Sunday, June 28, 2015

Disney Singing Princess Dolls Compared to Prudence from Wilde Imagination

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Each year sometime before Christmas, the Disney Store releases a collection of singing Princess dolls. These dolls are less than $30, and are similarly sized to the popular 16" fashion dolls on the market today. Going along with the budget theme I've had this week, I wanted to do a comparison of the Princess dolls to Prudence from Wilde Imagination.
Prudence and Ariel

Both dolls are seen here on one of the Wilde saddle stands. They are pretty much exactly the same height. 
Close up of head size

Ariel has a slightly smaller, slimmer head. Ariel also has a slimmer neck and shoulder area than Pru has. So now, on to the naked test.

Similar joints

As you can see, the dolls have almost identical knee and elbow joints. Prudence is jointed at the chest and wrists, and Ariel is not. This is to be expected, as the Ariel doll is much less expensive than Prudence.


Up close view of joints

So the question that must be burning in your mind right now is, "Well, can they share clothes?"
Clothes swap!

Up close

In the above picture, it's clear to see that Ariel's dress is a little tight on Pru, and Pru's dress is a little loose on Ariel. They do, however, look cute in each other's clothes if you ask me. 

This velcro is hanging on for dear life

While the clothes sharing is doable with these dolls, shoe sharing is not. Ariel's feet are a bit smaller than Pru's, so the shoe swap won't work out.
Pru on the left, Ariel on the right

If you love these 16" fashion dolls, the Disney Singing Princess dolls are a great, budget friendly alternative doll to add to your collection. And when Wilde has a sale on outfits, you could even snag a less expensive, high quality outfit for your Disney doll.




Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Lazy (Sort Of) Post

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I agonized all afternoon about what to write today. Well, it's getting late and still nothing. I realized I hadn't really done a post about my Geri Uribe painted Little Darling doll, so here goes. 

My husband ordered my doll for me for Valentine's Day 2014 and 2015. He put the money down for the preorder in 2014 and she was ready in January 2015. How exciting! I chose the Tiffany doll listed on Geri's page, because I thought she looked super sweet and I knew she would make a great Arwen. I was not disappointed:
Arwen protecting Frodo

She is divine. Geri's wait time is currently 18 months, and the wait is well worth it if you have been thinking about one of these dolls. If you want one, I suggest ordering sooner rather than later. The months will go by quicker than you think, and then all of a sudden, you have a lovely new doll to love! 

In her Valentine's outfit




Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Hearts for Hearts Nyesha & Surjan

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After doing my piece yesterday on budget friendly dolls, I discovered that the Hearts for Hearts dolls have been discontinued. So hear ye, hear ye, get out to your local Toys R Us or Target and get what's left if you don't already have one. I have decided to do a feature piece on two of them today: Nyesha and Surjan. The dolls began shipping out last October, so I stalked my local Toys R Us and Target until I found them stocked at Toys R Us. There were only two of each doll, and I bought all four, two for me and two for a friend who also collects them. I have not seen them in stores since. Without further adieu:
Nyesha and Surjan

Nyesha close up

Surjan close up

Nyesha represents a girl from Harlem, whose father is Mexican and whose mother is African American. Surjan represents a girl from Nepal who was sold into slavery. One thing I like about this line of dolls is they represent real girls, and the real struggles that girls around the world face everyday. The dolls are absolutely beautiful as well.

I am not sure why Playmates decided to discontinue these dolls. They seem to be very popular with both collectors and children, and it just doesn't make sense to me. The only thing I can come up with, and keep in mind this is pure speculation, is that maybe they just cost too much to make. The quality is much better than what I have found with other similarly priced dolls. In fact, the only quality issue I've seen with these dolls is that the eyes start to turn purple on some of the older dolls. To be honest this is not something that bothers me that much, as it happens to lots of dolls (remember all those older Himstedts whose eyes turned pink?). At any rate, the rumor is that the creator of the doll is trying to take the dolls to another company, due to the lack of marketing and subsequent discontinuation by Playmates. I certainly hope she is successful and that we will see these dolls in plentiful stock at stores again soon! In the meantime, as I said above, if you want one, now is the time to get out and find one! Good luck!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Doll Collecting On A Budget

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Collecting dolls can be a very expensive hobby. It seems like there is always some new edition of a collectible doll, or there are 3 concurrent preorders for dolls that top $500...and how do you choose between them?!! There are alternatives to spending loads of money on dolls, and I'm going to share a few tips with you (tips that I don't always follow but should).

1. Instead of buying a new doll, buy accessories for the dolls you already have. There are many wonderful artists on Etsy making dresses, jewelry, and even furniture at reasonable prices for your dollies. To check out some of my favorite shops, click here!

2.To satisfy your craving for a new doll, choose an inexpensive, high quality doll. I have quite a few favorites of these.

Hearts for Hearts Dolls

Hearts for Hearts dolls are great quality dolls that are educational as well as culturally accurate (if this is the correct way to describe it). One of the things I love the most about them is their variety: they don't just give the same facial mold a different hair and eye color, they actually have different molds for the different dolls. Aaaaand...you can get a brand new doll at your local Target for less than $30! Certainly easy on the wallet.

Another personal favorite of mine are the Disney Animators' Collection Dolls:

With a price of $24.99 each, these dolls are absolutely wonderful. They have such sweet faces, and they have an artistic quality to them which makes them appreciable by adult collectors. Sometimes, they even go on sale for $20 each! There is an entire following of these dolls dedicated to customization, and that could be a fun avenue for a collector on a budget. The doll isn't so expensive that ruining it would also mean financial ruin, so you can relax and have fun with these dolls!

3. Learn to make something for your dolls. There are tons of great tutorials out there on the internet to help get your creative juices flowing. I personally love making doll swimsuits out of colorful socks. A pack of 6 pairs of socks will set you back about $7 at Walmart, and you can make TWELVE doll swimsuits! Yay!

A sock swimsuit I made

4. Enjoy the dolls you already have. This can be easier said than done. Part of the point of me writing a blog post each day is to force myself to appreciate what I already have, while taking my mind off allllll the amazing dolls that are out there right now, just begging to be purchased. You could start taking a photo a day of your dolls, write a blog, clean up an old doll, and the list goes on. 

What do you think? Do you have any tips for collecting on a budget? I'd love to hear about your tips in the comments!


Monday, June 22, 2015

Engel Puppen Sleeping Beauty Doll

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As promised, here is the other new Disney Engel Puppen doll I recently acquired:
Okay, so her hair is a wreck. 

I didn't even realize there had been a blue version of Sleeping Beauty sold at Disney World, but there was. I also have the pink version dress only...still in search of a doll to display it. I actually really like this doll a lot because she has a different face mold than the typical Dorothea that most of the Disney dolls came with. 

Now, if I could just get my hands on a Little Mermaid doll I would be super ecstatic!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Making A Wig

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Today, I tried my hand at making a lambskin wig. There is a great tutorial that I used at this site: http://www.antiquelilac.com/tibetan-lambskin-wigs---tutorial.html . It's very easy to follow and even includes patterns. To be sure the pattern I was using was the correct size, I made a felt cap first:

The felt cap

The cap was slightly tight, so when I cut my wool pieces, I just went about 1/4 inch outside the pattern pieces. The hardest part for me was visualizing which direction the hair was supposed to flow on each piece of wool. Here is my finished product:
What do you think?

It's nowhere near perfect, but I'm relatively pleased considering it's the first one I've ever made. I want to tame it down a little, so I'm going to research the best way to do that. I also bought 2nd quality wool for this project, as I didn't know how difficult it would be, and wanted to test it out before spending more on higher quality material. I would say it was easy, and go for it if you want to give it a try!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Petra Plasty Cosimo Dolls

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In the course of my doll collecting and thrifting, I find all sorts of neat things. Case in point is this pair of German dolls made by Plasty:

After a bit of research, I found out they were Petra family Cosimo dolls. Petra was a Barbie knock off made in Germany starting in 1964. These two little cuties are clearly from the 80's. They are marked "Plasty" on the backs of their heads.

I bought these dolls on a whim for 99 cents because I thought they were different and they appeared to be well made. I'm very glad I did get them! While they will not remain a permanent part of my collection, I'm glad I found them and had the chance to learn about them!



Thursday, June 18, 2015

Engel Puppe's Tinkerbell Doll From Epcot

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My obsession to collect every Disney Engel Puppen doll made in the Germany Pavilion at Epcot has been well documented on this blog. Recently, I added two more of these awesome dolls to my collection. The first that I will showcase today is Tinkerbell (or Tinker Bell, depending on how you like to spell it). 
Tinkerbell (give me some slack on the photo, I'm using my phone here)

This particular Tinkerbell that I have has the Dorothea face sculpt, and a lime green outfit, complete with wings!
If you had wings...wait, I'm mixing up my Disney references here.

This particular Tinkerbell isn't signed, which is too bad, but I'm still fortunate to have her in my collection. I don't think I've ever actually seen one come up for sale. I got this girl when a sweet reader contacted me and offered to sell her to me. Umm...yes please!

Stay tuned tomorrow to see which other Disney doll I acquired!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Lillycat Constantine Painted By Charlene Smith

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Last year when I attended IDS, I was introduced to a whole new world of dolls....ball jointed dolls. I had heard of them before and even seen a few, but I wasn't really interested in them and didn't own one. Fast forward to today, and I am now the proud owner of 8 (I think) BJDs. Today, I received my Lillycat Cerise Dolls Constantine, which I had sent to Charlene Smith for a face up.
Constantine

I just love this doll. She has such an interesting look and really neat body proportions. She is a gray resin, and just gorgeous. I do not have a wig for her yet, as I've custom ordered one from Etsy which should be here in about a month or so. As you can see, I just couldn't wait to share her!

Close up of face up

I actually didn't pre-order Constantine, I happened upon her one day when a couple of them were put in Lillycat's online shop, so there was no long waiting period to receive her. I immediately contacted Charlene, whose work I had admired since first seeing it last year, to reserve a face up spot. She was wonderful to work with, and she has such a gift for bringing dolls to life. She also included a photo of my Constantine signed, which I thought was a nice touch. 

My pretty girl!

I ordered her dress from Etsy shop BabyChantillyAtelier, run by Eugenia. She is also wonderful to work with and does commissions. If you aren't familiar with Lillycat dolls, you should check them out. They really are works of art!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

My Father's Doll

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Yes, you read that correctly. One of the things I love about collecting dolls is the stories they have to tell. Many of my dolls have fantastic stories, and I would like to showcase one of those today,
My father's doll

When my dad was young, I believe about the 3rd grade or so, my grandfather was stationed in Germany. My dad has loads of fun stories about driving to Holland for weekend camping trips, and about living in an apartment in a small German town, where most of the residents were from all different countries. One of the tangible memories I have from this period of his life is this Pelham puppet. He was purchased for my dad while he was living in Germany. As you can see, he has been very well loved. 

I wanted to know more about this special fellow, so I did some research. Pelham puppets were made in England beginning in 1946, although their creator, Bob Pelham, had been making animated donkey toys for much longer. My particular puppet is called Tyrolean boy, named for a state of Austria. He originally came with a wooden cross bar which served to hold his strings, and a green felt hat which has long been missing. He is made of wood with metal joints holding his pieces together.

I distinctly remember him hanging from his wooden crossbar on a mirror at my grandma's house when I was very small, so I know his destructed look comes from my own hands. I plan to get some green felt and fashion him a new hat to replace the one I destroyed. Something about creating a new crossbar and tying him to it makes me feel kind of sad though, so that will not be a part of his sprucing up. He's got no strings to hold him down, to make him fret, to make him frown! He had strings, but now he's free...well you get the idea.

I've got no strings on me!


This puppet is an invaluable part of my collection, because it once belonged to my dad. I don't think many doll collectors can say they inherited a doll from their dad. Sure, my dad gave me plenty of dolls when I was young (and even now that I'm old, ha!) but this one is extra sentimentally special to me.

If you inherited a doll from your dad, I'd love to hear about it in the comments!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Nancy Famosa Super Lot

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I recently won a Nancy Famosa super lot on eBay. It arrived today. I am so thrilled! After combing through everything, I have identified everything except a couple of pieces. Here's what I got:
A bird's eye view of the lot



En El Jardin pieces                                                      De Tarde is the red one, the blue one is identical                                                                                      but I am not sure what it is


En Las Carreras and Noche De Estreno

Lluvia

 En la universidad and equipo positizos 
Pieces from En Primavera and the outfit Con Los Amigos

And the piece I am most excited about, the Presentacion dress! It is in great condition!

Nancy has sweet brown eyes!

There are two blue pieces whose name I don't know. One is a knitted overalls type thing, and the other is the blue dress that is just like De Tarde, only it's blue. I'm going to have to do so more research to figure out what these pieces are. The outfits are in really great shape, just need a light cleaning. Nancy herself is going to require a little more heavy duty cleaning, but I'm up for that task tomorrow night. I can't wait to take a picture with my two older Nancy dolls together!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

A Couple of Fun Flea Market Finds

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On the way home from the beach today, we stopped at a flea market. I found the two coolest prints for my doll room!
Girl with Flowers by Eden

Guys and Dolls by Maio

The prints are vintage, I'm guessing sometime in the 70's, but they were really well taken care of and the colors are still vibrant. I think their sweet faces and big eyes look very doll-like, don't you? I just need to do something with those frames. I don't know if I should paint them, or completely trash them and start fresh. If you have any fun ideas for the frames, let me know in the comments!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

World Doll Day -- Giveaway!

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The second Saturday of June each year is designated as World Doll Day. The day was established in 1986 by Mil and Vernon Seely. 

In the spirit of the day, I am hosting my first ever giveaway on my blog. The giveaway is open to anyone in any country. To enter, simply comment on this post with the name of your favorite doll. The prize for the winner is a mini Caroline doll from American Girl:


The contest ends next Saturday, June 20th, so be sure to enter before then! At that time I will use a random number generator to choose the winner. Good luck!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Hammocks Beach State Park, NC

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Today, we visited Hammocks Beach State Park in North Carolina. In order to get to the park, you pay $5 for a 15 minute ferry ride out to Bear Island. Once you reach Bear Island, it's about another 15 minutes walk out to the beach. 

The path to the beach is paved, with interesting stops along the way.


Here is a particularly nice and shady stop.

Once you reach the beach area, there are restroom facilities and also a concession bar (cash only) which sells things like chips, ice cream, and sodas.

The beach itself is very nice, not crowded, and with beautiful sand dunes.
Rallie posing in front of the dunes

Empty beach

My hair!!!

The island has a lot of history, including a bit that involves local legend and pirate, Blackbeard. A local government official owned the island at one point and allowed Blackbeard to use the island as a getaway in exchange for a share of the booty. You can read more about the history in the photo below:

This is a beautiful, unspoiled beach but requires a bit of work to get there. There are also primitive camping sites available on the island if you really feel like roughing it.