Saturday, January 1, 2011

Glamour on a Budget

The economy stinks.  Plain and simple.   I believe there isn't anyone out there who doesn't have a family member or friend who is out of work right now.

With dollars needing to be stretched tigher than the elastic on "The Biggest Loser", we have to make sure our purchases are smart ones.  As everyone already knows, I have been on the lookout for the Barbie Basic 2.0 dolls.For the price point of $19.99, they are a good deal  But I have to keep reminding myself that a good deal is only good if there is flexibility and one truly loves the doll.  Sometimes the words "exclusive" or "limited" get in the way of common sense.

I have decided to purchase as many of the BB 2.0 girls that I can find. (I can always return the ones I don't like). The one that seemed to capture my attention for the moment is #4.I believe that she is the "Goddess" mold.  Here is a stock photo of her.

 Her hair doesn't really have a style like the promo ... but few dolls do.  I'm sure with a little boiling water and drinking straws, I could achieve the curls, but I sorta like her without them.  Here is an actual photo of #4 dressed in the Dynamite Girls Vinyl Vintage Reese ensemble that I already own.  

Here is a closeup of her face.  I am a sucker for beautiful eyes.  This girl has a lovely faceup.  A friend on the Doll Boards summed it up wonderfully.  "She has a quiet beauty."  I love this description of her.

At Christmas this year I purchased the reproduction Matinee Fashion #1640 for $26.  It comes with the My Favorite American Girl Reproduction doll. One thing I really love about doll collecting is that everyone has their own personal way of collecting.  Some people purchase a doll and sell off the fashions, whereas other just want the fashion and sell off the doll.  It's a very budget friendly way to add to your collection.

I really think she is going to be my "socialite" in my collection.  I had already purchased a Fashionista for a body swap, so she immediately got articulation.  I couldn't keep referring to her as #4 (afterall that sounds too much like Get Smart).  Her name is now Carli and she is a permaent resident in my collection.

I think she looks chic in my $26 outfit.  She is the first to wear it.  It just seems appropriate to her.

I believe the purchase of Carli turned out to be a smarter purchase than planned.  Collectors have been trying to find cost effective jeans for the taller FR Nuface girls for some time, so it was AN ADDED BONUS that this ensemble fit the NuFace girls so well.  Here is Masterpiece Theater Giselle wearing Carli's original outfit.  I was very pleased with the results.  The length is great.  The pants are a smidge tight in the thigh, but the overal fit works!

So .. for $19.99 for Carli and $10.99 for the Fashionista body I got a great new character for my collection and a super jeans outfit that can be shared by many different dolls here.  BTW ... "No dolls were harmed in the making of this blog".

What does Chaundra, my resident Diva and #1 girl,  have to say about the newest member to our household? 
"Do you think we need a 'socialite'?   What are you thinking?  You mean 'No doll has been harmed in the making of this blog ... YET!'  She needs to watch her scrawny-little-jean-wearing-socialite-behind!"

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Theory of Relativity

This morning I got up early to take Millie to her spa day.  Millie is my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.  My husband had hurt his back working in the garage and couldn't come along.  We needed food for our dogs which we purchase from Red Bandana ... a store about 16 miles away.  Millie's day usually takes about 3 hours.  I can do A LOT of damage in three hours.

After dropping Millie off, I stopped by the Target which is conveniently located in the same shopping center.  Like everyone else I am currently on the hunt for the Barbie Basics 2.0 Denim collection.  I have been visiting thisTarget every day since after Christmas.  They have been restocking, so I know these dolls are coming.  (Thus my blog title "Desperately Seeking Dolls".)

They had restocked but sadly no BB Denim Collection.  However ... something did catch my eye.  The Mattel Japan dolls were out.  They were fabulous.  I checked the price ... $29.99.

Price for dolls is truly a matter of relativity.  I rationalized the $29.99.  A Barbie Basic is $19.99.  A FR doll seldom sells for less that $100.  I am always on the lookout for beautiful ethnic faces, so that was a key deciding factor.  She is stunning.  

The costume on this doll is extremely detailed.  It is gorgeous.  The deal maker were the shoes which are  outrageous!  

I decided to check out the other dolls for clothing.   I hadn't seen this cute little ensemble before and fell in love with the red slippers.   I knew they would fit Poppy perfectly.  Where else can you get a nice little outfit for $9.99? 

I had seen this plaid coat on a spotlight photo on one of the doll boards.  It was $5.99.   By this time, my hands were getting full.  I have this trick when I go doll shopping.  I never get a cart.  I only buy what I can carry to the cash register.  $45 was enough damage at my first stop.

 I left the Target and headed toward Red Bandana.  I knew I would pass a Walmart and another Target on the way. 

At the Walmart I found a Fashionista for a body donor.  I've noticed that there are fewer and fewer fashionistas.  Everything is moving toward the "Swapping Styles" dolls.  I understand the concept, but I don't like those bodies at all.  My fashionista was $9.99. 

As I was walking down the doll isle, again I was side-tracked by something different.  I have avoided the Monster High girls up to this point, but my attention was caught by a Monster High fashion.  I didn't know they made Monster High Fashions.  For $7.99, I knew it was coming home.

 Afterall, look at these crazy shoes!!  I bet they would look good on a Misaki.  Maybe even a FR doll.  They were just too good to leave behind.

 This is the back of the package showing three other fashions.  None of these were in stock. 
 At the next Target, I was disappointed by their Barbie selection.  HOWEVER, I was impressed that they had restocked a great many LIV items.  I was tempted by some red sailor pants and a clear raincoat with cats on it.  They also had two Moxie Holiday girls I considered.  One was dressed in red with white fur as a Santa's Helper.  The other was an elf.  She had red striped leggings and a green dress.  She was wonderful.   I talked myself out of this purchase and hurried out of the store.  I did not need to start collecting Moxie Girls.

I decided to hit a TRU and another Target.  TRU was cleaned out.  The Target was restocking and nothing was put out on the Barbie isle.  As I wandered around I was drawn to the Monster High girls.  They had Ghoulia Yelps.   I know she is a harder to find girl. 

 I love her story.  Being such a nerd appealed to me.  ... And I needed someone to wear the cheerleading costume.  I wonder if I can work her into my stories with my girls.   I'm sure I'll find a way.  Afterall, how could I leave her there.  She added $16.99 to my dolly tally for the day.

 The last stop was another Target.  My husband had asked that I stop by Best Buy and pick up the movie "The Expendables" for him.  Just so happened, a fourth Target shared their shopping center.  I went down the doll isle and ... YES!   Finally ... Barbie Basics Denim in stock!  I got #11 and #16. 

 They had two of another girl that I didn't like.  They had all four accessory packs, but the boy's accessory pack didn't interest me.  001 has some fantastic shoes, plus a yellow and a purple pair.  Those are hard colors to find in shoes!

 #002 has some fantastic glasses and a wonderful blouse. 

 Easily my favorite is 003.  There are some glittery shoes that are simply to die for.

When I got to the counter, the sales clerk rang the dolls up at $10.99 each and the accessory packs at $5.99 each.  How I wished I had picked up one of the other girls.  It appears that Target hasn't put any of the Denim Basics into their system anywhere in the country.  I've read of collectors getting these dolls for as little as $1.98 each. 

I was at the end of my dollie shopping journey.  I had done more damage than I should've.  I went and picked Millie up.  When we got home I unloaded the car.  "Where's the dog food?"  my loving husband asked.  "Oops!  I guess I'll have to pick it up tomorrow!"

Monday, December 27, 2010

How this whole thing got started ...

I have been trying my darnedest to take good doll photos.  It's not easy.  For Christmas last year, my fiance (now my husband) purchased me an extremely nice Nikon D5000 digital camera and a macro lens.  This year my Christmas present was this elaborate light tent.  (My husband is a gem among men.)

Today was a great day for me as a doll collector.  A photo I posted on a doll board was selected as the spotlight photo of the day.  That is a great honor.  At least in my eyes.   But there is a history to this photo.  It starts back in the spring of this year.

This spring Integrity Toys introduced their lineup of dolls during an online event.  As they unveiled each doll, they informed us of the edition size, which happened to be some of the smallest ever.  Most were 500 or less.  This caused a panic among collectors and dolls sold out quickly on pre-order. 

One of the dolls in this collection was Tricks of the Trade Eugenia.  Here is the stock photo from Integrity Toys:

She was really a hot mess.  I own several Eugenia dolls and have never seen a Eugenia I didn't like once I had her in hand.  I took the gamble.   She arrived and got her first "outside" photoshoot.  Here is my photo ...

She has really been the source of a lot of dolly controversey this year.  Some have called her an "old call girl".   Many do not like her "crimped" hair.  (Crimped hair was popular with Integrity Toys this year, to the chagrin of many a collector.)  At one point I thought about selling her for parts.  Then I decided to take matters into my own hands. 

I took her hair out of its severe ponytail and boil permed her hair straight.  While I was boiling her hair, one of her eyelashes came off.  I didn't realize it until I had thrown out the water.  Too late for the eyelash, so I took the other one off also.  (BTW, I don't think a $140 doll should be losing its eyelash so easily.  Maybe they are not put on with the intention of being near steam or boiling water?)  The removal of the eyelashes actually opened her eyes more.  I liked the results and photographed her in my light tent.

So on December 27, 2010, I had a spotlight photo on the Pink Parlor/Vinyl Lounge doll board.