|Who am I?|
The molded torsos I've seen online look great but you'd still be missing the upper parts of all four limbs. Also, the torsos are NOT cheap. Around here Goodwill donor dolls cost $1.29. I like that price!
Important: If you're a kid please do not perform surgery on your dolls!!! You could cut off a finger or do serious damage to your eyes, please ask a parent to do this for you. They are old and have more life experience than you, they can make do without a finger or eye.
First I used the toothiest saw on my Leatherman tool to remove Ballerina's legs at the knees and then her arms at the elbow. This didn't take much time at all, less than a minute per limb. Then I sanded the rough edges to a smooth finish. Her legs and arms are hollow but I had to remove the pegs from her articulated arms stuck in the upper arm. On one arm this was rather simple, the seams weren't glued cleanly so I gently pried up half the arm (just a bit, didn't want it to snap) and flicked the peg out. Her other arm wasn't cooperating, the seams were glued firmly shut so I had to drill out the peg hole.
(Kids, do NOT use your parents' drill. I was a kid once, I know you'd think of doing it when they're not home so they won't be there to scream down the stairs, "What's that noise?!" That means if you hurt yourself, which is actually very likely, no adult would be home to help you. JUST DON'T DO IT. Your parents love you and would much rather do this doll surgery for you. It'll make them feel needed, parents like that sort of thing. Remind them to wear safety goggles. Thanks.)
|Sea Monster starter CAM with the 3 Eyed Ghoul add-on CAM|
I found a Moxie Girl missing her feet (they have the foot/shoe combo like Bratz) and her hair was a wreck, she was purchased just for her dress. Her body and limbs are a little thicker than the ballerina doll but her torso is still small, I figured she'll work if clothing is used to hide her limbs.
|I cut the hooks off the neck knobs to make head swapping easier|
|Notice how much longer Barbie's thighs are compared to the other three, look at the knees|
I easily snipped Moxie's arms off at the elbow with kitchen shears, they are solid soft vinyl (not hollow hard plastic like the ballerina) so the scissors worked much better than a toothy saw (the saw tore up the vinyl more than cutting through it). Then I drilled small holes into the upper arms. After seeing the above photo it looks like I should make their upper arms a little shorter to match the Monster High upper arm length.
There's a hard plastic click mechanism inside Moxie's vinyl legs at the knees so I sawed through that and then used a bigger drill bit to remove more of the plastic and vinyl inside her thighs.
In total I spent about 2-5 minutes per limb, which includes cutting/sawing, sanding, and drilling. Not bad at all.
Oh, the heads! I didn't care about the donor heads so I cut them off with kitchen shears. Brutal. If you want to save the head you can heat it up with hot water or a hair dryer (protect doll hair from direct heat with a towel) and slowly work it off over the hook. Do not break the neck or neck knob! After the head is removed cut the hook off the top of the neck knob, it's a safety feature and doesn't serve any other purpose. Try not to break the neck knob, that is what holds the head on the neck and allows you to tilt and pose the head. Swapping heads will be MUCH easier without the nasty hook in the way but you still have to be careful to avoid breaking the important neck knob.
The monster limbs plug into the Moxie Girl vinyl because her limbs are solid with little drilled holes. When I lift her up the legs don't fall out. The ballerina body looks better but the ballerina limbs are hollow. I'm not sure how I'll secure the MH limbs in there but I have a few ideas, like air dry clay, sponge, vinyl plugs with drilled holes, etc.
I think they look good but they'll look even better painted to match the CAM limbs. Next week I'll take the limbs to the craft store for a paint match. :) The skeleton is easy, ha.
One disadvantage to these donor torsos is that the bodies are slightly bigger than the monsters so the CAM clothes don't fit. This isn't such a big deal though because the CAM clothes aren't that great.
I need more CAM torsos so I'll keep an eye out for these ballerina girls and Moxie Girlz too. I prefer the Ballerina body but Moxie Girlz will be a lot easier to find at the thrift stores -- but even they don't turn up that often, Bratz are much easier to find. I'm not sure if the Bratz body will work or look as good, I might try one of those next.
After I have enough new bodies for the three add-on pack CAMs I'll experiment with removing the entire arms and legs and using just the torso for the second character in the CAM starter sets. (Yes, Mattel sold just one torso with two characters in each Starter set.)
P.S. I took photos of the pleather doll outfit I found last week and they look terrible. Pleather is hard to photograph! I'll try photographing Arizona outside in her cool new outfit, natural light might help.