Monday, April 30, 2012

New Shoewear For Fashion Royalty Hommes!

I thank DBG of BlackDollCollecting for this tip: the Fashion Royalty Hommes can fit the Black Label Barbie Basics Accessories Look No. 04, Collection 002. Well, my Lukas Maverick can slip his feet into the white sneakers with black stripes. The other shoes could also accommodate the Hommes feet if the center backs had a vertical slit added. The opening for the foot is not wide enough in the other footwear to allow Lukas' foot to slip in without that adjustment.

Nothing like inexpensive footwear that is stylish and that does NOT require lacing up.

Get Your IBDSS Postcard Today?

Today I received my official postcard announcing the annual International Black Doll Show coming to Center City Philadelphia. I have posted an article on Examiner about the Show. Please visit that article for additional information.

Hope to meet some of you there!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Ex Unus, Plures or Generic Ethnic Fashion Dolls

Behold! Spin Master's Liv Daniela doing a Dance of Heads. Why is Daniela juggling the heads of her peers, Sophie (pale blonde) and Hayden (golden blond)? How better to illustrate that Daniela, Sophie, and Hayden all have the SAME head sculpt? (Liv dolls Alexis and Katie share that face sculpt, too.) The only difference is their complexion, hair color, and eye color. One head, many dolls: Ex Unus, Plures. Out of One, Many.

Yawn. Oh that is a novel discovery, D7ana. No one else ever noticed that. Smile.

Okay, most toy manufacturers use a default doll mold. Why do companies use a default head? It is cheaper. Better ONE doll face than NO doll face. New companies especially may not be able to afford multiple face sculpts. They change race and/or ethnicity by changing the plastic color. White to tan represents "White" dolls. A range of light tan to darkest brown or black "make" the doll "Black." Pink to medium brown "make" the doll "Hispanic," while ivory to golden brown "make" the doll "Asian." Sometimes reddish-brown is used for "Native American" dolls. Know the code, know the race or ethnicity of the doll, right?

Well .... Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Sometimes just changing the complexion, is not enough to "represent" a race or ethnicity. First, the complexion ranges mentioned do overlap. So is the brown Chic Boutique doll Black or Hispanic? And if the brown doll is Black, does that make the tan doll Hispanic or Asian? Or even suntanned White? Categorizing race or ethnicity by complexion is difficult. 

Second, is this color coding universally known? I thought sure, if not overtly then subconsciously: everybody knows that the darkest doll is the Black one while the brighter tan doll is the Hispanic doll. But recently, two other doll enthusiasts have stated that they had not realized that Alexis was meant to be the Black doll in the Liv line-up or that Daniela was meant to be Hispanic. (If I had not read the dolls' back stories, I would not have known the intended ethnicity of those dolls either.) So another problem with "color-coded" generic ethnic dolls is that ethnic identity depends on comparison to all the dolls in the set. Alone, a generic ethnic doll can lose her ethnicity - and let's say "her" because the greatest range in race and in ethnicity appears in female dolls. Alone, a generic ethnic doll becomes a generic doll of ambiguous ethnicity.

Does racial and ethnic identity matter in dolls? Does the doll buying public care? No and yes. I can tolerate the ONE head default sometimes. There might exist a person who resembles a generic ethnic doll. Stress the word might. Some companies are creative enough to use colored plastics and paint to create visual variation. Blind doll collector-enthusiasts would not be swayed by such a ploy. They would see the same figure over and over.
Given my druthers, I would choose multiple head sculpts to portray different races in my dolls. Fortunately, there are many manufacturers of playscale dolls and action figures offering their vision of races and ethnicities. And who is to say that the generic ethnic doll has no place in a mix of varied dolls?

Why am I discussing generic ethnic dolls now? Well, I am looking forward to the Fall release of the Prettie Girlz dolls by Stacey McBride-Irby. They all share the same face sculpt, but I wonder - can they be described as "generic ethnic" dolls too? Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Monday, April 23, 2012

Correction: Bargain Barbie - $5.50; So in Style Dolls $10.00

Correction: the prices for these dolls actually is $5.50 for the Basic dolls who flank the So in Style dolls and $10.00 for the So in Style dolls. Double what I published. I apologize for misleading you. Please do not seek this series of the So in Style Grace and friends at your Family Dollar store at $5.00 each. I must have read the price for the Basic Barbie doll shown. And those Basic dolls are no longer $5.00 but are now $5.50.

I will say that "I have egg on my face."

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Liv and Barbie in Fast Company

Here is an article about Barbie and the Liv fashion dolls that I enjoyed. It's from last year, but it is new to me and may be new to you.

What tickles me is how the author thinks in terms of Barbie OR Liv when we collector-enthusiasts are merging the two. Barbie or other doll heads on Liv bodies. Mattel and Spin Master probably haven't considered that possibility either.

Does anyone else LOVE the header photograph by Jamie Chung.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Warning Morristown: East Philly Wedding Guests Going!

Izzy: Hey, yo! Izzy here. The girls and I decided we wanted to go to Rod and Danielle's wedding. Yep. In Morristown. Way down in Georgia. You can imagine the reactions we got: "Are you crazy? Georgia is states away. You are too young." Yada, yada.

So my pals and I decided, we are too going to Georgia, we are too going to that Wedding. I mean, it just might be the Event of the Year. So we are NOT going to miss it because our parents don't like to travel.

Three heads nod.

Izzy: Anyway, Hanna told her Mom. Her Mom's the coolest of our parents. Her Mom suggested we find a chaperone to go with us. We'd go to the Church and then to the Reception and then come right back. (Well, you can't have everything.) So we found Old Joe was going. Problem, solution, right? Wrong. My Mom freaked. Fee's Mom freaked. Even Hanna's Mom said, someone else would need to go. Just cause Old Joe has a few social problems ...

Hanna: My turn now, Izzy. Hi everybody. Hanna here. Izzy takes too long. Long story short, we found Disco Wanda would chaperone us. She agreed - seems she wanted to go, but she worried people would think she had hooked up with Joe ...

Fee: We shouldn't be telling people what we're doing. Suppose my Father hears about it? We'll be grounded before we can go.

Izzy: Fee's worried Daddy-Preacher will put his foot down. He'd have to walk away from the mirror, first, haaa hhaaa.

Disco Wanda appears: Girls are you ready? Mr. Joe says we have to leave now.

Izzy: Hey, Wanda, yeah. We're coming. Come on girls, it's now or never ... Oh our photo is at the top of this post; Wanda and Joe's photo is right below. Ciao.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

How to Sell Barbies for Newbies

I received a request for information on how to sell Barbies from someone who has had "no contact with other collectors." I offer this information, but if anyone else wants to share his or her experiences, please send in comments.

First, you need to list the dolls you have for sale. Note the condition of the box, the date on the box, and the doll name/title/series.

Next, how much time do you want to devote to selling your Barbies? If you want to sell them as quick as possible, for whatever price you can get, try to find a doll dealer, someone who specializes in buying and/or selling dolls in your area. Check your telephone directory and an online directory to see if there are local doll dealers who might buy some or all of your dolls. Me, I have not found any dealer buyers, but I can not say that I really tried hard to find them. It is not easy to sell dolls in recent years, but it is possible.

You can also try to find out if there are any doll clubs in your area. Are any of their members interested in the dolls you have for sale?

Third, you can investigate eBay. I have sold dolls via eBay.

Here is some suggested reading:

1. Vanessa's encounter with a couple who had purchased Barbies for a daughter they never had.

2. Denise Van Patten's Doll Collecting Guide's links on Selling .

Write back and/or check back for additional suggestions from other readers of this blog. Doll enthusiasts are helpful people. Let us know how you make out or if you have any additional questions.

If anyone would like to add any additional information or other links, please share. I thank you in advance.

Monday, April 16, 2012

“A Treasury of Dolls:” Philly's 2012 Black Doll Show

The Philadelphia Doll Museum and Dark Images present

The 23rd International Black Doll Show
“A Treasury of Dolls”
Saturday, May 26, 2012
10 AM - 5 PM

Philadelphia Convention Center
12th and Arch Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Admission cost is $7.00 for adults and $5.00 for seniors or children under 12 years old.

For information about renting tables, making doll donations, or learning about specific activities, please contact Dr. Whiteman at 215-787-0220.

For hotel information, please contact the Hilton Garden Inn (1100 Arch Street) at 215-923-0100.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Uncovering the Fat Suit of Sideshow's Odd Job

You don't see many portly male dolls or action figures.

Ever wonder how such a figure would look undressed? In this case, he looks the way the average-sized figures do. He is an average-sized figure. Here, Sideshow Collectibles' Odd Job figure strips down to reveal the secret of his "heavy" appearance.

So the action figure is not "portly"; the fitted padding called a "fat suit" fills him out to resemble the actor playing the Odd Job role, Harold Sakata.

The exterior of the "fat suit" is black polyester. Turning it inside out, you can see the padded interior. The white batting next to the black polyester is covered on the other side with a semi-sheer black netting. The padded areas give extra weight to the figure's torso, upper back, and buttocks. His clothes are larger to accommodate the "fat suit."

Here is the inside front of the suit.

And here is the back of it.

Any thoughts on this type of "enhancing" the action figure body?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Mrs. Maud Mavis Hadley's Holiday Wishes

Mrs. Maud Mavis Hadley, the Reverend Hadley's wife, sends her wishes that everyone had a happy Easter, Passover, and/or Spring Break.

"Did I get all the holidays, dearie?"

I think you did, ma'am. Anyone who feels left out can write and let us know.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Tennis Fans: Did You See the Barbie Kim Clijsters Doll?

I was finishing up an article I am posting on Philadelphia Doll Collector Examiner when I saw an article about a Kim Clijsters Barbie doll. I am not a tennis fan - if a ball flies in my direction, I run to avoid it - but for those of you who are or who are Kim Clijsters' fans, that's some news from 2010. Though if you are/were a fan of that tennis player, you would likely have heard that news then. Well, if you have not heard it before, there it is for you now.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Robin of Roville Writes [About] StarDolls

Do you know what I know? Don't worry ... I am not going to drag it out. The post title leaks the story. Robin of Roville has a blog! Eeekkkk! Robin is the tour de force behind the incomparable Roville. When I began doll and action figure online activity back in 1997, Robin was one of the first doll enthusiasts who maintained a constant storyline using incredibly detailed sixth scale dioramas and fascinating characters. And she was/is pleasant and generous with her tips and suggestions. Everyone dancing now? Sure. And most kindly, she mentions moi in her StarDoll post when she tipped me to their existence. (Eyes widen, mouth opens, splayed hand to chest in mock modesty - wink and grin as recovery sets in.)

My silliness aside, go visit the Roville blog and see which bodies Robin uses for her StarDoll heads. I won't tell which ones she uses. Nope, horses won't drag the story from me. (Not that horses or de Cat or the turtles would likely want to ....) The dolls are beautifully photographed in a cafe setting.

But you don't need to take my word - go see. Bye for now.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Ethnic DAF Hair: B is for Braids

Behold! Four beautiful ladies sit before us. Three are from Mattel and the last, from Olmec. They all have one thing in common: braids. Last month, I wrote about the afro. The afro was about embracing an ethnic identity and freedom from repression. Braids would seem to be the opposite, however braids have been an art form for many people. These ladies each has embraced braided hair as fashionable styling.

From the far left, we have Harley Davidson Barbie #5 from 2001. HD5 Barbie is the only ethnic HD Barbie. Mattel gave her tiny micro-braids, which give the sensation of fine-as-in-narrow cornrows. The hair is not literally cornrowed though because that would mean the hair was braided closer along the scalp. Still it is a fair enough approximation.

Next, we have Stylin' Hair Brandy sitting next to HD5. Mattel created this doll in the likeness of the [then] young R&B singer/actress/dancer who drew attention to braided hairstyles. In this version of the Mattel doll, Brandy not only has two-toned hair - brandy red and black, she also has two textures. The red hair is straight; the black hair is bound in tiny micro braids. Variety?

Pajama Fun Nikki sits next to Brandy. This charming teenager, friend of Barbie's teen sister Skipper, seems to wear her lovely black hair straight. However, Mattel achieves a slightly heavier than usual texture by twining her hair strands. The effect is not as dramatic as the braids are, but the hair does feel slightly different than "regular" straight hair. I consider it a variation on the braided hair theme.

Next, Olmec's Naomi, who has a pseudo-cornrow style. Her hair is actually the standard black straight hair used for dolls of all races. Her braids are thicker than those of any of the Mattel dolls here.

In this final photograph, the back view of the braided heads can be seen:

Behold, the beauty and the diversity of braids.

Integrity Dolls 2012 - See Them and Weep!

Maddies Dolls has photos of the new Integrity Toys fashion dolls.

Of course, there are some that I would have like the Pop of Color Annik, Back to Brooklyn Jasper, and Remi. Or maybe Quiet Storm Annick? And Another Thing Kyori? Maybe this year, I will get lucky?

Time will tell.

Monday, April 2, 2012

What Doll Fell Into East Philly on April 1st?

Ta Da! StarDoll Fallen Angel 2 arrived yesterday. Unlike her fellow StarDolls, Fallen Angel 1 and Pretty N Love, Fallen Angel 2 has a name - Natasha. (No, Boris is NOT around the corner, lol.) Natasha has two wishes: one, to be reunited with her sister Roxanne (Bonjour Bizou 1) and two, to have a poseable body.

Does anyone have suggestions for an articulated body for Fallen Angel 2? I don't want a Liv doll for this doll. I would like something more mature and slightly heavier.

Thanks in advance.

Dana and Natasha

Sunday, April 1, 2012

D7ana Stopped by Target - Oh No!

I went by another Target today. I know that sounds like the start of a really bad, terribly sad tale in which money was exchanged for a new doll or dolls. I am supposed to be selling. NOT b-u-y-i-n-g.

But ... I have not been able to resist popping into various Targets since they started that StarDoll sale. I tell myself, the cat needs treats. He has to have them, or he won't go to sleep at night. So I have to go to Targets. What kind of cat owner/servant would I be if my poor starving cat did not have his treats from Targets?

(Aside. Yes, he has me trained. Well, mostly. Sometimes I have to put my size 10s down and resist those big green eyes. Like when I need to eat. Sorry Louie. Oh, who am I fooling? What is all this blathering about the cat, but an evasion of the inevitable confession?)

Okay, me at Target. What did I see? StarDolls, yes! But what else did I see? Blythe's Littlest Pet Shop. Moxie Girls. Oh and the cat treats. But I doubt anyone else is interested in them. Except the cat. And he has no interest in reading about cat treats; he just wants them there when he's hungry.

Still blathering. Okay, I have photos. Such cuties there were there today at Target. I'll let you guess which if any of these dolls I bought today. They are Blythe's Littlest Pet Shop Autumn Glam

and the Horse Riding Club Moxie Girls

Remember, today is April 1st. Stop by tomorrow and I'll reveal all.