Looking for something?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Random stuff and a Life in the Dreamhouse Midge review

It's turning out to be one of those summers.  You probably know the type; maybe you've even experienced one.  You start off the summer with these sky-high plans, get all geared up to go through with said plans...then you sit back on your fat, lazy rear and do next to nothing.  Yep, that's been my summer.  I was supposed to get an apartment down in Mountain Home, and I was supposed to get my drivers' licence.  Did I do either of those things???  Uh...not exactly.  I've sat at home, watching television and packing on the weight (LOL).  The highlight of my summer was having a friggin' kidney stone.  July 13th was very painful, but there is a possibility that I may pass it on my own this time.  The last two times I've been sick with kidney stones, I ended up having to have surgery.  This time I may be able to get away without it, so keep me in your prayers.

Then there was Nik Wallenda, doing what he does best.
Walkin' the tightrope stretched around the world...

This year's walk was a lot more exciting (and frightening) than the Niagara Falls walk, because Nik didn't wear a tether this time (he was required to at Niagara Falls, as seen in the image above).  He spent the entire walk praying that he wouldn't fall, and I did much of the same thing.  Having watched him do stuff like this two Junes in a row, I have to wonder what will go down NEXT June!!!  LOL

There is also Sister's new boyfriend.  Oh, I didn't tell y'all about that?  Yes, Sister has a new boyfriend, he has been absolutely TERRIFIC to my sister, mother, and me.  He works at Toys R Us and was able to procure a Life in the Dreamhouse Midge for me.
This particular Midge doll is done up to resemble her character in the Barbie web series "Life in the Dreamhouse," which I know very little about.  Barbiecollectors.com has six characters listed (Barbie, Midge, Nikki, Summer, Teresa, and Raquelle) and each of them have been made into dolls.  I probably won't be getting all six of these, but seeing my childhood buddies Midge and Teresa back on Barbie's friend list is a delight.  Also entertaining to see is the Raquelle doll, whose face is molded in a smirk.  I may have to get Raquelle; according to the BC website she's supposed to be the villain of the story.  Such a character would add a bit of spice to my dominantly sugar-and-spice collection.

Alrighty, let's get this review on the road.  Here's Midge's lovely face.
She has the Steffie face, something that a lot of my favorite dolls have.  The head mold was originally for a 1970's friend of Barbie's (also named Steffie), and it has been used ever since then for numerous other Barbie friends.  In this case the mold has been modified, being bigger than normal.  Recently Mattel has been giving Barbie and her friends rather large heads, and Midge is no exception.  This inflated size may not be obvious when Midge is by herself, so here she is with Sophie (California Dream Midge).  Sophie also sports a Steffie head, but it's the "normal" size.
Midge and Sophie

Another example of this can be seen on the Traveling Twig's blog.  In her blog Heather compares a My Melody Barbie to Midge and the difference in head size can be clearly seen.  Some collectors hate this, by the way.  They aren't huge fans of what they have dubbed the "swelled heads."  I myself am ambivalent; some dolls look fine with the larger head, and some do not.

Right.  Where were we?  Oh yes, hair comes next.  Midge's hair is light red, waist-length, and slightly wavy with a deep side part.  The fibers are smooth and shiny but will tangle if mishandled (just like all other Barbie dolls).  Treat Midge's hair with respect and it'll stay looking nice.
Her bangs are also parted, and they are held in place with that product that Mattel likes to put in doll hair.  I'm not a huge fan of a lot of styling product in doll hair, so I'll probably comb that crap out.
Underneath the bangs are eyebrows, which I think look clownish.  They're just solid bands of orange paint.
They're a nice shape, though.  They're smoothly arched, not up too high or too low.  They help give Midge a pleasant, approachable expression.

Midge's eyes make me chuckle a little.  They're these enormous blue orbs, ringed with dark eyeliner and topped with rooted eyelashes.  They remind me of how the original 1963 Midge looked!  She has a bit of a vacant look that I'm not entirely in love with.  The eyes are very well painted, however.  Under the lids is a line of blue paint, suggesting a shadow.  Not something I see too often in a doll.
Midge has fairly heavy eye makeup.  It's pink near her eyes, then dark, then light and shimmery up towards the eyebrows.  It's pretty, but I'd have chosen something besides pink for the area close to the eyes.  A definite improvement over Michelle's pink eyelids, however.
It's the same shade of pink, but it looks better on Midge.  Go figure.

Midge has freckles like all good Midge dolls should.  But look very closely...
My Midge has lopsided freckles!!!  The left set is higher up on her cheek than the right set.  Not a huge deal.  After all, these are small dolls, and a lot of the Midge dolls on Flickr also have cockeyed freckles.  It also adds a touch of realism to her, since no one in this world has perfectly aligned freckles.  Just be sure to look over these in person; you never know when someone might fall asleep at the assembly line and stamp the freckles on Midge's forehead!

Lastly, those lips.  Those lovely Steffie lips.
Steffie lips look good in just about any color; here they are a matte pink, just a shade lighter than bubblegum pink.  It's an okay color, but I wish it had a bit of shine to it.  

Now to clothes.  You may recall from a couple of past posts that I'm quite fond of doll clothes, and Midge does not disappoint.  She comes with an extra outfit (as do the other members of the Dreamhouse crew).  But first things first.  Here's Midge's stock outfit.
Another of my gripes about Michelle was her top; it was just a panel of fabric sewn across the opening of her jacket.  Midge's dress and jacket are not that way, however.  They are two separate pieces, which pleases me.
The jacket is a bright cinnamon pink with white polka dots.  POLKA DOTS, FOLKS!!!  The sleeves are three-quarter length and are hemmed nicely.
The dress is constructed to look like it's a top and skirt set, but it's not.  The two pieces are sewn together, just like my LDD Beast's suit.  The top of the dress is a sparkly red fabric.
The skirt is short and has three ruffled tiers in the front.  The fabric is navy blue with pink and red roses printed on.  Each tier has a pink hem that coordinates with the roses.
Oddly, the back of the skirt is not tiered.  It is just one panel of fabric.
I'm thankful for that blue, though.  It breaks up what would've been another dominantly pink outfit.

Midge's second outfit, which she is currently wearing, is dominantly blue.  It has a very interesting combination of patterns on it.
The top of the dress is...I'd call that color cornflower blue.  It has white polka dots printed on it.  There are short frills at the armholes which I guess could be called sleeves.  
The skirt is sky blue with pink, white, and darker blue squares on it.  The squares are interlocked, making the skirt look like it's made of plaid fabric.  The hem is bubblegum pink, which coordinates with the pink cardigan.
Technically Midge could wear the cardigan with this dress...
She doesn't look too thrilled.

...but I think that would be polka dot overkill.  Yes, it is possible to overdo it with polka dots!  The cardigan also does not fit well over the shoulder frills that this blue dress has.

Midge's shoes are simple black high-heeled sandals.  They don't really match a thing she's wearing, but they don't clash either so Mattel made a smart move on that one.
These are tight, by the way, tight enough that the rubber bands are unnecessary.  I haven't even tried to take them off, the fit is so close.  Luckily Midge has small feet, and these outfits are pretty easy to get off and on, so the tight shoes do not hinder her much.  I love the style of these, too; I'd have at least tried to wear these...back during the days when I could wear high heels.

Midge is fairly well-endowed when it comes to accessories.  She has a purse and a full set of jewelry.  They're very simple, though; the purse is made out of shiny, hard pink plastic and does not open.  It does have a cute design.
Midge's jewelry is lackluster; all pieces are done in flexible gold plastic.  The earrings are cute, but they're long and sometimes catch in her hair, which I hate.  These don't come out, so I'm stuck detangling Midge's hair a lot.
The necklace is all one piece.  Stock photos suggest that this was either supposed to be a different color or have a design painted on it, but neither of these things came to be.
The bracelet has two rows of gold balls.  It fits tightly but comes off with relative ease.
That pretty much covers it for clothes, so let's move on to the body.  I'm pleased to announce that Midge is jointed, as are all the Dreamhouse dolls.  She has twelve points of articulation; everything moves but her ankles.  Her body is comparable to those of several other dolls that I have, so time to bust them out. 
Alexandria looks like she's going to eat Midge.

Alexandria (left) and Artemis (right) are both Fashionistas with articulated bodies, but they have highly dissimilar joints.  Alexandria has well-constructed hinged knees, while Artemis has the less mobile, less sturdy pegged knees.  You may recall from this blog post that Artemis came out of her box warped.  At first glance Midge appears to have a body like Artemis's, something that made me shudder.  She did dodge the warped joint bullet, but I still want to compare knees.
See how similar Midge and Artemis look?

As it turned out I didn't need to worry.  Midge has excellent mobility in those knees.  She can bend them back and rotate them as well.  She can stand bow-legged or knock-kneed.  The knock-kneed stance is particularly cute...but when she stands like that I can't shake the thought that Midge has a little secret!
What are you hiding behind your back?
"Uh, nothing!"

I can already tell you that Midge's knees are vastly better than Artemis's, but I didn't think she could beat out Alexandria.  Alexandria can bend her knees to a sharp angle and sit very well.
But check this!
Here's what they look like sitting together.
Artemis can hardly bend her knees, and Alexandria's hips splay apart like a bimbo on Quaaludes.  Midge is capable of sitting like a lady (the longer skirt helps somewhat).  Again, Alexandria doesn't look too thrilled to be bettered by this newcomer.

Now let's compare arms (I always have fun with this part).  For this one  Alexandria and Michelle will help.  Of all my girls, Alexandria has most flexible elbows and wrists, and Michelle has the stiffest.  I expected Midge to fall in between.  BUT...guess what?
At first there doesn't seem to be much difference between Alexandria and Midge, but take a gander at this!
Cue the bagpipes.

Midge can touch the top of her head.  Not well, mind you, but she CAN do it.  Alexandria and Michelle cannot.

Lastly, this.
Midge can touch her face (or her forehead, at least), and she can do so quite solidly.  Alexandria can also touch her head this way, but she can't rest her hand flatly against her forehead like Midge is doing.  She looks like she's scratching her head, in fact.  And Michelle...well, I'll let this pic speak for itself.  I had to hold Michelle in this picture, by the way; Alexandria and Midge are sitting, but Michelle can't sit in her tight skirt.  LOL, random, but I couldn't resist sharing that little tidbit!

So that settles it!  I'm surprised to report that Midge has better joints than Alexandria, one of my most flexible dolls.  The only thing she and Alexandria are equal on is the torso joint; both dolls have the same range of mobility there.  Other than that, Midge has a superb body.  The only thing that concerns me about this body is durability; joints tend to be weak points, both on dolls and on humans.  Midge doesn't feel fragile, and I could detect no signs of cracking or splitting at the joints, but then again I won't be subjecting my dolls to the abuse that little kids sometimes do.  That brings us to the bad/good part of this review.  

*Midge's expression is a little vacant.  Not too much, but enough to put off some.
*The freckles are skewed.  Again, not a huge gripe, but beware of poorly painted dolls.
*The jewelry is a bit lackluster.  Again, not a huge problem.
*Tight shoes.  That could be a source of frustration for a child.
*The flowered skirt is only tiered in the front.

*Red hair.  Enough said.
*Extra outfit!
*Outfit is very cute.  There's some pink, but there are other colors to break up the monotony.
*Tight shoes.  Yes, I'm including this in both categories.  Shoes that don't come off can frustrate a child, but not as much as shoes that constantly fall off!
*Highly detailed eyes.
*Rooted eyelashes!  Some people hate these, but I love a Barbie doll with rooted eyelashes.
*The cardigan is a separate piece, not just a top with a panel of fabric sewn in.
*The face is well painted.  The only flaw is those skewed freckles, and they add a touch of realism.
*Joints are not too loose, but not too tight either.  She feels sturdy.
*It's hard to beat that Steffie face!
*Oh yes, she also was a gift.

In other words, the good things far outnumber the bad things with this doll.  She was full of surprises, in fact.  I NEVER expected her to be able to outpose Alexandria, but she did.  I also was not expecting her face to be as pretty as it is.  When I learned that Midge had a swelled head I initially wrote her off; I couldn't picture an inflated Steffie head being attractive.  Most Steffie fans want their head mold un-fooled around with, and I'm no exception.  It took some pictures on Flickr to sway me back, and I'm certainly glad I changed my mind!  Midge is a lovely doll with long, shiny hair, beautifully painted eyes, thick, "real" eyelashes, and a fabulous body.  Add to that the fact that her clothes can be shared around with other current Barbies, something that I need to tinker around with a bit.  I'm curious to see who wears it best.  In short, if you're thinking about getting Life in the Dreamhouse Midge, I say go for it.  She's a keeper.

Lemme see...next post, next post.  It won't take two months for me to get it posted this time, I promise you that!  Let's just say that I have a move coming up, and I'm trying to decide which dolls to take with me.  I think I have it figured out, but I'm going to post it anyway.  Just for the heck of it.  I also have a new La Dee Da doll (FINALLY!!!), and I'll be doing a review on her too.  Until then, stay cool; it's still pretty hot out there!

Oh yes, here's what Midge looks like in her other outfit.  I probably should've done this earlier, but here she is.
Yours Truly, 

No comments:

Post a Comment