Monday, December 15, 2014

Smartees Alert - Handle With Extreme Care

Do you have any of the Smartees fashion dolls? These are the Barbie alternatives produced between 1999-2001 whose focus was careers outside the fashion and modeling industries. Amanda the Architect, Destiny the Doctor, Emily the Entrepreneur ... yes, those dolls. If you do have them, I suggest that you handle your Smartees dolls with extreme care because they are more frail than they seem. Several of mine have had the legs break at the right hip connection.

Taylor the Teacher was the first doll whose right leg snapped off. She fell from my hand to a table. Okay, I suppose I should have been careful. The fall distance did not seem far to me. I have dropped click bend kneed Barbies from greater distances than that. Oh yes, I winced. Then Caitlin the Cook's right leg cracked when I tried to cross her leg. Oh no, I wailed. Then Amanda the Architect's right leg snapped when I was taking off her black stockings. Oh sh-t, I said. Three breaks at the same place - what are my Smartees trying to tell me?

Sigh. You can see the break in this photograph.

Close-up of Smartees doll's broken leg-hip connection
Smartees leg-hip break

Okay, these fashion dolls are from 13-15 years old. While the material is decent enough for a "small name brand" doll, it was not intended to last for centuries. So I and others interested in "playing with" these dolls should be careful and gentle with them. Or be prepared to find them replacement bodies.

I would rather not swap articulated bodies for the Smartees dolls because their original bodies are good quality. No leaky plastics, no sticky residue. The waist twist. The knees bend. The arms bend at the elbows - although they have no articulation at the wrist ("paddle arms"). I prefer to save my articulated bodies for dolls with limited posing ability.

Smartees Amanda with leg broken and showing "paddle" arms
Smartees Amanda and "paddle arms"
So handle your Smartees with care, but if they should break as mine have done, please remember their age. They aren't antiques or "vintage," but they are mature in doll years.