Y’know, the opposite of a Silent Sunday or a Wordless Wednesday: instead of a picture and no words, it’s all words and no pictures. Not that I’m planning on making a habit of this; I just thought it made a catchy post title.
Due to reasons, I haven’t been able to do much photography lately, so posts will continue to be slow and sporadic. But I thought I’d fill you in a bit on what’s been going on here, toy-wise. (A lot of this is just me rambling about recent purchases, but towards the end there’s stuff about the museum, so if you’re interested in vintage stuff, scroll down.)
Proving that I have the willpower of a small child, I’ve spent all too much money since getting my hands on some more money. *sigh* I’m like that stereotype of the person who’s given a brief break from a super-restrictive diet and starts eating everything in sight.
And yet I could have spent so much more.
There were a lot of things I held back from getting, even as I got so many other things. So I could be an even worse spendthrift than I am, right?
Ack, wait, this wasn’t what I wanted to talk about. I wanted to tell you about what kinds of stuff I was ordering. ‘Cause some of it you won’t see pictures of for a long time.
So, Toys R Us was having a sale on Monster High and on Project MC2, so I’ve now bought all the Great Scarrier Reef dolls except Draculaura and Clawdeen, who I’ve seen on Amazon at what I like to call “scalper prices,” because they’re apparently the exclusive doll of some store or other, but I don’t know which one. (I checked the sites of Target, Walmart and K-mart, and none of them listed those dolls. I’m not sure where else to check.) I’d like to get those two, but I don’t want to pay $26 for a $15 doll, y’know? Anyway, my local TRU didn’t actually have in Lagoona and Frankie, so I had to order them online, so they’re not actually here yet. (I plan on doing a photo shoot for the whole line once they get here.) Likewise, I only bought one of the Project MC2 dolls in person, and ordered the other online, though in that case it was ’cause I wasn’t sure if I wanted the wave one Adrienne Attoms or the wave two one. (I eventually went with wave one, both so I’d have the whole line of wave one articulated dolls, and because I figured the wave two doll would be around longer.)
In spending that I don’t have to feel guilty about, I bought a used Play Arts Kai Fran (from Final Fantasy XII) from AmiAmi. I don’t have to feel guilty about that because it’s for my brother, and he’s going to be paying me back…though he’ll do so by paying for other stuff I’d be buying (like the Xenoblade Chronicles soundtrack he already ordered for me) so it’s not like I’ll actually see that money again. But at least it’s not money I’m spending on my own toy collection! 😛 Anyway, you’ll probably see pictures of Fran when she gets here, even though she’s not mine. ‘Cause why shouldn’t I photograph my brother’s stuff? (Particularly when I’m the one who found it online and paid for it?)
I also made two orders from Mandarake, (It would have been one order, but when you’re ordering things from their different store locations, you have to make separate orders, which is sometimes a little frustrating.) One of the things I ordered was a particular older Pullip which I had regretted not buying on the Sample Sale a while back, and then she suddenly popped up on Mandarake, used but in great condition (and still with her box and all her accessories), for less than Groove was asking for the sample doll. Obviously, I was like “yes, please!” and that was an automatic purchase. I’m being coy about which Pullip because I want her to be a surprise when she shows up on April A-to-Z. 😀 At least one of the other two dolls I ordered is also going to be in April A-to-Z, so I’m keeping mum about both dolls, just in case I want to show the other as well. (I know there’s no rule that things should be a surprise, but I thought it might be more fun that way.) However, I will tell you what the two small items I ordered were. One was a pair of boots simply labelled as “1/6 scale,” but which are very clearly Pullip boots, because they’re identical to Lir’s boots, except for having red ribbons as their laces. Since I love those boots and these were much cheaper than buying a new pair, I had to go for it. And the other small item is Pyrrha’s new eye mechanism. It’s just the white part that holds the eye chips, with no eyelids, which is actually good, because that means there’s no spare eyelids sitting around being unused. (As I want to keep the eyelids she’s already got, since I’ve already painted them. Though the paint needs a touch-up.)
I also ended up going to the Mattel Store site, because I was wondering if maybe the two Scarrier Reef dolls were Mattel Store exclusives. They weren’t, but Finnegan Wake, the merman in the wheelchair, turns out to be their exclusive. He’s out of stock at the moment (big surprise) but I clicked the button to have them e-mail me when he gets back in stock. Hopefully that’ll mean I’ll be able to get him without having to pay scalper prices. (But I don’t know if I check my e-mail regularly enough. Some people probably have their phones auto-alert them if they get e-mail. I don’t even have that kind of phone.) Anyway, while I was there, I looked at the new Barbie body types again, and I guess some of the “coming soon” dolls had already come, because I felt like the best choice for the Curvy type was now available, so I went ahead and ordered the Curvy and Petite types. (The best choices for Tall are still “coming soon” so I decided to wait on the Tall type. Maybe “best” isn’t the word I want. The “ones I liked the best” is more accurate. There’s no true “best” in this type of situation.) And because I’d now ordered a Curvy Barbie, I went ahead and ordered a Lammily as well. (Looking at the two together, I still wasn’t sure if I preferred the original Lammily or the African-American version coming in May…so I decided “what the heck” and just went with the one already available. If I like her, I can always get the other as well.) The problem with playline dolls is that they’re so much cheaper than Pullip, Blythe and BJDs that I feel like a single playline doll is cheap enough to be an impulse purchase, something with no thought required. But $15-25 dolls add up pretty quickly…
Naturally, these new dolls will need new clothes in their sizes, so I had to make some Etsy orders to get Curvy, Petite and Lammily clothes. (And yes, I realize that the Petite Barbie can share clothes with other dolls. I just wanted more clothes specifically sized to her for comparison’s sake.) Actually, I ordered two Lammily outfits (well, an outfit and a shirt), because the seller I was buying them from made really gorgeous clothes, and I couldn’t resist. (I can’t wait to show them to you! 😀 ) And the seller I was getting the Barbie clothes from also had a really great coat for regular Barbies that was on sale, which I absolutely had to get for reasons you’ll understand when you see the coat. 😛 (Ironically, the seller I wanted to get Curvy/Lammily clothes from I couldn’t, because the store was on vacation. I’ll have to buy something from them when they get back to make up for not getting to buy from them now. Wait, does that make sense?) I also ordered Selina some new eyechips, and a truly adorable hat for Pyrrha. (I need to find an FAQ about changing Pullip eyes, though, ’cause I have no idea how to re-assemble her. Turns out Pullips are much more complicated inside their heads than Blythes are; Blythes are all one piece in there, but Pullips aren’t and there are these springs keeping the eyes from getting back in right and…ack. While she’s disassembled, maybe I should try and get all the black paint off her eyelids? Or maybe I should leave well enough alone…)
In the “I’m actually holding back from spending money” category, though I was sorely tempted, I did not buy the MEIKO Pullip in the Rare Choice sale at Groove. Because if I bought her, then I’d have to get KAITO to go with her, right? (Yes, in my mind, that is the only alternative.) Now, KAITO is still available on Amazon for about $100, so it wouldn’t be as expensive as buying the one Groove has in the Rare Choice sale, but that would still combine to $250. Furthermore, the only dolls in my current dolly phase I’ve spent $150 (or more) on are Luka, Wonder Woman, Sebastian, and Dark Rabbit Hole. (At least, I think all of those came to about $150, plus shipping. Not totally positive about it. Actually, maybe DRH was more like $136, but with $30 of shipping?) All of those were real must-buys, dolls I felt no hesitation about, no qualms, no question marks. With MEIKO, I was sitting there going “should I?” and thinking other things along those lines. Spending that much on a doll I’m not sure about doesn’t seem like a good plan. Especially because I am running very short on room in here, and if I were to get those two new full-size Pullips, plus the one coming from Mandarake, there wouldn’t really be room for any more, either in my budget or on my shelves, but Taeyang Grell is coming out later this month, and I’d like to get the Taeyang Undertaker to add to the set, too. I feel no qualms about getting Grell; he’s a must-buy. (Which is so weird considering my feelings about the character.) Likewise, I feel very little hesitation regarding the Undertaker. (And, frankly, my only hesitation is concerning where his character is going to go in the manga from here. ‘Cause he went from “useful comic relief” to “omg, seriously?!” in very short order, and there are still a lot of mysteries about him which will hopefully start being answered on his next appearance. But I’m off topic.) I actually have PullipStyle open in another window right now, as I’m trying to decide if I want to go ahead and order the Undertaker at the same time as I pre-order Grell, or if I want to wait and get him later. On the one hand, he’s kinda pricey, but on the other hand his list price is much higher (collaborative dolls are always more expensive because of licensing fees, after all) so he’s actually a good deal. It’s a tough call, and I’ll probably chicken out and leave it for tomorrow or the next day. 😛 (But I can’t wait too long, or Grell will come out, and no longer be a pre-order. And as soon as I saw him I had said “gonna pre-order” only I still haven’t done so yet.)
Ack, there was something else. What was it? It wasn’t something else I’d bought, it was…argh! I have no idea what it was. Well, I will say that I’m still debating whether or not I can justify backing Claudette on Kickstarter. Because on the one hand, I really want that doll. But on the other hand, unless the dollar has suddenly become much stronger in comparison to the Euro, she’s like $450, pre-shipping. That’s a lot to pay for a single doll. (Witness what I was saying earlier about MEIKO’s much lower price of $150.) And yet she’s a resin, 1/3 scale doll, so $420 is actually not an unreasonable price. (There are some in that scale at Junky Spot that are cheaper, but I’m not sure if they’re resin or plastic. I mean, I know the Obitsus and Hujoos are plastic. But I’m not sure about some of the others.) I will have the funds for her when the Kickstarter comes due, but I’m not sure “I do have the money” is an appropriate justification to spend the money. (There are also the space concerns, of course, but she won’t actually be manufactured and ready to ship until July, so that’s a lot of time for me to get my house cleaned up and new shelves set up. And with a $450 doll on the way, maybe I’d finally have the right motivation to clean. Whoa, if that would work, that would totally be justification enough to spend the money.)
Okay, I’m going to break this off here, and go work on my paper (which I should have been doing this whole time) and come back to finish this after my first session pre-cataloging some items about to be donated to the museum’s collection. (Since some of them are toys, I thought I might want to tell you about it, which is why I’m putting the post on hold instead of just posting it now.)
Yup, it was well worth delaying this post! But first, I remembered what I had forgotten earlier, so let me tell you about that before I forget again!
I was checking my e-mail yesterday, and got an e-mail from the Disney Store site, telling me about a special, online only, one day sale, for Leap Day. It was one of those annoying sales where you don’t actually save anything unless you’re spending at least $50 (and don’t get really good savings unless you’re spending a lot more than that), so it didn’t come to any purchases, but it did make me suddenly invested in the movie Zootopia being good. Because there was a new doll in their catalog, a Zootopia singing doll, of a gazelle lounge singer. Okay, maybe she wasn’t a lounge singer, but she’s a gazelle, and she’s dressed in a flashy red outfit, and has a microphone to sing into, so she’s some kind of singer. The important thing is, she looked totally cool, and she would definitely fit into my spontaneous deer doll collection. (Yeah, a gazelle isn’t exactly a deer, but it’s close enough.) But I didn’t go ahead and order the doll, ’cause what if I go see the movie and hate it? (The trailers are promising, but it could so easily go wrong.) If I don’t like the movie, I might not like the doll anymore. (On the other hand, if all the reviews are nose-holding, and I simply don’t go see it, then that won’t be a problem. But that seems unlikely to happen.) So, yeah, that happened. Hey, if the movie turns out such that I can get the doll, maybe I could use her for Z in the A-to-Z! Hmm…an additional incentive to buy… (Like I needed one?)
Anyway, now on to the new main event! I don’t think I’ve ever fully explained this, so let me preface the story a bit. I’ve been volunteering at this museum for a long time now (about five years), never quite having the courage to say “hey, how about hiring me?” and just sort of hoping that they would make the suggestion themselves. With my dolly spending suddenly shooting up through the roof in the last year, the need to become an employee rather than a volunteer started to become much more pressing, and just when I was finally trying to psyche myself up to ask if I could get a job once the museum’s new wing opens, I get called in to talk to the director, and asked to help with a very important project. This project was going to be very time consuming, so it was to come with a stipend, and when I mentioned the prospect of actual employment, I was told that that would be fine, as soon as the new wing is open. So today was the first day of working on that project, which obviously made it very exciting for me. (I had to keep track of my hours and everything! That’s always been optional as a volunteer.)
As to the project itself, an older couple with strong ties to the museum has decided that, since they’re not going to be around forever, they want to donate their precious collections to the museum while they’re still around to see kids enjoying and learning from them. Since there isn’t going to be room for them until the new wing is open, the museum isn’t actually taking possession of the donations until that time, but we’re starting to catalog them now. Because it will take forever to catalog them. They are truly amazing collections, but they are also enormous. Especially the Disney collection; it takes up a whole room of their house, and every shelf is three or four layers deep with little figurines. (Dusting in there must be a nightmare!) There’s a lot of really fantastic stuff in there, and I think kids are really going to enjoy seeing it all, but I’m partially dreading having to catalog all those pieces. (You have to assign each one a specially formatted number, photograph it, measure it, note any maker’s marks, note what it was made of, and describe it. It’s very time consuming; in three hours, we only got through 42 ornaments today.) On the other hand, the cataloging process lets you get up close and personal with all the incoming artifacts, so it has its perks, too; no amount of seeing them in display cases is equal to holding them in your hand (through protective cotton gloves) and feeling their weight as you examine them for chips, scratches and marks.
In addition to the Disney collection, there’s also a bear collection (about half of them being Steiff bears) and a collection of cloth Christmas ornaments of historical and literary figures, made in a style very similar to the Liberty of London dolls. Those were what we were accessioning today, and they’re really quite nice. For most of them, I could tell who they were just by looking at them, which is always a nice thing. There are all sorts of ways they could make a nice exhibit that’s both entertaining and educational, and it should be fun to see how we’re going to display them. (I’m hoping for a joint exhibit with the Liberty of London dolls, since these ornaments cover American history and the Liberty dolls obviously only cover British history. (Though they do have a few non-British dolls, like George Washington.))
Once the museum’s new wing is open and these collections are on display there, I’ll take lots of photos and post them here so you can see them, because there’s a lot of really fantastic stuff there, and I’d like to share with everyone who doesn’t live close enough to come see them in person.