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.