Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Rosa and the Mystery Philly Church

When we couldn't find Rosa's original shrug sweater, Harley Davidson Ken aka Keith insisted that she borrow his leather jacket. (I know ... aw, ain't he cute? Well, he is a Ken. Gentleman is his middle name. And Rosa is a very pretty girl ;-P Barbie beware?)

During our trip, Rosa fell in love with a stone church so I photographed it. Does anyone from or familiar with Philadelphia recognize it? Only one clue allowed: the church is in the Northwest area of the city.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hunk from My Past: Handsome Michael of the Young Sweethearts

Meet Michael of the Young Sweethearts. He's 12" of slim cuteness from 1976. Melissa, his former girlfriend, is missing so he's SINGLE. He's in great shape considering he's lived with me for over 30 years.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Bewitched and Bewildered by Boxes, Part 2

Who doesn't love action movies?

The go-go-go pacing, the high-speed car chases, the boom and mushroom of explosions, balletic dances with bullets a la John Woo, whodunnit and maybe whydunnit sometimes conclude with the protagonist triumphant. Applause. Good plots are nice, but if the action clicks, we can suspend disbelief or laugh at the logic defying scenes. Action movies are fun. So when an action figure box captures some of that excitement, who can throw away that box?

Behold - a Sideshow Collectibles box works its mojo: the box front incorporates art from the then-current movie posters. Relevant details such as the movie series and title, Goldfinger, and the actors are provided as well as the company name, and the size of the figure. Please note also that the box contains small parts NOT suitable for small children. Oh and to the right in modest red letters, we have the name of the character inside the box, Odd Job, and the actor playing that role, Harold Sakata.

Next, we open the front flap to find the movie title, its plot, and the characters along with the actors playing those roles. And yes, that is Odd Job the action figure seated. [Note on the opposite side of the box there is a clear window that would show the action figure along with any accessories created for him. Since I opened the box and mislaid the inner liner, I will not photograph that side.]

The box back gives us Mr. Sakata's biography, photos of both the action figure AND the actor, the villain gadget - his bowler hat - and more information about the James Bond series.

Last, a side view of the box and Odd Job again! So much information and so beautifully laid out. This box is a keeper for its pop culture value. At least until or unless I find Mr. Odd Job a better protective "home."

P.S. Odd Job is not full-figured as he looks clothed. Under his jacket and shirt, he wears a "fat suit". I will post photos of the figure and his clothes in another post.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bewitched and Bewildered by Boxes, Part 1

Much of my doll clutter is caused by boxes. I have given away dolls, figures, clothes, books, etc. but there is chemistry between me and various boxes that causes me to hold onto the empty box even after I have removed the doll. Wait, chemistry is the wrong word. I do throw out some boxes easily. Clear blister packs - once cut open, I throw out. Those hard plastic shells, I don't even use for sorting small stuff. I'd likely cut my hand against the cut part if I were to re-use them. Flimsy cardboard boxes, those go out as well.

Keepsake boxes such as those with YNU Group's Mixis dolls or Integrity's Fashion Royalty dolls or R&D's Egyptian Susie, well, those are keepers. They are NOT junk. Those good quality boxes - meant to last - protect my dolls from dust, etc.

What's left then? You guessed it: those hybrid cardboard boxes with clear plastic "windows." Boing! That's the sound of Cupid's arrow zapping my heart.

Sure, I wanted the doll in the box. Really. No sense in buying an empty box, is there? But why keep the box after it has served its purpose of catching my eye and causing me to part with my money? Nostalgia? Maybe. I look at the box and recapture the moment I saw it on the shelf or removed it from a shipping box. Sentimentality about the doll's first "home?" Perhaps. Usually, I don't have a case or alternate box waiting for when I set aside the doll. Returning the doll to her box makes sense. So, I covered nostalgia, sentimentality, and practicality there. Anything left? Mais oui. The box itself.

The box can continues to enhance the doll's magic.

Let's examine a "vintage" Tuesday Taylor box for how the box "works."

First, I read the doll's name, her wave or series, and her manufacturer. This identifying information is at the box bottom. Then I turn around the box to find the manufacturer's number for the doll and the date of production. I add that information to my database.

Second, the box informs me what makes this doll distinct from other Tuesday Taylors. Well, this is Suntan Tuesday Taylor and her gimmick - um - difference is that she tans. (She did for a while.)

Oh and third, the box shows other dolls in the series. Whoo hoo! Tuesday has a little sister and a boyfriend. Two more dolls for me to buy.

Additional items for the doll such as the "sold separate" fashions appear on the box side. Yay! More visual stimulation to cause me to part with yet more of my money. And the lovely anticipation before I make additional purchases. Which outfit or outfits to get? Imagine getting all of them.

(Note: I only bought 2 Tuesday Taylor fashions. No matter how attractive the fashions were, when I was young, I bought dolls first; I could make clothes or ask my Mom to make them for me. Still, the ready to wear fashions could influence what I or Mom could create for the doll.)

Having unveiled the magic of this doll box, can I let it go? Yes. After I remove at least ONE of the doll photos to use in a diorama for this doll. And I'll hold on to the side tab showing photos of Tuesday Taylor and Taylor Jones (the African American version of the standard Tuesday). What an outcome. What a triumph! One less doll box to bewitch and bewilder. Someday, one day, there might be a clear path ....

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Clothes That Have to Go

The above photo shows the second outfit of Blossom Russo. I'm downsizing some clothes, too, and guess what will be in the OUT pile? You guessed right; that outfit. The one Blossom wears - the keyboard vest and gold lame skirt - will stay. They're kitschy cute. The speckled vest most of all - has to go. It's the cheesiest of plastics. Bleh! Shudder.

Some of my dolls have confessed to having nightmares about the speckled vest touching them.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Opal Outside!

Inspired by recent photos by Roxanne and by Kim, I took Opal and my camera outside. I love the results. Natural light does a doll wonders ;-D.

Ah, Opal against the stone ...

Let's zoom in for a closer look ...

I'm NOT saying that she's showing off ...

No one passed by when I took these photos. Cars - with people driving them - passed, but I didn't hear any screeching so no harm was done.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Welcome Spring - Opal, Lukas, and Mai at Play

Spring is here - at last!

Horrid, horrible winter here in Philly. Seventy inches of snow. Seventy. Here. In Philly! Shudder.

Ah, but we've been having balmy days recently. Mixis Opal, Fashion Royalty Nu Face Lukas, and Girl's Mission Mai are off to exercise - Opal stretches before a run while Lukas and Mai have dusted off bicycles to ride. Opal wears separates from the Get Real Girl line and sneakers from Playmates' everGirl. Lukas wears Mattel My Scene shorts and M & C Toys' sneakers (not shown here, alas) while Mai wears a Mattel Ken shirt, Kmart's Joe Boxer pants, and Get Real Girl sneakers with her Mattel Cali Girl helmet. The bicycles are by Mattel for the My Scene (Lukas) and the Cali Girl (Mai) lines.

I should have had lights BEFORE the dolls to better capture Opal's face. Sigh. It is a side issue, my photography learning, but I do consider it ;-}

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Playline Giselle by Integrity Toys for Pat's Potpourri

Initially, the Janay/Alysa/Jade dolls were Integrity Toys' ethnic contribution to the 1:6 doll world. African American Janay, Asian Jade, and Latina Alysa were to capture the ethnic doll market left "open" by larger toy companies. Then, Integrity Toys extended their playline series to produce a fourth "regular" doll, Caucasian Giselle.

The first Giselles were my least favorite. Her face seemed biggish while her eyes seemed small. At least that was what I found with my first Giselle, the Photo Hunt Giselle whom I sold about two years ago.

However, I came across three exclusive Giselle's created for Pat's Potpourri circa 2004. The dolls were sold separately or as a three-doll set. Viewing the photos, I bought the three-doll set. Now these 3 swimsuit Giselle dolls with 2-toned blond, red or black hair are lovely dolls. They all have vibrant green-yellow eyes, lower hairlines or banged fronts, richly-colored hair, and vivid, warmer make-up. My favorite is the 2-toned blond doll. Amazing how a hairstyle and coloring can make a doll "sing" for a collector.

Want to see more photos? I've found a slow-to-load link to the original, Pat's Potpourri advertisement for these dolls. Here is that web page which lists the dolls by name along with their original prices. If you click on the links by doll name, you might be able to see close up photos of the dolls' faces. (Archival links sometimes work; sometimes they do not.)

Happy viewing!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Going, going, gone ... Project Emigration

What is Project Emigration? This Project is how I reduce my doll and action figure collection AND get to help other collectors, missing longed for items. Interested in improving the look of a Mattel playset like Mary-Kate and Ashley's Dressing Room? Want to buy nude vintage dolls? Check my TheDollPage. I intend to go through my collection and to pull the dolls, action figures, etc. that I no longer want here.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Poll Results: Which Ken Wears the Coolest Jeans

Sixty-one votes were received for the Which Ken Wears the Coolest Jeans? poll. The poll results for which Ken wears the coolest jeans is

6 votes for 1 Modern Circle Ken
22 votes for Fashionista Ken
20 votes for Harley Davidson Ken 1
13 votes for Harley Davidson Ken 2

Fashionista Ken received the most votes (22) and 1 Modern Circle Ken the least (6).

Thanks to all who participated.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Happy Birthday, Ken!

Who's forty-nine years old today and still hasn't lost an iota of the charm shown on his debut? KEN!

Who's the best pal and companion any girl or woman could ask for? Patient and a great sport? KEN!

Three cheers for Ken? No, let's give him a real cheer - 49 times. KEN! KEN! KEN!

Happy Birthday, Ken. May you grace our world for many years to come.

Surprise Keeper: Blossom Russo by Tyco

Any Blossom fans out there?

Well, I did not follow the television series although I recall there being a Blossom television series. Something about a teenager and her dumb brother - probably why I didn't watch it then: extravagantly stupid characters have always annoyed me. But when I saw the doll, I thought, "Oh, new face." So she joined the rank of dolls whose face I liked. She's got character. And I love the dated outfit ;-D

Here is a close up of her face - and yes, she has great teeth. Great size, but hey, remember the adjective, character ....

So she's headed for the debox lot. A surprise keeper because she is not Barbie-pretty or flexible. She has a nice nose, squinty eyes, and a dazzling smile. Ten inches of charm. I would eventually like to add her brother Joey and her friend Six to my collection - they were also produced by Tyco. (I can and do overwrite provided story lines.) These dolls are still available and can be reasonably priced - say under $20.00 each or possibly for even less given today's economy.

And NOOO I have NOT been mesmerized by the teeth.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Downsizing - No, Rightsizing! And Decisions ....

I was going through my doll and action figure stuff when I realized that - as fellow collector Kim stated, I am NOT downsizing, I am actually "rightsizing." The difference is that "rightsizing" means I am removing stuff I no longer need to keep. That removal allows space for the things I want to access. On the other hand, "downsizing" makes me think "loss" and "reduction."

So I am "rightsizing." Grin.

Thanks, Kim, it sounds nicer already. Less punitive ring.

I've found some more things to add to my Exit List. Three playsets: an extra Power Team gym I forgot that I had, Skipper's Teen Slumber Party Bedroom, and the Stylin' Dressing Room of Mary-Kate and Ashley. Those are to go. No problem. I have someone who might want the gym. Will check with him before offering on The Doll Page. Some more difficult decisions, too.

Like the 2004 and 2008 Barbie for Presidents dolls. I have both the Asian American and the Hispanic dolls for 2004 and the Asian American doll for 2008. Problem? I want the red pants suit from the 2004 doll but I prefer the Asian doll for 2008. (The 2008 doll has a more interesting hairstyle. Seems less "dolly.") So I'm trying to decide whether I will debox the Hispanic or the Asian 2004 doll for the suit and if I will keep the 2008 Asian American doll. I also have a Fashion Fever doll with similar coloring only different facial screening and hairstyle from the 2008 Asian American Barbie for President. Sigh. Time for photo help.

And here's another photo with the two Asian American dolls that I may or may not keep. They don't look so very alike. The Hispanic Barbie for President has the Teresa head mold and an average face screening. So I might debox her so that I can keep that outfit. Sell the 2004 Asian American NRFB and the 2004 Hispanic doll nude and keep the other two. (Sell the cheesy blue-multi striped suit of the 2008 Asian American Barbie for President.)

I can adjust as I see the other dolls being sold. Just have to remember that I am rightsizing. Right ....

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sunshine Mixis on Sale - Canadian Store $28.99

Okay, I am NOT familiar with this store,, but if anyone has bought from that site or knows someone who has, please send a comment regarding the service, etc.

The Sunshine Mixis dolls are on sale for $28.99 Canadian dollars. Postage is NOT included.

Happy Mixis collecting ;-D

Ack! Missing Two of the Smartees, Not One!

I used the Internet Wayback Machine to search for Smartees dolls. How many there were, etc. Well, I thought I had all but one, Alexis the Artist. Nuh uh. I also don't have Madison the Marine Biologist.

A cool feature on this page is that if you click on the doll, you can see her accessories, etc.

So that's two more dolls on my Want List.

Shrug. Whatever, right?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Happy Birthday, Barbie!

Alas, I have nooo interesting photos for Barbie's birthday.

I have an idea about one, but I haven't been able to set it up yet. However, I did not want Barbie's "day" to go by unaddressed.

Oh and don't forget that Barbie Collectibles has a sale - 25% off online items - if bought before midnight Central Time. Happy buying to those who can do so.

Spin Master Liv Dolls Spring and Fall 2010 Previews

This photo shows two of the new Spin Master Liv fashions I saw in Target today.

Remember how I mentioned "downsizing"? Remember how I didn't have any interest in the Liv dolls because their heads are too big? Well, downsizing has become even more important now that I have seen the Liv offerings for 2010. Even if I will probably replace the heads. But LivWorld stuff is now on my unofficial Want List.

[Note: for those who need a refresher about who the Liv dolls are, please refer to this post by Charles of DollStuff.]

Toronto-based Spin Master has some impressive accessories lined up for this Spring and Fall. Think of a drum set for Daniela, a store window to be dressed by Alexis, a horse, a new doll called Hayden with her adorable bunny, and did I mention cool fashions? But I'll let the Toy Fair photos on Flickr show how this line has enchanted me.

Additional information can be found on the Liv blog. Yes, the Liv dolls have inspired a blog. Whhooo hooo!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Poll: Which Ken Wears the Coolest Jeans?

Okay, I have been a little catty/critical about Mattel Ken fashions. A Ken collector on the Yahoo He's a Doll Group found the Fashionista Ken's skinny jeans good clothing. I have to agree with him (and yes, this is still Dana aka D7ana). So I started thinking, surely Fashionista Ken isn't the only Ken who wears neat jeans. Next thing, I am gathering my jeans wearing Kens for a new poll.

Which Ken wears the coolest jeans?

Contestants include from left to right:

1 Modern Circle Ken in Daywear

Fashionista Ken

Harley Davidson Ken 1

Harley Davidson Ken 2

The actual poll will be in the right-hand column. Thanks for voting.

Integrity 2010 Lines Unveiled - Link

Doll collector and photographer Shuga-Shug has photos and posts about the Integrity Toys 2010 line.

Click here

Love Staying Power Darius Reid - he has a warm brown complexion, attractive dark suit, and an antique looking leather bag that seems to have been shrunk to 1:6 scale. Fire Within Jordan looks great, too. Real leather dress gloves. Private Goddess Natalia Fatale is another stunner, only I have the 2008 Natalia so - pre-purchase downsizing in place ;-D - I won't try for her.

I.T.B.E. Luscious and Romantic look gorgeous as well. Dynamite Girls Sooki and Reese are on my wish list. Sooki has curly blonde hair while Reese seems to have a new face mold.

Sigh. Possible new Mixis, new Integrity, and as always, new Mattel dolls.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Mixis Connections: FaceBook, Twitter, and Blog

2010 and what is happening with the Mixis dolls and YNU Group, Inc.? One goal for YNU Group, Inc. is to promote the Mixis brand. Do you want to connect to the Mixis social sites to help the company reach their goal? Debbie Goodland, President and Founder of the YNU Group, Inc., sent these Mixis-related links:




Perhaps you have bought all the Mixis dolls that you wanted. No new dolls at the official web site ... no Toy Fair News. Lots of other dolls beckon. Ah, but what about the future? Click the link and ooohhh and ahhhhh. Surely spending a little time online with the social media is worth seeing those dolls in the vinyl.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Missed Cheetah Girls? Get Concert Dolls for $5.00 Each

Think you missed your last chance to own one of the PlayAlong In Concert Cheetah Girls? Philadelphia doll collectors, have no regrets on this point. You can find each of the In Concert Cheetah Girls by for $5.00 EACH doll. Head to the Best Deals Discount store at 20th and Oregon Avenue (South Philly) for these dolls. Note: I think that there is another Best Deals store at 40th and Market Streets (University City-West Philly), but I do not know that they have the same stock. Wouldn't hurt to check there if you shop nearby.

Now those who are crying in their teacups because you paid over $20 each doll, there, there. How could you know that the doll or dolls that you wanted would be reduced to that bargain price? I didn't know. I paid the $15-20 for the basic dolls when they came out. Sniff ... I need to salty-up some tea.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mr. Sulu 2009 Now Here

I know I should be downsizing, BUT ... he was on sale. If I waited, I might have missed him. He was only $14.98 before tax. He's an Asian playscale male figure. (Hey, that's part of my defense. How many Asian playscale men can we collectors find? Uh huh. Understood, right? I formally forgive me.)

So what I won't be able to remove the boots. Omar from He's a Doll Yahoo Group and other doll and action figure sites notes that this Mr. Sulu can wear Ken clothes. (Defense argument number 3 - the price was argument number 2.)

Let's welcome Mr. Sulu from the Star Trek 2009 movie. Hey, where did he go?

Anyone think it was the Ken clothes comment?

Prince Barbie? Hmmm ... That's a New Occupation

Is anyone else raising an eyebrow about the title on this Toys R Us Barbie set, "Princess and Prince Barbie?"

The title makes me think I'm approaching John Waters' territory. Why? Dismantle the title -- "Princess Barbie" and "Prince Barbie." (Oh the slights poor Ken must endure. Tsk, tsk.)

Now if Barbie were the last name, that phrasing would be unconventional. Think "Mrs. and Mr. Jones." (In the U.S., we usually address or refer to married couples sharing the same last name by the male title and then the female title before the last name. Revise the phrase to "Mr. and Mrs. Jones."

Aside: if the title is the generic "Mr. and Mrs." Position titles would precede the generic ones.

Most toy buyers recognize "Barbie" as a first female name. But inside the window box are a female doll and a male doll. Not two female dolls. Puzzler? No. Mattel probably meant "Princess Barbie and Prince Ken." Sigh. I won't be buying this set because I have the Ken and the Barbie holds no interest for me, but I almost wish I could justify the purchase as an example of the deterioration of the [American] English language.

I am going to be good and NOT bring up the "We Girls Can Do Anything" motto. Nope, I didn't say it.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Downsizing: When a Collector Has to Do It

Downsizing usually evokes negative images: you think of employees unemployed, jobs lost, incomes reduced, people scrambling to meet bills. When it comes to collections though, downsizing can be a good thing. I let go stuff I no longer want; someone else finds a treasure. I have more space and time to devote to the stuff I LOVE. Sounds good, right? Yes! So what's the problem? Problem? Problems.

First, overcoming inertia. So many dolls, so many action figures, so many accessories. I'll look at them again tomorrow. Promise. Or I'll pull a few things from shelves. Okay, these will go. Then I get distracted or move on to something else. I need to set a timer and pull until I've separated all the TO GO stuff from the KEEPER stuff.

How to decide what goes and what stays?

Since I collect from Barbie to Fashion Royalty to action figures - as long as the doll or figure is playscale, I can't limit my collection by manufacturer. What about my variety? Hyperventilating, hands fluttering. Taking a deep breath. Okay, variety stays, but I have to reduce the duplicates. Multiples of dolls that look alike or ARE the same. Surely I can do that? Unless I plan to alter them ....

Sigh. So that's where I am at now. I will take these steps:

  1. Set aside stuff that no longer interests me
  2. Remove duplicates from stuff I like (except 1 or 2 I intend to alter)
  3. Photograph stuff TO GO, duplicates I no longer want
  4. Debox KEEPERS - might as well have fun with them
  5. Find "homes" for the KEEPERS - where will I put them?

Reward for this labor? List new stuff I want - yes, sounds like I'm going backwards. But I am taking precautions I did not used to take. Like considering what I am purchasing BEFORE I purchase it.

Example: I saw the So in Style Rocawear Darren in a Walmart. Once I would have stomped a happy dance. This time though, I thought about the purchase. Did he resemble any other dolls in my collection. Oh yeah. I mean, YES. I have several Stevens he resembles. Is his outfit different enough to warrant the purchase? Not really. So I won't purchase him. At least not this version.

Example 2: I will get the Barbie Basics No. 1, Model #12. I like her face and LOVE the face screening. She's similar to my Fashion Fever Shannon only I prefer the Barbie Basics' face and haircut. I can then sell the FF Shannon.

Any thoughts or suggestions welcome.