Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Four Observations About My Action Figure Collection

D7ana: Let's talk action figures!

Reader: You mean dolls?

D7ana: No, I mean action figures.

Reader: (Sighs) Same thing.

D7ana: Not really ... I can tell you four areas where my action figure collection differs from my doll collection.

Reader: (Shrugs)

1. Quantity
I have over 480 fashion dolls. That's a rough count because I have many "hybrid" dolls: Mattel heads on Spin Master Liv bodies, Mattel-Mattel swaps, Integrity playline heads on Integrity collector doll bodies, so on. I now have a count for my action figures: 95 intact. By "intact," I mean original heads with original bodies. That's a big difference. I have fewer action figures than I thought. And I call myself a collector of dolls AND action figures. Ha!

I have dolls from at least 50 different companies; I only have 17 companies represented for my action figures. I will list them here:

21st Century
BBi (Blue Box Toys)
Character Options Ltd.
Dragon AND Dragon in Dream Corporation
Formative International Co., Ltd.
Hot Toys Limited
Jakks Pacific
M & C Toy Centre
Majestic Studios
Playmates Toys Inc.
Revell GmbH& Co. KG
Sideshow Collectibles

2. Gender [Im]balance
Want to guess how many of those 95 action figures are female? A whopping 18. Here's a screen shot of my Excel spreadsheet showing those 18 figures:

You've probably seen all of them. My female action figures. Well maybe not Princess Leia and the Bbi Perfect Body Hispanic. I don't think that they've made many online appearances. Here's a group photo showing some of them:

Dragon Linh, Bbi Perfect Body, Hasbro Leia, Character Options Martha, Aoshima/Skynet Girl's/Lady's Mission
From left to right: Dragon Linh, Bbi Perfect Body African American, Hasbro Princess Leia, Character Options Martha Jones, Aoshima/Skynet Lady's Mission Kelly Jackson, Aoshima/Skynet Girl's Mission Mai, and Bbi Perfect Body Hispanic

Before you shake your head in dismay, hear this: while I have not yet taken count of my dolls by gender, I can tell you I have way more female dolls than I do male dolls. Doll companies create far more female dolls than male dolls. My action figure buying began with "Old Joe" as a way to increase male figures in my Doll World. So the gender imbalance does not disturb me.

3. Race Breakdown

Curious about the race breakdown for my action figures? I was so I created a spreadsheet to see what I have. That the majority of my male action figures are White does not surprise me. I do not have statistics to support this claim, but I suspect that the majority of playscale action figures are White males. Raise my hands. I'm not fighting or arguing; just commenting. Finding ethnic figures is more fun because they are a little harder to find.

I was surprised to find that I had more Asian female action figures than White or Black. Hmmm ....

Race Male Female Both
Asian 15 8 23
Black 19 3 22
Hispanic 3 1 4
Native American 1 0 1
Unspecified 0 1 1
White 39 5 44
77 18 95

4. Articulation

Usually, action figures have better articulation or pose-ability than fashion dolls. Action figures have more joints. From that list of 18 female action figures, only three have limited articulation: Hasbro's Princess Leia and Toy Biz's Storm and Xena. Those three figures could almost be considered NO-action figures. What about my male action figures? Are any of them limited posing-wise? Yes. Four: Hasbro's Basic Training Lamont A. Morris and The Defender; Jakks Pacific's Van Helsing and Chris Jericho. Usually, though, articulation puts the action in action figures.

In the photo below, I have a Mattel Harley Davidson Ken followed by a Dragon Ben Yahzee. The HD Ken is on a male poser body. The contrast is almost painful to view.

Reader: So you're telling me dolls and action figures are not the same?

D7ana: I suppose I am. Yes. They are not.

Reader: Well, I still think they're the same.

D7ana: (Sighs) Last I checked, we live in a free country. Think as you will.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Shero Dolls by Mattel

Do you recognize any of these names?

Ava DuVernay

Emmy Rossum

Eva Chen

Kristin Chenoweth

Sydney “Mayhem” Keiser

Trisha Yearwood

Mattel recognizes them. These "female heroes" or "sheroes" provide inspiration to young girls (and older women, others) by their stereotype shattering deeds.  Moreover, Mattel presented these "sheroes" with one-of-a-kind Barbie-scale dolls in their likenesses at the Variety Power of Women Luncheon in New York City earlier today. Cool, huh? 


Gee, I hope Mattel creates these dolls for the mass market. But since the sheroes auctioned off their dolls to benefit their favorite charity, that is not likely.

But ... then again, Halle Berry had had a one-of-a-kind doll created of her by Mattel. And Mattel later produced a James Bond Halle Berry doll. 

I owe this scoop to my blogging buddy, Arlett of Chasing Joy fame. Arlett is a "shero" in her own right. (Check her non-doll blog to read while I write that.)

Aside: I don't care for the word "shero," but I suppose "heroine" is dated? What do you think?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Barbie Pretty Treasures - Accessory Treats From the 1990s

Remember Barbie Fashion Avenue fashions? I am lucky to have bought many of those fashions when they were discounted at K B Toys. If you'd like to see more of them, check the lovely photos Barbie enthusiast Felicity has of them. Ah yes ... those were some attractive fashions. Separate accessory sets were issued to complement the Fashion Avenue fashions and furniture sets.

Here are two Pretty Treasures sets that would enhance a kitchen or wedding diorama.

Barbie Pretty Treasures Baking Set 1996
Barbie Pretty Treasures Baking Set 1996

Barbie Pretty Treasures Wedding Set 1996
Barbie Pretty Treasures Wedding Set 1996

Karin R. has a list of Kelly-related collections, but I do not know if there is a site listing all of these sets. I have the Barbie Special Collection Holiday Presents Gift Set from 1998 - long since deboxed.  Do you have any of these sets? Have you - as I did - succumbed to temptation and deboxed them?

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Worried Your Doll's Ashy Skin is Caused by VDS?

Back in 2009, I had asked if anyone had experienced ashy-faced dolls. What I meant by "ashy-faced dolls" was dolls who seemed to have sprouted powder on their faces. I had had two Mattel fashion dolls with that condition - Fashion Fever Kayla and Cali Girl Lea. (Kayla sold - and yes, I informed the buyer about her "skin problem.") Well, I am pleased to announce now that I know what the problem is. No, the problem is not VDS. Lea has mycelial mat. How can I make that claim? I read pages 58-59 of Nicholas J. Hill's The Definitive Book On The Care And Preservation Of Vinyl Dolls And Action Figures.  

First, what is VDS? VDS is "vinyl deterioration syndrome," a term used by some action figure and/or doll collectors. However, VDS is a misnomer; the problem is not the vinyl. The problem is fungi want food. The plasticizers in vinyl - under the right conditions, say a room with high humidity - makes good food for fungi. (Think silent lip smacking.) So they attach themselves to our lovely dolls and feast. The white powdery stuff is baby fungi; they gain color as they develop. I think Lea's fungi are still "baby" (stunted) because her face is not thick enough to provide enough nourishment for the mycelial mat to develop.

How did this happen to Lea? I had placed her on top of a 79 1/2" tall IKEA Billy bookcase close to a window. Bad move on my part since that exposed her to more extreme temperature fluctuations and to more humidity than in the rest of the room. 

Is treatment available? Yes, it is. Formula 9-1-1 sold by Twin Pines. Have I tried this product? No, not yet. It has received endorsements and positive reviews online and off

So rest easy knowing there is no VDS looming on the horizon and waiting to devour your figures. And check the recommendations on this page to help keep humidity down in your doll room. Relieved?

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Bunningtons with Playscale Figures

I want to demonstrate the size of the Bunningtons so I have Sal, a Power Team action figure, and Galleria (Raven) by Jakks Pacific hold them. Sal and Galleria are about 11.5" tall. Playscale.

M & C Toys Power Team Action figure holding set of 4 Mattel Bunningtons
M & C Toys Power Team Action figure holding set of 4 Mattel Bunningtons

Jakks Pacific Galleria holding 2 Mattel Bunningtons: tallest Father and shortest Brother
Jakks Pacific Galleria holding 2 Mattel Bunningtons: tallest Father and shortest Brother

I know: aaaawwww ....

I'm so glad I got them years ago.

National Tartan Day - Celebrating Scottish Americans

On April 4th 2008, President George Bush signed a Presidential Proclamation making April 6th National Tartan Day. I recently learned about this holiday when I checked for diversity month updates. I have no known Scottish roots (paging Dr. Henry Louis Gates); does that matter? No. Tartan is the cloth pattern associated with Scotland. I have two guys wearing tartan kilts. Here are my kilt-wearing guys, Tommy and High School Musical Ryan.

Mattel High School Musical Ryan and Mattel Scottish Tommy in kilts
Mattel High School Musical Ryan and Mattel Scottish Tommy in kilts

Mattel High School Musical Ryan wearing a kilt
Mattel High School Musical Ryan wearing a kilt

Back view of Mattel High School Musical Ryan's kilt
Mattel's version of a kilt, back view

Mattel Scottish Tommy wearing a kilt
Mattel Scottish Tommy in his kilt

Mattel has produced a few versions of Scottish-themed Barbies - 1981, 1991, 2006, 2009,  and 2011. (I had a Scottish Barbie, but I sold her many years ago.) They have also produced Merida from Disney's Brave and Monster High Lorna McNessie. If Mattel's version(s) of Scottish offend your tastes, try this link to a kilt pattern for G.I. Joe. The seamstresses among you can alter that pattern to fit Ken and/or other figures.

You can read more about Scottish Americans on Wikipedia. Or you can read more about Tartan Day celebrations in general. My favorite contributions from Scottish Americans are fried chicken, Campbell's soups, Kellogg's cereals, and some Doritos. Tasty and convenient!

I think I know what question you might have for these guys, but I'll wait to see if you do. If you have any comments or would like to share links to your Scottish dolls and/or action figures, please do so.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter from D7ana and the Bunningtons!

No, I have not joined a rock group. Relax ... your ears are safe.

I was fuzzy about what to post for an Easter greeting so I borrowed jSarie's bunny theme. These four characters are the Bunningtons of Furryville by Mattel. With their height between 2 and nearly 3", they are the perfect size for your playscale figures who collect stuffed animals. The Bunningtons - Brother, Mother, Father, and Sister - are jointed at the shoulders so they can raise their arms.  They wear coordinated denim fashions suitable for gardening and for selling their goods in town.

From me and my playscale crew to you and yours, Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

April Themes: Easter, Tartans, Earth/Arbor Days, Administrative Professionals

Oh, it's April 2nd and early in the month. Time for a "themes of the month" post. Since no specific heritage is honored, I can pull over some topics I did not fully address last month: Spring and Spring Cleaning, Women's History Month, and Barbie. 

April also has these special dates:

5th is Easter Sunday

6th is National Tartan Day - to date, this is the only day recognizing Scottish Americans*

22nd is Earth Day 

23rd is Administrative Professionals Day

25th is Arbor Day

Organizing update aka Spring cleaning news: I've found Get Set Vanessa and Harley Davidson Barbie. Yay! Mystery Squad Barbie is still missing. Sigh. Then again, I found this playset, #3012-01 the Real Friends Shopping Mall by Geoffrey, Inc. circa 1999. It was distributed by Toys R Us. I'll share more photos of it later. A recent post on Mrs. Anderson's blog inspired me to check on it.

What are your plans for April topics? Let me know in the Comments ;-)

* that I am aware of

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April Fool's Day - and a Marvel-ous Prank

I don't have an April Fool's Day prank, but I found this fun video review. Okay, the figure is smaller than playscale. The video left me with a smile. Marvel comics fans delight!

Oh and for a doll-related photo, here are two of my plastic shoe boxes.