Sunday, June 29, 2014

More Stuff

I've wanted this one for a while, and now Kwanzaa Barbie has finally come to join me.

She came with her box, but the box has been opened.

For now I will display her in her box.

I'd never wanted a Justin Bieber doll.  I've walked right by them time and time again in stores (but I did buy one of the clothing sets for my other teen boys).  But then someone on Facebook posted about how the prices of these dolls had been falling rapidly amid the recent troubles that the singer has been having.  Someone else made the point that it would be worth the cheap prices just to get the clothes, and that caught my attention.  I remembered seeing a JB playset that I liked on Vanessa's blog, and decided to finally search for one and I picked this one up since the price was right.

I need some doctors and nurses around here.  My dolly infirmary is overflowing, and my dolls are not getting any help from me.  I have a GI Jane nurse, but she came here without any of her gear.  She would probably try to punch me in the face if I put her in this, but SOMEBODY'S got to step up and help my injured dollies.

 Here are a couple of additional photos of my Phicen (that they are not calling Jinx).  Also, here is a video of my Jinx vs. Jinx vs. Phicen comparison that includes some new photos and some video footage.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Bratz Boyz Clothes

I may not care much for the Bratz Boyz dolls, but I sure do like their clothes!  I am so happy that Dylan and friendz have so many options available, because that means that my boy dolls have the same options!

Here are some photos of some of my boys in Bratz Boyz fashions.  From left to right:  Play Sportz Dylan in his original outfit, Clawd Wolf wearing Bratz Boyz pants (way too short) and jacket, HSM Chad in Bratz Boyz shirt (pants will not fit), Bob Scout, Dave Cub Scout, Todd Brown, and Harry Potter.

Bratz Boyz clothes are also good for my little men (especially the ones that play young boys in my stories).  Pictured below from left to right:  "Deon" (Lil' Penny), Heroes in Action Barack Obama, Playmates Toys Michel Jackson (who really strenuously disagrees to being placed in these clothes), Space Jam Michael Jordan Tee Time, and my little chubby guy.

Sometimes my teen girls find the Bratz Boyz clothes useful, also.  From left to right:  Skipper, Flavas Kiyoni Brown, HSM Sharpay, Calista, Hispanic everGirl, Wee Three Friends Janet, and Flavas Tika.

Have you found any other good clothing lines for your 'tween and teen boys?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Jinx vs. Jinx vs. Phicen

The character Giacinta "Jinx" Johnson - portrayed by Halle Berry in the James Bond movie Die Another Day, has made a big impression in the doll and action figure world.  So much so that there are now at least 3 playscale dolls portraying this character and in Halle Berry's likeness.

The first Jinx to arrive here is from Sideshow Collectibles. Here is Sideshow Jinx posing with the front of her box.  Other than clothing her in this bikini instead of the red "leather" outfit in which she arrived, the only modification to her is that I swapped out her black gloved hands with Triad Hispanic Alpha's hands.  She looks good in her "leather" outfit, but having her 30+ points of articulation visible and on display in this bikini is visually a bit jarring.

And here she is with the open box.  She came with a gun with a silencer that is removable, 6 throwing knives, a belt with throwing knife sheaths, and a stand.  The weapons and stand all remained boxed until today (well, the stand is still boxed).  The paint job is lacking on this figure compared to the photos of the figure on the box.

Here is Sideshow Jinx posing with the back of her box.

Here is Sideshow Jinx in her original outfit with her original gloved hands.  Her "leather" outfit has since begun to deteriorate rapidly.

Here is a close-up of Sideshow Jinx.  She has sculpted hair.  Her head is on the large side.  She does bear a slight resemblance to Halle Berry.

See more Sideshow Jinx poses on my Action Figure Ladies Comparison post.

Next let's take a closer look at Mattel's version of Jinx.  I have had this figure in my possession since 2012 and she has remained NRFB until now.  When my husband first saw the Mattel Jinx doll, he said "Oh, no" with a pained expression on his face.  I asked him what was wrong and he said "That is NOT Halle Berry's body!"  My husband felt that the doll is far too skinny.  After looking at the photo of Halle Berry on the box and comparing the doll, I had to agree that the doll looks emaciated compared to the photo.

My husband went on for a couple of minutes about how skinny this doll is.  I said that at least she had a pretty face and looked like Halle.  He agreed and actually asked me if I could put the head on another figure's body.  Wait, what???  Is this the same man who has been telling me for years that I should leave dolls in their boxes?  That really showed me how strongly he felt that this doll is not an accurate reflection of the actress who plays Jinx.  I told him that I did not have any dolls that would be a good fit for that head.  He asked me if I could put this Jinx's head on Sideshow Jinx's body.  I rejected that idea.  I told him that Sideshow Jinx is not a good enough skin tone match.  I assured him that I would be on the lookout for a more voluptuous body for this lovely head.

Here is Mattel's Jinx posing with the back of her box, followed by a close-up of her face.

Lastly, let's take a look at Phicen's new seamless figure that they are NOT calling Jinx.  Here she is still in the box, followed by a photo of her removed from the box but still in some packaging.  The back of the box shows the locations of her 33 points of articulation.  She comes with 2 extra sets of hands.

The first thing that I noticed about her upon removing her from the box is that her "skin" is soft - much softer than my previous Phicens.  I don't generally care for sculpted hair, but the hair on this figure looks pretty good.  The face is attractive and bears a slight resemblance to Halle Berry.

My husband and I disagree on which face looks the most like Halle Berry between this version and the Mattel version.  I think that the Mattel version does, but my husband thinks it's this version.  Which version would you choose (or would you pick the Sideshow version...ha)?

My husband and I agree that the body on this figure resembles Halle Berry's body more than the other two.  What do you think?  The belt shown below is from the Mattel Jinx and does not fit around the Phicen figure's hips as it should.  It fits tightly around her waist.
Halle Berry photo from

I am hesitant to pose the new Phicen much because prior versions have been highly breakable (I have broken both of mine).  Since the figure is covered with rubber "skin", it can be difficult to locate the joints.  It is quite easy to break the plastic endoskeleton by attempting to bend the figure where it's not meant to be bent.  Check out my Phicen Vs. Dance 'n Flex ChristiePhicen vs. Phicen, and Fragile and Fabulous Figure Comparisons posts to see more Phicen poseability.

Here are all 3 of my Phicens together.  This new version is an improvement both aesthetically and in functionality.

The neck can move from front to back, and also side to side.  The head also turns from side to side.

Here are the 3 Jinx figures posing together.  They pose in a similar way so as not to make the Mattel Jinx feel bad about her posing limitations (she has a Model Muse body).

And here they are seated.  Sitting is a challenge for the Mattel Jinx, since her legs do not bend.  Her feet are not touching the floor in this photo.

The Phicen figure came with no gear of her own, so she quickly showed an interest in the weapons of the others.  She is pictured below with Mattel Jinx's knife.

Soon she was ready to try out Sideshow Jinx's gun.  I was able to easily remove her relaxed hand and replace it with a trigger hand.

See, this is why I don't allow my figures to have weapons.  

Things came to a peaceful resolution when Mattel Jinx suggested that they try on different outfits and hang out with the men.

 Maybe the others shouldn't have turned their backs on the new Jinx in town.  This one is a sneaky one.

Here is how I would compare these 3 figures (I placed an X in the column for the figure that I feel ranks highest in that category):









Halle Berry Likeness





So which one is my overall pick?  I choose the Phicen (but I'm glad that I have all 3).  Which one would you pick?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Calista's Diary Entry - Summer Separation

Dear Diary,

Since we had so many snow days this year, we had to make up some of that time at the end of this school year.  For a while I felt like the school year would never end, and I was so anxious to start my summer.  If I had known then what I know now, I would have been happy to spend the extra days in school.

Bob told me that he needed to talk to me, so I met him in the hallway after class.

He told me that he wanted to talk about what was happening this summer, and I was excited, thinking that he wanted to make plans to hang out together.  Instead, he gave me the upsetting news that he is going away this summer.  He told me that he was leaving for a vacation with his family the day after the last day of school, then boy scout camp, then sleepaway camp.  Sleepaway camp?  Really???

I asked him how long he would be gone, and he told me that he would be gone almost the entire summer.  What???  My shock and my unhappiness must have shown on my face.  Bob took me by the hand and told me that it would be okay, and that the time would fly by.  No it won't!  I'm used to seeing Bob almost every single day.  I look forward to seeing Bob.  A summer without him seems like an eternity!

I asked him how long he's known about this, and he told me that he's known for a few weeks.  Weeks???  My sadness quickly turned to anger as I asked him why he didn't tell me.  He told me that he thought for a long time about whether or not to tell me, and he said that he did not want me to be upset for that amount of time, and that he just wanted us to enjoy ourselves at school, on the field trip, and just hanging out.  I said that he should have told me!  Bob gave me a big hug.

He apologized for upsetting me, and told me that he really thought that he was doing the right thing.  He asked me if I had enjoyed the time that I've spent with him over the last few weeks, and I said yes.  He asked me if I would have enjoyed it as much if I had known that he would be gone for the summer.  I said that I probably would have been upset the entire time.  He gave me a kiss on the cheek.

Bob put his arm around my shoulders and smiled at me, and he tried to get me to smile, too.  I didn't feel much like smiling, but I tried.

He told me that he needed to see that smile, and needed to know that everything was okay, and that I wasn't going to stay mad at him for 3 months.  I told him I'd see him later.

I stood there and watched him walk away.  I wanted to just grab him and ask him a million and one questions.  I am so confused and angry and hurt and disappointed.  I did not grab him, I did not tell him everything that was on my mind, I just watched him walk away.  And when he was out of sight, my feelings erupted.

You just don't know how long I've been wanting him to hug me again, and to hold my hand again.  I've really wanted him to kiss my cheek.  But all this affection, what does it even mean?  He's leaving!  Is that good-bye?  Is that how he says see you later to his buddies?  I hate this uncertainty so much!  He didn't even say that he'd call while he was away.  He didn't say much of anything!

What it all comes down to is that I really care about him a lot, and now I have to prepare myself to be without him.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Childhood Doll Abuse

Those of you who have known me for a while may remember my tale of woe regarding my childhood dolls.  As I told it on my About Me page here:

"I had dolls as a child and loved them, but unfortunately none of my childhood dolls made it into adulthood with me.  I had a rough brother, nephew, and niece who pretty much destroyed most of my dolls, and my mother would sometimes donate my old toys to the Children's Medical Center."
 I came across an image that forced me to acknowledge that I was complicit in the destruction of some of my dolls.  If I still had my first Barbie doll, she would look almost exactly like the doll on the left, with the haircut of the doll on the right.

So if I loved my dolls so much, what could have happened, you may wonder.  Well let me tell you, it was all accidental.

Accident #1 - I decided that I wanted my blonde doll to have black hair.  I colored my doll's hair with a permanent black marker.  As I recall, it actually looked pretty good.  All was well until I decided that I wanted her to have blonde hair again.  I washed my doll's hair, and the ink from the permanent marker stained my doll's face a blackish color.  I scrubbed and scrubbed my doll's face to no avail.  She was stained for the rest of her days.  The good news is that all of the black washed right out of her hair, which did not comfort me in the slightest.

Accident #2 - I decided that it would be humorous to see what Barbie would look like with no neck.  I pushed Barbie's head way down on her neck.  Well it did amuse me for a while.  I laughed, showed her off, and I may have said that my doll looked like a White Florida Evans.  It was no laughing matter, however, when I tried to put the doll's head back in it's original position.  The doll's head wobbled around precariously.  I had permanently stretched the neck hole.  From then on, my Barbie had a shortened neck because I had to position the doll's head further down in order for it to stay securely in place.  After that, I felt like I knew how Florida Evans felt in that one episode of Good Times.

Accident #3 - I decided that my doll would look better with a short blunt haircut.  I thought that my doll's straight hair would lie somewhat flat against her head after the cut.  Ummmmm, no it did not.  It rose up and resembled a bell.

So when I came across that photo of the Barbies above, I laughed so hard and wondered how it was even possible that some other child had done the exact same things to Barbie that I had done.  I wondered for a moment if that person had ended up with one of my childhood dolls.  But surely, my mother would not have donated one of my dolls if it was in that kind of condition.  I never threw any of my dolls away, so they were all either given away, or thrown away by someone else.  For me, they just simply disappeared.  The doll above closely resembles what my first Barbie doll looked like at the time of her disappearance.

Other 1/6 scale dolls from my childhood:


I loved my Darci so much.  Not only did her legs bend, but her arms did, too!  And she had articulated wrists as well!  I had hours of fun posing her.  I also had fun combing, brushing, and cutting her hair until she was nearly completely bald in the back.  So I had my first and only experience with re-rooting with Darci.  My mother had a large crafts needle, and I had a Styling Head Barbie.  I cut hair plugs from the Styling Head, "threaded" the needle with it, and used the needle to re-root Darci's hair in the back.  I was only about 9 years old at the time, so I'm impressed with my younger self when I think back on it.  I have dolls that need to be re-rooted right now that I haven't done.  I found out several years ago that Darci had an African American friend named Dana.  My inner child is demanding that I get a Dana doll.  I keep telling that child "one of these days."

My Darci doll was in pretty good shape at the time of her disappearance.  She had blonde hair in the back that was brighter and longer than the hair on the rest of her head.

The Bionic Woman

One very happy Christmas, I got The Bionic Woman and my nephew (who is 2 years younger than me) got The Six Million Dollar Man.  I never had a Ken doll as a child, so I can tell you that the BW and the SMDM fell madly in love with each other.  I was content with having the dolls in the house making out, and washing and styling the BW's hair over and over again.  Do you remember those dolls from the 70's with horrible hair that would frizz and shrivel up and become nearly impossible to comb?  The BW was one of those.  At any rate, my nephew and brother got to have her for quality time outside, which included jumping from the garage, being run over by large Tonka trucks, lifting "boulders", being buried alive, etc.

My Bionic Woman doll was in bad shape at the time of her disappearance.  She had matted hair and missing limbs.

Kissing Christie

She was my first Black fashion doll.  I was so thrilled to have her.  I remember generously applying her lipstick, and she would give my brother's GI Joe lots of kisses on the cheek.  My mother had always told me not to take my toys to school, and not to loan my toys to my friends.  I did not listen to my mother.  My doll was so beautiful that I had to show her off.  I took my doll to school, and loaned her to a friend, who promised to bring her back the next day.  She did not bring her back the next day.  And she did not bring her back the day after that.  I asked day after day for my doll, only to be told that she "forgot".   She finally brought my doll back to me, with the doll's neck split wide open.  We never spoke again after that to the best of my recollection.  I put glue on my doll's neck and wrapped her neck in tape.

My Kissing Christie was in bad shape at the time of her disappearance, with a neck held together with glue and tape.

I had a lot of dolls of many different sizes, from huge Lorrie Walker dolls, to the 4" Glamour Gals dolls.  Most of my dolls were in pretty good condition at the times of their disappearances.

Do you still have your childhood dolls?  Which ones?  Did any of your dolls suffer the same abuse as my first Barbie doll?