Saturday, January 31, 2015

January 31, 2015, new epier and etsy listings

I have placed a few new items on etsy and epier, and moved a number of items from epier to etsy.  Here is the new list:

on epier:
2001 Knits for Barbie Doll pattern book

1998 Barbie and Ginger shirt and slacks

Harry Potter Valentine cards

on etsy:
Six sad-eyed children pictures plus a doll

Mattel Disney dolls outfits accessories

1991 Pretty Teen NRFB

1991 Barbie Jewelry Box MIB

It's Me Bringing Home an "A" NRFB

1992 Kenner Miss America Raquel NRFB

1993 Candy Blossoms Bubblegum Violet NRFB

1993 Snow Queen Mask NRFP

1987 Spectra Buffatron Bed MIB

1992 Kenner Miss America Blair NRFB

1989 High School Chelsie NRFB

1989 High School Jazzie NRFB

1988 Hasbro Makin' Waves Maxie NRFB

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Comparing 8-, 9- and 10-inch girl dolls

I’ve photographed all of my 8-, 9- and 10-inch girl dolls, not just Skipper & friends, but other companies’ dolls as well.  The variations in construction and sizing are endless.  They cannot wear each others’ clothes and shoes.

Dodi, 1965, Ideal straight leg, 9 inches tall, bust 4 1/4 inches, hips 4 1/4 inches
Skipper, Pepper, Skooter, Josie and Dodi
Josie West, 1967, Marx Moveable Cowgirl, 9 inches tall, bust 4 inches, hips 4 1/4 inches
Pepper, 1964, Ideal straight leg, 9 1/2 inches tall, bust 5 inches, hips 5 inches
Skipper Roberts, 1964, Mattel straight leg, 9 inches tall, bust 4 inches, hips 3 3/4 inches
Skooter, 1966, Mattel bend leg, 9 1/4 inches tall, bust 4 inches, hips 4 inches

Top row: Skipper, Mattel Kristy, Mego Kristy, Jody and Stephie
Bottom row: Love, Farrah, Angie and Dodi
Angie Dickinson, 1977, Horsman Pepper Anderson, 9 inches tall with heels, bust 4 inches, hips 3 3/4 inches
Dodi, 1977, Ideal Suntan, 9 inches tall, bust 4 1/2 inches, hips 4 inches
Farrah Fawcett, 1978, Hasbro Jill Munroe, 9 inches tall with heels, bust 4 inches, hips 4 inches
Jody, 1975, Ideal Old-Fashioned Girl, 9 inches tall with heels, bust 4 inches, hips 4 inches
Kristy McNichol, 1979, Mattel Buddy Lawrence, (SuperTeen Skipper body), 9 1/4 inches tall, bust 4 inches, hips 4 inches
Kristy McNichol, 1978, Mego Buddy Lawrence, 9 3/4 inches tall with heels, bust 5 inches, hips 4 1/4 inches
Love, 1971, Hasbro World of Love, 9 inches tall with heels, bust 4 inches, hips 4 inches
Skipper Roberts, 1975, Mattel Growing Up, shorter version 9 1/4 inches tall, bust 4 inches, hips 4 inches; taller version 9 3/4 inches tall, bust 4 1/4 inches, hips 4 inches
Stephie Sunshine, 1978, Mattel And Now There are Four, 9 inches tall, bust 3 1/2 inches, hips 3 3/4 inches
Lisa, Catherine and Skipper

Catherine Bach, 1981, Mego/Warner Bros. Daisy Duke, 7 3/4 inches tall, bust 3 3/4 inches, hips 3 1/4 inches
Lisa, sometime in the 1980s, Takara Pretty, 8 1/2 inches tall, bust 4 inches, hips 3 1/2 inches
Skipper Roberts, 1989, Teen Fun Party Teen, 10 inches tall, bust 4 1/4 inches, hips 4 1/2 inches

Licca, Ariel and Snow White
Ariel, 1991, Tyco Friends, 9 inches tall, bust 4 3/4 inches, hips 4 1/4 inches
Licca, 1991, Takara, 9 inches tall with heels, bust 4 inches, hips 4 inches
Snow White, 1990, Lucky Bell/First National Film Corp., 9 inches tall, bust 4 1/2 inches, hips 4 inches

Some notes:
  1. Josie West and the blonde Skooter dolls could have been twins.
  2. The 1970s Dodi is thinner and shapelier than the 1960s version.
  3. Angie/Pepper is the thinnest and most flexible of the dolls.
  4. The shorter version of the Growing Up Skipper body was remade as the SuperTeen Skipper body.  (Growing Up and SuperTeen size dolls can wear each others’ outfits.)
  5. The Mattel Buddy Lawrence doll’s body and hair look more like the real-life Kristy McNichol, but the face of the Mego Buddy is far more realistic.  I am assuming the Mego doll body was adapted from another doll’s, as it is far too busty for Kristy.
  6. The Charlie’s Angels dolls’ bodies were made from the Love doll bodies, with only a slight difference in the angle of the waist.  That same body was used the 1980s by Germany’s Plasty for its Peggy dolls.  (I used to have a 1980s Peggy and some outfits but have long since resold them.)
  7. The Snow White doll is not based on the Disney movie.  She is from a 1990 animated film called Happily Ever After, by the First National Film Corp.  Although Snow White and Ariel were made by different companies, their bodies are clearly the same mold.  Either Lucky Bell stole--ahem, borrowed--the Tyco mold or Lucky Bell was a subsidiary/sister company of Tyco.
  8. Lisa is the Americanized version of the Japanese Licca.

Some day I will write a similar article about the 9-inch boy dolls.
If you have any other Skipper-sized dolls that you would like to write about yourself, please tell me.  I know there are many others (not including clones) but these are the ones I own.

Monday, January 5, 2015

One mystery solved, but there are still other unanswerable questions

Calico Lassie, Mary Makeup and Tressy
Some notes of explanation:  I was born in 1961, my sister Barb in 1963 and my sister Joan in 1965.  My grandmother Matilda moved from her bungalow into an apartment in 1966.
As a little girl, I had a non-Mattel fashion doll with a thin bubblecut made of white hair.  My mother says she bought the doll at a toy party in the neighborhood.  I always called this doll Tammy, since I had a Tammy case and outfit (I never had Tammy, but I remember buying the case!).  Mom said the doll was actually Debbie Drake.  This doll is long gone.
Advance Pattern B
For a while as an adult collector, I thought this doll was the American Character doll Mary Makeup.  But I don't think it was her, nor do I think it was Valentine's Debbie Drake or Polly, since they are poseable.  I've recently learned of a cheap straight-legged fashion doll named Debbie Dunbar, by a company called Davtex.  Some of the Dunbar dolls have growing ponytails, others have bubblecuts, some with thin white hair.  It's easy to understand the mixup, because Debbie Drake and Debbie Dunbar have similar names and Mary's, Debbie's and Debbie's faces are very much alike.
I don't recall any of my pseudo-Tammy's original outfit, although I do have one store-bought non-Mattel outfit from the mid-1960s from my childhood.  What I also have is a handmade matching blue skirt and blouse that she wore.  I always thought my grandmother had made this set, because I remember putting the outfit on the doll in the dining room of Grandma's bungalow.  But Mom told me yesterday that the fabric was left over from a maternity dress she had made for herself!  (This would have been when Mom was expecting Joan in July 1965.)  However, my mother does not remember making the outfit.
After Tammy's/Debbie's disappearance, the outfit was put with the Barbie and family stuff, of which I had by then numerous items.  The set always fit Francie-size dolls better than Barbie-size dolls, because it has a small bustline and waistline.
As an adult collector, I bought Mary Makeup, plus two more versions of this same outfit.  The ensembles fit her and her friend Tressy well.  Last year I discovered the pattern for this popular set.  It's Advance Barbie Pattern B, which I recently bought. It's dated 1961 but was probably sold for several years.  On the cover is a drawing of the shirtwaist outfit.  This is my theory: Mom gave my grandmother the leftover fabric, and Grandma had either purchased the pattern and discarded it when she downsized her household, or she borrowed the pattern and returned it.
So anyway, here are the three versions I own of this dress.  Mary Makeup wears the blue outfit.  Her friend Tressy is in a polka-dot version I bought online three years ago.  The tan and green print set, which came with a bunch of clothes I bought at an antique show in recent years, is a little larger and is worn by Calico Lassie.  The tan dress has a net slip underneath, which the pattern includes.  Note that although these dolls have bigger heads and arms than Barbie does, their chests, waists and hips are smaller.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Amaze Chase, best of the longer Dreamhouse cartoons

The new Life in the Dreamhouse episode is "The Amaze Chase," a mini-movie at 25 minutes in length.  It's by far the best of the longer videos and doesn't drag like the other lengthier ones did.
Obviously it's a parody of The Amazing Race, with five teams driving across Barbie's version of the United States.  One team gets abducted by aliens.  Skipper leaves the Roberts team to race with Raquelle, and when you see the two girls/dolls side by side you realize that they look very much alike.  This incarnation of Skipper looks far more like Barbie's enemy than she ever did with Barbie.
Details I noticed: the 1987 red Ferrari, the 1990 pink Western Fun Motor Home and the 2012 Skipper light blue golf cart.  There are several references to Independence Day and V.  Ken's last name of Carson is mentioned, as is the town of Willows.
The most interesting detail is at the end.  There's a cast list, which has never been included before.  Cast members are:
Barbie: Kate Higgins
Skipper: Paula Bodin
Stacie: Paula Bodin
Chelsea: Laura Gerow
Raquelle: Haviland Stillwell
Nikki: Nakia Burris-Gavino
Teresa: Katie Crown
Summer: Tara Sands
Midge: Ashlyn Seylich
Ken: Sean Hankinson
Ryan: Charlie Bouden
Haviland Stillwell also voiced Barbie's pets, Tawny, Blissa and Lacey.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

another competitor for the Barbie doll

There is yet another competitor fashion doll.  A doll which I think is again being marketed wrong.
This new doll is named Lammily, and is wider than Barbie.
How many times have we seen this happen?  A person who doesn't approve of the Barbie doll comes out with his or her own design and then proceeds to advertise the doll incorrectly.  Sales last for two to five years and then the doll fades quietly away.
What do I mean by incorrect advertising?  I mean that, rather than first mentioning the doll's merits, the producers come out by saying this doll is NOT Barbie, that its measurements are more realistic and that she offers a better role model than Barbie does.
Only after going through that spiel does the designer finally talk about what the doll can do or offer.
I have nothing against these competitors.  In fact, as a collector I've owned many of them over the years.  I never have a problem reselling them to other collectors.  So from an adult seller's viewpoint, these dolls are a GOOD thing.
Little girls may still play with Barbie more, both because of the fantasy she offers and because she is better-made (although a little girl may not consciously realize this).  If any of these competitors show up at a girl's Barbie house, the newbie is always welcomed warmly and moves in.  If the little girl is anything like I was, the last thing she is studying are breast and hip sizes.  Rather, she is planning the dolls' next adventure.
So who have Barbie's larger competitors been?
1960s: Ideal's Tammy and family (the most successful and longest-lived of the competitors), Remco's Littlechap family
1970s: Kenner's Dusty and friends, Mego's celebrity dolls and Kenner's Darci and friends
1980s: Hasbro's Jem and friends (although not as long-lasting as Tammy, Jem had more publicity)
1990s: High Self-Esteem Toys' Happy to be Me and friends
I know there have been others but these are the best known.
I wish Nikolay Lamm the best.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Mary and Barbie make raspberry ice cream

Part of the instructions that come with the Barbie Ice Cream Make

This is a follow-up to my previous article at about the 1987 Barbie Ice Cream Maker.  Yes, I finally made ice cream!

The Ice Cream Maker tub
holds about two cups.
The storage tub that comes with the Ice Cream Maker holds about two cups.  I don't know what the tub is made of, but the plastic is hollow and thick and when it is room temperature you can hear liquid sloshing around inside.  The instructions say to put the empty tub in the freezer for about 12 hours so that the liquid will freeze.  I had the tub in the freezer for days before I had the chance to experiment, so I figured it was cold enough.

I followed the instructions to combine the ingredients.  I did not have strawberry jelly, but I did have Smucker's Natural Red Raspberry Fruit Spread (note to Smucker's: I expect a commission for mentioning your product), so I added that instead.  Per instructions, I then placed the ingredients into the tub, covered it with the lid holding the mixing paddle, and stuck it in the freezer for about 30 minutes.

This is what the lid and tub look like from the top
with the ice cream inside.  The now-broken paddle
is supposed to fit into the lid.
The liquid never did freeze.  It looked like I was going to end up with raspberry eggnog.  In frustration, I dumped the contents into a medium-sized ceramic mixing bowl, placed the lid and mixing blade on top of it, and left it in the freezer for another hour.

It set!  It took awhile but it was eventually the semi-mushy condition that ice cream was supposed to be.  So I did my taste test and....

My eyes widened.

It was delicious!  I nearly fell over.  My cooking skills are okay but not contest-winning and this was the best thing I'd ever created.

The ice cream had more ice crystals than store-bought but it was also creamier and thicker and richer than store-bought.  I can eat only a few spoonfuls at a time.

Voila! A bowl of Barbie's Raspberry Ice Cream!
I made one mistake.  I put the ceramic bowl back in the freezer overnight.  So of course the liquid froze hard by the next morning.  I attempted to use the lid with the attached blade to mix up the ice cream and proceeded to break the paddle.  I stuck the bowl into the refrigerator instead to let it get back into liquid and then dumped that back into the original tub.  For whatever reason, the ice cream has now stayed the correct consistency in the tub in the freezer.

I think you can just use the instructions to make your own two cups of ice cream, and mix it up and allow it to set for an hour in a ceramic mixing bowl.  You can cover the bowl with foil and use a spoon to stir it.  But I don't know what you can store it in after you get the contents to set properly so they won't turn hard in the freezer.  You'll just have to experiment.

I don't know what plain vanilla ice cream from the Ice Cream Maker's recipe tastes like.  I've eaten homemade vanilla ice cream before made in a large metal mixer and always thought the cream was very bland and didn't have much substance to it.  The recipe I followed made a product that was much more of a thick and not-too-sweet mousse.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Nov. 15, 2014, new epier and etsy listings

I have placed the following for sale this past week at either epier or etsy.

1973 Barbie Chic and Neat sweater

1978 Barbie Fashion Combo swimsuit

3 pairs 1980s Skipper gym shoes

1991 Florida Vacation Skipper top

2000 Kelly poster

1973 Barbie Short and Sweet dress

1973 Barbie Authorized United Airlines Stewardess

1973 Barbie Leisure Fashion pantsuit