Sleepy Berry

I left work ten minutes early today, and rushed not to my house but to the post office, because yesterday I found a “sorry we missed you” card in the mailbox, indicating that a package from Korea had arrived for me.

And I knew what that meant…

Inside the box, my Sleepy Berry was protected in her own little box, with a nice window so she could see out.¬† ūüôā

Inside there, she was carefully wrapped in sleeping bag-like layers of foam.¬† The little white card opens up, and contains a greeting/care instruction paragraph in Korean, English, Chinese and Japanese.¬† It also contained a little plastic envelope with some strips of Velcro.¬† I guess I was supposed to fasten the Velcro (which did seem to be adhesive-backed) to her head to make wigs stay in place better?¬† (I should probably do that at some point…)

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Happy National Teddy Bear Day!

Yup.

Did you know it was National Teddy Bear Day? ¬†(Corollary: ¬†did you know there’s apparently a “national day” of something pretty much every day? ¬†It’s kind of pathetic, really.) ¬†Since we still have a teddy bear exhibit up at work, we tried to do a little something for NTBD, which mostly consisted of the employees all bringing in their own teddy bears.

My Fozzie (hey, I learned to talk in the late ’70s; of¬†course I named my bear Fozzie!) sitting in a high chair, hoping for something sweet to eat. ūüėõ

When the exhibit opened, I put out this Enchantimal set I had bought a few days earlier because, I mean, y’know…it’s a bear girl and her bear friends¬†having a picnic and we were putting up an exhibit called “The Teddy Bears’ Picnic” so how could I have resisted? ¬†Besides, look at her! ¬†She’s so cute! ¬†(I totally want to get the entire freakin’ line. ¬†I have such a weakness for this stuff…or maybe it’s a sickness…) ¬†I put them out again today, but her hair’s kind of a mess now, because the Assistant Director’s three year old has played with her a few times since this photo was taken. ūüėõ

Lame reason for a post, but…hey, at least it’s a post! ¬†(Though I’m going to have a photo session as soon as the new doll dress arrives from Etsy; a newly arrived girl still has nothing to wear, and I don’t wanna photograph her until she’s got some clothes. ¬†I am also trying to resist the urge to order the Bobobie deertaur from Junky Spot. ¬†I may lose that battle…)

Quetzalcolor Doll Trio

These three are the backer rewards I got from a Kickstarter from last year. ¬†I’ve had them for a while now, but it took me a while to get them stands that work for them. ¬†(In fact, I had to make the stands!)

But what are they?  Well, the people behind the Kickstarter describe their work thusly:

QUETZALCOLOR creates HANDMADE TOYS inspired by popular legends, emblematic characters and cultural wealth of Mexico. Each toy, made and hand painted, tell a story. This project seeks to celebrate our folklore and cultural richness, to promote a sense of identity and mainly to rescue our ancestral stories from falling into oblivion. We want to continue telling this stories and legends from generation to generation.

Beyond that, they’re cloth dolls with yarn hair and unusual proportions. ¬†(Which was a large part of why I had to make stands for them myself!) ¬†Being entirely hand-made, they were a bit too expensive to get all the ones I’d have wanted all at once! ¬†Check out their Kickstarter page to see how many cool dolls there were. ¬†(I’m sorry; I really should have plugged them at the time, but for some reason I only seem to do that on projects that are still struggling to meet their goal, and this one had no trouble doing that. ¬†I need to start plugging all the doll and doll-like projects while they’re still going, whether they need the help or not. ¬†Anyone interested in enamel pins? ¬†I seem to have gotten into a sudden spurt of backing a lot of enamel pin projects in the last three or four days…and one with a cute limited amigurumi…) ¬†Passing up the Jaguar Warrior was painful, though. ūüė¶ ¬†I was hoping they’d be available after the Kickstarter (and I’m sure they are) but they haven’t made any updates about an online shop or anything.

Anyway, enough introduction.  Allow me to introduce my three Quetzalcolor dolls:

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Princess of Power

So I’ve been meaning to get to this post for a while, and I managed to get the photos taken before I started working on the photos for June. ¬†(I’ll explain in my first June post as to why I have a special theme for the month.) ¬†It’s not that I want to show off my She-Ra collection, it’s that I’ve got two big purchases I want to squee about. ūüôā

And here’s the first one:

Front

 

Back

Sadly, there’s only one half of the front door (and it doesn’t actually stay in place, due to broken hinges) and only one window pane, but still! ¬†She-Ra’s Crystal Castle! ūüėÄ

And it has pretty much all its interior accessories:

 

(Though from looking at a list I found online, it turns out the purple fur thing I put on the bed as a comforter is supposed to be a rug. ¬†Oops. ūüėõ )

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AZIAM Yoga Doll Niyama – Comparison and (sort of) Review

I have literally been planning this post since December. ¬†I bought this doll as part of a Black Friday sale. ¬†That’s how long I’ve been having trouble motivating myself to take pictures. ¬†(Although the lack of good photography space around here is a large part of it. ¬†To the extent that I literally took all these dolls over to my brother’s (much cleaner) house to take the photos.)

Anyway, AZIAM Yoga Dolls is a new(ish) line of dolls with a mission. ¬†And I’m feeling too lazy to try to paraphrase it, so I’m going to quote their website instead:

The AZIAM Girlz¬†brand is¬†dedicated to teaching girlz to love who they are, as they are.¬†Using the basics of Yoga to teach positive self- and social- awareness, we¬†have designed clothing, accessories, bags, yoga products, jewelry, headwear, games, programs and books to make the Yoga experience more colorful for our¬†Goddess in Progress‚ĄĘ.

And so on. ¬†So this is an independent doll line attempting to bolster girls’ self-image and helping them build up a positive outlook on life, et cetera. ¬†A noble goal, well worth supporting. ¬†(And OMG, when I was on the site to get that quote, I noticed they have a plush meditating cat. ¬†I think I may need that.) ¬†I’ve been keeping tabs on the prices since reading about their Toy Fair 2016 appearance at Confessions of a Doll Collector’s Daughter.

So, way back in late November when I bought this doll, there were two dolls on the site that got the maximum sale. ¬†One was a Californian blonde, and the other was a Brazilian brunette. ¬†Obviously, I went with the brunette. ¬†(I mean, okay, yeah, I have lots of brunette dolls, too, but…I’m pretty sure blondes still outnumber everything else. ¬†(I’m looking at you, Mattel.) ¬†It would have been cooler if the redhead or the African-American had been on the sale, but they weren’t. ¬†I’m not even sure they were in stock. ¬†I’m not sure I’ve ever even seen that website list them as being in stock, in fact.)

So here’s Niyama in her box…in a really lousy photo. ūüė¶

And here she is¬†out of her box, in a much less lousy photo. ūüėõ ¬†In person, the first thing that always strikes me when I look at her is how odd her skin tone is. ¬†It doesn’t really feel like a shade found in human beings, though I lack the appropriate terminology to explain why. ¬†(I think the brown needs a touch more red in it? ¬†Maybe? ¬†I don’t know…it’s more of a gut reaction than anything logically definable, and the color doesn’t come through totally accurately in the photos.) ¬†Probably the first thing you noticed in looking at the picture is that her knee joints are really ugly. ūüėČ ¬†Nothing to be done about that; the design is necessary to give her the full range of motion required.

Okay, the title promises a (sort of) review, so let me get that out of the way before I get to the comparisons, which will make up the bulk of the post. ¬†(And will contain large amounts of nude dolly yoga, so be forewarned!) ¬†Her range of motion — as you’ll see in a moment — in the legs is impressive, and well worth the unattractive joints required. ¬†The clothes are nicely made, and her accessories, while nothing special, are quite acceptable. ¬†The box proclaims that her yoga mat can turn into a “Girl Power Cuff”, AKA a slap bracelet, which is true…and also means that her yoga mat is really,¬†really narrow. ¬†You’ll see it in one of the photos below. ¬†As to her clothes, I don’t know if she can really share clothes with any other dolls. ¬†Maybe Barbie. ¬†I forgot to check that, unfortunately. ¬†(Although as I was dressing her again after the yoga photos, I started putting Barbie’s pants back on her by mistake, and they were fitting, so I think she probably¬†can wear at least some Barbie clothing.)

One of the main selling points on any doll is, of course, the doll’s face. ¬†And that’s where it all gets largely subjective. ¬†Unfortunately, I look at the faces of this doll line, and I’m not impressed. ¬†Something about them just doesn’t speak to me. ¬†They’re a little like Winx faces, but not quite as charismatic, or something. ¬†But, as I said, it’s subjective. ¬†I don’t much care for the faces, but I can only speak for me: ¬†I’m sure there are others who like them, and I haven’t the foggiest where the majority opinion lies on the subject. ¬†(Actually, the majority probably lies with “never heard of it/don’t care.”)

Okay, so moving on to the comparisons!  The main comparison, of course, will be a Made-to-Move Barbie.  Specifically, the African-American one from the first wave:

But there will also be cameo comparisons with other dolls, two of them new.  (One, in fact, literally arrived the day I took these photos!)  So before I get on with the comparisons, let me introduce the new dollies.

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Toffee Doll

So, my last April Alternative Challenge post is a new doll I got a while back off Amazon, from a line I’d really never heard of before. ¬†The line is called Toffee, and I’d see them sometimes on the “customers also viewed these items” links at the bottom of the page for other dolls I was looking at. ¬†(Can’t even remember which other dolls showed those links. ¬†Maybe it was some of the less common Pullip dolls…)

I had looked at a few of the Toffee dolls and found them intriguing, but not quite enough to be worth their price, as they tended to be Pullip-priced, or higher.  Then a while back I saw one that was much cheaper, and decided to go ahead and pick her up.  (This was before Amazon screwed me over regarding the Cupoche Alice, of course.  Have I even told you guys about that yet?)

This doll was a San Diego Comic Con exclusive, tying in with the Hellboy comic. ¬†(As you might guess from the box. ūüėõ ) ¬†Clearly, someday I need to go to San Diego to experience their Comic Con. ¬†Seems like they get the most amazing exclusive dolls. Continue reading

Kimport Dolls

For the second week of the April Alternative Challenge, I thought I’d do a little something different. ¬†Instead of showing you part of my collection yet again, this time I’m going to¬†tell you something about dolls I¬†don’t have.

Kimport was a company based in Independence, Missouri. ¬†(Independence, btw, was the birthplace of Harry Truman, but it’s now generally viewed as more-or-less a suburb of Kansas City. ¬†I haven’t got an opinion on that, personally. ¬†Though I think I’ve been there once…) ¬†Run by the McKim family, Kimport imported foreign dolls, and ran a newsletter through which they sold the dolls they imported, as well as selling domestic dolls. ¬†The newsletter started in the 1930s, and went for decades. ¬†(Though I don’t know specifically how long; trying to Google “Kimport” was not useful. ūüė¶ ¬†And if you add “dolls” then you just get ten thousand links trying to sell you dolls. ¬†Was there ever a time when search engines were useful for obtaining information, instead of just trying to get you in touch with people who want to sell you things?)

Aaaaaanyway, the Kimport dolls were hand made in traditional (or contemporary) garb of the country in which they were made. ¬†I’ve recently been very interested in these dolls, because the museum where I work has a small binder filled with Kimport newsletters. ¬†A few weeks back, I scanned in all those newsletters. ¬†They were from a brief two year period, starting in 1941.

This is the personalized cover page that was in the binder in front of the newsletters. ¬†(I’ve de-personalized it by blanking out the name of the person to whom this “certificate” was made out. ¬†That seemed uncool, broadcasting someone else’s name like that. ¬†(I think it was the name of the person who donated the binder to the museum, but if so it was her maiden name, rather than her married name.)) ¬†As you may or may not be able to tell depending on your screen resolution, the page was signed by Betty McKim, one of the family running Kimport. ¬†Behind this cute little page were a few loose advertisements for dolls, and some blank pages, on one of which the owner had written out the names of the dolls she had gotten from Kimport. ¬†(I really should have scanned that in, too…)

The newsletters weren’t just advertisements for the dolls that Kimport was selling to the members of its doll club. ¬†There were also informational articles about various doll types and manufacturers (articles on unusual materials, on wax and bisque, and articles on Margarete Steiff and Lenci, for example), and even war news. ¬†Seriously. ¬†War news in a doll newsletter. ¬†Not massive amounts of it, but there was one — pre-Pearl Harbor, at that — that started out giving an update on “the situation in Greece.” ¬†(Though of course then it moved on to talking about Greek dolls Kimport had brought in earlier.) ¬†There was even one piece that was half article, half advertisement, talking about how no new doll stands were being made, because the metal was needed for the war effort…but that Kimport still had a few old ones lying around that were still for sale to those who needed them. ¬†Mostly, I want to show you how Kimport advertised the dolls, and how the dolls really look (though there are a few cases where I don’t know what they really look like), but first I want to share a few text-only pieces that I found interesting. Continue reading