Showing posts with label thoughts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label thoughts. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Fake Wonder Woman Doll

I have been struggling on whether or not I should post a review of a fake Wonder Woman doll. On one side, a review is a publicity for the product. Whether it is a good or bad publicity, it still is publicity. I have personal reasons not to promote this product. On the other hand, this might be useful to underprivileged people who have limited resources to access the original doll. Also, this can inform buyers on how to spot a fake, especially if it has been turned to something irresistible by an OOAK artist. But then again, everything we do is both good and bad.

I decided to go ahead and publish this. With this I can reflect on how big companies like Mattel seem to be complicit with what's happening to the world. Big companies brought their businesses to China, a major source of counterfeit items, a country who takes over territories of other countries, and a country with questionable data privacy (even for Apple tech). Big companies go to China because it is cheaper even if they risk their trademarked products to be counterfeited. If big companies use the low price as an excuse to patronize a dangerous country, what more can regular people like us do? Only the privileged would feel entitled to blame the consumers of cheap counterfeits.

We bought Chinese made products (fake or not). We contributed to the income of the Chinese government and indirectly supported their endeavors. That's the reality. We took part in making China that way.

Back to the doll...

From the first look, one can tell the difference from the original Mattel Wonder Woman doll. For starters, the doll is loosely packed inside the box, making the doll inside have a different pose with each box. The harness is missing along with the lasso. The hair is messy. The elbow joints are different and there is no shoulder cut. There is also a "3+" printed on the upper right corner of the box.

One of the first thing to be noticed after taking the doll out of the box is the smell. It smells like burnt rubber or wiring. It mostly comes from the body. I have washed the doll and it has been days since I washed it but the smell is still there. For this reason, I will not let a child handle this toy. We don't know the danger it could bring.

The doll has a beautiful face and seems to look like the original. I can't be sure as I don't have the original. The body looks like a fashionista clone with molded underwear. The neck peg is also different. All the gear can be removed with some force. The bustier/armor is attached to the body using hot glue. It is a little difficult to remove the glue as it is sticky even if it has partially hardened.

The hair is only partially rooted like most clone dolls. The hair is not locked on the head and can be easily pulled out. The headband/tiara is a attached to the head using hot glue so some hair will be pulled out by removing the headband. 

The head has no marking. If the doll has been repainted and rerooted, one can try looking for the Mattel marking on the head to see if the doll is authentic. 

Gold colored plastic is used for the armor and weapons. In the original version, silver colored plastic is used for the arm bands and sword. The back of the armor is not painted. The design on the shield is a dragon instead of an eagle (or some other bird) in the original.

The shoes can be split apart in the middle and snapped back together. There is no elastic band that attaches behind the knee. The doll cannot bend at the knee while wearing the boots. The skirt uses velcro for closure. The hands has to be removed before removing the arm bands.

I first learned about the doll from an online seller. It was being sold for PhP250 (roughly US$5). It can be bought for cheaper in the usual places where fake products are being sold.

It would be nice if toys like the Wonder Woman doll is easily accessible to kids to help remind them of her story and what she stands for even if the movie is no longer being shown. It would be nice if the Wonder Woman doll is sold in local toy stores at a reasonable price (a price low enough that you wouldn't mind handing the doll to a child despite the chance of being destroyed) but it's not.

Because Mattel.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

I'm Dreaming of a Colored Christmas

I'm thankful that Mattel has made the following changes on the Barbie Fashionista line this year:

1. Less pink in everything from fashion to accessories.
2. More unnatural hair colors
3. New face molds

What I'm not thankful for is the absence of some dolls, especially dolls of color, not only in the playline Fashionista line, but also in the collector dolls. Here are just some of the dolls that didn't make it to the Philippine toy shelves.

I would have paid full retail price for those, but since I was frustrated, I decided to wait until discounts were offered on all Mattel doll I'd buy. It really makes me smile, a smile that goes deep inside, whenever I see the white dolls not being sold even if they are already discounted, especially the blonde ones.

I feel like a broken record complaining about this over and over but I will not be silenced. I might get tired and rest for a while but I will keep talking about the things that matters to me. The least I could do about the situation is to speak up. Yes, I could buy them online but what about an ordinary person who wants to give a doll to a kid and at the same time send a message that beauty comes in different colors? Collectors can handle the hassle of buying online (yes, locally it is a hassle) because it's their passion but you can't expect that from a casual buyer.

What we see in toys, is usually what we are familiar with in ordinary our lives. When some dolls are restricted from entering the Philippines, it reminds me of immigrants or refugees being restricted entry in some foreign white country. Also, the absence of these dolls in the local toy shelves reflects the Filipino notion of beauty being connected to skin color, something a lot of local parents have no shame in passing on to their kids. The best selling beauty products are still related to skin whitening.

I've been collecting dolls for about 10 years now and I've heard about the problem on the lack of ethnic diversity in dolls from the time I started collecting.  I thought this has been addressed when they released the 1st wave of the Barbie Basics line but it was short-lived. While foreign markets are satisfied with the changes, I can't say the same for the local front. I'm dreaming of doll shelves with ethnic diversity unlike the ones I used to know.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Peace Keeper

It could be China's claim on disputed territories causing tension in the region. It could be the rise of murder and extra-judicial killing victims in our country. It could be the diplomatically-challenged pronouncements of our president about going against the world while teaming up with Russia and China, even if we have territorial disputes with the latter (or, technically, as far UNCLOS is concerned, it's no longer a dispute because we've already won the case). Or it could be the U.S. (economic, military and political) forces in our country making us feel like a manipulated colony. These just call for peace keepers, not the United Nations kind. Not yet, anyways. (Things can still be handled with media spinning, trolling and misinformation.) I was thinking of peace keepers of the mind. Peace of mind is a luxury these days.

For me, toys helps with the peace keeping of the mind. What better way to do it than with the World Peacekeepers toy line? I, of course, picked up the Asian-looking doll. No matter how faithful I was to the American toy brands, they failed to address my need for a respectable male Asian doll. I have no choice but to patronize a Chinese toy brand even if I don't like everything I'm getting from the deal. Their male Asian doll looks respectable and not culturally misappropriated like some of those made by American brands. I just don't like the deadly weapons. They don't scream peace, right? And I'm not a fan of military fashion.

I saw at least three Asian-looking dolls. They seemed like they have the same face but with different hairstyles. I picked this one because of the ladder it came with. It also came with one pair of bare hands and another pair wearing gloves. The other variants only have gloved hands. It also has the least military-looking attire. He can even look like a meth cook. Our president will be pissed. He also has a balaclava, in case he wants to be a vigilante and support our president.

If there is such a thing as having too much chest, this doll has it. It is a little shorter than my other male dolls, providing at least some height variety. It has better articulation than your average Ken doll. The "best" part of this Chinese deal is the price, which is said to be a product of one-sided trade policies of China. That makes me wonder what one-sided deal our president recently got from China.

My patronizing this Chinese brand does not mean I will say goodbye to the American brand. It doesn't have be just one or the other. Making contradicting sides work together is key for world peace. I, thank you!

Monday, August 15, 2016


There are a lot of stuff that take my mind away from dolls. Okay, it's just Pokémon Go, lately. Although it's fun right now, I have a feeling I'll get over it soon.

It's not the long walks that will eventually make me quit. It's not the crappy network connection, no matter how frustrating it is. It's not really the cheaters. It's about how many people are playing that may make me quit sooner.

I was hoping to take advantage of the rainy day, expecting not a lot of people will visit the parks. I was so disappointed.

I was hoping to catch me some Pokémon while strolling alone in the park in the rain, away from the lure parties the malls were having. When I got to the park, everyone was already in their spot near the lures, just waiting. I couldn't find a safe spot. By safe, I mean away from anyone who might try to strike a conversation (one of the greatest fears of an introvert) but still get a benefit from a lure, any of the dozen lures. I just decided to walk away. I had an egg to hatch, anyway.

I did stop whenever my phone vibrated because a Pokemon was nearby and it vibrated a lot. I was busy trying to catch a Rattata when I heard someone from a passing car shouted, "look, he's playing Pokemon." Getting attention is one fear of an introvert so it was very uncomfortable for me even if I had no idea if I was the person referred to. There were about a dozen guys there that seemed to be playing Pokémon, too. Then I said to myself, "who cares?"  It's not like there's anything wrong with playing Pokemon. That was when I knew I was momentarily normal.

Unlike playing with dolls, adults can play Pokemon publicly without getting curious or judgemental stares. It doesn't matter even if a kid 20 yrs younger is twice my level. There's no judgment. (I have a day job as an excuse, in case there is.)  It's nice for once to be part of some sort of hive mind, controlled to go wherever by our smartphones we thought we control. It's fun to let go of personal critical thinking for a while and just be part of a hive. And don't you dare criticize the hive, we will swarm you. The hive will keep us safe, even if your car is about to crash, or you're about to step on a landmine, or you're about to be shot for trespassing. It doesn't matter. You won't be long as you're normal, like the hive.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Is Racism Being Promoted in Mattel Barbie Boxes?

To not ship Black dolls to international markets because they don't sell well is one thing. To deny their existence by removing their images on the boxes is another.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Denial Exercise

I have a problem with the look-at-the-bright-side mentality. The not-so-bright side doesn't get enough attention. I think that is why we have necks, to help us look at every side, bright or not. I'm a self-confessed pessimist so that should be expected of me.

At least, I don't know anyone personally who was affected when it was revealed that Captain America is an agent of Hydra. I did saw online reactions of some fans, mostly of disbelief, thinking/hoping that there will be a twist somewhere down the line. 

I'm more concerned with how people are not reacting when someone says that if you are a corrupt journalist, you might as well expect to be assassinated. This is from the same person who finds it appropriate to kill criminals even before they are tried. Look at the bright side. At least, there will be less criminals and corrupt journalists.

As of late, there has been a number of alleged criminals being killed. What can stop a cop, or somebody else, from killing a civilian and make it look like the victim is a criminal? How difficult could it be to plant evidences against a dead person? Bag and tag the body as a drug dealer or as a corrupt journalist and a common person will sleep soundly at night.

After reading the news about an alleged criminal who was killed, how many people will ask themselves if the dead person was indeed a criminal? Who can review the evidences? How can someone appeal to reverse the judgement? Due process, all that is taken away, not just from the person who was killed but from everybody who knows that the due process is part of what keeps us safe.

Somebody is killing our due process. Should we kill the murderer?

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Hero vs Hero

After watching the hero vs hero movies from DC and Marvel, I can't help notice some similarities. Here are some.

In Batman vs Superman (BVS), there was no clear motivation why Lex Luthor is doing what he's doing. He just seems crazy. Making  a character crazy is an easy way out compared to creating a backstory to explain the villain's motivation.

In Civil War (CW), Helmut Zemo may have a backstory but it wasn't shown. It was just told. The objective was, of course, not to make the audience empathize with the villain. The reveal of the villain's backstory was used to enlighten another character, T'challa. I also didn't get why Zemo had to reveal that he framed up Bucky. He could have destroyed the evidence and released the video of Tony Stark's parents, to further fuel Tony's anger earlier on. 

Both movies lack an interesting villain. At least, BVS had Doomsday.

In both hero vs hero movies, I wasn't moved by any side. I didn't empathize with Superman and I feel Batman is too angry and afraid. I thought Batman was a good detective. He should have made a thorough investigation to see if Superman was indeed a threat. Superman, on the other hand, just didn't seem to care at all with what's going on around him.  He didn't have a clue that he was being set up. A quick x-ray scan of the building could have saved a lot of people.

I wasn't Team Iron-man nor Team Cap as well.  I understand Tony felt the guilt for the collateral damage while Steve has this guilt of not being able to save his friend. The thing is, it was hard to share their guilt. Didn't we celebrate when the heroes defeated the villains even if we knew that there was some damages, some lives lost? Didn't we rationalize how the death toll could be higher had the Avengers didn't do what they did? Tony's guilt may be sensible but I felt it wasn't strong enough to make me side with him. I've always seen him as a person with a big ego so his wanting himself placed under some organization's control also doesn't make sense.

I don't also didn't get Cap. How could he place so many people's life in danger just to save someone who can already save himself? I feel for all the soldiers he beat up just to keep Bucky safe. Also, Chris Evans is not a great actor. For those who is used to watching action and sci-fi movies may find his abilities good enough but not me. Maybe I'd appreciate him more if he had a nude scene.

The issues between heroes for both movies could have been settled diplomatically but then the movie would have a lot of talk time, less action scenes. The truth is, a lot of us only wanted to see a brawl between two or more heroes. At least, we got that. It doesn't have to make sense.

Losing a parent is no laughing matter but when it is overused, it becomes a cliche like in both movies. People who get to hear that story over and over will eventually get desensitized.  Yeah, it adds to the backstory, giving a clear motivation. It's also adds to the drama but it's getting... *yawns* Speaking of drama, Steve should have died in CW, for the sake of drama... or comedy if you get the point.

Both BVS and CW introduced new characters that will eventually be part of the team. BVS storytellers are really too lazy imagining an incident where the introduction was called for. The introduction doesn't really add to the story. The same is true with adding Ant-man and Spider-man, even the return of Hawkeye. They were just added for the rumble because it is what we really paid for. (T'challa's appearance fit in the story, so I don't see a problem there.)  If you are going against your own team, the same people whom you somewhat trusted before, why would you turn to someone new, someone whose reliability hasn't been tested yet? Why did Steve trusted Ant-man and why was Tony bringing in a kid to a fight? What have these new characters done to gain the trust of the older characters? What if they were Hydra? Are Steve and Tony really evil such that they are willing to sacrifice the safety of other people just to further their goal?

I really think some of them should die already, like Cap and Hawkeye. They died in the comics. It reminds me of beauty pageant question: if you're going to die, why not now? At least, Superman died.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Little Steps

Filipinos can really be cruel toward dark-skinned people. Recently, a local celebrity posted a photo of her baby on Instagram.  A certain @joan132132 left a mean comment calling the six-month old baby "negra" (black) and "panget" (ugly). The netizens condemned the cruelty of user @joan132132 forcing her to terminate her account. Bianca Gonzales, the mother, narrated in a later post, how she herself was bullied for having dark skin when she was 10 years old. I really fear for my 8-year old nephew who has a dark skin.

A lot of Filipinos normally have dark skin. It's just sad that Filipinos were taught to hate themselves for what they are. It's deeply rooted, being a colony of people with light colored skin (like Spaniards, Americans and Japanese) for around three centuries. It cannot be easily unlearned in one go, especially if someone is benefiting from the idea that a light colored skin makes someone better, not even if you flood the toy shelves with black dolls.

But I still think that little steps matter. Having black dolls on local toy shelves help. It gives kids the idea that dark-skinned dolls, like people, are fun, too. It gives kids the opportunity to include dark-skinned people in their happy imagination. Through play maybe kids can associate positive feelings towards a dark-skinned person because most of us just can't.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Black Adjectives

I recently bought The Barbie Look Sweet Tea. I opted not to do the usual photo/review post since the doll has been criticized enough. I also don't  want to promote the doll mainly because of the marginal satisfaction one can get from it and to think that it costs around US$45 locally (more if bought from online sellers) versus US$30, the suggested price for America. I think there's a paradox there somewhere, a person from a third world country paying more than someone from a first world country for the same frivolous thing.

I'm digressing. I didn't want to talk today about paradox. I wanted to talk about adjectives, adjectives we associate with black dolls to be exact. In my previous post, I mentioned the need to associate positive images to the black dolls. Black dolls don't need to just be present. They also need to have a positive image.

The first adjective is artsy. In the original Fashionista line, the black doll was associated to the word artsy. The black doll was never labeled glam, sporty nor sweetie, only artsy. What's wrong with artsy? Artsy involves pretension. Between artsy and artistic, you want to go with artistic.

In my previous post, I mentioned how the black dolls from the Barbie Basics and The Barbie Look series sold out quickly. If you asked the collectors what they liked about the black model muse dolls, a lot would say they like how fierce the dolls were. Our second adjective is fierce. Fierceness can be seen as a show of power and we see power as a positive image. This kind of power is, however, associated with aggressiveness. Although aggressiveness can be called for a lot of the time, there are also other ways of displaying power, like in a cool, calm, and collected manner. The black presidential Barbie was never sold locally, neither were the queenly looking black Holiday dolls. The image of the black dolls displaying non-aggressive power didn't reach our country.

So today, I want to try another adjective on a black doll. In the Barbie Fashionista line, a white doll had a monopoly to the word "sweetie". In The Barbie Look line, this adjective was echoed by a white Sweet Tea doll. Why not associate the adjective sweet to someone black?

In recent releases, there were black dolls that portrayed sweetness. They just didn't reach our country. I also noticed that I don't have a lot of sweet looking black dolls. They either look fierce, somber, or beautifully pissed. My smiling black dolls don't look sweet with their heavy makeup. I could have been unconsciously made to think that black dolls can't be sweet. I had to do something.

The problem is I'm not black, so the image above doesn't have a black perspective. I don't know how it is to be black. I'm actually think that the doll I styled looks a little oreo. I am not saying black dolls should be dressed like that to make their image positive. I'm just saying white dolls don't have a monopoly for certain looks and adjectives.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Black Barbie Embargo

"I was nervous to go up the stage to receive my medal," my 8-year old nephew told me. I asked him why. "They laughed at me during practice because of my dark skin. I was afraid they would laugh at me again."

I may not have a dark skin, based on Filipino standards, and I have enjoyed some privileges based on my looks, but still I get little heart breaks every time anyone makes fun of someone dark-skinned like my nephew. That is why the on-going Black Barbie embargo is troubling for me.

I noticed the embargo on black Mattel dolls early last year when they started releasing these stiff Fashionista. Everyone in the lineup was available locally except for Nikki. The same thing happened with the Life in the Dreamhouse dolls. The Nikki doll was not sold locally. The Barbie Style dolls with ankle joints landed locally without Nikki nor Grace. While the western world was celebrating the racial diversity in the Barbie Fashionista lineup, our part of the world was short changed with the absence of certain dolls (pictured below) from the local toy stores. Not pictured but was also not made available locally was the dark-skinned Made To Move doll with the Asha head. In my 8 years of collecting Barbie dolls, I have never seen a black Holiday Barbie sold in the local primary market.

"Embargo" and "banned" may have been strong words and since the dolls mentioned above can be bought by hook via online sellers, with an extra cost, of course. Some dark-skinned dolls also made it to local toy shelves like the burgundy haired doll I bought. Those beach themed dolls always make made it to local toy shelves even if they are dark skinned. Dark skin and beaches goes together, I guess. Or were they made available because they look more Latina than Black??? (My burgundy haired doll look more Latina.) The collector dolls have, at least, better luck. Some of the locally sold The Barbie Look dolls have dark skin. The story changed recently.

Now, adult collectors no longer has easy access to dark-skinned doll as demonstrated by the absence of the Night Out doll from the last The Barbie Look release. This is silly because based on experience, starting from the very first Barbie Basics line, the blacks dolls are the first ones to get sold out. That is true even with the stiff Barbie Look dolls. In major toy stores, there is still a lot of white Barbie Look dolls available but none of the black ones (because they sold out). It makes no sense why the Night Out doll, which has a good chance of being sold out, was not sold locally. Could it be because of the recent change in the leadership in Mattel?

Initially, I thought our local distributor was at fault. Maybe they didn't order the dolls because black dolls don't sell well locally. I have no sales record to confirm that but it is what most Mattel apologists say. If you look at the things our local distributor has no control over, like the packaging, you will realize that even before the dolls were boxed, someone already made sure that they won't be officially distributed in certain markets. Did you notice how the black dolls are missing in the packaging of Barbie Fashionista and Made to Move dolls?

I can't think of a dark-skinned Filipino, especially with ethnic features, who is regarded with high esteem locally. We do have a dark-skinned Filipino in a high position in the government but a lot of people see him as a corrupt official. The only dark-skinned character my 8-year old nephew looks up to is Nick Fury and he's not even black in the comics. It is important to me to have positive images like power, beauty, kindness and intelligence, to name a few, to be associated to an image of someone with a dark skin. It's for my nephew. This is where Mattel and Richprime could have helped. 

I don't understand how Mattel is willing to promote diversity in certain parts of the world but not in others. It sounds a little discriminatory to me.

Why should you make my concern, your concern? If your a non-racist white person, you probably have  a number of Black friends. You wouldn't want your friends to experience what Elayne narrated in the video below. 

Let's keep this from happening ever again. Help associate positive images with black people and make these images available worldwide, not just where black people lives. This includes having black Barbie dolls on the Philippine toy shelves.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Reviewing reviews because we can do that.

I've been following this guy on Youtube for his toy reviews, mainly for the action dolls. I don't really find his reviews insightful. I just wanted to know what is available in the local market so I follow different local toy collectors in various social media. So basically, I don't treat them as toy reviews but as local toy news or advertisements. I just want to know what's available or how to get it, in case I'm interested.

It was a surprise for me that he posted a video review for fashion dolls.  Although I don't agree to a lot of what he said, I give him respect for doing that review.  Not a lot of men are comfortable in handling dolls. Dolls are like kryptonite to their son of Martha. 

In another review done by another guy, gender insensitivity is my major concern.

Although the Daredevil is the main character, I don't think the women are just there to be his love interests.  It's ironic that he finds that the womanizing part "didn't work." By that, I'm assuming he meant that it was not a good idea or it wasn't handled well. But he liked the idea of having the female casts pit against each other for the Daredevil's love. What's up with Team Elektra? Team Claire? Team Karen? I think it was a very male-centered view of the situation.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

A Doll of The World Entry

There are a lot of Dolls of the World (DOTW) peg warmers in the various local toy stores. There is no news of any upcoming dolls in that line. It might as well be dead. Ever wonder how that happened?

Starting 1980, Mattel released Barbie dolls with various ethnicities, like the first Black and Oriental Barbie dolls. Although criticized for a lot of cultural misappropriations or lack of authenticity, it wasn't enough to totally kill the line. It brought different faces to Barbie's circle. It was actually one of the major selling points for these dolls.

Now, ethnic diversity can be had from different Barbie lines. This was one of the reasons why the Barbie Basics was a hit. It was the same for the university cheerleader dolls. (The Barbie look flopped partly because they insisted on including the Mackie and Aphrodite molds a number of times.) With these lines, you get the diversity in ethnicity without the cultural misappropriation. Plus, the idea of getting just one doll is not enough. Collectors welcome the diversity so most bought a few, if not all, of the dolls in a line.

Now the same formula is being used for the current Fashionista line up. You don't have to pay a "collector" price for a DOTW doll just to harvest the head. It is now easier to snag a Lea/Kayla, Mbili or Goddess face molds. These are usually reserved for the collector and exclusive dolls. You also get a reusable piece of clothing with no cultural issues, hopefully.

So what's the point of collectors buying DOTW these days? I'm really fine with them gone AS LONG AS the diversity is present in at least one of their lines available globally.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

And Now

I noticed that the Get Real Girls body is a tall body. Note that she is wearing flats in the photo. If she were to wear heels, she'll be a lot taller. She has big feet.

Another alternative to the tall Barbie bodies are the Integrity doll bodies, like the African-American on the left. Of the 3 new Barbie body types, the tall body is receiving the least amount of praise since there are better articulated tall dolls around. If ever I will be getting any tall Barbie, I only will be getting it for the head, so I will wait until they are on sale. If stocks run out, it's no big deal.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Go Make Your Own Happiness

I have always felt alienated from the privileged collectors from the West. Whenever they post something that is not available locally I am overcome with this sense of materialistic envy. I'm not saying that others should stop flaunting their toy hauls. I have no right to say that. Plus, placing the responsibility of my happiness on others is just so wrong. I just want to name what I'm feeling: alienation and envy. I'm just owning it. Like I've said before, I can handle some negativity. 

They say that the first step in transforming anything is owning it. One cannot change what one has no control over. One way of taking control is owning it. I have made use of other's toy photos to make myself a petite doll. I can do the same to make an overweight doll.  The envy can be transformed into creativity. The alienation is what offers this different perspective and flavor to my blog. I haven't read a doll blog like mine. So there.

The stiff Barbie Fashionista with the new body types are not yet available locally. I like the concept but not the lack of articulation. Lammily isn't available locally at a reasonable price. There is a someone selling a Rosie O'Donnell doll since last year but I have been putting off buying it.  The seller then offered it at a lower price so that sealed the deal. I'm not a Rosie fan and I have a spare Raquelle head. I'm glad that I don't have to shrink another huge head. After a wardrobe change, I was inspired to make this video:

Dressing her up is more challenging than dressing the new curvy Barbie.  The curvy Barbie can share a lot of the original Barbie's clothes. My overweight doll can't but she is inspiring enough to make me sew more clothes for her. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Keeping Appearances

I saw a me-you meme circulating a few days ago. It got me thinking. A lot of people who are into fashion dolls know how to be judgemental based on looks. That includes me.

Lammily has a boring wardrobe compared to Barbie. Let's be honest. But so does Mark Zuckerberg.

Maybe someone who has bigger things to do doesn't want to sweat the small stuff.

Why do we want to look a certain way? A lot of times, it is because we are manipulated to follow certain rules. We have a dress code at work. We have a dress code in life. If you fail to comply, you are punished or shamed. If you follow the rules, you are rewarded.

Mark Zuckerberg can get away with a boring wardrobe because he is more or less a powerful person. A lot of rules, like fashion rules, are really meant to control the plebeians, to keep the powerful in power. People who break the rules and not experience ill repercussions are the powerful ones. So if you want to know how powerful you are, go break a rule.

The next time you judge a person for breaking some fashion rule, ask yourself. Is that person exercising or testing his/her power? Or are you just being a fashionable commoner? Somebody has to worry about the petty things.

More good vibes in the article below:

10 Amazing Things That Start Happening When You Stop Giving A Sh*t About Being Weird

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Average Shaming

  1. I sometimes want to be average. Anyone who is not average knows that not being average involves more challenges. A lot of things, laws and belief systems have been designed with an average person in mind.
  2. Mattel being not the original company to create curvy dolls only has to learn from the mistakes of the pioneers. Lammily was criticized partly for shaming the slim body type of Barbie. Mattel only has to learn the lesson and include more body types. Plus, smaller companies have less resources  to produce diversity in both dolls and fashion. 
  3. The criticism on Barbie's body was already there long before the inception of Lammily. Mattel did not act on that so some other company had to. Should Mattel and the Barbie brand be disparaged? Definitely. They ignored the critics. They could have released the curvy Barbie long before but they just don't want to (for whatever reason) until they learned that it can be profitable. It's all about the money.
  4. I just hope that the person who wrote the above entry didn't resort to average shaming. I didn't like that it implied being average is a bad thing that nobody wants. (I could have posted this entry as a comment to the original entry but I felt that would be shaming the person who wrote it. That is why the source was withheld.)

Monday, January 25, 2016


It should be apparent that I'm no millennial. I don't strive to get a number of likes or followers. It's easy to find people who has the same fashion sense or hobby as I do but I don't call them friends. Friends enrich each others lives by sharing their selves, their ideas and experiences. Who doesn't want that?  Who doesn't want meaningful relationships?

Saturday, January 23, 2016


You may have noticed that sometimes, this blog leaves a negative aftertaste.  I can understand that for someone who has the same view as the posted commentary below, this blog can be unsavory. Not everyone is strong enough to handle a little unprettiness. It takes a lot to see the pretty in the "unpretty". We all have our weaknesses.

Maybe it's not about the ability to handle negativity but opting not to handle it. Real life has enough negativity that some people need respite. One word comes to mind: escapism. I have no inkling about the tragedies one underwent to resort to escapism so let's leave it at that.

I'm a self-confessed pessimist. If you give me a plan, I can usually come up with scenarios on how it will not work. The process of engaging the negative doesn't end there. The weak usually gets demotivated while the stronger ones come up with better plans. Be reminded that it was a pessimist who invented things like the parachute and the airbag.

Western culture values the positive over the negative. I prefer the the Eastern view of balancing both sides.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Messy fit

One of my fashion related pet peeves is ill-fitting clothes, especially those that could lead to a "wardrobe malfunction" (read:hello booobies). Sometimes, I'd like to tell others, "there is supposed to be a waist (for the sheath silhouette),"  or "I don't think there should be draping or ruching on the crotch (for pants)," or "her boobs are too small for that bodice, you can fit another set of boobs in there," but saying things like that can hurt feelings. So we participate in deluding one another by giving false praises. It's part of fitting in.

I like well-fitted clothes more than fitting in certain societies. I rarely leave praises so other people don't have to feel obliged to return the favor.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Looking Forward

During the every of the year a few years back, I was looking forward to the upcoming doll releases. Once it was the Barbie Basics, then the Fashionistas and so on. This year there are a few dolls I'm looking forward to get but not with much eagerness I used to.

If you noticed, I don't blog about upcoming releases. It's a way to control my desire to get the new dolls. If there is one thing I've learned from collecting dolls, it's to not get too emotional.

There is little logic used in collecting toys. A lot has to do with sentiments and emotions in deciding what to buy or dispose. The way we value dolls does not depend on need nor functionality. Emotionally healthy adults can live without dolls. 

I have been too excited about some toys. It wasn't pretty. It was crass actually! I hunted like crazy for the toy everywhere--every physical toy stores and online. When I can't get the toy, I feel sad and then mad at the people who made it impossible for me to get them. Imagine all that energy wasted just to get a desired toy. And for what, a few hours of enjoyment? After which you find another toy to desire so the cycle continues.

When I started to write this entry, I wanted to discuss how not buying any Barbie Look doll could be my greatest hobby-related accomplishment this year. I realized that there is a bigger accomplishment. It's the certain maturity. It's the realization that whether or not you get the toy you desire, things will be fine.

I still look forward to buying new dolls but I look forward to being okay even if I can't have it. I don't want the emotional baggage of wanting something bad. I look forward to not be emotionally manipulated by ads and promotions. I want this hobby to be stress-free.

It's like the recent Ms Universe pageant result. I was fine with Pia not taking home the crown but I 'm okay with her winning. No matter what the outcome, I'll be fine.