17 Jan 2018

Post christmas roundup of randomness

So we're into that part of the year that's a huge lull. Christmas is over, christmas money has been splurged (in my case on two more resinsoul dolls ahem) and stores are awaiting a long overdue restock.

the new Argos catalogue is due out the end of the month but the past few years have been so anticlimactic it's hard to get that excited. That means most stores are due their reset in the next few weeks though, so maybe something will show up on shelves.
Who knows?

Honestly there's not a lot in stores right now that's inspiring me.

But that doesn't mean I haven't bought too much stuff anyway. (I have very poor impulse control okay?)

So I suppose this is the "stuff I used what little christmas money I hadn't already blown to buy" hahah.

First I want to share a doll I never got around to sharing here. I bought him back in October, so i'm not sure why I didn't get around to including him in my pre christmas roundup. Oops?

I wanted one of these for a while and when I noticed the UK doll dealer Angelesque had one actually IN STOCK I jumped at the chance. See, Hujoo have been a nightmare to get orders from recently, not responding to emails and removing a lot from their site and generally just being a pain. Last hujoos that were ordered here either took months or flat out never arrived so I wasn't going to risk ordering something not in stock.

This little dude is a Hujoo Janus Gato. There's 2 Hujoo Janus dolls, the cat one like this, and a rat one. The rat one looks slightly psychotic imo. It's kinda hilarious.

Anyway, he's a 1/6 scale doll, so a similar height to my YOSD doll Lidara (who is a resinsoul Bei) and a little taller and substantially chunkier than the Hujoo 1/6 dolls they usually sell (the blue girl is a Berry, i think... she's Husband's doll. Mine is heavily modded and elsewhere in the house)

He cost me £60. He's made of ABS plastic, strung with elastic and comes blank in white only, without any eyes.

Like all Hujoo dolls, the head is a nightmare to get open to put eyes in. Like omg the amount of force and leverage required to get the face plate out, it's ridiculous. You end up gouging the doll up doing it. ALL their dolls are like this, the pegs that hold the face plates in are just way too long and get stuck.

Anyway, Janus has a gender neutral sort of body, very childish with quite chunky limbs. He's a substantial feeling doll with a good heft. He also poses way better than a regular Hujoo because the limbs are thicker and thus more able to counteract the elastic pulling on them.

Now this is why this doll is called Janus. It has TWO faces.
On one side is a human face with cat ears, the other side is a fully cat face.

Which is also really cute.

These faces mean the doll needs 2 sets of eyes and really can't wear a wig too easily (the ears get in the way for a start) but he doesn't really need a wig tbh.

His body, hands and feet are all very human, which makes the cat head side a little more bizarre to my eye.
it's like a relatively realistic cat head on a human child's body rather than an anthro.

I got to work painting these heads up. it took a while. One doll, two whole faces to do. I took the head off (it's held on with an S hook) and did each side of the head separate. The whole cat head is one huge piece of plastic while the human face piece is the bit that comes off.
I wouldn't recommend trying to paint this without taking the whole head apart, you'd risk smearing up one side of the head as you worked even with a lot of sealing. it's just be a pain.

Here's his humanoid side.

He has quite a large head, it's closer in scale to my MSD dolls which makes painting it a bit less painful. Though the stark whiteness means EVERY mistake shows up. I hate painting pure white, it's absolutely unforgiving.

Still I think he came out cute, even if you can see every single brush stroke and every pencil line.

Because he's fairly chunky I thought clothing might be a problem but as it turns out, he fits into vintage Sindy clothing really dang well. The jacket is from the 60s and the shorts are from a much later 80s doll.
He still needs shoes but i'm not sure what fits, they're quite long so I think i'll have to buy a pair especially.

What I always found odd about Hujoos is they all have this foot sculpt, no matter what scale, they ALL have these deformed feet with the big toe sticking inward. Husband has feet like this, but they aren't exactly normal. I wonder if the sculptor for Hujoo is just copying their own feet lol.

I love this humanoid face, I think he's such a cute little thing.

It is very very difficult to get in because there's not a heck of a lot of space inside the head for 4 eyes, strings, the connector pins AND an s hook. I couldn't fit 2 sets of full rounds in that space, so the cat side has cheap half round acrylics which I had laying around.
At some point maybe i'll get some nicer eyes but I kinda like the dark blue ones in the humanoid side. I think they're 16mm.

He's a cutie and I love him. Though he still hasn't got a name. I think he's just always going to be referred to as Janus.

Also back in October I made this... thing.

I've admired art dolls and plush sculptures for years but never been brave enough to attempt one. I found a load of tutorials online though and you know how it is, you watch some videos and think "hey that doesn't look so hard!"

I purchased some cheap fur and some air dry clay and got to work.

This thing is utterly bizarre but I love him.

He doesn't have a name, but he's a "shifter", an alien race of mine. They're kinda, sloth/kangaroo/cat/dog/bird things... I dunno man, my brain is weird.

I was working from this very very rough design. (the one on the right side)

Of course, I had to redo the armature multiple times because i'm a ditz and had never done this sort of thing before, but also because the fur added more bulk than I was factoring in. So he ended up with shorter legs than i'd intended but I kinda like it, makes it look sloth-like hahah.
And they are supposed to be tree dwellers.

I made the head too heavy initially so it wouldn't hold up, it still doesn't after carving most of it away. The long neck makes the whole thing top heavy and not very stable. I put weights into the tail and other places to try to counter balance it all but it didn't work.

Oh well, this is the first attempt at making something this large and ambitious and only the second plush sculpture i've ever made (the other one is mouse sized) so i'm not going to be too harsh.

It has the goofiest face and it cracks me up.

I also learned that feathers are a nightmare to work with and gluing them to stuff? isn't anywhere near as easy as tutorials would lead you to believe. I ended up covered in feathers and glue and they didn't really stick to the wig membranes at all. Bah.

So let's finally get to January

Around christmas I stumbled upon a listing on Schpock for a "bundle of used soft toys"
I don't know why I was searching the generic toy tag, I do that sometimes out of curiosity but this bundle caught my attention because of ONE thing. The bear.

THAT is a Nosy Bear, a toy from the late 80s and early 90s that I vividly remember owning. More than that, i remember agonising in Kmart over which one I wanted to buy. I was only allowed to get one, and there were about a dozen different ones. Ooo the agony of choice! I spent ages investigating each one's gimmick, umming and ahhing and finally went home with Gumlet.
THIS is Gumlet, the exact same model I had as a child.

I wanted him so badly.

I lost most of my childhood toys many years ago, I think i've mentioned this before, my parents are fricken imbeciles and as a result I lost almost every childhood memento I had. *sigh* even after all these years it still makes me angry and sad.

Anyway, someone had already contacted the seller about this but I figured I lost nothing by trying. I sent her an offer asking if she'd be willing to post if I paid the postage.
She agreed to it but then came the problem the previous buyer no doubt had run into. Seller didn't have Paypal.

I was sad. How else could I pay without Paypal? She suggested a bank transfer but I wasn't comfortable with that. I suggest cheque but she didn't like that idea.
Finally we settled on cash in an envelope. Which sounds super dodgy and made me nervous but it was literally £6 and I figured that if it went south, at least it was only £6. I could afford to gamble £6 to get Gumlet back into my life.

SO I posted an envelope of money to a random stranger and hoped for the best.

and they arrived!

They are a weird assortment. This doll has a plush body and velcro on one hand. Her box says "Princess Sharon" but that's it. She smells of lemons.
Some sort of strawberry shortcake wannabe?

This very squashed hedgehog is in fact a hand puppet, made for Avon (as in the cosmetics company). I have no idea what hedgehogs have to do with makeup but there you go.

There's no markings on this dog but I think it's an Andrex puppy. Certainly all the photos of 70s and 80s andrex dogs seem to have similar eyebrows. I find it strange though that the company logo or name is nowhere on the dog. Did it maybe have a collar at one point?
It's such a worried looking doggie.
Husband thinks it's way less evil looking than the modern ones. I have a modern one named "Fodder" and he hates it, he says it looks demonically possessed lol.
It was banished to the attic.

And finally, of course, the Nosy bear.

He's gorgeous. A few scuffs to his nose but otherwise perfect. He still works.
You squeeze their tummy and the little balls in the nose float about. There were loads of these, they all had different things in their noses. One had a race car that ran around a track when you squeeze (awesome), one had a basketball you tried to get through the hoop. A couple had a balloon that inflated. Some had sparkles that floated about, one had a butterfly that flapped and there was a jack in the box one too.

Gumlet is a sort of vivid fushia pink with orange, pink eyes and a gumball machine in his nose. (I say "his" only because my childhood one was a boy). The "nosy bear" logo is in one ear.

They're not exactly the cuddliest of teddies, the large hard ball in the nose makes them a bit well.. uncomfortable to snuggle and their belly full of air (there's some sort of bellows in there) means they are rather like hugging a balloon. That's probably why so many of them are in such decent condition.

But oh the nostalgia of holding this bear again, after so many years.

I had so many toys growing up, and I remember many of them vividly, but only a few of them really fill me with this NEED to replace them. I suppose a fair few were more tied into the sentimental manner in which they were acquired rather than the item themselves. A lot of my plushies came from overseas trips. Souvenirs and similar, i'd buy a few plushies everywhere we went as mementos. I had several australian animals (a koala, a kangaroo, a wombat, even a Belinda bear from Dreamworld), a little baby seal from Seaworld, a rabbit from San Francisco's china town (who I still have thankfully), a skunk (Who I also still have), some bears... so many.

I would rather like another Belinda, but she's not so easy to find here in the UK, you know, being a mascot for an Australian theme park and all that.
I also pine for a Farmers Glamour Bear. Oh I begged and pleaded with my parents for her.

See, every year Farmers, who are a huge department store in NZ, would release Santa bears. A range of white cuddly bears in santa outfits. As the years went by they introduced more and more "friends" to the line, till they ended up being mostly not christmas themed at all but still were released ONLY around christmas.
they were expensive, being from a department store and being as they were pretty damn big.
We had one, an actual Santa Bear that had belonged, I think, to my sister. But I wanted one of my own and this one year, it was mid 90s, they released Glamour Bear. She was kitted out like a 20s flapper in a silver dress with fringe, long pearl necklace and a feather headband on her head.
I adored her, I desired her, I begged for her.
My parents wouldn't buy her for me, she was "too expensive" and "I already had so many plushies, what would I do with her?"
But still I pined. We'd go into store and i'd cuddle her. She was, to my child eyes, just wonderful.

So that christmas sitting under the tree was a squishy present with my name on. I remember so clearly, my mother allowing me to open that ONE on christmas eve. We had a tradition of opening one small gift on christmas eve to encourage me to go the hell to sleep. I opened her up and oh, she was wonderful. It was my very own Glamour Bear.

I've searched, high and low, kiwi trademe, ebay, every single version of selling sites I can find but to no avail. I can't even find photos of Glamour Bear to prove I wasn't insane and she really DID exist. I yearn for her, almost as much as I did back then. This white teddy bear in a skin tight sparkly gown, a feather on her head... *sigh*

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbBbVTB_6PE Yes, there was a freaking pirate one, I have no idea why.

So many toys lost. Honestly I still feel a pang of sickness in  my gut when I think of their fate. Thrown away like trash, sent to the dump, no doubt long destroyed and incinerated.
It's heartbreaking.

My parents argue "it's just things" but they're full of shit. Kids invest a great deal emotionally into their toys and as adults, that rush of feeling when you handle something you had as a kid, it takes you right back to better times, happier days. It's a powerful feeling, and losing it is hugely painful.

For me at least, my toys, my old books, they were a link with a past that's gone forever. They were a small fragment I had left of a life my parents tore me away from. It's 19 years this year since my parents bright idea to "go to the UK for 2 years, see europe, earn some pounds, come back culturally enriched and slip right back into our old life"
Six months later they were divorcing and that was that. they met new people, settled into new lives, and I ended up stranded here.
Now I have my own family and I cannot and will not do to them what my parents did to me. It's not fair. They have lives here, family, friends, it'd be cruel and selfish to uproot and move them to the other side of the planet for my sake.
And so I stay, Seventeen years beyond the point I should have, forever a foreigner in a foreign land because the UK will never be my home, i'll always stick out as being from "somewhere else".
I honestly believe I collect toys because it takes me back, it creates a bridge back to a time where I was happier, where I was surrounded by people who loved me, a time where I had this huge extended family who we saw at least ever few weeks and who's lives were so entwined with our own. It takes me back to being a kid and playing for hours alone in my room, silent and content.

Toys are never "just things" and the loss of toys and mementos collected over years is not something to just shrug off.

Maybe one day it won't hurt as much. Maybe one day i'll be able to rebuild some of it or let it go. I'm fairly sure hoarding stuff to fill a void isn't at all healthy after all. But still, i'm glad at least, to have Gumlet back. It's one small piece, but it means the world to me.

Yes, I did spend two days cuddling him even though he's not very cuddly. <_<

Another thing I bought with some residual christmas money was Coalette.  She's a Living Dead doll from the latest series (34).
Their marketing campaign with this series was interesting, it involved a fake facebook page, a made up old mining town and a centenary going horribly horribly wrong.

 These are the five dolls, from left to right Tommy Knocker, Ash-Leigh, Soot, Coalette and Canary.

You've probably noticed that Coalette in this image is blonde right? they changed it mid production, presumably to make her more coal-like but also to avoid her looking too much like Canary and a whole load of other previous dolls.

I loved her regardless. In fact I kinda wanted Canary as well but when they finally hit the UK their rrp was £32 and it hurt my wallet too much.

But I still wanted Coalette, she's so hauntingly simple and I love it.
But £32 is a lot for a doll, especially such a simple doll as a LDD.
they are, imo, very overpriced.

Still, Coalette was selling out fast everywhere. Forbidden Planet appears to have stopped stocking this franchise completely so it's small hobby stores and similar and every one I checked, including the third party sellers on ebay and amazon had the other 4, but not Coalette. Those few Coalettes I could find were selling for almost twice retail.

Thankfully a UK stockist had them still in stock, for more than retail (because they're a tiny store after all) but they had a 20% off deal for the new year and that brought the price down to regular cost.
I bit the bullet and ordered Coalette before she's sold out everywhere.

Her poem isn't great. It took a while for me to even work out it was a poem and not just a random description of the backstory. Usually their poems flow a bit better.

Basic premise of this series is that the town found a rich seam of gold but the tunnel was too small for adults, so they lowered a bunch of kids down into the seam and left them there. They worked and worked, gold kept coming up, they'd send food down. The kids spoke of something in the dark, begging to be let back up. The town refused. The gold stopped coming up and the town abandoned the kids in the vein to die. Nice.

Coalette's hair is a bit of a mess. I like the black though, it really works against her starkly pale skin.

The backing paper for this series is gold, in keeping with the backstory. 

The death certificate is as usual taped to the back of the box, along with a small gold nugget!

these don't come with every doll, they're randomly in cases. Some people have claimed to get 2 in a case, others 1 in a case of 5 but nobody's really sure of how common these are. They seem to be fairly common at least.
Still, I didn't expect one.
It's a nice bonus.

The nugget is made of plastic of some sort, a hard fairly hefty plastic. The sulfur symbol logo of the series is engraved into it on one side.

The death certificate has the date of 2/14/1817, I don't know what the significance of that is other than it being valentine's day. It's the birth of Frederick Douglass who called for the freedom of all people, but beyond that...
Who knows.

Coalette herself is a beautifully ghostly doll. Her skin is a very pale greyish white colour and her hair is jet black, longer on one side than the other for some reason.
her lips and eyes are also jet black.

Her outfit seems to be sepia toned.

Her apron is stained with what looks like water stains rather than the grime you'd find in a mine.

She's barefoot as well, and yet her feet are spotless.

Under her apron her dress is a lovely floral pattern.

Her underwear is grey and quite messily painted around the belly.
this is interesting as most LDDs have white underwear.

She isn't white, she's slightly speckly in fact, almost like she's coated in a light layer of dust.
The palms of her hands and her fingers look dirty, they're more grey than the rest of her.

The gold nugget is pretty big in comparison to the doll, it's fist sized!

Her face is beautiful. She has unusually painted lips with a very sharp "v" to her upper lip. Her eyes aren't indented like the gouged eye dolls, they're just painted inky black and shiny. Grey tears stream down her face.

She has no eyebrows.

She kinda reminds me of She Who Walks the Night, the big black eyes, the lack of eyebrows, the stark pale skin and the old fashioned outfit.
I love She Who Walks, she's a beautifully simple doll and Coalette is similarly simple and ghostly. I love it.
I honestly feel like with horror dolls often less really is more.
These two are spooky as all heck while still being really strangely sweet.

You can also see how grey Coalette is when you put her against an actually white skinned doll.

Her hair can be a bit difficult to tame but I adore her. She's stunning.

I'm still waiting for my bjd orders. Impldoll said "January" so should be any week now they give a shipping notice. I'm anxious and nervous to see my new dolls.
Resinsoul said "a month" so that's either late jan or early feb before I see them.

But I do like to browse the bjd tag on tumblr rather more than I probably should and during one of my browsings I stumbled upon a post about a Makie doll.
They were asking for advice on how to sell so I offered some advice, suggested a few places and also cheekily suggested if they couldn't be bothered, well, i'd maybe be interested (i'm terrible right?)

Here's her picture from the seller (and yes I was envious of the bunny, I always wanted one of those creepy as heck Makie bunnies lol)

So anyway, a few hours later i got a pm from the seller about it and we came to a deal.
I really shouldn't be buying Makies but dangit, I can't resist them! and she's so cute! look at her, dark cocoa skin, bright red hair, yessssss

She arrived quickly and I snapped only this one picture of her before her makeover happened.

Makies always come with very minimal faceups, a sort of faint hint of lip colour and a teensy bit of colour the brows. They always, I think, need a little bit more to really shine.

Oh how I love Makies though. So sad they're gone but they were I think, just a bit too ahead of their time. The cost was really much more what you'd think would work for an adult collector doll but they were determined to market to kids, and marketing expensive dolls to kids is always going to be tricky. They couldn't bring the price down because the technology just IS that expensive and as a result they could never do quite as much as they'd have liked. It was a shame because the idea of customizable dolls is such a good one.
It was addictive. Every one is different and it's hard to stop with just one... least.. so I found. Ahem.

So she got a new faceup with some light freckling. She has a teensy little print error on one lip which made them a pain to paint. I'd get them even but the way the light falls on the errored segment messes with how it appears to the eye. It was driving me insane.

I got there eventually though.

She's a cutie. Credit to the original owner who designed her, she is seriously CUTE.

Her name was, I believe "Lolly Berry" or something due to Makielabs strange auto name generator. I've named her Holly following a conversation with the seller about who she was inspired by. Heh.

I knew before she arrived that Ada's original overalls would be just the thing for her, but it took a while to find them in my piles of stuff. She came with the yellow trainers already, which was really sweet.
Her original dress is a lovely purple thing but in the older style so it has a separate belt and a real buckle. By the time I got into Makies they'd moved to all printed outfits and they were much much simpler.
So it's nice to have an older style version of the purple check dress. I prefer my doll clothes with real 3d details.

The bunny hasn't got a name yet, but yes, it's creepy. It has these little red gem things stuck on as eyes that make it look slightly demonically possessed and it cracks me up.
It's also a bloody big bunny.

Juniper and Fizz made up the welcome party, they were eager to meet another cocoa bean girl.

She's quite different to my other two cocoa bean girls. It's also a skin tone that's very very prone to variations. Fizz has a lot more yellow in her tone, some of my later cocoa bean boys are more grey toned and a couple are reddish. It's nice, it adds a bit more variety that feels natural and realistic. Everyone's a slightly different colour after all right?

Holly looks slightly apprehensive about the gaggle of gals on this shelf. It's probably Ayla's fault, she's the weirdo standing on the sofa as if it's a stage.

But I think she'll fit in just fine.

She's Makie 32, which I think is a very good number. I don't like odd numbers, odd numbers annoy me. So 32 is good, nice and even and also, a number that's not too difficult to split into smaller groups.

I also won a lovely Peppermint Rose doll off Ebay, opened a My Scene doll at my youngest son's insistance (he wanted her bike) and found a Bratz doll who'd gone missing under the sofa months ago.

So it's been a fairly productive January.

Seriously though, this wait for my Impldolls is AGONY. The 4-6 week wait for Resinsouls is hard enough, but 3+ months is just painful. I'm not well suited to this long wait time thing, I find it really difficult to be patient and inevitably end up buying even more stuff to stave off the "want new doll NOOOW!" feeling. It's not good for my wallet. Instant gratification is arguably better because it gives me something to work on immediately, a faceup to do, wig to find, eyes to find, restringing, all of which takes time and energy.
Problem is, most of the time what I want isn't exactly something you can get "off the shelf" and so I end up having to wait. Arghh.

I've got 4 dolls incoming and nowhere to put them.

I need to organise a new shelf, get together wigs and eyes and full outfits and props for 4 dolls which should take a while and then i've got to do a load of restringing and small tweaks to improve the mobility of a few of my collection.
I already have a few plans for the ones on the way, an ear mod and some little lifts for the ankles to make one doll slightly taller. It should be interesting.

I also still have a huge box of Sindy dolls to OOAK. Which means buying a load of hair as I sold most of my rerooting supplies a while back thinking i'd never do it again (whoops)

Still, curious about the argos catalogue and reset and whether anything actually interesting will hit. It's been so dry in terms of playline toys over here for the past year.


  1. That's a nice haul, as usual. I absolutely LOVE what you did to your little Janus doll; I've been dying to see how those would look painted.

  2. I am excited to see your Sindy customs! I love the Makie.

  3. https://www.trademe.co.nz/toys-models/bears/collectable/auction-1530153946.htm
    Is this your old glamour bear? :O
    I kind of understand how you feel, my mom got rid of my old toys without telling me on a fairly regular basis.

    1. omg omg Glamour bear! She's a little different than I recall (memory is a funny thing) but yes yes! that's her!

      I'm saving this image lol, for posterity, to prove i'm not insane and glamor bear existed! thank you!