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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Living la vida loca, part two (not doll related)

Late last night I spoke of our latest gadget woe, that being my belief that the new AC/heater unit was on the blink.  I threw the breakers, went to bed, and endured a sleepless night due to nerves, a cold nose, and tummy trouble.  I finally nodded off around six and didn't rise again until eleven-thirty.  My mother slept well, despite the fact that she hates the cold, and the fact that she was almost as concerned as I was when she hit the sack.

Anywho, we are blessed enough to have crossed paths with a heating/cooling crew that works on Sundays if there's some sort of problem, and he came right down.  He promptly ordered the breakers turned back on, gave the electrical work a thorough examination, looked at the outside unit, and diagnosed...what else but a dirty filter!  He also explained that the noise we heard was innocuous and that the smell should clear up with a new filter.  After teaching me how to change the filter, he scratched my cat's chin and left.

I wasn't 100% convinced that the filter was the problem, particularly when I smelled the odor again, so I pulled out the filter, gave it a good shake, and put it back in.  I still get occasional whiffs now and again, but it's nowhere near as bad as it was.  Now all I've got to do is wait for the new filters to come (we had to order some online) and pray that nothing else goes wrong between now and then.  Oh yes, I also plan on going back on my meds; my anxiety nearly drove both Mama and me nuts this weekend.

Hats off to Carlos Warren and Son for helping us out today!  It was a Sunday and the weather has been less than stellar today, but a repairman came anyway.  Kudos to him!

Love always,

Living la vida loca

Exactly half a year ago I was complaining about how hot it was in the house.  Now I've got reason to complain about it being cold.  Look at Pix E. Flutters' hair!
Pix's hair doesn't turn pink unless her surroundings drop below 66 degrees Fahrenheit.  Apparently it's that cool in the house right now.

In case you haven't guessed, our furnace went out.  Yep, the brand new one that we got installed back in late May.  On Thanksgiving I got a whiff of something funny when the unit kicked on.  It smelled exactly like something burnt out.  Then the unit began making strange noises.  My mother can't smell well because of allergies, so she thought I was losing it until earlier this evening.  She heard the noise for herself, so now we're sitting around with the unit off and the breakers thrown, per a friend's suggestion.  We may be able to have it looked at tomorrow, and I'm praying that the men can fix it without a lot of fuss.  Please cross your fingers for us; Mama and I have a large group of pets, and I hate for them to be uncomfortable.

Cheers, I guess,

Friday, November 27, 2015

A Little Thanksgiving Fun

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday and if you're out shopping today, stay safe out there! Our Thanksgiving dinner went well but it was rather quiet here so I decided to take some of my Dollfie Dreams out for some autumn fun!

I went to a local doll convention last weekend and it rekindled my interest in "playing" with my dolls. I have been neglecting them a bit because of my work schedule but I've been working on fixing that. Besides taking these photos, I learned how to make basic necklaces at the con and it's so fun! Chichi is sporting one in these pics. I also really can't believe I've never photographed these two ladies together but I'm really glad I took the time to do it. For those unfamiliar with Dollfie Dreams, they are basically just huge anime dolls. Made in Japan by Volks, just slightly under 2' tall and highly customizable. You can change their eyes, wigs, hands and more. They're made of soft vinyl and are similar to BJDs but they are lighter and have an internal skeleton (frame) instead of being strung with elastic.


 "I'm gonna make a leaf angel!" Chichi is a mess...

I have a few more DDs here at home but Chichi and Riko are my "youngest" characters so I thought they would fit these scenes best.
"Riko" is my shy half vampire who is formerly a Ranko Kanzaki Idolm@ster character doll. I fell in love with her at first sight. Her eyes and cute little smile are just adorable.

 "Chichi" is a Chihaya Kisaragi Idolm@ster doll. She's my spunky lil' tomboy. 

If you look up the character names along with the company you'll see mine are a bit different from how they normally look. I've kept the eyes the same but everything else is completely unique to them. I like to create my own little personalities and stories for these dolls but some people like to keep them in character and there's nothing wrong with that. Whatever makes you happy, go with it!

I've also just heard that Volks is going to be releasing some new Idolm@ster dolls soon. I better not look too into it, bad for the wallet! Thanks for reading and have an awesome day!


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Barbie Fashionistas "L.A. Girl" review, plus a discussion on Fashionistas in general

I feel a little silly reviewing this doll since these modern Fashionistas are very similar to the majority of the dolls I've got.  However, I've been wanting this particular doll for awhile, so I'm reviewing her anyway.  This is the Fashionistas doll commonly known as "L.A. Girl."
L.A. Girl gets her fan-given nickname from her shirt.  I don't know why this particular doll is so popular, but like Moschino Barbie, she is.  Maybe it's the hair.  L.A. Girl has blonde hair like 99% of the Barbie dolls in this world.  However, there are two things that set her apart.  One side of her head is buzzed. 
Instead of rooted hair, L.A. Girl has pale yellow flocking.  It's just like Venus McFlytrap's hairstyle.
As if a buzzed head weren't edgy enough, L.A. Girl also has pink streaks in the hair that she DOES have.
The streaks are cotton candy pink rather than the hot pink that I've grown to associate with Barbie.  I've spoken often about my dislike for the overuse of pink in doll lines, but I love these streaks.  They jive well with the rest of L.A. Girl's hair.  According to a prototype picture that Monkfish found, there were supposed to be pale blue streaks as well.  Why Mattel nixed this is anyone's guess.  As an aside, L.A. Girl's rooted hair came with a fair amount of styling gel in it.  This brushed out with no fuss and left the hair in soft waves.  Unfortunately, it also wants to fly in L.A. Girl's face a lot.  That's a bit unfortunate, because L.A. Girl has a lovely face.  Check this out.
Her eyebrows are blocky and brown, suggesting to me that she does more with her hair than streak it pink and shave one side.  Her eyes are brown, rather than blue like most blonde Barbies.  Her eyeshadow is subtle, consisting of a cream inner band, a light brown outer band, and a fair amount of mascara.  L.A. Girl's lips are bright red.  She has a closed smile, another departure from the usual Barbie face.  She also has a beauty mark on her right cheek, which I love.  Again, I don't run into too many playline Barbies with beauty marks.

As I looked L.A. Girl's face over, I realized that although she's part of a Barbie line, her appearance is very...well, it's very UN-BARBIE!  At one time the Fashionistas came with individual nicknames, mostly silly crap like "Glam" or "Sporty."  I also learned that the first wave of Barbie Basics were to have nicknames as well.  If this had been done, my #3 girl on the right would've been Alexis and...I think #10 would have been Christie.  I can't get the website to load, so don't quote me on that second one. 
I named them Vivian (left) and Steph, but I digress.  In light of this revelation, I wondered if L.A. Girl and her Fashionista friends had nicknames.  My hunch turned out to be right...sort of.   
According to Carlyle Nuera, these names are fan-given names and not official ones.  It turns out that he designed several of these dolls, so he'd know if the names were official or not.  Anyway, according to my fellow fans, L.A. Girl's name would be "Elizabeth."  The name "L.A. Girl" is a bit of a mouthful, so I think I'll call her Elizabeth from now on.

Before I move on to clothes, let me show you the other 2015 Fashionista that I own.
Before Elizabeth was released, this doll was the It Girl.  She has a Desiree head, just like Vivian does.
The catch is that this doll has the head done in pale vinyl.  I don't think that's ever been done before; the Desiree head is a common mold, but it's usually rendered in tan or dark brown vinyl.  Anyway, this doll too has a fan name.  Hers is "Kenzie."  I find this odd since the last Kenzie doll had the Lea face and very, VERY red hair, but Kenzie was the only member of the Mystery Squad that I liked so I'm pleased to have her namesake aboard.

Alrighty, clothes.  Elizabeth comes dressed in a two-piece getup, a departure from the one-piece dresses that Kenzie and a couple of my other dolls have.
They don't make doll clothes like they used to!  These Fashionista clothes tend to go heavy on stiff synthetic crap, and Elizabeth's getup is no exception.  Here's the L.A. Girl top that gave her her first nickname.
The bad news is that the top is made of that stiff shiny stuff I just complained about, the kind that likes to catch and snag on unkempt fingernails.   It's badly wrinkled from the packaging, too.    The good news is that it's well-hemmed and solidly put together.  The material actually has a pretty pattern, too.  When seen from a distance the fabric merely looks pale blue.  A closer inspection reveals a faint floral pattern.  It's printed all the way around too.  See?
The skirt is a black A-line job.
It has a few surprising details.  The front is made of smooth black pleather and has a silver zig-zag sewn down the front.
The sides have semicircular patches that are made of a softer material with subtle little sparkles on it.  The back of the skirt is made up of a third type of material that has a bit of stretch.  Neither of these sections photographed well.

Rounding out the look are these black flats.
These shoes are pretty nondescript.  They have molded straps and molded buckles, and they have to be rubber banded to Elizabeth's feet.  That disappoints me a bit, because I like it when my dolls' shoes can stay on without help.  The rubber bands are the clear kind, so they don't show too much.

Elizabeth's accessories are also average, consisting of a plastic clutch and a necklace.
These are very ordinary accessories, but they add a nice splash of color to Elizabeth's ensemble. 

You may have noticed in the shoe picture that Elizabeth has flat feet.  This is a fairly new thing that several of the new Fashionistas have.  It's something unique and different, but that renders Elizabeth unable to wear nearly all of the shoes I own.  Some of the accessory packs come with flat shoes, and some of my LIV shoes may work, but for the most part Elizabeth's options are few in the shoe department.  Good thing her stock shoes are so versatile.  Little black flats go with just about everything.

But then again, Elizabeth's body is just plain strange.
When the first Fashionistas made their debut, they were highly articulated.  Only their immobile ankles prevented them from being modern-day Living Barbies.  Elizabeth's mobility is poor in comparison, though it's nowhere near as bad as a Stardoll's mobility.  She has five joints:  hips, shoulders, and neck.  Her neck and shoulders are your standard ball joints that are all but ubiquitous on Barbie dolls.  Her hips have a bit of lateral movement, enough that she can stand with her ankles crossed.
That's the extent of it, though.  Elizabeth can't do side splits, but in her defense most of my other dolls can't either.  The hips do have a respectable amount of forward and backward movement, enough so that Elizabeth can sit...
...and do a back-front split.
Elizabeth's knees do not bend at all, which I gather has become commonplace for modern-day Barbies.  Some of the Fashionistas have both knees set in a straight position like Elizabeth does, and some have one knee bent and the other straight, like Kenzie does.  Dolls with one bent knee have one hip popped out to the side and one shoulder higher than the other.  Since Kenzie has a bent knee, her body has scoliosis the popped hip.
Elizabeth has straight knees, so her torso is not bent.

Both dolls have an arm frozen in a bent position.  This is both good and bad.  Kenzie and Elizabeth can wave in a convincing manner...
...they can play with their hair a bit...
...and needless to say, they can stand with one hand on one hip.  Other positions are less graceful.  In fact, I had a hard time finding poses that WEREN'T on the robotic side!

I find it odd that these Fashionistas are supposed to be play dolls, and yet their bodies are more similar to Model Muse bodies.  In case you don't know, Model Muse bodies are the highly rigid bodies equipped by dolls that are meant for adults.  Moschino Barbie, Tokidoki Barbie, and the Basics I shared above have the Muse body, as do plenty of others.  I have few complaints about the Muse body; it's graceful and it has a pretty shape, so it has its place in the Barbie world.  I don't like it on playline dolls, though.  If a doll is meant to be played with, then I would prefer that she have a more flexible body like the bellybutton body, or like the body of the fantastic new Made to Move doll.  But then again, a high number of joints can mean more weak spots, more places where a doll can break or fall apart.  I highly doubt that Kenzie and Elizabeth will encounter that problem.

Strangely enough, although the Fashionistas' bodies are similar to the Model Muse bodies, they are not the same.
Vivian's Muse body sports longer legs and some bone structure at the collarbone and the rib margin.  Kenzie's Fashionista body has molded undies, as does Elizabeth's body.  It also looks like the two dolls have different waist sizes, but to verify that I'll need to play Dolly Dress Shuffle.  Vivian rocks Kenzie's dress, but her feet are too big for Kenzie's pink heels.
Since Elizabeth has flat feet, it's pointless for Vivian to try those black shoes.  I doubt the would have fit anyway, since Viv's feet are bigger than high-heeled Fashionista feet.  Elizabeth's clothes are loose on Vivian, particularly the skirt.
Vivian's original dress and shoes are in storage, so the Fashionistas first get to try on her purple minidress.  It's a wee bit tight on Kenzie, but it accentuates her curves nicely.  Elizabeth's body isn't as curvy as Kenzie's, but she too can wear Vivian's spare dress.
As I mentioned above Vivian's stock dress is in storage.  That's a bummer since it's got a deep neckline.  It would've looked interesting on the Fashionista bodies, I'll bet.  All is not lost, however.  My Muse-bodied Barbie Look doll has never been redressed so her gold frock is on hand.  But as it turns out, it doesn't matter whose dress is available...
...because neither Elizabeth nor Kenzie can wear Model Muse clothes!  Their hips are too wide, and I suspect that Elizabeth's waist would've been too wide as well.  For the record, Barbie Look's gold pumps fit Kenzie very well.
So what's the final say on my Elizabeth?

*I hate the way Elizabeth's top handles.  It is stiff, it holds wrinkles like mad, and it feels like it can snag.
*Shoe options are limited...for now.  Hopefully Mattel will get on the stick and make some more flat shoes.
*Body is stiff.  It can strike some very cute poses, but it can also look awkward.
*Accessories are mundane, though they are a nice color.
*Can't wear all Barbie clothes.  The current playline outfits are no problem, but Model Muse clothes are OUT!

*Hairstyle is original for a Barbie.  If we were talking Monster High the style would be less impressive, but we're not.
*Face is pretty, and not generally so like Barbie can sometimes be.
*Clothes are more versatile.  Since there are two pieces, there's more room for mixing and matching.  The black skirt has lots of potential.
*The fabric print goes all the way around, something one doesn't always see nowadays.
*The black shoes are also versatile, a good thing considering Elizabeth's limited shoe options.
*I forgot to mention this above, but Elizabeth can sit down while fully clothed.  Kenzie cannot; her dress is too tight.
*Mobility, while not the best, is much better than that of some other dolls meant for play.  Stardoll, I'm looking at you.
*Sturdy.  Those stiff limbs are restricting, but they are also a potential blessing in disguise.

My feelings for Elizabeth and Kenzie are mixed, though they're not so mixed that I'm going to berate them much.  Both dolls are nice dolls; they stand out from their fellow Fashionistas, particularly with their unorthodox hair and their nonstandard faces.  I think the thing that bothers me most is that jointing.  These dolls look, move, and feel like they should be collectibles, but they're very clearly toys.  I particularly miss the knee joints; even the old rubbery click knees lend some realism to certain poses, like walking or sitting poses.

Frankly, I wasn't planning on reviewing this doll.  My intention was to find her, buy her, and quietly add her to my collection like I did with Kenzie and with countless other dolls.  However, I'm glad I did review her.  It makes me more aware of the Fashionistas' flaws, but it also makes me appreciate Mattel's efforts to make Barbie more interesting.  These new Fashionistas remind me of the Fashion Fever line, which existed during my teenage years.  Both lines appear to be experimenting with new faces, new hairstyles, new hair/skin color combos.  Though the Fashionistas are not perfect dolls, I applaud them for attempting to break new ground without giving up the play factor.  That makes them worth owning.  Therefore I recommend these for kids and collector alike.  They are an excellent way for a young child to get the feeling of a collector's doll without breaking the bank.  If you're an adult collector looking for some new faces, these will fit the bill nicely.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Monday, November 23, 2015

Necessity is the mother of invention

Or in this case, necessity is the mother of ingenuity.  I've got Monster High dolls that need duds, but Mattel is too focused on Barbie to make new MH threads, and the proprietor of my former favorite Etsy shop is now damnatio memoriae, so what's a girl to do?  As y'all undoubtedly know, I like to knit, and much of my knitting focuses on duds for dolls that can't get clothing elsewhere.  Unfortunately, free online patterns are few and far between  when it comes to Monster High clothes.  Luckily I've been able to find a few.

Enter This Joy, a blog that has superb knitting patterns for Monster High dolls.  This Mad Science Lagoona Blue came to me sans clothes (and part of one arm), and thus she is my innocent victim model.
All you need are small needles and sock yarn, and I happen to have both, so I went to town.  Lagoona's dress is made from this post, her cape came from here, and her hat is this pattern.  I wanted some continuity in this outfit, so the hat and cape are knitted from a ball of Premier Yarns Wool-Free Sock.  This yarn is wove together in an unusual way, so that a strand of it somewhat resembles a spring.  Thus it has a nice stretch to it.  This particular color is aproprately called "Grapes."  I used the same yarn to make a dress for Ju-hwang last summer.
See how Lagoona and Ju-hwang coordinate!
I've also used this type of yarn in a different dress for Ju-hwang, but it's a more earthy color called "Grand Canyon."
Unfortunately I made the Grand Canyon dress too short.  Ju-hwang will need some leggings before she can wear this one again.

Lagoona's new dress is...well, I had the band once, but it's disappeared into my collection of yarn bands.  I think it's another sock yarn, Red Heart Heart and Sole in "Green Envy."  I also used this yarn last summer, in another dress for Ju-hwang.
Why I wanted to spend last summer knitting, I'll never know.  Our air conditioner died and it was too hot to even think about knitted goods, let alone want to make or wear them.  Yet somehow Ju-hwang ended up with more dresses than I care to count.  Anywho, Lagoona and Ju-hwang again coordinate nicely.
There's also a blue dress that I've been tinkering around with, though it's far from done.  The pattern is a lolita-style pattern from Modern Monstrosities, and the yarn I used is a mecurized cotton called Omega Sinfonia.  The color I used is "Azul Rey," but any of the other colors will do.  It's nice to see a fine-gauge yarn in a bold, solid color, particularly when most of Hobby Lobby's fine yarns are either striped, white, or pastel in color.  Anyway, when I finish the dress I'll share it here!  As an aside, Lagoona's green dress fits the slim bodies of La Dee Da dolls with aplomb.  I'll have to test out the blue dress when it's complete and see if it will fit.

I bought a couple more balls of sock yarn over the weekend, so there will be other dresses in the making.  Stay tuned!

Yours truly,

Mattel's big idea

I assume that all of our readers here are familiar with Monster High dolls.  If you are then you probably know that these dolls are small, more so than Barbie.
Spoiler alert:  you'll see both of these dolls again this week.

Up until recently the largest MH doll has been 17-inch Gooliope Jellington from the recent Freak du Chic line. My assumption is that Mattel released Gooliope to test consumer waters, because four more dolls were released in a similar size.  Clawdeen Wolf, Frankie Stein, and Draculaura are apparently all making a transformation into Frightfully Tall Ghouls, and it looks like Elissabat may be following suit.

Step aside, Gooliope.  Today I saw THIS!  She is a Gore-geous Ghoul, and she is 28 inches tall.
Look at the size of that doll!  To give you an idea of her size, I put a standard-size doll next to her.  She is at least twice the size of your average MH doll.  I couldn't compare her to Gooliope since Wal-Mart didn't have any, but I'm willing to bet this doll is taller than her too.

According to the box, this doll's eyes can change, and it's possible to draw on her.  In other words, she's a combination of a Color Me Creepy doll, an Inner Monster, and one of the tall dolls all rolled into one.

But wait, there's more!  Apparently some of the Ever After High dolls are being upsized as well.  Add those huge Barbie dolls to the mix and that makes for a huge group!

This will either be a huge success or a huge flop for Mattel.  I predict the latter since these huge dolls are more expensive and harder to store than the standard dolls.  They will never be able to share clothes with their smaller counterparts.  Ando frankly, the don't have anything that the smaller dolls lack.  They're just big dolls.  Yeah, they're probably easier for little kids to manipulate due to their big size, but that's really the only advantage I can think of.

What do y'all think?  Big hit or big miss?

Yours truly,

Monday, November 16, 2015

On the 2016 Girl of the Year

I'm going to strip off my griping mood and share something with y'all that I am VERY excited about.  The new girl has tentatively been named Lea Clark, and she has the most adorable wardrobe!  The clothes are full of bright, splashy colors and patterns that I haven't seen since Jess McConnell was the Girl of the Year.  Lissie & Lilly have been releasing steady posts about these clothes, so if you want to take a gander, the link is here.  They also have a post about the mini doll, and that's here.

In this post I worried about the possibility that Lea might be blonde or look too much like Kanani Akina.  Don't get me wrong, I adore Kanani, and I like the idea of a Kanani-lookalike more than I like the idea of another blonde.  We had a blonde doll LAST year, for crying out loud!  It does concern me a little though, that these dolls are getting to look more like older counterparts.  Grace looks like Chrissa, as I've mentioned before, and too many lookalikes suggests a lack of ideas for Girls of the Year.  Kind of sad too, since there are so many ideas that haven't yet been explored.  I'm still hoping to see a little Inuit girl from Alaska, since Alaska has not been represented by an American Girl yet.  Yeah, I know that the Maplelea Girls have an Inuit doll, but it would still be cool to see how American Girl would make an Inuit girl look; what she would wear, what she'd do for fun, how she'd get to school when the weather was extra bad, stuff like that.

As a final little tidbit, Lissie & Lilly's photographs are obtained from eBay sellers and fellow bloggers, and they are used WITH PERMISSION!!!  If you want to use L&L's photographs, be sure to ask permission from them first.  I in turn would like to thank Lissie & Lilly for allowing me to provide links to their posts.  Y'all run a great blog!

Love to all,

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Where did all the clothes go?

I had intended for Pix E. Flutters to be my only Lalaloopsy Girl, but as usual, I've proven myself a complete liar.  On the evening of the fifteenth I spotted Furry Grrs-a-Lot on the shelf, and since I have her big Lalaloopsy self I bought her.
She's similar enough to Pix that I don't feel a full review is necessary.  Like Pix she has plastic hair, a rosebud mouth, and big shoes that help her stand.  Also like Pix, she favors her larger counterpart.
The main difference is that Furry was a basic doll rather than the deluxe type like Pix was.  She didn't come with her pet or an extra outfit, and it's the lack of an extra outfit that left me with an eyebrow lifted.  Usually when dolls don't come with a lot of bells and whistles, the holding company makes up for it by making extra outfits and accessories.  Mattel does this for Barbie; even the most basic Barbie doll can have a large wardrobe if one's financial situation will allow it.  Once upon a time this was true for MGA Entertainment as well.  When I was a teenager the Bratz were enjoying their heyday, and MGA kept store shelves full of cute clothes, vehicles, extra shoe packs, stuff like that.  Moxie Girls got the same treatment, as did the short-lived Moxie Teenz and B.F.C. Ink dolls.

I first noticed MGA starting to slack off a little after the Lalaloopsy Littles and the Novi Stars were released.  The full-sized Lalaloopsy dolls got a modest wardrobe...well, most of them did.  Only one outfit was released that was specifically for boys, but the girls got plenty of cute threads.  Things petered off with the Littles and the Novis, though; each line got three outfits apiece.  Then the clothes stopped coming altogether, despite the release of a second wave of Novi Stars.  Usually when a second wave comes along, a new clothing line comes with it.  But not this time.
"What are we, chopped liver?"

The few Lalaloopsy Girls clothes that I do have will fit Novi Stars, but that doesn't matter much anymore because the Novis' spaceship has been grounded...permanently.  MGA has apparently pulled the plug on them, so there's that over with.  Meanwhile, Bratz have made a comeback, the Lalaloopsy Girls have held their own, and a new set of dolls called Project MC2 is attempting to interest girls in smart stuff rather than stylish stuff.  Guess what?  NONE of the new dolls appear to be focusing on stylish stuff!  I have seen no new clothes for Lalaloopsies or Lalaloopsy Girls, nothing new for the MC2 gang, nothing for the few Moxie Girls that are still running around.  The only MGA dolls to get new clothes have been the Bratz.  There are two-outfit packs and single-outfit packs, but since they don't fit any of my old Bratz I haven't bothered with them.

With all the hubbub that surrounded the re-release of the Bratz, it feels like the other girls have been left in the lurch.  That wouldn't be so bad except that both Lalaloopsies and Lalaloopsy Girls have unique bodies.  They both have egg-shaped bodies that can't wear conventional doll clothes without a struggle.  Oh yes, the Vi and Va dresses fit the Lalaloopsy Girls...but MGA pulled the plug on those dolls too.  Still, the Lalaloopsy Girls are better off than the full-sized Lalas, since I can always jerry-rig something for them.  It's just infuriating to see MGA put all their eggs in one basket.  They have a bona fide success story with the Lalaloopsy dolls, and since the Girls have hung around I assume that they're a modest success as well.  It would be nice to see MGA pull their minds away from the Bratz and start making some duds for their other girls again.  Because frankly, I think clothes sell better than dolls do!

MGA Entertainment isn't the only toy company to skimp on clothes, however.  Remember these?
These are Monster High dolls from Mattel, of course.  They are dressed in Inner Monster ensembles...and these dresses are the last dresses I've seen Mattel make for Monster High dolls!  Nothing has been released since then...that I know of, anyway.  The Ever After High dolls didn't even get this much; I've seen absolutely ZERO new clothes for the EAH crew.  New furniture for both lines, yes.  But no clothes.  Guess which doll has been getting all the new stuff?  Who else but Barbie!  Now, I like Barbie clothes.  I like them a lot.  But I've got the resources to make my own Barbie duds if needed.  As with MGA, Mattel appears to be putting all their eggs in one basket, and that's a shame because I thought Monster High clothes were far more interesting than the constant pink-and-glitter stuff that the playline Barbie dolls get.

What do y'all think?  Have you noticed this too, or am I just making a mountain out of a molehill?  Discuss.

Best wishes,

Another post about Moschino Barbie...and that infernal commercial

WARNING:  this post will dip into my conservative side.  If that may upset you, don't read this.  If you choose to read, don't get your panties in a wad and post something stupid.  If you post something stupid, I WILL delete your comments.  Consider yourself warned.

Begin rant.  A few days ago I posted about Moschino Barbie, and my confusion about her popularity.  I stand by my opinions, but I apparently am standing with egg on my face, because guess what?  Moschino sold out less than an hour after she was launched!  Don't believe me?  Here's the link.

Much to my chagrin, this doll was designed by Jeremy Scott, the very man whom I had hoped would design a doll in the future.  Like I said in the previous post, this doll isn't bad, but it's disappointing considering what a Scott-designed doll COULD have looked like!  Scott has done dresses emblazoned with Bart Simpson, totem pole faces, and rainbow-colored bricks.  The brick dress is my favorite, because it reminds me of Print Aplenty, one of my favorite Mod Barbie fashions.  In fact, having seen Scott's brick dress, I can't help wondering if Print Aplenty was his inspiration.  Maybe I'm wrong, but it certainly is an interesting prospect.  LOL, digression!

The commercial for this Barbie also leaves me shaking my head for a number of reasons, and the discussion on that will take up the bulk of this post.  The commercial seems to imply that this doll is appropriate for kids, and she's not.  The Barbie Collectors website says specifically that this doll is for the adult collector.  This is something that I've always felt passionately about.  In the past there have been drop-dead gorgeous dolls for collectors like Barbie Basics Model #10, Blond Diamond Barbie, Katniss Everdeen, and Tokidoki Barbie.  All of them were intended for adults as well, and yet parents had a fit about "messages" that they were sending.  Model #10 wore a neckline that was too deep, Blondie wore a fur coat that raised the hackles of militant animal rights activists, Katniss was believed to promote violence and Tokidoki's tattoo supposedly promoted deviant lifestyles.  If you look closely at the Barbie Collectors entries on all these dolls (Tokidoki no longer has one), you will notice that the page says "For the adult collector."  I wish the website said "THESE DOLLS AREN'T FOR KIDS, YOU DUMMIES!!!" instead.  Anyway, the same is true of Moschino Barbie.  She's a doll for adult collectors, and yet the commercial seems to imply otherwise.

But wait, there's more!  The children also bother me...or rather, it bothers me how they've been made to look and act like little grownups.  The three children, two girls and one boy, are perfectly put together.  They all have adult-style makeup, professional hairstyles, and clothes that look like designer kiddie threads.  You and I both know darn good and well that kids don't normally look like that.  They wear jeans, T-shirts, dresses, and tennis shoes.  Their hair is usually windblown and gathered up in braids or ponytails, or it's allowed to hang free.  The lack of childishness in these children disturbs me.

The childrens' speech also reflects this quasi-adult theme.  The first line is delivered by the blonde girl, and she gushes "She's the most Moschino Barbie, EVERRR," in a tone that sounds both vapid and melodramatic.  She sounds like she's forcing herself to get excited about this doll.  The boy's turn is next, and he does no better.  "Moschino Barbie is SOOOOO fierce," he says, and he too sounds like he doesn't believe what he's saying.  The black girl gets the next line, and she does a little better.  She closes her eyes and sighs "I looove you, Moschino Barbie."  That's more along the lines of something I'd expect a child to say to a doll, but again, the delivery falls flat.  The last line goes to the boy, who holds a tiny telephone to the doll's ear and says cheerfully, "It's for you!"  Much better, little boy.  That's how kids are supposed to play with Barbie dolls.

Lastly, I have some issues with the boy's presence in the first place.  As stated above I'm a conservative, and I don't enjoy this gender-neutral nonsense being shoved down my throat.  I might not feel this way if the little boy in this commercial acted like he was genuinely having fun.  The problem is that he just doesn't seem to be enjoying himself.  His first line of dialogue sounds overly passionate, the way people do when they're lying about how excited they are about something.  His smile doesn't look real either.  His second line of dialogue is much better, as he gets into the spirit of pretending Barbie has a phone call.  However, it's too little, too late for me.  I feel sorry for this little boy, and for the two little girls too, for that matter.  Watching them be forced to love this doll for the sake of money and political correctness makes me cringe.  Yeah, they're probably being paid, but how much fun are they having with this insanely expensive doll that just stands there and looks pretty?  It makes me yearn to take them all outside and do a remake of the Bubble Angel Barbie commercial.  Oh, how I loved that commercial!  The children run around on a cute, kid-friendly set, and in their hands are brightly colored Barbie dolls that double as bubble wands!  That's the type of commercial that I want to see kids in, the type where they're allowed to run and laugh and play make-believe all they want.  I could easily see a little boy having fun that way, and I wish the little boy in the Moschino commercial could've gotten to do that.  It probably would've been the same pay, but noooo.  He and the girls ended up in studio that was probably brightly lit and either too hot or too cold, being paid to recite lines that sounded fake and inappropriate for children.

I am RagingMoon1987, and I stand by my comments.  End rant.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Time to gripe: Moschino Barbie

Let's talk about Barbie again.  When I was a teenager the collector dolls always excited me.  I would eagerly look forward to the catalogs that Grandma got, and when they arrived I'd pour through them looking for Bob Mackie's latest creations, or for ballerinas or redheads, or the latest I Love Lucy doll, or one that might look like some member of my family.  Back then it was fun to get a new catalog, but nowadays the creations seem...well, they seem a bit "blah."  With the exception of the new Tokidoki Barbie, Claudette Gordon Barbie, and the zombie bride, nothing sets my world aflame.  The new Hunger Games dolls are monotonous, the Christmas doll is dressed in red for what seems like the millionth time, and even the Fashionistas are humdrum, with the possible exception of L.A. Girl, whom everyone seems to have fallen in love with.

I agree with those who have fallen for L.A. Girl; you don't run into too many Barbie dolls with partially shaved heads (a la Venus McFlytrap), and her face is to die for.  She's proven to be elusive, but I can do to wait for now, as close as it is to Christmas.  While I agree with the masses on L.A. Girl, I strongly disagree with the same masses on Moschino Barbie.  This is Moschino Barbie in black and in white.
They're both pretty dolls, as Barbie dolls inevitably are, but why the big fuss?  They're just a couple of big-haired, Superstar-head dolls clad in black pleather.  Their accessories consist of a plain white shirt with some sort of Moschino-themed message on it.  My Facebook friends (and a few enemies too, for that matter) are going absolutely ga-ga over this doll, and I can't understand why!  Yeah, she's been designed by a big shot designer.  Big friggin' deal.  Several of the other dolls have been designed by big shot designers, and I haven't seen half of Facebook go nuts over them.  I find Carlyle Nuera's creations far more impressive, but I haven't seen a single one in any of the groups that I'm a member of.  Odd too, because Mutya and Claudette Gordon are both more affordable than Moschino is, and they're more colorful!  I particularly love the color combos on Claudette; she's black with auburn hair, and she's wearing a blue flapper-style dress.  In my opinion, Carlyle really knocked that one out of the park.  I can't wait to see what else he has planned.

Of course I mean no ill towards those who like Moschino Barbie.  Tastes vary, right?  Thus why we have dolls as radically different as Moschino, Tokidoki, and Mutya are.  Something for everyone.  But I am simply unimpressed by Moschino.  Her outfit is very plain, her face is one that we've all seen (several times over), and the accessories don't impress me.  If she looked more like one of these models I'd be more impressed.  That's more in tune with the over-the-top designs that big shot designers make...and it also makes me hopeful that Jeremy Scott will design a Barbie in the future.  His Warhol-esque designs are humorous, colorful, and fun, and that would be perfect for Barbie.

Best wishes,