13 Oct

Hello all! Yep, another long break, and now I only have four days left until the baby is due (she’s having to be delivered by section, which is how I can be so certain about the date). Ive been pretty busy while I’ve been away but because I need my downtime more than ever right now I have still been making a little bit of time for dolls when I can. I’ve used this to tame the doll room a little – not enough!! But it’s better than it was. I also have a few projects on the go at the moment, including a Halloween repaint and a craft project which will hopefully help me to address some of the problems I have with organisation, storage space and scene setting for photos. Honestly, there are many times when I would like to take some doll pictures but I just can’t face the creative and logistical effort I’d have to put in to setting up a scene – even finding a background is sometimes completely beyond me. Better by far to have something pre-prepared. I’ll share when I’ve finished, although who knows when that will be? 

In the meantime, here are some photos of the Millie “Dream” Fashionista that I took for you a few weeks ago and never got round to posting: 

I wasn’t sure about Millie when she was first released but I must say she’s grown on me a lot. This one was on half-price sale and I had a weak moment. I do love her outfit, although I really wish her teeshirt and skirt were separates. Hey, at least we have a pattern that goes all the way around the skirt, so I shouldn’t moan …

If I have time, I’ll post again before the big day – if not, I’ll see you on the other side. Wish me luck :) 

Dead Tired Frankie

23 Aug

I’ve loved the Dead Tired wave from afar ever since I first started collecting Monster High, so I was really happy when they got re-released. I’d been thinking about picking up a Dead Tired Frankie (usually my favourite character) second-hand for ages, but seeing this one on the shelf in my local supermarket meant I didn’t have to  go rooting through eBay listings for a version with all the accessories. 

And the accessories are certainly worth having. Surely these slippers have to be some of the greatest Monster High shoes ever produced (even though there’s some stiff competition for that title):

Frankie also comes with a little iPod and speaker set: 

And of course there’s her mask, a nice touch on a bedtime-themed doll that can’t close her eyes. At least her owner can pull on the mask and pretend she’s gone to sleep. 

Overall, she’s simple, like a lot of my favourite Monsters – a nice clear theme, a beautiful faceup (the natural-ish look, or supernaturalish if you prefer) and a well-thought out outfit. As I’ve said before, I just can’t see myself buying many of the reboot dolls – I don’t particularly mind them but very few of them appeal to me enough to make me want to put my hand in my pocket. Lagoona and Abbey are the nicest restyles, I think, but the new Frankie just doesn’t grab me, so I think I’ll probably stick to picking up the back catalogue versions that I don’t have yet. 

More from the Curvies – Spring Into Style

20 Aug

Hello and welcome to a low-effort, let’s-just-take-some-pics post. I do love these Fashionista Curvies, especially the brunette version of the new sculpt, “Spring Into Style”. If they were only pivotal, I’d be ecstatic – can you imagine?? Well, I’m enjoying her loads as she is to be honest. Her face is just wonderful, those cheekbones! 

Lea 48 – The Look 2016

14 Aug

Every time a new Lea comes out in The Look range, I am torn between joy (that we get another, that she’s still being featured) and fear (that she will be very hard to source here). Fortunately, this one was reasonably easy to find and available over here quite quickly. Snapped her up! 

I was a bit scared waiting for her to arrive as my last “The Look” doll, Sweet Tea, turned up with one eye so wonky that I’ve never even photographed her – so disappointing. But this Lea’s facial screening is fine, and she’s even prettier in the plastic than she is in photos. Of course, you have to think of SJP in the opening credits of “Sex and The City”, looking at the colour scheme and that puffy white skirt (well, if you’re my age, anyway 😉). Although her outfit is much more ladylike than that – if it wasn’t for the rather plasticky necklace, bag and earrings I’d even be tempted to say, almost Silkstone classy. Here’s some photos of her and her accessories unboxed: 

There’s a little bit of early sixties charm about her, isn’t there? Maybe it’s the bouffant hair or the “cat eyes” liner, or the little bows on her pink shoes. The only jarring note in this is the picture of her and Babs – the frame is cute, but did Barbie really have to be wearing that dress? I’d have liked to have seen them together in something a bit more elegant, I think – one of the beautiful, timeless outfits she wears on @barbiestyle on Instagram would have been good. 

Lastly, it’s always a big relief to me when a Lea turns up who is already pivotal, as that means I don’t have to make any rebodying decision. I don’t have many Model Muse pivotals so maybe I’ve just forgotten what they are like, but this one seems rather stiff and limited in her movements. The way the shoes always slip off their feet also annoys me, so you can see that I’ve left them banded on for now, although that probably won’t last as this doll is going to be wonderful to re-dress and generally play with. Overall, I think I can breathe a big sigh of relief that I found her, and she turned out to be as good as I hoped she would be.

A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes

13 Aug

Hello all! Yes, I do need to apologise for ANOTHER long silence – trust me, I have a HUGE backlog of dolls to feature and a correspondingly large number of posts which I have written in my head. I’ll get around to it … Er, probably … 

Anyhoo, you know I don’t talk much about non-doll business and it’s not been the only factor, but the main reason for my long silence has been my almost constant sickness. This has been happening because in October, I’m due to have another baby – a girl this time. 

On the day I found out I was having a girl, I visited the Disney Store and I ended up buying this Classic Princess – 

Now, Cinderella is not my favourite Princess, but she seemed like the most suitable celebration doll. Maybe because in many ways she’s the Primo Princess – the most magical, Princessy Princess there is? Maybe because my doll room (soon to be a baby room – don’t ask me what I’m going to do with the dolls, we are just going to have to share space for a bit until I figure something out) is Cinderella coloured? I don’t know, I didn’t really stop to analyse it – I just bought the doll, and I’m very happy with her. 

A few weeks later, Chico, one of my doll friends who I confided in about this development, sent me a celebration gift – 

How strange that with no discussion and no particular reason why we should, we both settled on the same character! Or is it? Of course, the earlier, animated Disney version of Cinderella downplays the role of Cinderella’s birth mother, possibly because they didn’t want to bring the sadness of her death into the story. However, in older versions of the story, Cinderella’s Mother is a major theme throughout  – for instance in the Grimm Fairytale it is the spirit of Cinderella’s  Mother, in the guise of a tree watered by Cinderella’s tears, who watches over her and grants her wishes. So in some ways, the Cinderella story is all about Mothers and Mother love – an element that last year’s’ live action version, which the second doll is based on, reintroduces. In fact, in this more recent version, Cinderella’s moral code in life, “have courage and be kind”, is passed on to her by her Mother. 

On to the dolls. 

By the way, you’ll see that like so many other people, I’ve fallen prey to the charms of photo editing app Prisma – so much fun, you should try it if you haven’t already! The only downside being those big hideous watermarks at the bottom of the pictures. Think I’ll crop them out in future, I just couldn’t be bothered this time. 

Things I like about Disney Store Classic Cinderella: 

* I love what a cartoony yellow blonde she is. These days, so many dolls (especially Barbies) go for a realistic look, so there’s something charmingly different and kind of vintage about Cinderella’s yellow-blonde up do. 

* Side glance. You have to love a doll who is looking sideways under her lashes. I find that they are often the nicest ones to photograph. 

* I love all the Disney Store Classic Princess head sculpts, and this one is no exception. It’s just beautiful, and although it’s not an exact resemblance I do like the fact that it looks more like the Disney character than the more Barbue-like dolls who have gone before. 

* The whole sky-blue theme. I love this colour. Her dress is simple but pretty, and the black choker sets it off well. It works. 

On to Cinderella number two: 

Things I like about Wedding Day Cinderella: 

* She may not be as fancy-schmancy as the Disney Store version, but I think I like this Mattel version better in many ways. That face sculpt is just beautiful, it reminds me of the Grace Kelly dolls. 

* Her dress – for playline, that’s not a bad stab at Cinderella’s spectacular wedding gown, and I do like the fact that there’s so much material in her skirt. Gorgeous. 

* The details – her little flowered headpiece, her flower ring, the flowers on her shoes. Cute. 

* As with Fairy Godmother, who I posted about at the start of the year, I love how she is holding her arms and hands. It,any not be the pivotal body type that I prefer but it’s actually a lot of fun to photograph and adds to her sense of character. 

That’s it! What do you think – do you have either of these dolls, or are you tempted? 

No doubt I will continue to be sick and busy for a while yet, but I will try to post a bit more often as I’ve missed it. It just remains for me to say thanks to Chico for his very generous (and slightly spooky) present🙂 I love her! 

Goddesses of the Garden 

20 Jun

Happy Father’s Day! 

19 Jun

It’s Father’s Day and in our house, it’s not surprising that this makes us think of Batman, as my Mr Bat has been a Batman enthusiast and memorabilia collector for a long time. The Batman I’m showing you today is the new Barbie Collector-level doll based on Ben Affleck in “Batman vs Superman”, and he’s an interesting guy in many ways. 

(That’s him on the box). Firstly, he’s a celebrity doll and while he doesn’t look staggeringly like Ben Affleck, he doesn’t look staggeringly unlike him, either, which is always nice: 

As you can see, he has a custom face sculpt and they have actually given him Ben’s beauty spots, which is a nice touch (FYI: is it sexist that it sounds wrong to say “beauty spot” for a man?? Can anybody think of a better word?). Personally, I’m not a big fan of painted hair, but I get that otherwise he’d pretty much constantly have a bad case of “helmet hair” from wearing his batmask, so it’s probably the best solution. 

I was keen to see how his outfit was put together, seeing as it’s quite figure-hugging and complicated. For a horrible minute, I was worried that it would actually be moulded on to his body, but no. Some thought has obviously gone into its construction – the batmask and the gauntlets are very soft rubber, so you can flex them over the chin and the hands to get them off. Great idea, but I’ll be interested to see whether they perish and harden over time, I kind of suspect that they might. His cape (which fastens with Velcro under his mask and can be removed separately to the rest of his outfit) is soft pleather, which gives it a nice, weighty way of hanging. The actual costume itself is made of fabric and although it is sewn on, I’m pretty confident that it could be unpicked and converted to fastening closure at the back. I was disappointed but not surprised to find that under his gauntlets, it ends a little before his wrist in a three quarter sleeve, which doesn’t look great. Same with the legs under the boots. Fabric saving move (every little helps!) or just to stop it ruckling up underneath? You decide … 

And he comes holding a tiny Batarang!! 

Anyhoo, the next, amazingly interesting thing about this Batman is that he features a new, super-muscly body sculpt. This is broader, more defined and (I discovered today) slightly taller than the standard Kens. Plus – and this is the clincher for articulation freaks – he is super-poseable – wrist joints, sprung hips, the works. I’m actually surprised that I haven’t seen more rebodies using him and Superman (who shares this new body type, but is probably better potential rebodying fodder, as he doesn’t have painted-on black-gloved hands like Batman)- not so much in my country, where even black label dolls are still pretty pricey, but certainly amongst American collectors. Then again, I’ve never rebodied a Ken and I don’t know much about it, so maybe it’s not as easy as it first appears … 

Although I’d have preferred a few changes (a removeable outfit, for instance) I still think he’s a great doll who has obviously had a lot of effort and thought put into his design. If you don’t have him already, he’s well worth a look. 

Hope you’ve had a lovely Father’s Day🙂 x