Ballerina Odile

Before I get to my post, let me apologize yet again for this blog having gone nearly dead.  It’s just…ugh, things have been bad here.  Not like bad bad, just like really super-aggravating no motivation bad.  If that makes any sense.

A you might have guessed if you’ve followed my blog for a long time, I have problems keeping my place clean, and eventually those problems sort of slammed me into a wall.  I’m tearing down that wall now, but…yeah, it’s kind of rough trying to find my feet again, ’cause I hit it pretty hard.

And that metaphor is now completely overused, so I’ll just move on.  I’ve got a new mostly-dolls shelf, which you can see here…

I apologize for the crappy quality of the picture, but the light in there is awful.  There are two more shelves below these ones, but they’re filled with books. 🙂  There are some dolls on the shelf who merit special attention, but I don’t really have any pictures ready for them.  That purple glow on the bottom shelf next to the ∞ Miku is indeed a lit up bottle; it’s a “potion” bottle that cycles through a rainbow of colors.  Y’know, now that I think of it, I did take a recording of it going through its cycle soon after I got it.  I’ll add that to the gallery for this post if I can.  The only doll of note that I have a photo ready to show you for the contents of this shelf is a pretty crap photo…

This is my second ever Liberty of London doll!  She’s Queen Elizabeth, but she’s also a super-early doll (circa 1937), when they were still doing shaped faces with seams down the center of the face, instead of side seams that don’t show with faces that were primarily painted on.  Her costume, rather than being based on a portrait, appears to be based on some of the stuff worn by Flora Robson in the 1937 film Fire Over England, which is about the 1588 defeat of the Spanish Armada (I think).  IMDB has a photo of her addressing her troops wearing a hat just like this one, so I do think that movie is where her design came from.  And I have no idea if her hands are supposed to look like that, or if something fell off there before I got her.  Probably there were leather hands there, but I can’t be positive.  All the other Liberty of London Elizabeth I dolls I’ve seen picture of online have been based on portraits of the actual queen, so they look nothing like this.  (But we know for a fact that the sisters who made these dolls did base some of their designs on movie stills they saw in magazines; a relation of theirs has a comparison photo of a Robin Hood doll and a publicity shot of Errol Flynn as Robin Hood, and the resemblance is undeniable.)

These are the two stuffed animals that were cut off in that full shelf shot.

I don’t know when I’ll be able to get back to regular blogging; I have to pick up my life and put it back together first.  There’s all sorts of stuff I’d love to share with you, but…I’m just not mentally up to trying right now.  However, I do have one thing to show you now.

So, the folks at My Ballerina Dolls (who seem to have changed their name again?) have put out a 1/6 scale version of Clara-Marie and the Snow Queen, as well as a new version of Marie in the usual 1/3 scale as Odile the black swan from Swan Lake.  I didn’t bother with the new 1/3 scale doll (since it’s just a new outfit on the same doll), but I picked up the 1/6 scale Odile and Snow Queen.  (Haven’t opened the Snow Queen yet, but she looks good, just like her larger version.)

why…?!  Why is she still wearing those pink boots?!

Sorry, that had to be said.

Aaaaaaanyway, footgear aside, her outfit is very pretty, and she came wrapped in protective layers of plastic under that black dress to keep her from staining.  Which, of course, means she doesn’t move very well right now.  Oh, and if you’re thinking “that’s not really the 1/6 scale doll, that’s just the 1/3 scale doll in a different box,” have a look at this:

Odile is utterly dwarfed by Arthur.  (Apologies for the terrible photo, but as I said, the lighting in there is ghastly.  Oh, and someday I will show a proper picture of that dollhouse behind them.  I found it at the same antique mall as the shelf, and it is totally cool.  Though I still have to research how to clean it (there were mouse droppings inside it, yuck!) and then, you know, furnish it…)

In honor of Halloween, a brief skit…

“Welcome, mademoiselle. Care to have your fortune read?”
“Hold your question in your mind. Do not let it go.”
“And here is your answer, mademoiselle…”
“You want to know what the cards mean? Ah, but you’ll have to pay for that, mademoiselle!”

So, as you might have deduced from the photos, the 1/6 scale version has solved the problem the larger dolls have with the wrists not having a full range of motion…but it’s introduced a new problem where the heads don’t have a very full range.  She can turn her head, but not tilt it.  (I’ve noticed that Made-to-Move Barbies have the same problem.)

I haven’t done a full investigation, but the hair issue is a bit more complicated than on her 1/3 scale counterparts.  Her hair is rooted to a thick rubber cap that (in Odile’s case) is a medium brown in color, similar to the color of her hair.  It seemed like the rubber cap is removable, but I don’t want to start experimenting with it unless I have time to fix any problems my experiments might cause, and I don’t have that much time right now.  But I think they are indeed removable, which might or might not give access to her eyes as well (the Snow Queen still has brown eyes, weirdly (along with those blasted pink boots)) and should make it possible to re-wig her, though a bald cap to replace the rooted one would be required to fill out the shape of the head.

In terms of clothing, I think they’ll take just about any 1/6 scale fashion doll clothing:  standard Barbie might hang a little loose, but the more slender Barbie sizes as well as Pullip should fit.  I think.  Like I said, I don’t have a lot of time right now, so I haven’t made any attempt to re-dress (or even undress) her.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, yes, those were actual Tarot cards she was using…

I saw this in a shop and immediately said “I need that for my dolls!”  (Though oddly, I’ve backed a surprisingly large number of tarot decks on Kickstarter in the past few months.  Only one of them has arrived so far, and I haven’t tried any readings with it, but…I’m not sure what sparked this renewed interest in Tarot…possibly those enamel oracle charms I got a while back…)


Anyway, just a few more brief things before I end this post (since, after all, I have no idea when I’ll get around to making the next one).  I wasn’t able to get a photo ready of my Halloween tree (yeah, it’s a black mini feather tree on my dining room table), but I did take a picture of this Halloween Pusheen blind box duplicate I gave to my brother to be a Halloween decoration at his place:

And I wanted to report on something I saw in the toy aisles at Target.  They’re already getting out their Christmas stuff, of course, so they’ve started putting out the child-sized dolls that pretty much only seem to be around at Christmas time.  (I guess they’re high ticket enough that they figure parents aren’t going to shell out for them at any other time?)  And I was annoyed by the comparison between these two Disney dolls…

You can’t really tell in the photo because Moana is closer to the camera, but they have exactly the same body mold.  One of the things I loved about all the normal-sized Moana dolls was that they had unique body molds, not the same ridiculously skinny ones that all the other dolls have.  But this one has the same mold as Rapunzel there.  😦  I mean, I guess I understand why they’d do that, considering how few of these they sell compared to the normal sized, $20 and under dolls, but…*sigh*  In addition to all the other problems, this way makes her head look freakin’ huge.

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The Groovy ’70s

Before I start, let me apologize most profusely for my lengthy silence.  My shoulder thing has been (mostly) healed for some time now, but it’s proving strangely hard for me to get back into blogging.  (The heat giving me no patience with taking photos or desire to have my laptop in my lap don’t help, naturally, but I don’t think that’s all it is.)  I won’t promise that I’m going to spontaneously turn that around and become active again, but I am going to try not to be quite so inactive, which will hopefully work its way back into regular activity.

All right, so that over with, let me finally get to the actual post.

Back in February, when I introduced you to my Velvet, I mentioned that I wanted to get her a hand-made new dress to apologize for sending her off to stay at my workplace so soon after her first arrival in my home.  Only since then I’ve entered into a feud with Etsy, and couldn’t order her clothes there.  (It’s stupid:  I just used the “contact us” link to complain about how they redesigned the Favorites menu to make it about a thousand times more inconvenient…only then the “contact us” link was so frustrating that when I was finally allowed to write out my complaint, I basically said “I won’t be shopping on Etsy ever again until you make the Favorites page useful again!”  Only if they had any intention of returning to being user-friendly, they wouldn’t have gone user-aggressive in the first place, so now I can’t shop on Etsy.  At least, not for a good year or two; I don’t want to look weak-willed.)  The reason she needed a new dress, of course, is because her original dress looks like this:

Sure, it’s a cute dress, but that stain on the skirt is hideous.  But without Etsy as a place to find a replacement (and without any ability to sew (or time to learn)) I had to find another source.  I ended up checking Ruby Lane, even though I knew there was the chance of having to overpay for tagged Ideal clothes.

But I got way lucky.  One of the sellers on Ruby Lane, Rewinding the Past, had a real stash of clothes that were both vintage and homemade.  The seller’s description states that they were “made for a home run business in the 1970s that never took off.”  Given the size, they were almost certainly intended for Crissy and/or Velvet dolls at the time, so they have that period vibe I wanted, without it being faked decades later like the modern clothes I’d be able to buy on Etsy.  (Which is not to knock the sellers on Etsy, mind you.  It’s just cool to get vintage consumer-made clothes.)  As of this writing, btw, the seller still had several more packs of assorted clothes from that stash.

Anyway, because there were lots of outfits to choose from, I had to go through a long process of trying on each outfit not only on Velvet, but also on Angel and Crissy.  Oh, yes, but I haven’t even shown you my Crissy at all!  This is her:

And yes, that’s the outfit she was wearing when I got her, but no, there’s no way it’s original or even period:  it fastens with velcro.  It’s a nice dress, though, very fancy and well made, but not very ’70s.  Uh, unless you mean 1870s.  (Though on Crissy it’s not very 1870s either, on account of being so short.)  Before I get into the fashion show of the three of them modeling all those outfits, let me talk about Crissy and Velvet a bit more.

So, Velvet was officially supposed to be Crissy’s younger cousin.  (Not sure why cousin instead of sister, but…)  The Caucasian version of Velvet had pale blonde hair, and was quite generic.  I’ve heard reports that Velvet’s eyes are purple, and Crissy’s…actually, I haven’t seen anyone try to identify her eye color.  Box art seems to show brown.  Anyway, both of my dolls have jet black eyes:

 

I’m not sure if their eyes originally had pupils of some other color and they’ve aged to black, or what.  It’s slightly eerie if you look too closely, though, so let’s move on.

As I’m sure you’re aware, Ideal’s Crissy doll family is a line of hair-growing dolls.  Until I took these photos, though, I had never actually tested their hair-growing mechanism…

 

These are the before shots.  You turn the knob on their backs to wind the hair into the head, and then press the button on their tummies to release the catch, and pull the hair back out again.  They both worked perfectly. 🙂

That being said, I’m afraid to try Crissy’s again.  Something started rattling around inside her during the process of all those clothing changes, and I think something may have fallen out.  *shudder*  I’ll not be rewinding any of that pretty hair back inside her, lest it might not want to come back out again!

Other general comments about these dolls:  as you can see, they have minimal articulation, and (as you probably can’t see) they have the kind of hip joints that mean if you make them sit down they go all splay-legged, which I do not personally find attractive in a doll.  (They also take up much more room that way anyway, so it’s perhaps just as well.)  Their entire bodies are hollow, and the plastic making up their limbs feels pretty thin, enough that I worry I might crush them if I handle them too hard.  (I know I’m not actually strong enough to do that, but the feeling of their hollowness is quite overpowering.)

Oh, and before Velvet came home from the museum, I mistook her size radically, and thought maybe she could share clothes with the Hearts for Hearts Girls, and as I test I picked up Rahel when I found that Target had put the line on clearance.

That’s a terrible photograph.  She’s much prettier than that in person.

There, that one’s better. 🙂  However…

…there was a slight miscalculation of scale. 😛  No way, no how was Velvet gonna fit into those clothes!  But then I found the ones on Ruby Lane, so it all worked out. 😉  BTW, when I posted about Velvet before, I commented on how nice her hands are (and how Ideal dolls often have nice hands) but in looking at her side-by-side with Rahel here, I finally figured out what I like so much about Ideal doll hands:  the fingers are spread apart and slightly posed, unlike many modern dolls, whose fingers are pressed together to make the manufacturing process simpler/cheaper/whatever-their-reason-is.  There are modern dolls that do have separated fingers (Monster High leaps to mind, even though it’s pretty much dead now), but they’re much less common.

Okay, so now we can get to the fashion show!  I didn’t try any dresses or skirts on Angel, though, because I had always wanted her to be wearing pants.  (Even if my initial outfit for her didn’t have them.)

Oh, no, wait, first there’s the old outfit I’d gotten for Angel that didn’t fit!  Here’s Crissy modeling it:

 

I really love the outfit (and that hat!) but the shirt made me very worried about staining.  It’s lined with white on the inside, so I wasn’t worried about her torso, but I felt like it was going to stain her arms where they were touching it on the outside, you know?  I could have her wear it as a vest over a thin white blouse, though.  (The pants didn’t fit either of the other girls, so I don’t have any photos of them wearing this outfit.)

Anyway, until I got the Ruby Lane clothes, I had Crissy wearing this:

Kind of surprising that she can wear Velvet’s dress as a shirt, isn’t it?  For all their height difference, their torso sizes aren’t much different.

Anyway, now we can get on with the fashion show.  Starting first with the dress Crissy came with…

 

And now the outfit Angel’s been wearing all this time…

  

Wow, the different lighting really changes the color of the cloth, doesn’t it?  The photo of Angel was taken at work, in more diffused lighting, some of which was natural, and the other two were taken in my bedroom, in 100% artificial lighting.  (I just don’t have a good place for natural light photography right now…)  I’m not sure what happened to her bracelet between then and now, though.  😦

 

Velvet didn’t try on this jumper because it patently didn’t fit.  I mean, it doesn’t really fit Angel, either, but it’s not quite as bad on her compared to Velvet.

  

I probably should have done a group shot of the three of them at the start of this to show the size difference between Angel and the other two…only just thought of that…

 

For the “leftover hippie” part of the 1970s.  You know, the part that led Mattel to make these guys:

(I’m amazed I found an excuse for that…)

  

I’m not sure if I’m supposed to be thinking Bruce Lee here, or Star Trek…which is kind of an odd statement, now that I look at it…

  

The odd thing with this one is that this blue leafy outfit was one of the ones I was most looking forward to from the seller’s photos, and it’s probably the one I’m least happy with on my dolls.  (Or the yellow one might be…)

  

…nope, got nothing to say here.

  

This outfit may be the unexpected winner of the bunch. ;P

 

This one was sent along as a bonus.  I’m not really a fan of the skirt, but I love the blouse! 😀

So, as you can see, Velvet was the clear winner of the fashion show:  she even made the granny dress look good! 😉  For the moment, they’re wearing these outfits:

  

In Crissy and Velvet’s case, this was literally because those were the last outfits I’d tried on them, and I didn’t feel much like changing their clothes again. 😛

I’m thinking of changing them to these, though:

  

Obviously, Crissy is banned from wearing darker outfits (like anything red) because I don’t want her getting stained.  I don’t think the darker colors of plastic are as likely to take a stain.  Though maybe I’m wrong about that?  (Does anyone know?)

,,,

Hmm, when I got to this point the other day and left it here, I’m positive I had something else I wanted to say on the end and that’s why I stopped instead of posting it, but now I don’t remember what it was. 😦

Three Doll Kickstarters

First time trying to type since the thing with my shoulder started.  And it lasted barely more than a sentence before I had to stop, clutching my arm as it surged with pins and needles. 😦

So now I’m composing the draft text on my phone (dammit, the thing’s becoming a part of me, despite how I didn’t want to get it!) because I can do that without pain. (Okay, technically the pins and needles thing doesn’t hurt as such, but…) Then once I’ve written all the text, I’ll add the pics.

So, there are three doll Kickstarter campaigns going on right now. I’m only actually backing two of them, but I’ll get to that later.

So, we’re starting with this one, with the campaign title “IT’S TIME TO MAKE LOTS OF DOLLS”

Image copyright Fam Bam Toys. Click for link,

Their company name is Fam Bam Toys, but I’m not clear on the name of the doll line itself. There aren’t a lot of details yet, but here’s what I do know:

The line features African-American dolls who come with wigs, allowing them a wide range of hairstyles and looks. Based on the price point, I think they’re probably 1/6 scale.

Image copyright Fam Bam Toys. Click for link.

This is their prototype doll, Symone. I think she’s quite pretty, and certainly a promising start for the line, if they can meet their funding goal.

Speaking of which, to get the money, they’ll need backers to pledge $5,000 in the next 17 days (so, by July 1st), and they are currently at $621. Certainly possible, but I think the creator may not be pushing it on social media and such as strongly as she needs to. That, and the lack of details is probably scaring off potential backers. But it does sound like they’ve researched the production side of things enough to know what they’re doing; it’s just the Kickstarter side of things they didn’t research enough.

There have been other lines of play dolls to come with wigs (Moxie Teenz, some Brats, Imani), but for the most part they were one-time experiments (Fashion Queen Barbie, for example) or the wigs got abandoned later on for cheaper, simpler rooted dolls (Moxie Teenz) so it’s been a while since wigged dolls were out there for kids. (Us grown-ups get to have all the wigging fun we want with our BJDs and custom Pullips and Blythes, after all!)

Okay, moving on.

Image copyright…um…there’s no company name…well, click for link, anyway.

As the logo shows you, this one is called My CityDoll. The campaign page says she’s 14″ tall, which is a slightly odd scale; it’s smaller than American Girl dolls, but maybe that’s about the size of the AG offshoot line Wellie Wishers? It’s not really my preferred type of doll, so I don’t have much info to draw on here.

Again, this is a copyrighted image that came from the Kickstarter page. Click for link.

What I do know is that that is one adorable face! That little half-smile really gets me. 🙂 the eyes are really nice, too.

She’s all vinyl (no cloth torso here) but only has the basic shoulder and hip joints, no knees and elbows, sadly. (I have no idea if kids get as annoyed by dolls who sit with their legs just stretched out from the chair as I do…)

I’d be happier if the launch doll wasn’t a blue-eyed blonde, but the line was inspired by the campaign runner’s granddaughter, so I’m presuming said granddaughter is herself a blonde. Besides, those gorgeous eye chips make up for a lot. 😉 (And there are always wigs and reroots…)

The price point on this one is a bit steeper: $125 (plus shipping) for the non-limited edition of the doll. But as they need to get $10,000 in the next 22 days (July 5), the doll’s high price tag is necessary. (And, really, American Girl and other dolls of that type cost a ridiculous amount, so…) At the moment, they’ve been pledged $2,851, so while they’re in a stronger place than the other, their Kickstarter success is by no means certain. (As with the other, I think the dolls should be successfully manufactured, if they can just get the funds.)

All right, last one, the one I’m not backing.

No company name again, but it’s still a copyrighted image. Click for link.

This one is called “El-Lynn, a Doll With A Message of Love” and the doll is very much an American Girl-type, being 18″ tall and having a cloth torso.

And is that why I’m not backing her?

Well, no. Not really.

Is it the relatively lifeless face? (Which, of course, still makes it very AG-like.)

While that’s part of it, it’s not the main reason.

And no, it’s not that I think the campaign creator will be unable to get the doll successfully made; she seems to be pretty much on top of that situation.

So why is it?

Honestly, it’s the doll’s “message of love.” Because it’s not (just) “love of mankind” or “love in general”, but specifically “love of God.” Which is great for a lot of people, but it makes me uncomfortable. I do believe that a sentient higher power set the Big Bang in motion and engineered the laws of physics, but my personal belief is that there’s no way we puny humans could actually comprehend a being on that level, so organized religion always feels to me like it’s more about the human than the divine. Plus lately a lot of people have used religion (especially Christianity) as an excuse to do really horrible things to other people, which just leaves me squirming in discomfort whenever I see or hear someone loudly proclaiming their faith. And yes, I know that’s completely unreasonable, because the people doing the awful things are all doing things that Christianity specifically teaches that a person shouldn’t do, but…knowing that doesn’t change my discomfort.

Anyway, since my reason for not backing the campaign had nothing to do with the doll herself, I thought it would be deeply unfair if I didn’t share the campaign along with the other two. This one has the highest goal of the three, $20,000, has until the 3rd of July, and so far gas only been pledged $871. (Maybe I’m not the only one on Kickstarter who’s put off by the religious angle. Or maybe it’s the face.)

Ooookay, stopping abruptly here, because it turns out that trying to type on my phone is mind-bogglingly more time consuming, due to all the freakin’ typos caused by the teeny-tiny on-screen keyboard keys.

Wear Orange Weekend

Today and the next two days make up Wear Orange Weekend, where the idea is to wear orange (the color of visibility) for National Gun Violence Awareness Day.  In light of all the recent mass shootings, this is more important than ever this year.  But I have no desire to turn this blog political, so I’m not going any further with that.

Instead, I’m going to explain that my blog is going on a brief hiatus.  Probably not more than a week, but…it’s hard to say for sure.  And the hiatus is going to include Blind Box Mondays.

The reason for the hiatus is that I hurt my shoulder.  It’s just a strained muscle, but in order to let it heal, I need to stop doing…well, pretty much everything I usually do.  (I have no idea how I’m going to survive!)  Not supposed to type or otherwise use computers (no idea how I’ll do my job, considering it’s entirely computer-based!) and I have to go to insane lengths to be able to play any video games (my lifeline!), and even reading is going to be near impossible.  About all I can do is try and find a position that doesn’t strain my shoulder and watch TV.  Ugh.  I mean, I do have a considerable backlog of anime to watch (about five seasons’s worth of various shows purchased on DVD, not to mention countless seasons of other shows available on Crunchyroll, Netflix and Hulu), but I crave interactivity, you know?

Anyway, once I’m better, I’ll be back.  I was told to wear a sling for a week, but I can’t particularly wear it, because just wearing it hurts, and it’s too long and covers up my hand, so I can’t do anything.  (Doesn’t help that it’s my dominant hand.)

In the meantime, I’ve made an album of all my orange-wearing (and sometimes orange-haired) dolls for this weekend.  They’re just old photos that were already uploaded to my Google drive.  The whole album is here, and here are a few highlights:

(Actually, a different shot of Pyrrha in this outfit and a similar pose is in the album. Only apparently I’ve never uploaded that photo onto the blog. Go fig.)

(Actually, this one’s not on the Google drive for some reason…)

(Hmm, I didn’t see this one on the Google drive, either. Maybe I didn’t upload my pictures as fully as I thought…)

(I’m going to be wearing that Orange Blossom pin to work today, btw.)

 

Poor Pitiful Pearl

See, I promised my next post would be on an actual doll, and here I am, actually delivering!  (For once.)

This is Poor Pitiful Pearl, a Horsman doll from 1963.  I’d seen photos of her, but hadn’t been terribly interested until I saw one in person at the Toys of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s traveling exhibit at the history museum back in January of 2017.  Unfortunately, for some reason I didn’t get any photos of her at the time, possibly because she was still in her box, so I figured she wasn’t going to photograph very well.  You can see a (rather distant) photo of what her box looked like on DollReference.com’s Horsman 1960s-1970s page.  (Which also starts with a close-up of her face.)  Like many of the other unusual ’60s dolls of this sort I’ve been interested in getting — Little Miss No Name and Susie Sad Eyes (though she’s actually early ’70s), primarily — I’d found her price tag a bit off-putting.  But eventually I found this one on a Red Tag sale at Ruby Lane. 🙂

As you can see, she has one serious flaw:  her eyes have paled to a blue far more pale than they originally were, making it look a bit as though she’s gone blind.  (As if she didn’t have enough problems already!)  However, her hair is in good shape for a doll this old (there are a few snarls in the back, as you’ll see, and a bit of a musty smell, but nothing major), and look how crisp her face paint is!  She did lose her kerchief at some point, but I can replace that when I get a chance with just any old bit of red cloth. ;P

Ah, but I’ve skipped over the details about just who Pearl is.  She was designed by William Steig, a cartoonist (who often published in the New Yorker) and author, whose children’s book Sylvester and the Magic Pebble was one I had as a child, and whose much later children’s book, Shrek!, was the basis of the Dreamworks movie.  (Fortunately for him, he passed away long before Shrek 3.  Didn’t quite see release of the second one either, which is sad, but maybe he’d already seen it as a work in progress.)  As far as I can tell (which is not, I admit, very far), Steig created Pearl specifically for the original 1958 doll by Brookglad; both versions of her were released with a little booklet illustrated by him.  I found a series of photos (scans?) of the 1958 booklet in this blog post from 2009, along with some lovely photos of the Brookglad doll, which appears essentially identical to the Horsman doll (I read somewhere that Horsman bought out Brookglad, so that’s not surprising) except for having a less colorful face-up and longer hair.  There was also a 1976 doll released by Tristar, which (from the DollReference.com photo) seems to have a very much identical face, but a rather different body.

Right, so now that I’ve dispensed with the history, on with the rest of the doll photos! 🙂

She has the pudgiest legs I have ever seen on a doll.  Ever. 🙂  I think they’re absolutely adorable.  The nylons help, of course.

As you can see, her hair’s a bit frizzled in the back, but not bad.  Nowhere near as bad as the average 1980s doll’s hair.

I love that her dress is fastened with a button.  I wish doll manufacturers still used buttons (or at least snaps) instead of crummy velcro.

I should have gotten a side-by-side photo of her with some other doll for scale.  She’s about 12″ tall (most of the ones I see online seem to be the 17″ version), so putting her side-by-side with a Barbie would be quite the jarring contrast!  Another child-like doll would probably be a better comparison.  Not quite sure what doll, though.  Most of the others are too tall or too short.  Maybe go a bit older/newer and use the red-headed Patsy replica.  In terms of body-type, Patsy and other dolls of that type would be the best match.  (Maybe when the doll exhibit comes down in July, I can bring in Pearl and a few other dolls to photograph side-by-side with that Scootles on loan for the exhibit.  A slight abuse of power(?), maybe, but what an incredible chance!)

It’s a weird and awesome feeling, though, adding dolls like Pearl to my collection, considering that they’re older than I am.  My collection of dolls older than I am is really growing lately.  (I’ve gotten two others that, like Pearl, I first saw in person at that traveling museum exhibit.  But I haven’t photographed either of the other two yet.)  I should make a gallery in my Google Photos drive to show them all.  (Of course, Pearl has her own album already, and all these photos link there.)  Oooh, now that I think about it, I still haven’t photographed the one that’s probably oldest…I need to remedy that situation…

Two (non-doll) Toy Kickstarters (and info about Kickstarter in general)

Since the responses to my earlier post were to go ahead with Kickstarter-related posts within reason, I wanted to share two Kickstarters I’m currently backing, one which still hasn’t hit its funding goal.  But I thought maybe I should also go into a little more detail about how Kickstarter works (on the consumer end) first.

Basically, it’s a lot like pre-ordering a product, except that the product might not even exist if enough people don’t pre-order it, as the money is only collected at the end of the funding period (usually 30 days, but sometimes only a week or two, and some go for 60 days) and only if a set goal is reached.  (For example, someone wanting to make a run of resin BJDs would have to contact a manufacturer, find out the cost of making the molds and how much it would cost to do a minimum run of the dolls, and then find out all the associated shipping costs and other fees, and would make that their starting goal.)  There is also always the risk that even if the money is collected, there still won’t be a product.  Sometimes things go awry, and the intended end result never emerges.  (The highest risk of this seems to be in the making of video games, as sometimes the game is being made by a single individual, who basically wants the money to live on until they can finish the game.  Only then life can interfere.  A lot.)  The product could also be delayed, or not as good as expected/promised.  (Delays happen pretty much across the board, though the physical publication of web comics seem to be the safest against delay, likely because usually about 90% of the work was already finished before the campaign started.  Not as good as expected/promised can happen just about anywhere, but it also especially rears its head in video games.  Google “Mighty Number 9” if you need to see what can go wrong with video game production.)   Simpler products (like enamel pins) tend to be much safer bets, because it’s just that much harder for anything insurmountable to go wrong.  Generally speaking, products are slightly cheaper via Kickstarter than if you wait for them to be released to the public.  How much cheaper depending on the product, its eventual mark-up, and how marketing-savvy the person designing the campaign is.

I don’t know a lot about other crowdfunding sites, but I think that ones like gofundme and indiegogo collect money right away, unlike Kickstarter.  (I’m basing that solely on inferences from things people have said in Kickstarter comments, so I could be totally wrong.)  Patreon works totally differently, in that you pledge a certain amount of money and then pay it every single month until you tell it to stop charging you, and the person/group/whatever you’re giving money to does something for you to be worth that money, whether it’s giving you access to additional online content, or thanking you in their YouTube videos, or drawing sketches at your request, or what-have-you.  So far, I don’t have a Patreon account, thank goodness, as I’m bleeding money quite fast enough already. ;(

*ahem*

So, these two Kickstarters I’m writing about today are what I consider to be extremely low risk.  One of them is from a company (though via a different partner in the business) that has already run four successful campaigns, two of which I backed, one of which I’ve already received the rewards from.  (They also run a website, and I’ve ordered from them once, and got that order at the same time as the first Kickstarter reward.)  And the other one is a collaboration involving one of the founders (the founder?) of Kidrobot, so there’s someone with professional experience in exactly this type of manufacturing.  (As opposed to if it was some random dude who’s only ever worked operating the deep frying machine at a fast food joint.  Which by no means indicates that they’re incapable of running a toy company, just provides no reassurance of their capability to potential investors.)

We’ll start the the former, called DIY Miss Cupcake XL – Vinyl Art Toy Platform.  Which is admittedly a bit of a mouthful. 😛

Copyright Discordia Merchandising and Olive47. Image acquired via Kickstarter. Click for link.

So, the smaller one there is the original Miss Cupcake, which was released in a blind box, with four color variations, and the larger one is a prototype of the blank they’re going to produce for this Kickstarter.  They still have a few of the blind box originals, and I’ve backed to get one from the Kickstarter. 😉  Also an enamel pin version, and a glow-in-the-dark blank, because if your cupcakes aren’t glowing, what’s the point?  (Yeah, that made more sense in my head.)  The previous Kickstarter from Discordia Merchandising that I backed was called Boxcat, another customizing blank, which I got in white, glow-in-the-dark, blue and black.  No idea when I’ll actually customize any of them proper (need to clean my house first!), but I plan on doing a temporary custom on one of them with stickers. 😛  (I have to find the stickers I want first, but once I’ve done that, I’ll share photos with you.)

The second Kickstarter is both similar and different at the same time.  It’s also a vinyl toy, but it’s not a blank (though I guess you could paint over it anyhow 😛 ) and unlike Miss Cupcake, it’s already met and far exceeded its original funding goal.  (Like by 1500%!)  It’s called Janky, and it’s for a set of blind box figures.  They’ve posted a large number of them on the campaign page, but I’ve pared that down to some of my favorites:

My four favorite Janky models. Copyright Superplastic and the credited designers. Image from Kickstarter. Click for link.

There’s also an eight inch cyclopean version that’s really cute, but he’s $65, which feels a teeny tiny bit like a heck of a lot of money for an 8 inch figure with minimal articulation.  (I barely blink at that price on, say, a Figma, which is more like 5-6 inches, but they’ve got articulation out the wazoo, and lots of spare parts.)  There’s also a non-Janky figure that’s pretty cool (if a bit weird), and a 4 foot tall Janky for those with a lot of space and even more money.

I’m not 100% sure how well Janky aligns with everyone’s tastes (there’s a few of the designs I really don’t like, to be honest) and unlike Miss Cupcake, Janky doesn’t need the help in getting funded, but I wanted to pass it along anyway, in part just because, and in part because they’ve got this referral thing where they give you a special link and if someone clicks it and then pledges to the campaign, they give you an extra Janky when they’re shipping out the Kickstarter rewards.  (Yup, I am here motivated in part by my own selfish hope of getting more than I’m paying for.  Because I suck.  But at least I’m honest about it!)  So, in summation, the link on the picture and name above, this link, is actually that referral link.  I have no idea if you’ll have to click through anything different on the way to the campaign page, or if it just acts like a normal link and simply ticks off a data box at Kickstarter HQ or what.  (I’ve never used one of these referral things before.  One previous campaign I pledged to had one, but I didn’t use it, partially because I was ticked at the people running the campaign at the time.  Which is a pity, because as plushies those would probably have jived with my blog as a whole better.)

Okay, so I think that’s about everything I had to say, so I’ll probably stop here.  Also it’s gotten late and I still had other stuff I wanted to do tonight.

I promise I’ll post about an actual, honest-to-goodness doll next week.