Saturday, September 29, 2012

Madame Alexander's Friends Boutique from WalMart

A few days ago I posted a review of the Madame Alexander Favorite Friends 18" play doll, and was asked if I'd take a look at another version of the doll in the MA 18" play doll line, the Friends Boutique dolls made by Madame Alexander for WalMart.

I chose a doll on clearance, because she's super-cute and---well, because she's on clearance. I paid $21, against a list price of $29.97, and the usual shelf price is $27.97. Madame Alexander Favorite Friends, by comparison, have a list price of $49.99, and can be had for $24.97 to $59.99, depending on where they're sold.

So what did I get for my $21, and how does this doll compare to that one?

Friday, September 28, 2012

I do believe I had the vapors.

I passed out Wednesday afternoon and ended up at the hospital for two days under observation. Fun, eh? I had Martie with me, but no camera or change of clothes for her (or me....), so I was bored out of my mind. I'm fine now, honest!, and regular posts will resume shortly. Meanwhile, go play with your dolls! And no passing out!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

An entire doll FLOOR, kids!

Yesterday morning I had a long job interview that I'm cautiously optimistic about, and afterwards I went to SW Randall's Toyes & Gifts downtown on Smithfield Street. The doll floor had just reopened in anticipation for the holiday season, but not all the stock had yet arrived. What was there was gorgeous stuff, and I got a guided tour of the floor from the lovely lady who was working up there. I didn't get to take pictures, though.

I can tell you, though, that very soon there will be online a very large selection of the dolls of the late Jack Louis, who worked at Randall's for over forty years. He had an enormous Barbie collection, only part of which is on floor, the rest will be online. His collection included some lovely repaints, boxed rare dolls, Cher doll clothes MIP, and.....a Number One Barbie in perfect condition.

A lot of their new items are on their Amazon pages, including some Monster High dolls at FAIR PRICES! I know, right?!? Meanwhile, go to their website, call their phone, and ASK what they have! They're great people and love to answer questions.

This is a picture from a Yelp review of the doll section that's usually on the first floor, but is now on the third:

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Review: Madame Alexander Favorite Friends "Fashionista"

Let's step up a price point in 18" dolls, from Tuesday's Springfield Collection dolls review and look at a moderate-price doll, in the $25 to $50 range: a Madame Alexander Favorite Friends doll, specifically a new "Fashionista" by Cecelia Cassini.

Cecilia Cassini  is a 12 year old fashion designer and blogger, and a scion of the fashion family of Oleg Cassini. She has designed two dolls for MA, and Fashionista is the first. I liked the blue eyes paired with almost-black hair, and the black pleather matching jacket and boots. Madame Alexander has always been known for its quality, and these dolls have sometimes been favorably compared with American Girl dolls.

Here she is in her box:

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Review of Springfield Collection Olivia 18" play doll.

It seems to be review week around the DBB office. I'm cleaning up the boxed dolls I've had for a little while, not least because an unboxed doll takes up less space than one in a cardboard rectangle.

This little girl is one I've wanted to unbox and review for a while now, the Springfield Collection Olivia that I bought in August at Joann's Fabrics, with a shelf price of $21.99. I bought her with a 40% off coupon, so the real purchase price was about $12.

So here we go!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Quick review of Hearts-4-Hearts Girls Lauryce

Hearts 4 Hearts Girls from Playmates Toys is a doll line that helps: part of the sales price of each doll is donated toward helping girls in the region that the doll's character is from. In the company's words : "The Hearts For Hearts Girls™ mission is to empower girls to become agents of change in their communities, their countries, and around the world. We want to change the world one heart at a time, and you can be a part of that dream!"

That these dolls are just plain gorgeous and very appealing certainly helps their charitable cause. Another pleasing aspect is the price: the MSRP is $27.99, and are available at Target and They are also sold at Toys R Us and Wal-Mart, and can be purchased right from the Playmates Toys website as well.

I've had this girl for a month or so, and finally opened her box this past weekend. I've been nuts about these dolls since they debuted, and have all six of the debut dolls, as well as most of their outfits and accessories. I was VERY excited to see new dolls arriving, and for my first of these dolls, I chose Lauryce, a Creole girl from New Orleans, LA, USA. I love the combination of her darker skin with her light eyes and hair, and I especially like that the sales of the doll will help girls in New Orleans, which just had to deal with Hurricane Isaac seven years after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Wacky waving inflatable arm-flailing tube fish!

Really, I would have said "....fin-flailing...," except these are quite clearly arms and not fins.

 Yay, ALCOSAN! Or something. Kids, today we went to the award-winning AlCoSan (Allegheny County Sanitary Authority) annual Open House, which looked and acted like a festival. Yes, my children, a festival at the shithouse.

I'm not kidding, we went to the bloody sewage plant for games, giveaways, a tour, and free lunch. A part of me is very annoyed that I didn't think this up myself.

The pic above is Martie in front of Frankie the Fish, the official mascot. There is also a paper printed pic of Martie being held by the poor teenage boy in the Frankie the Fish costume, but I wasn't allowed to take my own picture so I could upload it here, and I don't have a working scanner. You're just going to have to imagine it. See it in your mind? Of course you do.

 Look, a dandelion in the middle of September! I think the soil around this place must be super-nutritious for flowers. Or weeds. Or both.

 Lookit the size of that rain gutter! Seriously, the longest damn rain gutter for a small shack I've ever seen. These people are dead serious about their rainwater. No word on whether the pumpkins were grown in the sludge.

They wouldn't let us take pictures on the plant tour, either. Something about terrorists seeing the inside workings, then blowing it up and covering us all in....well.  You get the idea.

After the tour, I had two hot dogs, two oatmeal-raisin cookies, an apple, and some cider. Kevin had a hot dog (he can exercise more restraint than me, I frakkin' love free hot dogs)(oh, shut up), an apple, some lemonade, and he gave me his cookie. N'aww. Martie had a hot dog and a cookie bigger than her head. We weren't downwind, for which I was grateful.

Okay, now, one nice thing--to encourage a whole lot of green habits, including discouraging soil erosion and generating oxygen, they were giving away tree seedlings. This one is our new friend Socrates, a Hemlock (GET IT?!?) Canadiana. He's living in our kitchen window until he gets big enough to plant and not be mistaken for a weed, or mown accidentally. Or maybe he'll be a bonsai. He might like that.

Never let it be said I never get out and do anything interesting.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Review: Only Hearts Club doll "Olivia Hope."

Earlier this year, I bought a small lot of Only Hearts Club doll clothes from eBay, with the hope that they'd fit a very small bjd I own. Alas, no such luck, and the clothes went in to a ziplock bag and were set aside.

On Saturday I was in a Joann's (really, did I need a reason? I didn't think so), and noticed a few Only Hearts dolls in the red tag clearance bin. It occurred to me then that I still had that bag of clothes for these dolls. So I poked through available clearance items, and decided to take home an Olivia Hope.

Cute, yes? And her little dog, too!

Fun with photo errors.

I took this pic of Elizabeth today, to make up for the out-of-focus face of yesterday's post:

Okay, nothing great, hair in her face, feh. *frustrated* Then I accidentally blocked the flash with my finger:
@_@ This flash is very powerful to shoot through my finger. I think this may be why so many of my pics look, to me, harshly lit. I've got to play with this thing more and see if I can turn down the flash a bit.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Autumn light.

Actually, I took this a bit too late in the day to really get the best of the autumn-like light, and it's a tiny bit out of focus!, but I like the pose, so here you go.

Clearly the camera focused on her hands instead of her face, so I'm going to work on that for the next pics.

Before I took this, when I was fussing with the pose and the stand, my friend was holding the camera, and he took a couple of pics of me on the sly--which I only discovered when I uploaded. Sneaky Pete. Actually, his name isn't Pete, it's Mitch, but whatevs. ;D

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Running errands.

Sometimes, even Charlie the Happy Hermit has to leave the house and go provisioning.

We saw these berries at the edge of a parking lot. We didn't eat them, as we didn't know what they were. The occasional suburban black bears that come through around here would probably enjoy them, though.

Sam needed to stop at Party City, and look what we found!
All Rapuzel, all the time!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

I'm not posting today.

Well, if you're not going to post, I am, because otherwise all this wifi floating around goes to waste.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Ducky dress

I haven't posted pics of Elizabeth in a while, so I thought she could be our featured dolly for today. I made the dress. The wig is by Dollmore, and those are her original eyes.

I've been thinking about adding a few freckles. What do y'all think?

Yes, I know my backgrounds need work, but my house is a cluttered mess, so there you are.

eBay is your friend.

Just a reminder, kids, that my eBay store has some great stuff still for sale at great prices! I'll also be adding items this week, so keep checking back!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Bringing in September.

It's the beginning of September, but it still feels like August here. So we took a short trip.

Oh, lovely, it's nice and cool in here!

I wonder what Kevin is doing at that counter?

Yep, we're at Dairy Queen! A Heath Bar Blizzard makes a great treat to end the summer with.