Tiny Betsy McCall

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

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#PatsyNotPatsy

Okay, that is my first (and hopefully last) hashtag joke.

(And yes, I am deeply sorry for it.)

Aaaaaaaanyway, let’s just move on to the post.  For the most part, I want the Black History Month posts to move in a thematically chronological order.  (There is one exception that will become clear when the time comes.)

By thematically chronological I mean that I’m including reproductions with the time period of their original, rather than the time period in which they were reproduced.

Which actually means this should have been the first post.  (Well, first after Soul, who went first as more or less of a joke.)  Only I didn’t have photos ready on this one, since it was a reproduction that didn’t actually pass for the original, so I didn’t want to use any photos for work.

This replica Patsy was made by Effanbee in the ’80s, before Effanbee became part of Tonner.  This is not what she came wearing, though.  She came in this:

Oh, and yes, you’re reading her tag correctly.  See?

As I said, it was the ’80s, so no one was yet trying to find less offensive ways to phrase things.   (I keep writing things set in the ’80s, and it’s absolutely maddening.)

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Snow White-type by Minerva

I bet that title seems confusing, right?  You might be wondering why there isn’t a comma before “by Minerva,” and if you know me well, you’re probably wondering what would ever possess me to use a Roman deity name rather than a Greek one.  Well, there’s a good reason for all of it! 😀

Meet one of the oldest dolls I own.  I don’t know the exact year she was made, but she’s a copycat of Ideal and Knickerbocker’s Snow White dolls (Ideal’s actually was available in an African-American version, btw!), which were released in 1938 to tie in with Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, so she’s likely from either 1939 or the early 1940s.  (Her dress is almost unquestionably home-made, and her shoes and socks probably aren’t original, either.)

As to why I said “by Minerva” in the title, I believe that’s the name of the company that manufactured her.  She’s entirely unmarked, but in looking at a book I have about composition dolls, in the section on Snow White-types, it showed one that had this same lazy hair painting, where they basically just airbrushed the back of the head and didn’t care if they got all the hair, and didn’t bother painting the bow.  That one was described as being by a company called Minerva, as having one bent arm, and being about 15 inches tall, all of which also applies to this doll.  The one pictured in the book wasn’t an African-American version, but the other factors all agreeing seems to me to be a strong indicator that I’m right about who manufactured this doll.

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Princess of Power

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:

Front

 

Back

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. 😛 )

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Sailor Senshi (+ a Comparison)

I’ve been meaning to get these photos taken for a while now, but I’ve been sick.  However, on learning that today is the 236th anniversary of the discovery of the planet Uranus, I realized it just had to be today.

Over…what’s it been, two years?  Well, however long it’s been, as you likely know, Groove’s put out a large number of Sailor Moon Pullip dolls.  And the more they put out, the more I got irritated that I didn’t really know the franchise, so I didn’t know if I wanted the dolls.  (Though obviously, getting them would be a bad idea all around, because I don’t have all the money in the world, and I have already run out of space in this house.)  I kept saying to myself “gee, maybe I should actually watch that show someday.”

Yes, you heard me right.  I’d never seen Sailor Moon before.  Because it came to America at just the wrong time, you know?  I was getting into anime by that point, but I’ve always been a “subtitle only” type of gal.  (Though I’ll make the occasional exception in the case of theatrical Studio Ghibli releases.)  And it was so much a “for kids” production (and I was in my 20s), and it sounded so stupid, and blah blah blah.  So, fast-forward to present day.  One day last year, I went into the used everything store I like to go to, and in one of their toy cases I see three dolls on the top shelf:

Two of them were super-cheap ($9.99 if you can believe it!) and the third was ridiculously not-cheap (I think she was $35.99!) but there they were, and certainly cheaper than the Pullip versions!  Well, one of their sale weekends (when used toys are 33% off) rolled around, and I decided to go ahead and chance it on the cheap ones, because they were so very affordable.

But that left me with two dolls of characters I knew nothing about.  I mean, from the Pullip releases, I knew they were Sailor Neptune and Black Lady, but that was all I knew.  (Well, okay, I knew a little more than that:  I knew what Black Lady’s deal was (sort of) and I knew that Sailor Neptune was half of the lesbian couple that the dub tried to claim were “cousins.”)  So I decided it was high time that I finally watched Sailor Moon.  But the show’s not on Netflix, and trying to buy the DVDs of the whole show was gonna be nuts.  Then my co-worker let me know the show is on Hulu (subtitled, thank God!) so I signed up for that service, and started watching.

And to my surprise, I was really digging it.  I mean, yes, it’s silly and juvenile, but there’s a charm to it.  And the first season had a very Ranma 1/2 feeling to the animation, and especially to the opening credits.  (The fact that Makoto is definitely an escaped Ranma character absolutely added to that feeling, of course.  I so want the SHFigurarts of Sailor Jupiter so she can interact with my SHFigurarts of Ranma-chan…but she’s so freakin’ expensive!)

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Unfair Comparisons: Dream Date Barbie

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

Silky 26

Well, I not long ago got the real thing:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Angel Face Barbie

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

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

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

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

Angel Face 1

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

Angel Face 2

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

Angel Face 4

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

Angel Face 6

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

Angel Face 7

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

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

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