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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Dolly Dress Discussion: two Teen Skipper outfits

I'm back with another Dolly Dress Discussion, one that will again touch on clothes for Skipper.  The last Skipper outfit I did was old enough that I don't remember it from childhood, but the Teen Skipper line is one that I'm quite acquainted with.  For those who are uninitiated, Teen Skipper was Skipper's last form before she morphed into the slender, petite doll we know today.  Teen Skipper looked a lot like Barbie; they were nearly the same height and they could do a little bit of clothes sharing.  I only have four dolls from this era (three Skippers and one friend), but they still deserve to have nice things.  Meet Totally Yo-Yo Skipper (left) and Fashion Party Courtney.
When I was very young Courtney was a brunette and could have easily passed for a fair-skinned sister of Teresa or Kira, but the Teen line saw her debut as a blue-eyed redhead who favored Midge in appearance.  That copper hair will go nicely with one of the new outfits I've got, one that I neglected to photograph before busting it out of its package.
Green and red sometimes runs the risk of being too Christmas-elfish, but this outfit avoids that with a healthy dose of sporty.  And technically that top is more camouflage than green anyway so that helps.
It's a cropped tank top that never would've passed muster at my old high school but is still cute.  The material is woven and has ZERO stretch.  It has a single loose thread sticking out under the left arm.
Just the one, though.  I've seen outfits a lot worse than this.  Applied to the front of this top, breaking up the camo and tying the outfit together, is this red heart.
These tend to tear and break when placed on stretchy fabric, so this non-stretch fabric is probably a blessing in disguise.  Now to the shorts. 
This material doesn't stretch either, which is probably a good thing because it's quite thin.  It has a faux tie at the waist.
Everything is hemmed inside, but there are still a lot of loose threads in there.  Some are sticking out of the waist, and there's even more inside the legs.  That may prove to be a pain in the posterior later on.
The shoes are simple red vinyl high tops with thick soles.  They have more detail than a lot of Barbie's shoes, but none of that detail is painted.
Here's how Courtney looks in this outfit.
As predicted, the loose fibers inside that one leg pulled out and look raggy.  I'll have to clip these off and maybe fix the insides with some fray-stop.
Once I fix those seams this outfit should be good to go.  The colors look good with Courtney's extensive red hair.  The crop top would render this outfit inappropriate for wear at most schools (I say this because Courtney would be high-school age if she were a real person), but for this time of year it's perfect!

The other one would look nice on Courtney as well, but since Courtney already has a new outfit I gave it to Skipper.  It's equally simple.
Interestingly, the dress in the package is red, while the dress on the back of the package is dark pink.
This ensemble is even simpler than the first one, just a dress and shoes.
Yes, that's a napkin that the dress is lying on.  I liked it better than the plain brown box I've been using.  The dress is an A-line dress in a lovely shade of bright red, with little white plastic buckles at the shoulders.
Likely if this were a real dress for a real human those buckles would be used to adjust the shoulder straps, but since this is a doll dress the buckles just sit there and look cute.  Emblazoned on the chest of the dress is Skipper's name in white.
I always liked Skipper's logo when I was a kid.  The "I" in her name was always dotted with a flower, and that inspired me to dot my "I's" with a little star, an idiosyncrasy that I still occasionally trot out for informal writings.

Like the other outfit, and like all outfits of this era, this dress closes with Velcro...the nonsnag kind that loses its tack over time.
The shoes are simple white platform sandals.  
Skipper shoes of any sort are appreciated, as Skipper dolls have flatter feet than Barbie does.  It's thus fairly tricky to find shoes that will fit.  I haven't tried any of the new Fashionista shoes yet so there may be an off-chance that one of those pairs will fit, but I'm not betting on it.

Now, here's my old Skipper in her new outfit.
I love the simplicity of this outfit.  It's very much like something I would've liked myself when I was a teenager.  Now let's see how my three younger girls look together.
Not bad at all!  What they had was nice; indeed, I love the clothes that Courtney came with, but it's wonderful to change things around a bit.  As an added bonus, both Jenny and Costume Bash Jade can wear some of these Skipper clothes.  Jenny might be able to wear some of these shoes too; I'll have to test that.

Ciao for now,

Throwback Thursday review: Costume Bash Jade

RagingMoon1987 again, and this review is about a Bratz doll that I've had awhile.  Costume Bash Jade made her debut here in 2014.  Unfortunately for her, a large sack of older Barbies also made an appearance so Jade was promptly upstaged and her promised review was forgotten.  Three years later, she's finally getting her review!
The Costume Bash line was a small set of Bratz dolls consisting of Jade, Yasmin, and Cloe.  All three were old-style heads placed on the "Psst...I'm Taller" body.  I originally wanted Cloe, but when presented with the chance to get Jade on sale I said "phooey, I'm going for her."  Jade is my favorite character anyway, so it all works out.  These tall dolls were released shortly before the Bratz went on hiatus, so I don't know how many of them were made.  Today's flop could be tomorrow's collector's item, but I digress.  Here's my Jade.
According to what I've read online, Jade is supposed to be dressed as a gingerbread girl.  That motif is not immediately obvious; I was thinking of a candy girl, given MGA's apparent fondness for candy-themed dolls during 2014.  But first things first.  Let's look at Jade's hair.
Jade's hair is made of nightmare nylon.  If it were loose it would probably hang down to her knees but since it's mercifully braided it falls a little shorter.  The hair is mostly white, with some red streaks thrown in, and all of it is braided or twisted...or kinked from the packaging, as nylon hair loves to do.  The largest braid is a rope braid that sticks off to one side, like so.
Two smaller rope braids are tied up into a large bun on the left side of Jade's head.
On the right side of Jade's head is a second, much smaller bun, and this in turn is decorated with a vinyl gingerbread cookie.
The tail end of this bun hangs loose and loves to stick out in strange directions.  I may have to braid it so it'll stay in control.
Words cannot convey my hatred of nylon hair, but this stuff is styled well.  I don't dare take the style down though, because I'd never get it back up again.  The colors don't scream gingerbread either.  They remind me more of peppermint, a flavor that I like but don't usually associate with gingerbread.

Moving on, Jade has the typical Bratz face.  Since she was released before the most recent redesign, her head is a similar shape to the older dolls.
Okay, the heads aren't exactly the same; Costume Bash Jade has a slightly flatter nose than her raven-haired predecessor, and her ears look like they might be smaller, but there's not a lot of difference.  In keeping with the junk food theme, Jade's makeup palette is dominantly pink and sparkly like candy can sometimes be.  She has the classic Bratz eyes, complete with fierce eyebrows that give away her natural hair color, and sparkly eye shadow in a couple of shades of brown.
Her lips are your typical Bratz lips, large, puffy, and shiny.  No fish lips here; they'd been done away with by the time the taller dolls debuted.
Painted on Jade's left cheek is a sparkly pink heart.
Very typical of Bratz makeup, and not terribly unlike La Dee Doll makeup either.  Most of the Bratz that I've seen don't go this heavily on the glitter, but this is a costume party doll so she deserves a little extra sparkle, just as long as she doesn't get any in her eyes.  I used to wear cheap lip gloss with glitter flecks in it, and I know from bitter experience that glitter in one's eye can be intensely painful.  Don't ask how that lip gloss got into my eyes, by the way.  I can still hear Mama saying "Well boy, that took talent!"  LOL

I can't remember what comes next!  Body or clothes?  <pauses to consult past reviews> Oh, it's body review time!  Most of the Bratz I own are the shorter ones, measuring about nine inches.  Their height can vary depending on the shoes they're wearing.  The Costume Bash line has the taller body, and Jade's oversized head puts her at the same height as Barbie.
These tall Bratz don't just differ from their older, shorter siblings in height, though.  Their arms are longer and have joints.
My junk shop Cloe doll is one of those Movie Starz so she also has jointed arms.  However, Cloe's arms still are not the same length as Jade's, nor are they jointed in the same way.  Cloe has a joint in the middle of her upper arm, and Jade does not.
Jade's body is more flexible than that of the older Bratz dolls (except Cloe), almost to the level of a jointed Fashionista body like Sherralee's...but not quite.  Her arm joints are great...
...as are her hips.  Jade can do full splits, something that neither Sherralee nor most of my Bratz can do.
Jade's knees are not great at all.  As long as her legs are I'd expected her knees to be limber...but they're not.  They click twice,  but they only hold one position.  The leg on the left is extended fully, and the leg on the right is bent as far as it'll stay bent.
At the same time, Jade's legs are too soft to support her weight.  It was a constant struggle to keep her upright for this review, so rubbery are those limbs.  On the other hand, Jade's rubbery legs, loose hips, and pivoting shoe-feet allow her to cross her ankles.  Again, most of my other Bratz can't do that.
Jade's neck is stiff.  She can turn her head but not tip it.
Compare that to my first-wave Jade, who can both turn and tip her head.
By now it should be pretty obvious that Jade's tights are painted on.  I can't say that I'm a huge fan of that, but what choice did MGA have in this case?  Fabric tights were occasionally done for the earliest Bratz, but I don't think it worked too well.

Regarding the rest of Jade's threads, I think that of the three Costume Bash dolls, Jade's costume is the simplest.  There's a lot going on visually, but the overall outfit consists of one piece.
Oops, I forgot that neck piece.  So there's two pieces plus shoes.  The bodice...now this bodice looks legit.  It has that soft, textured look and feel that reminds me of fresh gingerbread.  It even has white ric-rac sewn on, which looks quite a bit like icing.
The iridescent heart is not a shape or color that I associate with gingerbread, but I like it.
This bodice looks strapless, but as with many other "strapless" doll dresses it has bits of elastic holding it up.
The skirt is made of stiff, shiny stuff that holds a shape well but has ZERO drape and feels cheap.  The material itself is hot pink, and it has sparkly gingerbread men and hearts painted on.
The hem is trimmed with a larger strand of iridescent ric-rac.
Jade's neck piece is made out of satin ribbon in the same shade of hot pink.  I like this fabric better than the stuff that the skirt is made out of.
Both dress and neck piece close with Velcro. 
The rest of Jade's rather sparse accessories are red like the stripes in her hair and on her legs.  Bratz can and do wear big earrings, but given this doll's busy hair and makeup I'm grateful for her simple little studs.
Jade's shoe-feet are red ankle boots.  They're too small for the rest of her, I think.
According to stock pictures Jade should also have a brush, a purse, and a gift, but God only knows where I put those items.  They were just bits and bobs of plastic in shades of red and pink anyway.  I'm a bit dumbfounded by this outfit's color combination, by the way.  Jade has red and white hair, red and white tights, red earrings, and red shoes, but her dress and her makeup go heavy on the pink.  Why did MGA do that, I wonder?  Why didn't MGA go with just red and no pink, or just pink and no red?  I mean, the gingerbread men on the skirt do have tiny red bow ties, but they're not big or bright enough to justify red tights, red shoes, or red hair streaks.  Don't get me wrong, Jade doesn't look bad, but the color combination does make for a confusing getup.

Since Jade is one of the larger dolls I'm not sure what all she can wear.  Regular Bratz clothing is out, and I think Jade may be a bit too curvy for modern Barbie clothes.  It's worth a shot, though.
The outfit on the left is an old Fashion Avenue outfit, usually worn by Maggie, the doll that wouldn't get "smoof."  The skirt fits Jade quite well, but the top is too large and looks shapeless.  The other outfit is one of the Dolphin Magic outfits that I reviewed not too long ago.  It's a little tight around Jade's hips and a little loose around her chest, but not ridiculously so.  Jade's striped tights don't even look too bad with that second dress.

Unfortunately, those painted tights are going to be problematic in the long run.  They won't match anything that doesn't have red in it, and the spiral pattern will likely clash with any printed things I can grub up.  Jeans might work, but at the moment the only jeans I have that will fit Jade are being worn by Pilar.  As roomy as those jeans are, Jade might just be able to pull it off.
The jeans are indeed a yes.  They fit Jade better than they fit Pilar, in fact; every time I sit Pilar down in these jeans the snap pops open.  Jade doesn't have that problem, but she does have a different one.  That top is entirely too big.  It won't fit Jade unless I resize it, and I don't want to do that.  

There's also a dress that I've been holding back for a Dolly Dress Discussion, one that belongs to Skipper.  It's red and white, so I'll give it a whirl. 
Like the Dolphin Magic dress, this is a little tight around the hips and a little loose around the bust.  Jade's skivvies are also visible through the thin fabric and that's a bummer, but this dress still looks cute on Jade.  So these taller Bratz can wear modern Barbie dresses, old-style Barbie pants, and Teen Skipper clothes.  She may also be able to wear some of the other things I've got for slimmer dolls as well; Winx Club clothes look particularly promising.  But for now I'm just going to leave it at this and sum it up.

*Hair is made out of nasty old nylon
*Legs are rubbery and don't stay bent 
*Neck is stiffer than other Bratz necks
*Skirt is made of stiff fabric that feels cheap and wants to snag on my fingernails 
*Color combination is confusing.  This doll looks more like a candy girl than a gingerbread girl.
*Can't share clothes with the other Bratz or the Bratzillaz 

*Hair is attractive, even if it is nylon
*No fish lips!  Bratz dolls went through a period where they had lips that looked like fish mouths, but not this chick!
*Eye-catching.  I may find the color scheme confusing, but it also grabs my attention when I look at my group of Bratz dolls!
*Flexible, except for knees and neck
*Can wear some articles of Mattel clothing.  This expands Jade's potential wardrobe.
*Unlike the more recent wave of Bratz, this doll has the attitude and the aesthetic that fans of these dolls grew to love.

As much as I love Jade's character, I find myself wishing that I'd found Cloe from this line instead.  Having once been a hippie at heart, I could relate more to her retro-style costume than I can Jade's garish confection of an outfit.  Jade also has wobbly, rubbery legs, making it hard for me to pose her standing up, and her knee joints don't bend as I think they should, and her hair is made out of nylon.  She's not a bad doll though; for all her garishness she makes a convincing costume party participant, and her makeup is nice, and she can wear some clothes for other dolls (always a plus).  So I can't fault MGA Entertainment for giving it the old college try with this doll, though I would like to examine another of the tall dolls to see if they all have rubbery legs!

Quick update on my family.  Grandma is still in the hospital and is about the same.  She ate a little bit of yogurt and was forcing down a can of Ensure when we left her last night.  The rest of the family is half-expecting some sort of calamity today, as eleven years ago today my grandfather passed away in the same hospital, under highly similar circumstances, after a long decline.  That was back in 2006, and it was a Thursday, just like today is, so we're all a little on edge.  My mother on the other hand...my mother is getting very strong.  The physical therapist was impressed with her improvement on Tuesday, especially since Mama cancelled her appointments over the past two weeks!  First Uncle is driving down from St. Louis for the weekend, and I always enjoy seeing him, but the unpleasant truth is that he's coming down to "adult," as we all call doing unpleasant things.  I think the point of this trip is for Mama, my two uncles, and me to sit down and discuss funeral arrangements...just in case.  I don't look forward to doing this and neither do my family members, but it's got to be done...again, just in case.  As stubborn as Grandma is she may haul off and surprise us by living another ten years.  We'll just see.