Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Down and Dirty 2009 Top Five - #5

#5 - The Thrift Store!
Okay, this is a bit of a cheat as well (see #3), but hear me out - the thrift store gets my vote for the number five slot because it has been a life saver for me when I needed furniture for my Tonner sized dolls, and there wasn't anything reasonably priced (or anything at all!); it helped me find the Madeline refrigerator that now resides in the Generation Girls house; I found "Princess of the Portugeuse Empire" for $2.50; I've found tons of the little knickknack paddy whacks that end up in my dolly dioramas, as well as Barbie houses for CHEAP (a house that cost over a hundred bucks one year retail can be found the next year at a thrift store for only twenty - OR LESS, if it's discount day); I found the Barbie Airplane I wanted; and digging down through a plethora of blonde, tangled haired Barbies one day, I found the Aaron Carter doll I'd been coveting for only 99 cents!

And let's not talk about all the things I've found for ME there, shall we?

Sing it with me - "I love you thrift store... oh, yes I do... I don't love anyone... as much as yooooo..."

(BTW, that's not my thrift store up there in the pic. I'm not crazy enough as to share all my secrets! Hah!)

The Down and Dirty 2009 Top Five - #4!

#4 - Re-ment and other miniature items!
Ah, the workhorses of the Doll Nation... Thanks to Re-ment and to Mattel; to Gloria and to all those 1/6th scale ornaments going on sale; thanks to Fimo and Sculptey for those of us intrepid enough to make our own doll food and items - without these mini items, our dolls wouldn't be the miniature real people we know them to be; they would just be... well, Dolls. (And that, perhaps, is why NRFB dolls are just a bit sad.)

Without the little things that make up our doll houses, apartments, shops, offices and etc., where would we be?

(Thanks to Missy's Minis on eBay for the mugs of coffee and the mini BBQ drumsticks (bottom) and the olives and deviled eggs (top)!)

The Down and Dirty 2009 Top Five - #3!

#3 - Tonner Doll Company!

Okay, this is a little bit of a cheat, since Esme and Sydney were purchased in 2008, and Marley and Matt were purchased off a doll board. But for the second year in a row, Tonners were the ONLY 16 inch dolls that I purchased.

Why: They're affordable. It's easy to find an attractive Tonner on the secondary market - and even on the primary market: Russell came from the Tonner store online for $54 including shipping. Sure he only came clad in his trunks, but I got a Tonner tee shirt pack for $20 bucks when I bought him and it had a shirt for him AND Matt. Sheesh, there are Fashion Royalty dolls that you can't get all that for $74 bucks!

Okay, finding clothes for bigger dolls can be hard, but I've managed. Oversized doll clothes from Dollar Tree and dog sweatshirts from Target on clearance and Teddy Bear sweaters from Michael's for Esme, Sydney, Matt and Russell, and Barbie and Ken clothes for Marley. And see #5 about finding furniture for them. But that's beside the point...

The main reason I like the Tonner dolls - they're PLAYABLE! You can have FUN with them! Look at my pics I posted - the dolls are like real people with real lives. They're not haughty fashion dollies with nothing to do but pose all day long (although, to be fair, they have THOSE dolls too in the Tonner line. And I can't say I don't have those dollies too - see #2.)

But come on - my dolls are outside having a good time! And that's why I love them.

The Down and Dirty 2009 Top Five - #2!

#2 - Barbie Basics!

Mattel was batting .750 this year with their dolls (they would have had a perfect score from me if they hadn't canceled Sugar Daddy Ken from the Silkstone line - the first good looking Silkstone male and they cancel it because some idiots outside the doll world objected to the name - GET OVER IT!)

Anyway, Mattel decided to appeal to the high fashion crowd with these dolls, with their basic black outfits and model poise. The bodies aren't new - they're an extension of last year's "Top Model" line and the "Best Models" line of a couple of years back, but this time, Mattel made an effort to put them in regular toy stores like TRU so that buyers didn't have to go through a doll seller - and AMEN to that! Because that gave me more money not only to buy this beauty but ALSO one of the three accessories sets!

At $24.99 they are more expensive than the regular Barbie line, but they are so worth it in terms of quality. The ten dolls out now are gorgeous - well, okay, the brunettes are. Once again, there are too many damned blondes in the line, and what's worse? They're face molds that we've seen before! And again, the AA dolls are short packed - there were NONE in the TRUs I went to (and there are two in my area!)

Number 005, shown here, uses the Lea face mold of days gone by that was used for the Asian dolls in the Barbie line (along with the Kira mold of past days.) She's gorgeous, and since Lea/Kira was one of my favorite dolls in the past, I had to get her and I did! Here she is being looked over by Barbie (right) and Summer (left) in the Black and White Townhouse that I made. It originally belonged to my Silkstones, but the Model Muse body girls claimed it when the Silkies decided to go to Silkstone Manor.

Hopefully, in 2009, I can find some of the AA Barbie Basics as well as acquire some more of the brunettes!

The Down and Dirty 2009 Top Five - #1!

That's right - here it is:

Drum roll, please...

#1 - Fashionista Artsy from Mattel!
Can you tell why I put this doll at Number One for 2009? That little hand peeking around the pillow should tell you - these girls have ARTICULATION!

And for $11.99 - half the price of an Integrity Dynamite Girl (and one third as much when you factor in shipping costs!) Mattel really scored big with these girls, and I consider myself LUCKY to get Artsy since, once again, the AA doll was short packed! (WTF Mattel?) And I'm still kicking myself for not getting Fashionista Sassy when I got this beauty because these dolls are SOLD OUT everywhere around here!

Here's hoping there's a second wave of these girls in 2010 - I would love to have a darker skinned AA doll in the line, and another brunette doll (Asian?) and a redhead instead of FOUR blondes next time around! (Again, WTF Mattel?)

Happy New Year's Eve!

After letting this blog lie fallow for nearly a year, I've decided that I need my own place to post my thoughts on dolls and to post pics. I've been disappointed with several of the doll groups I've joined - one only insists that fashion dolls (HIGH fashion dolls, as in HIGH in price) are the only ones worth noticing. The second, which I thought would be more democratic, decides that everyone has to post under their REAL name, even though the board owner doesn't. (Hypocritical, much?) Right now, I'm posting under my initials - sorry, but I don't give out my real name to anyone unless I have to. Why? Because this is the internet, that's why, with all sorts of crazy stalkers and crap! Hello! Sorry if someone wanted those Kellys I won, but your doll group is not worth having someone use my real name to look up my street addy (and this has happened; luckily it turned out to be someone my family knew from back in the day, but still...)

But anyway, you didn't come here to read my rant about doll groups - you came to see DOLLS! And as you can see, I like to make dioramas for my dolls - this is the latest one. Not my best one, but I was working with some budget constraints (as in "no money after the holidays") and I think it turned out pretty good considering. In the upcoming days, I will be posting some more holiday themed diorama pics for your enjoyment.

In the meantime, have a Happy New Year and here's hoping that you find the dolls of your dreams and have the money to buy them!


The Ladies

Malibu Christie

Hawaiian Barbie

Malibu P.J.

The Gentlemen

Live Action Ken

Malibu Ken

Diorama Items

Bar from the Best Friends House

Gloria palm trees, champagne with cooler and glasses

wicker chairs from the thrift store (collected over time)

Brick scrapbook paper, flowers and pots from Michael's and Jo-anne's

railing from one of the Barbie (80s) folding houses

Handmade (by me!) hors d'oeuvres from Fimo

folding screen frame from the thrift store

"Happy New Year" sign from Miniatures magazine (2002?)