Thursday, May 18, 2017

More Fashions for the Larger Ladies

The two Dasias and Monica are feeling fancy in their new Friends 2B Made dresses.

The gold dress will not close in the back for Dasia or Monica. The pink and the red dresses fit great (although the red dress is really long). The pink dress also fits Tracy Turnblad.

They also got a new pair of pink panties. Dasia got a couple of new pairs of white shoes that she can stand in (they are NOT Friends 2B shoes). I will paint one of the pairs of shoes a different color (eventually).

Here's a closer look at Dasia's shoes.

 Here are 3 more Friends 2B Made fashions. Dasia, Monica, and Tracy can all fit all 3 fashions. The white tee shirt that Tracy wears is from Ken.

Most of the Friend 2B Made fashions have a tag on the outside, which I find annoying.

Here is Dasia styling in the denim and pink ruffled ensemble. 


This ensemble also came with a pair of pants that can be worn instead of the skirt. Unfortunately, none of these dolls can wear the pants because they are too long and too narrow. Below, Kevin Durant models the pants just so that you can see what they look like (sorry Kevin).

I saw an indicator that folks who looked at Friends 2B clothes also looked at Groovy Girls clothes, so I decided to purchase one of those outfits, as well.

Dasia can wear the blouse, but I can not pull the pants up on her legs.

I can pull the pants up on Monica's legs, but not her hips. Monica does not approve of this outfit at all.

I'm glad that there are more fashion options out there for these ladies. Now, to get rid of those tags...

Monday, May 15, 2017

Sheva Alomar Head Swaps and More

I recently purchased the Crazy Toys Sheva Alomar figure.

I had been seeing this figure on ebay and other sites being sold for $40+ dollars, but that was more money than I wanted to pay for this Hot Toys Sheva Alomar look-alike. But I kept watching, because I wanted to see if the Crazy Toys figure had anything that I could use with my hybrid Sheva Alomar (Hot Toys head on a Triad Alpha body). I was especially hoping that I could use the Crazy Toys Sheva Alomar blouse with my figure.

I saw the Crazy Toys figure being sold on ebay for $9.95 plus shipping and I did not hesitate to purchase it. 
My hybrid Sheva Alomar checking out the new arrival

Here she is out of the box. She comes with a spare set of gloved hands, a radio with earpiece, and a stand.

Another reason for me purchasing this figure is that I wanted to see if I could use the Crazy Toys head on my recently purchased Tianyimei action figure body, and I can. The head is not a perfect fit and it is not a perfect skin tone match, but close enough (especially since I have no other head options for the Tianyimei body).

I was thrilled that I was able to get the Sheva Alomar blouse off of the Crazy Toys body and onto my hybrid Hot Toys/Triad Sheva! 

Here are my two head swapped Shevas together. The Tianyimei body is shorter and slimmer than the Triad body. The Crazy Toys head is smaller than the Hot Toys head. I've decided that these two will be sisters here in my collection. So I need to come up with a name for little Sheva (other than Little Sheva). How about Sheena?

Here's a closer look at the pair. Of course, the Hot Toys head is much better in quality than the Crazy Toys head. I would consider repainting the Crazy Toys head one of these days, if I can get my painting skills up to par. I'll probably at least line her eyes and paint her eyebrows and lips (eventually).

Awwwww, sisterly affection!

I dressed Sheena in a Barbie shirt. She has a long neck with the Tianyimei body, and I also wanted her to be able to show of her rubbery torso. The pants are from Integrity Toys Janay, and the shoes belong to Only Hearts Club Briana Joy. Sheva is enjoying her new radio and earpiece while wearing the Crazy Toys Sheva Alomar blouse, a pair of tan Ken pants, and some Triad heels.

Here they are with the Crazy Toys stand. The Crazy Toys figure needs the stand in order to stand.

What will become of the Crazy Toys body? I don't know. I have a few Liv doll heads, or I'll pick something else from my Bin of Forgotten Heads. I'll stand the knife-wielding Crazy Toys body with sweet doll head somewhere in the back once I finally get all of my dolls displayed.

Overall, I'm thrilled with this purchase. No, the Crazy Toys figure is not high quality, but look at this. My Sheva Alomar finally has her blouse! And my Tianyimei body now has a head! All for one low price. Now that's what I call money well spent.

Here is my video review of the Crazy Toys Sheva Alomar figure.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Gabby Douglas Barbie

Here is my video review of the Gabby Douglas Barbie doll.

Gabby displays beautifully in her box. I got so excited creating the video that I forgot to take a photo of her while she was still in the box. But, the video captures those images.

Gabby is a beautiful, fully articulated doll. The doll bears a strong resemblance to the real Gabby Douglas. Here's a closeup.

I am thrilled that Mattel has chosen to honor Gabby Douglas by creating a doll in her likeness. Gabby shares some inspiring words on the back of the doll box.

Gabby uses the same body as Made to Move Barbie. Her articulation is great, and she poses easily and smoothly, and is able to hold her poses. She can stand without assistance, even without her shoes.

Gabby wears her signature stars and stripes leotard under a Nike warm-up suit with sneakers. She also comes with a doll stand.

With elbows and knees that are double jointed, she is able to strike some impressive poses.

I love the fact that she can wear flat shoes or shoes with heels.

Gabby is a beautiful collectible doll, but she is sturdy enough to withstand child's play as well. She is great for both children and adults alike.

Here she is with some of her new friends.

Gabby is the first one of my dolls to drive this car that my sister gave to me.

Overall, I am very impressed with the Gabby Douglas Barbie doll. One thing that I found very noticeable is that her head is lighter than her body. Also, her hair has a crimped appearance except for one small section in the back of her head. I find these things a little distracting, but I'm still very happy with the doll.

I viewed this doll on Target's website, and is it just me or does that one look slightly different than this one? And it doesn't appear to have the lighter colored head. I wonder if there is a difference?
 Good-bye for now!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Getting Organized

I remember when the majority of my doll collection used to fit on two shelves of a desk. It doesn't seem like it was that long ago.

For a long time, I used to take comfort in the fact that my collection was contained in one room of the house (for the most part). But now, there has been significant "spillage". Several of my dolls (and boxes) have invaded my master bedroom.

Before

The Master Bedroom Closet

I am hesitant to show you photos of my master bedroom closet. But I'm going to take a big deep breath and I'm going to show you. And I just know that I am not alone in this. The bottom portion of my closet is fairly organized. But the top - not so much. I have been piling dolls and empty doll boxes in this closet, because my doll room closet is nearly full. This is my master bedroom closet and it's not supposed to have dolls and doll boxes. This has to change. I can't even reach the top of the stack on the top shelf of my closet, so many of these boxes were just thrown up there with me hoping that they would land in a somewhat organized fashion.

The spillage into the master bedroom was not contained only to the closet. I had a stack of boxed dolls on top of my husband's chest of drawers. That also happens to be my favorite spot for taking my doll photos because it's next to a window and also has hanging lights directly overhead. My husband never said much about me keeping dolls there, except when the stack would get too high and he would warn me that my dolls were in danger of falling over every time he opened one of his drawers. He did give me a sign of his silent protest over one of my dolls recently, though. For a while, I had my nude WorldBox AT-006 boxed doll there right at eye level, and I came home one day to find that the doll was facing the wall. So naturally, I turned the doll back around. The next time I came home, the doll was facing the wall again, and my husband this time verbally let me know that he doesn't want to see "that" when he's going into his drawers for something. I opened the figure soon after that and my husband no longer had to be subjected to male doll nudity.

In the master bedroom, I also have an armoire with the top shelves full of dolls, and a desk with some dolls sitting on the bookshelves.

The Doll Room Closet

My doll room has a walk-in closet, so I'm supposed to be able to walk in there, right? Currently, this is not so. I'm not even going to show you the chaos that is currently taking place at the bottom of that closet. But I will show you the shelves.
For that top shelf, I'm going to move everything off of it except for stuffed animals. That shelf looks like it's sinking in the middle, so I don't want to add any weight and cause the thing to come crashing down.
For the top shelf in this photo, I'm going to find another spot for those drapes. That's prime doll box real estate right there! Maybe those drapes can share the sagging shelf with my stuffed animals. Hmmmm...

Goals

I don't want much - just to be able to display my dolls in an organized and attractive fashion. I want my collection contained to one room. I want to keep my dolls and doll accessories safe from my cats.  I want to:
  • Move the vast majority of the dolls out of the master bedroom and master bedroom closet
  • Have the vast majority of my dolls contained in one room
  • Have the majority of my dolls out on display
  • Have all of my dolls easily accessible
  • Keep my closets organized
  • Have a well-lit designated spot for taking my doll photos and videos - in the doll room
  • Have all of my doll accessories organized and easily accessible
  • Have a spot for my sewing, crocheting, painting, and crafts - in the doll room
  • Throw away most of my empty doll boxes

Progress

Doll Room

So far, I have managed to clear off my husband's chest of drawers for the most part. There's just my husband's Barbie, 2 of my boxed dolls, 2 other dolls, and some stuffed animals there now.


So you know that you're a doll collector when you see something meant for a different purpose, and just know that it would be great for your dolls. Someone posted a photo on Facebook of a shoe organizer similar to the one hanging on the door on the left below, and I just knew I had to have some for my dolls. While I was shopping, I also purchased some plastic storage/organizer bins (in the photo on the right - black and clear). There's two in the photo, and I probably won't leave them stacked like that. I think I want them side by side, and I'll probably keep boxed dolls on top.
On the shoe organizer, there are 24 slots. There's really enough room for me to put 2 dolls in each slot, but these guys vigorously disagreed with that idea. I have another shoe organizer that I will use for female dolls, and the females will probably have to share space on that one.

These shoe organizers also work great for actual shoes, so now I'm using one for that purpose in the master bedroom closet. That means that I've cleared off my old shoe rack. It has now been re-purposed in the doll room to hold stuffed animals and boxed dolls.

Nothing is fully organized yet in the doll room, I'm just moving things in there and stacking things up and thinking about how I want to put everything. Meanwhile, the dolls below are languishing on boxes in the middle of the floor, waiting on me to put them someplace, and hoping that the cats don't get into the room while they're in this vulnerable state.
One day I will actually learn to use the sewing machine that's barely visible in the top left corner of the photo above (a gift from my mom-in-law). One day. In the meantime, I need to find a good spot to keep it, so that it will be easily accessible to me when I do decide to use it.

I used to want a curio cabinet for my dolls. Then I found out about detolfs, and I've been wanting some of those ever since. The challenge is that I don't have an Ikea store here, and to have them shipped here would double the cost. The nearest Ikea store is a 3+ hour drive from here. I want them, but not that badly. They would be ideal to display my dolls and to keep them somewhat safe from my cats. The cats are not allowed in the doll room, but every now and then either me or my husband will accidentally leave that door open. They are older cats now and don't chew on stuff like they used to, but I don't want to provide that temptation to them.

I decided to reclaim my bookshelf from out of our home office. It was filled mainly with computer technical manuals that I hadn't cracked open in years. I cleared off those shelves, and my husband moved that bookshelf into the doll room. You can see the top couple of shelves of that bookshelf on the left on the photo below.

I've been working on my doll room for the past 4 days, and I still have a lot of work to do. Play time is put on hold until I get that room and my closets at least somewhat organized. I'm sure that the doll room will remain a work in progress. I already have thoughts about the next phase of that room.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

American Champions Venus Williams

I purchased American Champions Serena and Venus Williams dolls several years ago. They remained in their boxes for years, but I purchased them with the intention to release them from their boxes one of these days.

Last year, I was able to get a Sideshow Art S. Buck figure for a price that I was willing to pay.

I wondered if the Art S. Buck body would be a good match for Venus. So finally I released Venus from her box to find out.

The Art S. Buck body was a little darker than the Venus head, and rather skinny, but I did love the articulation. Venus finally had fun playing with all of her gear.

Venus came with a tennis racket, sun visor, athletic bag, tennis balls, trading card, trophy, and water bottle (not to mention her tennis outfit, sneakers, watch, bracelet, necklace, and beads in her partially braided hair).

Her new body made it possible to grasp all of the items that came with her.


Venus was happy to be released from her box, but wanted her sister Serena to be released, as well. I didn't want to put Serena on an Art S. Buck body. In fact, I wasn't entirely satisfied with Venus being on the Art S, Buck body. I looked around to see if I had any other action figure bodies that may be a better match for Serena.

I think that the body of the Triad Alpha figure would be a good body match for Serena, but it is not a good skin tone match. So, Serena stays in her box for now.

I became aware of some Sims dolls being sold on eBay for a great price (thanks Dawn!), so I purchased a couple. These dolls use Herobuilders action figure bodies. I thought that this body might be a better match for Venus.

And I was right. Venus looks much better on the Herobuilders body. The skin tone is a much better match, and the body looks more athletic. Also, both hands are able to grip items of various sizes.

I was glad to see that Venus' outfit is stretchy enough to fit on the larger Herobuilders body. 

Now Venus is ready to be the champion that she is, and play to her fullest potential! 

I'm not entirely satisfied with the Herobuilders body. It has weird elbow and knee joints, and something just looks a little off about it. But this is a better choice than Venus' other two bodies. Serena is still in her box for now. I want her to have a different body than Venus, so I'm going to wait until another option comes along for her.