Thursday, November 19, 2020

Another Free Doll Up For Grabs! And Another Virtual Doll Show

   I have another 'free but for the shipping' doll if someone wants her. She's been featured on the blog, and she's been on the sales page for a while. She was made by Eegee, and as far as I can tell, she's wearing her original dress and shoes.

Recently I came across her and somehow she has gotten her arm hole broken. She old plastic, and somehow the plastic has shattered around one arm. Her arm went back on, and it's staying, helped by her dress. She could be repaired, but I'm not going to do it. There is a page that shows how to repair plastic dolls HERE. If anybody wants to take her on, she's free other than shipping costs.

  I put a few more dolls on the sales page too, so you might want to have a look and see if any of your favourite dolls from the blog have ended up there.

  Other than the sales page, if you're missing shopping for dolls, there's  the Holiday 2020 Showcase Event, a virtual Doll Show of sorts, being held November 27th through the 30th. You can find out the details HERE.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Toy Show Tales and What I Got at the Toy Show: A 'Haul' Indeed!

   Well the weather certainly has changed around here! Gone are the warm days in the 70's, replaced by days in the 30's or 40's, rain, and LOADS of wind! It was so windy the other morning that I swear I felt the house move! It's definitely the time to stay inside with my electric throw and a mug of Horlicks, (since I'm not allowed to drink hot chocolate any more!). Luckily I photographed my toy show haul the other day so I can sit here under my electric throw and show it to you.

  Some doll collectors see no reason to go to a toy show. Toy shows are usually full of, well, toys. There aren't usually many dolls at toy shows, you think. That's true to an extent, but I have found that toy shows, while they may not have a lot of dolls, are good places to get dolls at great prices. If you find dolls at a toy show, chances are they are there because the dealer, who is way more familiar with toys than dolls, got them in a lot with some toys. The dealer doesn't know anything about dolls, doesn't care to, and just wants to be rid of them as quickly as possible. They don't want to be stuck carrying dolls back and forth to toy shows where they are going to be hard, or even impossible, to sell. This can be good for the doll buyer, because the dealer is going to be willing to take as little as possible for the dolls, and is ready to haggle because they have no interest in having the dolls hanging around. 

  One  of the best deals I ever got as a dealer, back when we were doing doll and toy shows, was this one: We were doing a miniature and train show, a strange combination to begin with. One side of the place was ladies from the local miniature society, exhibiting their miniature displays, and selling some dollhouse things. The other side was guys selling toys and train stuff. Now, there is some overlap between miniatures and trains. Train people often do wonderful layouts with tiny people, trees, buildings,etc. There's some great detail to these set ups. I love looking at them. (To see the grandest glorified train lay out on Earth, at least that I know of, take a trip to Roadside America in Shartlesville, Pennsylvania. It's a whole giant room full of a miniature town and countryside. It's closed right now due to the pandemic, but when you can, consider a trip there. We've been there twice, and we all really loved it.) We were the only people there selling dolls. So, one guy, who usually dealt in G.I. Joe, offered us some stuff he had been forced to take when he went to someone's house to buy a bunch of Joe stuff. It was all or nothing, so he had also had to take a shoebox of Barbie stuff he didn't want. He wasn't happy about it because he knew nothing about the stuff, and didn't think he'd ever sell it because all he did were toy shows. So did we want to buy it? He passed me a shoe box. When I took the lid off it was like I had opened a treasure chest.

  Inside the box was the most beautiful bubble cut Barbie I have ever seen. She was an ash blonde, with smoky eye shadow. There was also a red haired Midge with a perfect flip hairdo. And the clothes! There was Solo in the Spotlight, Nighty Negligee',Black Magic, Suburban Shopper, a blue slip, Enchanted Evening,Satin and Rose, and I don't know what else. All the outfits were completely mint and complete, except for one pom pommed mule. Midge's wrist tag was even in the box! It looked like the kid had played with the stuff minimally after opening it on Christmas, and when things were cleared up at the end of the day, all of it was gathered into the shoe box, and had never been touched again. That lost shoe probably got thrown away with some wrapping paper. You know how Christmas is. Oddly enough, I don't think Barbie's bathing suit was in there. Maybe she was a Dressed Box doll. 

  I had to talk Ken into buying the stuff! Granted we didn't know much about how to value vintage Barbie stuff. I still don't trust myself to price vintage Barbie stuff as much as I'd like. There is so much depending on condition, and I'm never sure how to rate things. How much wear takes off how much value? But I assured Ken we could make some money on the stuff, and he'd be crazy not to buy it. In the end we paid the guy $70 and a Zap action figure from American Gladiator. (Hey, he wanted it.) I kept the Enchanted Evening and the Satin and Rose. Turns out I still have the Nighty Negligee too, although I didn't originally keep it on purpose. I sold the Midge in the Suburban Shopper, and the Bubble Cut I sold to Mikelman.

  I also made a good buy from somebody who was walking around a toy show, trying to sell a Barbie and Stacy doll case full of goodies. I was shopping, not selling at that show. When the guy kept getting turned down by dealers,  I asked to see what he had. In the case was a talking P.J. with detached legs, (Why are those Mod Era talking Barbies always with their legs off? Did the talking mechanism not leave enough room to attach the legs properly?), but with her original dress and bloomers and her sunglasses still attached to her head. You can see her on my post HERE. There was also a Marlo flip Barbie, and a bunch of Mod Era clothes. I hate to haggle. It makes me nervous. Whenever Ken is with me I, make him do it. So he did, and we walked away with all the stuff for $35. Yay Ken.

  Back to today's story. I hadn't been to a toy show in ages. Nobody wants to go any more now that the kids are grown. My sister would never have offered to go to a toy show before, and it was her idea! Considering those things I wondered if I should miss the chance to have a toy show partner. I thought about Covid, but I figured that since the show was being held at a fairground, it would be either outside, or in one of those big fairground buildings. As it turned out, it was in two big fairground buildings, with the doors open on both ends, one way aisles, and everybody following the mask rule. So I felt better about it.

  Now, I had just bought three dolls from The Toy Box Philosopher's Emily. (That's a lie. She gave me one for free.) I needed to earn back money, not spend any. But, as the saying goes, sometimes you have to spend money to make money.

  Before we had made out way around very far, we came across a table where I spotted a Skipper case laying behind the guy running the table. He didn't even have it out with his sell stuff. As I asked to see it, I noticed there was also another Skipper case, and a big Barbie and Midge case. I asked to see them, and looked over what was inside. The Skipper case I saw first was one I had never come across in person. 

I couldn't remember if it was rare though. It contained a Penny Brite and a couple of pieces of homemade clothing. 

The last thing I needed was another Penny Brite. As you may have seen, I have quite a few.  In spite of that I was compelled to rescue another Penny later, 'as long as she's no more than $1'. She was. She'll need some clean up.

  There was even a Skipper box, complete with booklet and stand.

  The other Skipper case had a Skipper body with a nice Midge head on it...

 ,,,and some Skipper and Barbie clothes. 

The yellow and brown plastic thing is the sleeping bag to Barbie's Country Camper.

The Barbie/Midge case had a Malibu Barbie...

Wearing a vintage Barbie fashion called Sorority Meeting.

... a red haired Living Barbie...

... Bubble Cut Barbie...

 I think she might be a White Ginger. 

There were Barbie clothes. Some were vintage Mattel, like the Sorority Meeting, the Nighty Negligee robe, and the coat and hat to It's  Cold Outside.

The yellow set is Barbie's PJs, the black and white dress and hat are her After Five fashion, and the pink dress on the right is Barbie's Plantation Belle. 

The red dress bottom left is a Tressy dress.

   I had to do my own haggling. When I'm trying to figure out what to offer for a lot of things, if I think I'm going to resell even some of it, I find a low base amount I think I can positively get for most of the items. In this case I was thinking $10. I had to see how many things I thought I could get at least $10 for, (Hoping I could actually get more, so I could make a profit. Am I making myself clear?), and then multiply. I was thinking I could definitely get at least $10 for at least 7 things in the lot. When I say 'at least 10' I mean, that's the base amount to give me room to make a profit. So, the guy asked $80, and I offered $70, and he agreed.

  If that is a White Ginger Bubble Cut I'm already in profit. The Skipper and Skooter case turned out to be a rare one, although it's not in perfect condition. I'd like to keep it for my Skipper collection, but we'll see. I have most of the Skipper and Barbie clothes that are worth something already, so they can go.

  I made one other purchase for resale. I got this bend leg Skipper for a good price.

She cleaned up very nicely.

  I saw a lot of things I could have bought for myself, but I was thinking about paying for my Emily dolls, so I bought very little for myself. I caved and bought a Neca Planet of the Apes gorilla because he was awesome.

  That's it for the toy show. Next time, my Doll Show purchases, of which there are few.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Finally, Savannah!

   Okay. I know I still need to show you the stuff I got at the toy show, And the stuff I got at the doll show. But of course my computer has died again. My cursor stuck, and in the end all I could do was turn the computer off and try to restart it. Then it wouldn't come back on. That was at least a week ago, and I still can't get it back on. I need to leave it for about a week and then try. That seems to work. But I am impatient. So, no computer, plus I have been selling things, so there has been rooting round in boxes and tubs. I have also done some leaf raking, with some help from Fuzz. The leaf sucker truck came by today, so it's a good thing I had almost all my leaves down by the curb. My other big project has been trying to take advantage of the last warm days of the year, (It's been in the 70's the last few days!), to work on my windows. I have scraped off old paint, popped out old dry putty, reputtied and repainted. I've done both of the leaded glass windows in the living room, our big triple window in the dining room, (which I shouldn't have had to do because I just did it  couple of years ago, but there you are.), and one basement window. Fuzzy and Ken helped a bit. I've been having trouble with my hip, and pretty much the whole leg on my left side. I think I must have another pinched nerve. It doesn't seem to be the sciatica though, because this pain is down the outside of my hip and leg. My knee has been bad too. I have been limping around for weeks. Standing on the ladder aggravates the stiffness and pain, and I am a lot more paranoid about going up on high ladders than I used to be. (I used to climb the 16 foot ladder at work, carrying huge TVs, and lift them over my head to stack them 3 TVs high on the upper 'flex' above the shelves. There's no way I'd do that these days, even if I still could!) So Ken and Fuzz finished the scraping and painting of the very tops of the windows for me, and Ken caulked them. I still have one more basement window and the front porch window sill to do. If I had cooperating weather I would do the basement windows on the other side of the house. As for the upper windows, they desperately need redone, but there's no way I'm getting up there. I don't feel it's safe for Fuzz or Ken either. I'm considering just doing the bottom half of the window in Emma's old room from inside the house, if the weather holds out. The other thing I've been using days on is 'Fun Day'. Since our anniversary in September, Ken and I have been using at least one of his days off every week to go have a 'Fun Day'. Ken loves to travel, and he didn't get to go anywhere this year. I went all the way to Georgia, but Ken has been stuck here. So we just drive off, in a different direction each time, and stop somewhere pretty and have a car picnic, or get some take out or ice cream. We have eaten a few places that have an outdoor patio too. We started out enjoying the beautiful Fall colours in September. It really has been gorgeous in Ohio. 

A lot of the leaves are still hanging in there,(or rather, out there.) This was a few weeks ago.

One night we were leaving a state park after dark, after our car picnic, and we saw a fox, two female deer, and two stags. Another day we saw two buffaloes hanging out in a field with some cows. (They are not native to Ohio, so that was something special.) We have gone to some places on purpose, but some places we just ended up. 

Like Roscoe Village, where Ken hung out with a fake cow. We got there just as everything was closing up, but we did buy some cheese, for our next Fun Day car picnic, at this store.

  I also wanted to share this picture with you. It's a sign at a storage place. They change their sign every now and then. They haven't had this one up for a while. I've been wanting to catch it the next time they used it.

                                              Storage: Because your doll collection creeps people out.  

Now for my real reason for this post. Some of you may have seen recently that Emily from The Toybox Philosopher had popped up again. She was just letting everyone know that she was selling almost all her dolls in preparation for a move. I contacted Emily to ask about a few of my favourites of the dolls she had reviewed over the years. Some were already gone, but I was lucky enough to become the owner of three of the dolls I asked about. (Sort of...) Today we're going to see one of them. It's Savannah from Maru and Friends.

 I didn't want to do any sort of big post on her, because Emily has already done a very thorough review with lots of lovely pictures. I did want to have the chance to do some photos myself though, and show her to you all.

Unfortunately,the first time I tried to photograph her it was getting a bit dark by the time we stopped for our car picnic,  But we did see that fox and those deer on our way out!

    I believe Emily's review of this doll , six years ago, was my first introduction to the Maru and Friends line. It was definitely the first time I had seen Savannah, who is still my favourite. 

I loved this doll, whom Emily had photographed in a special hand knit sweater and matching hat that she ordered from Maru and Friends when she ordered the doll. Today, when I think of Savannah, I always picture her in that sweater. Lucky me, because Emily included the sweater with Savannah!   

  The sweater sets actually came from Maru and Friends, but was made by NovoDesign. The sweaters were available in six colours/styles, and were hand knitted of baby mohair, by women in South Africa, as part of a 'special job creation program'. You can see the whole line of sweaters and matching hats,  (No longer available, from what I understand.), HERE

     She has one of those adorable Dianna Effner faces.

  Dianna Effner sculpted all the Maru and Friends dolls but one. I wonder who will sculpt the new dolls.

  And of course, she's a redhead. We have to stick together!

    As you can  see from the first two pictures, Savannah also brought her original outfit with her. The current version of Savannah has the same beige shirt and shorts with gingham accents and matching hat, beige knee socks with pink pom pom tassels,and brown boots. My Savannah is missing the tassels from her socks because Emily removed them because they clashed with the sweater. 

She borrowed Maru's skirt for the photos in the sweater.

She did send them though, in Savannah's purse.

   Speaking of that purse, what the current Savannah doesn't come with any more, is her brown faux leather purse. (I keep thinking it's a canteen, because it looks like one, and her original outfit looks like  an explorer outfit.)


 I'm so happy to finally own a Savannah. She's been on my list for several years now. 

Emily made her so affordable, and was so nice. I also love that I own the first Savannah I ever saw, the one that made me fall in love with the doll. Thanks Emily!

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Doll Book of the Month Club: The Silent Playmate, A Collection of Doll Stories

   Yesterday it was quite nice out. The sun was shining, the breeze was fairly warm, and I actually got hot in a short sleeved t-shirt while I was raking leaves. I even hung laundry outside. Today however, IT SNOWED! The windchill factor, or, as my dad used to say, 'the windshield factor', is 29 degrees Fahrenheit! 

  I got most of my leaves raked while the weather, and my body, cooperated. I've been having trouble with my hip and leg lately, and, at least, before I raked, it was feeling better. Of course, by the time I stopped it was killing me again. But, as regular readers may know, I have a running battle going with the leaf sucker truck. I either get my leaves raked WAY ahead of time, and they never get picked up, or I don't get them raked in time, and I get stuck with them. This year I think it may be a combination of both. I have a whole trash can full that I raked up before they had fully fallen, which I may be stuck with, because I don't feel I can just dump them on the curb, where we are supposed to rake them to for collection by the leaf sucker truck. Then I also have a lot of leaves down by the curb. I tried to put them in the small oval of pavement on the corner, instead of in the grass at the curb, because when they don't pick them up, they winter there, where they become part of the ground. That makes the ground even more lumpy, and difficult to mow in the summer. That's happened before.

   I have been wanting to get a nice day when I could photograph some things for the blog. I have had a Fall photo story planned for years. The weather has just not been cooperating though. We have had rain, rain, rain! Supposedly it is going to be fairly warm a couple of days this week, which will allow me to get my window frames finally painted.


  This month's Doll Book of the Month Club entry is The Silent Playmate, A Collection of Doll Stories, by Naomi Lewis.

The illustrations are by Harold Jones.

  As the title says, the book is a collection, which includes poems as well, and not a single story. The stories range from touching stories such as, "The Magic Child" by Bernard Henderson and C. Calvert.  , to somewhat scary tales, like "Rag Bag" by Ruth Ainsworth, to unsettling stories like "Gertrude's Child" by Richard Hughes and "A Departure" by Kenneth Graham, to the sadness of Hans Christian Anderson's "The Steadfast Tin Soldier". 

  "Rag Bag" is the story of a girl and her dolls, who are visited by an unhappy fairy child who demands a doll. Unsatisfied with the lifeless peg doll provided by the girl, the fairy child demands a 'live' doll, like the ones the girl plays with. The girl tries to explain that the dolls aren't alive, that she is merely pretending with them. But one of the dolls, Rag Bag, can actually talk. She's not much to look at, but she's the girl's favourite. The fairy figures out the doll's special quality, and demands Rag Bag. That's where I'll leave the story.

  "Gertrude's Child" tell the strange story of a world where children don't have dolls, dolls have children. They treat them just as carelessly and coldly as bad doll mothers treat their dolls too, leaving the children clothesless in the cold, and forgotten out in the rain.

  The heartbreaking "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" was one Fuzzy liked as a child. Ivy can't stand stories like that. I'm in between. I like it, but I find it so sad I cry.

  Also included is "The Town in the Library" by E. Nesbit. I've loved E. Nesbit's books since I read "The Phoenix and the Carpet" as a kid. Some of you may be more familiar with "Five Children and It", also by E. Nesbit. "The Town in the Library" is typical Nesbit, with a couple of kids doing something they know they shouldn't, and facing the consequences, before arriving at a not altogether happy, but all-that-they-deserve ending.

  The book is full of good doll stories. It may be hard to find, but for those who enjoy doll stores, it's worth it.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Play Sets: Barbie Wizard of Oz Emerald City Playset

  Happy Halloween! Our state said no trick or treating because of the virus, but our town did it anyway. I chose to go along with the state and not hand out candy.
  Last month I totally missed the end of the month and didn't do a playset. I have had a post ready for ages, but Ivy came home and forbid any digging in her newly straightened closet because it gives her anxiety. That meant I haven't been able to get in her closet and get out the playset I had the post ready for, to photograph it. Well, I give up. I'm doing the post this month with stock photos, and some photos of the playset I used before to show you some of Ivy's Oz dolls. I should have photographed the whole playset then, but I was trying to get Ivy's room done before she came home, so I didn't take the time.
  So, this month's play set is this one. It's the Barbie Wizard of Oz Emerald City Playset.(Now that's a mouthful!)

It was sold in 2000. Ivy wanted this set, and she had the Barbie as Dorothy talking doll to go with it. No dolls came with the set. The set did come with a plastic Emerald City facade, which you may have seen in my post on the Wizard of Oz Kelly and Tommy dolls I came across while redoing Ivy's room last Fall. You can see that post HERE.

The doors really open. The "Bell out of order. Please knock." sign is a separate piece which hangs on a hook in the facade plastic.

It also came with a cardboard yellow brick road, which you might have seen in that post, and the posts I did on the Oz Munchkin Tommy dolls HERE, and HERE.

The 'road' was printed. along with some poppies and grass at the edges.

  Some small pieces came with the set, which was based on the "In the Merry Old Land of Oz" portion of the movie. (You can see that part of the movie HERE.) These included a hair brush, fake scissors, a perfume bottle, and an oil can. And of course Dorothy needs her salon chair to get her makeover. The chair comes in pieces and you have to put it together. In the movie the chair was actually a lighter, mint green. They did a pretty good job on the design though.
  The other big piece to the set is the Wizard's balloon. Included is a plastic balloon basket, with plastic 'ropes', and a real mylar balloon you can blow up.  

  The balloon basket can hold one doll. The irony here is, Dorothy never made the trip back to Kansas in the balloon, since Toto jumped out of her arms to chase a cat, and she jumped out of the balloon to follow him. The other irony of including the balloon is, the only major Oz character Mattel never made a doll of is The Wizard, who is the only character to actually ride in the balloon..
  There was a 1/6 scale Wizard doll to go with the other Oz dolls made by Multi Toys. He was hard to find though. I'm not sure he wasn't a Canada only release. I know he was excluded from the boxed set of Oz toys that Multitoys made. (That set included Dorothy and friends, and both witches.) I think I still have a Multitoys Wizard somewhere in my attic in our old doll show stuff. There was also a Wizard made by Hamilton Presents, for it's Oz line.
  Well, that's the playset for this month. Hopefully next month we'll see an actual in hand playset! See you tomorrow for the Doll Book of the Month Club.