First ever attempt to use the cloth photography backdrops from Tiny Frock Shop. It looked pretty crappy while I was taking the photos, but I think it actually looks okay in the finished product. Not great, but…
Anyway, I’m glad to say I took the photos for several posts while I was at it, so hopefully I’ll not be quite so silent for a little while. The point of this post, of course, is to show off a really awesome antique mall find from about a month back:
The copyright date on this piano (which is still a patent pending mark, so it’s likely to be from the initial run) is 1969, and it’s mostly lithographed wood, with some plastic (the interior workings and the keys, mostly). It needs a good cleaning, and some of the lithos are damaged, but I still think it was a fantastic find. I got it for a song (lol, stupid pun!), probably because the seller thought it completely doesn’t work. It does work…so long as you hold it upside down when you want it to play. (Seriously; it’ll only play one note if it’s right side up, but if you hold it upside down, you can get the whole song. Though apparently some of these songs changed between the late ’60s and the late ’70s when I learned them.) Continue reading →
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.)
Trying to pose two Pullips even remotely romantically turns out to be well beyond my feeble skills. 😦 Also, those skirts keep turning…neither of them is on straight, and I didn’t notice until just now. But that’s nothing compared to trying to get their tiaras on. I need to rig up something with wires or something. Those clips they’re attached to are worthless.
Groove’s sample sales are dangerous things. 😛 I also picked up Sailor Jupiter…and then when I checked back about a week later, I saw they’d put up a bunch of J-Dolls, so I ended up getting Sailor Mercury and Byul Cheshire Cat du Jardin as well as a J-Doll to be a clothes-changer. (All my other J-Dolls have stayed stock. This new one comes in an outfit that’ll be awesome on Haruka…)
So I’ve been meaning to get to this post for a while, and I managed to get the photos taken before I started working on the photos for June. (I’ll explain in my first June post as to why I have a special theme for the month.) It’s not that I want to show off my She-Ra collection, it’s that I’ve got two big purchases I want to squee about. 🙂
And here’s the first one:
Sadly, there’s only one half of the front door (and it doesn’t actually stay in place, due to broken hinges) and only one window pane, but still! She-Ra’s Crystal Castle! 😀
And it has pretty much all its interior accessories:
(Though from looking at a list I found online, it turns out the purple fur thing I put on the bed as a comforter is supposed to be a rug. Oops. 😛 )
I have literally been planning this post since December. I bought this doll as part of a Black Friday sale. That’s how long I’ve been having trouble motivating myself to take pictures. (Although the lack of good photography space around here is a large part of it. To the extent that I literally took all these dolls over to my brother’s (much cleaner) house to take the photos.)
Anyway, AZIAM Yoga Dolls is a new(ish) line of dolls with a mission. And I’m feeling too lazy to try to paraphrase it, so I’m going to quote their website instead:
The AZIAM Girlz brand is dedicated to teaching girlz to love who they are, as they are. Using the basics of Yoga to teach positive self- and social- awareness, we have designed clothing, accessories, bags, yoga products, jewelry, headwear, games, programs and books to make the Yoga experience more colorful for our Goddess in Progress™.
So, way back in late November when I bought this doll, there were two dolls on the site that got the maximum sale. One was a Californian blonde, and the other was a Brazilian brunette. Obviously, I went with the brunette. (I mean, okay, yeah, I have lots of brunette dolls, too, but…I’m pretty sure blondes still outnumber everything else. (I’m looking at you, Mattel.) It would have been cooler if the redhead or the African-American had been on the sale, but they weren’t. I’m not even sure they were in stock. I’m not sure I’ve ever even seen that website list them as being in stock, in fact.)
So here’s Niyama in her box…in a really lousy photo. 😦
And here she is out of her box, in a much less lousy photo. 😛 In person, the first thing that always strikes me when I look at her is how odd her skin tone is. It doesn’t really feel like a shade found in human beings, though I lack the appropriate terminology to explain why. (I think the brown needs a touch more red in it? Maybe? I don’t know…it’s more of a gut reaction than anything logically definable, and the color doesn’t come through totally accurately in the photos.) Probably the first thing you noticed in looking at the picture is that her knee joints are really ugly. 😉 Nothing to be done about that; the design is necessary to give her the full range of motion required.
Okay, the title promises a (sort of) review, so let me get that out of the way before I get to the comparisons, which will make up the bulk of the post. (And will contain large amounts of nude dolly yoga, so be forewarned!) Her range of motion — as you’ll see in a moment — in the legs is impressive, and well worth the unattractive joints required. The clothes are nicely made, and her accessories, while nothing special, are quite acceptable. The box proclaims that her yoga mat can turn into a “Girl Power Cuff”, AKA a slap bracelet, which is true…and also means that her yoga mat is really, really narrow. You’ll see it in one of the photos below. As to her clothes, I don’t know if she can really share clothes with any other dolls. Maybe Barbie. I forgot to check that, unfortunately. (Although as I was dressing her again after the yoga photos, I started putting Barbie’s pants back on her by mistake, and they were fitting, so I think she probably can wear at least some Barbie clothing.)
One of the main selling points on any doll is, of course, the doll’s face. And that’s where it all gets largely subjective. Unfortunately, I look at the faces of this doll line, and I’m not impressed. Something about them just doesn’t speak to me. They’re a little like Winx faces, but not quite as charismatic, or something. But, as I said, it’s subjective. I don’t much care for the faces, but I can only speak for me: I’m sure there are others who like them, and I haven’t the foggiest where the majority opinion lies on the subject. (Actually, the majority probably lies with “never heard of it/don’t care.”)
Okay, so moving on to the comparisons! The main comparison, of course, will be a Made-to-Move Barbie. Specifically, the African-American one from the first wave:
But there will also be cameo comparisons with other dolls, two of them new. (One, in fact, literally arrived the day I took these photos!) So before I get on with the comparisons, let me introduce the new dollies.
I’m so unmotivated to take pictures right now. I can’t explain it. 😦 Anyway, because of that, there’s a lot of stuff I want to show you that I didn’t end up taking pictures of. (This is, after all, like two and a half months’ worth of purchases we’re talking about. And I’ve been down in the dumps, which means I’ve been spending more money, ’cause I’m a moron.) Hopefully I’ll get motivated later on and take more pictures. Hopefully better ones, too.
Anyway. So new clothes and wigs were something I wanted to fill you in on. I finally got Ivy some new shoes:
There’s something massive about them that doesn’t really come across in the photo: in person, they’re like a girly version of the Frankenstein monster’s boots. And they don’t entirely match Ivy’s butterfly outfit. (Though I’m admittedly at a loss to guess what would match it.) Fortunately, I got her a new outfit that matches her rainbow booties, but I’ll show you that a little later on.
So, for starters, I thought I should admit — as April is almost upon us — that I won’t be doing April A to Z this year. 😦 I’ve enjoyed doing it the past two years, but I have two research projects due this April (in the same class, despite that the “final exam” date is in mid-May) and I’ve been sick all month, so I haven’t been able to get anything done on anything at all. (In fact, I spent a whole week doing almost nothing but sleeping.) However, it turns out that there’s a new, less posting-intensive April challenge available, only requiring one post a week (an improvement over my posting here of late), so I’ll be doing that instead.
I’ve found myself going crazy wanting to do doll shopping while I’ve been sick. Mostly I’ve been able to relegate that to “extensive browsing,” I’m glad to say, but a few orders have been made. (Of course, what I really wanted was to be able to go doll shopping in person, which probably helped make it easier to resist the online shopping lure to what little extent I was able to do so.) Alice’s Collections has had a spring promotion going on for some time, wherein you get a massive discount on a tiny little deer BJD (pet-style, not anthropomorphic) if you spend a certain amount of money on accessories, or buy a regular doll over 25 cm. (And I do mean massive, btw: $10 instead of $120. But I also mean tiny, as it’s only 12 cm tall. But for $10, that’s okay.) The promotion ends at the end of the month, so I couldn’t wait any longer in the hopes that another sale would kick in to mitigate the cost somewhat. (And I couldn’t pass it up, ’cause it’s a deer doll!) Thankfully, I held back from buying a YOSD satyr girl (though I really want one!) and just bought accessories. I got some new clothes for Arthur (again), some protective garments to protect various dolls from staining, a green wig and green eyelashes for the dark fairy — I mean, dryad — and…uh…I think there was more than that, but I’m having trouble remembering what. Maybe some clothes for Juliet, too? Oh, no, that’s right! Shoes! I bought some new shoes for Ivy that wouldn’t contrast so badly with her current outfit. (I still need to get her a different outfit that will match her cute rainbow shoes, though…) That should be an interesting package when it gets here, but it won’t be for at least a month, because they have to have the deer made.
There have been a few Etsy orders, too. I ordered some shoes and socks for Betsy, and some white bloomers from Patsy, but they haven’t come yet, because while the shoes and socks were pre-made, the seller has to make the bloomers before the order can ship. At about the same time I ordered some Mattel dolls from the ’80s and ’90s, mostly because there was one I’ve been wanting for some time now.
And just last night I finally ordered some dresses for the light and dark fairies. (Well, fairy and dryad.) It’s been hard to figure any dresses that would work for them, because I want them to be able to wear their wings and their clothes at the same time! (And most sellers don’t post photos of the backs of the garments to show how low — or not — they are in the back.) But I think these have low enough backs that they’ll work, and they just look so much like fairy dresses, you know? My biggest worry is that they may have been made for a slightly more slender doll, and therefore might not fit. 😦 If they don’t, they’ll certainly fit Houston, in which case Ellowyne could wear what Houston is wearing, and one of the fairies might be able to wear Ellowyne’s dress, but…I’m really hoping they’re going to fit, since they’d be so perfect otherwise.
More than anything else, what I’ve really been finding myself drifting towards (almost obsessively) in the past few weeks is the idea of adding a vintage 8″ Betsy McCall to my collection. I know I looked at some earlier and thought I’d prefer the Tonner version, and it’s not that I’m not happy with the Betsy I have (she’s adorable!) it’s just that somehow the vintage ones have started calling out to me of late. I’ve found a couple of them that are actually quite affordable (much more so than 8″ Tonner Betsys!) but I’ve been dilly-dallying, not sure which one I wanted to order. One of them is slightly cheaper and has nicer hair, but the hair is rather similar to my Tonner Betsy. The other one is slightly more expensive (and has higher shipping) and has less nice hair, but she’s got her shoes. Both are wearing vintage clothes that don’t particularly appeal to me, but finding them replacement clothes will not be difficult. 😛 (In fact, I’ve found a pair of nice vintage dresses on Etsy, and the seller who made my 14″ Betsy’s dress has some that would look gorgeous on the smaller Betsy, too…though then they’d feel even more like clones than they already would. 😛 ) Before I bought the fairy dresses (about $60, with shipping from Germany), I was thinking I might choose between the two Tiny Betsys and order one soon, but that is not to be after all…
…because this morning I got an e-mail from Ruby Lane about a change to one of the items on my wish list. I don’t like that they send those e-mails (I keep wish lists so I can find things again, not necessarily to keep abreast of their price fluctuations) but in this case it turned out to my advantage. The item in question was a 16″ Madame Alexander Princess Elizabeth doll in need of repair work. Primarily in the form of re-stringing, as she’s in pieces, but her face also needs some re-painting. The photos aren’t great (or I’d share them), but they seemed good enough to assure me that the doll is actually in pretty good condition other than that she’s unstrung; the crazing seemed minimal, and her eyes are evidently undamaged. (I think they must be tin, rather than glass.) Modern Madame Alexander dolls don’t always do much for me, but the old composition ones are lovely, and I’ve been wishing for a long time that they weren’t so deucedly expensive. So then here’s this girl, reduced down to $25 because of her TLC-needed condition. I don’t know how much it’s going to cost me to have her fixed up at the doll hospital (if it was just the stringing, I’d try it myself, but I’m not about to try painting her face), but I know the total cost will still be way less than buying one in perfect repair. Of course, I’ll also have to find her something to wear (she’s only got undies right now), but that won’t be hard to do on Etsy. Still, her shipping was pretty pricey ($15 shipping feels like a lot on a $25 doll!), and given the doll dresses just last night…8″ Betsy is going to have to wait. 😦 Especially since I’ve so far only worked two days this month, due to my aforementioned sickness. (Man, my paycheck will be pathetic this month. Maybe they won’t even bother with it, and they’ll just tack it onto next month’s wages.) But I’m on my second round of antibiotics now, so hopefully I’ll be back to normal by next week.
Anyway, I thought I should also mention that Bubbly Bliss has arrived, and she is gorgeous. 😀 I’ll do a proper post once I’m not sick and can take proper photos, but I did take a box shot before I freed her from her paperboard prison:
Given all the stars, I’ve decided to name her Stella. She’s so tiny and cute! And that translucent skin tone is amazing. It’s easy to see why the translucent Blythes always sell out so quickly, and then skyrocket in price. I was a little surprised by the roll wheel in the back to operate her eyes; I guess I was more expecting a little lever like on Pullips.
Once I’m well again — and have gone to the library to research the blasted take-home test (which is configured in such a way that you can’t do your primary research for it over the Internet, because this professor should have retired ten years ago) — I’m hoping to finally do the massive cleaning my place requires, which should let me add more doll shelves (so many more doll shelves!) and finally open some poor lasses (and at least one lad) who have been languishing in their boxes awaiting the day they can be released and join their fellows. And hopefully I’ll manage to set myself up a nice workspace where I can do face-ups properly. At this point I’ve got four BJDs (and that little deer on the way) in need of a face-up, and I still want to buy that grape Nano-Rabi from the Junky Spot, though that one probably won’t get any face-up anyway. 😛 (I almost ordered him the other day, actually, but I wanted to add on the DIY eye kit so I could make the perfect new eyes for the dryad, but I realized I didn’t know what size she needed. 😦 I need to take one of her eyes out and measure it, I guess. Ack, that sounds gross. I suppose I could also be all pedestrian and contact the artist on Kickstarter and just ask what size the eyes are….) Anyway, the point of this paragraph is just to say that if things go to plan (like that ever happens), then I’ll probably still be pretty quiet on the posting for a while, but then it should pick up again with a considerable improvement in quality over what there’s been lately.