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:

uc1

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.)

uc2

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…)

uc4

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:

uc3

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.

uc7

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.

uc8

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.

Tuesday x 2

I apologize for the poor picture quality in this post.  I wanted to get this up today — as opposed to next week — but it’s been raining for the last two days, so I had to use the flash to get these pictures.  There are also fewer of them than I meant to take, because the flash eats up my camera’s battery like nobody’s business.

Anyway!  I want to introduce you to another Ideal girl to join my collection, this one from ShopGoodwill.com:

Tuesday 1

She’s from 1975 (same as me!) and her name is Tuesday Taylor.

Yes, I realize that’s a moronic reason to insist on posting about her on a Tuesday.  Hey, I’m still in the weird-sleep mode of trying to recover from final-paper-writing, okay?

Tuesday 2

Moving on, while the influence of the Twist-n-Turn Barbie face is evident here, I think her face is also quite distinctive as its own entity, a bit more realistic than TnT Barbie.  (Don’t get me wrong; I love the TnT Barbie face.)  You can’t see them very well in this shot, but she has short rooted eyelashes as well as the nicely painted on ones.

Tuesday 3

See that line at the base of the scalp?  (It’d be hard to miss!)  It goes all the way around, and there was a shot of it from behind on the auction page, presumably because the seller thought it was a flaw in the doll.  And at first I thought so, too, until I saw someone selling one of these on Etsy, someone who actually knew a thing or two about these dolls…

Tuesday 5

Her scalp turns, so she can go from a blonde to a brunette!

Or, at least, that’s the idea.  But if they really wanted that to be how it works, they shouldn’t have given the blonde half bangs.  It’s theoretically possible that with a different hairstyle, the brown part would not have to hang directly in front of her face like this, but for the moment I’m not taking down the loose braids she arrived with.  (Eventually I probably will, as I don’t think they’re original.)  So for the moment she’s going to remain a half-bleached-blonde. 😛

Tuesday 6

This is a very modern Barbie dress intended for a less busty Barbie, so it’s a bit tight in the chest on Tuesday, but I think it still looks pretty good.  Though maybe I should loosen the velcro a little to keep it from stretching out quite so badly over her bosom…

Tuesday 7

Ideal continues to fascinate me in the way they construct their dolls.  So Misty had a limp vinyl(?) arm that could move any way you wanted, but wouldn’t hold it, right?  Tuesday here has an arm that bends and holds the bend, rather like a bendy-doll.  But her hands are on a regular joint at the end of the arm.  Given the stiff arms on Barbies at this period, this must have been quite the selling point for Tuesday Taylor and her friends.  (And there were definitely “friends”.  I’ve seen another doll in this line on Etsy, and I was tempted to get her since she came with some of her clothes and all.  But I thought I’d wait and see how I liked this one in person first.)

Tuesday 8

As is common, Tuesday has click-knees.  The clicking mechanism is much more sharp than in more recent Barbies.  (Not sure about mid-1970s Barbies…)  But there are obvious problems with the system after a long time.  Note the rectangular bubble on the underside of this bent knee, where some of the skin is just sort of pooching outwards due to the bend in the mechanism.  (Not that I have any idea why it’s doing that.)

Tuesday 9

A more significant problem is on the other knee, the one that looks bent in this picture.  See the round area sticking out from the back of her knee there?  (It’s about the size a baseball would be in Tuesday’s scale.)  I’m not sure exactly what that is, but I suspect it’s due to the fact that the click-knee in that leg no longer works.  You can bend the leg a little due to the flexible nature of the vinyl, but it goes right back again, because whatever it is inside the click-knee to make it hold those few rigid poses, it’s entirely broken.  This is not a big deal, however; it just means she can’t really sit down, unless I want her legs sticking out straight in front of her.  (Like Misty…)

You’ll notice, also, that her feet — while still possessing the ridiculously arched feet for high heel shoes — are not so ludicrously tiny as Barbie’s.  These actually look more or less the right size for her body.

Now, I probably had more to say about Tuesday, but I’ve run out of pictures. 😛  Instead — to justify the “x 2” in the title of the post — I want to share another doll I got recently, though this one came from Etsy.

Tuesday 10

This is Aja from Hasbro’s “Jem and the Holograms” line of dolls from the 1980s.  I never had any of these dolls as a kid, so it’s pretty cool to get my hands on one, and because she’s missing a hand, she was extremely cheap.  (She was only coming along for the ride, however.  The main reason I made this order was for the other doll in it — also 1980s vintage — but I’ll tell you about her next time. 😛  Like I said, camera ran out of battery power.  They’re charging now, though.)

My plan had been to re-body her head onto a Made-to-Move Barbie.

Because, as I said, I’d never had one of these dolls before.  I didn’t know that they were actually significantly larger than Barbie.  Okay, not “significantly,” per se, but enough larger that her head would be way too big on a Barbie body, and that her neck hole is about twice as large as a Barbie’s.

However, it turns out that the missing hand is almost the only thing wrong with her.  (She does have a small pink stain on one shoulder as well, but that’s not a big deal.)  So all I have to do is replace her hand.  I’d just make a mold off her other hand, but she doesn’t want to have two left hands, surely, and I can’t find any other doll in my collection whose hands are quite the same size.  (The closest match I came up with was Deuce Gorgon, but his hands are very obviously masculine, so that wasn’t gonna happen.)  I’m going to have to pick a doll with a similar hand design (either Tuesday or a Bratzilla, whichever has the larger hands) and make a mold off of it, then make a polymer clay hand, and then make another mold off of that.  I’ve noticed that polymer clay versions off of molds of doll parts give a result that’s slightly larger than the original, so hopefully the scaling up will be the right amount to make it more or less match in size.  I’ll never match the color, of course, so I’m thinking a blue-glittery, transparent resin hand:  one that’ll look a bit holographic, since she’s one of the Holograms. 😛

Tuesday 11

Part of the reason I’ve never had a Jem doll before is that I’ve never been a big fan of their faces, but I liked the way this one looked.

Getting her clothing may prove difficult, since she’s so much thicker than a Barbie in every dimension other than bust-line.  I’m going to have to see what I can come up with on Etsy, I guess.

Anyway, the gallery for this post is here.


Before I go, a brief update about Pyrrha.  I finally got her old eye mechanism out, and her new eye mechanism in, and all her eye chips finally decided on.  While I was at it, I washed her hair to try and make her bangs behave.  Then as I was about to put the back of her head back on, I suddenly realized I had forgotten to put her pullstrings back in place.

Well, the one for the sleep eyes was no problem.

But the main pullstring!

I couldn’t get it to go through the hole.

So I put it through a needle and somehow managed to get the needle most of the way through the hole…but the eye was so wide it wouldn’t fit through the hole.  But any smaller eye and the string wouldn’t have gone through!

I had so much trouble getting the eye mechanism in and out.  I really don’t want to have to do it again.  But I’m not sure what else to do.

Maybe if I had some really thin thread I could tie one end of it around the tip of the pullstring, thread the other end through, and then pull the pullstring through that way.

Maybe.

I’m not sure.

But while I dither about the best course of action, poor Pyrrha is still lying here in pieces. 😦  If anyone has any suggestions, I’m all ears…

Skooter

So yesterday’s mail brought my first Skooter to my house.

[(c) Henson/Disney.  Image from Wikipedia.  Click for source.]
[(c) Henson/Disney. Image from Wikipedia. Click for source.]
No, no, not Scooter!  Skooter!  This girl:

Skooter 2

Skooter is (was?) Skipper’s friend, with an even sillier name than “Skipper.” 😛  (Maybe they sounded more normal back in the ’60s.)  Skooter was a short-lived doll, only made from 1965 to 1968, unlike Skipper, who’s been pretty much omnipresent since her introduction.

Skooter 1

The swimsuit she’s wearing is actually Skipper’s.  (Naturally, just like Barbie and her friends, Skipper and Skooter share the same body, and can thus share their wardrobes.)  Skooter originally came in a red and white two-piece swimsuit, according to the photos on DollReference.com.  (And yes, that is the primary source of my knowledge on Skooter.  I knew her face instantly on seeing it because I’d seen pictures in a Mattel fashion doll book, but I hadn’t done more than glance at those pages of the book, and the shelf the book is on is currently blocked by stuff I’m storing for my brother prior to his move, so I can’t look at it right now.)

Anyway, Skooter here came from shopgoodwill.com, and…well, I’m going to have a lot to say on that subject towards the end of the post, so for right now I’ll just talk about the lot Skooter came in.  Naturally, she was listed as a Skipper, not a Skooter, and she came with a case and some clothes.

Skooter 4

Probably the most common vintage Skipper case on the planet. 😛  The hinge is a little rusty, and the lids cave in a bit, and it’s generally not in the greatest shape, which is probably why the bidding never got too high…in which case the other bidders were not looking at the real treasure of the lot:

Skooter 3

Look at her!  She’s practically perfect!  Her hair isn’t even mussed up!  Clearly, this is a doll that was not played with, but simply sat/stood on a shelf, being admired.  So she’ll already be used to her life here. 😛

Skooter 5

So, moving back to the case, here’s the interior, with some of the clothes inside.  (Please ignore the doll stands I had to use to get it to stay open for the photo. 😛 )  See that black line across the one side of the case?  That’s the string that was holding Skooter in place in transit.  Anyway, there’s a detail I want you to notice here:

Skooter 6

It’s a little dolly closet!  You can hang up all her clothes on hangers inside!  That is completely cool.  Why don’t modern Barbie carrying cases do that?  (Oh, wait, modern playline Barbies want you to buy whole new dolls, rather than new clothes…)

Skooter 7

This is a cute outfit, but the tights ensure it has to be put on the original Skipper/Skooter body only, and can’t be shared with, say, a Blythe or a Licca or a Pullip.

Yeah, you heard me.  See, I was looking at Etsy for new clothes for my girls, and in searching for clothes to put on that late 80s Skipper I got at the local used place (who still kind of smells funny, even after being washed, I’m sorry to say), I saw that some of my search results were showing vintage Skipper clothes on Blythes.  And one of the sellers mentioned how nicely they fit.  That should have just made me irritated that the vintage Skipper collectors were going to have to compete with the Blythe crowd as well as their fellow vintage Skipper collectors to get the vintage clothes…but it actually made me go “ooh, then surely Skippers can wear Blythe clothes!” which meant I had a whole new avenue to look in for clothes to put on the 80s Skipper.  (I’ve decided on a nice outfit for her, but I haven’t actually bought it yet for reasons.)

Anyway, since Blythe and Pullip can swap wardrobes decently, I thought I’d have Barbara and Selina model two of the outfits from this lot.

Skooter 9

This actually looks pretty cute on Barbara, doesn’t it?  She’s going to keep wearing it for a while.

Skooter 10

This one’s actually a Barbie dress, not a Skipper dress, and it seems to be homemade.  Anyway, I thought it matched Selina’s current wig pretty well (though the yellows look more similar in the shot where I didn’t use the flash, but then Selina’s eyes looked all dark and creepy) so I had her wear it for the photo.  Then I put her back in the articulated Silkstone’s little black dress, ’cause this one looks rather awful on her. 😛

Skooter 12

Her hand was hiding this little stain in the previous shot.  Looks like pen, doesn’t it?

(The gallery for this post is here.)

Anyway, so that’s what came yesterday in my first package from the Goodwill auction site.    Emphasis, unfortunately, on “first.”  I got excited looking at all that was available, and made a lot of bids on things that were quite inexpensive, never bidding all that much.  (I think the highest maximum bid I placed was about $40.)

But I forgot to look at the shipping costs.

Some of them are very reasonable.  And some of them are very much not so.  For example, this Tonner doll with a real weight of 1.9 pounds, and a “shipping weight” of 16 pounds.  Which means they charge you for the shipping as if it weighed 16 pounds, instead of 1.9.  Fortunately, on that one, I noticed the shipping cost before placing a bid on her.

Then there’s this Barbie, with a shipping weight of 8 times her actual weight, and a fixed shipping cost of $11.75, despite that she’s in a box that’s already had the crap beaten out of it!  And no, on this one I did not notice the shipping cost in time…and the only other person to bid on it bid just the tiniest amount too little to outbid me. 😦  So, yes, I just paid more in shipping than I did for the doll.  And that’s not the only time that’s happened.

The thing is, the first couple of bids I made were for things that were about to close, and I still got outbid at the last minute.  So I had gone on the assumption that most of the things I bid on would go the same way, that I’d lose in the last half hour.  And so I made a lot of stupid little bids, figuring that the chances of my winning any of the auctions were very slim.  (Especially since in most cases I was bidding less than I felt it was worth on the open market.)  But then on a lot of them I didn’t get outbid.  (The annoying one is the Barbie where I put in a max bid $10.00, and ended up paying $9.20.  If the other person had also bid $10.00, that’d be one thing, but they must have bid $8.20.  Who bids a weird amount like that?)

While I’m definitely annoyed at Goodwill for the crazy shipping costs, I’m mostly just pissed at myself for not noticing them until it was too late.  (Though that Barbie with the $11.75 shipping cost is decidedly the worst offender.  There’s no contest, in fact.  That’s way too much shipping for what’s essentially a loose (modern) doll in mint condition.)

The good thing is that I learned quickly, and I’m not making any more bids except in cases of things I feel like “ooh, I gotta have that or I’m gonna expire of longing!”.  Or for any Blythe or She-ra items.  (Blythe, of course, being unlikely apart from the LPS variety.  But She-ra is much more likely.  In fact, one of the few things I did get outbid on was She-ra’s Crystal Palace.)  Or at least on things with either very reasonable shipping or which are being sold by my local Goodwill, so I can pick ’em up in person.

The bad thing is that despite that it seemed like such a great bargain (and, actually, shipping costs notwithstanding, in most cases it still was) I ended up spending a great deal without meaning to, so many of the Etsy purchases I lined up in my cart are going to have to stay there for a while.  (Especially since I already made some of the purchases…)  That means most of my girls don’t get their new clothes after all. 😦  (I only got Romana’s and Hayley’s ordered.  And if I use the $22 that got added to my Paypal after I made all the Goodwill payments (ugh, timing!) it’s probably going to be to get the outfit for the ’80s Skipper, ’cause that outfit’s sold out before, and I don’t want to miss it again.  So Pyrrha and Rena may have to make do with clothes I already have around here.)

Anyway, going back to the very first line of the post, you may have noticed I said “my first Skooter.”  That’s ’cause one of the other items was also a Skooter — this time a blonde one (who was also listed as a Skipper).  But I only just had to pay for her this morning, so she won’t be here for a while, and I thought it was better to get this up now, instead of waiting for her.  (She’s coming nude, though, so she’ll be getting the red and white outfit with the tights from the case here.)

I’m going to have to go on a serious dolly diet now — especially since I desperately need to go clothes shopping for myself! — but with all those packages headed this way, there should be lots to post about.  :/  And hopefully starting next week I’ll be able to clean up enough around here to let me do more stuff.  I have a project in mind that’s going to require lots of space, but should be awesome if I can get it accomplished.  But I’ll give that its own post. 😉

Not Really Ideal

My Mysterious Vintage Girl

A few weeks ago, I mentioned having come across an Ideal Miss Revlon doll at an antique mall for a great price.  Well, after having done some research, it turns out that she is definitely not a Revlon doll, nor any doll made by the Ideal company.  However, I’m quite sure she’s genuinely from the era of Ideal’s Revlon dolls — late 1950s to early 1960s — so it’s not like I feel ripped off.

Not Ideal 2

This is her.  I’ve decided to name her Patty.  If you’ve ever seen any photos of Ideal’s Miss Revlon dolls, I’m sure you see the similarities.  But if you really know your Ideal dolls, you may already see the differences as well.

Not Ideal 1

Here’s a close-up of her face.  There’s some dirt and smudges, which I’ll do my best to clean off at some point, but right now I want to be careful, lest I cause damage instead of getting rid of the dirt.  (I have no idea what the best procedure for cleaning a vintage doll is.  I’m going to have to research it after the semester ends.)

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