Looking for something?

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Throwback Thursday review: Pepper Parson and Saltine

How can you tell when it's (FINALLY) spring in the Bootheel?  When you start finding rejected robin's eggs in your grass!  Please excuse my groady hand; I'd been working in the yard when I found this egg.
I found a whole clutch of 'em, four in all, one of which exploded when I picked it up.  Bella and Sonic loved that, as only dogs can.  I often ask God during my chats with Him, why did You make dogs so adorable and loving, and yet at times so disgusting???  So far He hasn't provided an answer, but He will in good time, just as He gave me a reason for the existence of sticker burrs (which I hate).

Speaking of dogs, I wasn't originally going to review my little Pepper Parson doll since Miss Emily did it way better, but it's been five years since this line was in our lives, so I may as well review her anyway.  Hey, it's either that or call this Thursday a loss, because I am OUT of things to review for Thursdays!  I've said that before, but this time I MEAN IT!!!  The series isn't coming to an end permanently, but posts will be more sporadic as old/new dolls come into the Moon House.  Anyway, here's Pepper Parson and her pet, Saltine.
I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog too!!!  LOL, Pepper was a member of the short-lived Pinkie Cooper line.  The full name of the line was "Pinkie Cooper and the Jet Set Pets" and they were modeled after the creator's English toy spaniel, which is another name for one of my favorite dog breeds, the King Charles spaniel.  Each doll is colored more or less authentically for a King Charles spaniel; Pinkie Cooper and her friend Li'l Pinkie are colored like the blenheim variety, Ginger Jones and her corresponding puppy Sprinkles appear to have ruby markings, and Pepper and her friend Saltine are obvious tricolors.  The group centers largely around fashion (what a surprise) with some globe-trotting thrown in.  The concept is great, but it's not 100% original.  In the 1960s there was Peteena the Pampered Poodle (whom I've mentioned a couple of times in the past) and in the nineties there were the Catwalk Kitties.  Neither Peteena nor the Kitties were around long; indeed, a decent Peteena goes for a pretty penny on eBay.  I had hoped that the Pinkie Cooper line would do better than Peteena did, but before the line could turn a year old it was discontinued.  Pinkie herself saw four releases (first wave and three for the Travel Collection), while Pepper and Ginger only saw the first wave. 

According to online sources my little Pepper hails from New York City.  She is a disc jockey, she loves adventure and the color blue, and she's not afraid to break fashion rules (I'll bet she wears white after Labor Day, LOL).  Her puppy, Saltine, came from an animal shelter (three cheers for shelter dogs!), and she's the most dog-like of the puppies, being fond of rolling in the dirt when she's in the mood for it.  So it looks like I chose wisely; I love music, I love going against fashion norms, I love the color blue, and I love shelter pets.  I got my chinchilla from an animal shelter, if y'all can believe that; I'm used to seeing dogs and cats at shelters, but not chinchillas.  Anyway, the NYC thing is the only thing I don't have in common with Pepper, as I live closer (a LOT closer) to Pinkie's hometown of St. Louis than I do the Big Apple.  Another thing that leaves me scratching my head is favorite cities; each character has one, and they don't always coincide with the city where the character lives.  That wouldn't have been a big deal except that the second (and ultimately final) wave was city themed, and Pinkie was the only character in the line.  She represented Beverly Hills, Paris (Ginger Jones's favorite city), and London (I adored the London set, by the way).  I know Pinkie was the lead character and all that, but why on Earth couldn't Ginger have represented Paris?  Or why weren't they just separate little outfits, and any character could've visited any city?  Yeah...Bridge Direct could've done that second wave a little better, but I'm getting massively off the subject, as usual. 

Pepper is eight inches tall, a little smaller than Olivia Hope and my rebodied Licca-chan.
Being a dog (dog-person?), Pepper has unusual hair in the form of small wiglets, wiglets that don't fit on the top of her head like wiglets usually do.  No, since Pepper IS a dog she's got a wiglet on each side of her head.  These double as her ears, and they fall to...oh, I'd say almost to the knee.
These wiglets are long enough that they can be styled in a few simple ways, but still short enough to be manageable.  They are also double-sided like Tuesday Taylor's hair, having a black side and an auburn side.
They fit into small holes on the sides of Pepper's head, like a LIV doll's wig.
The opposite end of the peg is square-shaped and provides a good platform for pushing.  It doesn't take a lot of force to drive these pegs into Pepper's head, but having this square bit to push on still helps.
See how nice the root job is?  Again, it's similar to a LIV wig.
The fibers are smooth and soft, but since my doll has been around awhile her hair has gained a little frizz.  Some of this frizz is due to my tendency to braid Pepper's ears/hair.  Despite the differing colors of this hair I do braid it, and the effect is quite nice.  Again, the effect is a little like Tuesday Taylor's hair when it's braided, though the color difference isn't as jarring.  I apologize for the less-than-stellar quality of these braids, by the way.  My bearded dragon bit me during a feeding session last week and the tip of my left index finger was bandaged.
The rest of Pepper's head is made out of white vinyl with the features painted on.  The back of her head is completely black, as are the sides.  The bottom edge has a brown border.
The front, of course, is where things start to get interesting.  The top half of Pepper's face is black, but in the middle of her forehead the white starts making an appearance in the form of an irregularly shaped patch.  Pepper also has a black heart and some polka dots in this white area, apparently a common feature of this line of dolls.
Needless to say real King Charles spaniels don't have those hearts.  Spots, yes, but not pink hearts.  Anyway, Pepper also has tan marks above each eye, which real tricolor King Charles spaniels DO have.  I'd heard that they were called "kiss marks," but I googled that and got a bunch of stupid pictures of dogs slathered in lipstick marks.
Lots of other dog breeds have these cute marks, regardless of what they're called.  Heck, even dogs that are no particular breed have them.  My Sonic is a mutt, and he has them!  His sister Bella probably would have had them too were she not tan all over.
Sonic and Bella had their second vet visit two weeks ago, by the way.  They both got a clean bill of health, and they've both grown a lot since their first visit.  Anyway, Pepper's snout is authentically colored black, and she has the split upper lip that all doggies do, plus some spots for whiskers and a teensy bit of blush on her cheeks.  The lips are very detailed in a paint style that is similar to that of some ball-jointed dolls, right down to the glossy, slightly translucent finish.
Oops, I forgot to do eyes!  Pep has inset eyes, but they're not translucent like so many inset doll eyes.  They're painted a lovely shade of...green (green eyes on a dog?  mmkay...) with a band of baby blue eyeshadow.  It's hard to tell at first glance that these eyes are inset, but if you tap them with a fingernail it's easy to tell that they're made of a different plastic from the rest of the head.
Pepper and her semi-canine compadres also sport rooted eyelashes, which are quite long and quite stiff.
I rather appreciate this stiffness, actually, as it means these eyelashes are a lot less likely to get squashed if Pepper somehow ends up stored under another doll.  Definitely not a bad face.  Not stunningly beautiful, but then again it's a dog's face so it couldn't really ever be considered beautiful.  Miss Emily even pointed out that these dolls aren't really trying to be beautiful in the first place.  Cute, though?  Very!  I do wish there were a little bit more of a difference between the eyes and the rest of the head, though.  It's so hard to tell these eyes are inset that I wonder why Bridge Direct bothered at all.  On the other hand, they're very well-placed eyes.  Indeed, I don't think I ever saw a Pinkie Cooper doll with serious eye wonk, which is more than I can say for some real dogs!

Now to the body.  Pep's body is trim but not overly sexualized or curvaceous, with a plastic torso and vinyl limbs.
She doesn't have a lot of definition in the chest, human or dogwise, but that's probably a good thing since dogs sport more mammary glands than we humans do.  That many mammary glands on a doll would just have been weird.  A tail might have been cute, but then again dolls with tails (or ANY sort of permanent projection on their back) tend to have a lot of trouble wearing clothes.  Interestingly enough, Pepper does have an outie bellybutton, one that looks suspiciously like an umbilical hernia.
Such a defect is common among dogs and VERY common among King Charles spaniels.  It usually looks more worrisome than it is, and it can be easily fixed...provided the dog in question is not PLASTIC!!!  LOL, anyway I like this little touch, as it makes Pepper more believable as a dog.  I'm not entirely thrilled to see underpants that are molded on but not painted, though.
The molding is cute, with polka dots and a little bow in the front, but I'll say this again:  what is the point of having molded panties if they're not going to be colored as well?  Fleshtone (fur-tone?) drawers make it look like the doll is wearing nothing at all underneath.  I wouldn't make such a huge deal about this, except that I once had a nut in the family who loved to upskirt my dolls, largely just to piss me off more than anything.  Thus I grew to value painted panties on dolls.

Being any sort of personified animal usually means a mix of human features and the features of the animal in question, and Pepper is no exception.  At first glance she has very humanoid arms with ball-and-socket shoulders...
...but look closely at her hands.  They've got little black claws and paw pads!
Also look at her elbows.  They're jointed, and they're also...BLUSHED???
Blushing???  Mmmkay...I usually only see body blushing on ball-jointed dolls, and then only if the owner asks for it or does it themselves.  I'm not a tremendous fan of body blushing, and Pepper reveals why.  When the joint is straight and properly lined up all is well, but when the joint is bent or rotated in any way...that's when things aren't so hunky dory.  See how the blushed areas don't line up?
Yeah, I don't love body blushing.  I can tolerate blushing on Pepper though, because it won't rub off or chip like blushing on a resin ball-jointed doll will.  Anyway, these arms are jointed at the shoulders and the elbows, but they're not the most expressive arms in the world.  As Miss Emily pointed out, Pepper can suck her thumb.
She can also play with her hair a bit...
...and she can look like she's giving someone the thumb's up sign.  I've only got two dolls that can do that.
Okay, so these arms are more expressive than I first gave them credit for.  Pepper has such an upbeat expression that I can easily picture her giving the thumb's up sign to everyone she meets.  Just don't do that in Australia, Pep!

Now to legs.  Pepper's legs are made of vinyl like her arms are, and they have the same strange blushing around the knees.
Cool, I didn't know the flapper look was coming back!  LOL, in truth the British and Target versions of these dolls DID look a little more flapper-esque, as they had little hats that looked like the head-hugging chapeaux that flappers wore.  Anyway, Pepper and her buddies have/had blushed knees, but the effect isn't quite as jarring here because the knees are internally jointed.  The range of motion isn't great, though.  The knees click twice...and THIS is the full extent of their movement!  The front leg in this picture is bent as far as it'll bend, and the back leg is extended.
The hips have good motion though, with full front-to-back movement and full side-to-side movement as well.
The legs are completely white, devoid of any doggy markings or features, except for that blushing and this cluster of spots on Pepper's left calf.
Her feet are tiny, high-arched things, again with no doglike features, no claws or paw pads or ANYTHING.
Miss Emily vocalized this and I will too:  I think it's a shame that this doll's body doesn't take the dog idea and run with it.  She could've had more spots or splotches here and there instead of that weird blushing, and maybe feet that looked like paws just like the hands do.  But it's not a bad little body, not overly sexualized or any thing of that stripe.  The knee joints are disappointing, but the remaining joints do their job well.

As with a great many of my dolls, Pepper is well dressed...in an outfit that I can't picture any human being wanting to wear.  Honestly, these doll companies tout these dolls as "fashion dolls," and yet I've never seen anyone wear fashions like Pepper's, or Barbie's, OR the Bratz...unless y'all count those slaggy young female musicians that are so popular, and I don't because they barely wear clothes on stage as it is.  Ahem...anyway, Pepper's dress is hardly what I'd call stylish, and it also doesn't match what Pepper was wearing in her box art, but it's cute and colorful.
Well okay, maybe this would be appropriate party wear.  The last time I attended a party of any sort I was twelve so I wouldn't know what they wear to parties nowadays.  My doll's dress has unfortunately gained a spot somewhere along the way, but I was able to get that to come off with minimal effort.  With that out of the way let's take a closer look.  The bodice has little straps and is made out of aqua sateen.
The babydoll waist is trimmed with a silver belt and this blue-green flower that appears to be made of a gathered strip of crenelated fabric.
The belt is made of silver plastic links and is set with rhinestones.
It's not meant to come off, but one end has come unsewn from the back of the dress.  Easy fix, but I'm at a loss as to how that happened.  I never pull on that part of the dress.
The skirt falls to Pepper's knees and is made of two layers.  The upper layer is made of soft blue tulle that has some dots of glitter here and there.  This glitter thankfully stays in one place, unlike the glitter on some dolls out there.
Part of the hem is still a little discolored from that mystery stain of God-knows-what, but I can fix that.
The lower layer is made out of this unusual leopard print fabric in shades of blue and green.  Unlike the top layer, this layer is hemmed.
The back closes with our old friend, Velcro.
Not a bad little dress, though I'm annoyed by the belt coming undone without me doing anything to it.  As I said above though, that's an easy fix.

Regarding accessories, these little poochies are fairly well endowed, though I will admit that I've managed to lose or misplace two of those accessories.  The hairbrush is in storage somewhere, and God only knows where Pepper's purse is.  It was a cute purse but not particularly functional, so no great loss.  Now...regarding the accessories that are useful, all of these dolls wear small bracelets in silver or brass-colored plastic, with Pepper belonging to the silver camp.
These bracelets remind me of those magnetized bracelets that quack doctors used to hawk for arthritis when I was a kid.  I even had one...and I think it worked, but that may have just been me pretending it would work, as these bracelets have absolutely zero effect on arthritis.  Anyway, that's what Pepper's bracelet reminds me of.  The plastic flexes enough to make removal easy, but I wouldn't recommend getting too happy with the bending lest the plastic break.  This bracelet is big enough to slide up and down Pepper's arm as she's manipulated, and I love this.  It makes me think of my own bracelets and how they like to slide around and make noise.  I try not to let them do that at work, though (LOL).

Topping off the look are what else but shoes.  Pepper has an extremely high arch to her foot, so these shoes have to be extremely high heels.
These have no painted detail, but they do have some vague molded designs on there...I think they're grapevines or something like that.  The back of the heels have little bows molded on.
The right shoe has some vague shape to it that makes it look like a right shoe, but the left one...doesn't. 
Not a bad little ensemble.  I still can't picture a human wearing an outfit like this, but as I said earlier very few people wear clothes like the things dolls wear, so I can get over that bit.  If I ever do get tired of Pepper's clothes I can always change them, a task which may sound problematic given Pepper's trim build when compared to dolls like Olivia Hope (Only Hearts Club body), Licca-chan (small Azone body), and Kohaku-chan (Licca's old body).
The good news is that despite her small size Pepper can indeed wear outfits from quite a few other doll lines.  The bad news is that all these lines are discontinued (beware of an upcoming wave of reused photographs).  Vi and Va are discontinued...
...Lalaloopsy Girls are discontinued...
...the Bratz are discontinued AGAIN...
...Only Hearts Club is discontinued (fit is baggy anyway)...
...and as far as I know, the Equestria Girls are discontinued...or at least the ones that rekindled my love for My Little Pony are discontinued.  They've since been rebooted and are cute, but I have yet to find reason to bring one home.  My old Twilight Sparkle's vinyl top isn't a perfect fit, but it looks good enough that I'd put Pepper in it for special occasions.  Heck, the shoes even fit, albeit imperfectly.
Take Bratz and Only Hearts Club clothes with a grain of salt, by the way.  OHC clothes are baggy, and longer Bratz pants are TOO long.  Most Kuu Kuu Harajuku clothes also fit, though they do not fit perfectly.  Most of the shoes are too big, some of the socks are too small, all the dresses are a little tight around the hips, and none of the headbands fit perfectly...but notice that I was able to make most of the outfits work.
Notice above that I said "most" Kuu Kuu Harajuku clothes.  This last outfit is Baby's stock outfit, and while I was able to cram Pepper into it, I do not under any circumstances recommend it.  WAY too tight.  Baby's cute little hair clips work nicely in Pepper's hair, though.
When the tables are turned Baby can wear Pepper's dress.  She's taller than Pepper is so the dress is a little short, but not obscenely so.  Pepper's shoes are too small for Baby's sizable feet.
In the five months that have elapsed since the beginning of the year and now I've managed to acquire three more Licca-chan dolls (soon to be reviewed), and as a result I've got clothes for Licca and Blythe coming out my ears.  Some of the clothes I've got are too big for either Licca or Jaylin and thus would drown Pepper, but clothes marketed specifically for Licca might work.  I give y'all...my favorite Licca-chan dress, the red one with white polka dots!  Licca practically lives in this, but she's willing to let Pepper try it on.
Unfortunately it's pretty baggy.  Licca clothes are thus good if one has absolutely nothing else, but otherwise I wouldn't bother.

Just for giggles, let's take a look at Elly-chan, who I think is a bit leery of this overly eager new friend.
What can I say, Elly?  Pepper is a dog, and dogs are enthusiastic like that.  For a refresher, Elly-chan is a Licca-chan clone, and for the most part she can share clothes with Licca.  Thus Elly's clothes would probably be too big for Pepper, but shoes are another story.  Elly has ridiculously tiny feet with ridiculously tiny shoes to match.  They are close in size to Pepper's feet but the arch is a lot lower.
Here are the shoes in question:  simple black zori with brown thongs.
Licca can't shove her feet into these zori here, but maybe Pepper can.
Well, technically Pepper CAN wear the zori, but they don't even come close to fitting properly.  Elly's white boots (part of a Licca-chan outfit) DO fit, though they're a bit clunky on Pepper's dainty frame.
That takes care of Pepper, so let's look at Saltine now.  She's a little tricolor, just like Pepper is.
I don't have much to compare her too, just my old Whatever Pet, Hepzibah and a Bratzillaz pet, Wingzy.  For grins I also threw in my Puppy and Kitty in My Pocket figurines (Wuppy, Fluffy, and Mimi) and Bratz Catz Jade's purple companion.
Saltine has the gimmicky Hepzibah and the even more gimmicky Wingzy beat by a country mile, and Wuppy, though cute, doesn't exude much personality either.  Fluffy and Mimi hold their own with their varied poses and personalities, and Catsy (for lack of a better name) has jointed legs, which Saltine does not.  Even so, I think Saltine has them beat as well.  I love how Fluffy appears to be staring in awe at her posh poochie pal.
As a brief aside, notice how much more personality Catsy has than Wingzy.
Not all the Bratzillaz pets were this gimmicky and bland, thank goodness.  I really should've just saved my money with Wingzy though, as he's next to impossible for his companion doll to interact with.

Tangent over, Saltine is not as gimmicky as either Hepzibah or Wingzy, nor is she fuzzy like the Puppy and Kitty in My Pocket figures, NOR is she jointed like Catsy.  But in the personality department she has them both beat hands (paws?) down.  Hepzibah is capable of having personality, but that all depends on the skill (or lack thereof) of the person drawing her face, Wingzy just has a blank stare, and the others merely look cute or vaguely saucy like Catsy.  But Saltine?  Saltine looks like she just won Best in Show at Westminster, so smug is she!
Fun fact:  if Saltine did win Best in Show she'd be a groundbreaker, since as far as I know the English toy spaniel has NEVER won the Best in Show at Westminster, despite there having been some beautiful specimens in the past.  No shame in that, Saltine!  My family's favorite breed, the Boston terrier, has never won Best in Show either, nor have some other extremely popular breeds like the golden retriever and the Labrador.  Other spaniels have won in the past though (most recently in 2009), so we may see an English toy spaniel win in the future.  Heck, Stump (the dog in the link) was the first of his breed to win, so who knows?

Jeez, me and my tangents!  Saltine only has one joint, that being her neck.  She can turn it all the way around, but she can't tilt it.  She can't move or pose her legs at all, which is a bummer considering that Catsy can move her legs.
Her coloring is similar but not identical to that of her older...sister's, I'm going to call them.  Pepper is mostly white all over, with black and a lovely shade of brown adorning her head, while Saltine's brown markings are more tan.
She also has more spots breaking up all the white fur.  Most of the spots on her legs and sides are black...
...but a few of them are tan, including this little heart mark that is both tan and pink.
As far as I know all of the smaller dogs in this line had these hearts somewhere on them.  They're more believable as dog markings than Pepper's hearts are, but hearts are still pretty rare among the canine community.  So are pink feet, which Saltine has.
Pink paw pads are NOT unheard of in the dog world (my Bella has them), but pink FEET???  The only time I can remember seeing a dog with pink feet was when Kelly Osbourne dyed one of her dogs pink.  If what I've read about the Osbournes nowadays is true then that dye was probably safe for animals, but once again I digress.  The molding on these legs is pretty good; see the tasseled fur on her legs?  That is also authentic to English toy spaniels.
Saltine also has something that Pepper does not:  her bootie is decked out with a little tail.  And here lies a good reason for Pepper's lack of a tail.  The underside of Saltine's tail is painted authentically; I've known dogs great and small that had brown fur on the undersides of their tails, including my little Sonic.  Unfortunately this tail has a lumpy mold and looks suspiciously like a turd.
I can get over Saltine's turd tail since her jacket usually covers it, but I can't get over the shape of her ears.  The color I can live with, since the other dolls' dogs also had unnaturally colored ears.  No, this shape is completely unrealistic for any sort of spaniel...and indeed, practically any sort of dog except maybe a poodle.
Most of the other small dogs in the Pinkie Cooper line came with wing-shaped ears that looked...well, like ears!  The only other dog that came with broccoli ears was Paris Li'l Pinkie, who came with the second wave, and they also look silly.  These ears do come out in a manner similar to Pepper's...
...and the smaller dogs could share ears around.  But unfortunately I never got any of the smaller dogs.  It would've been cute if the extra outfit sets available for these dolls had included new ears for the little ones, and it would've been even better if some of Saltine's accessories had been left out for some extra ears.  Yes, these pint-sized plastic puppies came with a fair amount of accessories, most of which I have somewhere in storage and couldn't be bothered to drag out.  Pepper came with a small gray tiara, a bowl of dog food that wasn't very nicely painted, and a stand for said dog food, all of which serves little purpose other than standing around during play.  Saltine is wearing the items that I felt most important, those items being the jacket, the leash, the hair bow, and the bracelet.
The bracelet is another of those arthritis bracelets in the same plastic, but in gold.  It can fit on any of Saltine's legs, but I usually put it on the front.
The little bow fits around one of Saltine's ears...and here is where Saltine's broccoli ears become a pain in the butt again.  The other small dogs in this set had ears with small bases that could accommodate the elastic on these bows, but Saltine's ears have a wide base that WON'T accommodate the elastic.  I have to fit the ears OVER the elastic, and that leaves a gap that bugs the snot out of my OCD sensibilities.
Luckily if I position the bow right it hides this.
The bow is constructed similarly to the flower on Pepper's dress, by the way; the only differences are the pattern on the fabric (leopard print) and the presence of that elastic band.
The coat is interesting, as it matches the extra outfit that Bridge Direct made for Pepper.
It's also the perfect shade of blue to tie Saltine's overall look together, though I still haven't gotten over the shape of those ears.  Anyway, the coat has two types of blue fabric and a lower base layer, just like Pepper's dress does.  The main part, the part worn closest to Saltine's neck, is made out of a vaguely fuzzy leopard print fabric in a lovely shade of deep blue.  Seriously, I love this shade of blue.  I wish Pepper's dress were this shade.
The front closes around Saltine's neck with a square of Velcro and is decorated with a small hot pink bow.
The main part of this coat is hemmed, but the tulle trim is not.  How on Earth could one hem tulle anyway without driving the price up???  Hemmed or no, the tulle is the same shade of blue as the rest of the coat and is decked out with blue sequins.
Under the tulle layer is this gold jersey layer, the kind with the sparkles that can rub off.  It adds a nice extra dab of shine to this jacket, though.
The leash is a simple strand of gold braided cord, with two loops sewn in the ends.
That's right, two loops.  Nothing to attach to a collar or to the back of the jacket or anything like that.  If I want this legitimately used as a leash I have to thread the smaller loop through the bigger one and tie it around Saltine's neck that way.  It really does work as a leash, though if it were a real leash it would act as a slipknot and strangle Saltine to death the first time she wanted to bolt after a squirrel.
Saltine's accessories are cute, but I think she looks a little ridiculous when she's wearing them all, sort of like Paris Hilton's overly accessorized pooches from my adolescence.  Not that the late, great Tinkerbell appeared to mind, but I never have understood the trend of dressing dogs up unless it's cold outside, and even then a sweater usually suffices in Midwestern winters.  But...this is a toy, and as I've said before toys are not subject to the laws and rules that we humans have to follow.  Plus I could always take off or add pieces at will, always a perk of having multiple outfit pieces.

I think that about covers it, so let's wrap this up.

BAD
*Knee joints aren't the greatest.
*Pepper's belt came undone.  This is repairable, but keep your eyes peeled for loose belts.
*Saltine's ears look silly, and the paint job on her tail is a bit unfortunate.
*Saltine's posing is poor.  She can only turn her head.
*Watch for possible paint flaws.  My dolls escaped this problem, but be wary.

GOOD
*VERY cute and kid friendly.
*Clothes are reasonably modest and well-made, though I don't recommend pulling on the tulle.
*Switchable ears allow for an easy and simple style change.
*Can wear a fairly wide range of small doll clothes.
*This is just me, but I love the color scheme of this particular doll.  She's got dark coloration with blue clothes, and I love it.

I would've recommended these dolls to anyone with kids, and if anyone fancies a hunt on eBay I still recommend them.  They can wear a surprisingly wide range of other doll clothes and make great models for said clothes.  They also fit nicely in the hands of a small child, and their shoes don't fall off at random...or at least my doll's shoes don't.  If you're the diorama type Pepper fits in surprisingly well with other cutesy dolls like Licca-chan and Penny Brite, or whoever else you might have that's cutesy.  And of course she and Saltine are perfectly capable of being characters on their own.
One thing I don't get about the failure of this line is this:  these dolls have some of the same traits as the crazily successful Calico Critters.  Both are anthropomorphic animal dolls with full outfits and basic personalities, and both are/were well-made and adorable.  So why did the Pinkie Cooper line tank while Calico Critters are still going strong after their introduction thirty years ago?  Maybe the world wasn't (and still isn't) ready for fashion dolls that aren't human or at least humanoid?  But if that's the case then why did the Monster High crew take off like they did?  Maybe Pinkie and her cronies weren't as obviously set in a fantasy world as the Monster High troupe is...but then again a doll can't get much more fantasy than a dog-person.  I do think that Bridge Direct was expecting (or at least hoping) that their line would take off, though.  This is evidenced by publicity pics of prototypes for two more waves, and they truly were feasts for the eyes.  The Cabana Cool line would have seen the canine cuties in brightly colored maxi-dresses and curled hair, and would have featured places as far-flung as Cape Cod, Rio de Janeiro, and St. Tropez.  The equally cute Resort line featured the same three locales but was more deluxe, featuring the dolls, two outfits, and the smaller pets.  Apparently some vendors were so certain that these dolls would be released that they started advertising them; Amazon still has a few of these advertising pages up, in fact.  What a shame that these dolls weren't produced, as bright and colorful and fun as they looked.  Let's just face it, the toy world can be a fickle one, as can the business world, and this fickleness is probably the main reason why we'll see Pinkie Cooper and her friends on websites like Ghost of the Doll in the future while other dolls like Lottie, Licca-chan, and the Calico Critters continue to persevere.  Granted, Lottie hasn't shaken up the doll world like the Bratz did, but she's also not disappearing, as we'll see in weeks to come!

And that, my friends, concludes the auction, both on this post and on Throwback Thursday as a steady, every-week series.  If any of y'all super-duper liked Throwback Thursday, don't despair.  I'll always be bringing in new/old stuff, and if it happens to be vintage or discontinued (or both) I'll set it up as another throwback.  But for now, all I can say is keep your eyes peeled for new posts.  They'll be more sporadic, but they won't stop.  I guess it's a good thing that this series ended when it did though, because I am now getting serious about writing a book.  This is something I've been wanting to do since my adolescence, and now I'm finally getting around to doing it.  This book will NOT be about dolls, but rather something else that I've always been fascinated with.  I have a the beginnings of a rough draft cobbled together, and I'm hoping that I can get it done by 2027, the centennial of the event that I am documenting.  We'll see how that goes!

Love to all,
RagingMoon1987

4 comments:

  1. My daughter, the Dancer, had a Calico Critters family, house, and furniture that she loved as a young girl. All of it is carefully packed away; God willing, I will have grandbabies someday to play with them. From my point of view, Calico Critters are more like the Fisher-Price Loving Family Dollhouse: complete with Mom, Dad, siblings and baby, a cozy house, and lots of furniture, to play out family life. Calico Critters is a slightly higher level quality wise, although some of the stuff they're putting out for the Loving Family Dollhouse nowadays is incredibly detailed. There isn't a lot of clothing play for either the Calico Critters or the Loving Family Dollhouse (although we have a F-P dress-up set for the kid dolls to play with; the LF Dollhouse stuff is also packed away.) There's also occasionally a set for the Critters that comes with a few outfits, although nothing too ornate; those Critters are tiny!

    As far as Monster High, I know adults were thrilled that there were finally play-line dolls that weren't pouffy princesses (even though we know all doll lines aren't princesses) but were something outside of the norm. Maybe kids felt the same way. I don't know much about the history of the Monster High storyline videos, but maybe those helped as well. A lot of the Monster High dolls were human-like, too, except for the different skin colors.

    That being said, I still don't know why poor Pinkie failed to take off, but then again, Vi and Va also didn't last very long, nor did La Dee Da. Did you see that the inventor of the Pinkie Cooper dolls was Carter Bryant, who also started the Bratz? The Bratz did well, I think, because they were, from a little girl's perspective, edgy and cool. As a parent buying toys for little girls at the time, Barbie was not exactly knocking it out of the park. We got a few Barbie and family dolls and sets for our girls that related to their interests, mermaids and princesses but also sports and camping. My Scene was the hotter line at the time, however, especially among parents (like us) who wouldn't let their kids have Bratz dolls. You mentioned dolls fashions earlier; the original Barbie and Skipper dolls were very fashionable, but My Scene also really did a good job of depicting fashions for older teens at the time.

    I have some ideas about Pinkie's lack of success, but I've already written a mini-post here, so I'm going to stop now. I also have to go figure out what your book is going to be about. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Google Poplar Bluff, Missouri history and that may give you some clues. But if you do figure it out don't say it here, LOL! Yes, I was aware that the man behind Bratz is also behind Pinkie Cooper, and shame on me for not pointing that out. The two lines couldn't be more different.

      Keep your eyes peeled for a post about Calico Critters in the next couple of months. I'll be comparing them to one of the new Shopkins Shoppets...and to a Miffy figure too, just for the heck of it.

      Delete
    2. Yay! I had already figured out what your book is going to be about before I posted. :) I will enjoy seeing new Shopkins. My niece was super into those; I don't know if she is or not so much anymore.

      Delete