Liberty of London and Kimport

Before I get to the actual post, I have to apologize, twice.  First, I apologize for my prolonged silence.  It’s been crazy here (I’m doing both April CampNaNo and April A-to-Z on my other blog) and I’ve been having worse trouble sleeping than ever.  Plus I have real trouble getting photos taken.  None of that excuses my silence; I just wanted to explain.  And second, I apologize for how late this post is, because I promised it would come immediately after my Wonder Woman Nendoroid post, and yet here it is almost a month later, and I’m only just now posting it.

Thing is, if I’d gone on my intended schedule at that time, I’d have ended up posting this on the 17th, and I didn’t want to post this guy’s photo on St. Patrick’s Day…

Yup. 🙂  This is a Liberty of London doll.  The dolls were made by a pair of sisters, using fabric from the department store of the same name, and often selling the dolls through them as well.  (At least, I think that was what the story behind these dolls was…)  The dolls were made from the 1930s to the 1960s, if I recall correctly.  (They did coronation sets both for Queen Elizabeth and her father.  The QEII set is pretty common (and massive), but her father’s set is more rare.) Continue reading

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1990s onward

We’re starting with one I was actually tempted to put in the 1980s…

Anyone else out there who’s my age probably doesn’t need me to tell them I’ve named this doll “Darla.”

For those who do need me to tell them that, let me explain:  this doll’s costume is almost identical to one worn by the henchwoman (and fashion model) Darla in 1981’s The Great Muppet Caper.  I really, really wanted to find a photograph of the actress in the dress, or at least a convenient YouTube clip showing the scene in question, but none of the clips seemed to be the right scene (even though it’s really funny, with Diana Rigg mocking three high fashion dresses (which her character had designed)) and I couldn’t find any photos of it, either.  (Irritatingly, there were lots of photos and clips from later in the scene, after the three henchmodels left and Miss Piggy came in.  Which, I suppose, is not surprising, now that I think about it.)

Anyway, Darla here is a CED doll, designed by Laura Meisner and Doug James, and was probably released sometime between 2003 and 2006.  Officially, her name is Colin Elia Dehan, and she’s supposed to be an African-American of Nigerian heritage, but she’s totally Darla, which makes her African-English.  (Um, probably.  Carla, Marla and Darla didn’t have much in the way of dialog, so maybe they’re not English?  (I mean, nationality didn’t seem to mean much in that movie; Charles Grodin didn’t put on an English accent, despite playing Diana Rigg’s brother.)) Continue reading

1980s, Part Two

Apologies in advance, but this is actually a pretty short-on-content post.  I should have traded out one of these two with Orange Blossom so Part One would have been lesser, and this would have been greater, making them (more or less) on even footing.  But I wanted to roughly follow chronology, so this happened.

This is Iris, from the very short-lived Rose Petal Place line by Kenner.  It was only around in 1984, but I’m pretty sure I had one as a kid.  (I’m not sure which, though…probably either Rose-Petal or Lily Fair.  Nah, it had to be Rose-Petal.  She’s the only one who gives me a “familiar vibe” when I look at the pictures.  (Speaking of those pictures, make sure to visit that link and scroll down to the pictures of the dolls who were announced but never mass-produced.  I would love to have some of those!))

She has a sweet little face, and I love her iris-hat.  (I do love irises…)  That dress of hers is problematic, though:  the elastic is old and giving way, so it likes to droop down towards her waist.  Admittedly, this is not a doll who was sculpted with breasts, so it’s not like it’s revealing anything, but it still looks bad on general principles when it does that.  (Actually, if they had given them breasts, that would probably go a long way to stopping the dress from drooping.)

Continue reading

1980s, Part One

We’re starting the 1980s right at the beginning with a doll released in 1980:

No, I don’t have one in box. This image is from the Strong Museum of Play. Click for link.

I wanted to include that photo so that everyone could see exactly how Mattel decided to title the doll.  (Not to mention the text under the title!)

Now this one, I do own. 😀  And just as the box promised, she is beautiful. 🙂 Continue reading

1970s, Part Two

As with yesterday’s (supposed to be Wednesday’s *sigh*) post, we’ve got one certainty and one question mark on here.  But the question mark here is less questionable. 😛

First, though, the certainty.  Or rather, certainties:

Meet the Happy Family.  (Most of it, anyway.)  Mattel’s Sunshine Family (often called a “hippie” line, which I don’t think is actually the right word for them at all, more like “folksy”) was produced from 1974-1978, and instead of making them in two ethnicities (a practice they hadn’t yet adopted for Barbie, either) they gave the Sunshine family a set of friends named Happy.

You might think that a pair of boxed dolls from the 1970s would be expensive, but between the fact that the box is in kind of crap shape and the Sunshine/Happy Family dolls are a little creepy to most people, they weren’t expensive at all.  (Personally, I still find the Sunshine Family creepy around the edges, but I quite like the Happy Family.  I have no idea why they’re more palatable in a different color scheme — goodness knows, they didn’t use different facial molds! — but they absolutely are.) Continue reading

1970s, Part One

Ugh, after lazing around doing zilch for like three hours, then as I’m about to turn off the computer and go to bed, that’s when I notice the schedule I wrote up that said I was supposed to post this today.  (Well, it’ll be tomorrow (22nd) by the time I finish writing and posting it.)  I suck sometimes.  (Or, rather, all the time.)

So, today I have two dolls to show you, both from the 1970s.  Well, okay, actually, it’s more complicated than that, but…we’ll start with the simpler one.

Meet Velvet, the cousin of Ideal’s Crissy.  For those unfamiliar with super-late ’60s and early ’70s dolls, the Crissy line had the gimmick of growing hair, which I’ll talk about in a minute.  First I want to point out in the photo above that I really like the sculpt on Velvet’s right hand, as shown there.  I don’t know why, but it just really strikes me somehow.  (Then again, as I’ve mentioned before, Ideal did good hands.)  Anyway, I have no idea how Velvet’s dress got that huge stain on it, because she seems to be entirely unplayed with.  (Though her hair is no longer as perfect as it was when she arrived here.  Which is scary, considering she was my Christmas present to myself.) Continue reading

Tiny Betsy McCall

So, like I said before, this time we’re returning to the 1950s….sort of.  Because of course this isn’t a vintage Tiny Betsy, but a Tonner Tiny Betsy, reproducing American Character’s 8″ Betsy McCall doll.  (To the best of my knowledge, the American Character Betsy McCall dolls were never available in an African-American version.  I don’t think Ideal’s were, either.)  She came in a bland white swimsuit-like garment, so she’s currently wearing a Middie Blythe dress by TiredMomKnits.  It’s a tiny bit tight in the waist, but otherwise fits fine.  And I love the peacock feather print cloth! 😀 Continue reading