Monday, February 25, 2013

Shoes News!

Remember the funky shoes that came with the Dora outfit I got for G. Rapunzel? I've discovered that they'll fit a Moxie Teenz doll! They don't look too bad, either!

It's not a perfect fit, but it looks very passable at a glance! They're a little bit tight, but don't seem to be damaging the doll's feet.

Even better news, she can stand unassisted in them!

In other shoe-related news, I repainted a pair of Operetta's fashion pack shoes. Originally these were red, black and white rockabilly wedges, but they're now black and gold!

The black paint is a metallic, which has some tiny bits of flake in it which don't really show up that well. This weird lighting is the best shot I could get of it. The metallic gold on the strap and treble clef accent really looks classy, I think.
Draculaura seems to like them!
After about five or six shots of the doll's feet, this happened. Phantom cat wants some attention for her pretty feet too, I guess!




Saturday, February 23, 2013

Oz the Great and Powerful dolls Pt. 2: Oz

So now that we've seen China Girl (aka China), let's have a look at her buddy Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkel Emmannuel Ambroise Diggs. Also known as Oscar Diggs, or just Oz. (Or, as Purr reminds me, his initials spell out OZ PINHEAD!)

One thing you'll note immediately is that PINHEAD here has a BIG HEAD. It's not just his hair making his head look big, his head is actually kinda big.

When I ordered this doll, the preview photos all showed his hair slicked back in what appeared to be a solid mass. Imagine my surprise to discover that he actually has beautifully rooted hair! Tollytots Oz comes with his outfit, his spiffy top hat that won't really sit on his head unless you squish it on a bit, a small "China Girl" figure with LaLaLoopsy-mini-type articulation (boo, I'd hoped for more!), his travelling bag (not shown) and a plastic "O" shape charm that is an antique gold color.

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit has laid claim to this charm, and announced he is now to be known as OSWALD the Great and Powerful. Details on that as the situation develops.


Anyway, back to Oz. Check out that hair! Am I the only one who thinks his face looks a bit like Eugene Fitzherbert? Let's compare and see.
Yeah, maybe I imagined it a bit. So here's the first disappointing thing... Oz (and Mini-China) can't stand unassisted for crap. Not even a second after you let go of them, THIS happens:

Second let down, Oz has no articulation in his knees. They're solid plastic, without even a click joint.
Let's take a look at his outfit. The longcoat is nicely done, with a bit of lining in the front. A couple of very loose basting stitches initially hold the coat to the legs of his pants.
And BOOM! Suddenly he looks like a waiter!
Under the coat, Oz has a nice set of pinstriped slacks with elastic waist, and a satin dress shirt with sewn-on double-breasted vest and bow tie. The vest only appears on the front half of the shirt, though.
He also has these completely awesome pair of ankle boots!
Here's a look at the disappointing articulation on Oz.
Seriously, look at that head! HUGE! That's also as high as he can raise his arms straight out and how far he can spread his legs.

"May I have this dance, miss?"
So, can a Mattel version of Eugene share clothes with Oz? Well.. sort of. Eugene's a little bigger than the Tollytots doll, with bigger feet and (apparently) broader thighs, so neither the shoes or pants will fit the Mattel body. The dress shirt is just *barely* big enough to fit around Eugene's torso, but the coat fits great.

With the addition of his dress slacks and the boots from the Disney Store celebration 2-pack, Eugene's ready to test ZZ Top's assertion that every girl's crazy about a sharp dressed man.

Note, it appears to be working.

Also note: Eugene's mop of molded-on hair barely does better at keeping the top hat on his head than Oz's rooted hair. He looks like a shyster Abe Lincoln in that hat.

Here's a closer look at Mini-China Girl. She has five points of articulation (leg/knees, shoulders and head), and oddly enough her range of motion for her head is tremendously better than the 14" figure. She can turn her head 360 degrees, and even angle it up and down. 

All in all, I'm left with a mixed reaction to Oz. The nice rooted hair (with sideburns) basically just offsets the disappointing articulation and weird proportions of the doll itself. The suit is nice, but the hat won't sit on his head. The mini doll of China is a great bonus, but neither she nor Oz himself can stand unassisted.

Rapunzel, however, looks adorable in that hat!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Oz the Great and Powerful dolls Pt. 1: China

"Who, me?"
So, as I indicated on my journal, one of my most favorite parts of the original Wizard of Oz book was Dorothy visiting the country of the china people. Not *chinese* people, but people made of china. I noticed that the trailers show a little china doll girl, and discovered that YES, they made a doll of her!

You can guess what came next.

Whoosh, off to Amazon.com! While there, I saw that there was a figure of Oz himself that came with a small version of the china doll girl. Since I've got next to no willpower, I got them both ordered, and they came in the mail today. First, let's have a brief look at... huh. Her name is actually "China Girl" according to the package. What the heck, hopefully she has an actual name. For now, let's call her "China".

She's BIG. 14" tall, and ball-jointed! Her body is plastic, and very posable. Altogether she has 13 points of articulation: neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees and ankles. It's hard to see in these photos, but her whole body is covered with a series of "cracks" that make her look like an antique. They also do a pretty good job of hiding the join between the two halves of her head. Not perfect, but very passable.

Her dress looks very lacy and fancy, but the only actual lace on it is at the neck. The rest of the lace is a printed pattern on the fabric of the dress. The dress also has a little ruffle of light tulle-like fabric which adds a lot of believability to the printed detail of her dress. A bold blue and white striped ribbon serves as a belt, and is sewn into place so that you don't wave to worry about tying a bow in it if/when you redress her.

She also comes with an "old gold" color plastic charm with her initials. (Yes, Cg)


She has a sweet face, with subtle blush and bright red lips that set off her big blue eyes. A pair of black Mary Jane shoes is molded on to her feet, and the overall effect is very much like something you'd find in your grandmother's house. Seriously, I could put China here on the dresser in my Grandma's room and she would fit right in. Don't dare me to prove it, because I *will*.



She feels very solid, except for her head, which is much lighter than the rest of her. She doesn't have a great range of motion in her head. While she has a 180 degree range of motion side to side, there's next to nothing in the up and down department. I'm almost not convinced that what up and down movement she has is intentional.

Under her dress, she has a pair of molded-on undies with a surprising amount of detail. She's got a thick torso, and next to no waist at all. Wait a sec... I've used that phrase recently! Can China wear the Dora Explorer Girl outfit I bought to try on G. Rapunzel?

"I shall call her MINI-ME!"
It's a pretty close match, actually! The waist of the skirt is still a bit big, even after I tried sewing some elastic in it. I still haven't closed up that sewn-in slit on the blouse. Hey, I never claimed to be a seamstress. Look at the difference in size between the full-size China and the little one that comes with Oz! Just as interesting, have a look at G. Rapunzel back there, in China's dress!
"I don't HAVE bad hair days."
The waist is way too big, but you can tell it wouldn't take a whole lot of altering to make the dress look perfect on the 17" singing dolls. Here they are side by side, so you can get an idea how big China is compared to the 17" Disney Store Rapunzel.

China is a LOT of fun to pose! Her hairstyle is so timeless that just this change of clothes makes her look perfectly modern. She also seems very well made, and has no trouble holding her pose or standing. Funny thing; since she is so tall, she actually is posed crouching a bit in the box to fit. You'll have to google for box photos, I destroyed the heck out the boxes the minute I got home with my new toys today. :)
Am I gonna need to smack you one?
The doll I received has a tiny flaw. There is an itsy bitsy hole in the back of her left hand where you see that black spot. I thought it was a speck of dirt at first, but on closer examination I found it to be a hole! It's not bad though, and I think it gives her character. She's a tough little gal, and don't you forget it!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

G. Rapunzel: Dora's Explorer Girls outfit

I made the gamut of thrift stores in a town a ways out of my usual treks today, and while there I found a Tuesday Morning store! I didn't find any Pullips or anything that exciting, but I did notice these Dora's Explorer Girls doll fashions. They've had the actual dolls in the past, but today a few fashion packs was all that was there. (And Madame Alexander dolls. SO many of those creepy little clone-face things!)

I almost passed the fashions over, but then got to looking closely at them and wondered if they might fit my custom 17" singing Disney Store Rapunzel? The set I got is "Movie Night". The other three sets; "Surf & Sand" (swimwear), "Sports Styles" (tennis wear), and "Charity Concert" (Weird rock outfit with guitar and a SHINY gold jacket) were all there, but the uncertainty about whether they'd fit or not stayed my hand.

In the package it certainly looks like a close match, doesn't it?

With a few snips of the tape holding the top of the container closed, we're ready to find out!

The tray holding the clothes and accessories slides right out, and so far so good... except for the millions of little purple threads holding the clothing on the card. Arg. Break out the nail scissors for this one. You'll need them.
First up, the shoes. They're narrower than Rapunzel's foot, and not big enough for her feet. The clothing?
HA! Oh... yikes. The top is a great fit, but the skirt is made for someone sans a waist!The way the set is attached on the card disguised how much fabric is in this skirt! Glad I skipped the rock concert outfit and it's jeans, now!
A safety pin to simulate taking the waist of the skirt in a bit, and it looks pretty good, though! (Except where the top is bunching weird.) One thing I noticed though...
The top has this very carefully added slit under the right arm. What's that about? Nothing a needle and some thread won't fix, though.
Lastly, there are the (hollow backed) box of popcorn and the soda bottle. These are WAY too small for G. Rapunzel, but I'm sure her smaller friends will be happy to have them. This set was marked $2.99, but it rang up just barely under $2, which almost sent me back for another set just in case. I'm not driving back to find out any time soon, but maybe I'll run into some of these again?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thrift store find: The bag o' "Sports Stuff"

I actually took these photos yesterday, so please ignore that Rapunzel's still in her "Pokemon trainer" outfit. She wants to be the very best, like no one ever was!

I made some fantastic finds yesterday at one of the more unpredictable thrift stores in town. First up, we have this really nice little sales counter. I'm not sure what this originally came with, a quick Google search didn't enlighten me at all.

Edit: Finally found it! This is the register piece from the 1997 "Cool Shoppin' Barbie set, which originally would have included a talking doll and several accessories. See the whole NIB set here, at ebay!

It's a check out counter with some shelf space in front and back, a small clothing rack attached to the side, and a cash register with a corded "scanner" and telephone. The scanner is apparently supposed to trigger a sound, but the old batteries had leaked all over the inside of this thing. Even after I cleaned it out and replaced them, the register has remained silent. There is a faint woodgrain pattern in the counter's plastic, so it might be fairly easy to stain into something halfway realistic!

The backside of the counter reveals extra storage space, along with the battery compartment (3 AA's) and speaker for the defunct sound feature.

"Don't make me use this! I don't know how!"
Rapunzel's pretty bummed that she can't make it do the exciting "boop!" sound like the registers at Wal-Mart, but the overall piece is still really nice.

But they all play country. Tsk.
Alongside this neat little thing was a molded plastic baby crib and a 4-wheeler that I considered then put back, and a baggie of assorted parts. I noticed a teeny tiny wrench in the bottom of the bag, and that sold me on the whole package. You will NOT believe how much stuff there was in that bag! 

This, for example, is JUST the radios/stereos that were in it.

Rapunzel can officially open her own radio store if she wants! There's six of these things, and that's just scratching the surface.

Radios are great, even if they're 80's/90's styled boomboxes, but what if I told you...

That she could open a whole electronics store!?

There's one set of Barbie walkie-talkies, a cardless phone, three cameras (one with neck strap), a purple walkman with detachable headphones and removable cassette, a belt-mounted cell phone, and... some... sort of device I haven't yet figured out in a Winnie the Pooh backpack..?

Oh, and a nice-sized pot of flowers.

Pretty awesome, right?

Punzie's not even sure what most of this stuff IS.

But wait, THERE'S STILL MORE.

And you thought skating carhops were impressive!

And now you find out why the bag was labelled "Sports". Look at all this stuff. There's two ridiculously implausible skateboards, a Barbie sled (the steering bar moves!), a set of Barbie-type water skis, a set of snow skis with poles(!), a golf club, a baseball bat, a snorkel, a set of diving fins, soccer ball, Baywatch visor and life preserver, THREE frisbees, pail and two shovels, binoculars, a single handheld weight, and THEN there's a set of male snowboots, a playscale whistle on a cord, a medal on a pink ribbon, a helmet, and a matching set of rollerblades!

Holy. Freaking. Crap.

And I just noticed that I desaturated the yellow right out of some of these items while trying to compensate for a lamp. Okay, those snow skis, poles, and diving equipment? That's all yellow.

Yowza. We could have a fully-stocked sporting goods store with this lot! But WAIT! There's... say it with me... STILL MORE! Remember that wrench that sold me on buying what looked like a bag of mismatched odds and ends?

It was alongside this pair of cases.

Here's what was in the red toolbox, along with the wrench that started it all. All of these pieces fit into the box, which is well made! The shears and pliers open and close, and the handle on the box will swivel upright or lay flat!
"At last I can decapitate the lawn and bring those unruly hedges into line! Well, the hedges are going down, anyway!"
Some of the tools look a *little* on the small side for Eugene, but aren't too bad for Rapunzel. Bad news, Eugene.. Punzie's going to be in charge of home repairs!
"Doctor Rapunzel will see you now!"
Here's what was inside the doctor's bag. A clipboard, x-ray, bottles of "pills" and "cough syrup", reflex hammer, a handheld scope, thermometer, and a blood pressure cuff and watch. This stuff isn't as well made as the tools, but it's still pretty cute. I'm amazed that all these tiny pieces are here, let alone the matching mates for all the other pieces! (the bag was open and on its' side in a tub of toys when I found it, so it's miraculous, really!)
"Looks like the plague. Or Pepto Bismol."
Oh, and there was also a microscope. It looks like it might match the doctor's bag set. With some paint, this could be a REALLY cool piece.
All of the bag items (plus a couple I've needed a spot to store) conveniently fit inside this offbrand kaboodle-type container that was the most expensive thing I purchased. It set me back a whopping $2, but it's a nice prop-storing device!

So, there you have it. $1 worth of playscale props, courtesy of the thrift store and the world's most obsessive-compulsive donator. (Whoever you are, please know that I love you.) Oh, there was *one* more item. It, unlike everything else, wasn't complete. I discovered it could be rigged up to work though, and frankly, I don't think any retail store should be without..
A slide! This is the BEST STORE EVER!!
"Sweetheart, I said I wanted to play doctor!"
"I know you did."


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Fix-It Felix Jr. Alarm Clock, or I'm not dead yet!

So, I promised to give a rundown on this thing back when I got it. When was that? November? December? Yikes, and here we are almost halfway through February! Well, better late than never, I suppose.

So after YEARS of saving up Disney Movie Reward points, I finally had enough to "purchase" something cool! An by a fortuitous coincidence, Wreck-It Ralph was newly released at the same time! This was the reward I ended up choosing, the Fix-It Felix Jr. alarm clock!

The site didn't really give a good idea of how big the clock was, but promised that it had sound effects from the game in the movie. These sounds are triggered either by the alarm, or by pressing the enticingly big shiny red button on the console cabinet. The clock takes AA batteries, and doesn't have an option to be plugged in. The alarm can be turned on or off with the conveniently-located switch on the front. For added depth, the joysticks and buttons on the cabinet are actually how you set the time and alarm! This is a really fun feature and I'm glad that it was included instead of boring old buttons on the back or top of the unit.

Ha, I just noticed the time!
The mini cabinet is an almost exact replica in plastic and stickers of the game cabinet from the movie, it is missing the character stickers around the outside of the screen and has added the large red button and second controller set. Compare the picture above to this picture someone took of a "real" Felix game made for the Wreck-It Ralph release promo tour. So how big is this thing? Well...

Yeah, that's totally not going to work, lol.

"Why do those rabbits play this so much?"
If you got really creative with how you shot it in a picture, you could maaaaaybe fake it, but this thing is NOT 1/6 scale.

Rapunzel's never played video games before though, so she's going to give it a whirl anyway.

Ozzie's FIF high score is safe for another day. (Until Max starts doing Pop Rocks and Red Bull shooters and spends another night dedicated to reclaiming that spot on top of the leaderboard, that is.)

So, since Rapunzel's not going to work for this thing, maybe it's time to bring in someone a little more... scale-appropriate?

"Who, me?"
Someone  like... well... okay you got me, this little gal doesn't have a name yet. She's a mini doll (Pullip, maybe?) that I got from the totally random skill crane machine at Wal-Mart. She usually hangs out with mini-Blythe on my shelf. They've been all about this little red wagon Christmas tree ornament, but maybe, just maybe we can entice her to try out something new?
Not a perfect match, but very, very close. I guess it depends on your interpretation of how old she's supposed to be, but here she looks like an adorable little kid, desperately wanting to play some games! If only she wasn't so short!Nothing an improvised booster seat can't fix, though!

Bottom line? For a "free" item, this is great. It's very lightweight and a little cheaply made, but the detail is there and the fact that the buttons and knobs actually DO something is a terrific bonus. If I could just get back into my DMR account, I'd be saving up points for the next prize this cool.
"Where's the controller?"