Monday, September 24, 2012

"Well, it's a doll show"*

Back in 2001 I went to my first doll show in Seattle and had a good time looking at vintage Barbies and soaking in the atmosphere. After a couple hours of consideration I bought a perfect '60s Midge and brunette Bubblecut (and my then-boyfriend bought a sweet brunette Francie for himself, which somehow ended up in my collection). The ~180 mile round trip to attend the show was worth it (gas was cheaper back then), but for various reasons that was my first and last doll show, until this past Saturday.

Last month I saw a flyer at the library advertising a show hosted by the local doll club (which I didn't know existed) and decided I'd make an effort to attend, considering it was located just 6 miles from my house.

Before going to bed Friday night I put a silly amount of cash in my purse, hoping it'd be enough to cover a gently used doll, in order of desirability: Pullip or Blythe (regular size, hence the silly amount of cash), vintage Barbie, or perhaps a Silkstone I missed during my long dolly break. Maybe a HTF Monster High? I was going to splurge on a special doll and visions of the last show were dancing in my head. So! Many! Dolls!

To make a boring story short-ish, I was disappointed to discover the modern dolls advertised on the flyer mainly referred to Gene dolls (which were lovely but I already have two and that's plenty), American Girl dolls, and some '90s Barbies. There was one Ellowyne (also high on my want list) but she was employed as a model for handmade clothes and not for sale. I also saw just one Silkstone, a deboxed lingerie gal already in my collection.

Little Pullip tagged along because she needs a new 4/5 wig, but the wigs for sale were too big. A friendly vendor noticed her in my hand and asked to check her out, and she very much appreciated little Pullips sweet face.

The vintage Barbie scene at the show was extremely limited, there were a handful of  '60s Mattel dolls and they weren't in great condition. The breakdown: 1 Barbie (Fashion Queen with all 3 wigs), 1 Alan, 2 Midge, and 4 or 5 Skippers. Can you believe not a single bubblecut? I saw at least 50 bubblecuts at the 2001 show. And no Francies! :( 

It sounds like I showed up late but I was there right when it started at 10 AM. Based on what was being offered for sale I think the local doll club members prefer antique and not-Barbie vintage dolls. It was interesting seeing so many dolls but man, I had some cash burning a hole in my pocket. You know the feeling...

Now, on to the good news! I found one little Pullip:

That thing behind her head is a space helmet! It's so cute on!

I asked the vendor if she had more Pullips and she said, "Oh no, those are hard to find." Not exactly HTF on the internet but I think she meant they don't just fall in her lap. $20 seemed like a fair price and a quick google confirms I didn't overpay. Since I didn't have to pay tax or shipping on top of the $20 it was actually a nice deal. For example you can buy her on eBay right now for $27 plus $5 s&h.

This is Little Pullip Cosmic Jupiter (based on the normal size Pullip of the same name), and she's adorable. I love her lavender hair, it's brighter than it appears in this photo, and her helmet is delightful. I'm a big space nerd so finding a Pullip in a spacesuit (er, a space dress?) is extra special to me.

Her stock eyes are so dark they look like two giant pupils, which is different. I think she'd look sweet with blue eyes (maybe from a thrifted Liv Sophie I already have on hand). Lavender eyes to match her hair would be cute too, so she might get new eyes at some point. Here's a video on YouTube that shows how to open Little Pullip heads and change their eyes.

Then I found a Hayden hidden away, off to the side on a stool next to a bucket of playline Barbies. Why not, she was only 2 bucks.

Ahhh, the good Liv body!
The $2 entrance fee included a door prize ticket and -- this was a big shock -- they drew my name first! Wow! I was allowed to pick anything off the prize table. There were several dolls to choose from but nothing fit my style so I selected a Radio Flyer wagon (not full size, it can be used to display dolls that are the type to sit in wagons), which will probably go to a niece this Christmas. :)

So... I spent about an hour at the show wandering in circles and finally decided to give up and try my luck at Value Village on the way home. Good call! This led to my very first thrifted Monster, a $1 Frankie Stein. I can't wait until the monsters start showing up at thrifts with regularity. She's missing her left arm at the elbow, which seems fitting for a Frankie. 

Frankie as Laura Palmer
After I pulled her off the wall a man walked by and asked, "Is that an elf?!" He startled me! Not exactly an elf. :)

after her bath and shampoo
She looks like a Killer Style Frankie, which I already have so this girl will probably get a hair cut. But first the peg stuck in her arm needs to be drilled out and then she'll borrow a spare left forearm and hand from one of the CAM sets in my closet. I'm thankful the previous owner didn't chuck this broken doll into the trash, and VV priced her appropriately. (It bugs me when they sell a damaged doll for the same price as a doll in great condition.)

Value Village also offered up a pretty My Scene Madison for $2.00:

straight out of the bag
This is what Madison was wearing in the store. :) Creative dress-up is a nice bonus for the buyer, I bought a doll with a dress and jeans so it feels like I got a free pair of doll jeans.

OK, I didn't find the (normal size $$$) Pullip of my dreams on Saturday but it was a good dolly day: I saw a lot of dolls I hadn't seen in person before (which was fun, even though most weren't my style), bought a few dolls and didn't break the bank, won a door prize, and didn't use much gas to get there and back (plus free parking!). I'll probably attend the annual show again next year, with more realistic expectations about the dolls offered for sale.

*I overheard this line in the title ("Well, it's a doll show"), spoken by a bored older gentleman to a lady I assume was his wife. It made me burst out laughing because of the tone in his voice. His wife then asked if he was ready to go. ;)


  1. The Madison doll is really cute! I love her facial features, especially the lips! She reminds me of Clawdeen :D

  2. Great finds! Finding a MH doll at the thrift store is a dream for me xD

  3. Seriously nice work. I love your posted cute pullip doll and just take a decision to collect this pretty doll at PIJ. Hope this amazing doll will get in a week.