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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Throwback Thursday review: Glori and Longlocks, Dawn's friends

Over the past few weeks my Longlocks doll has been popping up quite a bit, so now it's time to shift my attention to a toy company that I've not yet talked about.  Longlocks is one of the many friends of Dawn, a six-inch fashion doll created by Topper Toys.  Dawn was introduced in 1970, outsold Barbie for a brief period, inspired numerous clones (Palitoy's Pippa is the most remembered of these), and by 1973 she was gone, felled by Topper's going out of business.  My little Longlocks has seen a long, hard life of use and abuse at the hands of children, and she was a free gift with a purchase anyway so reviewing her doesn't seem very fair.  So I got a Glori doll to compare her to.  Don't ask how my twisted mind works.
Glori is another friend of Dawn's, being a member of the "Original Four," as the first four girls are sometimes called.  The Original Four consisted of blonde, blue-eyed Dawn, brown-eyed brunette Angie, green-eyed redhead Glori, and African-American Dale.  As the series progressed more friends were added, including three boys (Gary, Van, and Ron), a set of majorettes that were super cute, a handful of fashion models, and a ton of clothes.

I did say I wouldn't fully review Longlocks, but she will be popping in and out to compare hair, facepaint, and body shape.  Believe it or not, these dolls occasionally had different bodies, and we may get to see an example of that, but for now let's look at Glori.
Like Barbie, the Topper dolls had various head molds, though they didn't vary in expression like Barbie's friends' heads did.  Glori's mold was most commonly numbered "K11," and that's the mark my doll has.
Longlocks' head could be marked with either an H17 or a P17; mine has the former.
Both Glori and Longlocks have soft, smooth hair in relatively good condition, but individual hairs have a mind of their own.  Glori's rogue strands are particularly annoying because they want to fly right in her face.
Some areas of these dolls' heads are thinly rooted, though that's not terribly noticeable on a doll of such a small scale.
Glori has bangs and Longlocks does not, though neither doll had a set style.  There are Glori dolls without bangs, but mine has 'em.  Most K11 dolls do.
I can only imagine what it must've been like to paint such tiny faces.  Both Glori and Longlocks have simple brown one-line eyebrows that can vary a lot in position.  Notice that Glori's eyebrows are higher than Longlocks' are.
Y'all know something?  Those thick eyelashes are a little creepy!  I'll bet y'all a million bucks that my sister would absolutely hate these.  Ahem...where was I?  Underneath the eyelashes are painted eyes.  Glori's are grass green and are looking to her left, while Longlocks' are sky blue and looking to her right.  Both dolls have dusky blue eyeshadow, with Glori's being more obvious.  Glori is missing a few eyelashes in her left eye, and said left eye is painted askew, making her look slightly drunk.  It's possible to see the detail that was attempted with these eyes, though; notice that Glori's right eye has a small light cluster.
Both dolls have dainty noses and thin baby-pink lips that curve up into a calm smile.  Glori's lip paint is paler, though I'm unsure if she was painted like this or if she's faded over time.  I doubt the latter since her eyeshadow is still intact, but uneven fading can and does occur with dolls.  Barbie dolls with lemon-colored lips are testament to that.

Not visible in the picture above are ears.  The dolls have flat little ears with no earrings or holes for earrings.  Earrings would've been a cute little touch, but that would've been tricky to do on such a small scale.
Much to my surprise, these dolls have a lot of variation in their bodies.  Some are heavier than others with larger bottoms, wider hips, and thicker legs, while others have visible navels, collarbones, or nipples.  These differences weren't/aren't drastic enough to prevent clothes sharing, but they're noticeable to those who know what they're looking for.  Sometimes this difference in size factors into the way a doll ages, and here is where the story gets a little interesting.  Wikipedia (not the best source) claims that dolls with thicker legs have knees that turn green, while the Dawn Doll Archive attests that it's the dolls with slimmer legs that get green knees.  I find it hard to believe that I'll get two dolls with drastically different bodies given my short time collecting, but if I do then I may be able to tell which site is accurate.
Glori and Longlocks DO have some differences, but let's talk the things these dolls have in common first.  Both have necks that swivel but don't tip.
I like necks that can tip, but with a doll this small a tipping neck would've been pretty tricky.  The shoulders and hips are similar; they swing back and forth but not outwards.  Longlocks' joints are very loose, which I understand is normal for a well-used doll.
Neither doll has collarbones, nipples, or navels, that's for certain.  Both dolls have twist waists, but for reasons I'll never know, the waist joints are set at a slant.
I've seen Barbie clones with slanted waists, but never brand-name dolls like this!  There's got to be a rhyme or reason for it.  Maybe it's to make these dolls look like they're dancing?
No, that's definitely not it.  Maybe it's...oops, I forgot arms!  Go figure on the waists.
Both dolls have the same basic mold with straight elbows and five fingers.  However, Glori's hands appear to be wider and slightly less well-molded than Longlocks' hands.

Now below the waist.  When Glori arrived I thought that she had thicker legs than Longlocks did...and indeed she does.
According to the Dawn Doll Archive this would mean that Longlocks should have green knees...but she doesn't.  Glori does.  It's not a nasty dark shade of green like some corrosion-damaged dolls have, but it IS visible, particularly on the left knee (seen below).
Okay, so one of my dolls has knee stains and one doesn't.  Not a huge deal since even NRFB dolls get green knees.  I should probably also point out that neither of my dolls have a single knee that can hold a pose.  Apparently the joints were not only bad about turning green, but they also broke easily.  Now that that's out of the way, let's look briefly at the sculpting of the lower leg.
Glori's legs may be a micron or two thicker, but aside from Longlocks' rather prominant chew marks (one of which I had to mend with Super Glue) there's not a lot to say.  They both have shapely little calves and dainty feet.  The feet have holes in them to accomodate the stands that these dolls once wore.
Regarding clothes, Glori came in part of an outfit called "Sock it to Me."  It is missing its pink shoes and pink tights.
The seller warned that the closures needed mending, and they do.  Easy fix.  The rest of the dress is in great shape.  It needs washing, but otherwise the fabric is very robust.  It's got an appropriately retro paint blotch print, plus two beads on the back that would have accommodated loops of elastic to hold the dress closed.
Longlocks' raincoat ("City Slicker") has this same problem with elastic.
Like I said, it's an easy fix.  Otherswise these tiny outfits are extremely well made.  The hems are all fixed...
...as are the seams.  The seams on Sock it to Me are a little ragged, but nothing is threatening to come apart.
The front of Longlocks' raincoat even has little chains on the front.
On such tiny outfits the hems can be problematic, especially on outfits with stiff fabric like City Slicker does.  Thus the coat can look a little bulky on Longlocks' tiny frame, but not ridiculously so.  Raincoats always look a little bulky anyway.

Of the two pairs of shoes I have for these dolls, the only pair made by Topper are Longlocks' pink rain boots.  Needless to say they fit perfectly, and they too have holes in the soles to accommodate the pegs on the doll stand.
The other pair is handmade by FashionDollStuff, and Etsy store that specializes in sparkly doll shoes.  Longlocks usually wears these.
I have no idea how this lady puts these shoes together and I probably SHOULDN'T know for her sake, but they're cute shoes, cute enough that I ordered another pair for Glori.  Hers will be hot pink closed-toed heels, and hopefully they'll match her dress.  If you like these shoes but aren't a Dawn fan, no worries!  There are other options to choose from.

In addition to the FashionDollStuff shoes and the Topper dresses I've got two crocheted dresses from another Etsy shop called Bender's Vintage Rose.
Christmas gown for Glori, blue ballgown for Longlocks.  The Christmas gown has a white tulle underskirt.
The blue gown came with a sparkly blue wrap...
...and an underskirt made of the same fabric.
This fabric is pretty and has good drape, but I'm terrified that it'll ravel.  It's very loosely woven, and such a fabric is difficult to hem.
The wrap does have a hem that is holding up very well, but the same hem would've added a lot of bulk to the skirt.
The backs of both dresses fasten with snaps.
The front of the Christmas gown has a large-for-this-doll white poinsettia sewn on that adds a nice seasonal touch.
Since these are small crocheted items there are a few loose ends poking out in places.  Not many, but a few.  This one is the only one I could find that's clear enough to photograph.
Overall these are cute, well-made little dresses, but they deserve a little extra care when being put on or taken off a doll.

The dress that Longlocks wore for part of the review was made by me.  It's my first stab at making a Dawn-sized outfit.
I'm not thrilled with the result, but it covers Longlocks' nakedness when she's not wearing the other outfits.  The gauge is way out of scale for such a small doll, and the shoulder straps are bulky.  If I attempt this pattern again I'll use a finer yarn.

Good stuff/bad stuff time!

*Hair is thin in places and a little frizzy, both probably due to age.
*Glori's eyes are wonky. 
*Eyes are a little creepy, due in part to the thick eyelashes.
*Joints are loose, though again that's to be expected from Dawn dolls this age.
*Knees are broken and in Glori's case, turning green.
*Elastic on clothes wears out.
*The dolls' small size likely means that shoes and other accessories were easily lost.

*Longlocks escaped errant paint, and Glori's paint is mostly good except for that eye.
*Well molded.  I don't always comment on that, but these dolls are so tiny they had to have been hard to mold into shape.
*Interesting body variations.  I didn't get a doll with a navel, nipples, or collarbones, but I did get two that are different below the waist.
*Fairly sturdy, especially for such a small toy.
*Clothes are cute and well-made.
*Given these dolls' past popularity, it's easy to find handmade stuff for them.
*Can share clothes with multiple other small dolls of the era, like Pippa and Mattel's Rock Flowers.
*Perfect props for ball-jointed dolls and American Girl, if you're into that.

I'm not entirely surprised that these dolls were popular given their tiny size, which allowed them to fit into a pocket or the palm of someone's hand.  Plus, they had everything Barbie had for a fraction of the size, and probably a fraction of the cost too.  Not that Glori and Longlocks don't have their problems.  Most of my particular dolls' problems are related to age, or to little brats abusing their toys (again), or due to my own tendency to nitpick, but the weak knees are a problem that Topper needed to rectify.  Maybe they did attempt to rectify said problem; maybe that's why they tinkered around with different body shapes.  If that's the case, then it unfortunately didn't work.  Both of my dolls have broken knees, but that's really the only problem that these dolls had straight out of the factory.  So...my verdict?  These are worth the effort if you're interested in seeking one out.  They're not hard to find; eBay has plenty, and Etsy has several as well, including some that are customized.  The customized ones are pretty pricey, but as is they're usually not very expensive.  If you're more into big dolls, these will still make good props for the bigger dolls.

Regarding my family, Mama is continuing to recover, and her first post-op checkup is tomorrow.  I have another Dolly Dress Discussion waiting in the wings, so I'll fill y'all in with what the doctor says then.  However, Grandma is continuing to weaken; she cut her leg while trying to get into the library yesterday (which was an effort even without the bloodshed), and she happened to do this in front of her/my/our boss.  She told Boss Lady that she was quitting right then and there, and Boss in turn gave me Grandma's old position.  So an era came to an end yesterday; no more of me running into the library to kiss Grandma and drop off some sort of food item or magazine.  At the same time a new era has been born...one which I'm very nervous about.  For now I am head librarian at Malden Library, something that I don't have a lot of experience in.  Running Campbell wasn't a huge deal because it was a fairly small library, and Holcomb's library had almost no patrons at all, but Malden's library is big and busy.  I do have one coworker who is willing to teach me the ropes, and my boss is being very kind about the whole mess, but I'm still nervous.  Time will tell how well I do.

Much love,

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