Friday, September 30, 2016

OVERVIEW: Dixie's Diner

I think Dixie's Diner was one of those lines I discovered on Ghost of the Doll. So much money spent thanks to that site!

The 1950s-themed line was made by Tyco in 1988-1989 and consisted of several small dolls, a diner playset, tiny furniture, and a couple cars.

The diner playset came with a counter and stools, but to furnish it the rest of the way, you needed to buy the separate furniture sets. Some were sold on their own. The counter service, kitchen and fridge could be purchased that way, which was nice, because they filled up the diner pretty well. The Dixie doll came with the diner playset. Other dolls (two female and two male) came with more furniture pieces, while the remaining six dolls (3 female and 3 male) were sold separately. Then there were two convertibles, one pink and one blue.

There was a VHS cartoon special, too, which I've never seen.

The dolls are adorable and have the sweetest little faces. I like that there are several different heights. My faves are Darla and Frankie. Considering my lack of space, I decided to just collect the dolls and got really lucky and bought a lot of everyone except Frankie for a reasonable price. Frankie was the hardest to get, both due to his rarity and his jacket's tendency to deteriorate over time, like a lot of faux leather on 80s/90s toys.

Collecting these can be a bit tough, because some of the pieces are pricey. There are some great deals on ebay right now, but there were pretty slim pickings when I was following the ebay listings. Frankie and Darren seem to be the hardest to find of the dolls.



OVERVIEW: Always Sisters

Always Sisters was a line produced by Kenner in 1988 that I somehow never noticed. It's possible that I was too into Hot Looks (Mattel, 1987) or maybe they just weren't sold by me.

The line was fairly creative. There were twelve dolls in four groups of three sisters. The youngest sisters were 14" tall, which is pretty big, but then the middle sisters were 18", and the eldest sisters were a whopping 22" tall! Brittany and Blair, the two I own, are some of the tallest dolls in my collection and by far the tallest playline dolls. (The others are BJDs and porcelains.)

The bodies are very interesting, because the heads and hands are vinyl, but the rest is fabric, but it's layered over an articulated body so they're really easy to pose. I'm not sure if it's just the eldest sisters like this, because I don't have any of the other ages.

I got my first girl, Brittany, in 2010. She's the eldest redhead with Erin being the middle sister and Darci the youngest.

Blair, the brunette, is the eldest sibling, and her middle sister is Mallory and the youngest is Kaitlin.

Brittany (in a fashion pack) and Blair

In a sad lack of creativity, both the blonde dolls and the black dolls have the same outfits. Sigh. They were so creative with the clothes that it's a shame to see such cutbacks. In order from oldest to youngest, the blondes are Lauren, Meredith and Abby, and the black sisters are Vanessa, Gina and Kara. Yeah, it's a slew of 80s girl names for sure!

The sisters were all sold separately, but the blondes also had a 3-pack. Not sure if the others did or not.

There were eight unnamed outfit packs made for the eldest sisters. Some were a bit dull, but others were totally awesome, like this bright number Brittany is wearing in the photo to the right.

These girls are so big that I held myself back to just getting my faves, Brittany and Blair. I loved both their stock outfits, while the pink of the others is boring to me. The outfit on Brittany was one of two on my wishlist. I never did get the striped top one and I stopped looking, because I can't imagine changing Blair out of her stock, which I adore because she's rather Lila Fowler, and I love this on Brittany, as well as her stock.

The entire blonde family and the younger sisters are relatively easy to find and low-priced on ebay. The others may require some patience.



Tuesday, September 27, 2016

OVERVIEW: Shimmers (and Sea Wees)

Sunstreak and Baby Winglet
Sea Wees were a line of mermaid bath toys produced by Kenner from 1897-1985. I never got real into the Sea Wees, but I did get two sets in childhood. Icy Gals Breezy, Baby Rory and Whiskers were my first set in 1983, then I got TropiGals Camille, Baby Cascade and Pelly. TropiGals came out in 1982, so they were still on the shelves after I got my Icy Gals set.

Sea Wees originally were just single-packed mermaid dolls in floating sponges, but starting with the second release, they gained little babies to sit in the sponges with them. The TropiGals line added merpets. The pelican, seagull, dog and cat pets all had mermaid tails instead of legs.

Windbelle and Baby Whispy

Bubble Ballet, the 1985 line, dropped the pets and were just adult mermaids and babies again.

I loved to play with these toys in the bath and Pelly, the merpelican, was a special favorite toy, but I never got any other sets. I don't think they were expensive, but my attention apparently was on other things.

I don't have any photos of my Sea Wees, although I believe I still have my childhood set, plus a couple pets from other sets. I never got back into these as an adult collector, although looking at the sets now, a few of them look appealing. Maybe I'll pick up a couple more someday.

Pepper and Baby Pearl (2 variations)

The Shimmers line followed in Sea Wees' footsteps and came out in 1986. These were also produced by Kenner, but they were a bit more out there than the Sea Wees. Everyone knows mermaids and centaurs, but the Shimmers had these two hybrid mythical creatures plus butterfly women, bird women and deer centaurs. Each of the five types of creature had two characters in different color variations. The molds for each type were the same, so both centaur adults were in the same poses, but with different color schemes. Same goes for the babies.

I have absolutely no idea why I never got into this line in childhood. The only thing I can think of is that I never cared for Mom and baby toys. I didn't mind whole families, like the Sylvanian Families, but I never really cared about the baby figures from the Sea Wees and preferred the animal figures, so maybe that was it? I have no idea, since I certainly liked mythological stuff, monsters and such.

Marina and Baby Flutter (2 variations)
As an adult collector, I got the entire Shimmers line, minus their accessories. The combs were fairly easy to find and are very pretty, but the clothing pieces for the adult characters were not. My Sunstreak is complete and I had a complete Deerlene, but I think that was all the clothing bits I had.

Most of the pairs are easy to find, although like I said, the clothing pieces are not.

There are many variations within the line. Different face styles and coloring are very common. You can see the variations on the babies in the photos above and to the right.

Skylite face variations
                                                                                                                                                                                                                I ended up with two different versions of Skylite as well. As you can see in the photo here on the left, her eyes are printed differently. The doll on the left has narrower eyes set higher on her forehead, while the one on the right has wider eyes set lower. The one on the right also has darker, fuller lips. When I parted with some of my collection, I ended up keeping the doll on the right, because I think she's cuter.

Plume's hair variations

Plume is the only character I ever noticed with two very different hair colors. The doll on the left has green hair. The doll on the right has a blend of bright blue and neon yellow hair that gives it the appearance of being green. Normally, I would have kept the Plume on the left in my collection, since she has the lower set face, but I kept the one on the right due to her unique hair. And prettier wings!

Glade and Baby Speckle (prototypes)

The Shimmers line only lasted one release sadly. It's especially sad, because 1987's line had some amazing new designs. The plan was to rerelease six of the ten original sets and add nine new adult and baby pairs. Glade and Baby Speckle were the deer type, Seafin and Baby Finlet were mermaids, Sunset and Baby Dusky were centaurs, Skye and Baby Downy were birds, and Sundown and Baby Luffy were butterflies. In addition to these five new additions using the original creatures, there were two new types of creature. Coral and Baby Shelly and Seawave and Baby Foamy were seahorse mermaids. These two are really lovely, although Seawave looks a lot like Marina. Then Swirl and Baby Swizzle and Zebrina and Baby Zebrette took the centaur mold and became zebra centaurs. Also included was a family set of centaurs with a mother, father and baby (Mist, Swiftburst and Baby Flicker).

Seafin (prototype)
Many years ago, somewhere between 2003-2005, a handful of these prototypes appeared on ebay. I believe they had most of the pairs, although I think Coral the yellow seahorse was missing, along with maybe Sundown, the blonde butterfly woman. It's been so long I can't recall and I stupidly did not save all the auction photos.
Swirl and Baby Swizzle (prototypes)

I was a poor student at the time, but I bid. Hoo boy, did I bid. I lost auction after auction to the same person. I don't know which lucky collector got so many of these sets. I managed to win one pair: Swirl and Swizzle, the zebras. I was pretty happy and they were really cute, but the ones I fell in love with were Glade and Speckle, the deer. I love Glade's widow's peak and the soft, warm coloring. Well, I ended up being contacted by the person who won Glade and Speckle, because back in that day, you could actually see who won stuff and contact them. It turns out the pair she most wanted was...Swirl and Swizzle. So we swapped! I was incredibly nervous about it, so I agreed to do it only on the condition that she ship the deer to me first, then once I had them, I'd ship the zebras to her. Clearly, it all worked out, as you can see Glade and Speckle in my photo up there. I still have the old photo of the zebras from when I got them. The sellers also sold me Seafin in a separate transaction, cheaper because Finlet wasn't with her. I ended up selling her a few years ago though. As much as I love prototypes, there are only so many to go around and I don't like to hoard things and keep them away from others that love them. Since I had my faves, I didn't need Seafin, too, so she's in a home where she's more loved now.

I sold several of my pairs a couple years ago and my collection is smaller now, cut down to my faves.

Both of these lines are really cute and relatively cheap in price for 80s toys. They're fun and I recommend them!


Ghost of the Doll is the bestest. Maybe not the most complete Sea Wees resource. I haven't checked. But definitely good enough for a quick look!
If you check out their Shimmers page, you can see the gorgeous prototypes in catalog pages.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

OVERVIEW: Disney's Descendants

My baby Carlos
As information about Descendants began to trickle out in spring 2015, I found myself irritated at the people who jumped to call it a ripoff of Ever After High. Do both properties use fairy tale characters? Yes, but so have dozens of other things. When the first book, a prequel of the movie, introduced us mostly to the children of Disney's villains, who were banished to the Isle of the Lost, it became very clear that this was nothing like Ever After High. The only thing in common is that both deal with the children of famous characters, a trend clearly sparked by Monster High's success. I loved the book, which was darker than I had expected, so I was anxious to have dolls of my fave villain kids, particularly Carlos, who remains my fave.

In late June, the dolls finally began hitting stores. Many collectors were curious, because Hasbro produced them and Hasbro wasn't exactly known for the best doll lines at that point.

A lot of the initial series of Descendants
The dolls were released in cases separated by their affiliation. Mal, daughter of Maleficent, and Evie, daughter of the Evil Queen from Snow White, shared the "Isle of the Lost" case, while the Auradon case was Lonnie, daughter of Mulan; Audrey, daughter of Sleeping Beauty; and Jane, daughter of Cinderella's Fairy Godmother. These were the basic signature dolls. Then there were the Coronation dolls, deluxe versions of the same girls in fancy ballgowns. Mal in her date dress was also offered in a 2-pack with Prince Ben, son of Beauty and the Beast, while Evie, in another dress of her creation, was paired with Carlos, son of Cruella. These were the only dolls released for quite awhile, leaving collectors and fans wondering about the fate of Jay, son of Jafar, who was clearly a main character.

Carlos with Signature Lonnie
Jay was not forgotten though. The Disney Store had him exclusively for the time being and his doll was sold separately, although not in what was considered his signature fashion. Carlos, also sold separately, had the same outfit as his 2-pack version, while Mal and Evie both sported new fashions from the movie. Later, Walmart produced a 4-pack of the villain kids, with the same Jay as the Disney Store, but new outfits for Mal, Evie and Carlos. Carlos sadly doesn't have much variety though. His 4-pack outfit was a pair of shorts and boots very similar to his signature outfit paired with a white T with black and red details. The final addition to the early Descendants line came in September and was a 2-pack of Mal and her mother, who you can see on the left in the group photo above, as a Toys R Us exclusive. Sadly, Mal, who was originally shown in the Disney Store exclusive outfit, actually only came in her signature outfit.

Mal and Evie's outfits from the Walmart 4-pack
Initially, the line had some problems. The dolls basically all looked the same, just in different clothing. The Coronation versions of the characters had different hairstyles, but the multiple versions of Mal and Evie looked like the same doll over and over. I hate buying repeat dolls and I need a strong motivation to do so. I skipped the 4-pack entirely, getting Mal and Evie's outfits off ebay eventually. Maleficent was enough to get my money, but I made some of it back by selling the extra Mal. The second big problem was poor quality hair. Mal's wasn't an issue, because it's so short and Lonnie's straight hair was also fine, but Jane, Audrey and Evie suffered from very dry frizzy hair that drew lots of complaints.

I was unsure how many of the future dolls I'd be buying, but as I watched the Wicked World animated shorts, they introduced three new characters I knew I'd have to get: Jordan, the daughter of Genie; Ally, the daughter of Alice; and Freddie, daughter of Dr. Facilier from The Princess and the Frog.

Freddie: Genie Chic and Signature
Freddie and Ally became fast favorites and I was excited for their dolls. I even bought Freddie and Jordan deboxed from a Chinese seller, which I don't usually do. (And regret, because Freddie's missing her purse and one small accessory.) They arrived in January 2016, around the same time my Target got the first Genie Chic dolls in. Genie Chic featured Jordan, Audrey, Mal and Evie in genie-inspired outfits magically granted by Jordan in the webisodes. Freddie was a later addition to the line that I've only ever seen in Walmart.

Genie Chic Evie and Mal

Genie Chic was a rebirth of my Descendants enjoyment, because Hasbro had done something toy companies usually do not. They learned from a mistake. As well as the new girls, both Evie and Mal had lovely silky hair. I later added Audrey to my collection solely for her improved hair. (And okay, yeah, the outfit was cute.)

The Signature doll cases continued to be released with some updates. Freddie and a new Jay, actually in his Signature outfit this time, were added to the Isle of the Lost case, while Ben, sold separately for the first time in a rather...special...outfit, was added to the Auradon case.

Signature Ally

Ally wouldn't be added to the Auradon cases until later. I actually have yet to see her in stores, but she's available online. I bought mine from Entertainment Earth back in June. She's absolutely darling. I love all her little details. The outfits on these dolls really spare no detail.

The big line for the current toy season is Neon Lights Ball, which featured in a string of webisodes, showing the characters all dressed up in neon for a big party.

Jordan: Genie Chic and Neon Lights Ball

Neon Lights Ball really is a large line. There are four basic girls, two deluxe girls, a Walmart exclusive 4-pack and a Toys R Us exclusive 2-pack. Jane finally reappears in the basic line, now sporting adorable glasses and much better hair. I think she's the star of the line, because her outfit is just so 80s fab. Jordan gets her second doll in a look that's pretty good for her, but still not the best. Neither of her dolls really impress me. Freddie gets her third appearance with a pretty doll, although a new hairstyle would have been nice. The three Freddies are all gorgeous, but also quite similar. They have minor differences, but they're still all the same girl in pigtails. The fourth basic is Ally, who got the quickest multiple doll turnaround. Her Signature came out in June and Neon Lights Ball in July.

Neon Lights Ball Jane
The deluxe dolls are Mal and Evie. Of course. They light up, which is pretty cool, and their outfits are nice, but they come with a very hefty price tag of $29.99 each and I just do not see where that comes from. I'm waiting for them to hit clearance, because from what I can tell, none of them in my area have sold.

Now we get to the more problematic dolls. I don't have my own personal pictures of these, but I'll link to some under this article. Toys R Us recently came out with an exclusive 2-pack for this line, featuring Ben and Evie. While both dolls are pretty neat, I don't think this was a necessary set. Then we've got the very recently found Walmart exclusive 4-pack (what is it with Walmart and 4-packs?). This one makes me pretty angry. The four dolls are Jay, Carlos, Audrey and Freddie. Neither of the two boys even got Neon Lights outfits. Jay is just his Signature doll and Carlos is his same old shorts and boots but with a black tee this time. Freddie is missing literally the best pieces of her outfit: her spiky green necklace and black bracelet. She doesn't have her purse either. Audrey actually has her Neon Lights outfit, which is okay, but not good enough to get the price of a 4-pack out of me, even though that's the only way to buy her.

Neon Lights Ball Ally
So what's my big problem?

WHERE IS LONNIE? That's my problem.

Lonnie got two dolls in the initial line, but she hasn't shown up since, and she was the first one in the webisodes to wear neon. She was in the Neon Lights Ball episodes wearing the cutest outfit that I would have loved to have seen on a doll. I would have shelled out the 4-pack money if Lonnie was there. The Walmart exclusive should have been her and Audrey in a 2-pack. That might have sold. I don't think this new 4-pack will move at all. (If we even see it here, which we never did the first one.)

I'm very disappointed in Hasbro leaving Lonnie out. She got left out of Genie Chic and now she got left out of Neon Lights Ball, even though she was actually there in the animation in a doll-worthy outfit. (More worthy than Audrey's.)

Signature CJ Hook
To make matters worse, yet another new doll was found and it's...guess who. Another freakin' Evie. She does not need any more dolls when Lonnie has been left out this long! This Evie has four outfits, which are a combination of repeat pieces and uninspired new pieces. I'm not sure if this doll will be an exclusive or even if she'll make it to the US. I couldn't care less either way. Because where is my Lonnie?!

The only new doll I'm looking forward to is CJ Hook, daughter of Captain Hook. She looks pretty good and should be out soon.

After that, I wouldn't be surprised if we started getting dolls for Descendants 2, which will probably be a lot of the same characters all over again. There are several new ones that have been cast, but we'll see if they make it to doll form. While I am looking forward to floppy hair Carlos and hot bangs Mal, I think Descendants needs to make some changes or they're going to flop soon. The current new exclusives are severely lacking. They need to stop putting old dolls in multipacks, leaving off accessories on others, and improve drastically at balancing the number of dolls. We do not need that many Evies, especially because they all have the same boring hair. We did not need an Audrey only in a 4-pack. WE NEED LONNIE. Changes, Hasbro. Make them.

PHOTO CREDITS: All mine, except the CJ promo image. That's from

That's the Walmart 4-pack.
The TRU 2-pack.
And the boring I Heart Fashion Evie.

OVERVIEW: Pinkie Cooper

Packaged outfit, Pinkie travel doll and basic Pepper doll
Pinkie Cooper was a very short-lived line that debuted in summer of 2013. I got to do a review of two of the dolls for the company, but I also purchased a third doll, two outfits and two pets from the line.

The line immediately encountered a misstep when some countries and stores got the version of the basic dolls that came with headbands, while others, like my Pepper in the photo here, did not have them. People do not like it when their version of a doll is missing something someone else's version of the same doll has. It's never a good idea. Never.

The dolls are quite small, but still could share clothing with a lot of other lines, like Monster High and Equestria Girls.

The line consists of three different characters, all the same breed of dog. The designer said he based them on his sister's Cocker Spaniel, which has the same name, but they look more like Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. The coloring is Cavaliers absolutely.
Body details

The main character, Pinkie Cooper, has the lightest coloring, a blondeish tan. Ginger Jones has brown, and Pepper Parson is a black and tan. Pinkie's signature color guessed Pepper had blue and Ginger purple.

The bodies have limited articulation, which I think kept a lot of people from buying them (a practice I firmly disagree with). Personally, I think this tiny body loaded with joints would be a mess. There's something aesthetically pleasing about it as it is. I love the body blushing and the attention to detail on the little paw hands.

The main gimmick of the Pinkie Cooper line was switchable earstyles. The ears pop out and you can turn them around, because each side is a different color.

Pepper and Ginger in their fashion packs with their pets
The basic dolls came in simple yet pretty dresses and had a little purse. The outfit packs were far more detailed, and came with a dress, purse, ear accessory shoes and a new pair of ears. Pinkie herself got three deluxe travel dolls, which came with a different version of her pet and a different outfit and ears (obviously) for each location. The pets had a little throne and food bowl, plus a dress, bracelet (anklet?), leash and ear accessory. They were styled to match the fashion packs, as you can see to the left.

And that was it. The entire line was 3 basic dolls, 3 deluxe dolls, 3 outfit packs and 3 pets. It's a shame, because prototype photos were found of a resort line with swimsuits and pets and a more basic cabana line, and all of them were awesome. (I'll link them at the end of this.)

Staring at their predecessors: the Catwalk Kitties
So why did Pinkie Cooper fail? Was it the lack of articulation or the fact that they had very doggy heads? They're way cuter than Equestria Girls, but they don't have an enormous franchise and fanbase to ride. I think a lack of variety may have done them in. Instead of three of the same dog in different colors, they could have made three different breeds of dog with slightly different faces and heights. There are loads of dog breeds with long silky ears. And they could have had a cat friend or two as well, with pop-off brushable tails. Or maybe America just doesn't like anthro animal dolls. The Catwalk Kitties never did well, although honestly, I never saw them in stores, like a lot of Lanard products. The Kitties however have a distinct fan following amongst collectors who discovered them later on and their prices nowadays are yikes. I think a lot of it was the timing, too. Pinkie Cooper hit the shelves at the same time as Once Upon a Zombie and Fairy Tale High, all lines riding on the success of Monster High, but they all came when MH was still more popular. If Pinkie Cooper came out now, with MH being less popular, they may have succeeded.

They're great little dolls and I recommend picking them up.



Resort line photo:
Look at that Pepper and Ginger! And Pinkie's actually prettier than any Pinkie they released. SIGH.

Cabana Cool line photo:
I think Pepper got the best outfit here. The others aren't super-flattering on the PC body.

Friday, September 23, 2016

OVERVIEW: Princess Magic Touch

Back of package
Princess Magic Touch is a line that didn't catch my attention in childhood at all. I don't remember how I got into them, but it was likely the Ghost of the Doll website or I may have picked one up at Saver's. Either way, I started collecting in 2009.

It took me a little while to get going on these, because they're not easy to find complete. The dolls have little tiny shoes and necklaces which are frequently missing from any dolls sold outside their packages. The panties also had a tendency to go missing.

Each doll came with a magic wand and an accessory that was activated by the magnets in each piece.

There were seven dolls in the line, but only five were produced.

Blonde, pink-wearing Princess Magic Touch came in both white and black versions. The other girls were all white with varying hair and eye colors.

Candy Magic Touch is the blonde in purple. I love her very solemn face. She was the one that got me into the line.

Twirl Magic Touch is the curly-haired blonde in blue. She's got the nice big smile that makes her stand out from my others.


Fancy Magic Touch was the first one I got mint in package, so I got to see the shoes for the first time with her. She has light reddish-brown hair and is very pretty in peach.

 The two other girls sadly did not get made. I have never seen either for sale or any photo of them beyond what's in the pamphlets accompanying the dolls.

Pamphlet showing Twinkle and Glitter

I really wish they'd made these two! Twinkle looks like she either has brown hair or an auburn darker than Fancy's. And Glitter would have been my favorite. Black hair in a purple dress? Yep, favorite. Plus, I love her flower accessory.

The line had a ton of playsets, but I never bought any of them. I got a few of the dolls loose and missing accessories, before I finally got Fancy mint in box, followed by Twirl. They remain the only two I have complete. Candy has her shoes, but she's missing her necklace. I'm content with that though and I have no plans on buying any more of these.

I enjoy them though. They're a very detailed small doll line and the solemn faces are really lovely.


OVERVIEW: Penny's Pony Club

Penny's Pony Club was one of those little toylines I was able to get a lot of in childhood, because they were cheap. I have 5 out of the 6 horse and rider sets, plus another set of two ponies that came with other stable-type accessories.

They were produced in 1987 by Fun Stop/The Just Group, and their design was based on the art of Normal Thelwell.

Outside the US, I believe the line was bigger. I don't remember much besides the 6 pony and rider sets, a couple gift sets, and a stable playset, but I've seen ones on ebay from sellers in Europe that I never saw in childhood.

The toys are pretty simple. They're fat ponies with girl figures permanently molded in horse-riding positions.

Each one came with a jump accessory, even though those ponies with their big bellies and stubby legs do not look like they'd make it over anything!

The line had absolutely no diversity. All of the girls are white with 3 blondes and 3 brunettes. The only one who was any different was Michelle, who apparently was some kind of giant, because she just towers over everything and she's very snooty about it. I never got her because she just didn't fit in. Normally, I'm all for the different characters, but...yeah, young me just couldn't logic out how she was so dang tall.

Random ponies and accessories from a gift set...I think

There was diversity where it mattered for me though, and that was in the horses. I remember tossing the girls aside and just playing with the horses most of the time. Dancer was my favorite, because he had a little bit longer legs and looked more graceful.

This was a cute little line that was very affordable and I had a lot of fun playing with them.



#17: Imitation and Flattery

1. What are your thoughts on "clones" and "knock-offs" of popular toys? (E.g. discount stores' imitation Bratz dolls, actual dolls that make molds using pre-existing dolls)

I call them fakies, because that's what the old pony collecting community called them and that was my first real experience with actively collecting them.

Personally, I love them. They can be a lot of fun and some of them are really great. Even if they're not, they're usually good for a giggle.

2. What do you think about e-bay auctions that use terms like "friend of" or "just like" as a euphemism for knock-offs? (Okay, technically speaking that's generally to get around legal issues related to knowingly selling knock-offs.)

I don't remember knowing much about this the first time I did these Fridoll Fives and I still don't now. This is just something I don't see.

3. Is it okay to customize a doll to look like a copy-righted character, or real-life person? Have you ever done so?

I have no custom skills, so I can't, but there's nothing wrong with it. That's the bread and butter of a lot of customizers.

4. Is it okay to customize a doll to look similar to a brand-name doll? Have you ever done so? (E.g., making your own big-headed doll, making your version of a collectible doll, re-rooting an old doll to look like a pristine vintage doll)

Again, I've not done it. I don't see anything wrong with it, unless you're trying to pass it off as something it isn't.

5. Is it okay to customize or commission an outfit or wig to look like a limited edition doll outfit?


Friday, September 16, 2016

NEWS: Wellie Wishers

This is likely not news to most, but I wanted to post it anyway.

Wellie Wishers are at Toys R Us!

I first heard this a few weeks ago, that they were coming, but my store is a very low level store and I figured we wouldn't get them.

I was wrong. That's the real reason I'm posting. Even if you have a store in a less populated area, there's still a chance you could see these in your store. We have a huge display and everything, with loads of outfits and accessories.

My mom treated me to Camille and her accessories and Emerson and her dance outfit for an early birthday gift. Now that I've seen them in person and they're right at my fingertips, I plan on getting Kendall and Willa as soon as I can. They really are all so very cute!


#16: Do Clothes Make the Man?

1. Do your dolls have any defined style of fashion that they look good in, or that you like to dress them in? (You can discuss your dolls in general, or name specific dolls that have a "look".)

A lot of my dolls just wear their own clothes. The BEGoths are goth, the BJDs wear their stock clothing mostly, the character dolls wear their own outfits. I do have several I've cobbled together looks for, but there's a wide variety there.

2. Do you buy or make outfits so that they can be shared amongst your dolls, or do you buy/sew with one particular doll in mind?

I almost always buy for particular dolls these days, because I hardly redress anymore.

3. Do you tend to redress your dolls frequently, or do you have a favorite outfit that they tend to default to?

I used to do this all the time, but not anymore.

4. When not actively playing with your dolls, do you leave them dressed up? Leave them nude? Put them in something simple that won't stain their bodies (e.g. white underwear)?

I leave them dressed.

5. Imagine you've been given creative control of a line of dolly couture. (In other words: You come up with the ideas, and you don't necessarily have to do all the fiddly design and sewing.) What sort of fashions would your store have? Casual? Formal? Goth? Ren Faire? Costumes?

Historical. Definitely historical. I'd love to do a goth line, too, but there's more exposure for that than there is for really good historical fashion (you know, Ancient Egyptian outfits that aren't gold lame and such).

Monday, September 12, 2016

OVERVIEW: My Little Angel

In 1993, Ertl produced a small line of toys called My Little Angel. The angel dolls were about 6" tall with removable, glittery liquid-filled wings. Most of the time, when you find them now, the liquid is all dried out and it's just a bunch of glitter. I found the wings very cumbersome and unattractive, so none of my dolls have theirs anymore. The dolls have glow-in-the-dark print dresses, headbands and a small charm.

There were six angel characters. Each one was the angel of something and you could see her theme clearly in her outfit.

Daphne and Joy
Daphne, the blonde in purple, was the angel of music, which is pretty obvious if you look at her headband. Strawberry blonde Joy in her pink dress with hearts is the angel of love. Joy is my second sleeper from the line. She's in pink and she's kinda blonde, not things I usually go for, but she's got a really cute face with her full lips (she's the only one with distinct lips) and upturned glance, so she's #4 out of 6 on my list of faves. Not a high rank, but she's not last, which is the sleeper hit part.

Angela and Cookie
Angela is the nursery angel. Could they really not have come up with a better idea than a giant bottle in the middle of her forehead? I mean, it was the early 90s, but still, come on. She has a sloppy hairstyle and a rather goofy expression, so she's my least fave of the six. Cookie is the cooking angel. ("Where do you think angel food cake comes from?") She's my main sleeper of the line. I figured I'd like her as little as Angela, because she has the same kinda sloppy hairdo and giant weird headband, but there's something about her that I love. I think the color scheme of gold, yellow and green does her a lot of favors and her big green eyes are adorable. She's my #3 fave.

Luminar and Mistie

Drowsy-looking Luminar is actually the starlighter, who keeps stars shining brightly. She's my fave. I love her dreamy expression and crimped hair. Mistie is the cloud chaser angel, who puffs clouds into their shapes. She's my second fave. She's not quite as dreamy as Luminar, but she's almost as cute.

The line also consisted of seven cherub dolls, which were basically drink-and-wet toddlers. Hot pink-haired Candie works with Cookie, while slightly lighter pink-haired Luv works with Joy. Lavender-haired Hope is Angela's helper, while blonde Faith works with both Mistie and Luminar. Poor Daphne gets no one! There were also three sets with one cherub and an animal: Clover the lamb, Lea the lion and Dallas the pegasus.

There were color variants, mostly of the headbands. My Angela has a pink headband, but there's one on ebay with blue, and my Mistie has blue but there's one on ebay with pink. They're fairly easy to find and affordable.

I got into the line in 2008 and bought Angela, Mistie, Joy and Daphne mint on card. It didn't take me too long to add Cookie and Luminar and then I was done collecting. Easy little line!



OVERVIEW: My Magic Genies

I don't remember how I discovered My Magic Genies or when exactly I got into them. I believe it was between 2005-2007, since I took these photos in 2007-2008.

MMG was a small line produced in 1995 by Kenner/Hasbro. I don't remember ever seeing them in stores or I think I would have bought one.

Each small doll came with a lamp house and accessories. Each one featured a magic eight ball-type accessory. Serina's was a lamp, Pia had a mirror, Lani a crystal ball, and Cara's was in her torso...which was kinda weird. It was supposed to be a necklace, but still weird.


The dolls were fairly easy to find, except Pia. She took me a few years to get, but I eventually ended up with complete sets for each one. I don't have them displayed like this anymore sadly, because I lack the space, but all four are on their magic carpet stands.

There were color variations in the accessories. I had two different Lanis and one had a blue candleabra and cushion and two golden goblets and the other was vice versa.

The dolls have brushable hair with a hair accessory and molded tops with fabric bottoms. Their shoes are molded and painted, not removable.                                                  

The line also contained three animal characters, which I don't have any photos saved of, but you can see them if you go to the recommend link section. Each animal had a small house like the genie bottles and like Cara, they were their own fortune-tellers. There was a blue dragon, purple lion and pink unicorn.

There was also a magic carpet vehicle playset produced, which came with a small, simple pink pegasus figure.

Pia, my favorite
I had the entire line, but sold the playset or donated it. Can't recall which. I still have the bottles, accessories and pets and their homes and accessories in one of my storage drawers. They're cute, but the dolls are my favorite part of the line.    
There was a website that had pictures of the unproduced items for the line, but it's no longer around. I did save the pictures though and they're also available on Ghost of the Doll. I'm running out of things to say so I won't show them all here.

Prototype yellow-haired doll

Prototype pink-haired doll
But I have to include the two dolls, because they're SO CUTE! I wish they'd been made. I love the yellow girl especially. The other unproduced items were two more pets, an elephant and a camel, and a palace playset.

My Magic Genies are a really cute line for lovers of small dolls and there aren't many of them, so putting together a collection is fairly easy. There are some really overpriced ones on ebay right now, but with patience, good deals should pop up.

PHOTO CREDITS: The first four are mine, the prototype photos are not. The credit link is broken now, but you can see it on the Ghost of the Doll page if you click the link below.


Thursday, September 8, 2016


#15: Stand(s) in the Place Where You Live

1. Do you have any doll stands?

Yes, but not too many.

2. For those of you who have doll stands: What kind of stands do you like best? (metal, wooden, telescoping/adjustable, saddle, waist-clamp)

For those of you who don't have doll stands: Is there any particular reason?

I don't care for stands mostly, because they take up a LOT of space. Shelf space is at a premium and stands mean I can't place the dolls as close together. I do love the ones from MH's Haunted line though, because making flying dolls look like they're hovering is cool. And I have them on certain dolls to make display possible, because some need added stability. Like my Lum dolls that have pointed feet.

3. For people who display their dolls on shelves, etc: Do you put them in poses? Use stands? Have them standing or sitting?

For people who store their dolls: Do you store them sitting, standing, lying down? Do you do anything special to protect their hair or face?

Most of them are just standing all in a row, because I can fit the most that way. I do have several seated though and some have a little pose going on, but nothing drastic.

For storage, they're lying down.

4. Have you ever customized or tweaked a doll to increase poseability?

Don't think so. It doesn't matter much to me.

5. Do you prefer dolls that can stand on their own, or does it not matter?

That doesn't matter since 99% of dolls can't do this on a steady basis. I'd only have like 18" dolls, some 80s small dolls, and the DC Super Hero Girls if that was a necessity.


Totally missed last week! Whoops. I'll do it and include this week's early.

#14: What's in a Name?

1. Those of you with ball-joint dolls... do you have a preferred term for this type of doll? e.g. Super Dollfie, BJD, resin ball-joint doll, asian ball-joint doll, 40 cm/60 cm doll, giant-size doll thing, etc

Those of you with 1/6 scale dolls: do you have a term you prefer or tend to use, such as "action doll", "poseable doll", "fashion doll", "dollies", "dollfies", "Barbies", etc?

I use BJD for what I consider BJDs. If it's not resin, but still has the proper joints and BJD style, I say "vinyl BJD."

1/6 scale it depends on the type of doll, but I generally just say "doll" or use the brand name.

2. Do you have profiles and personalities for your dolls? If so, do they include age, astrological sign, etc?

I used to do this a lot, but much less so now, mostly because I collect lines that are more character-based. I didn't do birthdays or zodiac or anything. Age sometimes, but not always.

3. Have you ever re-named a doll? (This includes changing its name from the default one, or changing a doll's name after you named it already.) If so, what were some reasons you had for changing the name?

Of course. Doll lines like Ellowyne Wilde have a bunch of Ellowynes that look very different. I have five and each is a different girl with a different name (none are Ellowyne). When you have lines that repeat characters over and over and are more generic-looking like Bratz, it's easy to make multiple characters of the same girl. Not all my Jades are Jade, etc. I don't tend to do this with character-based lines, because the dolls are too specific. I have one Draculaura that's not Draculaura and otherwise, everyone is their canon name. I think.

4. What term do you use when talking about or thinking of your dolls? Do you call them or think of them as:
* your dolls
* your daughter/son/children
* your kids
* visitors from another dimension
* or something else entirely? 

Dolls. I think it's creepy to act like they're your children.

5. For those of you who make doll photo stories: Do you ever appear in them (off-screen or on-screen)? If so, what do your dolls call you?
For those who don't make doll photo stories: What do you think of yourself as? Your doll's owner? Mom? Auntie/Uncle? Roommate?

Yep. I'm called Lori. That is my name. I'm kind of like a large caretaker.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

OVERVIEW: Global Friends

I somehow did not know about Global Friends until 2014, when I learned about them through my friend Q. Q. Kachoo. They were out in the late 90s, but I never got one of their catalogs or saw anything about them. Still, those were my fledgling days of online collecting, so I can see how I missed them.

Global Friends are a line of 15" girls from around the world. From the US, we have Marissa, Emily (Jewish), Jody (Native American), and Brianna (African-American). Then there are Clio from France, Gretchen from Germany, Elizabeth from England, and Katrina from Russia. Mei Ling is Chinese and Mariko is Japanese. Aziza is from Egypt, Akua is from Kenya, and Camina is from Brazil. For the most part, the girls look different. The ones that look the most similar to me are Akua and Brianna. Both appear to have the same skintone and hair, so they're basically the same doll in different clothes. Very different clothes though. Jody and Aziza also look similar, but Aziza has shorter hair and darker lips. There may be differences between Akua and Brianna, too, but since I don't have them, I can't compare.
Hearts For Hearts Girls Mosi with Jody

I got Clio first in April 2015. I won her mint in box off ebay and the seller was really awesome and sold me a Jody, too, though she was missing some pieces. I got Gretchen not long after (missing her hat), then Mei Ling in May. Aziza was in July, Mariko in September, Katrina in February 2015, and Elizabeth in March. Emily is my most recent Global Friends purchase from March 2016. Akua, Brianna and Camina are in my want list, but they either appear on ebay incomplete or I miss the good ones when I have no fun money available. Marissa I'm not sure I want, but if I saw her for a decent price, I'd grab her.

Gretchen, my second fave
The girls have well-made outfits and expansive collections. I bought a lot of outfits and I've got almost all of Mariko's collection that I won along with her. I think I'm only missing her table and one slipper from her PJs. Most of the collection pieces I wasn't interested in, but Mariko was an exception. Her stuff is lovely. The other one I have a lot for is Egyptian Aziza, because her artifacts and outfits are also awesome. I even have the huge boat, which is one of the largest items in my entire collection.

Aziza's Egyptian boat

The catalogs are really fun to look through. I only have one so far, but I'd love to get the others. They're set up like American Girl with the big splash page for each signature doll and then the following pages would show her collection. They're also a little different in that they have random outfits that don't necessarily go with a specific girl.

Mei Ling's splash page
The prices on these were pretty reasonable, especially the lowered ones in the catalog I have! I wish I'd known about them back then. I could have bought a ton of stuff for very little.

The girls didn't come with books, but there was an accompanying book series where the girls solved mysteries. Sigh. What is it with doll book lines and mysteries? They're also on the unrealistic side, because these girls just travelled around everywhere all the time! The art is decent when it bothers to show the characters, but lots of details from larger paintings are splashed throughout the books and they don't feature the characters at all.

Mariko, my favorite girl
Overall, I quite like these girls and their quality is mostly excellent. Because they have inset eyes, you have to watch for eye wonk, but most of them are okay. The biggest issue I've had is that my poor Emily has an old vinyl smell that usually you don't have except in older dolls. I had a couple Maxie items with that smell, but they're from way back in the 80s.

They're been affordable to collect, although I wish new items turned up more frequently, or at least when I had money available! Ha. And their size is nice, so I can fit several of them on the same shelf as my Hearts For Hearts Girls. Maybe next year I'll add another girl to my collection!