Sunday, November 6, 2016

Gleanings from the Arizona State Fair

Look what Julianne Hoof won at the Arizona State Fair! It's a younger sister!

Amazing what you can get by tossing the ball through the ring!
Thanks to the power of Pokémon GO, stuffed pikachu were everywhere, toted like the prizes of some bizarre hunting season.

Tie it to the front bumper to haul it home. It'll feed us all winter.
The dollhouse division of the domestic arts competition either vanished or got no entries, and miniature floral arranging appears to be long gone, so for 2016 state fair delights, we're going to have to settle for seeing what miniatures I bought at the hucksters' stalls and doing a more detailed unveiling of Julianne's younger sis.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Tuesday Morning Quarterbacking

Is Tuesday Morning in dire straits? The question came up in the comments related to Hey It's Muff's disappointing visit, and now Miss Hanzo wants to know, too. Fortunately, her financial advisor Dena has been reading the company's August financial reports and earnings call transcript, so Miss Hanzo has come to Dena's office to hear what's what.

Dena likes to keep her office minimalist.
Disclaimer: This post covers only issues of interest to fashion doll collectors and should not be construed to be investment advice.

Is Tuesday Morning on the road to nowhere?
Not right now. After some bad years, the company has been profitable for the past two fiscal years and has no debt on its balance sheet. One concern is that it's spending more cash on capex (building, repairing, buying equipment) than it generates from its stores, but it looks like a chunk of this was related to the new distribution center in Phoenix, which is completed. 

But my favorite store has vanished, Dena!
So why has my nearest store disappeared?

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Another Day, Another Quest for Smaller Monster High People

My dismay over grocery shopping means I tend to reward myself with a trip down the toy aisle, which is why I have five (?) Sparkle Girlz Minis, five miniature My Little Ponies, the shy forest creature from a couple weeks ago, and... articulated miniature Monster High persons made by Mega Bloks.
Where the Kroger toy aisle is concerned, this was not my first rodeo.
On a prior trip, I'd picked up Cleo de Nile and Draculaura because I believed the MH persons were being clearanced at Ghetto!Kroger. They fit nicely with the Avon miniatures my parents sent; I declared they'd have a house someday; I went back to working on the half-scale hotel.

The girls have brought their living room suite outdoors to enjoy the fall weather.
But no!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Meet Evi LOVE, the clone who isn't quite a clone

Some of the younger folks gather excitedly to see who came home in a box after my Toys R Us visit last week.

It's a motley crew. L-R: Madame Alexander travel doll Italy, Sparkle Girlz Mini,
Chinese clone of SGM, and Stacie's friend Miranda.
I found this gal over in some random aisle where the Shopkins and My Little Ponies lurk, but she sure looks like a clone of a Sparkle Girlz Mini... only some, including this bike rider, have articulated knees! This pack cost $6.99.

Comes in white and ambiguous brown!
Let's unbox her!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Go Ahead and Fake Yourself

Who is this shy forest creature who delicately turns her head away from the crud on the electric plug?

Summon birds to clean this kitchen? I do not THNK so.
This is Featherly, protector of birds, a forest pixie from the Dragon Games line of Ever After High. When Featherly and her fellow unarticulated pixies, Harelow and Deerla, appeared in stores last year, my first thought was "Mattel's making its own fakies!"

In the $8-$12 range, this wasn't a compelling value proposition, but clearanced at $5 at Fry's, on a day when I was feeling particularly cranky... it seemed like the moment to compare a forest pixie to a real fakie. 
Cool belt, Featherly. Clare's or Forever 21?
Read on to see how Featherly compares to Nile, the Gothic Tales clone of Monster High Frankie Stein, a doll that goes for about $3 at Dollar General (introduced here, got her current dress here).

Sunday, August 28, 2016

I go to Target and Walmart and I see things

Let's start with the doll I found most mysterious. She appears to be articulated at wrists, elbows, and knees, and she looks like she just arrived from an Asian cartoon.

Asking "do you know who I am?" does me no good at chi-chi restaurants.
Meet Marinette, who is purportedly 10 inches tall, and who hails from ZAG Heroez Miraculous, a Nickelodeon series featuring female superheroes (description). The official site promises us that Marinette is a sweet, helpful, mildly impulsive person who transforms into the superhero Ladybug, a sweet, helpful, mildly impulsive person who really likes polka dots.

She's not the only interesting doll I saw. For instance, there's...

Thursday, August 18, 2016

This is what a failed product launch looks like

Meet Ismena, who cost $4.27 at Walgreen's. I think New Bratz may have flopped big time.

The rain SERIOUSLY turned that dry wash into a river in 5.6 minutes.
The backstory is that I needed ibuprofen for my monsoon-related headaches, and I figured I'd enjoy the newish tram-line extension by visiting the Walgreen's up at Northern (several stops beyond the old end of the line). In the toy aisle, behold! New Bratz marked down to $4.27. There was a Raya, but I'd already bought her for under $10 in January (she's the tanned blonde in the polka-dot skirt), and then I dug a bit and... there's Yasmin!

And, unlike many of the New Bratz, she doesn't look terrified, only mildly wary.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Sneak peak: Dollhouse redecorating in progress

Mabel and Mavis are finally on their way to respite from the very brown scheme of the bedroom they inherited from prior owners.
The rug is the inspiration piece!
And our favorite artisanal pillow will "go," in an eclectic way.
When JoJo of Tahoma Beadworks & Photography was sharing a nifty array of June/July projects, she included a piece of needlepoint that I immediately said needed a dollhouse. My goal was to corrupt her utterly into the miniature-building world, but she was protected by phalanxes of existing hobbies. She very kindly offered to send me the needlepoint, and it's perfect for what I want to do with Mabel and Mavis' bedroom!

(I thought I'd have the whole project done, but can I find the fabric scrap I want for the bedding? Of course not. I may be going to Joann this weekend, willy-nilly.)

Meanwhile, my parents apparently have pheromones that attract 1:24 chairs, as in swift succession, a flock of silver chairs (destined for the boutique hotel) arrived...

Music listeners will stay alert!

... followed by a foursome of classic side chairs, mostly intended for Big Head Maude's modern abode.

My home lighting was so bad that I put the purple chair in the tan-and-aqua
room because it looked tan. Note to self: buy light bulbs for my new lamps.
I think I need to do some dollhouse cleaning and improving!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

DC Super Hero Girls "Bumblebee" needs school clothes

Bumbleebee (a.k.a. Karen Beecher) is heading to the mall for back-to-school shopping.

I'm flying there because weekend bus service sucks.
Toy Box Philosopher's review of Bumblebee's colleague, Wonder Woman, inspired me to pull out the Bumblebee I bought at Target months ago, dig through my clothing stash, and see if there's anything a tall gal with broad shoulders can wear.

My own teen shopping experiences suggest this isn't going to end well, but maybe in the fashion doll world, clothing manufacturers are kinder.

Let's see what Bumblebee finds...

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Bratzillaz Spa and Bathroom Week

Phoenix's dry heat can be hard on the hair.
Meygana's hair maintains her personal space.
Progress this week got short-circuited when I started dabbling at Pokémon GO on Monday, as even 109-degree heat couldn't compete with the lure of seeing if some of Scottsdale's hot spots might offer something more exciting than an endless supply of pidgies and rattatas. The machops in the Mexican Import Store may be peak Pokémon for me.

Machops is hoping for Mexican wrestling masks.
At this point, I've really got to tackle gym battles if I want to proceed with the game, and I'm not sure I care, since that seems to require memorizing endless random factoids about what type has an advantage over what other type. I have no objection at all to memorizing random factoids about imaginary monsters, but that part of my brain is already consumed by keeping straight Monster High characters and Bratzillaz, so I'm just not sure there's space.

In any case, a few things happened with Bathroom Week.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Kitchen rehab!

Katie is gobsmacked at having a dining chair with a proper back.

Now if I could find the lids for the cannisters, I'd have something!
When last seen (or, really, not seen, since I haven't posted in a couple months), the eggshell stools from the patio project had moved into the new kitchen in the Billy tower, as the new layout eliminated the garden floor.

It looks pretty, until you're slumping over a cup of coffee and fall off.
Feeling a bit inundated by how big the 1:6 party had gotten, I rearranged my storage, and put about half of the dolls away temporarily (they'll be back!) so that I'd have the blank space, both mental and physical, to focus on doll projects I needed and wanted to make progress on. One big project was getting Katie and Hayden's house in order.

After thinking hard about DIY chair and table projects involving simple dollar-store finds, I cracked and ordered a proper dining set on eBay for all of $11 with free shipping.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

New arrivals from China!

Gertrud and Abbie are excited about a box from China. Gertrud is especially excited because she came from China in a padded mailer, so a box seems very posh.

Abbie, I think it's a friend for one of us.
 Gertrud was, by the way, billed on AliExpress as a MacMillan doll for sale in Germany. I can find nothing about this line, but she's on a Fashionista body with what is clearly not a Fashionista face.

Let's open the box and see what's inside.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

January acquisitions

I shopped myself into a stupor. It started so simply.

Nice doggie.
Alejandra, a Madame Alexander Travel Friend (thank you, Tuesday Morning), makes friends with Marisol, who is of course Made To Move Teresa, as there was no way I was going to hold out forever.

It all started with Teresas (Teresai?), but it didn't stop there.