Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Philly's 22nd International Black Doll Show & Sale

Hey, did you happen to see, the most fugliest bride in the world ....

This has been my BEST International Black Doll Show visit. I talked with a few of the dealers and one doll artist. I even brought a 12” fellow home with me. Before I report my findings, I want to thank Dr. Barbara Whiteman, her ever gracious daughter Robyn Whiteman, and two charming Convention Assistants, Jenna Arnold and Janee Douglas. Thanks to the unknown (to me) convention staff, other Black Doll Collectors' Club members, and Debbie B. Garrett for reminding me about the Show.

At last year’s Show, I spoke with some convention assistants working with Linda C. Hayes. They gave me permission to photograph her offerings for my blog post on the Show and gave me her contact information. This year, I met Ms. Hayes herself. We did not have a substantial talk due to the many distractions of the Show and my wanting to photograph EVERYTHING that she had ;-D

If there were a prize for the most unusual doll offerings, Ms. Hayes would have won it: Among her sales items were the Dennis Rodman doll shown above, Oreo Barbie, Talking Cassius Clay figurine, the Hasbro Destiny’s Child dolls, elusive Shindana dolls Slade and Dr. J, and four 12” action figure outfits. I couldn’t resist the Army Ken – note: I have no military Kens so he filled a void. I mean, Soldier Ken … who could resist?

In case any of the items I mention are on your Wish List, here is Ms. Hayes’ current contact information:

Linda C. Hayes, Doll Connoisseur
Linda’s Black Dolls, Vintage to Modern
P.O. Box 8653
VA Beach, Virginia 23450-8653


Next, I spoke with Gloria Henson, Dollmaker, about her Angel Doll. Since the Angel Doll is porcelain and not playscale, I will save those comments for my Examiner article. However, Ms. Henson had a dark brown complected My Scene Knockoff doll and a smaller scale Malcolm X figure/figurine. (I could imagine him lecturing my larger playscale figures. We’d go, “Oh he’s sooo cute,” as he paced below us. Nope.)

While the My Scene Knockoff was tempting – amazing how faithfully the knockoff company recreated the Mattel My Scene box graphics - I left her behind too although she was only $5.00. (If you are curious about either item, please see them in my Webshots folder and/or contact Ms. Henson at Glohenson1960@yahoo.com . She might have one or both of them.)

I also spoke to Mayai Chatman who offered a familiar doll that I had not seen in the vinyl: Kenner Dana from the Fashion Model Darci line. Thud. Ouch. That’s my knees hitting the marble floor. Sigh. Now I want a NFRB Kenner Dana. She’s on my Wish List. No, I won’t likely get her anytime soon, but she is definitely on The List.

Anna's Collectibles was there as well. I did not get their card this year, but they had a few holiday Barbies and a few of the denim Barbie Basics dolls.

Other reviews and or comments about this year's Show are by Ms. Leo and Black Doll Collector.

If you attended the Show and you would like to submit your review, please visit here.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

Memorial Day 2011
East Philly

Stars'n Stripes Army Ken and Power Team soldiers. Will they debox Ken?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Caveat Collector: Television Invitations and Collector Paranoia

It began with a comment entered under my “Mary, Mother of Mothers“ post. The Associate Producer for Treasure Hunters Roadshow, a national television show featuring collectors, asked if they could highlight my doll and action figure collection for their program.

My first response: okay … who’s pulling PhillyCollector’s leg? Hmmm? I mean nobody from TV – national TV no less – was reading my blog. Interested in my collection? Please.  Someone is laughing at my expense. So I checked for the existence of the show and the Producer online. Both existed so I responded - oh, I am flattered, yes, I would LOVE to be featured, etc. 

Then I started thinking: do I really want to do this? Want people to see me with my stuff? What will I do next? Wear one of those "I Collect Barbies" tee shirts and lead lurking bad guys to my home? Or maybe some architectural detail filmed will clue lurking bad guys into discovering where I live. Maybe lurking bad guys will see that big Treasure Hunters van outside my home. Maybe I am sending a flare up for Lurking Bad Guys United to make an unofficial visit to my home. Maybe they will relieve me of my collection - without paying me anything - because they are Lurking Bad Guys. Paper bag, please!

So, I procrastinated and missed the date. Then I felt guilty about that because I had agreed. A friend though thought the TV invitation seemed dodgy so I investigated a little more about the Show. Perhaps my subconscious had worked my latent collector paranoia to protect the gullible-show-off me. (That's not like the Three Faces of Eve ... really.) Maybe something felt too good to be true about national exposure of collectors. No offense intended to fans of Treasure Hunters Roadshow. My invitation was only to show my collection to the nation. What harm would there be in that? Aside from those lurking bad guys ... STOP!

Such was my fleeting, near brush with fame. If you have been televised or would like to be and you have positive or negative experiences, feel free to share them here.
Finally, I do not, repeat, NOT have any flamboyant clothes in my closet. 

No 1:1 scale ones anyway .... 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Save Your Saturday for the Annual IBDC Show

Philadelphia Doll Museum and Dark Images present

"Sophisticated Dolls"
The International Black Doll show
Mitten Hall, Temple University
Broad and Berks Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6092

Saturday, May 28, 2011 10 AM - 5 PM

Adults, $7 each
Seniors or children, $5 each

Closest Broad Street Subway stop: Cecil B Moore Station

To read previous comments about previous International Black Doll Shows, click here.

I'm going ... anyone else? Oh, wait, let's NOT tell, lol. What will be, will be.

1970s Happy Family Grandparents Were Issued - I Never Knew!

Frannie found them. Uh huh. Hal Happy's parents. Check her post here.

I had the original Sunshine Family, the Sunshine Family Grandparents, and the Happy Family. But no Happy Family Grandparents. Where were they hidden, I ask? I mean, I never heard of them. I certainly never saw them. And I used to be into that series when I was young. Even though they have inset eyes that reminded me of birds' eyes.

Aside: Stephanie got lost early on. I do not believe that Stevie disposed of her although he had a torrid affair with Hasbro's Love. Since Stevie was like-able but not particularly gorgeous (remember the birds' eyes) or sexy (please), I never acted out what "torrid love affair" meant. But I liked the description, so it stuck to the Stevie-Love relationship.

Well, after I stopped reeling from the awareness that dolls existed that I missed - plop down and pout, okay enough of that, lol - I remembered a similar doll series Mattel produced using the Stevie and Stephie head sculpts. Anyone remember the Star Spangled dolls?

I found my Star Spangled Dolls brochure. As I mentioned to Frannie in her comments, my Indian Maiden and Pioneer Daughter dolls are too dusty zones to be photo presentable. So they are going to be "no shows" in this post. Still, I wanted to acknowledge those dolls from my past. Just a brief salute.

The text is um ... quaint? If cleaned up American history bothers you, you might want to skip it.  The above Star Spangled Doll link shows the dolls and their bios. A little embarrassing to read now.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

More Information About the Former Princess of Japan (Mattel)

These photos are for Kim and Ms. Leo as response to their queries about the former Princess of Japan Barbie. In the first photo, POJ Barbie sits between Volks' Kana and Mattel's Lea. POJ Barbie's hair color is darker than the warm dark brown of Kana's hair, but it is lighter than the jet black of Lea's hair.

In the second photo, POJ Barbie hugs her former body - an event only possible in East Philly and similar doll/action figure zones, lol. POJ Barbie is only the tiniest bit taller than she was on the Skipper Barbie body. So anyone interested in re-bodying their Skipper and other young teen dolls, the Liv bodies make excellent and in-scale new bodies.

P.S. Lea's feet are not large enough to wear the Lollipop dolls boots, but her small feet can pull them on for this photo.

Lollipop Girl Fashions on Other Dolls and Action Figures

Dragon Linh, MGA Entertainment America's Next Top Model Sidney, Mattel Alvin Ailey American Dance Barbie, and Volks Who's That Girl Kana wearing Jan McLean's Lollipop Girls' fashions. Front view above and rear view below.

Just a few years ago, I sometimes bought stuff that was on sale just because I thought I might someday find a use for it. Example? These Jan McLean's Lollipop Girls fashions. I doubted that I would ever buy any of the Lollipop dolls because of their big heads, inset eyes, and elongated bodies. But that didn't mean that the cool fashions and kicky boots and dramatic hats could not benefit some of my other dolls and action figures. And that hunch paid off.

The pants will fit Barbie Model Muse bodies best. The other dolls shown can wear the pants, but the legs are overlong so you would need to either cut the excess fabric and sew a new hem or fold the pants' legs up.

(Aside, Hasbro's Banee of the Starlight Girls - JEM - only appeared to fit the Lollipop outfit she borrowed yesterday. The top was a stretch, but the back of the jeans did not meet.)

The tops barely fit though. The hats can be a little too large.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Asian American DAFs: Hey Girls!

Six lovely Asian American dolls. Who are they?

1. Get Real Girl, Skylar Ron, Japanese Canadian

2. Hasbro, Starlight Girl Banee, Vietnamese American

3. Mattel, Friend of Kelly, specific Asian background not provided

4. Mattel, Happy Family's Neighborhood baby, specific Asian background not provided

5. Playmates, everGirl, specific Asian background not provided

6. Kenner, The Babysitters Club Claudia Kishi, Japanese American

I will post other Asian American dolls and action figures, too.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Resistable Blythes ... How Did They Get Here?

Everyone who reads PhillyCollector knows I do NOT collect Blythe dolls.

I  maintain, I do NOT collect Blythe dolls.

So how did these photos find their way into a new Webshots folder for that mini creature? How!

Could they have jumped from Niel's blog? No, that isn't possible. I refuse to believe it.

Or could they have been entered by a certain British doll who finds them adorable because they resemble her? Thinking ... thinking ....

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Webshots Folder Updates

I've added a One2Believe folder to my Webshots albums. You may notice some other updates to other photo albums. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Eenie, Meenie, Mackie Mold ... Choosing a Brunette Mackie

This post is partly inspired by another blogger's post about deboxing her Anne Klein Barbie doll. Like many other dolls and action figures and other cool things in my collection, that doll and outfit have languished in the original box - unopened. What am I waiting for? The perfect moment when all is sorted and everything is in its place? I don't know. I just decided that I wanted to have that outfit out and available for one or more of the other dolls to wear. Thanks for that great post, Vanessa!

When I looked at my Anne Klein Barbie doll though, I wondered: do I really want to keep this doll? I mean, I have at least two other fair-complexion, dark haired, Mackie faced dolls. Here they are ... Catwoman Barbie and Kate Spade Barbie. Suppose I had to sell two and could only keep one. Which one will I keep?

Once, I would have thought Catwoman. I mean, Catwoman was my FAVORITE Batman villain, back when I was a child and when I watched the Batman tv series starring Adam West. Catwoman was played by Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt. Statuesque and tiny Catwoman ... interesting contrasts. My Catwoman doll was to have been the evilest woman in the EastPhilly-verse. But ... her face is a little cartoony. She could still play a villain, but she'd look a little campy.

What about that Anne Klein Barbie though? Hmmm ... I'm not crazy about her face paint. She looks respectable. Lovely coloring, but just not enough vigor to her face.

Kate Spade Barbie ... now we are talking ATTITUDE. I know little about Ms. Spade except that she designs pocketbooks ... but I like her face screening best. So she's the one that I will keep.

If you had to decide from this group of three, is there any one you would single out? Or would you hold them all? Or not a one?

Photos to help you decide ....

Katrina Kaif Barbie ... At Last!

Fellow doll and action figure collector and one of my best online pals, Omar aka Actionman81, sent me a link about the release of a Katrina Kaif Barbie doll who will be released in India. I am adding a YouTube link that shows the doll with the actress. The doll looks as if she were made using the Drew face mold. Darn - I was hoping for a new face mold. (D'oh, what am I typing? New face mold. At this time?!?)
Anyone think that the Mattel doll resembles the actress? (Oh where was Spin Master at?!)

Thanks for sharing the link, Omar.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mary, Mother of Mothers

Wait ... surely I mean Eve? Adam and Eve, parents of all the people. (Note: I'm coming from a Christian perspective - no offense intended to other worldviews.) But no, I am not referring to Eve here. While Eve appears first, Eve does not pack the same emotional impact as maternal Mary. (What do you think when you think Eve? Apple, sin, blame. Adam garbling messages? So, no, not talking Eve here. Eve wouldn't likely be in this situation.) Mary though is all mother. Mary is pure mother. Mary is the Mother. Mother of Mothers.

Let's see, Mary, Mother of Mothers ... oh, yes. Why Mary now? I found the One2Believe Mary action figure in a Ross, Dress for Less store. (Fancy that, hmm? Never know what you can find in these wonderful discount stores.) So I had to photograph Mary. I had to share this response with you. Because I did not buy her. Here is why.

Longtime PhillyCollector readers will recall that I bought Esther and Noah, two other action figures from One2Believe. Esther was my tenth Top Doll for 2009. Both Esther and Noah have interesting faces although their body proportions are odd. Very large heads and torsos. Very short legs. Articulated short legs, too. Hmmmm ... not aesthetically pleasing, but the strength in each of their faces overcame the serious - for me - body distortion. Both DAFs are talkers whose speeches resound when anything looks at their midsection. (Kidding ;-D) They are characters. Period. I never feel uneasy with either of them. They can preach all day.

Mary, on the other hand, I don't know. It would feel weird - for me - to have a doll Mary. (And weird is usually comfortable for me, I confess.) Likewise, the corresponding doll Jesus ... well, that would feel even weirder. No offense to anyone fond of these dolls, but any doll representing divinity or closeness to divinity, like Mary, doesn't seem "proper." My DAFs are secular, not religious. They may or may not have a specific religion as part of their storyline, depending on how elaborate a storyline the character has. Basically though, there is my DAF world and religion. The two do NOT meet. With Mary and Jesus dolls - representing Mother of Christ and Christ himself, I'd keep looking over my shoulder for a thunderbolt. Or for my father to return from the dead and scold me for playing with God.

When I was a child, I went to church regularly. First, both my parents took me and my sisters. After the boys came along, my Mom stayed home while we girls and Daddy went to church. (One of my brothers had problems; he could not go to church. He might throw a temper tantrum, yell out, etc.) We dressed up for church then. Black patent leather Mary Janes and purses and then heels as we moved into our teens. We didn't make noise in church, or we would get hammered with Daddy's nails. Ouch. We tried to be quiet on Sundays. And we took care to NOT disrespect any religious group.

Playing with Mary and Jesus dolls ... well, that would have been um ... blasphemous. In my immediate family, I mean. So religious playthings, I pass. Such passing is/was due to respect and a sense of appropriateness.

My One2Believe Esther and Noah are not religious figures in my doll community. They are current characters with those names who teach biblical studies and portray those characters - among others for the children. (I haven't had time to act that all out, alas, but that is their backstory here.) I don't have any problem with them in the "Thou Shalt Not Worship Graven Images" bit - because these dolls only represent humans.

Course Mary is/was human, and Jesus-before-resurrection is/was human. Mary never became "divine," but she is so closely related to Jesus, I would rather not "play" with her either. What kind of conversation would they have? "Jesus, let's go tussle with Satan. He's up to no good and we have to save the dolls of the Doll Kingdom." Nuh uh. I'm not going there.

But since the subject's been broached, let's look at these dolls as representing biblical humans. Do I think that the dolls accurately represent either Mary or Jesus? Does that matter? Well ... hmm ... I don't know. Back when I was young, I enjoyed viewing the Jesus of Nazareth miniseries. Robert Powell was a sexy Jesus; Olivia Hussey was a stunning Mary. I didn't think of either of them as literal representatives of Jesus or Mary. The miniseries was more infotainment - informative and entertainment than religious. I would have thought that Mary and Jesus were darker complected. Not Black Santa darker, but not blue-eyed as Robert Powell was.

Would I have preferred a darker Mother and Son? No, I can't say that I would have. Neither in the miniseries nor in the dolls. It might have seemed a nudge in the historically correct vein - as I imagined it - but Powell was h-o-t in that role. I wouldn't have missed that. (Odd aside one: Robert Powell never seemed that attractive before or after this role. Odd aside two: Olivia Hussey is actually younger than Robert Powell.)

(Gee am I hoping that my Daddy isn't accessing the Internet from the Other Side. Cause I know a big lightening bolt is coming my way.)

Eh but back to Mary the Doll. Did I really leave a pretty doll behind? Because of my religious quirks? No. I didn't buy her because a.) her box had been opened and her hair fuzzed up AND b.) there were looonnngggg queues at the checkout counters. So I don't doubt that she will sell and likely soon. And I hope she will be appreciated as dolls and action figures should be ... regardless of her role, her complexion, and her odd build.

Oh and a late Happy Mother's Day to all mothers.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Who Was I?

I now have a Spin Master Liv (Hayden) body, but my head came from another manufacturer. Can you guess whom and who I was in that manufacturer's world?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Cinquo de Mayo Barbie

Mattel Festivals of the World Barbie: Cinquo de May

Just because ... she's a lovely doll. One of the few dolls with the Tango face sculpt in a lovely golden-brown complexion.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Still Room at the IFDC 2011: The Wizard of OddZ

There is still room for participants at the 9th Annual International Fashion Doll Convention. The IFDC will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, on July 6-9, 2011. This year's theme is The Wizard of OddZ. (And me a Wizard of Oz fan, sigh.) If you can get to Las Vegas at that time and have an interest in modern fashion dolls, please read more details in the convention packet here. I won't be going -- boo hoo, can't shake the geas that holds me to Philly AND wretched financial restraints at this time -- but it sounds exciting. Lots of fashion doll people in attendance, fun workshops, tips on creating celebrity likenesses, and tons of other activities and items to view. Sigh.

I'll post any links to the Convention that I am allowed to share after checking with those who attended and who have photos to share. Do let me know if you attend - I can enjoy vicariously ;-D

May Means ....

Mother's Day, of course!

Asian and Pacific American Heritage month.

Memorial Day

So I'll be looking at mothers in the Doll and Action figure community as well as Asian American fashion dolls and action figures. Might include some Asian doll and action figure companies, too. And I am not sure about Memorial Day ... possibly a group photo of service men?

And carrying over from last month, at least one post about our freckled friends ;-D

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May Day Query: Moxie Teenz

Has anyone used the Moxie Teenz accessories and clothes for heavier 1:6 fashion dolls?