Friday, May 8, 2015

Welcome to my mother's first official de-boxing

Shortly after I got in my parents' car at the commuter rail station, my mother announced that she'd bought herself a 17" High School Musical Gabriella -- she likes the taller fashion dolls -- and hadn't de-boxed her yet because she thought it'd be fun to do an official de-boxing with photos. There are things that are difficult to talk me into, but this was not one of them.

No project can be accomplished without cat help.
The major feature of the front of the box -- other than Gabriella herself -- is a faux photo-strip of the various HSM characters in graduation togs. Having never seen any of the movies (though I gather they perhaps have something to do with high school theater?), I do not know who these people are. Presumably they were collectively swooned over by tweens who are now approaching their early twenties and admitting to none of this.

The back of the box demonstrates how to put accessories in Gabriella's hair and gives a view of Gabriella in her second outfit.

Cat still helping.
We got the outer box open and off, which now gives a better view of the locker detail that provides "storage" for some of the accessories.

Enjoy this moment.

The canonical science nerd has a locker full of jewelry, possibly also a pocket full of sunshine.
 The back of the box reveals that all possible fastening technologies ever developed in the history of the universe were deployed to keep Gabriella and her accessories firmly in place.

The scissors quail beside the task that awaits them.
 This fastening is particularly kinky. It's a medium-soft plastic thingie with wire wrapped around its teeth.

You have no idea even what to do with me.
 We cut the plastic in half and unwrapped the wire from around it.

Curses! Foiled again!
The wire is used to anchor major limbs. But sometimes mere wire is not enough. Sometimes the situation requires... extra clear plastic forms to hold things absolutely, perfectly still. Hold onto this piece. Consider incorporating it into a device for dropping eggs off 20-story buildings without breaking them (the eggs, not the buildings).

A new form of foot-binding.
Unsurprisingly, the wire leaves permanent marks in the plastic of Gabriella's ankles.

Many wires, threads, and plastic tags later... we were still not prepared for the revelation that the second dress was held to the box by having a corner fitted over a cardboard tab that was folded to anchor it. Somebody stayed up late to think of that.

When plastic hang tags aren't quite enough.
 Speaking of wires, let's not forget the one around Gabriella's neck, for those occasions when little clear rubber bands won't quite do the job.

I am remarkably good-humored for a person who's been garroted.
 The wire goes under her sweater and around her back, so getting it off requires removing her sweater.
How did I even get dressed this morning?
 To get this far, we'd already had to deal with both hair sewn to the box and hang-tags attaching Gabriella's head to the box. We were a little punchy.

So with the doll out of the box, we stared blankly at all this plastic and asked ourselves what it was. The plastic stared blankly back.

Plastic fantastic.
Here's her hair, right out of the box, freed from its vast and varied selection of fastenings. 

I don't think I've been doing my 100 strokes a night...
probably because my hair was sewed to a box.
 The rooting is really thick. Between that and the black-painted scalp, there's no danger of Gabriella's hair looking thin.

No dandruff! Thank you, Head and Shoulders!
 And here she is, fully out of the box! She doesn't stand on her own.

Which way is the advanced chemistry class?
 She has a big friendly smile.

Please come sit with us at lunch break. We have fourth period.
 Gabriella has rather fabulous eye shadow. She has highlighting and contouring nailed.

A strong brow line is your friend,
 She has jointed elbows and knees. She can sit in a moderately lady-like way.

I know to always cross my ankles, not my knees!
 She also has really cute shoes with a sort of alligator pattern and little yellow bows.

Cute... yet comfortable for walking.
 Her top turns out to be all one piece, so the blouse is a faux front. Interestingly, none of the seams are serged. I feel a greater sense of peace about my sewing abilities, such as they are.

Happiness is never needing to untie that front belt.
 Here's the front view.
Still not untied!
 The skirt is a circle on a thin waistband, with an attached slip.

Undressed, Gabriella turns out to have the body of a young teen.

I even have a good attitude about stripping for gym.
 Her toes are just too cute.

 Demonstrating elbow action lets us also see how nicely her palms are done.

No, I don't think I want to go skinny-dipping. Thanks, though.
 Front-to-back splits are a cinch. Side-to-side splits aren't happening. She also can't rotate her arms.

Gymnastics is... sort of okay.
 Gabriella sits a little informally, but she can touch her head.

Taking care of all this hair would be impossible if I couldn't do THIS.
 Her second outfit, a red dress, takes the simple approach to fitting the bodice. It's just a tuck, held in place with a couple stitches and an ornament.

And here she is, all dressed up! Gabriella can hold her cell phone and almost get it into position to talk on it.

I thought we were meeting in front of the clock tower. Where are you?
 The sandals are adorable.

 The photo on her cell phone, though, has a weird "uncanny valley" feel.

I am secretly a Lego person,
 The accessories in the background are earrings and hair hardware. After one earring didn't really want to go into an ear, we decided simplicity was the key to a cute look.

Sharpay agrees.

Hey Gabs. You look great in red.
 We went to clean up the box and had the sudden realization that the mysterious clear plastic thing was... Gabriella's stand. I didn't recognize a stand because I mostly buy thrift-store dolls, so I don't have stands.

Meanwhile, another friend of Sharpay's showed up.

Do you need a booster chair?
 It's Smaller Sharpay, the fashion-doll-sized version. She's not really dressed for a party, and she can't see over the punch bowl.

Gabriella and Sharpay wish you a Happy Mother's Day.


  1. LOL Smaller Places, deboxing is usually the most painful experience, but with you (and a cat) everything turns out to be a lot of fun!
    Gabriella is really cute, I love her shoes

    1. The cat was a great help. Siamese usually are!

  2. All I can hear is Sheldon Cooper being horrified that the doll is no longer 'mint in box'. lol

    1. LOL @ JoJo's comment!

      I no longer had the Disney channel by the time HSM was in vogue but I had heard of it and that Zac Efron because he was such A BIG DEAL.

    2. Oh, no doubt! But nobody in my family does NRFB. I saved the boxes on some of my vintage Blue Box furniture because the boxes are small and I like the graphics, but we buy stuff to use it.

  3. You do make deboxing a doll quite fun! High School Musical launched the careers of several teen heart throbs (many of which are now young adult heart throbs). The main characters - Gabriella Montez and Troy Bolton are played by Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Efron. Sharpay Evans is played by Ashley Tinsdale, Chad Danforth by Corbin Bleu and Ryan Evans by Lucas Grabeel. Interestingly enough, Lucas was already 22 years old when he did HSM and he still plays s young man who recently graduated from HS in Switched at Birth at the age of 30! Anyway, since my daughters were aged 6 and 10 when HSM came out, I think we probably saw all 3 movies about a 100 times! Because of this, I am able to share these bits of HSM trivia with you! LOL!

    1. Thank you for the trivia! I never know stuff like this.I live under a rock.

  4. Here's some more trivia for you; these dolls share bodies with the Teen Trends line that Mattel put out. I have two of the Teen Trends dolls, and also the pink and black outfit that Sharpay is wearing (it was designed for Teen Trends Deondra.)

    My kids were a little bit older during the HSM phenomenon, I think, Phyllis. (They are 19 and 16 now.) My daughters had HSM dolls and the HSM Trivia Game, which included a CD. One of their friends also had a "watch party" when HSM2 first premiered on Disney Channel, including HSM swag party prizes.

    SP, the graduation pics are from the end of the last movie (like you wanted to know.) And the bottom girl pictured is Taylor McKessie (Monique Coleman), one of the smart kids, and a love interest for Chad Danforth.

    1. Oh, how fun! That explains why Sharpay is able to wear a Teen Trends outfit, if it's actually the same body.

  5. I didn't know they had the HSM dolls larger. Interesting.

    I notice they only did two while the smaller dolls had MANY.

    P.S. See, smaller dolls rule, lol. But you don't have to tell your Mom that ;-)

    1. Well, you see Mom has Smaller Sharpay. We saw Smaller Gabriella at a thrift store but she didn't get bought.

      The 12" and 9" population at my parents' house has grown by leaps and bounds since my December visit. Mom has some of the smaller dolls like Juku couture, which I'm not into.