Busy busy busy

While life has taken a big upswing for me lately, things are busier than ever around here – my husband and I are planning a move across the country!  We will be driving away from this awful lovely place at the end of May.

I’ve been bustling around the doll room this week, going through all the stuff and preparing to purge a lot of it.  Here’s just the MIB dolls that I’ll be putting up for sale:

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The loose stuff is already filling two boxes, yikes.  Hopefully I will be able to sell most of it to other folks on the Arena or through kijiji without losing too much money.  I paid too much for that stuff to take a large loss on all of it; we could really use that money to help us get established in our new home. :/

In addition to packing and cleaning, the imminent move has lit a fire under me to get work done on all the projects that I’ve been procrastinating for the last four years.  OMFG there are a lot of them. XD

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That pile of baits was awaiting the mighty dremel, and now some of their parts are now back in the bait bin (that Barbie actually has articulated feet but all the rest of the joints are crap so I just stole her legs xD).  I probably won’t be working with most of them any time soon, but the pieces will pack up smaller than whole dolls.  There are a lot of chores like this on my list.

20150409_020952One of the simpler projects, and the only one that’s mostly done so far, is this Novi/MH hybrid.  It’s a Tula Toned head on a MH dragon CaM body.  I painted the fins to match the Novi head better, and will eventually repaint Tula’s wings and tail too and add those (but that requires purchasing spray paint and we’re trying to pare down for the move).  I think she’s really cute, but it’s unfortunate that it’s a CaM body, because the lower limbs match Tula perfectly, but the upper limbs and torso are a paler/yellower shade of pink that is obvious in photos (especially at her knees). :/  I may have to do some more body painting on her to fix that later, but for now… oh well.

customizingcarryallThat’s my customizing carryall – you can see my Manny custom that I’ve been almost done sculpting since before his official doll was released…  There’s also a wip Princess Bubblegum head, a Disney Store Mother Gothel that’s getting turned into a punk cougar, the beginning of another Dragon CaM custom, the bratz boy that was my first faceup experiment, a Howleen/Novi custom that needs hair and eyes, and several clothing items that will get altered or deconstructed.  And all that is just the started projects – the tip of a very large iceburg.

I’m also working on some doll clothes for a very neglected friend, so those should be done relatively soon.  Also doing some custom amiibos to sell for cash, which will be finished in the next couple of weeks.  So yeah.. busy busy busy.  😀

 

Doll Review: MH Wydowna Spider – TRU exclusive

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This review is super late, but I’m so stoked about I ❤ Fashion Wydowna Spider that I don’t even care that she’s not newsworthy anymore.

To give a brief history of this character, in 2011 Wydowna was a contender in the SDCC doll election under the name “Daughter of Arachne”; she didn’t win the contest, but later ended up becoming the SDCC exclusive doll for 2013, and then this year she was given her first playline release as part of the TRU-exclusive ” I ❤ Fashion” line.

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The fact that Wydowna became a playline doll is honestly pretty amazing, and totally awesome.  Truly dark-skinned characters seem to be sadly few and far between when it comes to doll lines, and added to that Wydowna is an arguably creepy monster, being a six-armed poisonous spider and all – not exactly something you’d think a big corporation would market to girls.

She is so freaking cool.

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I was super-sad last year about not being able to get Wydowna’s SDCC doll; she’s so monstery plus the extra outfit was comic-book print! ..But this playline release is even better and more deliciously pop-arty.  ^_^  I even like the faceup better on ILF Wydowna; the blue/yellow is way more interesting and edgy than just red lipstick + silver eyeshadow.  (Here‘s the only decent comparison photo I could find.)

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Wydowna has pitch black skin, candy apple red hair (with a widow’s peak.. get it?), and 6 red eyes (2 normal human eyes + 4 arachnid eyes on her forehead).  Her lips are the same light blue as her eyeshadow, with black printed fangs.  The doll has six arms, each with a different hand mold.

wydowna buttonThis I<3F doll could really be considered Wydowna’s signature doll, imo, because not only is it her first playline release, but the default outfit is stylistically almost identical to her prototype outfit from the 2011 SDCC vote.  The comic-print dress is the same cowgirl-inspired style as her “signature” prototype dress, and the silver boots are recasts of her prototype boots as well.  I love love love the changes they made to her signature outfit for this release – the original was a little too country for my taste and the colors were clashy.

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It’s like she got a designer makeover..

20141109_160722I love the bold color scheme and while not necessarily fashionable, the geekified cowgirl style totally works somehow.  The dress is printed with actual art from the Webarella comic that came with the SDCC Wydowna doll; you can see the Webarella character at the bottom of the skirt.  ^^

20141119_134650It was a very pleasant surprise to find that the silver waist cincher is a separate piece from the dress.  I was so sure it was going to be sewn on, and am very happy that it is not; so much more mix and match potential!

There are spiderweb-shaped spurs on the heels that actually spin!

There are spiderweb-shaped spurs on the heels that actually spin!

The other outfits that come with this doll are equally as fabulous, and they’re all wonderfully color coordinated and continue the pop-art/comic theme.

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The yellow shoes are recasts of her SDCC alternate shoes; they are desperately in need of some paint to highlight the web detail, but otherwise everything about this outfit is totally on point.

The leggings are so damn awesome and I seriously want a pair in human size; the image on them is a comic-style cityscape, presumably also taken from the Webarella comic.

PicMonkey CollageSomehow I didn’t get any photos of the actual Wydowna doll in the third outfit, which is a striped mini skirt and wide-armed t-shirt with a pop-arty (and delightfully morbid) “splat” design on the chest, and coordinating white go-go boots that match the accompanying purse.  Fakie-wydowna didn’t quite fit in the other outfits, so the “splat” one seems to have become hers.

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Coordinating boots & purse (which actually opens up).

Coordinating boots & purse (which actually opens up).

Let’s talk about Fakie-wydowna for a minute, actually.  Back before ILF Wydowna was on store shelves and owning a version of her seemed an impossible dream, one of the mods on the MHArena was nice enough to place a group order on Taobao and through her I procured what is really a fantastic knockoff.

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She is very nearly identical to a real MH doll and actually came with recasts of SDCC Webarella’s boots which is a cool bonus.  The fake doll’s body is a slightly shiny recast of an actual MH doll with all the same articulation (and even all the same hand molds as the real Wydowna), and her head seems to be a modified recast of the real Wydowna’s; the fakie does not have sculpted eyeballs but otherwise looks identical to me.

The fakie’s hair is not nearly as nice a texture as the real deal, but the rooting is surprisingly good.   As a matter of fact, my husband could not tell the difference between the fake doll and the real one, and even stated a preference for the face on the fake one.  I was planning to reroot and repaint the fakie in different colors, but it’s kind of a shame to mess with her since she’s already quite nice. The only weird thing about Fakie-wydowna is that even though her body looks identical to real-Wydowna, her arms do not fit Wydowna’s clothes as well, they seem to take up more space somehow.

Well, I guess that’s about it for Wydowna and her bootleg counterpart..

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If I had to get rid of every Monster High doll but one – this Wydowna would be the one I’d keep.  She’s so wonderfully monstery and unexpected, and has such a strong, edgy, pop-art aesthetic (with her own actual comic book print on her clothes!).. she’s really everything I could ever have wanted in a doll!

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Doll Review: EAH Hat-tastic Cedar Wood

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Hat-tastic Party Cedar has been on shelves here for weeks now, way before the USA for once; I was planning on holding out for her signature doll, but after picking up a HT version for an Arena member I was too smitten to pass her up, especially since it seemed like Sig Cedar wasn’t ever going to come to Canada.

I am not a fan of the dresses in the Hat-tastic line (except Maddie’s), and did not plan on buying any dolls from the line because of it, but literally everything else about this Cedar doll is pretty wonderful and she started winning me over the first time I saw her in person. More

Details

The fantastically detailed accessories are one of the awesome things about Monster High dolls, and definitely one of the things that sets them apart from other toy lines.  I would love love love to know if the masters are sculpted digitally or by hand, ’cause damn they put some seriously tiny detail into this stuff.

Unfortunately because the brand has gotten so huge, they haven’t been putting as much paint on the accessories as they used to, and all that lovely sculpted detail gets lost.

A while ago, I painted Black Carpet Cleo’s purse for an ANTM challenge on the MH Arena, and this past week I painted a whole batch of accessories – it makes such a huge difference!

Here’s what I’ve done so far:

BC Cleo purse repaint

BC Cleo purse

MF Venus shoe collage

MF Venus shoes

Honey Swamp shoe repaint

Honey Swamp shoes

GNO Venus shoe collage

GNO Venus shoes

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FF Lagoonafire shoes

winx purse repaint

Winx purse

I’ve been pondering setting up an etsy shop for doll stuff, and putting some repainted accessories in it.  What do y’all think?

SDCC 2014 – Monster High & Ever After High

If you’re into Monster High or are just a geek in general, you probably know that the San Diego ComiCon took place this past weekend; this is the place where many of the big toy reveals for next year happen, and I’ve compiled a photo archive here of Monster High and EAH’s SDCC offerings.  They’re roughly in the order that they were shown at the con, and all of them should link through to their sources. More

Review: Ghoul Sports Spectra – MH doll

Ghoul Sports is a new line of Monster High dolls where the characters are all dressed for, and meant to be top players in, particular school sports.  There are currently three characters in this line – Spectra Vondergeist, Toralei Stripe, and Clawdeen Wolf – and the sports currently covered are tennis, soccer, and baseball.

As I mentioned in a previous post, my husband got me all three of the Ghoul Sports dolls; Spectra is the first one I deboxed, so she’s the first up for review. 🙂

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Now, I should probably mention that I am generally not a Spectra fan – I don’t care for her character in the webisodes or books, and I usually find her dolls pretty easy to pass on when I see them in stores (though she does often have some clothing items and accessories that I’d love to have).  Her severe cheekbones combined with the blank white skin and purple sclera.. it’s a combo that just doesn’t appeal to me somehow; she often looks like a bitchy Angelina Jolie impersonator.  However, Mattel seems to have softened her face sculpt recently, or maybe it’s just the makeup, but it is a really good change – Ghoul Sports Spectra is soft and pretty and fun. More

Review: C.A. Cupid – EAH doll

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C.A. Cupid (full name Chariclo Arganthone Cupid) started out as a Monster High character.  In that world she was a bone elemental and is the adopted daughter of Eros, the god of erotic love in Greek mythology (weird choice for a kid’s toy line, eh?). Her doll was introduced in the Monster High world near the end of 2011 as a Wal-Mart exclusive in the Sweet 1600 line, and she was part of the cast until early 2013, when she became the crossover character to Ever After High. More

Review: Legacy Day Raven Queen – EAH doll

Legacy Day Raven Queen is one doll that I’ve been waiting for a long time to buy; the LD dolls are priced quite high (~$35 in Canada) and I could never find one that had both good facial screening and a good outfit.  The initial releases of LD Raven all had bodices that were sewn so tight that the fabric was cracked and I thought it looked really bad, especially for such a pricey doll.  So when I finally stumbled across one that had a perfect dress, I snapped her up as quick as I could despite the doll being full price and having a bit of eye wonk (big thanks to Mr. Nerd for buying her for me! ^^).

(Of course, now that I’ve opened the doll, all the new ones on the shelves have un-stretched dresses, so I acted much too quickly and missed out on some great sales that would have got me this doll for almost half of what my husband paid.  These are the difficult lessons of a collector. XD)

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As I mentioned in my initial Ever After High post (and if you’re somehow not familiar with EAH, go read that one first), Raven Queen is the daughter of the Evil Queen from the Snow White fairy tale, and on Legacy Day at Ever After High, Raven’s supposed to pledge herself to her destiny and commit to being the next evil queen. More

Review: Curl ‘n Coil Tily Vizon – Novi Stars doll (+ Novi bodies comparison)

Tily Vizon is one of two “Curl ‘N Coil” Novi Stars dolls.  The CnC dolls are different from the other Novis in a couple of respects, namely that they are robots/cyborgs and have cyber dreads with a curling gimmick, but the CnC’s are also differently sized than the other Novi dolls (being bigger than the basics and smaller than the Stellar Skinz).

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The Curl n’ Coil dolls were one of the more recent waves of Novi Stars, which means that they did not make it into many stores, as far as I’m aware – they definitely were not on shelves here in Canada.  (She and Roe Botik are still for sale on Amazon, and are currently listed for less than the retail price that I paid.)  I bought Tily from Amazon about a year ago when I had an online credit, and I was super excited – I mean, c’mon, she’s a super cute cyberpunk cyborg alien doll with fantastic shoes and electrical plugs as hair! More

Review: Black Carpet Clawdeen Wolf – Monster High doll

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Black Carpet is the slim box line that goes along with the Frights, Camera, Action! dolls and movie, and it consists of four of the main characters dressed for walking down the redblack carpet for a movie premier.  The characters in this budget line are Cleo DeNile, Draculaura, Lagoona Blue, and Clawdeen Wolf; they’re all pretty fabulous except for Lagoona.  Clawdeen caught my eye right off the bat though, when we first saw photos of the line from NY ComiCon; her spiky earring and ornate neckpiece are just so fabulously bad-ass. More

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