Sunday, June 21, 2015

World Doll Day (Tag)

Jewell of Doll-lightful and April of Fashion Doll Stylist apparently like delivering difficult questions, as they tagged me for World Doll Day -- and of course, since I'm a day late and a dollar short, that was two Sundays ago on June 14th.

The rules appear to be:

  1. List 3 favorite dolls from the ones you got last year.
  2. List 3 dolls currently on your wish list.
  3. Tag 5 people to do the same.
Grail Dolls Acquired
Because I get all moody and over-think-y at having to choose favorites, I decided to reinterpret the question to focus on three Grail Dolls that I consciously knew I wanted for a substantial time in advance, didn't expect to find readily, and associate with particularly exciting discovery events.

Then I posed them with some friends for reference, because I'll always find a way to bend the rules.

1. Emmanuelle, the fully articulated Bratz

When I fell in love with Meygan (left) at Big Lots, I left her there for a month because I didn't know what I'd do about an articulated body for her. (She's now on a Liv body.) Shira (right) is one of a number of later, taller Bratz who have articulated arms but click knees. Emmanuelle (center) is the Bratz I'd been hoping existed but had seen no trace of... a fully articulated Bratz with proper knees and even a wrist joint.

I found her at a thrift store with my mom (the same thrift store where we found the Liv Sophie who set off all this madness) for under $2. I had to buy her some feet on eBay.

My passion for Bratz is partly because they were rampantly multi-ethnic before Mattel's 2014 discovery that not everybody is "L.A. Tan" and partly because they're so unapologetically over-the-top.

2. Nastia, the vintage fully articulated Stacie

Back at last year's World Doll Day, I'd sworn up and down that I'd never get involved with Barbie's younger siblings. Only older teens for me!

That lasted until the Neglected Fashion Doll Two-Pack from Goodwill that contained the Stacie to the left. I could not resist making her a dress. I figured out that dress without a pattern or measurements because Stacie was going to have a dress. But in researching Stacies, I found out about the 1990s gymnast Stacie who was articulated. I had no particular hope of acquiring one until my parents took me to a thrift store in the next big town up from where they live.

Mom went through the doll bags... I went through the doll bags... we picked a few things and wandered off. Some time later, Dad comes up with another bag. "This one has joints?" said he. It was the vintage Stacie. She's named Nastia for gymnast Nastia Liukin because the rule here is First Doll Gets the Name Given by the Manufacturer.

Since then, I've had luck in finding the vintage spatula-hand body at thrift stores, which is how Akilah Nichelle (right) finally got articulated elbows (though she has click knees).

3. Kandi, the My Scene Barbie clone

I have a weakness for clones. It developed the day I was walking through the Family Dollar and saw Midnight Magic Pippa (right), a $5 Monster High knock-off. It was only strengthened by the Goodwill trip where I found Julianne (left), a highly articulated version of the kind of "Barbie" who shows up widely on Ali Express.

There had been rumors of My Scene clones, but they were from before I started collecting dolls, and I never seriously expected to find one... until I wandered into a little funky ethnic shop in the big city where I was catching a plane home... and there she was. She cost $3, and I could not resist the gray lipstick.

Future Grail Dolls
I'm not good at planning for future acquisitions -- I tend to know what I want when I stumble over it in a thrift store, drug store, dollar store, or the more mangled bits of Walmart's clearance section. But here are three dolls I'd be especially pleased to stumble upon.

1. Vintage articulated Janet, friend to Stacie

Image from Amazon
There are a couple variants on articulated Janet -- gymnast, bicycling, maybe more -- and I don't care which one I eventually find in a nice thrift-store baggie... just that I someday find her. Akilah Nichelle wants a little sister who can be friends with Nastia.

2. Rocky Blue (Zendaya) from Shake It Up

Image from Toy Tattle
I found the other articulated Shake It Up doll -- CeCe Jones, now named Thorne -- abandoned without even a baggie at my neighborhood Goodwill on a day when they had no other dolls. She has this strange Monster High body but hasn't yet become comfortable hanging out with the Monster High gals because her head's so much smaller. So it'd be nice to come across a same-sized friend for her.

3. The Maria Rock--Rock Doll fakie of Draculaura

I have to link to this because I can't find a commercial site that carries her, but... when I went to K-Mart's going-out-of-business sale, I bought the blue $1 baggie clone doll on the left in the linked photo. I did not buy the Draculaura knock-off on the right. I should have, and if I'm ever in K-Mart again, I'm going to.

Tag five people... eep... um... how?
I'm going to be kind of the evolutionary dead end here because so many people have already done it, but I'd be thrilled if somebody reading this decided to feel all tagged and say so. Pretty please? I want to be surprised.


  1. I can't believe what people are trying to sell those vintage gymnast dolls on eBay for. Starting price is usually around $50. I wonder how many actually sell. I just bought a skateboarding Stacie on eBay for less than $10. The skateboarding ones seem much less popular than the gymnasts or bicyclists.

    1. Aaaaand the skateboard Stacie's shoes are permanently attached to Stacie's feet, to enable Stacie to more easily pull off some rad skateboard moves. :(

    2. Oh, how disappointing! I will make sure never to succumb to temptation to buy that one online. Thank you for the warning.

  2. I love your clever interpretation of the challenge. How lucky for you to stumble upon three grail dolls! And it makes me laugh to think about how you swore off Barbie's younger siblings and now have TWO Stacies...which only means you will eventually have more- lol.

    1. Aw, thanks! The secret to finding the good stuff is apparently to go thrifting with my parents. My local trips are never as exciting.

      Psst! There's a third Stacie (a dupe of the taller bent-arm one) left over from a Neglected Fashion Doll Three-Pack, but I haven't decided what to do with her yet.

  3. Now this was fun! I love your posts Smaller Places
    And I look forward for some Ms. Hanzo new adventures !

    1. Thank you! I've been cleaning up dollhouses but need to work on some new adventures!

  4. My fave doll is from the 70s, Triki Miki. She was fully articulated and had long red hair and the funkiest 70s clothes. She came packaged wearing a flowered orange jumpsuit and white fringed cloth boots. I found Barbie to be a little too girly girl for me and Triki Miki was more of a tomboy.

    1. Oh wow -- I've never seen Triki Miki! I just had a nice Googling wallow for Uneeda fashion dolls, and I'm pretty sure I had 11.5" Action Dollikin, but I would remember a 6" articulated doll. She has wonderful pants suits!

  5. I love your vintage Stacie...great list of doll. :)

  6. Ha ha, I love how you "bent" the rules! I did that too with my post by listing some couples! You are a girl after my own heart! It is amazing to me how you find so many great dolls at the thrift stores. The ones in my area never have any decent dolls, so I gave them some of mine old dolls so they would have something decent!

    1. ...and I still feel guilty about who I left out! They all have stories.

      It helps that what I like is thrift-friendly. If I were looking for high-end dolls, I'd be sooooo out of luck.

  7. You really had some brilliant thrift store finds - all those articulated versions! Impressive!

    1. Thank you! I owe so much of it to thrifting with my parents!

  8. I am in awe that you manage to find your dream dolls at thrift shops and discounters. I'm not usually a fan of Bratz but your dolls are adorable and I can see how much you love them through the way they are dressed and posed.

    1. Thanks! I think I'm the one person among adult collectors who love Bratz, but I can't resist. Realism never does well in my home -- my dollhouse civilization is inhabited by a mix of people and talking animals, so merely being large-headed is no big deal.

  9. First Doll Gets the Name Given by the Manufacturer - I have that "rule," too!

    Congrats on getting 3 dolls you wanted and best wishes that you get the dolls you want ;-)