Sigh.

I don't like the idea of sending any of my figures out for repairs. I should be able to fix them myself. Or re-body them. But this AT Joe - African American and vintage - would probably be costly to replace. Hmmm ... will need to see what repairs I can do.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Welcome Barbie, Dolls of the World - Spain!

Lovely Pink Label Barbie - Spain, Dolls of the World Collection - arrived today. My Mom saw her at A.J. Wright's for $14.99 and got her for me. She's the first doll of this month.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Copyright Text

I've added a copyright notice to the bottom of this blog. Being a modest person (cough, cough), I doubt that my text or photos are snatchable. Then again, it is better to be safe and to be "protected" than to meander about like the Tarot card Fool. So I added the notice.

Deep shrug.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

New Doll Review of YNU Group Mixis Opal SE

Earlier today, I submitted a doll review on for Mixis Opal Sunset Edition with Curly Hair by YNU Group Inc.

I was pleased to see that there was another review for the Limited Edition Opal. The reviewer for the LE Opal is Debbie Behan Garrett, author of Black Dolls: A Comprehensive Guide to Celebrating, Collecting, and Experiencing the Passion.

Here's to the continuation of the Mixis dolls.

10 Series of Barbie Doll Alternatives, Past and Present

Barbie, Barbie, Barbie.


The playscale fashion doll scene seems to revolve around Barbie. Shorthand: fashion doll = Barbie. Non-collectors describe dolls not produced by Mattel or under the Barbie brand as "Barbie." Collectors compare other fashion dolls to Barbie: cheap playscale dolls are called "Barbie clones." Clone in this case is a negative. But is every playscale figure a Barbie clone? Usually, clones are cheaply made, poor quality dolls like some of the dollar store offerings. What about decent quality or even better quality playscale fashion dolls? Do they exist?

Yes, they do. Here are ten playscale doll series that "correct" or "improve" on some aspect of Barbie. They are less sophisticated, more ethnically "correct" or physically realistic, more brazen in three cases, more "intelligent," or otherwise ANTI-Barbie.

1. Ideal - Tammy the Doll You Love to Dress

2. Various companies - Sindy the Doll You Love to Dress

3. Hasbro - JEM

4. Hamilton Designs - Candi Girl / Candi (later designed by Jason Wu and Integrity Toys)

5. Get Real Girls

6. Get Set Club

7. Lanard - I-Girls

8. Smartees

9. Mattel - Flavas

10. MGA Entertainment - Bratz

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Murder Among Doll Collectors - Mystery by Deb Baker

I have read a lot of mystery and suspense novels, but I have JUST learned of a murder mystery involving doll collectors. Doll collecting is often a solitary hobby. Throw a doll collector club in though and well, read and see. Deb Baker is the author, but here is a link to Molly Weston's blog "Meritorious Mysteries" for the review of

Dolled up for Murder

I haven't read this book yet so I cannot comment on it. However, it is on my list of books to look for at the library or in the bookstores. I look forward to reading about other collectors - even fictional ones.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Magnifying Glass and Close-up Photos

EA aka ModernWizard sparked this follow-up post.

First, I want to applaud your close-up photos of Anneka and her grandmother in the Love Has Fangs chapter, "4.8: "Gaudeamus Igitur". The clarity of the close-ups enhanced the story and drew this reader briefly into the intimate world of Anneka and her grandmother. The magnifying glass "trick" transcends trick status when it renders such detailed photos. I ought to send the author, k6yar, a second thank you message about how great his tip was. I added him as a link on StumbleIt instead.

An aside here, but your aged your grandmother figure is admirable. I would guess you used wax and paint to convey her chapped lips and weathered skin? Excellent job. Gives a genuine, aged look without making old, caricature.

But regarding the use of a magnifying glass and the macro setting on my digital camera, the Kodak EasyShare CX7300: I encountered the light/glare problem you mention in your comment. I used a dollar store magnifying glass with no specified enlargement size noted. Moved around and shifted the camera angle to find a "clear" shot without glare spots. After a few glaringly bad even to me ha, ha - ouch the pun - shots, I managed to get a few decent shots that I am including in this post.

I couldn't resist the clear plastic of the platform heels worn by Jakks Pacific's Valerie of Jose and the Pussycats.

This close-up photo of Valerie shows some of the glare problem on the left side, but I include it because the bulk of the photo shows clear.

Since I was taking Power Team photos as well, I included this one showing the incredible detail of one of the Power Team figures. I love the texture variation among the Power Team figures. Another photo I tried was to show the freckles of another Power Team figure. Only that one, I need to improve so that the freckles can be seen.

Final aside, the main site is down now, but the author's blog is active at Life is an Experience.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Mattel Barbie Celebrates Her 50th Birthday!

March 9 is Barbie's birthday. This is her fiftieth birthday so you will find posts and photos all over the Internet and on other media - radio and television, too. Everyone has a Barbie story. But what of the Birthday Girl, herself?

If I could have one wish granted by Mattel regarding Barbie, I would ask that they please God, S T O P stapling Barbie's head to the boxes. Ceasing the barbaric practice of doll head stapling - attaching a plastic strip in the doll's head and attaching the other end of that strip to the doll's box - would spare countless children, parents, and collectors gratuitous torture suffered upon attempts to remove the unwanted plastic strips. It would also reduce waste of plastic materials. Think how that plastic could be used for needed and desired items or NOT created at all. But most importantly, it would allow Barbie to retain all of her hair intact.

I think that collectors, parents, and children everywhere should take this time, Barbie's 50th birthday year, to petition Mattel to save Barbie's head. Stop the head stapling practice. Do it for Barbie.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Roville Update as of March 8, 2009!

There is a new Roville Diorama post showing Bar None with Rovillians at ease. Incredible sets and fascinating slice of life

Roville update

I am eager to find out what happened with Daphne Bliss and the threatening electrician. I'm almost afraid to find out - Daphne is one of the many likable businesswomen of Roville.

Kudos to Robin for her wonderful sets, fascinating characters, and addictive stories.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

RnD Susie Joins the Integrity Dynamite Girls

You can read the news here under the March 2, 2009 entry - I first learned of it from a post on the All About Susie Yahoo Group:

R&D Dolls News

Susie by R & D Dolls will join the Integrity Toys' Dynamite Girls Electro Pop Collection later this year. I assume that this is a one-time collaboration since Susie will be exclusive to R & D Collectibles. Other information gleaned from the Yahoo Group posts is that this Susie will have the Dynamite Girls' body and rooted eyelashes.

Ah ... so many dolls, so little space, so few my funds!

Time to purge and sell.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Close-up Tutorial by K6yardotcom on YouTube

There is a helpful video by k6yardotcom on YouTube

A Tutorial - Using Magnifying Glass For Closeup Videos

I think this tip can also be used with photos. Hmmm ... more help reducing and/or eliminating the photo fuzz factor.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Photo Revision - Close-ups of DID Wiz

I've been informed - kindly - that my close-ups are fuzzy. In my haste to upload, I hadn't noticed the fuzz factor. I don't see a way to adjust my focus on the Kodak EasyShare CX7300 digital camera that I have. Checked the handbook and the online reference about fuzzy focus. Hmmm ... movement of the camera as the photo is taken could be the problem. Blat! Guilty. Guess I need a tripod. The camera does shift a little in my hands - wayward camera or wayward hands? In the meantime, I am adding some new photos of DID Wiz here.

Thanks for looking. I am going to work on my photos - if people are kind enough to visit, I need to provide clear and attractive photos.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Habit Query - Need Priest Garb to Match Nuns' Robes

Note: I have a priest - former Commander Adama from Majestic Studios. However, I need a priest's robe for him to match the nuns' habits. Any suggestions or information welcome.

Lady's Mission Kyoko Tenryu and Sugary Cafe au Lait Momoko are the nuns in this photo. (Alas, Momoko's hair peeps out from her headdress, cowl? Technically, none of her hair should show, right? I'll check on this later.) Girl's Mission Mai approaches the nuns with a question.

Photos Added to D7ana Webshots Account

I've updated my Webshots account to include some Dragon figures. The link is

D7ana Webshots

Thanks for looking.