Pineapple Princess Neo Blythe

I am astonished at how quickly this doll arrived!  She shipped from Japan on Friday, and arrived Monday morning!!  You have to pay through the nose for shipping when you buy from Junie Moon, but at least you get your money’s worth.  (I regret that I couldn’t post about her arrival yesterday, but I went to my parents’ place for lunch — so soon after her arrival that I didn’t have time to open the cardboard box she shipped in! — and didn’t get home again until almost ten o’clock.)

The first thing you notice about Pineapple Princess is her fun box.  Check out the full pattern (from the side of the box):

(And no, that’s not upside down.)  This is a blue version of the print on her dress.  And I have to say, I’d like to have a jacket for her in this blue version.  Or a blue dress.  Or something.  It’s such a fun print, you know?

So, here she is, out of the box.  Pineapple Princess is the first Blythe to be released with the new translucent mocha skin tone (at least, that’s how I interpret the phrasing on the Junie Moon order page), and I have to say that it’s absolutely gorgeous.  The one drawback to the skin tone is that her torso doesn’t quite match her arms, legs and head.  (Maybe for later translucent mocha releases, they’ll be able to address that.)

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Bubbly Bliss (Midi) Blythe

I figured I’d still try to do an alphabet theme for the April Alternative Challenge, so for this first week, a letter from the first quarter of the alphabet.  And that makes a perfect time to show off Stella, Miss Bubbly Bliss, both my first Middie and my first translucent Blythe

I don’t know if it’s because she’s a Middie or if it’s because she’s translucent, but her limbs have a soft, flexible feel to them that my Neo Blythes don’t have.  I feel like her face is more expressive than the Neo Blythes; either because it can be angled as well as turned, or because the wheel to move her eyes gives them a larger range of positions than the four positions for eyechips in a Neo.  (Probably both?)

Her strawberry blonde hair came in two huge banana curls; I’ve done my best to spread them out while not losing the curling waves, but it doesn’t look as good as the promotional photos.  (There’s a shock, right?)

As you can see in this close-up, she has a special color of eyelashes, which are — I think — supposed to match her hair.  This shot also lets you see the stars at the top of the bodice of her dress, and the little bubble-like beads on the straps.

But you may be thinking “wait, didn’t the promotional shots show another accessory?”

This is how I’ve been having her wear her headband between deboxing and today:  loosely balanced on top her head like a rakish little crown.  I really like how it looks this way.

But in the interest of photography, I tried to put it on her “properly,” like a normal headband.  Elastic headbands that go all the way under the back of the head and I, well, we have a troubled relationship.  We’re not really on speaking terms, though I still have a few tossed higgledy-piggeldy on my dresser with an assortment of other hair accessories I don’t use anymore.  But I thought it would be all right on a doll.  The head isn’t constantly moving around and inviting the band to slip, so it should be all good, right?

Wrong.  It might be okay on a Barbie or something, but on a doll whose head is bigger than her body?  Just getting it in place was ridiculously difficult, and then it was messing up her bangs and pushing altogether too much of her hair away from her face.  And when I tried to adjust it a little, I ended up yanking one of the stars off. 😦

So it’s staying a crown on Stella.  (Weirdly, I just stuck the loose star back in place, and it’s staying there.  Even though it had been sewn in place, not glued.)

A nice little comparison shot of the three sizes of Takara Blythes.  Though I could have sworn the Petite was actually facing the camera at the time when I took the photo.  *sigh*  I decided to use Dark Rabbit Hole for this shot instead of Romana so that all three dolls would be stock.  (Even if Stella isn’t wearing her headband “correctly.”)  I wish Petites had the ability to tilt their heads up like Middies.  Or, for that matter, that they just didn’t look so downcast all around.  (That’s one thing at least that can be said for the LPS version:  they look straight ahead instead of down.)

Now, earlier, I said something about how the face of my Haruka (Sailor Uranus) doll had a luminosity that put me in mind of photos of translucent Blythes.

Well, as you can see here, the two types of plastic are decidedly dissimilar, so I’m still at a loss to explain just what it is about the plastic (vinyl?) of that face that’s so unique, so hard to describe.  (Not to mention hard to photograph!)  Just thought I’d tack that on here, since I mentioned it before.


Not a stunning post — Stella deserves better — but it’s better than I’ve done in a while; at least I managed to clear off the photography area in the doll room for some pictures.  But the door into the room’s been kept shut all winter (for a number of reasons, including the cost of heating this house) so the air in there is all strangely stale, and I’m still recovering from being sick, so being in there isn’t good for me right now, and I didn’t want to risk any more photos.  (Oh, speaking of photos, the link to the gallery for this post is here.)

Fortunately, next week’s post is going to be shaking things up a little, and won’t involve any photos of my own doll collection…even though there will still be plenty of doll photos!

And with that little mystery, I shall take my leave. 😉

(The Closets are) Bigger on the Inside

mod dresses 1

Romana:  Doctor, look what we found in the back of one of the closets!

mod dresses 2

Doctor:  “We”?  Don’t tell me you’ve found someone else suffering from the same condition you are?  And why would you bring someone aboard my TARDIS without telling me first?

mod dresses 3

Romana: What do you think?

Hayley:  We look “groovy” and “fab” and all that, right?

mod dresses 4

Doctor:  What…?  Who…who could have left those in the TARDIS closets?  Jo?  No, that’s not her style at all…it must have been Polly, I suppose…

Romana:  Is that all you have to say?

Doctor:  Perhaps I ought to clean out those closets after all.

Hayley:  Your friend’s hopeless, Romana.

Romana:  *sigh*


LOL, couldn’t resist! 😀  Aren’t they great dresses, though?  They’re both from the Etsy seller Buttoncottage, who also made the wool coat Romana was wearing over the winter in my attempt to put her in something resembling her “Destiny of the Daleks” outfit.  The tights are by thedaughterwhosews, and they’re unfortunately just thigh-high tights, so the tops nearly show on Romana.  (The ones Hayley’s wearing are for Pullip rather than Dal, so they go all the way up, no problem.)  As to the boots…trying to find some Blythe-sized go go boots without paying a lot of money turned out to be a no go, so these are Monster High boots.  (In fact, Romana’s wearing the ones that actually belong to Kaiko.)  Hayley had to be positioned as pigeon-toed as I could make her stand, because her boots have red on the sides, which is entirely inappropriate for what they’re pretending to be right now.

BTW, eventually I plan on posting more of these skits.  I have one written up that’s the first time the Doctor sees Romana in her new big-headed form (yeah, that should have gone up as soon as I got her, but I kept wanting a TARDIS interior set for it), and an Alice-themed skit (which should have gone up as soon as Dark Rabbit Hole arrived), and one for Harley Quinn.  But I still need to get off my butt and take the pictures for those other skits…

Decision Time.

Sorry to double post, but I didn’t want to wait until Sunday.  (If you’re looking for my A-to-Z for the day, it’s here.)

See, it’s coming down to time to decide if I’m going to get the new Middie Blythe or not.  I know Middies don’t sell out as fast as Neo Blythes, but…on the other hand, I also know that it’s not like she’s going to drop in price.  I hadn’t really paid too much attention to this doll until they posted this picture of her at Junie Moon:

Photo copyright Takara...but downloaded from CC Toys.  Click for source.
Photo copyright Takara…but downloaded from CC Toys. Click for source.

So, like a lot of other people, I really liked Tangled, and this therefore pushed one of my squee buttons.  Even without the Rapunzel bit, Rampion of the Valley is quite a little cutie.

But that’s part of the rub:  she’s a little cutie.  When I look at pictures of Neos and Middies standing next to each other, it’s clear that Middies are pretty small; they look to be about 2/3 of the size of Neo.  But they cost more than 2/3 of the price of a Neo.  Well, depending on the two dolls in question; I just did a calculation based on the pre-order price for Rampion and the pre-order price for Playful Raindrops.

Regardless of the price and size ratios between Middie and Neo Blythes, the fact remains that Rampion’s price converts to about $122 if I pre-order from Junie Moon, and she’s $128 from CC Toys.  I recall Dark Rabbit Hole having massive shipping costs (like $30), and I don’t remember what the shipping costs for Romana were, but either way, I know the shipping will probably be pretty hefty, inching a fairly small doll up into the $150 range, even if not quite hitting $150.

That feels like an awful lot.

But on the other hand, just like Neo Blythes, Middie Blythes don’t ever seem to go down in price:  instead, they just go up, so that getting them at the time of their release is really the cheapest way to get them, unless you luck into a used one.  And I really do want to get a Middie Blythe at some point.

The price question, therefore, just goes around in circles:  I want one -> But she costs too much -> But she’ll never cost less -> But she’s so small and she costs so much -> But I want one!

Looking at it from other angles, the situation isn’t much more clear.  I have the money, yes.  But I tend to spend money all too readily, so if I have a chance not to spend, I should probably take it.  And there might be a future Middie I’d want even more.  But there might not be.  I’m short on space around here.  But I’ve been trying to clean up so I can add more shelves.  (In fact, I have to, since I don’t even have room to debox Grell and the Undertaker!)  There’s the chance I might move next year, so I should probably try to stop myself from continuing to accumulate stuff like there’s no tomorrow.  (Of course, goodness knows I’ll continue my stupidly spendthrift ways regardless of whether or not I get Rampion.)  But I don’t actually want to move, so I might not.  (Though when I say I don’t want to move, it’s more that I don’t want to go through the horrible, horrible hassle of the moving process.  If I had a magical helper or a super-robot who could do it all for me, I would totally move, no question.  (Assuming I could find a good place I could afford.))

I guess, really, the cost issue is the one I keep coming back to.  If she was in the $80-100 range, instead of either $122 or $128 pre-shipping, I don’t think I’d feel so conflicted.  Or if she was a full size Neo Blythe, that would make me less conflicted, too.  But…for what that small doll costs, I could get two and a half of the 17″ Rapunzels with the light-up lanterns at the Disney Store.  (Why in the world anyone would want two and a half of them is another question entirely.)  I’ve been passing on that Rapunzel doll because she’s $50, so how can I justify spending $122 on a doll less than half her size, doll I only want because she reminds me of that version of Rapunzel?

Looking at the other Middies on Junie Moon, all three of the currently available dolls are the same price.  At CC Toys, the prices vary more, and they have a lot more Middies available…but the cheapest is only $5 less than Rampion.  (And some of them go into the upper $200s!)  Looking at  list of all the Middie Blythe releases, I can’t help but notice that a lot of last year’s releases were 3,000¥ cheaper, at least they were if that site was reporting their prices correctly.  I’m not sure what to make of that, apart from the fact that if that’s true then I obviously needed to get into Blythes earlier if I wanted to get a Middie without feeling like I’m overspending on her.  😦

At this point, I suppose I’m probably just going to keep dithering and do nothing for now.  Junie Moon still hasn’t sold their 100 available pre-orders, so they’ll probably continue to have her in stock after her release date, at least for a while, so I don’t feel like I’m going to miss out if I don’t buy her in the next twelve seconds.

So, anyway, the point of all this blathering is to ask this question:  what do you do when faced with this kind of quandary?  How do you go about your decision-making process?

New Clothes

I was actually able to get some photography done this morning (naturally, before the sun came out…and naturally I wasn’t able to do any while the sun was out) and while most of it was actually for next month, I have a few pictures to show you now.

New Clothes 1

I found Juliet a new outfit in the most unexpected of places:  Toys R Us.  Okay, yeah, actually that’s a totally normal place to find doll clothes, but you wouldn’t expect to find 1/3 scale stuff there, right?  And, technically, this isn’t really 1/3 scale.  I have no idea what scale this is, but it’s actually a bit bigger than 1/3 scale.  (Which is why the sleeves on the jacket are a tad long.)  This is for a 28″ Barbie.  (1/3 scale would have a six foot tall individual be 24″, so even if we assume Barbie to be 6′, 28″ is still more than 1/3 scale.)  Anyway, the outfit actually fits pretty well, but I need to get her some new shoes to wear with it.  Closing the pants (thank goodness there’s velcro at the bottoms of the pants legs!) around the tops of her tall Converse-style shoes is less than ideal.

New Clothes 2

So, the fit’s not perfect.  You hopefully can’t tell from the front here, but the top is too big for her (big surprise), so I had to use a safety pin in the back to make it seem like it was her size.  And yet the pants (which are unfortunately attached to the shirt) are actually pretty tight around her hips.  If it weren’t for the tightness in the hips, I would say “ooh, maybe these will fit Claudette!”  (Yes, I still want to get one of those, despite the other resin BJDs I already pledged for.  The deadline to pledge is the 15th…so around then you’ll probably see either a “omg, I can’t believe I just blew that kind of money” post or a “will I regret not backing her?” type post.)  Still, for a bit under $8, this is a really great outfit! 😛  (The outfit was originally $10, but TRU has a sale on Barbie products right now.)  I am so going to get her some more of them.  Even if they’re only so-so, they’re more clothes to add to her wardrobe, and they don’t cost almost as much as she did.  (Actually, some clothes in her scale cost more than she did.)

Anyway, yesterday saw the arrival of the clothes I ordered for Petite, Curvy and regular Barbies.  I haven’t actually opened my Petite Barbie yet to try her clothes on her (but at least I finally did the in-box shot, so I can open her now) but the Curvy dress looks great.  And my Lammily arrived today, so I once her clothes arrive, I can do the Curvy/Lammily comparison post.  (That may take a while, though.  The order I made at the same time as the Barbie clothes still hasn’t shipped yet (well, it did say 1-2 weeks before it would ship) and the order I made (from a different seller) last night was obviously only ordered last night, so that’s going to take a while, too, though it’s a domestic order, so it shouldn’t take too long to get here.)  The Petite/Skipper comparison post I can do whenever I have the time and the lighting to take the pictures.  Uh, actually, given everything, I should probably try and get those pictures taken as soon as possible.  Maybe I’ll just use artificial lighting and do ’em tonight.

Anyway, the regular-size Barbie coat I got was not actually bought with the intention of putting it on a Barbie, though it doesn’t really fit the doll I did intend it for:

R:  What do you think of my new coat, Doctor? D:  Romana...what have you done to my scarf?
R: What do you think of my new coat, Doctor?
D: Romana…what have you done to my scarf?

(That pose was as close as I could get the Doctor doll to face-palming, btw.)  Anyhow, it occurred to me that this coat is actually more Romana I’s style, so rather than having it hanging all over the place being way too huge for Romana II, I’m going to try and find a Barbie who’ll make a good Romana I.

In other news, I spent all too long this afternoon going through boxes in my basement.  Ack, there’s a lot of crap down there.  I mean, I found all these shoeboxes that had been in my room at my parents’ house and which just got put in larger boxes and brought over here without me bothering to look at what was in them.  And so much of it was just plain garbage.  It’s gonna take me forever to go through all that stuff.  (Why I waited until I’ve lived here 16 years before thinking of going through it I couldn’t say.)  Anyway, I was mostly looking for a beat-up Ken I could use to make a ’80s-style hair band doll from, but the only beat-up Ken I found was my childhood Ken, whose hair I decided to turn from blonde to black by using a Sharpie on it….so now much of his face has been Sharpied, too.  (It’s not a pretty picture.)  Also his head is loose and rattles around because it used to go on a different doll, apparently.  (I’m no longer sure exactly what happened there, but that head clearly doesn’t go with that body.)  He may be too beat-up for the purpose.  I haven’t decided yet.  But!  I did find a lot of other stuff, stuff that was actually pretty cool, while I was searching madly about for the bag of loose Barbies.  (Yes, there’s a bag of loose Barbies down there.  But now it’s a different bag of loose Barbies, because the old one had a dead cricket in it.  Or a grasshopper.  Well, the variant of those things that lives in people’s basements.  I moved all the Barbies to a new, dead-bug-free bag.)  So, anyway, I might post about some of that stuff.  (Actually, at least one thing I found is going into the April A-to-Z, surprisingly enough.)  Or rather about some of the stuff I decided to salvage now and bring upstairs.  I’m not going to post about the miles of crap that’s still down there.  (Though the fact that I still have oodles of games not only on 3.5″ disks, but even 5.25″ floppies…yeah, that’s actually kinda cool.  I doubt they’d still work after they’ve been in a musty basement for 16 years, though.)

Oh, speaking of which, anyone know how to get rust off of doll stands?  I found a couple of them down there, but they’re kind of rusty.  (And one of them really needs to be salvaged, ’cause it’s Little Pullip/Petit Blythe sized!)

Little Pullips, Pull Strings and a Name for Hangry

A bunch of small stuff tonight, nothing that feels quite like a whole post by itself.  I’ve been too depressed the past few days to get anything done, really, so there’s no news on Pyrrha, and Sakura’s face still isn’t finished.  (Her wig and Mei-lin’s new wig have both arrived, though.  But I still can’t style Mei-lin’s wig, ’cause the style is too hard for me to accomplish on those little wigs.  I need to figure that out somehow…)

We’ll start with the pull strings.  I had wanted to wait until all three of my girls had their pull strings prettied up, but given Pyrrha’s situation, there’s no point in doing anything to her string until her eye mechanism is fixed up.

Alice's pull string
Alice’s pull string

Obviously, I wanted her pull string to reflect her theme.  So instead of a ring, she’s got a jumbo red heart, and in addition there’s a rose that’s in the midst of being painted red, and a mushroom for the caterpillar.  I also got some neat black metal locks and a key, but there was no room.  I’ll use them on the second string if I ever decide to give her sleep eyes.

Romana's pull string
Romana’s pull string

Obviously, the theme here was TARDIS blue, with some gears thrown in to go with the gear-themed eye chips I’m going to give her eventually.  I think my homemade TARDIS charm worked out pretty well. 🙂  Sadly, though, three of the types of beads I got to use for her pull string had such tiny holes that I couldn’t get them on the string. 😦

The beads that didn't make it...
The beads that didn’t make it…

The blue crystals were supposed to represent the crystals from Metabilis III.  The black pearls just looked cool (like asteroids or something?) and the sparkly black cubes had a nice starfield-like look to them.  But none of them could fit on the string. 😦

Anyway, speaking of space-type stuff:

Little Cosmic Jupi
Little Cosmic Jupi

Yup, I finally opened the two original Little Pullip dolls.

Little R
Little R

So now that I’ve opened them, I can give some comparison notes between Little and Little+.  The stands are a bit different (so naturally I forgot to take a picture of the empty stands), but I can’t compare how well they work, because the outfits on both Littles prevented me from using their stands.  (Naturally.)  The hair in R’s wig is of a decidedly lower quality than any other Pullip wig — of any size — in my collection, but Cosmic Jupi’s wig is more normal, so I think it’s just that R got odd hair.  The main difference is in the face.  The plastic has a different texture, and feels a bit less refined in the original Littles, and the face-ups on the Little+ dolls are much more advanced.  Also, some of the Little+ dolls have nicer eyes, though many have eyes that are basically identical to the ones on the original Littles.  As far as I can tell (without undressing the dolls) the bodies are pretty much unchanged.

And finally, I’ve come up with a name for Dal Hangry:

"Yeah, me?  I'm Hayley."
“Yeah, me? I’m Hayley.”

I’ve been trying to put together collection pages, with accompanying photo galleries, and as I was doing that this morning, I realized I couldn’t get any further on the Dal page until this girl had a name of her own.  And — just after I shut down the computer to come back to it later — I looked up at her in her Doctor Who-themed outfit, and remembered what my brother had told me about how Hayley Atwell wants to be the next Doctor, and I thought “hey, that’s not a bad name!”  I had wanted her to have an H-name, since Angry got named Aiko, and…I dunno, it just felt right, even though it doesn’t particularly fit the personality she’s developing.

Pyrrha update

Well, Pyrrha is finally put back together, for the moment.  Unfortunately, I seem to have damaged her eye mechanism, so I’m going to have to buy a new one. 😦  Anyway, please forgive the lousy picture quality (this room is not good for late night photography) but here’s her current appearance:

Pyrrha update 1

Being taken apart and stored in a box for more than a week did not do her bangs any favors. 😦  Anyway, as to her face-up, I did the black eyeliner for two reasons.  1) I’ve been playing Hatsune Miku Project Mirai DX lately, and that’s how the Vocaloids all look.  2) I was really impressed by how good that looked on Rory.  (Sorry if it feels like I’m copying you, Olive.)  I never did manage to get them to quite match up, though.  Her lips look better at a distance than close-up, and her cheeks aren’t quite evenly matched,  but I think they look acceptable.  Anyway, what you’re seeing right now is just paper eyes with no eyechips in front of them.  These were the chips that were to get the heart-pupil chips, but one of those was a bit too thick, and my attempt to make it thinner proved disastrous, so I need to make new ones.  Well, technically I only need to make one new one, but since the not-ruined one is the one with the damaged bead, making two new ones makes more sense.  In any case, I can’t actually switch her eyes to have other eyes facing out because of the damage I did to the mechanism.  Three of the four sides swap just fine, but this one won’t swap out unless I’m inside her head moving it by hand.  I think that’s because the next set of eyes is this one:

Pyrrha update 2

They look really cool there, right?  And they fit under the eyelids in the front-facing slot, so I was like “Yessss!” and put them in place here, and tried to use them.  Only they didn’t fit so well under the eyelids in a side slot, and consequently I damaged the eye mechanism.  Obviously, I’ve taken these back out again, but the damage is already done. 😦

Anyway, I also gave her sleep eyes and painted her eyelids:

Pyrrha update 3

Plain bronze eyelids seemed a bit over the top, so I added some metallic plum.  I would have liked to do a gradient, but those are for people with skill and/or airbrushes.  So I did a stripe at the base, and then painted a thin layer of plum above that, and wiped most of it off, to leave only an (inconsistent) hint of the additional color.  I probably should have replaced her eyelashes with ones that looked a bit nicer, but…that seemed awfully fiddly.  (Maybe I’ll do it when I have to take her apart again to replace her eye mechanism.)

Anyway, I have to get ready to go to the museum, so I’ll sign off here.  (Ugh, I don’t want to go!  It’s 40 and raining out, and the temperature is going to drop all day, and the rain’s supposed to turn to snow by afternoon.  This is an ideal day not to leave the house, so why am I driving ten+ miles to sit in a basement doing work I’m not being paid for?)

EDIT — I found a trick online while at the museum that may let me fix her eye mechanism.  I’m going to experiment with it later tonight and/or tomorrow, and I’ll let you know how it goes.  (And if it works, I’ll be sure to share it, in case anyone else has the same problem!)  Also, the storm mostly passed us by, so I didn’t get caught in any snow.  (But tomorrow’s still supposed to have a high of 19 degrees Fahrenheit, and I still have to go back down to the museum again.  Bleah.)

2nd EDIT — My first attempt to fix the mechanism failed.  The instructions I found said to use the stick from a cotton swab, but specifically the plastic stick, and the only ones I have are the kind with the cardboard stick, which looks a bit thinner than the plastic one in the photo.  That didn’t work (and I decided it’s way too cold outside to go downtown, plus I was feeling sort of woozy at the time I would have needed to leave, so I’m staying home today where it’s less cold, and can’t get the right kind today) but I’m going to try again whenever I can find some cotton swabs with plastic sticks.  (Assuming I can find some.  I know I’ve bought some like that in the past, but what if they don’t make them anymore?  Then I’ll have to figure out something else that might be the right size.)