Sunday, March 25, 2012

Where the boys aren't

Boy dolls in general don't interest me, but I sometimes appreciate them in photos posted online. Out of all the dolls I own (er... a lot?*) only around a dozen of them are male, and all but four were purchased at thrift shops. I can think of four male dolls I've purchased new: Shave 'n Style Ken (the African American version, I neeeeded that headmold), Ken as Mulder in the X-Files gift set, Frank Sinatra, and James Dean. The latter two were found at Big Lots many years ago at deep discount. (It saddens me to report the local Big Lots no longer exists.)

This is why I was a little surprised by how much I wanted Jake to still be available at Ross Dress for Less. On Monday I returned to the store, a week after I found the Blythe dolls, to see if the toy shelves were restocked. They had several new dolls but there weren't any girls I wanted or didn't already have. I examined Making Waves Jake again, he's the boy Liv doll from SpinMaster's 2011 beach line -- which means a very basic outfit: tank top, shorts, sunglasses... and no shoes. I'd been thinking about him all week, wondering if he'd still be there, and for $5 my Liv girls would have a male friend to hang out with. Sold!

I also bought Ken's "Barbie Basics" accessory pack ($6, better than $7 like I had remembered -- funny how a dollar can make a difference. OH, IT'S A DOLLAR LESS THAN I THOUGHT? AWESOME! I crack myself up sometimes.) Anyway, I was thinking Jake could wear the youthful Converse sneakers. Poor kid needs shoes. The belts and black shirt are nice looking too. Turns out the Converse openings are too narrow for Jake (I'll try softening them in hot water before giving up) but two pairs of shoes in the set fit him nicely.

Daniela and Jake, Liv girl and Liv boy

Jake is wearing the Shave 'n Style Ken burgundy shirt and black Ken pants from an old Fashion Ave outfit. The watch, shoes, and belt are from Ken's Barbie Basics accessory pack.

He has inset blue eyes like the Liv girls but they're smaller, which was an interesting choice. SpinMaster probably reviewed various prototype boy dolls with different eye sizes (certainly digital images if not actual prototype dolls), it'd be fun to see the guys they rejected.

I see where I'm going to trim his hair

I like this Jake a lot but doubt I'll buy another, unless he's discounted and has a great outfit with shoes (no more beach dolls). A new character with a noticeably darker skin color would be welcome. Jake is a handsome guy and a great deal at $5 (thanks Ross!), even if he didn't come with shoes.

Two cute kids

One odd thing about the Converse in Ken's accessory pack: the eyelets are painted white but there are no shoelaces at all, neither painted or molded onto the shoe. Compare them to the running shoes with molded shoelaces from the same accessory pack:

look ma, no laces

It would probably look good to pierce the eyelets and lace up the Converse with white string. Has anyone tried that with success?

 *I've never actually counted but I know the real number would freak me out if I did.

"Why does she do this to our photos?"


  1. They look great! I've consisdred getting a Jake myself!

  2. Hello from Spain: I really like this guy LIV. The clothes are beautiful. They make a great couple. Keep in touch

  3. No laces to his Converse sneakers? Guess Ken is setting a new trend, only he's likely to end up face down, lol. Not that I mean to be cruel to Ken. Couldn't resist the pun. But seriously, Converse aren't the kind of sneaker you can wear without laces, are they? I mean, wouldn't they slip off the foot? Wait, that's in real life. Not in molded sneaker world though ...

    Lazy me, if I were to try to "fix" that problem, I would paint the shoelaces on. Use liquid paper for the strings and then apply paint over the faux laces. The liquid paper aka "White Out" used by secretaries once upon a time - would give the bumpy, thready texture of shoelaces. For teen and adult collectors, of course. Not for the kiddies although I can't imagine anyone sticking a doll shoe in their mouths ...?

  4. They look great!, aren't you glad you got Jake1?. I was wondering about the shoes too, why one pair had laces and the other didn't. Only Mattel knows for sure.

  5. It's so funny because I spent last week obsessed with Jake! I spotted three of them at Toys R Us the week before (only one of the three was perfect--no face marks or eye problems) and didn't buy one, and then I spent the next 7 days hoping he'd still be there when I went back! I think the threat of Liv dolls disappearing for good is stressing me out a bit.

    I am psyched he can wear Ken's clothes! Who needs shoes?? ;)

  6. I've just stumbled over your post and wanted to let you know that you don't really have to cut Jake's hair to get it to look somewhat more decent. I have a Jake doll that, while checking him out, I continued to brush/feather his hair back using a Liv brush and my fingers. It didn't turn out too badly, and has managed to stay that way for some time (months) without anything to fix it in place. Two of my girls picked up Jake dolls after Christmas and one of them has asked me how to get her doll's hair to look like mine...I'm going to have to borrow her camera to take pictures so that you can see....

  7. The sneaker isn't a mistake, it is a slip on style of converse that has gotten somewhat popular... Here is what they're styled after:

  8. If you want shoes for Jake, try Fashionistas Ken clothing. My Jake wears Ken's clothes AND shoes, and they fit him like a glove. I'd advise getting Ken tops that have a bit of stretch, though--they're a bit tight across the chest.