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.


Male Doll World said...

Looking forward to seeing the final result of Watson. I have a Lucy Lui and I am going to check to see if she stained. Thanks for the info.

jSarie said...

This is going to be a fun project to watch unfold!

Shame about the staining on the original body - is it in a material that will allow it to fade eventually (and maybe be fodder for a different project), or is the damage permanent?

D7ana said...

Hi Male Doll World and jSarie!

Thanks for stopping by ;-)

@Male Doll World - alas, if your Lucy Liu held that top, she probably is stained. However, there was another issue of the doll - per the box illustration - and her top was so yours might not have stains. You are welcome. I hope others who come across this doll have avoided this staining.

If you have any ideas for this Watson kitbash, do share. Or if you make your Lucy into this character, let me know. I am nosy about this stuff ;-D

@jSarie - I don't think that her stains will fade. The material is rubbery; if she had a harder plastic, than it might have been possible to scour the stains off. Then again, some people have treated stained vinyl with some success. Although the doll has a nice build and I like the red underpants and the red "polished" toe AND fingernails, I'll replace this body. I have other JP bodies without the stains to represent that physique. Also, this body has slightly sticky legs so ... nah. Not going to keep it although I usually prefer to keep an original body.

The face though could almost be part of another doll. Lovely screening and great likeness to the actress.

An Amazon reviewer has had worse experience than mine. None of my dolls have cracked. I need to check if any of the others have sticky legs, too.

The body need not go to waste. It could fill in for zombie or "dead" parts in a doll mystery story. Not that I am likely to do so, but ... hmmmm ... thinking.

Oh and I don't find the clothes so very cheesy.

If you have any ideas on this project, do share. As I mentioned to Male Doll World, I love feedback and I dote on suggestions ;-)

D7ana said...

Stained dolls? Possible stain remover ... Remove-It sited on this post. Please note: I have no affiliation with that product nor do I personally endorse it. I have never used it, but someone else does recommend it. She doesn't seem to be affiliated with it so ....

Anyone else use that product? Please leave a comment if you do and how it worked. Or share a link if you post about it ;-D

Barb the Evil Genius said...

D7ana, sorry, but no ideas for you on getting a new body for Watson. Actually, having loved the original Sherlock Holmes, I immediately thought of Conan Doyle's Watson when I saw the title of your post. Try finding a body for a somewhat stocky male!

As far as stain removal, I have used benzoyl peroxide with success, although that was on the harder plastic of a 16" Tonner. I'm currently working on the softer vinyl of a 8" Madeline doll's head. I think I'm making progress, but it's hard to tell subtle changes.

Muff said...

A very good likeness for Lucy! Why not a Fashionista body or are the neck dimensions different?

D7ana said...

Hi Barb the Evil Genius and Muff!

@Barb the Evil Genius - thanks for the benzoyl peroxide tip. I had forgotten about that one. I'll check your blog to see updates about your Madeline.

I had a giggle at the thought of the Conan Doyle Watson and the traditional actors who have portrayed that character as body donors for the Joan Watson (Lucy Liu/Alex) doll. I see why you'd think that first. But no, lol, no stocky male bodies will do here.

@Muff - there's a photo that I didn't upload that shows Joan with a Beach Lea doll. Her neck is a little larger than the Barbie necks. A rubber washer to secure her head might help, but her head seems a little big for most Barbie bodies.

In the next post I do on this subject, I'll photograph her head to show how it looks near basic Barbie bodies.

Thanks for giving me this idea to work on ;-)

RoxanneRoxanne said...

Your Lucy Liu is cute. I know that some over on MWD have rebodied Lucy, so you might do a check over there o see the results.

I noticed just the other day that my Jakks Pacific Lola has a stain and cracked undies. ::sigh::

Dollz4Moi said...

I have a CA Lucy Liu head that I'm working on a new body for too. I haven't been searching too hard but I will let you know how she finally ends up :O)

D7ana said...

Hi RoxanneRoxanne and Dollz4Moi!

@Roxanne - boing. Why didn't I remmeber MWDs. Thanks for the reminder.

Oh ... sorry to hear about your Lola. Stained is not great, but cracked. Wince. Think you'll be rebodying her?

@Dollz4Moi - oh, neat. Great minds ;-) I'll be glad to hear from you. And I'll check on your blog for any information, too.

Brini said...

Sorry to read about the staining and I hope you find a new body for her.

D7ana said...

Hi Brini! Thanks for the wish; I hope I find a new body for her, too.

Anderson's All-Purpose said...

While I've never watched Elementary, I think anyone could agree that Ms. Liu deserves articulation! :)
As for stain removal, people keep recommending Remove-Zit but I've only used it on smaller stains. There's also home remedies like regular zit paste with peroxide or vaseline + heat. Vaseline worked for me, but I've been told those aren't safe for the materials. If you're not worried about ruining the doll it might be worth an experiment, though. :)

D7ana said...

Hi Anderson's All-Purpose! Elementary is a fun series. I have to revisit it myself from the first and second seasons. Going to check it out at our Free library.

Thanks for the stain removal tips ;-)

Carrickters said...

Elementary is one of my family's favourites too. I didn't know there had ever been a Lucy Liu doll released. I have no suggestions for a body replacement but I have heard of a company called Twin Pines which makes stain removal products for various types of doll plastic (sorry don't have a link for them). They may have something that would help.

D7ana said...

Hi Carrickters! Yay, another Elementary fan! Oh, yes, Jakks Pacific produced 2 versions of that doll. I mean the same Lucy Liu as Alex doll wearing two different outfits. I got the leather jacket one via eBay; their also was one wearing a red jumpsuit or red tube top and red pants with a dark jacket included in the box.

Thanks for the reminder about Twin Pines. I think that they do sell doll cleaners via e-mail now. Not so much for this body because I want a more poseable one for this doll head, but for others.

Oh and I've updated a post that shows links for celebrity heads. The Celebrity Doll Museum is the more recent site; the Famous Figures site has older figures. Both are good resources, but the latter site is only accessible through the Internet Archive system now. Sigh. Still better through them than not at all.

Happy viewing ;-)

Vanessa said...

Your Lucy Lui is fabulous. They did a great job recreating her likeness. Sorry I don't have any tips for a new body. I'm not familiar with the Elementary series, but I loved Lucy in all the Kill Bill series. I'm looking forward to seeing part 2.

D7ana said...

Hi, Vanessa! Glad you like seeing the Lucy Liu doll. I agree: they captured her likeness. Nice change, that.

Elementary is a fun series. I'm not a diehard Conan Doyle fan, but I enjoy some screen Sherlock Holmes. I like the twist of having Watson be a woman. Adds a fun spice to the arrangement, I think ;-)

I'm checking my doll bodies for a complexion AND pose-ability match.