Pound Shop Clothes Part Two – Starring Leas 52, 53 and 54 

22 May

On my second Pound Shop Expedition last week, I made a very interesting discovery indeed. Barbie clothes! Now, where I live, carded Barbie clothes are not sold in many shops and when they do crop up they tend to be overpriced. Imagine finding them for a pound a throw, then! Obviously I bought one of every pack they had. 

When I got them home, I worked out that my five packs added up to three outfits altogether – not at all bad for a fiver. But who to try them on? Well, in an attempt to impose some order on myself I have recently compiled a list of Leas I own but who I haven’t photographed or written about. There are more than I thought there would be – too many more. So, to clear some of this backlog, I thought I might as well post about three of my Fashionista Leas while using them as my outfit models. 

And here they are: three very different-looking dolls, three different body types, all wonderful Leas. Left to right, we have Leather and Ruffles (Fashionista Number 44), Ruby Red Floral (Number 19) and Pretty in Paisley (Number 41). First, Leather and Ruffles: 

Leather and Ruffles is a VERY diffferent kind of Lea. To the best of my knowledge, she’s the first Lea to sport what we have always called an “undercut”, that is, a partially shaved head. Faceupwise, she’s not a billion miles away from the “Glam Nights” face that we also saw on some basic dolls, although I think she has a very unmade-up kind of look which is more androgynous than Glam Nights. Of course, I was like a kid in a sweetshop over this whole wave, but Leather and Ruffles was one of my top picks. Her box clothes are also quite nice, although personally I have a rule about not wearing grey and beige together so I think I prefer her in her alternative outfits rather than the one she came in. 

In these photos, Leather and Ruffles got the black and white striped top and also my favourite Pound Shop piece – denim shorts with floral footless tights built in. I had heard that most of the modern clothes will fit different body types but it was gratifying to actually try this out successfully. I think this look really suits her.

Next, Ruby Red: 

So, Ruby is basically “Neko-with-a-Twist” – red lips. I would be lying if I denied being a leetle bored with Neko now – as well as the Fashionistas, the Neko face has featured in the “I Can Be …” and Made to Move lines, and although I personally think its a very interesting face, its probably time for Mattel to give it a bit of a rest. Having said this, of course I like this doll. Her original outfit is adorable and the red lips do freshen her look a little.

Ruby got the swimsuit. Its cute, but I wish they hadn’t included the frill which isn’t quite long enough to be a skirt. Then it would have been easier to use it as a vest top with some jeans, which would look cute. 

Last: Pretty in Paisley, the first Petite Lea: 

Before I saw her in the plastic, I was just as excited about Pretty in Paisley as I was about Leather and Ruffles. Her half and half hair!! She kind of reminded me of a Flavas doll. However, sad to say that she is not my favourite Lea from the Fashionistas. Firstly, her skin is a strange peachy colour and I’m not sure if I care for it. Second, although I have nothing in particular against the Petite body type and own quite a few, I think this Lea’s head just looks too big for such a little frame; they really should have done a better job of scaling her and if I can find a better body that matches her colourwise (a challenge because of her peachy colour) I’d consider rebodying her. Third and worst: she is afflicted by Frog Eye (where the eyes,seem to be looking outwards in opposite directions), as are many versions of her. What a shame! Her promo pictures were beautiful. She is still cute – I just think she could have been stunning. Sigh. 

Again, I was pleasantly surprised how nicely this top and skirt fits on her Petite body. I haven’t tried it on a Tall yet and i’ll be interested to see if it works. 

So – there we go. Have you found any bargain Barbie clothes recently? If so, let me know – I would like to know if there are other sets floating around out there, waiting to be snapped up. 


Pound Shop Clothes Part One – Starring Miscellaneous Monsters 

19 May

Earlier this week I visited two Pound Shops over the course of two days, and I found interesting doll clothes at both. My first day’s find has given me an opportunity to photograph some Monster High dolls who I love, but who, for one reason or another, I am unlikely to ever write individual posts about. 

Here are the outfits: 

As you can see, these sets are manufactured by Funtastic, who seem to be veteran suppliers of the ultra-budget toys usually sold in Pound Shops in the UK. I have seen Barbie-size dress sets made by Funtastic before – they are always made of ribbon and plastic non-fray material, garishly coloured and hastily stitched. They are definitely for kids rather than collectors, and they are not built to last. These Monster High size dresses are the same kind of deal, but I was drawn in by the novelty of finding clothes that would fit these kind of dolls for such a low price. And anyway, I do think that although they are manufactured in a seriously slapdash way and the materials are on the cheap side, actually they are a reasonable low-budget stab at Monster High style. 

So, next, I had to find some ghouls to put them on. First, the Urban Girls: Scaremester Clawdeen and Monster Exchange Marisol Coxi.

Although, as you might remember, some time ago I did an online giveaway of another version of this Clawdeen, my poor Clawdeen has languished in her box until today. I do like her half and half hairdo, and her box outfit and accessories are “old Monster” – detailed and fun. But at this stage I just couldn’t see a reason to take her out and no photo ideas presented themselves. Her dress isn’t particularly well suited to her colour scheme but I think it looks cute on her in a kind of Cerise Hood way, and its my favourite out of all the Funtastic dresses.  

Marisol has been out of the box for a while and I have photographed her a few times, but I never posted about her. I do love this doll! Her face is really endearing, her oversized clawed hands are very photogenic, and like some of my favourite ghouls, she’s got that adorable molded-on wrist and ankle hair. I did want to photograph Marisol in a different dress but because she has the “big sister” body, this was the only one that fitted her. Again, it isn’t quite right for her colour scheme, but I do think it looks rather nice on her.

For the Bella set, my models were Monster Exchange Lagoona and Scaremester Catty Noir: 

I do love a nice Lagoona but I dragged my heels with this one for some crazy reason. I only got her last year. Unfortunately somehow in that relatively short time I managed to misplace the fancy headpiece from her original outfit, so every time I’ve gone to photograph her I’ve decided to put it off until I found it again. Well, who knows when it will turn up? In the meantime, she looks very cute in this little patterned outfit. Unfortunately it is not well made. The back (which, like most of these dresses, opens all the way and is held shut with velcro) is two different lengths,at the skirt hem, and I’m talking by a significant margin. Still, the front is OK, although the bodice could be a little more shaped:

I love Catty as a character but I resisted buying this particular doll for the longest time; I already had two other Cattys and I didn’t want to be greedy. In the end, Mr Bat bought her for me as a gift so I got to enjoy her guilt-free. Catty got the girliest dress of all, and while she doeswas look quite charming in it I don’t think it will last long, as the top of the bodice and the waist of the skirt are already starting to fray. 

Lastly, it turned out that one of the six outfits was unusable. Here’s Rock Chick Mouscedes with the dud dress, can you see the problem?

Yes, for starters, no Monster High head, in fact no doll head that I know of, is EVER going to fit through that tiny ribbon loop. Secondly and rather more problematically, the hearts dress is solid at the back and the material is not very stretchy, so it will not fit over the head or pull up over the bum, not even on a “little sister” body like that of Mouscedes. 

Mouscedes herself is just the cutest thing. I adore her – her thin pink tail, her big round eyes, her overbite, her candyfloss curls. CUTE. So why have I never posted about her? I actually loathe her box outfit. She comes in a fancy gold and black affair that remind me of a particular 90’s Barbie outfit I never liked, and she wears metallic blue accessories which don’t fit with the rest of her look at all as far as I’m concerned. I was a bit sad that I had to dress her in gold and black again as I would have liked to have tried her in a different color, but she was the only one small enough to fit in this admittedly rather stylish black dress, which must have been sewn slightly within the lines where it should have been sewn. In fact, it barely fits her – a bigger Monster would never squeeze into it. 

Well, that’s it for this post, what do you think? Would you have spent 50p each on them, or are your ghouls Designer Only types? More soon 🙂 

Frightfully Tall Draculaura 

2 May

Since I read somewhere that the Frightfully Tall dolls have been spotted in some discount shops in the UK I have been on the lookout, and I finally found them last week: 

At £20 (well, you know, £19.99) they are still not awfully cheap, but considering that the last time I checked they were still going for £50 – £60 on Amazon/ eBay in this country, I don’t suppose I can grumble. 

Why Draculaura? To be honest, I don’t know. My default Monster High has always been Frankie but when push came to shove, I impulse grabbed Lala. It was only when I got her home that I noticed her slightly wonky eye. I do think that although most of the time eye wonk is a pain in the arse, now and again it gives a doll an adorable unique expression. Maybe that’s why I picked her. 

Another thing: Draculaura is 17 inches of gorgeousness and I have a bad history with bigger-than-Barbie dolls. I have two beautiful Gene Marshalls who never see the light of day, and at least six Moxie Teenz who do not get the attention they deserve. I struggle to think about getting rid of these dolls who are all wonderful, but they also make me feel guilty. Now I might have added to that problem, I suppose. Time will tell. Right now, the bigger size is a novelty. I love how chunky and weighty she feels, and of course she poses as nicely as a regular Monster High doll.

So: just in case you are thinking of indulging, here’s a little look at how she is made up: 

Her elbows (and her knees) have hinges that look more like a Made To Move doll than a Monster. Mine are a little stiff and take a little bit of coaxing – there is also a couple of burrs on the plastic of the elbow joints which I will need to file down some time (how sad that quality control issues are evident with these dolls as well as their smaller sisters). One nice thing here, though – when I undressed her I realised that in addition to joints in all the normal places she does have a torso joint. She also has removable hands for ease of dress/ undress. 

I had been told that these dolls could wear some Barbie clothes, but none of the standard-size outfits I tried on her would go over her hips: 

However, I did manage to squeeze her into a Curvy dress (Polka Dot Fun, from the last post). I couldn’t move her legs in this outfit, though, so I’m thinking next time I’ll try something loose at the bottom, like Chambray Chic’s dress. 

One last thing – I think I’m going to have to restyle her hair. She has a lot of hair gunk some of which might turn out to be glue seepage – if that’s the case I will be tempted to just reroot her. That would be a fun project, but I have too many reroots queued up already so I’ll try a rescue mission first. I also think her pigtails need to sit higher and they could do with some shape, as they just kind of hang straight, and they do have some kinks from the box which will need to go. 

Whay do you think? Are you tempted – do you have one? Let me know in the comments. 

Curvies Again

29 Apr

I have considered numbering the Curvy posts like I do with the Skippers, the Sindys and of course the Leas, but 1). Even I think the numbering is getting a bit much now, 2). The fashionistas already come with numbers, so it seems like overkill, and 3). I should have posted them one by one from the start if I wanted to do that. So instead, you’re just going to have to put up with great titles like “More Curvies” forever – because Curvies are definitely sticking around for the forseeable future, and I am definitely going to keep buying them. You may have seen that Curvies (and Talls, and Petites) have found their way into the “I Can Be” (Barbie Careers) lines. I have high hopes that we might see our first Curvy fairy before too long, how adorable would that be? 
Anyhoo, my two ladies tonight are probably my favourite Curvies so far – number 51: Polka Dot Fun, and number 48: Daisy Pop. Both use the “curvy” face sculpt that was introduced at the same time as the new bodies. I do love this face but I am also glad to see that the upcoming batch of Fashionistas use some different sculpts on curvy bodies too. One day, we might even see a Curvy Lea (pleeease??) 

And, while I am fond of their cheap and cheerful yet eyecatching outfits, I also spend a lot of time looking at them in these outfits online, so I tried a little re-dress: 

Adventures in Rebodying -Poor Midge 

18 Apr

Well, not specifically this Midge, but I still remember the repaint of another version of this doll that got wrecked by sealant (although being honest it wasn’t great to start with). Still, I got another version, rebodied her and made her an outfit. I think she looks great, although admittedly this is about the third set of pictures I’ve taken and the first lot I’m happy with. What a comedy of errors! 

By the way, I think I looked her up once but I can’t remember who she is and I’m too busy/ lazy to do it again tonight. ID ideas gratefully accepted, thanks 🙂 

Lea 51 and Friends 

17 Apr

The last of my series of holiday snap posts features three dolls. Firstly, there is Lily, a Hannah Montanah doll who I cleaned up and rebodied recently: 

Secondly, there is Kelli-Anne, who started off as a generic Millie Barbie who came to me with the Sparkle Style Salon: 

I made a few changes to her before we came away on holiday: 

Thirdly, there is the Lea I mentioned in the title. She is part of the current release budget Barbie range (which is fantastic, by the way, with some great faces in there):

As you can see, I rebodied her to a Barbie Style body and while I’m not 100% happy with the colour match, it will do until I can source something better. I’m calling her Briony. 







Skateboarder by the Sea 

16 Apr

I deboxed the new Made To Move Skateboarder just before I left on holiday, so she came with me. She is an absolute beauty with the Curvy face sculpt which is proving so popular right now. I took her out and about in Heysham (near Morcambe) with me and here are the resulting photos. Sadly, I completely forgot to get any of her with helmet and kneepads on, but maybe that wouldn’t have suited the surroundings too well anyway.