Blind Box Monday (but only barely!)

Ack!  Really, really late today!

But between NaNo and the paper due at the end of the week…

Last of the Tokidoki Barbie blind box figures.  (For now!  Never know if I’ll find more.)

Is it wrong that she somehow reminds me of Miss Piggy in this format?

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Blind Box Monday

Yup, the “standard” version now.

There are still two more of these waiting in the wings, but I wonder if I shouldn’t do some other type of blind box figure next week?

The gallery for these posts can be found here.  I went ahead and added in photos of other blind box figures that have been posted here in the past.  (Even though that meant uploading them to the new photo storage site.  But eventually I need to get around to uploading everything, so…that’s a good thing, right?)

Blind Box Monday

Yup, decided to do a weekly feature.  Because it’s better than massive inactivity, right?  I’ve made some purchases I shouldn’t have lately, though, and I’m hoping one or more of those might motivate me to start taking photos again when they arrive.  (Though when July ends there’ll be more chance of that, naturally.)

Today’s entry only kind of counts as “Blind Box” though.  Because while she was sold as a blind box figure, I got her at the local used store in a clear plastic baggie, because some crazy sold back oodles of these, all of them really great.  (I did leave one behind…because I already had her. 😛 )

I’ll never have the ultra-limited edition full size Barbie version of this (I saw one on Mandarake going for the price of a Dollfie Dream!) but at least now I have the SD mini-figure of her. 🙂

That holo-foil backdrop makes nice bokeh in the background, doesn’t it?  It lets me see a bit of the back of whatever’s on the shelf, too.  I’m really glad I went with that one. 😀

(With next week’s entry into this series, I’ll start posting a link to a gallery of these, but there didn’t seem any point with just one in the gallery. 😛  I have taken a lot more than just one photo, naturally.  Went ahead and got several months’ worth while I was at it.)

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™.

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. 😦

And here she is out of her box, in a much less lousy photo. 😛  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. 😉  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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Tiny Frock Shop Black Friday Order

Good grief, it’s taken me a long time to get any Black Friday stuff posted!  Anyway, before I get to the Tiny Frock Shop order, I want to briefly show you my Zeenie dolls Small Business Saturday order.  They were having a “2 for $20” sale, with free shipping, and I couldn’t pass that up!  But the dolls evidently got a good shaking on their way here. 😦

tinyfrockbf-1 tinyfrockbf-2

The one on the left — Zennia — doesn’t look particularly shaken in the photo, but that’s because her headband had already slithered down out of sight.  She’s supposed to look like this:

tinyfrockbf-16

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Unfair Comparisons: Dream Date Barbie

So, remember a while back I got the collector reproduction of Dream Date Barbie?  Y’know, this one:

Silky 26

Well, I not long ago got the real thing:

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Now, at first glance, you’re probably thinking that there’s no comparison, because the original looks awful.  But keep in mind, she’s a doll who was obviously well loved, and she’s more than thirty years old.  So we have to look past the thinning, messy hair, and the fact that I never could figure out the “right” way to arrange her dress over her shoulders.  (It’s more of an attached shawl than a dress, per se.)

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The bald spot is definitely a problem.  No question about that.  And the rest of her hair is rather fly-away and messy.  But if I have a chance to calm her hair down, I can probably get it to hide the bald spot.  More important, look at her face.  Isn’t it delicate and sweet?  I really like how subtle the Superstar-era face-ups often were.  (Before the late ’80s when the Rockers aesthetic overpowered them.  Though I’m fond of the Rockers-era stuff, too.  One of my two favorites as a kid was one of the Rockers…)

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By contrast, here’s the face on the reproduction.  Cleaner, and the hair’s obviously still perfect, but the face looks soulless to me.  Trading the purple eyes for blue ones was definitely not a good idea.  (I apologize for the pictures of the reproduction in this post.  I forgot I could remove the plastic screen in front of her…but I think they still show my point well enough despite the glare.)

The photo also shows you that her earring is a plain silver stud…or it kind of does, anyway.  This one from the earlier post might make that a little more clear.  Anyway, look at the earrings (and ring!) on the original:

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Superstar-era jewelry was the best! 😀  I don’t know what these are supposed to look like (a diamond set in glass?) but I love them regardless.

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The contrast that stands out the most, to me, is the difference in fabric.  The original Dream Date has a richer color scheme, and a shimmery fabric, while the reproduction is a matte color that utterly fails when placed side by side with the original.  (I loved it before I saw the two together and realized how pathetic the new one is in comparison.)  I’ll give the reproduction lots of points for its sequins, though:  they’re much better done than the original’s.

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So, there you have it, the reproduction Dream Date and the original Dream Date.

This has been the first Unfair Comparison.  The Unfair Comparison gallery is here.

(At least one more is currently planned.  Though there I can only compare dresses, but…of course, first I have to take the freakin’ pictures…)


Aaaaanyway, having just done two Barbie posts in a row, I really need to do something non-Barbie next. 😛  I’ll see if I can get those Figma photos taken at my brother’s place on Monday, maybe.  Or I could try my hand at changing Gen’s eyes to the new ones, or maybe giving him one of each and see how that looks.  But overall it’s probably going to be a slow summer on this blog, ’cause it’s so freakin’ hot in my house that I really can’t get up the energy to take pictures.  😦

(Oh, speaking of Figma, I got charged by Good Smile recently, so one of the Figmas I pre-ordered is on the way from Japan now.  I’d need to check the release dates to see which one, but I think it’s Tomoyo-chan, as I think Link’s a later release.)

Angel Face Barbie

Before I get to my post, let me first apologize for how long it’s been since I’ve posted anything.  As I said in my last post (admittedly a re-blog from my other blog) a mouse died in the wall, and I was temporarily spending a long time out of the house due to the smell.  Problem is, a heat wave started before the smell went away.  And I have a problem with my air conditioner, so I can only run it for short bursts.  (I know what the problem is, and it could be fixed pretty easily, I suspect, if my house wasn’t such a sty.  But it is a sty, so I can’t let repair people in to fix anything.  I’m working on cleaning it up, but it’s a slow process, I’m sorry to say.)  Anyway, that means the house is horribly hot, so I don’t like being in it, and using my laptop is awkward, to say the least.  That’s made for no posts, no new photos (I should take some dolls or figures to my brother’s new house and photograph them there) and no work on dolly projects.  (Tomoyo-chan is waiting for a face-up, Pyrrha’s new eye mechanism has a problem (I think one of her pairs of eye chips is too thick), I need to make a mold for a Jem hand, lots of newly acquired vintage dolls need a good cleaning, and I got two new Obitsus (and a bodyless head) that need face-ups and clothes…and there are probably a lot of other projects that are simply slipping my mind.)

Eventually, I’ll get back to my normal pattern.  (Like, when the weather cools off again.)

In the mean time, I’ve got a few posts’ worth of photos already taken, so I’m trying to get them posted.  And that leads into today’s post.

Among the various vintage dolls I’ve been getting lately (Oh God, why did I allow myself to open the “buying vintage dolls online” door?!) have been a number of purchases that are me attempting to get back my childhood, literally.  One of those was this Angel Face Barbie.

Angel Face 1

She’s missing her shoes, but…actually, I probably have some shoes around here somewhere that would be correct.  I don’t know what’s with the bright pink variant on a late Victorian and/or Edwardian dress, but I’ve always been charmed by it.

Angel Face 2

Like many other Superstar-era, pre-Rockers Barbies, she has a very sedate face-up, and flat, two-tone eyes that send waves of nostalgia over me, but probably leave many non-’80s folks cold.  (Or late ’70s folks.)

Angel Face 4

Her two-tone hair was something that I remembered very vividly.

Angel Face 6

You may have noticed in the first close-up — and even more in this shot — a certain “muddled” aspect where her facial coloring is concerned.  This accessory in her lap is the reason for that…

Angel Face 7

She came with a little compact filled with make-up to put on her!  (Or possibly to put on yourself.  Who knows?)  BTW, this compact didn’t come with this doll:  the doll is a new acquisition, but the compact I’ve had since I was a girl.  I’m guessing that my Angel Face was in much worse condition than this one when I gave her away.  But the important thing is that now I have one again:  a piece of my childhood regained.

(Speaking of which, I recently realized that I still have my Great Shape Barbie after all.  She’s just in a different outfit.  I’ll take a picture of her with the Tokidoki version next time I have a chance.)

So, I’ll hopefully get more posts up sometime soon, but right now if you want to see the gallery for this post, it’s here.  I’ll be putting other shots of Barbies from the 1980s in there later on.