Saturday, August 2, 2014

Fruits of the Park 'n' Swap

"Girl, I'm glad to see you, but we need to do something about that wig of yours."

Alexis greets her younger sister Krystle (yes, their mother was a Dynasty fan, back in the day). Krystle has called herself Krys since seventh grade.

Having read the Monster High Arena thread on fakies until midnight, following its progress from "let's laugh at the fakies" through "maybe it's worth ordering a fakie from China, let's try it" to "beautiful fakies, must own fakies!", of course I had to take advantage of a sub-100-degree day to go to the Park 'n' Swap to look at fakies. This is what the internet is for: to inspire new, fascinating, and utterly irrelevant quests that distract from existing projects and leave a person with a kitchen counter completely covered with fashion dolls in various states of undress and un-face.

The Park 'n' Swap is basically Tijuana, and I'm sure if I looked harder, I could find a vendor serving barbecued iguana on a stick. The stalls were replete with bright pink boxes of Barbie knock-offs, with quality running the gamut from "pretty convincing" through "convincingly pretty" to "Big Lots $5 beauty" to "humanoid, but... really?" It is possible to obtain an impressive kitchen playset for $25, but I didn't have that much cash on me, and I like my badly constructed corridor kitchen. (No photos because the vendors are all right there, and being the only gringo in the place already made me conspicuous.)

I did buy some crockery for a mere $1.50 total. The mugs are nicer and smaller than anything I've seen at the Mexican Import Store in Old Town Scottsdale.

And then there was the stall with used fashion dolls and their accouterments.

This stall had entire Barbie houses, though the likelihood that I was going to take one on the train was pretty slim. (The train has a stop for the Park 'n' Swap. It purports to be the stop for Gateway Community College, but the best and highest purpose of getting off there is clearly to visit the Park 'n' Swap. Have some iguana! Have some Budweiser mixed with Clamato!)

It also had two racks of mangy Barbies, Bratz, Monster High dolls, and other randoms, including one lone Liv doll, this Alexis. Prices for Monster High ran $8-$10, depending on whether they had shoes, but the others were $3 each or two for $5.

"Does this count as a Barbie?" I asked. Yup, she counts as a Barbie. All of the actual Barbies were blondes, and all of the Bratz were Bratz (as opposed to articulated Bratzillas), so it was worth a higher unit price per doll to get just the one and not clutter the counter with somebody I have no plans for.

(On a peculiar note... all of the Barbie-esque fakies at other stalls were white, and most were blonde. Every adorable little girl at the swap meet was tawny-skinned and dark-haired. I hope they know they're cute, as they're sure getting dolls that promote some other standard of beauty.)

The nice thing about being a Liv is that when it's time for boil-washing, you can sit back, relax, and watch the process from a safe distance. Krys is nonetheless a bit horrified, but the state of her wig explains that.

The wig, before. Look upon it and despair. I had to cut the rubber bands out with scissors. Then, of course, it was time to boil-wash, as boil-washing has become the major meaning and purpose of my life these days. I decided to do Alexis' wig, too, and just wash both of them straight before making any decisions about styling.

Krys looks a bit boggled by Alexis' plans for her. Of course she's got to go back to school and finish at least an associate's degree. Alexis was always the high achiever, while Krys tended to fall in with the wrong crowd. There are some stories about what happened on her way out from Alabama that Krys isn't telling her older sister.

Meanwhile, Alexis contemplates how to explain more crashers to Hayden, and also how to get Krys a proper dress or, really, anything other than those white stretch pants.


  1. Even though they are all different shapes, those mugs are rather charming!

    1. Aw, thanks! Now I have to clean up Katie & Hayden's kitchen enough for them to go somewhere. Ack!