Friday, 9 October 2015

Universal Studios Monsters - signature Series by Hasbro / Kenner.

I've always been a Horror Film Fan, ever since I can remember. I've always laughed my way through them, the more gory and blood spattered they are the better to this day I like nothing better than a good snuggle under a duvet watching Zombies ripping people apart and exploring their entrails...

When I need a gripping storyline and an atmospheric experience that's both chilling and compelling I like nothing better than to put on a Classic, they offer everything, great story lines, awesome actors, amazing makeup and effects in fact everything you could ever want in a film.

As a small child, I'd laugh my arse off at Romero's Zombies and be scared witless by Silent Films such as The Phantom of The Opera and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, it wasn't that Romero's Zombies were in any way silly, I still love those little critters and his films are often my "go to movies" it's just that before the invention of "Talkies" actors had to be able to convey so much without the ability to express the characters they were portraying verbally.

 I guess it's a form of mime but it is in no way contrite, the ability to make an audience feel The Phantoms fear, pain, outrage and then anger in a few short seconds as his mask is ripped away from him, using only your facial expressions, body movements and eyes is nothing short of miraculous.

The films produced by Universal Studio in the 1920's to 1930's were amazing due in no small part to their employment of Lon Chaney who became known as "The Man with 1000 faces" - there was a guy who really suffered for his art and it is thanks to him that the movie industry was introduced to special effects make up which became a staple and added additional and much needed realism to Movie Monsters and in turn cranked up the horror factor, 

In 1998 Hasbro honoured Universals Classic Horror by releasing 12 inch versions of everybody's favourite monsters with their Signature Series.

The second series of the most famous monsters were sold in cardboard boxes, the back of which has information about the "Monster" and the actor / actress who portrayed him / her.

The side of each box has the Monster's name and below it is written "This exclusive collector's edition of a UNIVERSAL STUDIOS MONSTER features authentic costume, make up and likeness from a classic movie thriller. It'll send shivers up your spine!"

Lon Chaney as The Phantom of the Opera.

"Beneath the crackling floorboards of a Paris opera house lurks Erik, a mad, masked organist, who kidnaps a beautiful young singer and holds her captive in his gruesome chamber beneath the streets. Suspense  and speculation surround his motives as he tutors the soprano through her dressing room walls.

The brilliance of Lon Chaney's makeup artistry and unique pantomime talent make The Phantom of the Opera the most memorable face in horror history. 

The likes of Chaney's bizarre makeup treatment hadn't been seen in Hollywood up until this point, giving the film a sustained and suspicious edge. His face, hidden behind a mask, reveals just enough to suggest that there is something strange and repulsive about his features. 

With heavy makeup restricting his facial movements, Chaney uses`his body gracefully, especially  his hand motions, to portray such a tormented character. Without the luxury of special effects or devices, Chaney created the extraordinary makeup by distending his nostrils with a wire clip, filling out his cheeks with celluloid disks and dilating his eyes with special drops that only a true master of disguise could produce.

But it is the moment of the unmasking, when the singer reveals a living skull beneath the mask, that evokes both fear and sympathy from the audience, in one of the screen's most unforgettable moments of terror. No other type of revelation in a film has ever duplicated the excitement of this one.

The Phantom of the Opera is truly a fine showcase for the illusionary magic of it's star Lon Chaney, and one of the greatest of horror films."

Boris Karloff as Frankenstein's Monster.

"Frankenstein's monster gasped it's first breath in Mary Shelly's 1818 novel, then came alive before everyone's eyes in a 1931 high-voltage film spectacle, which became the most famous horror movie of all time.

A struggling actor named Boris Karloff was given the part of the monster when the film's director spotted him having lunch in the studio commissary and was intrigued by the shape of his head, thinking it had good monster makeup potential. His insight was correct.

The story begins in Dr. Henry Frankenstein's laboratory where he conducts experiments to create artificial life. A gruesome-looking creature is strapped to an operating table, waiting for a charge of electrical energy from a storm to bring it to life. The experiment goes wrong, and the creature is caught in an existence it cannot comprehend.

With its repulsive appearance and brute strength, the Monster terrifies any human it tries to befriend, thus becoming rejected and seeks revenge on humanity.

Karloff''s masterful portrayal of the man-made monster that personifies human evil evokes a sort of compassion that leaves the audience both moved and mortified. 

Wearing a costume that weighed 48 pounds and make-up that took three and a half hours to apply, Karloff exhibits marvellous acts of pantomime despite the restrictions.

From the moment Karloff''s Monster appears on the screen, audiences shrieked ... but could not turn away."

Elsa Lanchester as The Bride of Frankenstein.

"She's no blushing bride and every bridegroom's nightmare - as the horror begins again in this chilling sequel to the original, which many consider to be the best of the Frankenstein films.

With it's constant succession of  shocks, shivers  and sensations, this second adventure  of Dr. Frankenstein and his man-made monster starts with a flashback to the climax of the first film, then brings the  audience back to a plot that almost humanizes the frightful creature. Boris Karloff' repeats his role as the misunderstood monster, who this time, meets a blind hermit, enjoys music and drink, even learns to speak some English, and now longs for a mate.   

Dr. Frankenstein and his insane colleague Dr. Practorius, create a mate that turns out to be another monstrosity, magnificently played by English Actress, Elsa Lanchester. But his bride, presented  in the laboratory to the sounds of  church bells pealing in the background, has the undeniable look of a woman awoken from the dead. Draped in white robes that cover mummy-wrapped arms that rise ever slowly, her startled movements are strained  as if she might faint at any moment. Her head jerking about in strained motions, is crowned  with electrified windswept hair with silver streaks that rip back from her temples.

But it is her face - forever haunting, frozen in a perpetual scream of anguish that captures the instinctual, repulsive response as she hisses and screams at the sight of her betrothed.

From the first intense sight of  The Bride to her questioned reason for existence, it is not surprising that  an ill fate awaits this concocted creature  of confused terror in one of the finest films of the horror genre."

Lon Chaney Jr. as The Wolf Man.

"Heed the gypsy's warning: Even a man who's pure of heart, And says his prayers at night, May become a wolf when the wolfsbane blooms, And the autumn moon is bright".

When the full moon rises, young Lawrence Talbot transforms from a friendly, mild-mannered graduate student to as hairy, fanged beast who prowled through the darkness, stalking his victims.

How did this happen to poor Larry? While on a stroll with his friend, Jenny, through the woods at his family's home in Wales, a vicious wolf attacks the woman and Lawrence is bitten while trying to save her. 

After that, he begins to feel strange and have disturbing dreams until he realises that the attacker was not a wolf but a werewolf.

As the most popular monster character of the 1940s, Lon Chaney Jr. rose to stardom playing the horror screen's first innocent victim and monster rolled into one.

The 6' 2", strapping son of a film star, Lon Jr. took on bit parts in movies until he finally found this part that he could really sink his teeth into!

Chaney's lycanthropy was a six hour makeup process that included wearing a wolf-like snout, thick wig, hairy coverings for his hands and feet, and yak hair that was painstakingly applied to his face a few strands at a time. The close-up of the initial transformation took 21 makeup changes and 22 hours to film.

Audiences may be sympathetic to this helpless creature who is not responsible for the mayhem he creates, but he makes people think twice about taking a walk in the woods."

Boris Karloff as The Mummy.

In 1932 Boris Karloff starred as Imhotep, an Ancient Egyptian Priest who had been mummified alive as punishment for attempting to revive his forbidden lover, Princess Ankh-es-en-Amon after she died. 

His background is depicted in a flashback sequence as his the depiction of his mummification . In the present day (1921) a team of Archaeologists uncover his tomb and accidentally resurrect him whilst reading aloud from The Scroll of Thoth which they discover sealed in a secret compartment within the tomb. 

Ten years pass and Imhotep is now masquerading as a modern day Egyptian called Ardath Bey, a man who knows the location of the Princess's tomb and is called upon by the son of one of the original Archaeologists (who is himself mounting an expedition) to locate it for him and his team of Archaeologists. 

During this time he encounters Helen Grovsener, played by Zita Johann, (who also plays Princess Ankh-es-en-Amon), and believing her to be a reincarnation of the Princess, sets about trying to kill her so he can resurrect her in her previous incarnation and make her his bride.

Unfortunately as I bought The Mummy loose, I do not have the box and have no idea what is written on the back of it so am unable to do so here.

Claude Rains as The Invisible Man.

The dolls Hasbro  first released in the Signature Series were not sold in cardboard boxes, instead they came in circular, transparent plastic tubes with a black base onto which the figure is secured. 

The top of the tube once it and the plastic tube are removed can be attached the the base of the tube to make a rotating stand on which to display the figure.

The Invisible Man figure, once the his bandages are removed is totally transparent and yet is moulded in such a way as to retain a very good likeness of Claude Rains...

The doll is displayed against a removable paper background which has various images of Monsters from other Universal Horror films. The other side contains a write up of the character and the actor who portrayed him.

"Adapted from an original story by H.G. Welles, THE INVISIBLE MAN heralds the screen début of the gravel voiced Claude Rains, who lends his voice to a character who is largely a product of special effects.

At a local inn in a small English Village, a mysterious stranger arrives wearing bandages and dark glasses after discovering a serum that makes him invisibly. He attempts to hide this amazing discovery until he can find a way to reverse the process, but the side effects of the transformation drive him to commit bizarre and terrible acts.

The Invisible Man is full of rich supporting performances and the wizardry of trick photography, filling this fascinating film fantasy with shock and fright.

Eerie and scary, The Invisible Man leaves audiences curious about what will happen next, and intrigued by a character seldom seen at all, thanks to a well structured screenplay that does full justice to the original novel.

Some of its special effects techniques are still used by film makers today."

The Creature from The Black Lagoon aka Gill Man

In the 1954 classic, a team of divers on an expedition to find fossils in the Amazon River unwittingly attract the attention of a prehistoric creature who becomes enamoured with a female member of their group, called Kay who is also the fiancée of one of the Scientists.

 The creature or Gill Man as he is also known was actually portrayed by two Stuntmen; Ben Chapman played The Creature on land,and in the underwater sequences he was played by Ricou Browning - neither actor was named in the film's credits.

The storyline is a regular "Beauty & The Beast" plot, but is made much more interesting by the inclusion of a Prehistoric River Creature in place of a run of the mill animal type "Beast". The horror comes through several attempts to kidnap Kay,made by The Creature and  the subsequent attacks on the Scientists when they try to stop him. 

At one point The Creature is himself kidnapped by the Scientists, who plan to take him back to civilisation with them.

The film was originally filmed in 3-D and movie-goers were given anaglyph glasses with which to view the film. 

Millicent Patrick a former Disney Illustrator, designed the creature's iconic look although the Make-up Artist Bud Westmore, would take sole credit for it's design for almost half a Century.

The Gill-Man's suit was made from airtight moulded sponge rubber and cost $15,000. 

There's an interesting interview with Ben Chapman in which he talks about his time working on the film, you can read it here: http:/Interview with The Gill Man/

I've also found a very interesting article about Millicent Patrick, which you can read here:Millicent Patrick./

The Hasbro Signature Series The Creature from The Black Lagoon was sold in plastic tube style packaging, with the rotating feature,at the bottom, like The Invisible Man, Son of Dracula, The Mummy's Tomb and the rest of the first series of Universal Studios Classic Monsters.

Lon Chaney Jr. as the Son of Dracula.

Now I'm just missing one to complete the set... "Son of Dracula" as played by Lon Chaney Jr. in the 1943 horror film - a film which stands out as it was the fist vampire film to show the transformation of human into a bat.

Lon Chaney Jr. plays Hungarian Count Allucard who moves to New Orleans and after receiving an invitation from the Daughter of a wealthy Plantation Owner. After the untimely but apparently natural death of the Plantation Owner his daughter inherits his vast estate and wealth.

The Plantation Owner's daughter, Katherine, is obsessed with all things Occult, and finds the Count's knowledge in this subject fascinating.

When Katherine is occidentally killed, she returns from the grave in the form of a vampire, her betrothed, Frank (the man who accidentally killed her!), who she threw over to marry the Count receives a visit from Katherine in bat form, metamorphosing into a human vampire, she attempts to share her "secret of immortality" with him and also coerce him into killing Allucard.

After killing the Count, it sadly it falls to Frank to also end the "undead" life of his beloved Katherine as well.

Lon Chaney Jr. was renown for his "Creature Make up skills which he inherited from his father Lon Chaney, along with his special effects make up box, and due to his size and body shape he is more fitted to more animalisic creatures, so it's kind of odd to see him in a film in which he relies only on a fake moustache and slicked back hair!

Hopefully I'll be able to get my hands on him soon.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

✿❀ Meet my new girl - Violka by Orange Tea Dolls. ❀✿

Hello all,

As promised I'm making a start on sharing the many things I have to tell you about, and what better way to begin than telling you about my new girl ... Violet?!

She arrived this morning and as I didn't wake up until 6pm (I know, it's bad but I'm still not well) I haven't gotten around to charging batteries and taking photographs of the delectable little damsel so for now you'll have to make do with some Sales pictures instead..

I first spotted these dolls a few months back on one of my many "nosing around the web" escapades and had no idea what they were called or where to buy one. 

After months of fruitless searching I gave up the dream, even after finding out the name I still couldn't find a sales page or site so that was that and they went back onto my list of unattainable wants...

Until last week when I was innocently hanging out on Ebay looking for a new cage for Snuffkin my Degu and oh my ... look who I found!

Photo from Ebay Seller blossom2001.

Not having quite enough in my bank account at the time to purchase her (she was on Buy it Now) and noticing that 19 other people were also watching her, I didn't like my chances ... 

The listing ended and I thought that was that, until several days later she was relisted, but I still had a week or so to wait before money was paid into my account and again I was one of 20 or so "watchers" ... 

So what to do? 

I tried to forget about her and delete the listing from my Watch List, but she had me so enthralled I just couldn't do it!

Then I had an idea... I mailed the seller and asked if I could secure her with Buy it Now and pay when the money entered my bank in the week... well if you don't ask!

Anyway, it turned out Heather is awesome and had no problem with my doing so, even better I got paid early so two days later she was officially mine, now I just had to wait for the weekend to pass and for her to arrive!

As we began mailing back and forth over the last few days,  I mentioned that I was sure that I'd seen the top image on Flickr entitled "Does my bum look big in this?" it turns out I had, one of the Orange Tea Dolls I'd been coveting was the same one I would be holding in my hands in a matter of days!

How cool is that?!

... And now she's here and all mine "Mauhaha!"

Photo from Ebay Seller blossom2001.

Anyhoo, so by now you'll be wanting to know all sorts of things about these dolls but first I have to tell you a strange little story ... I named my girl Violet Blue, Violet for short.

Before I'd even secured her a weird thing kept happening to me, looking at the listing photographs the name kept coming into my head, I've always loved the name Violet, it was my Nan's name, but I've never thought to use it as a doll name until now, and I couldn't help wondering why...

After I secured her I kept thinking about this and thinking "What is it about this doll that makes me think that?" 

So on a whim I tried a translator for the word "Violka" and discovered that the word "Violka" is Czechoslovakian for "Violet"!!

Well as you must have noticed by now that she's a quirky looking little thing with a very full "Mother Earth" figure that puts my college's Life Drawing Models to shame (sorry Rose & Mary) and I'm sure you're itching to know more about the dolls themselves and see some more pic's so I won't disappoint..

While on Flickr I discovered the Orange Tea Dolls Pool, and that led me to the Maker's Web Site and Etsy Shop (where I found these photo's), so here's what I've found out...

There are two skin tones you can buy them in at present, actually there is three but I think that the Chocolate skinned version must have been a limited edition.

The Fair skin option is the same skin tone as Violet, the Light Tan skin tone is shown above, and Chocolate skin tone is shown in the photo' below.

There are two options available:

Violka Fair Skin basic (nude doll - no make up, eyes or wig) which costs £ 152. 09

Violka Light Tan basic ( nude doll - no make up, eyes or wig) priced at £ 167. 30.

As the seller lives in Germany the postage for each is £10. 65 ( Certified & with Insurance) and takes around a week to arrive.

The  Orange Tea Doll Etsy Shop can be found here: Orange Tea Dolls

If I'd have known where to buy them I would most likely have opted for the Light Tan version, but since I didn't at the time and since meeting Violet I'm stupidly happy with her just as she is!

The dolls are made of resin and stand at 19 cm tall ( 7.48 inches).
    They have 10 points of articulation.

Their head is 6 inches, so wig buying isn't much of a problem, although I've purchased some lavender Wensleydale wool for Violet's wig and they take 12mm eyes, again a pretty easy find.

And they come in a orange box, all snuggled up in bubble wrap inside the funky flower patterned sleeping bag that you can see in the first photo.

The only foreseeable problem is finding ready made clothes to fit over that "Big giant ass" and her teeny feet!!

During today's fashion show I discovered that the Hujoo baby shoes sold by Mimiwoo (have I ever mentioned that I love Mimiwoo?!) fit her perfectly, so finding her some cute footsie wear is really no problem at all either!

If you are interested you can find 4 pages of adorable boots and shoes that will fit your Violka and Middie Blythe too, here: Hujoo baby, Violka & Middie Blythe Footwear.

On the seller's website / blog I discovered this photograph of the doll with her dimensions listed which is an absolute boon for someone like me who wants to make doll clothes but is sometimes a bit dodgy with measuring - don't ask me how, I measure ok but then I get derpy!

Anyhoo, what's even better, I discovered while nosing about on her Flickr Pool is that she has made and uploaded sewing patterns for underwear, a bikini, two dresses, a skirt, tights and a coat to her web site so as soon as my Mum gives me the print outs I requested I can be on my way sewing Violet a whole new wardrobe, which I'm sure she will happily model for you all!


Sunday, 4 October 2015

I think I owe you an explanation ...

It's been quite some time since my last post and I have such a backlog of things to share, promises I've made and have yet to honour and so many new dolls and customs  I need to catalogue, play with and show off..

There are many reasons why I've been silent...

 I've been ill, my Dad's been in hospital for an operation, some of my furry and scaly babies have been unwell and needed their Mum / Grandma, I've been so lethargic and sleeping like Rip Van Winkle with a dodgy alarm clock.

And I'm just getting over a Wisdom Tooth infection which means I now have an extraction to look forward too, my laptop died and it's taken a while to get everything I had onto this new one and uploading photographs from my camera is a total palaver on this machine...but really all these reasons become excuses as to why I've been so neglectful of late...

I've told myself quite sternly that I have to get back on the case and soon too.

I had my birthday in June and was pretty spoilt with a load of new dolls, Living Dead, Hasbro's Universal Horror, a few new resin dolls, some Novi Stars, Lollipop Girls, Rosie O'Donnell, Monster High,  Art books, reference books, novels and nostalgia, Art supplies and an Ai doll.

The two new Makies arrived a while back as did Aranya the Lammily doll and the Coojoo Hujoo, I made her a wig, it's a first attempt so a little shoddy, fabric and doll parts for Ooak and loads more besides!    

I'm well up for sharing and will get on the case real soon, sadly right now my biggest problem is finding the time to get on the case.
I've also just had one of my dolly dreams come true... I have a funny little new girl who'll be moving in on Tuesday and I can't wait to tell you all about her soon!

I guess all that remains to say is I'm sorry and will be back in touch soon.

Take care,

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Announcement from Lammily Dolls

Today I received an email from Lammily announcing that their new doll - "Photographer"  is now available for pre-order.

Isn't she gorgeous ?

She comes in the outfit shown here, complete with her own camera to record all her travels with..

Judging by these preview photographs her body is made using the same moulds used for their original girls: 

 She stands at eleven inches tall and is also articulated at the elbows, hands, knees, and feet.

The clothing packs sold for the first edition dolls will also fit this little beauty - sadly no new ones have been added to the shop yet but as they contain multiple items it's easy to mix and match them with the clothing each doll comes with.

If you're interested you can check them out here: Fashion Packs...

I'm loving everything about this girl, right down to her box, which, like her predecessors, is covered in  watercolour images of her World travels.

Official release date is March 2016 - pre-orders will be processed and dispatched the same month. 

The dolls cost $26.00. When you pre-order one of these lovelies your payment details are stored but not charged until your doll is ready for dispatch, thereby securing your doll for you and assuring you will definitely be receiving one once the are ready for sale.

The Pre-Order page for "Photographer" can be accessed here: Lammily Photographer

Another item Lammily have just launched is called "Period Party" it costs $10.00 and consists of useful information to explain menstruation to small girls.

The pack consists of  an educational leaflet in easy to understand language, a calendar and sticky dots so you can keep track of your cycles, a pair of yellow polka dot girl -pants for your Lammily doll and a reusable sheet of miniature "Panty Liners" to protect your dolls new grundies during her period!

I have to say I think this is an awesome idea, young girls shouldn't feel weird or ashamed when they start their periods and using the medium of play to normalize the idea that it's going to happen to them, that they may not start at the same time as their friends, that it is a perfectly natural part of life and nothing to be ashamed of; can only be a good thing.

While I don't advocate it being used as a way to inform your child without any input from a female relative to discuss new feelings and bodily changes with, I feel it would work so well alongside those "difficult" parental talks we all have to have at some time.

I think it's such a shame that for some reason our culture is we females are made to feel we can't talk about certain things out in the open without feelings of shame or that it is somehow taboo to do so.

When my Niece began her periods she phoned everyone in the family and told them with pride "Today I became a woman" - this conversation freaked the hell out of my Dad though, who ran to get "Grandma" while he went for a sit down to get over it! 

But this is what her cultural heritage dictates, in the African Village her Mother is from you share this with everyone as your passage into Womanhood is something to be celebrated not covered up... Of course in England and in Wales we do things differently, hence my poor Welsh Dad's freakout!

I thought it was pretty awesome and congratulated her thoroughly but then for years I've been refusing the brown paper bag shop keepers seem to think the box of tampons I've just bought need to be covered up in. 

I walk out the shop brandishing them without shame and chuckle at the amount of other customers who either flinch or go red and advert their faces when they see what I'm holding... It's old hat to me though as I started my periods when I was 10 years old.

Well enough talk for now,  I'm off to pre-order me a new girl now from the Lammily store, later guys!


Wednesday, 13 May 2015

☆╮"Wishful Thinking"╭☆

This was my Dad's first attempt at Photoshop in 2010, I think he must have been trying to live out his childhood fantasies through photo editing techniques! 

    I was so impressed when I saw this photograph ... I can't get my head around all those gadgets Photoshop has and I end up getting really frustrated when I try and use it, I've been promising myself I will master it one day tho'!

    Since nailing it on his first attempt my Dad went on to pass a diploma in design technology (Photoshop based), at the same time and since graduating he was teaching Photoshop for 20 or so pensioners (for Age Concern) part time...

    Not too shabby my daddy!!

    Sadly though he had to give it up as Age Concern couldn't supply the funding needed to pay for the overheads to keep the course running.

    The pensioners loved it so much and their monthly photography field trips and subsequent Exhibitions that they pleaded with him to keep the course running, even attempting to fund it themselves after a month it became obvious that it just wouldn't be possible and without coming under the banner of "Age Concern" they were unable to raise funds through grants etc.

    It seems fun things that older people really enjoy, that keep them fit, socialising and give them something to look forward to are not cost effective for Old Age Charities and our local Council and it just had to close.

    I really proud of my Dad, can you tell?!


Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Thum Things Doll by Uneeda

I dunno if you know this but I have a bit of a thing about 3 faced dolls or expression changing dolls if you prefer...

I have two that I posted about a couple of years back, you can check it out here if you like: Vintage 3 Faced Dolls  last week I added another to my collection - this time I know more about her, although I didn't at the time of purchase, I just liked her quirkiness. 

She's a Thum Things doll by Uneeda from 1973, she stands at 5 inches tall and unlike the other two 3 faces I have she doesn't have a "top knot" with which to rotate her facial expressions.

The image above is of my girl showing her smart or as Uneeda marketed it; her "Thmart" face.

The gimmick with these dolls is you use your thumb to roll her face around and thereby change her facial expressions.

Here she is showing her sleepy or "Thleepy" face

I'm sure there must be several of these dolls whose faces have "rubbed off" due to excessive play as their facial expressions are the result of transfers which have been used to give them eyes, eyebrows and mouths depending on the face.

Her final facial expression  is her silly or "Thilly" one.

I'm pretty sure that she is wearing her original clothing as her outfit fits her perfectly and although it has what looks like a press stud at the back of her dress it doesn't undo and a home made or even shop bought dress would have to have an opening and closing stud.

Her body is moulded into a humanoid shape and has no moving limbs.

After I'd unpacked her and had a little play, I put her down on the bed and moved on to the rest of my mail when...

In walks Aaron and spots her... "What a weird looking doll" he says, grabbing her and attempting to "make her work".

 I was engrossed in my mail and wasn't keeping an eye on him - well he is 20!

When suddenly ... "Ooh how weird, It's got 3 faces! ... So how come you can't get to it's faces without taking it's hair off?"

"Omg, you what, Aaa?"

I look over and see her hairless pink ball of a head going round and round under his fingers!

Did I mention he's 20?!

Anyhoo, after the obligatory "STOP, move away from the doll Aaron." - I was ignored by the way!

But it didn't matter as he got it back on quick enough and after being told how it's supposed to work, had a quick go, got bored and has left her alone ever since!

Image found on (original source Ebay Seller bouchy.)

I found these photographs of the front and back of their original boxes (source credited in captions) and found them interesting as they have all the information you need to know on them.

Image found on (original source Ebay Seller bouchy.)

One other thing I've discovered about them which is not shown on the box is that when I googled them before and after finding out their name, the search only netted images of Blonde and Brunette versions, so I think my Redhead must be quite a rare commodity!

Oh wait I tell a lie, I just found this one on Etsy entitled " if you thought blythe was a weird doll just wait until you see this..."!

Bride of Frankenstein and the monster Target Exclusive Merry Monsters™

A few years ago a friend of mine - fellow doll lover and Horror Film Fan sent me these two little cuties from Maryland USA.

I instantly fell in love with them and I'm so lucky as he always sends me the coolest dolls and like these two very often I've never seen or heard of them before or if I have am unable to buy them in this Country.

I spent a long time trying to find information on these girls and discovered that they are from Mattel's Merry Monsters range, made exclusively for Target stores and sold in 2009.

                                                              Miranda and Kayla

Well butter me lucky 'cos we certainly don't have any Target stores in Wales (not that I'm aware of anyway).

 Nagabbit where I live; in a small village with a population of  1, 307 (measured in 2001) nestled into the base of a mountain, we don't even have our own Post Office (anymore) - maybe Cardiff has a Target, but nagdabbit that's over 56 miles away!

Anyhoo, I'm digressing the point is I didn't have to go and look for a Target or have to have anyone tell me about these dolls because my awesome buddy Kyle just knew that I would love and want them and sent them to me in a big box of goodies!

Hand Made Mona and Lili on the sofa Artist Dolls.

 I'm still going through my draft folder and trying to publish all those saved draft posts I have hidden in there, so I guess you could call this "One from The Vaults"!


Another gorgeous doll I discovered either last year or the year before while again innocently nosing around on Ebay was this stunning creation  by an Artist named Nina it was listed for sale by nina_ilchenko  - possibly the Artist herself ?

The starting bid for this beauty was US $1,000.00 - I had the listing address copied here but it's dead now so alas, you'll just have to put up with me telling you about her instead!

The page had been translated and sadly like a lost of translations it doesn't read quite right but I'll do my best..

The doll on offer was a 34 inch decorative doll called Mona who came with her own "mini" doll called Lili, who is 12 inches tall!

They came with their own sofa too, on which they can be displayed.

The sofa's dimensions are 17 x 7 x 6 inches so all in all this Art Doll is a pretty big piece.

The description describes Mona as "It is fancy-dressed doll, made in complex technique. Sewing and sculpturing skills, dress history and a fantasy of the professional artist Nina make the doll a unique in the whole world."

And goes on to describe the creative technique as being a mixture of wire, paper clay, paint and fabrics.

The listing states that her eyes are covered with glaze, so I suspect they are also painted even though they look like they are made of glass...

Her face and hands are made from paper clay and painted and her hair is made from mohair. 

Her dress is made from vintage silk and velvet, and decorated with beads, brooches and vintage lace. 

The body is made from a wire armature which is coated with several layers of fabric and leaves her arms and feet flexible and enables her to sit on her sofa.

Mona wears stockings made from vintage lace and a pair of  shoes which are beautifully made using vintage fabric and lace. 

The listing states: "The doll is made in a single copy and marked with an author stripe." I'm guessing this means she is an edition of 1/1 and signed...  It also mentions that she comes in "the special decorative box" but unfortunately the listing didn't show this item.

Another interesting point the listing makes is "Due to such different mixture technique it takes 1 -2 months to assemble one doll." So she definitely is a labour of love..

 "All these details breath a life into a doll figure, impressed her with king, musician, romantic and mysterious character." 

I think this statement really sums up her look very well, there are hints of Venetian Carnivals, Medieval Jesters, The Court of Versailles, Baroque Fashion, Harlequins and so much more!