Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone is having a great Christmas or whatever holiday it is you celebrate this time of year!

I guess my hubby has finally realized that my doll obsession is not going away, because he got me a doll for the first time ever... the I Can Be Computer Engineer Barbie! I have been looking for her all year without success. It seems like the stores in my area don't get many of the things I am interested in. But I am thrilled that he bought her for me!

I can't decide if I am going to debox her or not. I probably will, but not right away, the presentation in the box is so cute!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

if your buddy is your bloody, is your sister your blister?

Clawdeen and Clawd are excited to hear that Howleen will be making her debut soon!

I really love the werewolves. I wasn't overly fond of how Howleen looked in "Fright On" but I think her doll looks really cute. hopefully her hair won't be too hard to fix- I'm not a fan of the skunk-hawk look she has going on.

also hoping to see the new Sweet 1600 dolls in stores soon. it looks like the Clawd not only has rooted hair, but jointed wrists as well! thinking about a possible upgrade... I'm getting sucked into the "need them all" mode again.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Toralei Review

I was lucky enough to be on Amazon looking at Monster High dolls at one of the brief moments that Toralei Stripe was available at retail price, so I snapped her up. Right now she is super hard to find, so your best bet is to keep checking online retailers.

click for more

The Bottom Line:

The Good: unique character, clever details, eye-catching villainess

The Bad: some small parts, tail does not stay on, currently hard to find

The Verdict: Toralei Stripe is an awesome doll and is sure to stand out in your collection and be a big hit with your kids.

Monday, November 14, 2011

"I let my hair down"

posting this special for Vanessa since she was interested in seeing Harley Barbie with her hair down. :-)

her hair is very thickly rooted on the top, so she still has a bit of a bump. I might experiment with some styles later on. the front part is rather sparsely rooted, though, so I'm going to be limited in my options.

Harley is borrowing TV Chef's mini-skirt to wear with a prototype shirt I made. the neck-line is a little rough but I think I like the way the sleeves turned out. I couldn't find any snaps so she's got a rubber band belt on to keep it closed in the front.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I took down Barbie's hair, don't tell my mom...

last week's beheading incident emboldened me to enjoy my collection the way I want to. so I took down 2010 Harley Davidson Barbie's hair. I am not a fan of the bouffant/pompadour/pouf or whatever you want to call it. I eased the rubber band out, brushed her hair flat, and then put it into one big pony tail.

this reminded me of when I was a kid. Mrs Heart was one of my favorite dolls. I had the school teacher one that came in a pink dress. she had a side pony tail that I always thought looked a little weird. one day I noticed that the rubber band had crumbled and all that was holding her pony tail in place was the little piece of hair wrapped around it.

I took her hair down and carefully picked out all the tiny rubber band bits. my mom saw me brushing her hair and asked me what I had done. when I showed her how nice Mrs Heart looked with her hair down, my mom kind of flipped out. I had apparently ruined Mrs Heart by doing this.

I was forbidden from ever doing such a thing to any of my dolls again, because it would ruin their value. so I had a lot of dolls I didn't enjoy playing with because I couldn't make them look the way I would have liked.

anyone else have a similar experience as a kid?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

the icky stickies

this week was a bit of a frustration for me and my dolls. I had heard something a long while back about the 2009 Then and Now Barbies developing Sticky Leg Syndrome. Thursday I decided to check my lady's legs again, and sure enough, they were sticky.

I had never been terribly fond of her outfit anyways, and I haven't really grown to love the head of the Barbie from the She Said Yes giftset. So I set about beheading TnN so I could dump her body before it got gross. It certainly isn't as easy as it used to be. I remember when I was a kid in the late 80s/early 90s Barbie's head was easily pulled off by my little brother, leaving my dollhouse looking like the set from a slasher film when I got home from school.

I tried just easing it off by rocking and twisting it back and forth, which didn't get me very far. I ended up running her head under warm water and then jamming a pocket knife blade up into the tabs. Eventually it popped off. I set her beside the sink so her hair could dry, and left her body on the counter. I should just throw it away, but my OCD is making that difficult.

Well, this morning the dog was being really obnoxious about barking at the neighbors. So in my bleary half asleep state I shut her in the bathroom, completely forgetting that Barbie Antoinette was still in there. Interestingly enough, she left the body alone. I wonder if the sticky legs smell bad and she knew to avoid them. Instead she pulled down the head and curled up with it on the bath mat. Fortunately Barbie survived with nothing more than mussed hair and a gross slobber facial.

My next victim will be SSY. TnN will get her body, and much cuter and more accurate swimsuit, and her man. I'll keep the extra head around for a while anyways. I'm thinking about starting an egg carton to put extra heads in (I'm probably going to end up with a lot once I get up the courage to go through my childhood dolls) like someone on In the Pink did. I thought that was an awesome and hilarious idea.

I was in for yet another sticky surprise though. While rearranging my display I decided to move Carol Ferris to the sitting group. As usual her boots were slipping off, so I went to adjust them. One of them was slightly sticky. The other one was perfectly fine though. I'm not really sure what to make of this. I might try giving it a wash to see if that helps.

It upsets me that this is still a problem. Actually, I would say that it is worse, because my childhood dolls took almost 10 years to get sticky. TnN is less than 3. The boots aren't even 1 yet. If anyone has suggestions on how to combat this problem, please share!

Monday, October 24, 2011

On the case

I call this gal my Beckett Barbie because she reminds me of Stana Katic, the actress who plays Kate Beckett on "Castle." She is Jeans Basics Model 14. I kept her in her issue jeans (which are my favorite in the line) and black halter top. Everything else is borrowed from Barbie On Location Monte Carlo.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Abbey Bominable: Review

After a looooong wait, my Monster High Abbey Bominable Doll is finally here! I am in love.

click for more

The Bottom Line:

The Good: cute and creative. nice details.

The Bad: some small parts.

The Verdict: Currently the Monster High Abbey Bominable Doll is still very hard to find, so if you are interested in her and stumble across one in the stores, I urge you to buy her without delay. Unless Mattel churns out a lot of stock between now and then, I expect she will remain scarce until after Christmas. I think she is a must-have for any Monster High enthusiast.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Abbey on Order

This morning I was able to order Abbey Bominable.

Tuesday evening she showed as in stock, but by the time I was able to try to order her she sold out. Today she went from in stock, to order soon!, to estimated stock date Oct 9, to sold out in an hour. I don't think any previous Monster High doll has been this popular, not even Ghoulia. I am thrilled to finally have one secured for myself, since I have not seen one here in the wild yet. Of course now that I have ordered one I will find dozens of her in stores this weekend!

Once she gets here she will be the top of the debox list, so hopefully I'll have a review of her up within a week. I am still working on a couple of other reviews, so they should be up soon as well. Some dolls are terribly hard to photograph!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Carol Ferris: Green Lantern Barbie Review

To be honest with you, Carol Ferris was a nightmare to photograph in her box. It mimics action figure boxes, and has a more flexible plastic. This lead to slight ripples that distorted the images and made her look like Quasimodo in most of the photographs.

click for more

The Bottom Line:

The Good: beautiful doll, good sculpts, good accessories, articulated

The Bad: not actually a pivotal body, box plastic doesn't display well

The Verdict: if you are a fan of the character Carol Ferris I recommend picking her up. As an exclusive she will only get harder to find. She is pretty enough that if you like having dolls to redress and pose she would be a good addition to your collection. If you prefer to keep your dolls NRFB I suggest you pass on this one.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Barbie's Pandorica

oh goodness. If you are one of those people like me who like to save doll boxes in as nice a shape as you can... Carol Ferris makes this difficult.

There's the aftermath of the deboxing.

Step 1: slit tape and glue down both sides and across bottom of the box. this should allow the back of the box to lift away, remaining hinged at the top. (this is a single piece of cardboard that has been folded in half.

Step 2: slice through a little more glue under the clear plastic tabs to allow the front plastic panel to lift off, also remaining hinged at the top.

Step 3: now you get to do a bunch of tape slicing around the green tabs. once all this is done you should be able to poke the tabs through the cardboard so that you can access the T-ties that secure her to the packaging. I left mine hinged at the bottom.

Step 4: whip out your trusty scissors and start clipping those T-ties. there are 3 (yes, three!!!) of these going into the back of her head, and 2 more that hold the strip sewn into her hair down. there are a few others along with some clear rubberbands around her arms and boots.

Step 5: she comes with a U waist stand. the post can be easily slipped out after fiddling with some more rubber bands. to get at the base you have to slit some more tape along the cardboard backing.

Step 6: remove the hair strip and a few tiny T-ties that are holding her costume in place for shipping.

I think that about covers it. By the end of the ordeal the box resembled a opened Swiss Army knife. After that Ms Ferris had to have a long time-out.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Altering Model #4's Basic Jeans

On the left side you see the jeans as they came fresh out of the box. The thigh was pretty loose on this pair. The ankle was sewn so tight I had a lot of trouble getting her tiny pointy barbie feet through the holes.

I turned the pants inside out and found the inseam. The pieces are sewn together at the edges to prevent fraying, so I picked apart the seam up to the knee area in order to create a more straight-leg look.

Then I slipped the pants back onto the doll, still inside out, to check the fit again. The ankles were much improved. I pinched the excess fabric in the inner thighs and marked where I wanted the seam to go. I then tried them on my LBD basic #12 to make sure the pants would still fit a doll with the opposite leg structure.

I started the new inseam at the same point where I stopped picking apart the seam for the lower part of the legs. As I got near the crotch area I angled back out to where the factory seam is to prevent bunching that would be added by the extra fabric.

Turned them right side out again, and voila! the more fitted pair on the right is born. I think my alterations make the pants look a little more like the stock image, shown below. (sorry it is so tiny, I couldn't figure out how to make it bigger.)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

collection update

just thought I would check in to let you all know what's going on here in the queendom...

I was naughty and ordered the 2.5 basics. they are beautiful, and I don't regret it. probably that would have been my only chance to get them "on sale" as I imagine they will sell out soon. still haven't bought any of the accessory packs. I keep looking for them in stores, but they still only have the 1.0 sets in stock. I wonder if the new ones are getting snapped up.

went to walmart today to pick up a few groceries, so of course I checked the doll section. it looks like my local store will no longer be carrying collector barbies. they still had the holiday barbie, but all the others had been moved to the "clearance" section. it looks like they are expanding the "I can be..." section, so maybe I'll finally find the computer engineer and architect I have been looking for.

that nice big display they had of Monster High merchandise is now nerf and hot wheels. the monsters now have an end cap in the "boys" part of the toy section, and a little shelf space in the baby doll aisle. I hope walmart doesn't get rid of them too. it's really the only good store I have access to during the week.

I did see a few new Monster High dolls though. they had DotD Deuce, and a couple of the Ghoulias. I think Deuce is on the buy list now. he's really cute. I like that they did something different with his snake-hawk. still no sign of Abbey. oh! I did see a Spectra a couple of weeks ago at a different walmart, but she's not really appealing to me at the moment. I like her clothes, and I think her eyes are neat, but the sunken cheeks and pseudo duck-face... not so much.

as far as dolls I already had at home, I finally finished deboxing my jean basic 4. I really do love her face. I think her jeans are going to require a little work though. they were sewn very tightly at the ankles and rather baggy in the thighs. I think (hope!) this will be an easy fix of just relocating a seam.

speaking of fixing seams, I'm going to have to do the same thing with Forbitten Romance Draculaura's dress. the front panel got sewn on crooked and kind of makes her look lop-sided. I think I will do some other adjustments once I have it apart, to try to make the butt-ruffle less huge.

I think that Draculaura will be moving out soon. I put her next to my regular Draculaura, and regular D just looked better to me. even when I switched their clothes, regular D made FRD's dress look better than she did. poor girl, I haven't even finished her review yet.

so once she's gone, I will have only one of each character, and D will have the most extensive wardrobe so far with 3 outfits. I think I will have to amend this rule though, and keep more than one of each as long as they are sufficiently different from each other.

I've taken a lot of pictures recently, but I just haven't gotten them off the camera yet. they will probably all require some color correction as the light in my craft/doll room is not very good. poor Draculaura looks orange in some of them. I hope to get them posted soon. stab me with a barbie hand if I take too long!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

give your Monster High dolls braces

ok, I have to admit I am a little bit OCD, so perfect face paint is important to me in my dolls. sometimes it is hard to find the one that is painted just so, and I have to compromise. as someone who has had braces twice, I definitely appreciate a nice set of chompers, but they are much easier to fix at home. so if given the choice between a doll with good eyes but messed up teeth, and one with good teeth but messed up eyes, I will pick the former every time.

this Clawd is a good demonstration of the above. he has great eyes and sideburns, but his teeth were a little uneven. but this is an easy enough fix. you will need, in addition to the doll, a round toothpick and some acrylic paint.

make sure you shake the paint before starting. sometimes it will separate a little in the bottle. you will only need a tiny amount of paint, so I just unscrewed the cap and dipped the toothpick in the paint on the underside of the lid.

now for the difficult part. I have seriously shakey hands. I ended up having to sit on the floor with my forearms pressed into the floor in order to get a nice steady hand. the nice thing about acrylic paint is that if you mess up you can just wipe the paint off with a little bit of water and try again. a few minutes later and Clawd has nice bright menacing canines.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Clawd Wolf and Draculaura Giftset: Review

One set I have been really excited about this year is the Monster High Draculaura And Clawd Wolf Giftset This is the first issue of Clawd and is his "basic" doll, although he is part of wave 2 along with this Draculaura. Technically these two come in the coffin style packaging, but it was much easier to open than SDCC Ghoulia's was.

click for more

The Bottom Line:

The Good: cute set with an all-new character, and a guy at that! lots of cute details.

The Bad: some small pieces

The Verdict: currently this is the only issue of Clawd Wolf, so if you are collecting all the "basic" dolls and their diaries you will have to get this set for him. The Monster High Draculaura And Clawd Wolf Giftset is a good addition to your Monster High collection.