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Monday, November 24, 2014

Novi Star news

It appears that MGA Entertainment's Novi Stars will live to see 2015...or at least, the end of 2014.  The news comes from Bratz Boulevard and Novi Stars Blog, and now it's MY turn to announce it (LOL).  C'mon, you know I'm a fan of these dolls!  At the moment there appear to be four new characters, and unsurprisingly, each one has a gimmick.  Frostina Sprinkles has hollow legs filled with "sprinkles."  She also has four arms like Mallie Tasker does.
Justina Hour is a Super Nova and apparently has a time theme.  Her eyes move.
Carmella Sweet is candy-themed and is billed as "gummy soft."

Doe A. Deer is the other Super Nova, and she is fuzzy to the touch.
I have a passionate hatred for "The Sound of Music," but Doe is still very cute.  I love her face and her cute leafy dress.  However, if I were to pick just one of these, it would likely be Carmella.  I love her bright color palate, her eyes, and her candy theme.  I seriously doubt the final product will look as good as these promo pictures do; MGA is one of the worst companies about getting fans all excited over something new, and then doing a mass revamp right before production starts.  WHY???  Why do they do that?  I understand that not all dolls are going to look like their promo pics, but MGA is bad about making these hugely drastic changes that make the final product look very, VERY different from the prototype.  The majority of the Lalaloopsies in production have escaped that problem, with the exception of Haley Galaxy.  But the rest of these dolls haven't been as fortunate.  Revamp or no, I'm still excited to see these spacey new dolls ready for release.  I hope desperately that this will mean some new clothes.

And now...now I must lock my doors, arm myself, and pray that rioting from St. Louis does not make it this far south.  The verdict in the Michael Brown case will be announced at 9 p.m. central time, and one of the bigwigs up there (can't remember if it was Jackson or Sharpton) has said there will be a "peaceful protest" regardless of the outcome.  Yeah right.  You and I both know how peaceful a protest is in the city.  Sure, there are probably folks who DO want a peaceful protest, and that's their right.  The problem is that when the protest starts all the never-do-wells come out in droves and start causing trouble.  If you live in the St. Louis area (or any other place that may be affected by rioting), all I can say is that my prayers and best wishes are with you.  Stay inside, stay safe, pop some popcorn, and watch hell break loose on TV.

Yours somewhat-nervously,

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Dolly Dress Discussion: modern clothes for a vintage doll

Let's talk about Francie, Barbie's Mod cousin.  Francie was sort of an intermediate between Barbie and Skipper.  Barbie was big, Skipper was small, Francie was in the middle, and none of them could share clothes!  Not that it mattered, since Mattel kept all three girls supplied with plenty of brightly colored duds.  Unfortunately for young collectors like me, that was many years ago.  In that time Barbie and Skipper have changed many times, and Francie was phased out completely.  Thus in order to gather together a nice wardrobe for my doll, I either have to make my own clothes or pay through the nose for vintage duds.  I can sew, knit, and crochet, but it's time-consuming and sometimes I'm not in the mood to wait.

No problem.  It just so happens that some of Barbie's modern clothes fit Francie's body nicely.  My favorite things to put on Mary Anne (my Francie-bodied doll) are the budget clothes, the simple shift dresses that don't have accessories.  They look surprisingly good on Mary Anne.
Okay, so they're not Mod...but they ARE colorful, and they fit nicely.  No gaps at the shoulders, no bags at the waist, nothing.  I particularly love the way the blue and purple dress fits; it makes Mary Anne's relatively straight figure look a little more curvy.

So...if any of y'all have Francie dolls and don't sew, don't have a lot of money, and/or don't like to wait, this is a good way to flesh out her wardrobe.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The return of My Little Pony

My intention was to get a review of one of the new Lalaloopsy Girls up sometime this week.  I've had it in draft form for about a month, being slowed down by computer problems and personal obligations, but it'll be ready pretty soon.  But right now, it's time for a trip down a branch of Memory Lane that I thought I'd left far, far behind.  I was a tomboy as a child, but I did have a special fondness for My Little Pony.  I had a huge collection of them; the majority were G1 ponies in various colors and styles.  Some of the ponies talked, lit up, sparkled, or were dressed in cute clothes, and some were just pretty and fun to have.  None of my collection exists today; after I outgrew it I assume that it was trundled off to the childrens' home that we used to have here in Malden.  If that's the case then I hope some little girls had some fun times with those ponies.  Some of them (as you will soon see) were quite beautiful, perfect companions for some child.

Fast-forward eighteen years to 2014.  I have been trying to resist the new G4 ponies for two reasons.  One, I need another collection of stuff like I need a third leg tacked on.  And two, I'm not a huge fan of the G4 ponies.  They do very little to remind me of the friends I had as a child.  Equestria Girls hadn't won me over either, although I was willing to admit their faces were cute.  All that resistance came to an end earlier this month.  Now I have these:
One Hasbro Neon Rainbow Rocks Equestria Girl and one Funko Pop! figure.  Both of these are Twilight Sparkle, the character which I more or less chose as my favorite.  Truth be told, I actually prefer Rainbow Dash because of her coloring...but there wasn't a Rainbow Dash Funko Pop! figure available at the Wal-Mart where I went.  I had spent the day with my insufferable uncle and some dumb bimbo had entered the 20-item checkout lane with about sixty different items in her cart, so I needed a pick-me-up.  While the checkout lady rang up the huge purchase I browsed the Funko shelves.  The MLP figures caught my eye but the only characters there were Pinkie Pie and Twilight Sparkle.  The last thing I wanted was a danged all-pink pony (about half of my old collection had been pink), so I grabbed Twilight and stuck her in the shopping cart, thinking she'd make a cute companion to my Lalaloopsies.

Equestria Twilight came along on the sixteenth.  Having found Funko Twilight I thought it might be cute to find some other figurines and dolls to go with her.  We're lucky enough to still have a nice Kmart close to where we are, so we went over there to browse and look for Christmas trees.  Kmart's toy isle had a surprisingly good selection of Monster High dolls, a stack of untouched Lalaloopsy duds, and every Equestria character you could want...except Twilight Sparkle.  The next day brought a trip to the local Dollar General, and I found my Twilight there.  She's a nice doll for a Dollar Store Cheapie; her hair is nice and soft, and she's well painted.  She doesn't look as nicely constructed as the more expensive Equestria girls though, so my intention is to find one of those and compare the two.  Hey, since I'm starting a Twilight Sparkle collection, I might as well!

As for my old collection, I'm going to replace the ones I really loved.  Three long-lost friends beckon from my memories.  I can hear them hollering "Moony, come find me!"  Here they are:
G1 Raincurl (Rainbow Cloud in Britain), from the Rainbow Curl Pony line.  When I was about two I fell in love with my cousin Lacy's My Little Pony figure.  Daddy took pity on me and bought me this one.  "It's the prettiest one they had," he said, and I apparently agreed; upon seeing Raincurl my words reportedly were "Mine's prettier than Lacy's!"  As the first and the most attractive of the ponies, Raincurl always played the matriarch.  As an aside, the Rainbow Curl line included three other ponies.  Their names were Streaky, Ringlet, and Stripes.

G1 Princess Royal Pink.  I'm not sure what line this was, but she had a companion named Princess Royal Purple.  Pink was a gift for doing well in preschool.  She was the first pony I received that had any sort of accessories other than a brush; she came with a silver tiara and a pink robe with a fuzzy collar that I loved.  Notice that she has rooted eyelashes.  Oh, the fun I had with my Princess Pink's eyelashes!  I'd wet them down and make them look like she was crying, so she could play a damsel-in-distress role.

G1 Lovebeam, from the stunning Colorswirl line.  She is another pony that has special memories attached; I received her for my fifth birthday and fell in love with her stripes.  She reminded me of orange sherbet, one of my favorite treats.  I also loved how her ears were two different colors.  Lovebeam's Colorswirl companions were Starswirl and Springy, both of who also remind me of sherbet!

In addition, I'd like to find a bright green pony; green has always been my favorite color, and yet during all those years I spent hoarding MLP figures I never had even ONE green pony.  I like G3 Dandelion a lot, but I don't know how hard she'd be to find since she was a MLP Fair pony (year was 2010).  Here's what Dandelion looks like.  She's green and pink, which happens to be one of my favorite color combinations:
There's also this one, whom I never owned as a child:
This is Skippity Doo, a G1 So Soft pony.  The Softies were available before I was born, thus I never owned any.  They came with flocking all over, and I love fuzzy things so I adore this.  I also love the contrast between her body and her hair.

There's also Mimic, another pony that I never knew.
Mimic is a Twinkle-Eyed Pony, meaning that she has plastic gems for eyes.  Like the So Soft Ponies, Twinkle-Eyed Ponies were released before I was born.  In fact, the two lines were available at the same time!  1986 certainly was an interesting year for ponies!  Anywho, Mimic is something of an enigma among MLP fans; there was only one version of her, and that version had only a very brief run.  Thus Mimic is rare and eagerly sought-after.  Challenge accepted, Hasbro.

And finally, just for laughs, I'd like to find this.  She's not green, but she's still cute.
Derpy!  Nope, they didn't have her at Wal-Mart either.  I assume that either that shipment had no Derpy figures, or they'd all been bought because she's a fan favorite.  Personally I feel a special kinship towards Derpy since I'm something of a derp myself at times, and because we both love muffins.  Plus, she'll make a good contrast in a collection that will largely be Twilight Sparkle and a few throwbacks.  For some weird reason I can't help hoping that she'll become an Equestria Girl.  There's already been what appeared to be some fan art depicting Derpy as an animated Equestria Girl, so I guess there's room to hope!  I've only seen about three Derpy figures advertised, by the way.  Maybe I should've chosen her as my sole favorite, since there are a billion Twilight Sparkle figures out there.

By the way...remember how I said I thought Funko Twilight might make a good companion for my Lalaloopsies?  Well...I was right!
One final little digression:  with the exception of shoes, Equestria Twilight can wear Pix's clothes with aplomb.
Okay, the pajamas are baggy at the waist, but this is still a success for the most part.  That's good to know.  If MGA Entertainment decides to make some threads for the Lalaloopsy Girls then Twilight may benefit as well!  By the way, SPOILER ALERT:  Twilight is the exception regarding Pix E. Flutters' uniquely sized clothes. 

How about y'all?  Do I have any MLP fans among my followers?  Kindly share your memories.

Yours happily,

More on the Lammily dolls

Some folks never know when (or how) to quit.  Nickolay Lamm apparently heard the "never give up" memo so popular right now, because I'm seeing what appear to be Lammily dolls for sale.  Not in stores yet, but online.
According to this link the Lammily dolls are supposed to depict a normal 19-year-old female.  I still hate the blonde prototype with a passion and will continue to call her Cow Barbie, but this little brunette is pretty good.  I had no idea that they were going to be completely customizable, though.  These chunky little minxes come with stickers depicting stuff like tattoos, grass stains...and even injuries like bruises!!!  Heck, there's even a set of stretch mark stickers!
I hate having stretch marks and I do everything I can to hide them, and having a plastic doll with them isn't going to change my feelings on that.  But I'll give Mr. Lamm credit on these.  All bodily modifications and imperfections are represented...except maybe a piercing or two.  Since Lammily can have tattoos a few optional piercings might be a cute idea too.

Bottom line:  it will be interesting to see if these will be a success.  I doubt they will; in the past I've discussed some other Barbie challengers and how well they fared.  But I could be wrong; that customization gives the Lammily doll an edge that the other Barbie alternates didn't have.  And that cute face is hard to resist!

Yours truly,