(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?

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Romana: What do you think?

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

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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…


Last Week’s Loot

Okay, so, as I told you last Sunday (well, Monday morning, really), last weekend I was at a “comics” convention.  (I figure the quotation marks are merited since everyone I was there to see was someone I had seen in a television series…though admittedly three of them were Marvel series, but still!)  But I also promised more info later, since most of my vendor room purchases hadn’t been photographed yet.  (This is, after all, a toy-collecting blog!  It’d be silly if I didn’t crow about my loot!)

Well, the last week has seen a mad burst of photography around here (at least 200 pics!) in order to get this post ready, to finish up the April A-to-Z photography, and also to fully document my antique mall find from a few days before the con.  (I’ve yet to name her, but hopefully by next weekend she’ll have a name and be ready for prime-time.)

So, I can now share all the stuff I got at the con. 😀

First off, remember this?

Trophy 1

Well, the glue on one side of the box had come loose (I no longer recall if it was that way when I paid, or if it happened as I was carrying the box around all day) so it seemed like a good idea to make sure that the contents of the box were actually, you know, correct.


I would have felt like the biggest idiot ever if Arrow hadn’t actually been in that box!  (Even more important, he’s still sealed in his factory bag, so it really was just a case of the glue having come loose, rather than him being a used toy simply returned to its box for storage.)

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Bow was very happy to be (re)united with his trusty steed, needless to say!

Of course, given my current space issues and all, I’m not actually planning on truly opening Arrow at this time.  For the moment, I’m just glad he’s really here. 😀

Anyway, since I didn’t show you last time, here’s the back of the box:

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Mostly, what I want you to see is this part here:

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I had every one of these dolls when I was a kid.  And, really, I still do have most of them.  I lost my original Bow and Glimmer when I moved here, but I’ve since replaced them.  And I’ve now got two of She-Ra, because I found one in better shape than mine, and picked her up, thinking I’d customize mine into a new character.  (Though now I can’t find my original one…but I know she’s in this house somewhere.)  I did not, however, have Kowl, Enchanta or the Crystal Castle.  Or Arrow.  Arrow is new to me. 😀

Okay, so now we can move on to the stuff you haven’t seen yet.  Starting with the third item I bought from the vendor who sold me Arrow and Rainbow Brite:

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Before Rory came along, Donna was my favorite of the new series companions, so I’d been wanting to add her figure to my collection.

More importantly, on Saturday, there was the same vendor I remembered from the last of these conventions, who had this huge bin filled with Doctor Who figures.  Last time, I was mostly seeking out Doctors, but this time my Doctor complement was complete (thanks in part to that eleven Doctor gift set I got from Amazon), so I was mostly looking for companions.

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Perpegilium “Peri” Brown, about whom Peter Davison once said (perhaps jokingly?) that her cleavage upstaged his regeneration.  And yes, I think this is the outfit she was wearing in that episode…  (Or is this the “Vengeance on Varos” outfit?)

"You will be like us."
“You will be like us.”

Hmm, what was that?  Some kind of interference, right?  Well, no matter.  On with the companions!

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I’d really have preferred to have a figure of Sarah Jane Smith from the original series, rather than from her new series appearances, but the guy at the booth said…well, actually, he seemed a little unsure if it was that there hadn’t been any made, or if it was just that they didn’t have any, though he was leaning towards the former.  Anyway, he had a couple of this version of her, and one in the same scale that was a figure from her spin-off show, but I felt like this one had the better facial sculpt, so I went with it.  Because having a figure of the older Sarah Jane is better than having no figure at all; she’s one of the greats, and she will always be missed.

"You will become like us."
“You will become like us.”

Uh-oh!  Looks like a Cyberman stowed away in my bag!

No need to fret, though!

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Leela of the Sebateem is here with her really big gun to save us!  😀

[Okay, yes, that got stupid.  But I couldn’t decide which angle I liked better on the Cyberman, so…anyway, I’m not 100% which Cyberman story he’s from.  His foot says 1968, so I’m thinking he might be from the lost 2nd Doctor story “The Wheel in Space,” which introduced the awesome Zoe…who, now that I think about it, doesn’t have a figure yet!  Man, they’re really slacking off!)]

Okay, anyway, before I move on to my really big purchase, I want to show you another purchase that’s about the same physical size:

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Aren’t they adorable?  I’m not posting any photos of anything else I got from artists at the con (I know they can be touchy about that, and for good reason, since there’s no much point in buying prints if you can download someone’s photos of a print) but since these are plush pillows, I figured it was probably okay. 😀  The card there is the artist’s business card, which did not photograph well when I tried to use it to give the address.  So instead I’ll just insert links into the text here.  The artist’s professional name seems to be Kafai (or maybe that’s the name of her studio?) and she’s got an Etsy shop where she sells things like these pillows.

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Of all the Ghibli designs she had, my first choice would have been Howl, but between closing time Saturday and when I got to her booth on Sunday morning, he had sold out. 😦  But I love Spirited Away, so Chihiro seemed like a good choice, too. 🙂

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Of course I love Link — doesn’t everybody? — but I’ve especially been in the grips of Legend of Zelda fever since Hyrule Warriors Legends came out, ’cause…I’m a glutton for punishment, I guess. 😛  Of course Link, more than just about any other character you could name, is especially appropriate to be holding a heart in front of his chest. 😀

One more shot, just for scale:

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That’s the “Ghouls Alive” Clawdeen, so a standard-size Monster High doll.  So these pillows are actually pretty big.  And they are super soft!  They were professionally printed, and they have napping and everything.  They’re extremely huggable. 😀

Okay, so now I can get on to Sunday’s big (and last) purchase!


This was just sitting on the floor of one booth, being ignored by the other visitors…


When he found me crouched in his booth admiring (drooling?), he said he’d knock $50 off the price for a cash purchase.

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I totally shouldn’t have, but…of course I found the ATM and got out the money.  Because when was the chance ever going to come up again?  This was the San Diego Comic Con doll (set) from 2014, and Mattel is nerfing the line later this year.  Yeah, Monster High will still go on, but under a budget crunch, and the first thing that’s going is anything that’s going to eat away at the amount of profit they can get from a single unit.  Look how much plastic went into Manny!  They’re obviously never going to make him again.  If I hadn’t bought this one, I’d either never get my hands on him, or he’d cost even more.  (To be honest, I’m not actually sure what he originally cost at Comic Con.  Maybe I didn’t even overpay by that much?  I know the vendor’s original asking price was the lowest I’ve ever seen for these two online.)

Anyway, backing up a bit, let me talk about the packaging a little.  There’s two layers of box.  The outer layer — the first photo — is Manny Taur’s backpack.  Then the inner layer, the one that opens out with flaps, is his jacket.  And that little white square on the front of the jacket?


When you open the flaps to reveal the dolls, you also reveal their diaries.  I haven’t even removed those from the pockets to look at them, ’cause why bother?  I stopped reading the Monster High doll diaries a long time ago.LWL 12

They’re pretty sweet together, right?  (Despite how disparate in size they are.)

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It’s appropriate, for someone who’s half-cow, that Manny is very beefy. 😛

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You’d think it would be hard to hold hands with someone whose hand is almost the size of your head…

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This is really pretty elaborate packaging!  The locker back there actually has openings with plastic accessories in it.  (Well, plastic notebooks or whatever they are.)  And you probably can’t tell very well in the thumbnail (or even in the full size picture) but the poster beside the locker features the superhero versions of some of the Monster High ghouls that were released as Target exclusive dolls.  Well, specifically, that’s definitely Frankie Stein’s Voltageous character on the end there, next to the locker.  I’m not sure about the other one.  (Wydowna’s Weberella character would make sense, since she was another Comic Con exclusive doll.)

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Okay, so this was mostly just to give you a really good view of Iris’ awesome purse.  But the little sign in front has me thinking.  (Even though it turned out largely illegible in the photo.)  Okay, so Manny Taur is the son of the Minotaur.  Aside from the fact that that makes him about 3000 years old, that’s fine:  there was only ever one of those, after all.  But for Iris, it says “Iris Clops, Daughter of the Cyclops.”  Um, what?  “The” Cyclops?  As if there was ever only one?  There wasn’t even only one kind of Cyclops, let alone only one individual!  Is she the daughter of one of the three Cyclopean blacksmiths who were the elder siblings of the Titans?  Or is she more along the lines of “granddaughter of Poseidon by way of one of his ickier sons like Polyphemos”?  ‘Cause that’s a pretty big difference.  Gigantic, in fact.

Sorry, that was bothering me, and I had to let it out.  I’ll get back to the dolly photos now. 😛

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While I’m showing photos of accessories, here’s Manny’s backpack.  Which does not match the exterior of the box, even though the exterior is supposed to be his backpack.  (Little goof-up there, Mattel!)  But that’s not actually why I’m showing you.  (Nor am I showing you to point out how incredibly tiny the pack is for him, or to talk about how he’d never be able to get anything in or out, because his hands wouldn’t fit.)  No, I wanted to point out the little orange maze on the top half.  You probably noticed the same thing in black on his T-shirt, and if you look at the box shots in the gallery, you’ll see that a similar (but more elaborate) maze pattern runs around the base of the inner box that’s supposed to look like his school team jacket.

On the face of it, that’s a really cool throwback to his old man, right?  And I’m sure that’s all they intended.  But — and here’s my mythology/archaeology geekery rearing its ugly head again — it doesn’t make sense for it to look like that.  That’s a very modern maze.  You wouldn’t find one like that before the 20th century.  (Well, maybe the 19th century, but even then probably only in the US.)  Ancient mazes tended to be circular, with a clearly defined central point, et cetera.  And, of course, there’s a difference between a maze and a labyrinth, too, and as a minotaur, he’d need a labyrinth, not a maze.  (The main difference being that there is one path through a labyrinth, and any side paths are more to fill up the space than to distract from the path.  A maze will have multiple solutions.)

So, yeah, long story short, if I ever decide to open these two (which will definitely not happen in the foreseeable future), I am going to have get Manny a T-shirt with a proper Greek labyrinth on it.  (There are some really good ones on coins from Knossos.  That would be appropriate.)

Okay, sorry, that ended up even more talky than the last picture.  I’ll try and reign in my Greek mythology buff from here on out.  (At least for this post…)

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It is really hard to get a good shot of his face!  Especially in the box like this, but based on one of the other dolls (non-boxed) I was trying to photograph in the last week, I think it’d be hard even if he was out of the box.  I wonder about the nose ring, though.  I know that’s just sort of a standard thing we’re used to seeing on bulls, so people put them on minotaurs, too, but would they actually want that?  I mean, isn’t that ring there as a way to bring the bull under human control?  Then again, if it is, I suppose in Manny’s case it would be kind of like, well, getting a nose ring for a human teen is:  a way to honk off his parent(s).  (Though his father’s been dead for 3000+ years, so maybe that’s not a very good analogy.)

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Gazing up at her beefcake…

I’m often on the fence about the romances put forward between the various dolls in the Monster High line.  Without reading/watching the additional materials that try to flesh out the characters, I can’t really comment on how well they do or don’t work, so all I can go on is my own personal take on the characters’ aesthetics.  But I have to admit that this is a pretty cute couple.  I just wish they’d done a playline doll of Manny. 😦  (But at least they did one of Iris!  I’ve got two of those, one to stay Iris, and the other to be customized into someone else.  Not sure who yet, but…)

Random final shot is random.
Random final shot is random.

I’m not sure what that thing is next to Manny’s hip, btw.  Maybe it’s a basketball?  (I mean “casketball,” lol.)

Well, on that pathetically random note, I’ll close out my report on last weekend’s loot.  It feels a bit underwhelming in comparison to all the stuff I didn’t get (doesn’t it always?) and it’s also a bit lesser in terms of how much I got for my money, since Manny and Iris were so expensive.  (Though they came to less than a single Pullip.)  But it’s still a pretty good haul. 😀  And, actually, I left out a few things:  I got a couple of enamel pins at the same booth where I got most of the Doctor Who figures (one of Animal and the other of Starbug from Red Dwarf) but those didn’t seem like they’d really photograph all that well, or be terribly interesting.  And I got a number of prints from artists…ack!  I knew there was another photo I meant to take!  One of the artists was selling postcards with cute little chibi designs, and four of them were specifically of the dolls from the DC Super Hero Girls line!  Naturally, since I had Harley with me, I had to get them!  (Of course, I’d have had to get them anyway…)  I meant to take a picture of Harley holding her own portrait!  *sigh*  I’ll take the picture later and tack it on to some un-related post, I guess.  (Or whenever I get Wonder Woman and/or Batgirl, I can do it then, since I’ve got their portraits that way, too.  I didn’t get the Supergirl one, though.  I don’t like the line’s Supergirl design.  So since his postcards were “buy 3 get 1 free” I changed things up a little and got Scarlet Witch (movie version) for the fourth. 😛 )

Anyway, in light of all kinds of things (including but not remotely limited to my finances) I am hoping to put a halt to the majority of my dolly spending.  I need to be focusing on cleaning up my house (I sound like a broken record here) and finding a better place to put everything I’ve already got.  So hopefully for the foreseeable post-April future, most of my posts will be about things I already own, not new purchases, but…I make no guarantees.  It’s kind of a sickness, after all.  (A good sickness, but a sickness.)

But space concerns are my #1 thing at the moment:  I’m so cramped for dolly space that I can’t even open Grell and the Undertaker!  (Yup, they arrived here on Friday!  There was much squeeing.)  So, obviously, once I have space to put them in, there will be a lengthy de-boxing post for the two of them.  Or maybe two less lengthy de-boxing posts.  And probably a number of Black Butler-themed photo skits, ’cause it’ll be hard to resist…

Okay, so that’s that.  The gallery — which is about half Manny and Iris — is here.

Wizard World Comic Con St. Louis

I totally shouldn’t have — I spent both money and especially time that I absolutely should not have — but this was my weekend.  (Actually, the money spent wasn’t so bad as it might have been.  It would have been much worse if it had been an anime or a doll convention.)

I went, of course, because David Tennant was going to be there.  But there were also a lot of other stars to see, and a vendor’s room that I literally couldn’t get all the way through on Saturday.  (Though part of that was because of all the panels I was attending to see the visiting stars, plus because they closed the vendor’s room surprisingly early.)

I’ve been to conventions before — mostly of the anime variety — but Saturday was the first ever time I attended a convention solo.  (Well, technically back in my futile days of attempting to sell polymer clay fanart, there was a convention I went to alone, but that was a very different experience, since I stayed at the Artists’ Alley the whole time, and didn’t attend the convention proper at all.)  Surprisingly, I did not go bonkers on the spending without anyone to look over my shoulder and say “hey, don’t waste your money on that!”  Probably, that was because I took Metrolink (local commuter train) to get there, rather than driving.  But still!  I was remarkably restrained in the vendor room on Saturday.

However, that’s getting ahead of the story, so let me backtrack and tell you all about it.

Because if I don’t, I’ll forget too much of it.  (But I’m still pretty exhausted, so forgive me if some things don’t make much sense.)

So, as of Friday night (yep, missed the first day of the con), I still had four episodes of Season 2 of Daredevil to get through.  And since the stars of Daredevil were going to be at the con, I figured that I really needed to hurry up and finish it.  Therefore, I planned to watch three episodes before going to bed, and then watch the last one in the morning.

That would have been fine and dandy if I hadn’t had to finish writing Saturday’s A-to-Z post for my main blog.  In fact, I had barely even started it.  Even with skipping going to the Reader to see new posts (when I signed on today at dinner time today, there were 17 posts to read…and I was expecting even more than that!) and refusing to look at my comments and all that, it was still nearly midnight by the time I was done online…which meant I actually got to bed about 3:30 or so.  With getting up at about 7:45 (overslept due to been woken by the need of a bathroom break about 5:30), that gave me very little sleep to get me through the day.  (But I did manage to finish watching the season!)

I’d like to say that it was the lack of sleep that made me take so long getting out of the house, but let’s face it:  that always happens.  Anyway, I got to the Metrolink station with so little time to spare that I was scurrying down the ramp as best I could (one of my shoes had just come unfastened and I didn’t have time to fix it) when the train pulled in.  Thankfully, I was able to get on board, though, so everything was fine and dandy, and I had my homework with me to read on the train.

I’ve never been the cosplay type — I don’t like to have people looking at me — but I wanted to do something fun, so I brought a doll along with me for potential photo ops.  I wanted to bring a doll that was both appropriate and not too expensive (in case anything happened to her) so it was easy to come to the decision to bring Harley Quinn along.  But she was safely hidden in my bag until I was actually inside the convention center.  Then I moved her to an outside pocket and had her peeking out the front of the bag.  (I should have taken a picture of that…)

did take photos of cosplayers, of course, starting with an Ace while I was still in the line to pay!  (In fact, most of my Doctor Who cosplayer photos are original series.  The one new series one was just because he had a K-9 with him.)  I’m not sure what the netiquette is about sharing photos of cosplayers, so I’m not putting them on the blog, but they’re in the gallery.  (If any of the cosplayers happen to see this:  if you don’t want your photo shared, and/or want credit, just let me know!)  I do have a few photos of Harley to share, but they’ll wait their turn.

So, the first panel I wanted to go to (if panel is the right word; in all cases it was one or two celebrity guest(s) sitting on a stage while answering questions) was, naturally, the David Tennant and Billie Piper one, which had been scheduled for 1:00 pm.  I figured that meant that if I wanted a seat that was anywhere near acceptable, I needed to be getting in there at noon, at the very latest.  That meant I needed to get my lunch pretty darn early.  (Pretty darn late not being an option because the next two panels in that room were also on my “must attend” list!)

Now, I’d been to one of these particular cons before — in the same convention center — a couple of years ago, when Matt Smith and Karen Gillan were attending, and which was totally awesome.  More pertinent at this juncture in the story is the fact that on the second day of that con, I’d learned that there was this really fantastic sandwich shop just about half a block away from the main entrance of the convention center, which has some of the best hot dogs I’ve ever had.  So that was what I did for lunch:  I went there again, and had another wonderful hot dog.  And at that point, I indulged in a little photography with Harley and two of my three purchases from my first foray into the vendor’s room:

Trophy 1

In case you can read the price tag, let me assure you that no, I did not actually pay that much.  I asked how much the horse cost, and then said that I’d have to think about it, and I’d come back later.  Since that’s kind of convention speak for “oh, that’s too much,” the guy said that since I was getting the other two items (only one of which is already photographed, btw), he’d knock $10 off the price.  That seemed like a pretty sweet deal, so I agreed. 😀  (Though, in truth, I probably would have come back for him later.  She-Ra stuff is pretty hard to come by, particularly in-box.)

Harley:  You're so cute I could just squeeze the life right out of you!
Harley: You’re so cute I could just squeeze the life right out of you!
Rainbow Brite:  Um...please don't....
Rainbow Brite: Um…please don’t….

As you can see…Harley’s hair really took a beating. 😦  (Technically, so did Rainbow Brite’s, but it was like that before I bought her. 😛  And I know I said I wouldn’t get another of these reboot Rainbow Brites if given the chance, but…I guess I was wrong.  Besides, she was pretty inexpensive.  Plus the Hallmark plushies lately have sort of given me a new interest in Rainbow Brite.)

Anyway, after my fabulous luncheon (both cheaper and so much better tasting than what I could have bought inside the convention center) I headed back inside, up to the second floor where the panel was to be held, and found out that it had been rescheduled until after the Matt Smith panel.  (Yep, he came back.  I guess he really liked us!  Well, that’s good, ’cause we really liked him, too. 😀 )  So suddenly I had a bit more time for the vendor’s room, which I headed back to…

…but stopped first to indulge in a little more photography.


I’m not sure why a cardboard Dalek was set up in front of this “please pay us to pose in/around our ‘zombie apocalypse’ car,” but as soon as I saw it, I so wanted to have Harley attack it.

"Take that!"
“Take that!”

There were challenges, though.  To start with, she couldn’t really hold her hammer the way I wanted her to for the shot.  And as I was fiddling with her pose, I kept noticing that I was getting in the way of other people who wanted to have their own picture taken with the Dalek.  But I eventually got the shots. 😀

I had some time to spend in the vendor’s room before the newly first panel I wanted to attend, the all-too-brief question and answer sequence with Mike Colter, the actor who plays Luke Cage in Jessica Jones and in his own upcoming show.  I tried to take some pictures during the panel, but they turned out really badly, because I was using my brother’s tiny camera (as opposed to my huge one, which I didn’t want to lug around, in part because of its size and in part because it was something like $500 when I got it) which I didn’t know how to use properly, and in part because I’d turned the flash off to keep from annoying other people.  I deleted the absolute worst photos, and the remainder — lousy as they, too, are — are in the gallery.  (Link at end, naturally.)  It didn’t occur to me to start taking notes until the Tennant panel (seriously) so I’ve already lost a lot of what was said at that first panel.  Mostly I remember that it was very entertaining, and he had a funny story to share about a drunk local resident who tried to interrupt a shot outside the bar in Jessica Jones.  Also that Luke Cage will be taking place in Harlem.

Yeah, like I said, I’ve lost a lot of it.

Anyway, the next panel was in the same room, and it was the Daredevil panel with Charlie Cox and Elden Henson.  It was in between those two panels that I got a very interesting visitor in my StreetPass Mii Plaza.  (Yes, I was totally doing StreetPass in the con.  Why on earth wouldn’t I?  I mean, seriously, I finished 9 panels in the puzzle thingy.  9!  I think that speaks for itself…though admittedly none of them had more than 6 pieces remaining when I started out, but still!)


Dr. Zoidberg seems to be very popular around here. 😀  (I’ll never forget the time at an anime convention where someone came as the hybrid character Dr. Cloudberg.  Half Zoidberg, half Cloud.  Totally unforgettable.  I don’t remember what convention it was or when, but I remember the cosplay.  He was even doing the sideways scuttling thing.  Really fun and creative costume that one.)

Uh, anyway, the panel.  So I was in for two shocks early on.  First, Foggy had a beard!  I don’t think that looked right at all, but he seemed to like it, as did the guys in the audience.  (Of course, I usually prefer clean-shaven men, so perhaps it’s no surprise that I didn’t like him with a beard.  Sadly, Matt was just as unshaven as on the show…)

Second big shock was when Matt — or rather, Charlie Cox — first spoke.  I’m sure that, at some point, I’d had it mentioned to me that he was the lead of Stardust, and therefore British.  However, I had long since forgotten that fact.  So I was quite surprised when he had an accent!  He’s really good at doing an American accent for the show; I had no idea it wasn’t his real accent.

Anyway, that was another really fun panel, with the twin pleasing facts that Charlie Cox is really nothing like the character of Matt Murdoch, and that Elden Henson really is Foggy Nelson.  (Foggy, of course, being my favorite character on Daredevil.  With the possible exception of Claire, but she’s more of a guest star than a principle cast member.)

It turned out, of course, that I would have had little to nothing spoiled about those last four episodes, had I not watched them.  But…I still feel like I did the right thing.  (Besides, there were questions I wanted answered ASAP!  Some of which weren’t particularly answered, but that’s neither here nor there.)

Anyway, after the Daredevil panel, I made a mistake.

I left the room to go back to the vendor room.

Now, in my own defense, it felt like the right thing to do.  I was starting to really need some more caffeine, and the next panel in there was William Shatner, and I’ve never been particularly into Star Trek.  I don’t dislike it, but it’s just not a big part of my life.  And even if it was, that was a serious caffeine headache I was developing, so I really needed to leave.

Then, of course, every place that sold caffeinated beverages had sold out of everything but Dr. Pepper and Diet Dr. Pepper (and I really don’t like the taste of Dr. Pepper, sorry to those who do), though after much searching, I finally found one place that had some Orange Crush or Sunkist Orange or whatever it is:  the orange-flavored soda that has some added caffeine.  It was full calorie, unfortunately, but the important thing was that it had some caffeine.

So I was able to recharge a little, and hit a tiny bit more of the vendor room before heading back up to get my seat for the Matt Smith panel.

But most of the other people had not vacated the room for Shatner; they had just stayed, whether or not they were interested in what he had to say.  (Personally, I felt it would have been really rude to sit there playing on my 3DS or reading my book — not that he’d have seen me doing it halfway across a huge room, but it’s the principle of the thing.)  Anyway, that meant my pretty good seat — just a few rows back from the massive VIP seating area — was swapped for one at the very back of the room.  Even looking at the screens where the camera was being used to project images of the interviewee(s), it was hard to see much. 😦

But Matt Smith was adorable and charming, just like he was before, even though he didn’t have Karen Gillan to play off of this time.

An interesting change took place between then and now.  Then, when asked who was the best kisser of his co-stars, he said Alex Kingston.  And given the chemistry between the eleventh Doctor and River Song, that totally made sense.  Now, when he was asked who were the better kissers, the men or the women, he said the men, giving Arthur Darvill a (slight) edge over Alex Kingston.

This was followed by a number of anecdotes about good old Rory.  (Which was delightful, since he’s my favorite new series companion.)  For one thing, Smith and Darvill were already friends before doing Doctor Who together, which hadn’t come up at all during the other panel.  He shared stories about things like calling him up and saying “Hey, have you read the new script?  You die again.”  Which usually got a response like “For good?” followed by “No, I think you’ll be back again.”

Poor Rory!  Him dying all the time actually became something of a running gag…

Smith also shared a story of prank-kissing Darvill on the set, just for a laugh, or to make him splutter, or whatever his reasons were.  That would make an amusing gag reel! 😛  He also shared a non-Rory story, about a time when a very attractive woman was appearing on the show as a guest star.  (He didn’t give any names, not hers or the name of the episode, so one’s left wondering.  If I had time, I might marathon the show to see if I could guess.  But I don’t.  Which is probably just as well.)  Anyway, he decided to go over to this woman — whoever she was — and “welcome her to the set.”  In the process, he ended up leaning on a light fixture…which caused part of it to fall and hit him on the head.  When he recovers, and looks over at Karen Gillan, she’s on the floor, doubled up with laughter.  (Was this perhaps not his first botched flirting?  He’d said earlier that he’s sometimes rubbish with women.)

I’m positive I’m forgetting a lot of things I’d share if I remembered them, but I think I’ve been at this at least two hours (possibly three) and I’m still only up to 5:00ish on Saturday.  (I should’ve done a Saturday recap post last night, and then only recapped today today.  If I’d been with it last night, that’s totally what I should have done.)  Anyway, I’m going to move on to the Tennant/Piper panel now.

Oh!  No, one thing more!  One of the girls who got up to ask a question (or rather who queued up (as the British would say) at the microphones in the aisle) prefaced her question by telling Smith that she loved him, and then asking him to marry her.  I really hope she was joking.  He took it well in stride, of course, but…man.  How do celebrities deal with that kind of thing?  Okay, so now I’ll move on to the Tennant/Piper panel.

When they came in, Tennant was — surprisingly, since this is the Midwest and not Hawaii — wearing a lei around his neck.  As he was sitting down, he noticed the person (I think it was a little boy) who had given it to him during the autograph session, and thanked him again.  Piper noticed that he had another one, and crossed the stage to get it, so for the rest of the panel they were both wearing them.  (Not a particularly important point, but the photos from these panels are also in the gallery, and there I had the flash on — since everyone else did — so you can kinda sorta see them a little bit.  “Them” meaning the people more than the leis, but them, too.)

So, an early questioner came up to the microphone and told them that they’d been with her all day, because her favorite part of the show was on her shirt, specifically a kiss between the tenth Doctor and Rose, and she started gushing about how much that meant to her and how much she’d love to see it in person.  Not exactly asking them to kiss, but basically.  (If I recall correctly.  I dunno; maybe she really did ask outright.  What she said is fuzzy in my mind, compared to their response.)

They were, of course, clearly opposed to the idea from the word ‘go,’ and Tennant was the first to articulate a response, saying something like “So you want us to just start making out right here in front of all of you?  That’s sick!”  And then Piper added that they both have children, and not with each other.  (I had no idea she was a mother!)

The questioner was not ready to admit defeat, however, and asked Tennant to say “Rose Tyler, I love you,” without any pauses.

This, too, was refused, by both of them.  In fact, they were both quite adamant that the Doctor was probably going to say something else entirely.  His suggestion was “I want to borrow your jacket,” and she suggested “I like your bathroom set,” which was followed by “I broke your curlers.”  (Personally, for my own two cents, I’ve always figured it would have been something strong but innocent, like “I’ll never forget you.”  That’s the sort of thing that the Doctor says to companions who’re leaving.)

So, later on — and this was the one that prompted me to start taking notes — one of the many questions aimed just at Tennant (which Piper took very well, I have to say) was, quite literally “What is it like to be married to your daughter?”

It took him quite a while to form any words in response to that, and Piper started laughing that he was speechless.  Finally, he says “There’s this line between fiction and reality…”

(Ironically, one of the questions I would have asked if I had figured there was any hope of me ever reaching the microphone would have been “What’s it like to have one of your childhood heroes as a father-in-law?”  But I didn’t want to ask that because a) I wouldn’t want to ask a question to only one of two guests, and b) what if his marriage had gone sour since The Five-ish Doctors, the last time I actually heard anything about it?  That would be horribly awkward.)

Another noteworthy question was when someone said they were both a Doctor Who fan and a Harry Potter fan, and wanted to know what house they thought they’d be sorted into, if they were going to attend Hogwarts, though the question was phrased a little awkwardly, and there some some confusion at first.

Once the confusion was cleared up, Tennant replied “Well, I am in Slytherin.  I’m not changing.”  Piper agreed that she’d probably end up in Slytherin, too, and then they both started talking about how it was rather cruel to sort them like that so young, telling these pre-pubescent kids “you’ve always thought you were good, but no, you’re a baddie.”  (I’m paraphrasing there, but “baddie” was definitely a term he was using in talking about it…and I love the way that word sounds in his native Scottish accent.  Let’s face it, I just love that accent all around!)

Another person recounted a rumor they had heard about Piper being smuggled onto the set for “The Stolen Earth” or whatever it’s called (the first half of the final two-parter in Donna’s season), so that the surprise and delight on the Doctor’s face was genuine, not acting.  This was agreed to be a charming story, but not a true one.  In fact, they both agreed it would be pretty much impossible, and Piper chimed in by saying that she’d surely want to go over and say “Hi!” as soon as she could, followed by “Look at my big gun!”  Which was when he started cracking up.

When the person supervising the panel said they only had time for one more question, Tennant immediately agreed that it was clearly going to be the best question of the night.  Then the girl at the microphone starts talking, choked up with emotion.

She told them that when her 18 year old brother died, talking about Doctor Who was the first thing that was able to get her to start talking again.  The transformation on their faces was astonishing.  The whole panel had been laughs and giggles, and then suddenly here’s this deep, emotional, heart-wrenching story.  It wasn’t a long story, but this poor girl’s voice was shaking with her pain, and you could see that they were both feeling it with her.  In fact, after she asked her question, Piper had to admit that she hadn’t caught the question, because she’d been so caught up in the girl’s story.

The question was what Doctor Who story, other than one of their own, they would want to be in.  Piper was sort of floundering for an answer, but Tennant stepped in and answered it, saying how he’d grown up with the show, and so if he could go back and be in some other story, he’d want to be in one of the ones that had really stayed with him ever since he was a kid, like “Genesis of the Daleks.”  And then he went on about how great that story was (and it really was great, btw, so if you haven’t seen it, you really need to!) and talked about several powerful moments in the story, which included a pretty good imitation of Tom Baker.  He also said how that had made it extra wonderful to get to work with Elisabeth Sladen, since Sarah Jane had been such an important part of his childhood.  (That part, of course, he had hardly needed to say, since it had been so evident on his face in the episode that a lot of that excitement and joy was clearly real, not acted.)

Having someone be choked up with emotion at meeting them wasn’t unusual across the evening.  In both Doctor Who panels, there were several questioners who were that filled with emotion, though if any of the others had any similar tragedies surrounding their emotion, they didn’t say so.  Another common thing was for the questioner to greet them, and then be fumbling to start their question, and to fill the fumbling time, they’d return the greeting, which would just make the questioner fumble more, frequently re-greeting them in the process.

Anyway, I have to say that that second panel was something of a revelation to me.  I am not a Rose Tyler fan.  I liked her at first, but she started going downhill, in my estimation, around “Father’s Day” and became unbearable as she started trying to take over the show in the second season.  I could never understand why the scripts always treated her like she was so perfect and wonderful and amazing, when she was getting more annoying by the day.  But having seen what Billie Piper is like, now I get it.

It was the Jo Grant effect, but imperfectly achieved.  Katy Manning, the actress who played Jo Grant, was loved and adored by everyone on the set — and by the writers as well — and I’ve heard writers talking about how she just made you want to put your arm around her and take care of her.  (Not that she needed to be taken care of, I’m sure, but some people just have that effect on others.)  So that bled into the way Jo was portrayed on the show.  But the relationship between the Doctor and Jo was very much like the relationship between Jon Pertwee and Katy Manning, more of a paternal thing than anything else, so there was no inconsistency there, and Jo’s character did not significantly change at any time (though some fluctuation was always the norm in that era) nor did her basic role and purpose on the show.  If there was any major change in Jo over time, it was to make her more like Katy Manning.

So then you get to the new show, and there’s Billie Piper, fun and charming and endearing, the kind of person who lights up a room just by being herself.  And so the writers wanted to make her more central to the show, but they didn’t go about it in the right way, they didn’t make it reflect the real person.  And they didn’t make the relationship between the Doctor and Rose mirror the friendship between David Tennant and Billie Piper.  Compound this with the fact that some writers handled her very differently than others, and you have a serious problem.  Not that it’s impacted her fan base:  many people are die-hard Rose fans, and probably always will be.  (Though I’m sure for a lot of them, she was their first companion.  Which does make a difference, obviously.)  But it certainly has an effect on some of us, as it completely turned me off the character.  And maybe I’ll dislike her less next time I watch some of her episodes (no idea when I’ll have time to re-watch anything again in the near future, mind you) or maybe I won’t, but at least now I understand what was going on backstage:  when the writers tried to increase Rose’s role, they did so artificially and inconsistently, instead of making her more like Billie Piper.

And it’s now become tomorrow (er, what was called “today” earlier is now “yesterday”?) so I need to hurry up with this narrative!

It wasn’t long after that panel that the vendor room shut down (and I still had about a third of it left!) and I ended up sitting in the hallway towards the exit, trying to empty my StreetPass Mii

Plaza of guests whose puzzle pieces I had not yet received.  This was difficult, of course, because by the time I finished one group, more would have shown up, because there was this steady stream of people walking past me on their way out.

But eventually I managed it, and headed back to the Metrolink station, and got there with about six minutes to spare…but when the train arrived, I realized I was on the wrong side of the track.  And that particular station is underground, and has three entrances.  I dashed up the stairs as quickly as I could (which is not all that quickly, considering how out of shape I am) and crossed the street and went back down as the train was leaving, only to realize that I was still on the wrong side of the tracks.  I had to go back up the stairs again, look around, and see that there was a third entrance, on the other side of a different street, and that was the entrance I needed.  So I had to sit around for almost 20 minutes waiting for the next train.  And then I had a half hour’s train ride back.  (But the up side of that was that I managed to finish my book!  And considering it was Nietzsche, that’s not so simple a task.  Now the question is if I can get my paper written on time…)

Anyway, so it was a long and exhausting day, but I was really enjoying it.

And on Sunday, my brother was feeling better, and was able to come with me.  (He had been feeling poorly on Saturday, because of…um, actually, I have no idea what it was.  He has no idea what it was.  General exhaustion and stress because he’s in the process of moving out of his condo and into a house, if you ask me.  But no one ever asks me.)  So no Metrolink, and with a car I was free to buy as much as I wanted, because it was going to be easier to get it home.

I haven’t photographed any of my purchases from today — er, now it’s yesterday? — but the biggest one was actually a dolly purchase.  Hopefully, I’ll have a chance to photograph it — and my other purchases, which were mostly used Doctor Who figures — in the coming week, so I can post about it next Sunday (or I suppose I could post them as the “W” and use “Wizard World Purchases” as the theme 😛 ) but I make no promises.  Things are pretty nuts around here, and the con being over isn’t going to help as much as I’d like.

One thing I was tempted to get but didn’t was a LEGO mini-figure.  A lot of booths were selling those, and I was tempted to get one of the Joker for Harley, but I decided against it in the end, as that seemed like a waste of $5.  (I should have just asked to borrow one for a photograph.  😛  Though perhaps no vendor would have agreed to that…)

Anyhow, there was only one panel I wanted to see on Sunday:  Elizabeth Henstridge, of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  Again, I didn’t end up asking any questions, but most of what I wanted to know got asked.  I had been wondering for a long time when it became known (particularly to his own actor) that Ward was actually Hydra.  And it turned out he only found out about one episode before the rest of the cast.  (Interestingly, she thought he wouldn’t have taken the part if he had known from the start.  Personally, I’d have thought it would make the part more appealing than the flat personality Ward started out with.  But what do I know?)  I had also thought of asking her what she’d say if the higher-ups said that they were thinking of giving Simmons a power and wanted to know what power(s) she’d like.  And someone asked her what power she’d like to see Simmons develop (her answer:  martial arts skills like May’s…even though she wouldn’t like the 18 hour days of shooting fight scenes).  I was also wondering if Bobbi and Hunter got written out because their spin-off had been approved, and it came up that yes, that was what had happened.  (I’m glad of that; they’re so much fun.  It’ll be sad not to have them interacting with the rest of the cast, though.)

The one last question I came up with to ask her if it looked like I’d get a chance was that I’d have asked who her favorite guest star so far on the show had been (not that I had many doubts who she’d say) and who she’d like to see cameo on the show in the future, either actor or character.  The latter wasn’t asked, but the former was, and while she did say that they’d had many amazing guest appearances, of course Samuel L. Jackson won because, well, duh, he’s Samuel L. Jackson!  (In fact, I’d have been shocked if she’d said anyone else.)  She told a couple of entertaining stories about that, and how nervous she’d been for her scene with him, and how hard she’d worked to keep composed and professional so she wouldn’t make a fool of herself.

Then the day of shooting was over, and she was getting ready to go home.  At the time, she said, she was driving an old junker car, which she had named “Kevin.”  (It’s so cute that she named her car!)  As the car was being driven up by the valet, she said she was doing “the Kevin dance,” which is just something she did.  As she’s doing so, she hears someone say something along the lines of “You’ve got some nice moves.”

And she was, of course, mortified to have been seen acting so silly by such a big star as Samuel L. Jackson.

And yet it was also a great moment for her, because of course he’s just a normal person like everyone else, even if he is a major movie star.

The very last question of the panel, knowing he was asking the last question, and wanting to make it the best question, asked her to show us “the Kevin dance.”

It was completely priceless. 😀

It seems to me that — despite that she said there’s no influence on the writers by the cast — many elements of Simmons’ character were in part based on Henstridge’s own personality.  The lighter, endearing elements, the cute little quirks and eccentricities.  She also said that while the whole cast has bonded as a team, she’s especially close to Iain De Caestecker, who plays Fitz.  She said she’s happy the relationship between the two characters is getting better again, but that any kissing scenes are really awkward for them to perform:  she likened it to kissing her brother.

There was also a cute moment when she accidentally almost told us something that’s going to happen in a future episode.  It went something like this:  “[name] is — oh, no I can’t tell you that yet!”  (The name’s been omitted to prevent even the slight spoiler she gave.  And even that was only spoiling that the character will appear on the show in the next four weeks, since they’re about a month ahead of us.)  This near-spoiler was followed by the mock-certainty that if she’d continued, she’d have been shot down by a(n invisible) Marvel drone that was undoubtedly hovering near the ceiling to make sure she wasn’t giving away any secrets.

Again, I’m leaving out a lot, but it’s a lot to remember, and by now it’s closing in on 1 in the morning, and I was completely and utterly wiped when I left the con about 3:40 this afternoon.  (It’s taken me this long because a) I had to take a bath and wash my hair so I wouldn’t be gross when I go to work in the morning and b) because I’ve stopped to play a few battles in Hyrule Warriors Legends to keep my strength up while writing this massive post.)

Anyway, after the Henstridge panel, then we went back to finish up with the vendor room.  The autograph lines were at the back of the vendor room, and by that point in the afternoon, there weren’t too many people in those lines.  I wasn’t going to shell out lots of money for an autograph, but that did give me a chance to get close enough to actually see Colter, Cox and Henson well, as opposed to across a dark room.  (Sadly, there was no such opportunity to see Matt Smith or David Tennant that way.  In fact, Tennant wasn’t even appearing on Sunday, as he had to fly straight back out to New York, where he’s performing in Richard II.)  And I happened to be at the back of the room when Mike Colter left, so he walked by about maybe ten feet away from me.  He is totally as sexy in person as he is in Jessica Jones.  Though he didn’t seem as big in person.  Maybe the actress playing Jessica is just really small?  Or maybe the convention staff near him were just much larger than she is?

So, overall, exhausting and expensive as it was, it was a really fun and exciting weekend, and I’d love to be able to go to more cons…though the problem with that is that I work on the weekends, so it’s hard to get the time off. 😦

So, anyway, the gallery is here if you’d like to see it.  (The one photo I took of Henstridge at the last panel is actually well-lit and in focus:  you can actually tell it’s her.)

Oh, and if you’re here looking for “C” in April A-to-Z, you’re a little over seven hours early.  That post has been scheduled for…I think it was 8:52 am?  Somewhere around there.  If you come back at 9 (Central time) it’ll be up. 🙂

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!)

New Outfits for Barbara and Hangry

We’ll start with Barbara, for two reasons.  One, it’s simpler.  Two, her new dress is absolutely amazing.

new dresses 1

Barbara’s gorgeous new dress is by DollyBoutiquee, whose incredible clothes include items tailored for Blythe as well as ones tailored for Pullip.  Ideally, I’d want Barbara to have better shoes to go with the dress…not to mention a better barrette than an upside down Monster High one, but…I had the Barbie shoes on hand, ditto the barrette.  I found some nice shoes on Etsy that look like they’d probably match, but my dolly wardrobe doesn’t feature a lot of bright red, so buying bright red shoes is probably not actually the best idea.  (Then again, bright red looks really good with the tanned Pullip skintone, so maybe I should buy more red dresses and go ahead and get the red shoes…)  And I’m going to work on making a better barrette myself. 🙂  The important thing is that this dress is gorgeous, and it looks great on her, and it looks much warmer than that sleeveless one she had been wearing.  (I’ve put a coat on Selina, btw, since she’s wearing that strapless white Blythe dress.  It’s a Barbie coat — from a My Scene, I’m pretty sure — but it fits her pretty well…though I had to go all Monster High and pull her hands out to be able to get it on her….)

new dresses 2

I’ve shown Hangry in this shirt and these shoes before, but the skirt is new. 😀  (Technically, I haven’t shown her in this wig before — it being Selina’s stock wig — but it’s not “new” per se.)  The skirt (which reads “Doctor Who,” for those who can’t read it and/or don’t recognize the font/logo) is by sugarblocks.

"A thousand Daleks firing all at once can't get into the TARDIS.  So how is it that you're always sneaking in and raiding my closet?"
“A thousand Daleks all firing at once can’t get into the TARDIS. So how is it that you’re always sneaking in and raiding my closet?”
"Hey, if you have to ask, you'll never know!"
“Hey, if you have to ask, you’ll never know!”

Seriously, everything Hangry is wearing right now (apart from her wig) actually belongs to Romana.  (And I will take pictures of Romana in this outfit later, like when it’s less cold, and/or I get tired of her “Destiny of the Daleks” outfit.  I also still need to do the Romana and the Doctor photo skit I’ve been planning since before Romana even arrived…)

I really need to figure out Hangry’s name,  because that’s no kind of a name to use in this sort of setting.  Her personality seems a bit wild and snarky…which does not, immediately, suggest any names…

Assuming I don’t get dragged out of the house and miss the delivery, tomorrow’s Junky Spot delivery will complete Mei-lin and the all-Obitsu boy (who has a name now, but I’m waiting to announce it along with the finished photos)…except the boy still needs his beard.  Well, I guess that would make him a man, not a boy, though. 😛  I’ll probably post a shot of him pre-beard, just in case.  (Technically, he also needs socks, and maybe a shirt, but…once he has his wig, he’ll be basically done.)  I also realized that tomorrow may see the delivery of the Dal I ordered on Christmas, too.  Wow, is that gonna be a big day!  (Like, “red letter day” levels, even.)

I think this is why I’m not getting much work done on my novel; it’s so much more fun to play with my dolls (and/or buy new ones)…

Romana in “Destiny of the Daleks”

Well, sort of. 😛

A brief intro for those who really only know post-2005 Doctor Who:  Romanadvoratrelundar (AKA Romana) is a Time Lady who traveled for a time as the Doctor’s companion.  Her first season was a season-long story arc, “The Key to Time,” and in that season, she was played by Mary Tamm.  However, she did not wish to return for the next season, as she felt that Romana’s character had no further need of growth.  (And her character evolution through that first season was definitely remarkable!)  But since Romana was a Time Lord, she could and did regenerate.  For Romana II (as she is usually called), they cast Lalla Ward, who had played a different role in the previous episode.  (Seriously.  In fact, when she regenerated (off screen), the Doctor became somewhat flustered, having no idea how Princess Astra could have gotten onto his TARDIS, but promising to take her home again right away.)  Despite wearing a couple of different outfits (and bodies) in the regeneration scene, Romana II spent most of her first adventure, “Destiny of the Daleks,” in a pink version of the Doctor’s outfit:

Image from "Tom Baker: The Official Site."  Click image to visit source.
Image from “Tom Baker: The Official Site.” Click image to visit source.

I wanted to dress my Blythe Romana in this outfit, or as near to it as I could come.  Easier said than done for someone who can’t sew. 😦  But I worked out a nice outfit that’s reminiscent of it:

Destiny of the Daleks 1

It would have been better if there had been a paler pink version of that coat, but it’s a really nice coat, isn’t it?  Sadly, the sleeves are small enough that I couldn’t have her wearing the shirt I bought to go under it while wearing the coat.  (It’s the shirt I showed Hangry wearing earlier.)  Etsy is surprisingly light on pink Blythe-sized trench coats.  (That’s a shock, huh?)  Anyway, the coat is by buttoncottage, the pants are by dollcat, and…


These very cool boots are by HelloCoolCat.  They’re not really the right type of boots for the outfit I wanted to recreate — the originals were more like pirate boots, you know? — but these are nice boots, and the right color (well, close to it, anyway) so I think I made the right call.

Destiny of the Daleks 3

Isn’t that cute?  It’s the little plastic box the boots came in.  I thought that was pretty nifty.

Anyway, I’ve been meaning to get this posted for a while now, so I just wanted to, well, get it posted. 😛

Oh, as you’ve probably guessed, I couldn’t find a suitable scarf, and substituted a ribbon. 😛

Pull-rings and other Polymer Clay Pieces

Despite a bizarrely sprained ankle (rather, a self-spraining ankle that I never actually injured) making going downstairs a literal pain, I still managed to do some of the polymer clay stuff I wanted to.  Not quite as much as I would have preferred, overall, but…some is better than none.

Pull rings
Pull rings

Obviously, the first order of business was to make a TARDIS-blue pull ring for Romana.  (And yes, I realize that it looks much too bright to be TARDIS-blue in the photo.  But trust me, it really is navy.  Metallic, sparkly navy, but navy.)  Towards the end of the crafting, I also made two gold ones for Pyrrha.  (I plan to give her a second pull string to close her eyes, because I want to paint her eyelids when I do everything else.  I’m just waiting for that eye chip mold…)  Obviously, they don’t look as nice as proper pull rings, but…well, in Romana’s case there just wasn’t a choice:  there were no navy pull rings available, so I had to make my own.  In Pyrrha’s case…I think it’s fair to say that I’m just being cheap. 😛

The next order of business was to make some of the charms I want to put on the string along with Romana’s pull ring.  The first one was the hardest to make, and like all the other stuff I made this morning, it’s not technically finished yet.  Like many of the other pieces, it needs some details painted on, and everything needs to be given a good coat of Sculpey Glaze.  Oh, and I’ll need to figure out the right place to add a ring, so the stuff can actually be attached to the string. 😛

TARDIS charm
TARDIS charm

All four sides have the paneling you can see here.  It took about an hour to do this.  (Might have taken less time if I’d remembered the cardinal rule of polymer clay work:  cut your fingernails super-short first.  I had to smooth off a lot of fingernail marks. 😦  I had also forgotten just how badly some of the metallic Sculpey sticks to my hands; I had to wash them at least five times to get the navy metallic off my fingers and palms.)  My camera wasn’t cooperative — as usual, at this scale — so the top is unfortunately a little out of focus on the photo.  But the light on top there?  It’s using glow-in-the-dark Sculpey, so (in theory) it’ll glow on being taken out of the light, or on being put under a black light.

Comparison to model
Comparison to model

Just to show what I was using as a reference, here’s a shot of my charm lying on top of it. 😛  Having a three-dimensional visual aid like this is really helpful.  (Found myself wishing I had one for the later projects, in fact…)  The corners aren’t as sharp as they should be, but other than that, I think I did a pretty decent job.  (In browsing Etsy yesterday, I saw a TARDIS polymer clay charm that wasn’t anywhere near this detailed.  In fact, it was more than a little half-assed; I was shocked someone was trying to sell it.)

The second charm for Romana came next.

K-9 charm
K-9 charm

He’s pretty fragile, though; his tail already broke off. 😦  (I can super-glue it back on, of course, but it’s annoying that he didn’t even last 24 hours before breaking.)  He, too, needs a lot of details painted on.  Like his entire face, for one thing. 😛

K-9 model comparison
K-9 model comparison

This is the K-9 that came with my 4th Doctor doll.  As you can see, there’s a lot of problems with my charm, but…dang, that’s tiny stuff, you know?!  The biggest problems are the ears and the head; the ears are more like dog ears than radar dishes, and the head’s too big.  Still, I think anyone who knows Doctor Who would be able to recognize immediately that the charm is K-9, so…that’s something, right?

On both of these, once I’ve glazed them to protect them, I want to make molds from them, and then cast them in resin, too.  Because I’m hoping maybe I could sell the resin versions on Etsy.  Dunno if anyone would buy them, but…I’d like to at least try, y’know?

4th Doctor's scarf, unpainted
4th Doctor’s scarf, unpainted

I had a lot of trouble getting a good texture on there; most of the cloth types I used to flatten it came out too small or too big.  Anyway, I want to cast this one in resin, too, and paint it to match the scarves.  ‘Cause after all, the Doctor had two, the original version and the about-to-regenerate version, which was mostly reds.  And then I’m pretty sure Romana had her own version at one point.  (I’m wanting to say that was in Destiny of the Daleks, but I could be completely wrong about that.  But it was somewhere!  I think.)  Of course, this one is much bigger — it’s more than big enough to be a pull ring itself, in fact — so I’m not sure how useful it would be to me or anyone else.  Though if I want to give Romana sleep eyes, I could use it on her second pull string, instead of a standard pull ring…  (Though then the question is which version of the scarf do I use?  The Doctor’s, or her own?)

Not much yet, but...
Not much yet, but…

It doesn’t look like anything at the moment, but after a resin mold and casting in clear resin filled with lots of purple glitter, it’s going to be a Key of Time charm.  Because once it was completed, the Key of Time did basically look like a cube of purple plexiglass.  (Gee, I wonder why?)  So that’s what this charm will be, again for Romana’s pull string.  (Even though that was Romana I, not Romana II…)  Though if it turns out to look really awesome, I might try selling some of those on Etsy, as well.  Though I doubt there’d be much demand for them. 😛

Anyway, it wasn’t all for Romana!

Spear and shield of Achilles(?)
Spear and shield of Achilles(?)

I also made these massive charms for Pyrrha’s pull strings.  Pyrrha is named after — well, no, let me start over.  Though I haven’t been doing much writing lately, due to time and lack of inspiration, I have often fancied myself a writer.  A while back — it’ll be two years in January, I think — I became inspired to write a series of quasi-Young Adult novels set between 17 and 20 years after the Trojan War.  (Despite how long ago I finished them, the whole series of novels is still only on the first draft.  I’m not so good at re-writes…)  The primary heroine was a posthumous daughter of Achilles, born to a slave girl on Lesbos.  Well, in the course of the novels, I also introduced a second posthumous daughter of Achilles, this time one born to Briseis, and raised by Thetis as a Nereid.  Thetis being sentimental about her now-deceased son, she decided to name the girl Pyrrha, despite the torment that the name had been to Achilles in his lifetime.  Anyway, my heroine wanted to be great friends with her half-sister, but her half-sister saw her as a rival and…well, it didn’t end well for poor Pyrrha.  (The villains got the idea of recruiting her, and once that happened, there just wasn’t anything I could do.)  So, long story short, I think one of the reasons my mind immediately named my factory girl Pyrrha was because I felt so guilty about what I had done (or rather what the story had forced me to do) to a character I had never meant to hurt.  And because of the origin of the name, I find myself wanting to give Pyrrha the doll things that Pyrrha the Nereid might have wanted.  Including weapons and armor.  (Oh, man, I found someone on Etsy selling helmets for Blythes!  If they’d had any that was Mycenaean, I would have had to buy it, no matter what it cost!)

So, getting back to the items pictured above, the shield is in the style known as “Boeotian,” a style generally regarded as having never been used in reality, but which is often pictured on pots, especially in depicting ancient heroes.  Achilles is almost always pictured with a Boeotian shield.  (Though usually the ones on the pots are more ornate than this.  But I wasn’t up to making a little gorgon face to go on it, sadly.  That’s the usual decoration on his shield on pottery, though.)  As to the spear, one of the fragments of the Epic Cycle says that the reason no one could use Achilles’ spear other than he himself — Patroclos had to leave it behind when he was going out to fight in Achilles’ armor — was because it had two tips, a forked spear.  The fragment also described it as having some gold around the base, I believe, though I could be wrong about that part.  So…yeah, that’s why the forked spear.  Probably that’s not what a forked spear should look like, but…no reference material, y’know?  (I did at least have a photo of a pot to go on for the shield.)

Anyway, of course there’s still one major drawback here.  The spear and shield are so huge that they’re totally useless for any kind of pull string charm.  Not sure what the point of them is, given that, but…well, I’ll think of something!

Since I’d mentioned wanting to make some polymer clay charms for Romana’s pull string, I just thought I’d post this update about how the charms are coming along.  I’ll definitely post again once they’re all completed, and I’ve tried doing the resin versions.  (Though I’m a little worried about the clear resin; the resin version of Rory’s sword is still sticky!  That just can’t be normal…)  There’s a full gallery of photos for this post here.