Tuesday, March 31, 2015


March is when new toys get released locally both from Hasbro and Mattel. In the Mattel lineup, I only wanted resort Grace. The rest can wait until sale season.  With Hasbro, I want a number of Marvel Infinite Series figures both from last year and this year.

Local Hasbro distributors are doing the same gimmick once again of creating an illusion that there is a low supply. They did this with the Avengers movie figures back in 2012. They did this last year with the later waves of Marvel Infinite Series figures. And now they are doing it again with the 1st wave for 2015.

They just display a few pieces on the shelves to create an illusion that they ran out of stock, that a lot of collectors are panic buying. In a lot of toys stores I went, I asked for the Beast action figure and the sales clerks are trained to say that it was the first to ran out and that I should just get the other figures left. That was two weekends ago. Although I wanted what was left on the shelf, I don't want it that bad. I can wait for the sale so I left without buying. Luckily I was able to get one, and at a discounted price to boot.

In the collecting scene, the word "rare" is often misused. A lot of times, the rarity is controlled by the distributor and not the manufacturer. Just because it was made scarce in one location, Marvel Infinite Series figures are rarely rare. It just means that some other location got more shipment. And sometimes buying from that location is cheaper than buying locally. That is how I got my Sandman figure, from a secondary market at a discounted price.

I am not falling to the local distributor's trick once again. They created an illusion that the Ares, Valkyrie and Red She-hulk figures were rare. I was forced to get them at a secondary market. Although I got them at a price lower than the local distributor's original price, the distributor lately offered it at a much lower price. I should have waited but no, I became emotional about the low supply and the illusion of rarity.

Lessons learned.

Monday, March 30, 2015


This ensemble was specifically made for Aubrey. It's the second outfit I've made inspired by Audrey's gown from the movie Sabrina. The first was in 2011.

Of the dolls who have modeled my clothes this year, Aubrey is the first to model a second ensemble. (The first ensemble is here.) I really like this doll and to think she's a clone (head and body from two clone dolls). I have been playing with her since 2011. Who does that? These days, it's always about the new doll.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Barbie Style Glam Vacation (a.k.a. Barbie Style Resort) Grace

From the promo pictures, I have decided that this doll is a must-have for me. We'll go to the why's later but like most things, let's start with the name. Others call this wave as the Barbie Style Resort but the box clearly says it is Barbie Style Glam Vacation. The price tag at the back of the box agrees with the former. To keep it simple, let's just call her Grace.

Of the three dolls, I just wanted Grace. I initially like the hat on Barbie and Summer's outfit but the hat seemed very heavy and shiny in person while the pants are shiny, too.

Style can be timeless but timing factors in fashion and demand. Dolls should be made available while they are hot (or "trending" in today's words). I'm glad that it was the case for this doll. Usually, the dolls are released locally 6 months to over a year after it was popular in social media. They are passé by that time.

A proper and timely distribution means that the manufacturer and distributor know how to listen and cater to their client. And clients like me will continue to support them because of that. I'm done with jumping through hoops (like buying online) just to get a doll. If a toy company doesn't know how to make their toys reach me on time, my money won't reach them either. This doll passed the distribution criteria and that is one of the reasons why I'm glad to talk about this doll.

Another reason is the price. These are being sold at the same price as the stiff Fashionista dolls (which have become peg warmers and are now being sold at 30% off the original price in some stores). The fully articulated Barbie Style dolls are being sold over twice as much as this doll so they will be peg warmers as well, rightfully. These Glam Vacation dolls are reasonably priced and that is why they get my support unlike other Barbie dolls.

I also like Grace's style. It's a good idea that she can mix and match outfits later on. Blue is my favorite color but the main reason why I must have this doll is the strappy gladiator sandals.  Since I'm too lazy to create something like those, I opt to buy them. Not only is this doll freed from the high heels which most feminist see as a some sort of binding (like fashion doll collectors really care about that), dolls can now wear fashionable flat foot wear. Mattel should recreate them in different natural colors.

Grace compared to a clone Teresa head on a Nikki body

Speaking of colors, this Grace doll comes in a new (relative to the last year's Fashionista, Life in the dream house and Barbie style dolls) skin tone. Grace is slightly darker than Nikki. New skin tones will be added to the playline lineup as well but most of them come in stiff bodies.

As expected, flat footed Grace is shorter than the dolls with arched feet. The new foot design prevents her from wearing a lot of Barbie shoes. It also makes her shorter than other dolls.

There are some little details that I don't like about the doll. The lack of articulation (on the bust, ankle and knees) is one. The head is also little wobbly on mine. There's a little paint splatter on the bag. All of these I can take as long as there's a lot of saving grace.

Grace  typically uses the Mbili face mold. This Grace doll looks like she is still using the Mbili mold but inspecting the nape reveals that it is a new mold patented in 2011. The Mbili mold was patented in 2001.

Personally, I don't see any difference between the two, even in the size. I initially thought that Grace's head is bloated like the rest of the playline dolls but it is really nice to find out that I don't have to shrink her head. Her eyes needs to be smaller so she will be repainted later.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Horrifying Heroes

Deathlok and Ghost Rider

Today is Horrifying Heroes Day. It is celebrated internationally every decade. To celebrate this important trope in delusion propagation, I'm sharing some of the differently beautied heroes from the Marvel Universe.

Beta Ray Bill smashing the gorgeous face of Thor

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Marvel Universe Infinite Series Ares vs Sentry

Before I took this photo, I looked at myself in the mirror to see how I'd look like if I'm hitting somebody with an axe.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Marvel Universe Infinite Series Valkyrie

So I got burned out with making and talking about dresses and my dolls. That happens to every doll hobbyist. That is why we have other things to keep us busy. If fashion dolls take my mind off the real world, action dolls take my mind off fashion dolls. Plus, I haven't taken a decent picture of Valkyrie since I got her last year.

I think it's funny (and sad, if they don't realize it) when a doll collector passionately whines about dolls lacking articulation and then post photos of his/her dolls in a model muse pose.  In the same way, I feel sad when someone post photos of action dolls posing like fashion dolls. I can take some catalog-type photos of action dolls when used in a review or for documentation. I think something is lost when you take the action out of the action dolls. They'll just be dolls.

I wanted to take a photo of Valkyrie in action, (duh) but I know nothing about handling a sword. I don't just want to show her handling a sword, I want to show some of her intensity. I found the drawing below and used it as an inspiration.

The trick is how to get her to pose like that. I hang her on a string. She kept spinning so it was hard to take a clear shot. It's not that great, I know. I deleted over a hundred (no exaggeration) of more blurry pictures. I wanted some light on Dragonfang (her sword) but I have limited light sources. There's a blank look on her face which doesn't help. Looking back, I should have just adjusted the light so that there is some shadow on her face but then I was shooting a moving subject. How am I supposed to set that up? What the heck!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


...get this series over and done with. This is the last piece for this series. So there.

And of course, the ritualistic group photo.

I figured, I talk too much about a dress. And who's got the patience?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


I can't imagine myself mass producing any dress I have made. I don't have the patience to do the same things over and over. This is the 5th variation of the drip outfit and although I was looking forward to see how this will turn out, I was not looking forward to sewing basically the same thing. The repetition will end in my meltdown. After this collection, I will just sew any outfit I want when I want. No more themes.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Ken doll shoes?

The first thing that came to mind when I saw the photo above are Ken doll shoes. They are Superstar shoes by Adidas. I wonder if Mattel will follow suit.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Another Jianidi

I got me another Jianidi doll from that far off place. I got it for about 50% off the original price. There were two dress colors left for the Girl Feelings doll, yellow and this. I realized too late that a photo of the three dresses together (I already have the pink one) might look interesting. Plus, who knows when I'll need another articulated body that can work with the Peace skin tone. I might go back to get another with a yellow dress. You'll never know when they'll run out of stock.

The problem with clone toys in general is that they don't have the longevity in the toy shelves. Once they've sold out, you can't expect the manufacturer to produce another variant. The only reason why these these Jianidi dolls haven't sold out (despite the interest based on the statistics on searches that land visitors in this blog) is that the store is in a remote location and I don't even know the exact address. I just know how to get there.


A few weeks after this entry, the Jianidi dolls have been sold in major toy stores. They don't really sell well maybe due to quality issues posted in another entry.

Thursday, March 12, 2015


There is nothing like bright colors and a bright smile to cheer someone up. I like serious looking dolls but there are days when we can use all the smiles we can get.

Teresa is wearing a purple skirt and an apricot (or is it peach) top with an asymmetrical hem with a drip detail and red yoke. And yes, the fairy boots for the quirk.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Christie's personality really shined in this photo but she kinda took the attention from the outfit. That's not how a good model does it.

Aside from the drip detail, these outfits have shift tops. I'm also experimenting on color blocking. Unlike in the first outfit, the colors used here aren't that bold. The outfit seems dull, shapeless and faded when compared to the bright background colors above but they doesn't seem so in the photo below.

The shoes came from a clone Barbie. I'm glad they fit since Christie's feet (which were originally Tiana's) are bigger than your regular Barbie.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Drip Drop

Drip drop, I do my dance like
Drip drop, drip drippity drop
Drip drop, drip drippity drop
- from Drip Drop Lyrics (Empire)

The drip detail on the shift blouse was carried over from the previous dress. I used a different yoke shape and coupled it with pants. I used fairy boots for an added quirk.We'll be seeing more variations of this in the coming entries.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Continuous Learning

I don't claim to be an expert on fashion, styling and dress making.  I try to study them whenever I can, and apply what I learn in the doll clothes that I make.

I find it silly that I can't even describe my work because I'm not aware of the jargon. Aside from English not being my mother tongue, my background in world of fashion is non-existent.

In addition to exposing myself more to the world of fashion, I have decided to use my blog to take down notes. I have added a page to store my notes. I will update this page as I learn more.

Although I'm exposing myself more to fashion, I'm selective with what I'm exposing myself to. I let my sense of style limit me. Although my style is still evolving, I generally have a sense of what I like and what I find off-putting.

It's not what's popular that's going to make me excited. It's not what other people will say. Style is my conscience that will guide me in this new world I'm exploring.

Some Toilet Humor

Deandra The New Girl's 1st single
Featuring Daft Poop


Monday, March 2, 2015

D' Drip

The blouse have a drip detail on the hem. I got the idea from Phillip Lim's pre-spring/summer 2015 collection.