14 Apr 2017

Monthly roundup - ebay and thrift store fun

Yeah another not all dolls post but hey, it's my blog and i'll review whatever I want right?

This is a bit of a kinda roundup of stuff i've bought recently and not really had a chance to talk about.
So it's gonna be more rambly than usual. Oh yes.

I've had a fairly productive month or two in terms of "stuff". While my Mattel Boycott is going pretty well (and hey, given they keep releasing crap it's not too hard to maintain either) and I haven't really bought any new dolls, I have gotten a lot of interesting stuff in the local charity shops.
You can really see the MH fad's ended because they keep cropping up in charity shops for £1-2, often fully dressed.
Now our local charity shop keeps getting too much stuff donated (hah, 1st world problems) which means they then put everything on the shop floor onto half price. But it's not always clear they have a half price sale on and when it ends. So sometimes I go in and they are all full price but a day or two later everything's half off and then the day after that it's back up. Talk about confusing.
But hey, it's a couple of pounds here and there and it goes to charity so it's all good.

So we'll start this ramble with an overview of "stuff I found in the charity shop in the past month or so" and the stuff I bought on ebay.






The very end of Feb I came home with a ziplock baggie of 90s Kenner Littlest Pets. I think it was like £2 for the whole bag.
I always buy these when I see them for one huge reason. When I was a child, LPS were my OBSESSION. I mean, I loved these little things. I saved up my pocketmoney for the next set I wanted, I had the big pet shop that you could store them in and my best friend also started collecting, together we amassed this HUGE collection. Every single one had a unique name and personality, and we built this whole city of little talking animals with their soap opera dramas. It was awesome.


A lot of these are duplicates but a few are sets I never owned as a kid. The cat on her back is from the vet playset. The three sitting dogs are from another later set I hadn't bought (I always preferred the cats to the dogs you see) and I originally had the variant parrot (she's red, her name is Trisha) and the two cats at the front (the cream one was brown and the grey/white one with her paws up was a tortie)

I have fond memories of the turtles. My mother bought me the set one night when she dragged me to some work do. Dad I think was away on business and she couldn't get a sitter so she bought me a toy to amuse me while she hobnobbed hahah. I spent the evening toddling turtles over desks and sofas and all over the estate agency where she worked. Some loser adult scoffed at me all "they're aren't real!" and I was like "wow, you're a loser."
I still remember that jackass, because he was a twit. I was like 8. What kind of a man picks on an 8 year old girl? A lame one.
Loser.
But gosh I loved those turtles. Mine were called Shelly and Simon lol.
Yeah... I still remember their names, my brain is great for names of plastic things but not real people names. wth?


 Then at the beginning of March I came across this little fellow.

He's a resin BJD. I bought my first back in December (I'll talk about them at some point in a review i'm sure!) and i've kinda been slowly building up a collection of them since.
Now this guy popped up on Ebay and I thought he was cute. He's a Doll Chateau Carol, a limited release "event" doll that was given away if you spent over some spectacularly large amount of money during a short window of time. BJD companies do this sort of thing a lot.
Anyway, some dealers got spare ones and sold them on. This guy's original owner impulse bought him, blank white from a dealer and was a bit intimidated by painting him. This is apparently her second attempt to do so, the first stained the resin quite badly so had to be hidden with splotches and yellow paint.



This is what he looked like blank, and yeah, see that? THAT is intimidating to start a faceup on.

I'd seen these dolls before and thought they were cool but always found them super intimidating and because they were an event doll, I never really entertained the idea of owning one.
When one popped up on Ebay for a frankly bargain price complete with his original bag, box and certificate of authenticity, you better believe I jumped.
But what sold me on him was his faceup. I believe had he been blank I wouldn't have bought him, because I wouldn't have known where to even START with that.

But something about the half finished look he had, with the brown blotches, the crazy white hair, the yellow beak and feet inspired me. I needed to own him.

And so he came home and I immediately got to work finishing his faceup. Blushing his feet, filling in his wings (they have individual feathers oh gosh), feathering his face markings and blushing up his antlers which attach to his head with magnets.

He came with the big ol' fuzzy wig and it made me think of a mad professor, so I made him some wire glasses and sewed him a rough little shirt/waistcoat. The pants are Barbie pants which barely do up at the back.

He's "YOSD" sized which means he's about 10 inches tall. So a little shorter than a Barbie doll.
He's really small up top, like smaller than Monster High around the chest area and then really hippy around the butt.

He came to me strangely strung so his legs kept coiling up into fetal position. I rammed some wire into his knees to keep his legs straight. I need to actually restring him but i'm scared to take apart something with such teensy narrow limbs. Threading the elastic back through them is gonna be a pain.
But he's a bit floppy so I really SHOULD. Just arghh.. dun wanna.

Anyway, his name is Ludwig (which is what his original owner named him. It suited him so he kept it)

I love him. He reminds me of something Brian Froud would design.


Cutie.


Then this popped up on my ebay feed.

It's been a while since I bought a Makie, they've officially gone under now. They annouced on their facebook after over a year of inactivity that they'd been unable to find investors and it was over.
So sad. They were such a cool concept.

Anyway, Ada here was one of their "limited edition" Makies. They made 1000 each of the 4 characters from their "Fab Lab" app (which was some sort of fashion designing game). These dolls had at the time unique to them wigs, full unique outfits and were hand painted. They had a hefty price tag though, they were £199!
Why would you pay that when you could get a OOAK unique one for £99? (and soon after they dropped to £69, making the price tag of these all the more insane)
I don't think they sold very well. As a result they put them on clearance about a year before I took the plunge on Makies. I can't recall how cheap they got, but I don't believe they ever ended up less than a brand new Makie.

Anyway, there were four characters. Ada, the tech girl, Hopper, the fashion maven, Curie who did something else and Tesla, the token boy. lol.
I always kinda wanted a Tesla.

Anyway, Ada here is the third or fourth one to pop up on Ebay through the clearance guy who cleared Makie Labs. I put her on watch because I watch ALL Makies on ebay out of curiosity, whether I intend to bid or not. I decided to put a cheeky snipe bid in, assuming that she'd go for crazy money like the past few of these LE ones had.
I'd tried to win one back when the lab first closed and the ebay makies first started appearing for Husband who's a huge Ada Lovelace fan but I kept getting outbid by massive amounts.
So I was pretty shocked when I found out i'd won her for only £67
Like.. wow. The others went for close to £200!
Bargain!

I have to assume that the bubble's burst on Makies now. I think a lot of people have moved on to other things and with these LE ones, because they're not unique, there's 999 other ones just like her out there, if you already own one you wouldn't bid.
But also because like 75% of the appeal of Makies was the designing them yourself and the fact they were one of the kind, these LE ones were never going to be nearly as exciting.
I own two LE Makies now. This girl and Juniper who was a much more sensibly produced doll who was CHEAPER than a OOAK one. That's how it should be.

Then again, I did rather like the premade ones too. Because they were all ooak too and often introduced features or combinations you hadn't considered. The variety was great.

But anyway


First thing we did when Ada arrived was get Husband's Ada doll (he designed her himself and dressed her up)
they look nothing alike except they have the same wig lol. (the wig is actually called the Ada wig)


I have 6 Classic style Makies now, but Vicky and John are on the other shelf. These four hang out next to my desk.
Sweetie and Ripley are sisters (both in my head and literally batch sisters, they were made in the same printing run) and Noah is we think either Alpha or pre Alpha. He's a very early one anyway, he has the unique boy hands they stopped doing fairly early on and was made before they started dying them. He has iffy hips so he lives in a wheelchair.

Ada, unlike the other three is actually on the newer style body with the ball peg joints rather than the fragile hinge joints. It means her knees are much sturdier as are her elbows. The LE ones were made right at the point the classic heads were discontinued.

I still dream of a "cutie" style one in pistachio (the green Sweetie and Ripley are, it's so dang pretty)

I think Ada makes Makie 31 now. I kinda hoarded them didn't I? oops.
Oh well, they make me smile so.. you know.


The next charity shop find I stumbled upon was this Toralei. She's Ghoul Sports, missing her shin guards, bag and ball but she seems otherwise complete.
She was £2 and I got her because I can't stop myself buying intact MH dolls when I see them in charity shops. It's a compulsion.
But as it turns out, I actually really like her makeup. She has this neon blue and pink eyeshadow and neon pink lips, it's super 80s. I'm gonna dress her up a bit. She'll look awesome.

I also found a FCA Elissabat but didn't get a photo. Doh. 


I also found these little guys. They're beanie plushies.


They're about 8 inches tall, I thought they were cute.

I'd not seen them before, turns out they were sold with a giant tag over their tummy with the character who they belong to's face on.

Yeah.. what?

These ended up going to a new home to make someone very happy indeed.
I actually have some other MH plushies stored away somewhere. I always liked the original pets designs.
they were fun and rather iconic I felt.


I also got these, they're MLP Newborn cuties. They have rooted curls which are stinking adorable.
I don't really collect MLP but I know people who do, so these are bribe ponies hahah.


Look how CUTE they are!??
The dark pink one is actually super dark, she shows up lighter in photos. It's an awesome colour. More stuff should be this dark pink.


I also found this girl. She'd been sitting in the Barbie box for days and I thought she had a fascinating face. She's a fairytopia doll, that's abut all I knew at the time. She had a mermaid tail made of cloth and big wings that clipped into her back but the wings were super boring looking and the tail was kinda lame.
She looks better in modern clothing I think.

I really like her leaf shaped ears, I find them really interesting.

From what I can establish she was a playset doll from Magic of the Rainbow or something.

I also got a scented pink haired fairytopia doll, she stinks. But I always loved the face sculpts of the fairytopia dolls, they're really unusual.
I didn't get a pic though, because i'm a bum. Oops.


This one. She had moulded everything except the tutu. Mine was missing her tutu and her wings.
I ripped that head off and stuck it on a Bratzilla body HAH.


My biggest haul to date came a couple of weeks back though.
And I don't mean big as in it was lots of stuff, 6 dolls isn't that impressive, but value-wise.

Husband and I had headed into town to grab some lunch and take the kids to the park when we walked past the kids charity shop, my usual haunt. In the window they had a basket of baby dolls which usually i'd ignore because i'm no great fan of baby dolls, but something caught my eye... or rather, someone.


there was something eerily familiar about that little face.

"That's a SASHA!" I squealed. "I think..."
But she looked too small, I always thought Sasha dolls were more like American Girl sized because i'd never seen them in relation to anything, but a lot of the Sindy collectors also have Sasha dolls so i'd seen photos of them before and knew they were vintage.
I went into the store and picked her up, and underneath her was another doll


With a similar face.

and under her, a third


SO CUTE omg.

The box said £1 each. ONE POUND?! I grabbed all three up.

I thought they were probably not real Sasha dolls, I assumed they were probably some sort of knockoff or pretender because I had no idea they were this small or that they made baby ones. And all three were totally unmarked. But I figured they were interesting and probably worth more than a quid, people love clones and I always find them interesting to learn about.
This is one of the reasons I buy vintage dolls, I find their history and origins extremely interesting and handling a piece of history appeals to my inner archaeologist.

Anyway,

I also found 2 My Scene dolls in immaculate condition and an interesting looking Sindy clone.

We'll get to her.


For reference, this is how big Sasha is compared to a My Scene/Barbie doll.

Way smaller than I thought.

As it turned out, the three ARE real Sasha dolls. Made in England in the 70s sometime. 

HISTORY TIME:
Sasha dolls were made in the late 60s through to the 80s, and again in the late 90s/early 2000s as collectors items by Gotz (they're marked Gotz). 
The original ones were designed by an Artist named Sasha Morgenthaler who was, from what I have read, unhappy with the grinning faces of other dolls and decided to make a more serene doll for kids. Some time in the 60s they started mass production of the plastic ones. Gotz made them in Switzerland and the ones made in the UK were handled by several companies including Trendon in the 70s. The factory in Stockport closed in the mid 80s. 

The three I have are more than likely contemporary with one another, one child's collection. And given these were NOT cheap dolls (they were about the same price as a modern American girl is) that's one dang lucky kid. These would have been special dolls to someone, and I find it kinda sad they ended up in a charity shop when they must have had great sentimental value to someone once.


Anyway,

They're curious things. Hand painted in many cases, this big girl you can actually see the individual brush strokes in her eyes. I love hand painted faces on dolls, that connection to the artist, a real human being is so appealing.

They have rooted hair and are totally strung with elastic.


Tadah.

They're a really deep brown colour too. It's quite attractive.

This Sasha I worked out was most likely a 1971 Blue Gingham Sasha.

Her hair needed a brush but I had no clue how to brush it and was too scared to touch it.


The second doll is a baby Sasha, she's probably from the mid 70s.

Her eyes are printed on and like her older sister, she's elastic strung.


They're very stylised dolls with a very simple shaped body, feet with a sort of hint of toe rather than sculpted toes and simple fingers.

Strangely the baby ones have two dots on each elbow, I have no idea why.


The last doll it turns out is a boy. Something I didn't realise till I came to research the dolls and read that the blonde haired babies with the raised eyelids are all male and the dark haired ones are all female. And they ARE sexed.


You can barely see it, but there's a teensy tiny little tic tac shape between his legs lol.

This means he's gotta be pre 75, as they stopped giving them these details at that point.

I find it kinda hilarious he has a moulded line across his waist like underpants, yet still has a penis. There's something really delightfully random about that.

Sadly his stringing hadn't survived time and left him super floppy (kinda like a real baby hah)

But gosh his face...


Look at those beautiful dark eyes!

I ended up having a wonderful time learning about these dolls, identifying them and talking to some very lovely collectors.

these three ended up going to new homes. Both girls stayed together, the little boy was shipped off to a company who restrung him good as new before he went to his new forever home where he'll be treasured.
A happy ending for these three I think, from forgotten and discarded to pampered and adored by collectors who'll dress them, wash the dust from their hair and take many many photos.

I love doll collectors. ALWAYS make time to play. It's good for your mental health.
And I love when I know a doll is going to someone who'll genuinely treasure it. I'm sentimental and I feel like all dolls deserve to be loved.

I admit, I had to talk myself into parting with the smallest one, he was so so cute but I didn't know how to care for him, was too scared i'd ruin him restringing and wanted them to go to someone who knew what was up and wouldn't damage them with their clueless noobness.

Gosh he was adorable though wasn't he?



The other thing I got was this Sindy clone as I mentioned. She's in really terrible condition. She was a cheap clone to start with, so her body is hollow and her hands really poorly moulded. But over the years her face has started to deteriorate as well, she's almost.. pock marked where the vinyl is breaking down.

These clones were super common in the 60s and 70s, and i'm pretty sure this girl is from the 70s purely because of her costume.

Her outfit's home made, but it's been made with so much love and attention to detail. This is why I bought her, because the doll herself is pretty much worthless, she's decaying and she was crappily made to begin with, but that only makes her outfit all the more interesting.


She's wearing a replica nurses outfit, and the style of the pinafore and cape dates her to early 70s.
The cape is made from felt and clasps at the front with a little hook and eye. The cape oddly enough has been made with remnant pieces, so there's a seam where two pieces have been added together. The inner lining is red knit, also remnants.
The cape has the classic red tapes crossing over the chest.

Under the cape she's wearing a white apron with no straps, which is authentic to the era. it has holes where a pin once held it in place. The little pin brooch looks like something that was laying in the jewellery box. It has little diamantes in it and enamalling but its missing a stone.
The cross has been glued over the top in cardstock.

Her belt is made from some sort of stretchy knit with another piece of what looks like broken jewellery as a buckle.

Under the apron she has a beautiful grey dress with a peter pan collar in white and a pair of flesh toned stockings.
She would have had black shoes at some point i'm sure.

And she has a little lace cap on her head.

The whole thing has been made with such love, I honestly wonder how she ended up just thrown away into a charity shop. Someone sat and poured their heart into making this outfit, and given the hat and the apron are held in place with actual metal pins and she has what looks like lacquer staining one leg, I don't think she was made for a child to play with. Husband speculated she might have been made for a young woman who was starting nursing school, and she'd spent years on a shelf hence the stain (it looks like wood lacquer from a cabinet)
It kinda breaks my heart to think that she wasn't kept forever by whoever she was made for. I wonder who that girl was, is she still a nurse? Why did the doll get donated?
And why did they use such a cheap doll for an outfit so full of love? Could they not afford an authentic sindy? was it all they had available? There's so much unknown history and it absolutely fascinates me.
I find her just so interesting, and so that's why I bought her.
She's a proper historic relic, a gift made for some unknown someone. And the thought of her being just tossed away is so sad.
Dolls meant something to someone once, I always find it so sad when something that was so clearly hugely sentimental is forgotten.


Then I found these in the charity shop, on half price.
They're Mia and Me dolls. The girl is Mia, the unicorn is named Onchao (no idea how you say that)
I liked the alicorn/unicorn thing, and Mia's got a really EAHish face to me.
She was 75p, the unicorn was £1.

She has moulded on shoes/stockings but I think they're quite funky.
Her wings are plastic and ball jointed so actually extremely posable. They're really fun to play with.
And her hair is the same colour as Posea Reef from Monster High.

She reminds me of Maddie Hatter from EAH lol.

I need to find a shirt for her to wear. Her wings rather limit her costume options.


I love love love that the unicorn has a unicorn tail, that is, not just a horse tail.
That's kinda what sold me on him. He looks more like a proper heraldic unicorn (minus the wings) and I think it's fun.


Finally I picked this girl up on Ebay.

I actually bought a different Pullip on Ebay but the seller pulled out. -_-
Anyway, I ended up finding this girl for a good price because she's missing a hand.
I always wanted a Pullip but could never justify the frankly crazy price of them, especially not when people kept telling me "oh you'll want to rebody them anyway, the pullip bodies suck and are super fragile."

£100+ for a doll you'll then have to rebody sounded a bit excessive to me.

Well, as it stands, the 4th generation Pullip body actually isn't crap and actually works just fine. But the hands fall out and get lost a lot.

This girl is Audrey Hepburn from Roman Holiday. Groove did three Audrey Hepburn dolls, Sabrina, Breakfast at Tiffanys and this one.
I thought their faces were beautiful. the one I lost out on was a Sabrina one, I was devastated.
As it works out, this girl has a prettier wig anyway.

She came with one of her dresses, no shoes and her extra skirt but no blouse.


So I spent the next day working out what to do about her missing hand. I had considered just rebodying her, she was cheap enough I could justify it, and I toyed with using one of my Descendants or something for it. But when she arrived I decided her body was actually pretty nice.
The knees are jointed so she can kneel and she has rotational joints in her upper arms. It's pretty nicely sculpted and while it feels quite fragile, it's not more so than a monster high body.

I made her a new hand which I then purposely mismatched so it looked like a prosthetic.
It's a hand off a reproduction hatchett Sindy doll I rebodied years ago. I never throw bodies away, I just stockpile them because I feel bad throwing away perfectly good parts.
Anyway, I snipped the hand off and husband drilled a hole in it and inserted a screw with the head end cut off (so it's just the metal thread)
I then sculpted around the damage with milliput. this means the hand is removable for easier dressing. I also sculpted the little piece on her wrist which is the attachment brace for the hand (or would be if it were a real prosthetic)
Then i painted it fleshtone, intentionally making it a bit more pink.
It blends a bit better to the eye than to a camera but it wasn't supposed to match, prosthetic hands often don't quite match.

Because it's on a screw it also still has rotational movement, the only movement she's lost is the hinge movement at the wrist.
That seems pretty realistic.

I quite like embracing dolls flaws like this, I sort of feel like if a doll has a flaw, you should work with it. And flaws endear dolls to me. I've a soft spot for the damaged dolls.

I did try other alternatives, I tried fitting a whole lot of different sorts of hand from other doll lines but they all had a peg that was too narrow.
Someone clever could possibly fill the socket with milliput and make the hole with the replacement hand but given how expensive hands from dolls are, it's probably easier to just rebody her completely if you didn't want to embrace the missing hand thing.


I think it works though.

And while the dress she came with is gorgeous and very well made, it's just a bit too close to her skin tone for me. So she got a cute Bratz (taller) dress.
She looks to be about the same size as a Bratzilla or Descendants doll, meaning some Barbie stuff will fit but some will be too big.

I haven't got any shoes for her teeeeeny feet so she's wearing some descendant's boy shoes with socks rammed in to bulk her feet out lol.
Her feet are really small, like.. barbie small.


More of her prosthetic hand.


She's so beautiful though. Her super dark eyes and quite simple makeup are beautiful.
She can move her eyes side to side with a mechanism and close them, but her eyes don't fully close. Neither do my Taeyang's so i'm not convinced they're actually supposed to fully close. I don't know. They seem to get stuck half way. Not that I much care because the blinking mechanism always struck me as a little odd anyway. the moving the eyes side to side is useful for photos and expression, but the blinking i just find a bit awkward. All the pictures I can find online the eyes don't fully close, I assume because if they did they'd damage the lashes.
But it does mean they look a bit weird with their eyes shut.

Anyway,

that's my "more like 2 months" roundup.

I also bought a whole glut of Zelfs, which i'll do a review of soon.
And a 4 pack of Descendants for only £10, which is a bloody bargain.
I also have some more ebay stuff coming. Haunted Rochelle (I'm not buying NEW stuff from Mattel but secondhand, eh, it doesn't give them money so it's fine) and some La dee das for some rebodying fun.
And I have a ramble about bjds to write up.

So yes, prepare yourselves for a lot of sporadic content in the coming days/weeks. I'm not good at posting to a schedule i'm afraid.
I'm gonna try though.
But as i'm less and less buying playline stuff, these blogs are going to get more and more scattered. A lot more retrospectives and roundups like this, a lot less new stuff.

Right now i'm mostly focusing on more expensive dolls like bjds and pullip (I need an Isul) and playing with weird hybrids and random charity shop finds. A few blind bag things have caught my eye though, Spin Master have a new line out soon of blind bagged or.. egged Hatchanimals which look super cute.

So stay tuned, more toy reviews to come!

2 comments:

  1. Fascinating finds! Loved reading all their info/stories.

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  2. First off, it was great hearing that the Littlest Pet Shop turtles were someone else's favorite too. They were the first Littlest Pet Shop set I ever got. I think they were a Christmas present. My turtles were named Tipsy and Topsy. I guess I really liked alliteration back them.
    When I saw the first photo of your 'new to you' resin BJD, it vaguely reminded me of a character from one of Jim Henson's live action films. I'm not sure which film, it's been a while since I've seen any of them. The BJD also reminded me a little of Colonel Casey the stork from the original Cabbage Patch Kids franchise. Yes, I'm weird.
    Nice Fairytopia doll by the way. I love seeing dolls with 'fantasy hair colors' in modern clothing. I've redressed several Fairytopia dolls myself, and it's always fun to see a doll go from being a fantasy character to having a more trendy, contemporary look.
    Great idea giving your Pullip doll a prosthetic hand. Not only have you given a damaged doll a new lease on life, but you've added a new dimension to her character.
    Overall I loved this post. I can't wait to read what else you have in the works.
    Signed, Treesa

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