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Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Wilko "Play!" Fashion Diva Dolls

Here's something I don't normally do in my posts...complain, yep that's right, I've found a doll I'm really not happy with, and here's why...

Whilst browsing in Ebay the other day, I found a listing for a very cheap doll, no bidders and ending in a few minutes, she had such a lovely face and made me think of Marilyn Monroe, so I decided I'd go for it and place a bid, even though the seller didn't give much other information on the doll, and as she was ending in a few minutes, I must confess I sped read the listing (Bad Herbie!) so I didn't even know who she was made by, not that it mattered to me as she was going to be customised away, she was boxed and arrived at my home really quickly, the problem came when I opened the box!

But I'm getting a bit ahead of myself here, this is what she looked like in the listing:



After I opened the package she came in, I was surprised to discover she was from Wilkinson's Play! line of toys, as I didn't even know it existed!

The doll comes in "Cheap & Cheerful" packaging, but the Artist in me actually likes the "paint - splats" on the box, which I think may actually be the "theme" that connects all Wilkinson's Play! Toy Range and helps you to differentiate between it and the "dearer items they may have on the shelves next to it or close by... I could be wrong of course, as I didn't even know they had their own range of toys, having only ever noticed the Brand Name ones when I've been in the toy section of my Local Wilkinson.

 Otherwise, why would a standard Barbie Clone come in a box covered with paint splats if her outfit does not relate to an "Arty" theme?  but I digress...

I began to wonder if she'd be any good for my custom idea, but I decided I was wrong in being so judgmental, considering, I hadn't even opened the box at the time, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to review this type of Barbie Clone while I had the chance.

Now I don't know about you, but I always open my doll boxes from the top, unless they have something ornate on top that I don't want to damage or have excessively sticky tape which will damage the box and leave an ugly mark, in those cases, I go straight to the bottom... In this case however, I wasn't particularly bothered about the box as it was the doll's face that most concerned me, so I opted for the top, which was sealed with a mall strip of sellotape.



I should point out here, that the box, was very low quality  thinner in fact, than the cardboard a cereal box is made of,  when I realised this, I must admit, I didn't really have high hopes for the doll inside, but I decided to be more optimistic as I was still hoping that my "Custom Marilyn"  would be an easy re-dress, add beauty spot and re style the hair type of custom... but it was not to be!

From the seller's photo, I thought her hair was already styled in a very Marilyn-esque kind of  way, but I discovered a few seconds later that her hair was on top of her hand in a "pony tail", I discovered this as I attempted to remove her from the box, and her head came off in my hand... yes really, it just popped right off her neck!!?

She wasn't held into the box by any extra packaging (I quite like that) so I just tipped the box upside down and let the rest of the doll fall into my lap, and Oh My God! 

 The neck is such a weird shape, but thankfully the hole in the head that corresponds to it, seems to be a "normal" shape and size.  

The doll's body is made out of the flimsiness plastic and it's hollow too, so flimsy in fact, that when I tried to take her clothes off to look at her body properly it bent!

Her dress had not been hemmed at the bottom, and the material used has started to fray. Her underwear is cut jagged and again not hemmed and starting to fray.

I noticed that one of her feet was not inside one of the shoes correctly and her heel was sticking out over the top, so I tried to push the foot back into it...bad move as it turned out, as in trying to fit the shoe on, her heel squished inwards and is now pushed in and cannot be pulled back out, plus her leg bent so much  that when I twisted it back in place, it left "stress-marks" on her legs!

While for me this is not such an issue as it was primarily her face I was interested in, and she does have a very pretty face, that I still believe is a perfect candidate for Marilyn Monroe.



 But I was very offended by the quality of the rest of her, as her body is totally unusable for the purpose I bought her for and will need to be replaced.

I decided to do something I never do... I have written a letter to Wilko Stores complaining about the quality of the item, as I am unable to return it to the store as they state I can under their "Wilko Promise" on the back of the box.

I'm also offended that if this doll is as I suspect a "Pocket Money Toy" then some poor little girl may find she has wasted her money on what she thinks is a nice doll and turns out to be something that falls apart in her hands as she attempts to play with it, as this is certainly NOT a "Play Toy" in fact unless a little girl who has spent her money on this doll leaves her in her box and never attempts to take her out to play with, she will be very disappointed.

Likewise, if this is purchased as a present it will only lead to disappointment, and really should be avoided at all costs, unless you are only purchasing her for her head as the head quality is pretty standard for a clone doll!

In my letter, I have requested that Wilko, if they continue to stock this product, improve it's quality  even if this means raising the product's price, as I reasoned in my letter "Most people, (even little girls) will not mind paying a few more pounds extra for an item that won't fall apart in their hands as they try to use it"!

After all, why should a Low Price automatically have to mean Low Quality?!




Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Doll Hair and How To Re-Root It - Tutorial

If you've got a doll who needs her hair replaced or even just one or two plugs, ad you are unsure how to re-root the hair yourself, check out my Squidoo Lens Tutorial.

In it I let you know about the different types of hair that are available and show explain how to attach it to your doll's head and includes links to websites where I buy my favourite types of hair to use.

One day, I may get around to copying the entire thing here, (if I can remember where I put all the images I used that is!) but for now, you can just click on the link below the picture, and it will take you straight to the Lens page.


http://www.squidoo.com/customisingdolls_dollhair

Above all, have fun!



Monday, 17 December 2012

The Story of My Pullip - Before and After!

I bought my little girl in 2009, from a seller who had her listed on Buy it Now as a customized Pullip.

Sadly she was unsure which one she was, although she did mention in the listing that the doll  might be "Oren" or "Venus" and that she came with a stand, this turned out to be a metal one with "Pullip" in green, on top of the base, and "Jun Planning" - "Made in China" underneath, hopefully this may help someone to I.D her for me... Please!

The Seller had two Pullips for sale (both customized), and while I liked the other one slightly more, I procrastinated too long and discovered she had been sold by the time I made up my mind to buy one, now though, I am glad that I did as I hated the "face-up" on my little girl so much that she became the perfect candidate for giving Pullip Customization a go on!

She also has a weird problem with her eyelids, they weren't working, I discovered this was due to the spring being rusty and snapped inside, so I replaced it and they worked...But here's the catch, they only work when the top of her head is off!? 

I have tried several ways around this I'm still not 100% sure what could be causing this issue, I even removed the eye mechanism, took it apart, completely cleaned it and inside the head ad replaced it, still no joy... the only thing I can think of is if her eye chips were not placed properly and are slightly raised causing the lids get stuck and not be able to cover the eye, but I've check this and it doesn't seem to be the case as the mechanism works fine and the lids cover the eyes, but only as I've said, if the top of her head is missing!!

Here's how she looked her "Sale Photo" ...



Pretty bad huh?!

But the wig she was wearing was beautiful quality, so soft and in certain lights it has a purpley sheen to it. I nearly kept it for her to wear after I'd done something about her "Face-Up" but with her eyes being pink, I thought I'd keep it for someone else as I didn't really like her as a "Pink - Overload" doll anyway, plus I have a number of "big eye" customs I'm working on so it's always handy to have a spare wig, especially such a beautiful one!

Her outfit was whipped off straight away, it was apparently designed and bought from a well known Seller, but I didn't think it worked very well together, and definitely not on this girl, so off it came!



I modified the eye make up, it was mostly pink glitter?! 

As were the lips, they were just awful and took ages to wipe clean...

What I did love about the eyes was the shape of the eyebrows, with their 2 small dots after them (not sure why they had to be pink as well though!) and also the tiny diamante in the corners of her eyes above the nose, so I decided to keep them, I was going to do something about the eyebrows (change the colour possibly, once I had decided on and purchased a new wig for her.

I removed all of the glitter from her eyelids and repainted them, and some more of the glitter was removed  from the well above the eyes, I liked the eyelashes though so I decided to keep them for a while.

Here's how she looks now:

I decided on this curly  back wig, with purple streaks, which I think suits her so much better than the pink one. It also makes her eye colour more intense, and the detail of her eye make up is much more subtle now, but due to the wig, is somehow more apparent, without being "In your face" as it was before!



I don't really care that her eye's don't blink, I don't really try and use this function on her anyway, in fact I had forgotten all about it, until I took her wig off for the above photo and rediscovered the button to work it!

Her eyes move from left to right, without any issues, and as the "blink eye" function is not one that can be locked and held by the doll for any length of time (when it works!) it's not something I would use in photographs anyway, so it's certainly no hardship at all! not having the ability to use it


Her body holds poses very well and isn't swingy or awkward in any way. It also appears to be a "Type 1" so I guess that would most likely make her a "Venus" as opposed to "Oren" who I believe has a "Type 2" body (don't quote me on that!) also "Oren" I have just discovered was limited to 500 dolls Worldwide and came with a "Certificate of Authenticity" - numbered I believe... 
Which beggars the question, why on Earth would anyone want to customise her... and with crazy amounts of pink glitter too?!!

One day I may get around to adding some colour back to her lips, I did consider a "natural wet look" to them, as though she had just moistened them, but I really like them as they are for now, and occasionally when I think "I'll make those lips of hers look more life-like" I get a slight sickness feeling at the thought of going near her with pink... even if it is a natural shade!!

Yeah, I know that's completely crazy, but I can't help it!


I somehow feel those eyebrows suit her hair more now, but I do still get the urge to paint them more life-like and brown too, but then again, I keep thinking, it would be such a drastic change, from pink to brown, that I may just end up hating them ad wishing I'd left them alone!

Also, I haven't worked out what I would do about the little cream coloured dot that follows behind the pink one at the end of each eyebrow, and I guess until I come up with an idea of how to incorporate that into her "new-look" eyebrows, I'll just leave them be for the time being at least!



I tried her in so many different outfits, before I decided on this "Barbie Bat Girl" catsuit from 2003, I was planning to make her a blue hood, black mask and yellow cape to go with it, maybe one day I'll get around to it too!

The crazy thing is, she has now been wearing this outfit for a few years now and I have to say I think the "Super-Hero Look" suits her so well, what I found weird was, today I went checking up on Pullips to try and get a positive I.D on her once and for all, and I discovered that last year Groove released an Exclusive Bat Girl Pullip Doll of their own.. so it seems I'm not the only person who realised how stunning a Pullip Version of that DC Character would be!!

Here's the Promotional Pictures for her, taken from www.comicvine.com 






Hmm, I know Brown or at a push Auburn hair is really the legitimate colour for Bat Girl, but well I prefer my girl in this role, but then again, I would say that being a proud Mum an' all!!

So Off I went again to look at Pullips (any excuse) trying to find the above image to post and what do I discover? ... There is an "alternative"  version  of the doll above!

This one's called the "JP Version" which means she was made for the Japanese market, well more precisely for their "Wonder Festival" which I think may be similar to Comic Con - again don't quote me!

The Japanese Version has Blue hair... yes Blue!! 

More precisely Blue with black streaks...hmmm... very strange, I almost got my girl a wig in those colours, same style and streak size as she is wearing but blue and black, I also toyed with the idea of a bright green and black one, before I finally chose the purple and black one she is wearing... funny though huh?!






Here she is without the mask:




I have to admit, I much prefer these costumes to my "Barbie" but meh what can you do without a team of designers and people handy with sewing machines?!

I will be on the look out now though, for a "Stock Outfit" from either, fingers crossed they have the same body dimensions or it will be a waste of cash, also I guess it's not so likely I'll ever find one, after all who would buy an exclusive just to whip it's clothes off and sell them?


Wow how strange is this, Make your own "Little People "Pal" Kit?

here's another strange item, I had no idea even existed until I found it a week or so ago  during my customary trawl around Ebay, this time I was on a quest for Cabbage Patch Kids, and the search results threw up this little item; all the images are of course taken from the listing:

At first, looking at the box and seeing how the "Cabbage Patch Kids" turned out I assumed it was a make yourself clone type kit, but no....

This kit is a vintage item, produced sometime in the late 1970's  Early 1980's or even I guess at the height of the Cabbage patch Kids hysteria, and licensed to none other than Xavier Roberts... That's him on the cover!

You know who he is right?  Well in case it's slipped your minds, he's the guy whose signature appears on all the Cabbage Patch kid's bottoms and acts as a kind of "evidence of their authenticity"!

Once you've used your kit; the finished articles are called "Little People "Pal" but it doesn't take a genius to figure out what well known toy they were based on, Right?  Well, you may just be surprised!

They are made from the pre-cut fabric pieces included in the box, then stitched and stuffed according to the instructions included.


The front of the box has load of information on it, such as:

"Little People "Pal" with complete Directions for Assembly in Your Choice of Six Hair Styles"

Kit Includes: "Pre-cut, Pre-Blushed Body Panels and Preformed Head Ball" - it goes onto state "See side panel for all contents".

It is worth mentioning here that this Head Ball is soft, unlike "Cabbage Patch Dolls".

"1 Soft Sculptured Doll Kit" - "Estimated time For Completion: 4 Hours"

"EASY STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS INCLUDED"

"Little People Pals Are All Naked But Are Very Content With A Small Blanket At Home And Regular Clothes (0-6 mo.) In Public."

DISTRIBUTED BY:

PLAID ENTERPRISES INC.       
NORCROSS. GA 30091
With Parental Guidance by
Xavier Roberts and
Original Appalachian Artworks INC.
Cleveland. GA 30528

It is worth noting that the distribution company is also the very same one that distributes "Cabbage Patch Kids" and their spin off products.


Under the picture it reads: "You Can Arrange My Hair In Your Choice Of Six Styles. I Wear Regular Clothes (0-6 mo.)"


Full instructions are included on how to Sculpt the Face and Paint the Eyes, as above.


Also included is a Certificate of Authenticity. Once section "Designer" is already signed by Xavier Roberts, with a space left for you to sign your own name above the word "Artist".


The kit includes all the stuffing you'll need and paints to complete your "Little People "Pal" Doll".
Each of the paints are numbered, with gesso and sealer included.
There is also a large ball of  "red" yarn this is for you to make her hair with. Each box I presume has a different colour which corresponds with the "I am a Red Head #9502" heart shape label on the front of the box.


Here are some of the pre-cut body parts, you can see from some of them the colour of the "pre-blushed" parts.

I'm still undecided how I feel about this item, on one side, I really like the idea, and would most likely buy one if I saw another one going cheap somewhere, but would I use it?

Probably not, in fact most likely not! I would have to keep it in unused condition, as I think it's a great item and quite a cool piece of cabbage patch History!

Although being a massive sneak, and not being able to resist using the kit, I would have to make patterns from the pre-cut pieces and make my own version, that would be cool especially if a "funky patterned" fabric was used all over, you could make Alien versions or something, but ahem, I digress!

I find it odd how, although this isn't a cheap knock-off make your own clone type kit, (as I previously thought it was before reading the listing and looking at the pictures that is!) the kit allows you to have a finished article which is most "definitely a clone" right?

So why make a clone at all?

I'm sure not many "Cabbage Patch obsessed begging children, would be fooled by it, unless they were very young!



So why didn't Xavier Roberts put his name to perhaps a cheaper, smaller Cabbage Patch Doll instead?

I have managed to find absolutely no information about this product on the Official Cabbage patch Kids Website, so you would be forgiven in assuming that the company behind the site, know nothing of them or at least had nothing to do with "Little People Dolls", but you'd be wrong....Very Wrong.

 You would also be very wrong in assuming that this item is a Clone Doll, but don't worry I'll clear up that confusion with a short history lesson!

Perhaps the weirdest thing about this item, is while it looks like a "make it yourself clone" it is in fact a Pre-Cabbage Patch - Cabbage Patch Doll or as they were called back in 1976, a "Little People" Doll, when Xavier Roberts invented the first one.

In 1978, the first "Little People Doll" made by Xavier Roberts, won first prize at a Florida Art Show, and from that came the birth of the Original Appalachian Artworks INC Company... within 4 years, these "Little People" had become the must-have toy of the decade, and by 1982 Xavier sold the  Marketing Rights  of his "Little People" to a Company Called Caleco, who made two small changes to them; they replaced the heads with a vinyl version and gave them a new name "Cabbage Patch Kids" and of course all of us who grew up in the 1980s know what happened next!

Just in case I've whetted your appetite and you'd like to stare at some very cute little Cabbage Patch Kids; here's the link to the official Website: http://www.cabbagepatchkids.com/

Enjoy,



Sunday, 16 December 2012

Limited Edition Steampunk Byul Doll.

Every so often I take myself off and have a nose around Ebay. looking at Byul Dolls and just hoping one day I'll find one I like for a price that doesn't smash my piggy bank to smithereens...

Last week I was doing just that, and a lot of sighing and mentally chanting "I wish" when a tiny image caught my eye... as is was labelled Steam Punk, I couldn't resist taking a closer look and "Oh My Giddy Aunt..." I was hit by Cupid's Bow!

Sadly, I don't think I'll ever be able to own this gorgeous little darling  but even so, I feel inspired when I look at her, so I decided I'd share her with you good people too!

She's Limited Edition, (what is it with me and Limited Edition Dolls at the moment?!), Her name is Rhiannon, and a good Welsh name that is too! and well, here she is.... Enjoy!

Oh btw, I best add before I start with the image uploads, that I don't own them (that should be obvious, but meh, I thought I better mention it, just in case!) 
All the images where taken from various Ebay Listings, as was the small amount of info I could find on her, below.

(All Images copyrighted to Cheonsang Cheonha - Photographed by ColdAngel6. All Rights Reserved.)


























Isn't she something else?!

She comes in this awesome outfit with a stand.  And She has this "Back- Story" which I've seen copied onto every listing, I suspect this has come from the promotional literature for her on her release in December 2010.

Not to break with "Tradition" I've copied and pasted it below!

"Feeling: "Open the mechanical umbrella . . . Taking the time and slowly taking a walk along the ocean floor . . . Exposed to thirty thousand volts of magnetic field, I dream about!"

I'm not altogether sure what it means though!

Until this little one showed up in my Ebay Search, I've only found four, I'd even consider owning, which makes these dolls a little "hit and miss" for me.  

But I can't help thinking it would be nice to have one to nestle in between my Pullip and my Dal, or perhaps before my Dal, that kind of area anyway!

The problem is, with most of them, I never seem to find one that has all the features I like about the four in one place, except for that beautiful  Vampire, "Lillith" but that's a different post for another time!







I couldn't resist uploading a picture of her too, now I've mentioned her!

Looking at her again, I have just realised, that I think she may have been of some influence in my choice of Toffee Dolls, there is definitely, something I it "Hazel" about her, and not just the eyes, hmmm