Looking for something?

Friday, September 23, 2016

Random post to keep my mind settled

Ladies and gents, I certainly do get myself into some tripped out situations.  For those of you that want the story, here's a link.  I sporadically keep a second blog about my pets, and this story is about a new cat.  Let me tell y'all, it's a humdinger!  I never will get over people who are so cotton-pickin' irresponsible with their animals, not to mention dishonest!

What else to do but talk about dolls???  While Callie does her thing and Lily shreds one of my chairs (NO, BAD GIRL!), let me show you some more pieces of the Great Etsy/eBay Haul of June 2016.  Yep, some of it's just now getting here, though admittedly one of these things was only ordered last week.  Regardless of when I ordered it, some of it is getting here now.  Sophie has received a couple of new outfits in the past few weeks, but this one is my favorite one so far.
I have LLLLLLLLLOVED this outfit ever since Fashion Avenue released it back in the late nineties.  This outfit bears a strong resemblance to 1998's Matching Styles 20608, but the shirt is wrong.  The Matching Styles set came with a flowered top, if I remember correctly.  Not that the discrepancy is a huge deal for me.  I wanted the outfit for its red velour overalls and hat, and who cares if this is the right shirt or not???  I'm so pleased to finally have this outfit!

The next item is a whole doll, not just an outfit.  She's also the subject of a Throwback Thursday review that I have planned.  
This is a doll from the Mattel's defunct Flavas.  She suffers from the unfortunate name of P. Bo.  I'm not going to talk about P. Bo at length right now as I have a review planned for that, so I'm just going to say that she's here and I like what I see so far.

As a cute little touch, both Sophie and P. Bo are redheads.  See how cute they are together???
Now that I've successfully vented I'm going to turn off the lights and pray that tomorrow a healthy litter of kittens will have made an appearance.

Much love,

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Throwback Thursday review: Cupcakes Beri Blue

RagingMoon1987 with something a little different this time.  Throwback Thursday reviews will be dolls that I've had lying around for awhile, or defunct doll lines that I thought were neat.  Some of the reviews will be posts I've had in Draft Limbo for God-knows-how-long, but this one is one I concocted last weekend.  Cupcakes were available from Tonka and Kenner when I was a small child.  Yep, Tonka.  When I was a little kid Tonka's slogan was "Tonka means TRUCKS!!!" so it surprised me a little to see that this doll was made by the same company.  Anyway, Cupcakes were little dolls, quite a bit smaller than Barbie dolls, that transformed into cupcakes!  Basically you had a doll who wore a large plastic hat and a long ballgown-style dress.  Instead of feet and legs under the dress, there was this rubber base that folded up and looked just like a cupcake wrapper.  The doll's hat fit down over everything and voila!  You had a little toy cupcake!  These Cupcakes came in a wide variety of colors and were apparently successful enough to have spin-off lines based on other treats like ice cream and jam (there would've been gumballs too if the line had lived longer).  I don't know whether it was my idea or my parents' idea, but I ended up with one of these little dolls during my childhood.  She was blonde with a pink dress and a yellow hat, and she was named Taffy Tammy.  As I've said before I didn't play with dolls much when I was little, but I liked my Taffy Tammy doll.  She smelled delicious and she made a surprisingly convincing toy cupcake.  As fond as I was of her I'm surprised that I gave her away...but I did.  Replacing Taffy was on my to-do list during the Great Etsy/eBay Shopping Spree last June, but I couldn't find her with all her parts so I settled for another doll from a different wave.  Meet Beri Blue, who still smells faintly of blueberry baked goods after twenty-five years.
Well, she DID smell like blueberry baked goods.  Now that I've given her a hair wash she also smells like Dawn and hair conditioner.  Anyway, Beri is a member of the Cutie Fruti series.  As was implied by the name, the Cutie Fruti dolls were fruit themed with hats that looked like whipped cream rather than icing.  Hmm...I've never really thought of blueberry as a flavor for cupcakes.  Muffins, yes, but not cupcakes.  Either way my Beri has an obvious blueberry theme, hence her blueberry smell and her blue dress.  Her hard plastic hat makes a convincing dollop of whipped cream (one of my favorite treats).  It is painted with a soft purple tint and has little blueberry clusters added on.
These dolls had rooted hair, and my Beri is no exception.  It's seen better days, but it's still very soft and though it was a mess when she got here, it was surprisingly easy to detangle.
The color is mid-blonde, and it's got a blue streak, something I wasn't expecting.
I'm used to seeing streaked hair on ball-jointed dolls and on dolls that are geared towards older children, so seeing a blue streak in this little gal's hair was a bit of a treat.  I can't remember for the life of me if Taffy had any hair streaks, but she would've looked cute with them.

Beri's face is generically cute, just like my Taffy's was.  She's got blue eyes, pink cheeks, and a dainty pink smile with teeth showing.
Her right eyebrow has a slight paint foible with this extra blob of brown at one end.  Not a huge deal now, and not something I would've minded as a child either.  What I DID notice is the tilt of her eyebrows.  Doesn't she look ever so slightly devious?  Maybe she lied about being blueberry flavored and she's actually been baked with ghost peppers?  Either way, this child looks ever so slightly mischievous.  I may have to watch her to make sure no mayhem unfolds.  LOL 

Regarding poses, Beri is minimally jointed.  Her vinyl head rotates and her harder vinyl arms move up and down.  Oddly, her arms are all one piece, so they move up and down in tandem with each other.  Beri's bodice is painted onto her torso and surprise, surprise...it's blue!  Now here is where things get interesting.  Beri's outer skirt attaches around her waist with Velcro.  It's clearly supposed to close in back, but look at this layering effect in back!
I'm sorely tempted to see how this will look in front, and since this skirt will be coming off anyway, y'all will get to see how it looks as well!  But first, the skirt.  It's really pretty.
It's made out of blue sateen and blue tulle.  The tulle is attached in three layers to make the dress look tiered and to give it a bit more fluff.  The waistband is white with cute little fruit motifs printed on.
The waistband has a bit of significance for Beri, as it depicts other fruit flavors that were available in the Cutie Fruti line.  Grape Suzette, Cherry Chip, and Suzana'nana are all depicted here.  Beri's own motif is also present, but it's on the back of my doll's waistband.

Now the lower skirt.
This is made of soft, flexible plastic and is a part of the doll.  Beri can rotate in it but it is NOT supposed to come off.  In keeping with the theme Beri's lower skirt is blue, and it's fluted to resemble the wrapper of a real cupcake.  It is this lower skirt that makes Beri's transformation from cupcake-themed doll to actual cupcake possible.  When her skirt is folded up and her hat is on right Beri looks like this.
Not bad!  As I said before, I've never associated blueberries with cupcakes, but there's a first time for everything, right?  Now let's see how Beri looks with her skirt on backwards.
Again, not bad.  However, this hides the cute design on the waistband.  It also shows the Velcro fastener in all its less-than-chic glory.  I'll probably leave the skirt the way it's supposed to be worn, but this gives me a great idea for some handmade skirts in the future.  As simple as this doll is, it would be easy to create extra outfits.  I wonder if Tonka and Kenner ever thought about that, about designing separate little skirts that kids could switch around?  Would've been worth examining, I do believe.

Usually I end a review with a summary of the bad things and good things about the doll in question, but I'm not going to do that because Beri Blue has virtually no pitfalls at all.  The gimmick is simple and user-friendly, and yet she's not a particularly fragile little doll.  I would've thought that after all these years that rubber skirt would've stiffened and started to deteriorate, but after twenty-five or so years Beri's is still in working order.  Okay, so she has one small paint gaffe...it's one that I would've overlooked as a kid and am willing to overlook now.  Maybe I'm a bit biased since I loved these Cupcakes when I was a little kid, but Beri is a delightful little doll to have.  I haven't been reunited with my childhood friend Taffy Tammy, but given my fondness for blue over pink I daresay that Beri Blue is even better!

I'm not sure how well these dolls sold when they were a new thing, but I doubt that they did the best because by 1992 the Cupcakes were out of production.  Tonka didn't even stay along for the whole ride; they produced the dolls only during 1990 before turning production over to Kenner.  Kenner is no longer in existence, being bought out by Hasbro...but that didn't occur until 2000.  So I have my doubts about the success of these Cupcakes.  If they weren't successful then that's a shame, because in all my life I've never seen an idea as original as this.  The Monster High dolls are original enough, but who would ever have thought to take a baked good and pretend that they magically became little people?  This truly was a unique little line of dolls and I think they're due for another revamp.  Or maybe not; there have already been four revamps in the past.  The revamp I'm most interested in is the second one, done in 2005 by Radica.  They released a trio of dolls based on the old Candy Sprinkles line, and another trio based on the old Cutie Fruti line.  This meant that both Taffy Tammy and Beri Blue got a revamp.  Neither the new Taffy (left) nor the new Beri (right) looked much like their predecessors.
The revamps may not look a lot like their predecessors, but they're mighty cute nonetheless.  I wonder if they smell as nice as their Tonka/Kenner sisters did?  It certainly would be interesting to find out!  As an aside, Beri's new self had a modified name.  Her name became Blueberry Bell.  Bell???  Why not Belle, I wonder???  These dolls DO look a little like stereotypical Southern Belles, after all.  Oh well, I guess "Bell" was more original.  

The other three reissues were done by Fun Source (1998), Emco (2015), and Estrela (2012 to 2015).  Estrela appears to be strictly for the foreign market, which is too bad for me because they're adorable.  Emco's line changed the name a little to "Cupcake Surprises."  This Emco line exasperates me a little, because I was in and out of the toy isles all through the year and never saw their Cupcake Surprises even ONCE!  If I had I'd have grabbed one in a New York second.  Their faces aren't as cute as the old Tonka/Kenner dolls, but the idea is still alive and well in the Emco dolls and while I'm not happy that I missed out, it's still great to see that they were available as recently as last year.  It's good to see toy companies breathing new life into a doll line as original as this, even if it's only for a year.  For me though, the oldies will always be the best!

Best wishes,

Saturday, September 3, 2016

More new stuff for old dolls

RagingMoon1987 with some idle chatter.  I got a box full of random doll clothes in the mail today.  This stuff came from Trekenstreasures, an Etsy shop that offers a lot of neat stuff for dolls.  Most of the items in this box look mommy-made (my favorite kind) and the sizing is all over the map.  The item's description said the clothes would fit "small dolls," so I knew I'd have some takers in my group.  And indeed, I did.  Penny Brite (left) and Pepper dived right in.
The second I saw that yellow dress I knew it would be perfect for Penny.  Her shoes and purse don't match, but they do make a nice contrast so I'm sticking with it.  Pepper (right) got the flowered cotton number with rickrack trimming.  I originally tried it on her sister Tammy, but it proved to be too tight and too short.  The dress comes with a little kerchief, but I couldn't get it around Pepper's head so it's tucked away for safekeeping.  I may try the complete look on my old Stacie doll since she's got a smaller head.

This little dress also fits Pepper like a dream.
It takes a little maneuvering to get the sleeves over Pepper's splayed fingers, but once it's on she's good to go.  I'll probably set this one back for winter since it has sleeves.

Unfortunately there wasn't much in the box for Tammy.  I tried the flowered dress on her, and this cute romper...
...but both proved to be too tight.  Other pieces were too big.  In the end, I put Tammy in this.
This set is pieced together from bits and bobs.  The blouse and hat are clearly a set, but I'm not sure where the shorts came from.  When worn together it gives Tammy a comfortable, casual look, not unlike something one might see at the beach on an early fall day like today.  I just wish now that I had a swimsuit for Tammy to wear under it.  These are among the only things in the bag that will fit Tammy, and I like them a lot better than the skimpy Barbie outfit that I initially put on her.

In contrast to Tammy, Pepper and Penny look like they'll have a nice wardrobe when this is through.  The little plaid romper that was too tight on Tammy looks adorable on Pepper.
This set confuses me a little.
Is this supposed to be a dress and a pinafore, or is this two dresses that happen to have a similar color palate?  They don't fit neatly over each other, but they don't close all the way in back either.  The Etsy picture shows these as two separate dresses, so that's what I'm going to go with.  Both of them look like they might fit Penny nicely...but they don't.
The pink dress fits Penny just fine, and the white dress does not.  Her red skivvies are quite visible underneath that white one, in fact!  Th colors on the white dress match the pink dress so perfectly that I had to try stacking them.
Problem solved!  The outer dress does indeed make a good pinafore.  This is one of those fun little sets that can be worn with or without the pinafore, as the pink dress is adorned with a ribbon on the bodice.

I call this piece the "Dorothy romper," because it's made of a gingham material similar to what Dorothy wore in The Wizard of Oz.
Since this romper looks similar in size to Pepper's plaid romper I doubted that Tammy could wear it, but just for giggles I tried it on her anyway.
Surprise, surprise, it fits Tammy!  Now the Ideal sisters have outfits that coordinate!  Well...sort of, they do.
That leaves me at a loss for some of the other pieces in this clothing lot.  Check out this set!
Yellow!  Yellow reminds me of my mother.  Color aside, I'm not sure whether this is a capri set or a pajama set, but it's too big even for Tammy!  All is not lost, however, as I have a trio of Jem and the Holograms dolls lying around.  Jem and Roxy are both quite a bit bigger than Tammy, so let's try this set on them.
Unfortunately this set is way too big for Roxy.  Jem has the same body, so trying it on her would be pointless.  This looks more like it might be suited for a ball-jointed doll, but as feminine as it is I'm not about to try it on either Johnny or Alistair.  Both of them get mistaken for girls enough as it is.  I wonder why.
Okay, I've got to admit that with their yukata and their longish wigs, my boys do look a tad girly.  I owe y'all an introduction for Alistair (right), by the way; I introduced Johnny and Ju-hwang, so Alistair deserves a debut on the blog as well.  But let's focus on this box of clothes a little more first.  There's this Hawaiian-looking shirt, which is neither particularly masculine nor feminine in appearance.
Jem's boyfriend Rio is nude just like Jem and Roxy are.  Maybe this will fit him...
...and maybe it won't.  This top is too big, and it looks a little dumb on Rio.  But then again, Jem and her friends always wore goofy clothes.  If I get a pair of pants then Rio will likely look better.

These will have to go in the ball-jointed doll pile.
I've got a couple of red tops and this greenish-black suit, all of which are too big for the dolls I've presented in this review, yet too small for the American Girls.  They're too big for Ju-hwang, and they'll be too big for the Bobobie doll I've ordered (Chloe).  To my great and abject surprise, I'm short on money (how on Earth did that happen???  LOL), so these too-big pieces will just have to go into storage for awhile until I can get a girlfriend for Johnny...or for Alistair...or just a random girl.  Either way it's nice to have some random items on hand.

Just for giggles, I'm going to show y'all some new Barbie threads that I got from Etsy.  Here's Stacey, reproduction Francie, and Stacey, wearing clothes from RetroZombie74.
The Flying Stacey Sisters are wearing pantsuits, though the legs are full enough to look like skirts.  Francie is sans one shoe because I'm trying to mend a split in the shoe.  The seller was honest about that and I purchased it with the full knowledge that I'd need to do repairs.  I used Super Glue and haven't yet put the shoe on Francie's foot.  We'll see how it goes.

I also put some new things on Sophie (left) and Tiana.
Sophie used to be a California Dream Midge, so when I got an opportunity to get an old California Barbie set I jumped at the chance.  The top is a bit big for Sophie's smaller torso, but nothing a nice tank top can't cure.  Tiana got something handmade in an adorable fabric.  It fastens with snaps, which I don't often see with doll clothes anymore.  I much prefer snaps, though Velcro does have its place.  Sophie's outfit came from pollypocketplus and included a couple of items I wasn't expecting (an extra skirt and some tights).  Tiana's dress came from KelleysKreationsLV.  I'll be frequenting all these shops in the future.