Saturday, October 31, 2009

Barnabas Collins Photo

Okay, truth is, it couldn't be Halloween and I miss the opportunity to show off my Dark Shadows Barnabas Collins action figure by Majestic Studios. I missed getting Blacula this year, but Angel and dear little Tommy have another vampire pal, Big Brother Barnabas Collins. His companion in this photo is Takara Jenny Friend, Lie.

Halloween Party Photos

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Vampire Grabbed My Hair ...

and I grabbed the Holy Water.

Thus a vampire learns that you do not touch a Black woman's hair.

Fellow DAF blogger, E.A. of Blog of Eternal Stench sent me this link to a Boston Globe article about the Mattel So in Style Barbies and the good hair focus among Black women. This article stimulated the above Halloween photograph.

Integrity Toys' AA T.J. struck me as the perfect actress for this scene: her hair is sleek and straight. She has an elegant, formal air. I could see her being annoyed at any handling of her hair. Angel is one of my few adult vampires; he struck me as more likely to bite T.J. than Barnabas. (Added bonus; he was quicker to debox LOL)

Comedian Chris Rock has a movie about good hair and Tyra Banks offers more information about this phenomenon.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fashion Insider Ken Borrows Action Figure Clothes

Fashion Insider Ken, one of the Silkstone Ken dolls, borrowed a few action figure clothes. As you will see in these photos, FI Ken adds elegance to standard black cargo pants, Power Team jeans, pinstriped shirts, and an abstract print jacket. The black-white sneakers shown are from the Get Set Club (G-Five) dolls, and they fit him nicely.

So Silkstone Ken fans who want to expand their Kens' clothing options should look in the green aisle aka the male action figure fashion websites. In addition to military clothes, there are also casual fashions and sometimes a few dressier pieces. Please see previous posts on Ken in action figure garb here.

One final note: unless your Ken is channeling Santa in off hours or has gained weight, avoid Soldiers of the World jeans. Those pants have a wider waist than most other male dolls or action figures need. Off the Soldiers of the World figures, those jeans look like granny-and-grandpa jeans where both grands can fit in the pants at once.

Link to Pop Life Ken in the Vinyl Photos

For those longing for a look of the new, limited issue Pop Life Ken, here's the first online photo of the vinyl figure"

Pop Life Ken

He looks like a slightly better looking Ken from the Mod years.


Target's Most Irresistable Exclusive: Kelly & Friends Halloween Party

Top level: Tommy as a vampire, AA Kelly as a clown, AA Kelly as an orange cat, and Kayla (?) as a spider
Base level: Nikki as a pumpkin, Tommy as a dragon, Kelly as a witch, Kerstie as a leopard, Kelly as a clown, Tommy (?) as a mummy

I've got several Kelly and Kelly friend dolls. They're like that potato chip, betcha can't eat [buy] just one Kelly and not want more and more ;-P

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Johnny, Bargain Ethnic Fashion Doll

Behold, Johnny, the Bargain Ethnic Doll.

Someone gave him to me as a gag gift. The kind of gift that deliberately fails to impress ... oh, you shouldn't have gifts. The kind of gift that evokes "eeewww" as a response rather than "oh." I collect dolls and action figures. But I collect quality stuff: it doesn't have to be expensive, but usually, I do not DO cheesy.

Johnny is a cheap male fashion doll. I use "cheap" to refer to price and to the quality of the material. What's the difference between an inexpensive doll and a cheap one? Weight is one factor. If I hold Johnny in one hand and one of the Chic Boutique dolls in my other hand, Johnny feels much lighter. Details are another factor. If you look at the doll, and you think, not bad, that's an inexpensive doll. You receive something decent for your money. Looking at a cheap doll, you cry for the plastic so abused. Really cheap dolls provoke a full body shudder.

Johnny falls under the cheap category, but ... he has something most cheap dolls and many better priced dolls lack: ethnic identity. Johnny has African American features. He's NOT a "White" doll in "brown" plastic. He's a Black doll.

Oddly enough, no company claims Johnny as their own. The company printed on his box, Ocean Desert Sales of Philadelphia, PA, only distributes products to various dollar and discount stores.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sugar Daddy Ken and Ladies of the 80s at Angelic Dreamz

See photos of the 2010 Mattel doll line here

Barbie 2010 Preorders and Photos at Angelic Dreamz.

Sugar Daddy Ken? Wonders will NOT cease.

Mixis Chinese Outfit

Yesterday, I received this lovely outfit, the Mixis Chinese Outfit, from Debbie Goodland of YNU Group. Emerald graciously agreed to model it.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

How Many Halloween Barbies and Kellys Are There?

More than 23 Halloween Barbies since 1997. See a partial list here:

Halloween Barbies List with eBay thumbnails.

I will gather some of the Kellys and Kelly friends that I have later in the month.

Yes, They Can Fit Barbie and Joe - Dora Playsets

Remember I had wondered if the Nickelodeon Dora Playsets could fit Barbie and Joe? Wonder no longer ... I won't anyway. I placed a Target Pink Halloween Barbie between two of the Dora sets to check. Took the photograph for you to see. Bingo! Barbie can use the furniture.

Only problem - aside from a one-desk classroom and a one-tabled cafeteria - will the bighead Doras yield that furniture?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Chic Boutique Dolls, Ubiquitous BUT Mysterious

I cannot find much information about Chic Boutique, a doll manufacturer with several inexpensive doll series sold in Toys R Us, Kmart, possibly Walmart, and probably not at Target. These are NOT expensive dolls and they have limited articulation. (Think straight legged and straight armed vintage Barbie and friends. Yes, that's the picture.) However, mystery aside, here are a few photos of these dolls.

Kmart in Gallery at Market East

I also visited the Kmart in the Gallery at Market East yesterday.

Pleasant surprise: they had LOTS of the new stuff out. The MGA Entertainment BFC Ink dolls and the Moxie dolls, Jakks Pacific's Hannah Montana dolls, and several of the new Barbie line. Here are photos of some of the Barbie line available.

Monday, October 19, 2009

New Toys R Us Express in Gallery at Market East

When K B Toys stores closed earlier this year, I thought there would be NO toy store in Center City. The thought saddened me although I had adjusted and did any local shopping at one of the 3 remaining Toys R Us stores or one of the Walmarts or Targets. But no dedicated toy store ... sigh. Well, it seems that Center City will have a dedicated toy store after all this holiday season. Welcome to Toys R Us Express!

These Express stores will operate as the K B Toys Express stores did. The store is decidedly a mini store: stock is limited to basic lines (no Collectors' Edition Barbies sighted). However, I noticed two - new to me - Toys R Us Exclusives: a 12" Joker and a Disney Princess Snow White AND Prince. NEW GUYS!!! Photos provided below:

Online Joker link

Online Snow White giftset link

Toys R Us Store Locator information:


Phone: Not provided
Sun 12:00pm-5:00pm
Mon-Thu 10:00am-7:00pm
Fri 10:00am-8:00pm
HOLIDAY EXPRESS (only open until the end of December 2009 per South Philly associate)

Locals: this Gallery TRU is located in the spot previously occupied by CVS drugstore, across from the location for the K B Toys Store. Note: visitors to the area, the toy store is inside the Gallery, on the lower level. There are no signs outside or indications that Toys R Us is inside the building.

It seems that there will be Holiday Express stores also in Springfield and in Franklin Mills Mall. I assume that this is a temporary extra location for Franklin Mills Mall. Locals affected by the closure of the Springfield Toys R Us will now have a local spot at least during this holiday season.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sites for Playscale Male Clothes

Need a Michael Jackson tee shirt for your male doll or action figure? What about Marilyn Monroe or Bruce Lee for that tee shirt? You can probably find a photo of any of those stars and then transfer that image to an iron-on transfer sheet. Do it yourself. Or you can buy a ready-made tee from a friendly online action figure shop.

Below are some sites I have shopped:

Tee shirts available at Cotswold Collectibles

Loose clothes at Monkey Depot

Fashions by Dreams and Visions at War-Toys

And here is a supermarket of fashions and accessories where I have NOT shopped yet, One-Sixth Depot. In addition to clothes, you can find other loose items.

Things to consider when shopping at action figure shops:

1. The market slant is adult collectors; female figures might have nipples.

2. Click links you think have nothing to offer you; just because the manufacturer and the seller intended a certain shirt as part of a uniform, you might look at that same piece for a civilian outfit or costume party.

3. Sometimes you can get a complete boxed figure with a full outfit at a reduced price. Instead of getting the clothes separate, see the clearance section. A dressed boxed figure on clearance could cost less than the sum of the individual pieces.

4. Even if you decide against buying anything, you can get male clothing ideas from the photos for your male dolls and action figures.

When you cannot find tolerable Ken wear, remember your options.

Re-dressed: Three Kens and an Allan

Left to right: Straight leg Allan in Takara premium male fashion, Earring Magic Ken in soccer outfit, Tango Ken in action figure top and Battlestar Galactica pants, and AA Skate Date Ken in Battlestar Galactica top and action figure pants

Four more Mattel men re-dressed. This time, I have 1960s Allan in an outfit for Takara Jenny's male friends followed by Earring Magic Ken borrowing the soccer uniform of Benjamin Lauth, and Tango Ken and AA Skate Date Ken splitting the Majestic Studio's Battlestar Galactica uniform with standard action figure tee and cargo pants.

Isn't Tango Ken just the dreamiest Ken ever?

Rousing myself from that reverie, I note that the Takara pants are a little long on Allan. Also, there are four distinct bodies here. Thin Allan, husky Earring Magic, lanky Tango, and middling Skate Date. The Keeping Ken website has photos of every Ken out so for more intensive information about individual Ken bodies, I would suggest that source. Jef of Keeping Ken provided this Ken Bodies link by a Polish doll collector named Olga.

Note: if you have Google Toolbar, you may be able to have the Ken bodies page translated from Polish to English. Or you can use Poltran free translation website to read and/or respond to that post.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Educational AND Fun - HIA Toys Action Figures

Want to interest your 7 to 12 year old in American History? One possible activity: introduce him or her to one or more of these action figures from HIA Toys. HIA Toys offers three well-rendered, poseable, 6 inch action figures based on African Americans:

Bessie Coleman,

Benjamin Banneker, and

Matthew Alexander Henson

I like the character in their tiny faces, their posability, and their exquisite accessories. Sigh. If only those accessories were available for playscale figures. In addition to the figures and their accessories, HIA provides a four-page Teaching Guide with ideas for lesson plans based on the action figures. Cost for each figure is $24.95 or $68.95 for all three figures.

Additional links about HIA Toys and their products:

Toy Directory

RTM news clip

YouTube news clip

Dolls Like Me products

Friday, October 16, 2009

Men from Mattel in Action Figure Garb

From left to right: Romeo Ken in Ken tee shirt and action figure jeans, Arabian Knights Ken in BBi Elite Force tee and shorts, Happy Family AA Grandfather in Power Team shirt and pants, Superman Ken in action figure shirt and Jakks Pacific Camp Rock Shane's jeans, and Cali Guy Steven in action figure shirt and pants. All footwear, Mattel Ken.

In a recent We Love Black Dolls Yahoo Group thread about Ken's clothes, someone called for "intervention" for Ken's wardrobe. So instead of dressing action figures in Ken wear, I've pulled these Ken and other Mattel men to show these guys wearing various action figure clothes. (Other exception is the Shane jeans - Shane is another fashion doll.) The clothes described as "action figure" were purchased from Old Joe's Infirmary and/or other action figure online shops.

In a future post, I'll do a photo comparison of the Ken body types. Ken has moved from thin to husky to lean to muscled. So collectors need to consider which Ken body they are buying for since all Ken wear is NOT the same. Information about the various Ken bodies can be seen in Keeping Ken news section.

Happy viewing.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Psst ... TNT Christie was a White Doll Painted Brown

Has anyone else seen the first Christie described as being a "White" doll painted brown?

Check this post by Charles of The Doll Diary and his link to an ABC news story that starts with this false statement. I submitted a comment pointing out the error, but so far, no one else has. Hmmm ... can this NOT seem a problem to others? Then there is this Barbie List that makes the same statement. What happened to fact checking?

I have NOTHING against "chocolate-dipped" dolls. Most of the "Black" dolls of my youth were "dipped" dolls. As I mentioned before, there are Black people who resemble such dolls. But reading that Christie was "essentially a white doll painted brown" according to the ABC article - annoys me; here we have the first Mattel ethnic-faced fashion doll stripped of her ethnic status. The first Christie is to Black as the first Barbie is to White.

In addition to the Barbie classic guide, The Collector's Encyclopedia of Barbie Dolls and Collectibles by Sibyl DeWein and Joan Ashabraner, here are some online articles on Christie:

Charles on Christie

Doll Reference

Master Collector

Katti's Dolls

So ... what do you think? Is she or isn't she?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Modern 12" Joe Online Reference - Yo Joe!

Have a newer G.I. Joe from 1991-2005 whom you'd like to identify? Go to Yo Joe! for photos and accessory descriptions.

For more information about Hasbro's G.I. Joe line see Big Red Toybox, eBay Joe Guide, or YoJoe FAQs.

Aside: while we collectors usually borrow Kenwear for our Joes to give Joes civilian looks, Kens do not fit Joewear as well. I refer, of course, to the recent 12" Joes, NOT the earlier barrel-chested Joes from the 1970s. Joe pants can be difficult to put on the Husky Ken figures or too short, above the ankles ("high waters", we called such fit in my youth) for the leaner, longer legged Poser Kens.

Kens can look dapper in My Scene guy clothes, Flavas guy clothes, or action figure clothes. But that's for another post ;-D

Monday, October 12, 2009

Wikipedia and Mixis Article

Fools dive in where angels fear to tread.

I've heard something like that, but being a fan, I tend to look for a likely soft landing spot and dive. So after editing one Wikipedia article, "Fashion doll" to add the Mixis dolls to that list, I placed an entry of my own on the Mixis dolls. There were no other Wikipedia entries for them. I mean, yes, there are photos of the Mixis and a few articles about them online, but I felt they needed some extra ... presence? referencing? online. How else will those other Mixis dolls be produced?

First step then was to create a Wikipedia user name. Then I should have edited a few articles BEFORE creating one. So I edited the entry on Fashion Dolls first. Easy to copy the formatting and paste the repeated text in the list and then to adjust the text to read "Mixis, etc."

My next step was to review the article copy I created to make it as neutral yet informative as I could. Think I succeeded there. Also, I had to make sure that I did not plagiarize text from the website. I think I did well there ... someone will let me know, if I didn't.

I need to fix the reference tags; I'll check on that tomorrow. Or maybe some kind, generous Wikipedia expert will correct the error. (Yeah right ... there are scads of playscale collectors just waiting for the opportunity to fix incorrect entries on Wikipedia. Sigh.)

Here's the link to the

Mixis article

Thanks for any advice, suggestions, etc.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Teen Dora Playsets at Target - Barbie-Joe Compatible?

The Roxborough City Avenue Target had these Teen Dora playsets available. At a cursory glance, they seemed almost compatible with Barbie-Joe-Mixis dolls. I couldn't do my usual scale check - holding a boxed Barbie in front of the box - because I was in a hurry. Has anyone seen these playsets out of the box and can you tell if these playsets are Barbie scale or off? I'd give the realism quality four plus stars - based on my brief sighting.

Thanks in advance for any answers provided.

Friday, October 9, 2009

New Artsy (Adria) Head Mold Playline Dolls at Target

I found these two new Mattel playline dolls at Roxborough Target. I photographed them there. Sorry I cut off the names of the two. I think that they are part of the "I Can" Barbie series.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Body Comparison of "Larger" Playscale Dolls and Figures

A picture is worth a thousand words.

These photos will clarify some of my comments regarding clothes exchanges between the Mixis dolls and other playscale dolls and action figures. Why I recommend NOT lending Mixis tanks to Ladies Mission figures and Perfect Body female figures and why the Get Set Club dolls cannot wear the Mixis cloth pants. These photos show from left to right:

Aoshima/Skynet Ladies' Mission action figure, BBi Perfect Body action figure, YNU Group Mixis fashion doll, Get Real Girl action doll, Get Set Club fashion doll, and Jakks Pacific G.I.R.L. Force fashion doll*.

*Note: to date I have only found one Jakks Pacific G.I.R.L. Force doll [Kulture Shock Jaz] with this body that allows the doll to sit albeit with her legs spread wide. All of my other Jakks Pacific G.I.R.L. Force doll have the legs and hips as one piece that does NOT allow these dolls to sit. That's probably why you will find online scads of photos of re-bodied Jakks Pacific G.I.R.L. Force dolls.

If anyone has found another doll with this body, please let me know. Curiosity ;-D.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

GirlPower Flashback: The Spice Girls Dolls

Well ... two of the Galoob Spice Girls fashion dolls, Mel B and Mel C.

What I know (guess?) about the Spice Girls rock group could be written on the palm of my hand. With space left over. I can't say that I disliked them ... more that they became prominent after I stopped keeping up with singers and musicians and related groups. My post high school years.

Okay, the Spice Girls were British. There were five of them originally. Then the red-haired one left. The black singer was called "Scary Spice" and the blonde singer was "Baby Spice." Scary? Huh? I thought that British Black people were not subject to the same stereotypes as American Black people. Then again, "spook" might not have the same connotation in Britain. Shrug. And Baby? Surely she's close to legal age ... ? And no, I don't recall any of their songs - that I recognize as their songs. "Maniac Monday" was by the Bangles, right?

So why do I have any Spice Girls in my collection? La difference! Well, Scary aka Mel B, has a neat profile and corkscrew curly hair. Sporty aka Mel C, has a left nose stud and a gold tooth. How many young female dolls have a visible gold tooth? Rest my case there. Plus both dolls were on sale when I bought them.

Since I am short on Spice Girls and Spice Girls doll information, I am including two links on the group and the dolls:

Spice Girls 4 Life website by doll collector Riot4Jem.


Spice Girls Megastore website store and fan page by Lenin Imports

Additional photos of my Spice Girls dolls are available here,

Friday, October 2, 2009

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Another Borrowed Mixis Fashions Photo - BBi Perfect Bodies

Here are my two BBi Perfect Body action figures, the Hispanic and the African American females. Sunshine Opal's knit sundress fits even in the bodice - probably because the fabric yields to the Perfect Body figure. LE Emerald's denim mini skirt fits well.