Monday, June 30, 2014

Elementary? Kitbashing [an] American Watson, Part 1

Muff had mentioned an interest in seeing a playscale Watson based on the Dr. Joan Watson character of the American television show, Elementary. Lucy Liu plays the Dr. Watson role in this update of the Sherlock franchise. (Sherlock is played by British actor Jonny Lee Miller.) I thought it would be a fun challenge.

Jakks Pacific Signature Looks 2 Alex (aka Lucy Liu) Charlie's Angels movie
Recast me - please!

[Re]Bodying a Doll

Lucky me, I have one of the Jakks Pacific G.I.R.L. Force Charlie's Angels Alex dolls. The best thing about the Charlie's Angels movie is that it inspired Jakks Pacific to create fashion dolls of the actresses playing the three main characters. Lucy Liu played the "Alex" character. I bought the doll because she resembled the actress. Isn't she a good likeness of Lucy Liu? Good start there. However, the body is not so great. You think the black satiny pants stained her legs? Surprisingly, they did not. However, that black and silver top under the bordeaux "leather" jacket did stain her neck and part of her chest. Dr. Joan, can you show your back, please?

Back view of two Jakks Pacific fashion dolls
Stained back of Alex doll compared to that of Jaz
Ouch, that is some significant staining. She almost looks beaten.

New Body Needed

Okay. Even if her upper torso were not stained, Dr. Joan would need a new body. First, the Jakks Pacific body has limited posing. She cannot sit; her arms only raise up and down. She cannot twist at the waist or under the bust. The Jakks Pacific G.I.R.L. Force body would be a good  one to model lingerie, but to place in scenes ... tsk. Hard. Think a softer bodied version of Mattel's StarDolls.  See comparison photos below.

Jakks Pacific "Alex" doll stands next to 2 Mattel bodies: Belly Button on left, StarDoll on right.
Mattel Belly Button body on left, Jakks Pacific Alex in center, and Mattel StarDoll body on right

So what about a replacement body? I checked Hasbro's Miss Fear. Needless to say, Miss Fear will NOT be losing her original body. 

Jakks Pacific Alex on the left, Hasbro Miss Fear on the right
Miss Fear - ain't no way that head is getting on this body.

While Miss Fear's body would have a nice weight, aside from all of us being too fearful to make such an exchange, the complexion colors are off. Miss Fear's body is lighter than the Jakks Pacific Alex head. Miss Fear's bust is larger than needed in this case. Now I don't have to have an exact one-to-one inch match, but it would be nice to have her a closer match to the actual character. Maybe, possibly, there is a Perfect Body that would work?

Jakks Pacific Alex doll on left, Takara CyGirl on right
Aside: please note, I removed Ice's guns for this comparison.
Doctor Joan thinks the CyGirl size might be a good fit for her. Only she would prefer to have bare feet rather than boot feet. Ice's complexion is too pale to match the Jakks Pacific face.  A Blue Box Toys Asian Perfect Body figure might make a perfect fit. Just need to find one of them today. Hmmm ....

New Fashions Needed

Set aside that black-silver knit top that stains. Save that for store scenes.  The burgundy leather jacket and the black satin boot cut slacks ... not so good a match. The Joan Watson character wears a lot of tunics or shirts over mini skirts or leggings. These colors are okay - the doctor's color palate seems urban: grays, blacks, dark colors and prints along with some light gray or white tops.  Blogger Lindsay of On Screen Style has a post about sources and substitute pieces for humans wishing to replicate the Joan Watson look.

I need to go through the fashions I have for pieces like those. Also need to be sure that they fit whichever body she ends up using. So we can review clothes in a future post.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Here Come the [June] Bride(s)

Here comes the Bride and yes, she's got a Groom along, too. Inspiration for this post came from an annual June wedding thread on the DollyDaily doll discussion site. Below are photos of three happy couples on their wedding day. Links to other playscale weddings follow the photos. If you have playscale wedding scenes to share, please leave your link in the comments. Who doesn't love a wedding?

Ahem ... that was a rhetorical question.

Groom: Power Team action figure borrowing the jumper from the Wedding Day Groom, 2007.
Bride: Target Special Edition Clubb Wedd Barbie (AA) wearing her original gown, 1997.

Groom: Hasbro's The Defender borrowing the tuxedo from the Wedding Day Groom, 2007.  
Bride: Malibu Christie borrowing the wedding gown of Marlena Evans, 1999.

Groom: Integrity Toys' Royal Heritage Alejandro wearing his original tuxedo, 2001. 
Bride: Integrity Toys' Royal Heritage Alysa wearing her original wedding gown, 2001.

Related Links

Dani tries on wedding dresses by VitaPlastic

June wedding display by SuperCoolDollHouse

Wedding of Danielle and Rod by Vanessa

Nigerian wedding by Limbe Dolls

Wedding of Cara and Curtis by Brini

Remember, if there are any playscale June weddings that you want to share, let me know.  Leave the URL in the comments so that I and other readers can view them.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Paris Mode Susie by RnD Dolls

I missed getting the "Sweet Freedom" Susie. I snoozed; I loozed. (Pardon the bad English.) So for compensation, I opened up one of my favorite Susies that I had kept never removed from box: RD0007 "Paris Mode" Susie from the Next Wave Collection, 2004. 

The video shows Paris Mode Susie with her light blond hair and hazel eyes and the chic green brocade suit this Susie wears. Susie is an articulated fashion doll, almost 11" tall created by Rudi Teruel and David Wu of R & D Dolls. Larraine of archives the Susie files, but that page on her site is under construction. So I'm sharing a Wayback Machine link to the original R & D Dolls site to show some of the many Susies that have been available. 

I also have the "Milan Chic" Susie doll from the same Next Wave Collection: I will debox her later this month. In PhillyCollector, you have seen Ibiza Heat Susie, L.A. Luxe Susie, San Francisco Days Susie, and Tokyo Trendy Susie removed deboxed.

Aside: the inspiration to share these photos as a YouTube video came from watching a recent video by RoxanneRoxanne of Roxanne's Dolls.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day: Playscale Pappas Including Darth Vader

3 male fashion dolls by Mattel; 1 action figure representing fathers
left to right Ned Syphon Sr., "Noah," Allan Happy, Rev. Isiah Ezekiel Hadley

These four characters were the first fathers I came across today. They are from left to right: Edward "Ned" Syphon, Sr. (originally Happy Family Grandpa Hadley), Noah, Happy Family Alan, and Reverend Isaiah Ezekiel Hadley (originally AA Happy Family Grandpa Hadley). All but Noah are Mattel dolls. Noah is from One2Believe. They represent some of the father figures here, and they present our wish for happiness for all fathers.

My Fathers Doll/Action Figure Collection

My first father doll was probably Steve Sunshine followed by Hal Happy. My next "official" father doll would have been Manuel. Later I drafted my Hasbro "The Defender" figure to be father to two toddler dolls I had. Steve, Hal, and Manuel were the groovy, hip fathers: the Defender was the heavy, solemn, rigid father. A "do as I say father." However, most of my dolls and action figures were single because - to my child and teenaged thinking, the single dolls were free to have more adventures. Shrug.

Today, I appreciate that fathers can have adventures, too. They have roles beyond the "cool" dad and the "stern" dad. Someday, I would like to add some of the traditional dads like Dr. John Littlechap and maybe Tammy's father as well as dolls and action figures who embrace the dad role offscreen.

Other Playscale Fathers

Here I list other playscale father dolls. I include grandfather dolls as well because they are fathers first. I *know* that there are gaps in this list, so please feel free to share your list of playscale fathers in the comments.


Darth Vader


Tammy's Dad, 1963

Majestic Studios

Commander Adama, 2008(?)


Desi Arnaz, 2000 
Frank Sinatra, 2000
Happy Family Alan, 2002
Happy Family Alan, 2002 (Black/ethnic)
Happy Family Grandpa, 1976 (Original, ethnic)
Happy Family Grandpa, 2003
Happy Family Grandpa, 2003 (Black/ethnic)
Happy Family Hal, 1975
Heart Family Dad, 1985
Heart Family Grandpa, 1987  
Sunshine Family Grandpa, 1976
Sunshine Family Steve, 1974


Dr. John Littlechap, 1964


Manuel, 1970? - any information on Manuel who came with a blond wife and child, would be appreciated.


Man Behind the Doll on Alan and the Happy Family, 2003 

Blogger on Happy and Sunshine Family Grandparents, 2011

Happy Family and the Sunshine Family on Flickr, current

Heart Family discussed on Play Stuff blog, 

Heart Family at Toyzdollz, 1999-2014

Mattel Barbie Friends

Vintage Toy Encyclopedia on the Littlechap Family, 1996 - 2014

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Who's That Susie?

Anyone recognize the Susie in the photo below? The photo itself once was part of a PhillyCollector header. 

Heads of Fashion dolls and action figures: R&D Susie, Takara CyGirl Ice, YNU Group Mixis Emerald, Mattel Flavas Kiyoni, Aoshima/Skynet Girls Mission Mai, Integrity Heartbreaker TJ, Get Real Girl Vanessa

Can't recognize her? I'll tell you then: this Susie is the Los Angeles Luxe doll created for the 2006 Barbie Convention. She has long straight dark auburn hair and brown eyes with painted eyelashes.  She's shown wearing her original fashion, a gunmetal gray bolero jacket and a gunmetal gray halter midi dress. Does anyone recognize her now?

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Mattel Fashionista Ryan Shows Marx Sindy Breakfront, Place Setting

Fashionista Ryan shows the Marx Sindy Breakfront from 1978.

Would you like to reproduce this table setting? See how on this page.

Monday, June 2, 2014

A Bike Post Inspired by Vanessa or Posing Requires Patience

Okay, these are NOT my best photos. I almost left them buried, but I had such fun reading Vanessa's bike post, I caved. Here is the backstory: I took 3 figures and 2 bikes out - just in case I had the chance to photograph them outside. I live in a big city. I was going to Center City for a meeting. And I seriously thought I might have 10-15 minutes uninterrupted and unseen when I could take photos of a doll and 2 action figures riding a bike. Ha! You can throw that out again - ha!

No chance in Center City. Too many people out and about. Sigh. Might as well go home. Took the train for consolation. Got off the train and inspiration hit. Maybe I could do my photo shoot here? The outdoor light was bright and clear. It wasn't too hot. There is a grassy area that would make a great scene. I could set the bikes up as if they were going through the Park. If I slowed down and let the other passengers move off to go about their business, I would have the scenic station to myself. Again, ha!

I was the last off the train. Walked slowly towards the exit, then paused to open my bag. The passengers seemed to have dispersed. Whew. Now is my chance. I whipped out R&D Susie and one of the M&C Toys Power Team guys and the Mattel My Scene Jammin in Jamaica bicycle for two. I tried to set them on the bicycle. Okay, I needed them to squat a little and hold onto the bicycle handles. They wanted to do anything but that. Their feet did not fit into the foot holders. Okay, granted, his feet were too big to fit in them. Her feet were the right size though. Feet in? Now to pose the rest of her just so. Almost there - she is half on the bike. He seems to be straddling his seat. I prop him onto the bike seat. He falls off his perch. I go to pick him up, she falls down. I take a deep breath and try not to growl. Leave those two sprawled atop the bicycle.

Mai. She's a little poser, Mai is. Real trooper. Oh boy did I forget how contrary she can be to pose? Her feet will turn backwards after you think you have her set right. Very loose jointing she has. Sigh. So when I finally set her feet going in the right direction, I did not notice that her hands had turned to an impossible angle. Until after I took the photograph. Sigh. This is NOT a scene from a zombie film. Come on, work with me, Mai. Squat a little to fit the single bicycle. You posed for me before - you and NuFace Lukas - ah, but Lukas is not here. Mai has ornery all over her face.

Then I had the sensation that someone was watching me. Or maybe I saw a movement on the periphery. I looked up. An unknown man was looking at me. I was less alarmed that an unknown man was looking at me than I was pissed that some nosey parker was spying on my directing. And my directing was not going well. My actors and props refused to cooperate. I was getting tired and antsy. God forbid my family or a near neighbor walk by. I would NEVER hear the end of it. "You embarrassed us."  "Why do you do these things?" Groan. Could I not have just a few minutes on a clear, sunny day?

Nope. I could not. I glared at the nosey parker and moved my wayward figures to a different spot. Took a few quick photos. Because I was going to have something to show for my efforts. Only I knew I had better end my photo session before nosey parker brought in reinforcements. "See - that's the woman torturing dolls. Lock her up." Sigh.

Here are three photos from that session.

R&D Susie, M&C Power Team guy, Aoshima/Skynet Girls Mission Mai
A Cycling Nightmare

R&D Susie, M&C Power Team guy, Mattel My Scene bicycle for two
Susie: I'm not built for this. Terry: Just chill, babe. See? No hands.

Aoshima/Skynet Girls Mission Mai figure, Mattel bicycle
Mai: She should have brought Lukas. I don't like this outfit. Who's ornery?

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Jumping Jamming Jiving June 2014

We had a flash mob in East Philly today. See the photos below and read the transcript of the comments that were a.) understandable and b.) safe for young ears.

Male Dolls and Action Figures Celebrate

Transcript: Whooo hhhhooo! 'Bout time! Our turn, baby! Let the dudes out! It's a man's world ... Yo bro! Yahoo! Sports, we want sports! Papa's got a brand new bag. Rock 'n roll.


Otherwise, June first was a lovely day. A lot warmer than May first, but still a sunny day. Will I address any topics this month - besides the ones overdue from last month? (Like the rest of my Asian American dolls and action figure lists and photos and some other themes from May. No, I am not giving them up until next year.) You bet. These are some June themes that I might merge with doll and action figure posts:

National Caribbean-American Heritage Month

Entrepreneurs "Do It Yourself" Marketing Month

Father's Day

Gay Pride Month

and not least of these tributes:  International Men's Month

I will share dolls and/or action figures that fit these themes. If you have relevant links - dolls or figures that match, let me know. I'll include your website if the figures are playscale and the site is "work safe."