Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Kenya at... DOLLAR TREE?!


So this took me by surprise today in Dollar Tree. Two Kenya Fashion Madness dolls?! I grabbed both of these guys, but saw no sign of any more at the local store. 

Here's the back of the box. Each of the guys comes with their outfit, shoes, and the little info booklet that I recall coming with the other Kenya I bought a year or more ago at Family Dollar for $5 on extreme markdown.

For $1 each at Dollar Tree, I'd have grabbed all I could carry. 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Quickie: Dal Tina

Ever since I started looking at Pullip and Dal dolls, I've had a favorite. I couldn't resist Tina.

Just look at her! What's not to like? Her kitty-themed elegant gothic lolita style is just beautiful! So I told myself that if I ever ran across her someplace for a decent price, I'd have no regrets at all about snapping her up. Then I found her on eBay, and spent the last two weeks agonizing over the wait for her to arrive. Today, she finally did! It's dark as heck right now, but I had to take a few pics of her to share after all this anticipation!

Her box is really pretty, and makes a gorgeous display for her. Unfortunately, as you can see, the top of Tina's spiffy hat fell off somewhere along the line. A little dab of hot glue should fix that, though.


The sleeve slides right out of the box, and then the "fun" starts!

Okay, so less "fun" and more "endless tape peeling". Finally the last circle of adhesive was removed, and Tina was free!

Tina arrives with her arms and legs covered in plastic, and more plastic holding her hair on the sides of her face. I was alarmed when one hand and one of her knee joints came loose while freeing her from all this stuff!

Tina is a girl who likes to accessorize. In addition to her now-modular hat with attached red feather boa, she comes with another loop of feather boa (a stole, I assume), a pair of furry kitty-ear barettes (so tiny!), striking red and black shoes, and a pair of patchy sleeve garters, in addition to her card and stand. She's wearing a spaghetti strap black dress with red detail, a patchy-looking overskirt, a pair of white socks, and a strange sort of jacket that wraps around her to tie. You can't see them since I didn't take a pic, but she has black bloomers on under her dress.

 A hair ribbon of more frayed-looking fabric ties her hair back.

This is currently how I have her styled. The jacket seems to be a necessity, since the spaghetti straps of her dress allow the top of the thing to rest just below her bust. A pity, since it's really cute on its own. The barrettes are a little hard to put on her with her hair tied, so it'll probably be getting loose soon. Like all Dal, Byul and Yeolume dolls, Tina can't wink or close her eyes, but she can look from left to right.

I was disappointed to discover that her shoes are sticky-feeling. Is the vinyl breaking down? I'm probably going to try putting a coat of sealant on them to keep them from attracting every loose cat hair in the house.

I'm probably not going to use the sleeve garters, but they are a cute idea.

This is the overskirt (or is it an apron?), which is made to look like layers of shredded-up fabric.

More pictures to come when it's not dark!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Kitty post

We've had one heck of a month. We got a new family member in the form of this adorable little dickens:


This is Wander. She came from a local-ish fostering organization. Unfortunately, the next day after she came home, it became apparent that, despite her vet records, she was coming down with an upper respiratory infection.

After about a week, she was better, but then Finny caught it, and he was one sick fella.


He was constantly running a high fever for nearly two weeks as the vet worked with him. He's still snotty and congested, and isn't up to his usual standard yet, but he's doing much better.


He's getting along well with Wandy so far. They're not best friends yet, but I think they're getting there. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Phantom is a doll

I decided not too long after losing Phantom that I wanted to make something memorializing her. It's not done, by any means, more a work in slow, slow progress, but after being hit with inspiration online one night I managed to get a black and white Catwalk Kitties doll head. My Monster High Catty Noir has been languishing in the storage bin for... Well, let's just call it a very, very long time.

It was a pretty simple matchup to make. I'm pretty sure I'll rehair her with some nicer hair, and maybe get/make a custom outfit for her that better reflects her "tuxedo cat in an ill-fitting tuxedo" look, but for the moment, this is how she looks. 13 Wishes Abbey's wispy, dreamy dress looks rather ghostly on her, which I can't decide if I like or not.

Just for fun, or something resembling it, I threw EAH Cupid's wings on her. This just made me weirdly sad. Maybe the more stylized Thronecoming wings would be better?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Disney Store update: Athena spotted!

Heads up, the Disney Store site has a lot of new stuff, including items from the upcoming film The Good Dinosaur, fashion packs for fashion dolls, such as this one for Rapunzel that includes another take on her wedding gown and a really nice Pascal for about $13. There were also sets for Aurora (blue dress/best dress), and Jasmine (also a wedding set).



 But what's got my imagination at the moment is a 10" "Action Figure" of Athena from Tomorrowland.

"Action Figure". See, it says it right there on the box. That means it's totally awesome and not a goofy, silly doll at all. ACTION FIGURE. I liked Tomorrowland. There, I said it. It definitely had some problems, but I felt like I "got" the message that it was sending. And it was a good message. It's not too late for you to dream, no matter who you are or where you are, and even though the future CAN be scary, you have to keep believing that it's going to be better. ..Because if you're afraid of the future, and obsess over how scary it *could* be, you'll build that future for yourself. Granted it got muddled around a bit and could have stood some editing in places, but I enjoyed it. And I wanted a Tomorrowland pin.

Anyway, they have a lot in this box. First of all there's Athena herself, with fingerless(!) gloves, denim jacket, and a messenger bag that would make Indiana Jones proud. She's also got some spiffy red sneakers.
  
 In addition, she comes with her "Chicago World's Fair" outfit, including long gloves, flats, (An Indy hat!), and that fateful pin. In the tradition of the upgraded "singing dolls", this Action Figure set is priced at $35. I want it. I can't even really explain it to myself. I suspect the doll action figure body is similar to the current Classic dolls, just with shorter legs or something, and the price is a bit... pricey. Still.. I worry a bit that even though the film wasn't that popular, she might sell out.

 

I've been to a Disney park exactly once, and during our visit, my favorite "land" at Disney World was retro-futuristic Tomorrowland. I loved it, in all its' dated, 1970's echoing the 1960's looking at the future glory. So seeing the "world" that park section was supposed to bridge to was amazing in the film.

And again, I WANTED that pin. Luckily for me, Disney Movie Rewards had the pins for a shockingly low point redemption (one per customer) not too long after the film came out, so I was able to get one there. So yay for a tiny bit of reprieve from want. Still though.. if these are around long enough to go on sale.. I think I'm going to end up owning Athena.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Hera. Is. DONE.


 At least, she's as done as this version of her is going to get, I think. Call her Hera 1.0! One of these days, I'll have to make a C1-1OP to hang out with her, but for now she's made friends with my 1/6 R2D2.

As you can see, there are a lot of things I didn't quite finish (her boots, for one), but over all, I think this version of her is as complete as it's going to get. I'll need to redo her flight suit for any future additions, so this is as good a stopping point for the time being as any.

Her eyes came out a bit too dark and a bit too green, but I'm glad I was able to keep most of the original faceup. I redid her headset by making the earphones from air dry clay. Why such a simple solution wasn't the first thing I thought of...? I have no idea. I'm blaming the dark side of the Force for clouding my mind. Also, I'm not very smart sometimes, so there's that.

I'm probably going to revisit this project in the future, and redo Hera. Make her outfit more accurate, do a better job on her details, and so on. But for the moment, I'm pretty happy with how she's come out. She's managed to exceed my expectations in the sense that I really thought I'd start this and quit by now in a fit of frustration. I didn't expect to get this far with her. So, in time for the S2 premiere this month, here she is!

Now... If Disney would just kindly start making more Hera merchandise...!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

New Things Popping Up!

Since the Christmas shopping season is coming up fast, I have been noticing a few new things here and there. A recent shopping expedition revealed these new items. 

Starting at Walmart, I found a plethora of AMC's The Walking Dead merchandising from their miniature figure/playset building line. To my considerable pleasure, Melissa McBride's character Carol has finally appeared in the line, in one of two prison cell playsets.


Carol appears in the Upper cell set, which as the box picture notes, can be stacked atop the Lower cell set. The lower cell comes with the walker shown in the foreground of the photo.I don't think it's supposed to be any walker in particular.



No eyes, but other than that I'm impressed at how well painted Carol is. She's got a gun in one hand, and her knife in the other. These cell sets are about $13, and I'm dying trying to figure out where I could put one. I need Queen Carol, guys. Bad.


Dale's RV, as seen in seasons 1 & 2, is also in this line. Dale himself comes with the RV, along with some chairs, an umbrella, and of course, a few walkers to sneak up on anyone unsuspecting. I could be wrong, but I don't think there's any play space inside the RV.


Governor Philip Blake's assault vehicle is also here, which is kind of fun. The only serious problem I have with these McFarlane building sets is that the little figures for them are SO hard to get to stand up.


Next stop: Toys R Us! The store I visited has devoted a chunk of retail space to a Claire's Boutique accessories shop, moving the dolls all around. The Disney doll aisle had several new offerings, including these coronation/bed time dolls of Elsa and Anna.


I was excited by the idea of a more detailed Elsa coronation gown until I noticed that the design doesn't go all the way around the skirt. (What's with those SHOES?!)


Couldn't see Anna's shoes, but her dress is also one-sided.


The collars of the night gowns were unfinished, but the idea is cute, at least. The dolls also came with sleep masks and high heeled houseshoes in a peachy-coral color for Anna...


And purple for Elsa. I think the design printed on the night gowns was the same, just in different colors.


There was also a "Signature Collection" set of the sisters in their signature looks.


And this set, pairing Anna with a pony-sized version of her horse from the movie. I think the design printed on the saddle blankets is nice. I can't help but wonder what happened to shrink Anna's massive horse into this pony, though. Anna's dress is a removable skirt on top of a molded-on top. She's also been given a small green cape to keep the cold off.


I'll be the first to admit that I don't really get the Shopkins thing. They're cute, but I'm always a little baffled by them. I did see two preteen girls gasping dramatically over some new playsets in the manner usually reserved for spotting members of a boy band on this trip, though. So I guess they do definitely have fans. These little light-up blind bags were (as far as I know) new during my visit.


You'll notice that they're $.50 more than the blind baskets which contain two instead of one individual item, though.


I guess the light up feature makes it worth it, if you're into these, though.


This was so bizarre that I just had to get a picture of it. An entire rack of figures inspired by the defunct (I think) series Johnny Test. Why do these exist? Why doesn't something like this exist for Steven Universe? Or The Amazing World of Gumball? (I'd buy the HECK out of minifigs for TAWoG!)

There was a lot of Star Wars merch, but nothing that I wasn't sure had been seen a millions times before on other blogs... except for Kanan Jarrus, the car. If they'd only had a Hera car, I would have bought the set! Speaking of Hera, I'm finally getting close to having that doll DONE! *rejoicing!*

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Experiment: Rehairing with Curly Craft Hair

I realized awhile back that I've come into possession of about five bags of curly polypropylene "craft hair" in various colors. What to DO with it, though? Well, there's always the obvious, right?

I bought a couple of cheap knockoff Catwalk Kitties dolls on a whim, and decided that I liked the brown one well enough to try and customize. I didn't want to "ruin" her if using the craft hair didn't work out, though. As you can see, she's not going to pass for a "real" CK doll anytime soon, but she could potentially clean up nice. Both dolls had a small amount of absolutely awful hair.

Cheri has a new friend.
 The other doll I got was mint green in color, with a large splotch of greenish-yellow baby-poop color over one side of her face and a darker greyish color over the other side. Take a look at this seller photo of a similar doll to get an idea.

Photo via Alibaba.com seller


Anyway, the darker color stained the vinyl, as I discovered when trying to wipe the unwanted paint off with acetone. It left a darkish splotch, with meant it was just as well that this was my practice doll.

It's not a bad match, color-wise.

I had a color of hair that was a similar shade, so I decided that I would call it a look and coordinate my rehairing attempt with the discoloration. Here are the two shades I used, along with the then-bald doll. White overall, and a small area near the discolored spot would use the blonde color.

Hello, Phantom!

About a quarter through this project was when Phantom got to doing poorly, but she liked sitting by to collect a few brushings and pets while I worked on making hair plugs. Here she is supervising my work. I thought about leaving these pics out, but ehhhh.. she earned her spot in here. As you can see, at this point I'd only done the part on the front, and hadn't yet begun to tackle the back or sides. I used the knot method on this doll, since I was out of hair needles.


This hair does not take long to become THICK when applied to a doll head. It wasn't long before I had to douse the head with boiling water just to get the hair flat enough to be manageable as I added more plugs.


I got within spitting distance of having her totally done this week, but have not added the finishing layer of hair on top. Why?

Ouch!

You cannot brush this stuff. At all. If you try, it gets frizzy and fluffy and goes total poodle.

It's really too bad, considering that it looks pretty decent. I don't know if I'm going to bother trying to finish her up since I'm this close, or just go ahead and acknowledge it as a learning experience and total loss. Her hair's been boil-washed about three times at this point, and even though it's shiny and soft, you can't even comb it with your fingers. Additionally, due to my habit of popping her head back onto the body when I wasn't working on installing hair, the thin vinyl around her neck hole cracked almost all the way around. I was able to repair it with Loctite flexible adhesive (for vinyl, fabric and plastic), but it probably would not hold up to many more sessions of decapitation. Plus, I'm not sure what the boiling water may do to the seal. I guess my conclusion is that you shouldn't bother trying this stuff if you want anything less than poodle-hair. 

I noticed Hobby Lobby has packs of straight hair on the shelf now, I'm a little tempted to grab a pack of that and see how it compares.