Sunday, October 21, 2012

Liv surprise, articulated Bratz, & an Abbey cameo

Thanks to the "Hey, it's Muff" blog I just learned about the articulated Bratz body, which has an entirely new look if you remove the Bratz head and replace it with, say, a Mattel fairy head. Click on that link to see Muff's adorable Bratz-Fairy hybrid. She mentioned in comments the Bratz Catz and Bratz Rock dolls have articulated bodies so I made a mental note to look for those dolls on clearance, but I had no idea if they'd be anywhere local because I only glance at Bratz in stores.

First stop was the Ross discount store, where I saw two Sophie Liv dolls. The first girl was hard to miss, she was Sophie Brite with her long bright pink wig, $9. (I reviewed Katie Brite here, the Brite dolls have cool wigs but the inferior 2012 Liv body.) After thinking about it for a minute I decided not to buy this Sophie, I'd prefer Alexis with her orange wig. Sophie's pink wig was the deciding factor (it's not my favorite color and I already have a few pink wigs). I would've bought Sophie Brite at the $9 price point if her long wig has been something more unusual like green or blue.

Ross had a few Bratz with the standard Bratz bodies, I have no interest in those. I was about to leave when I looked up to the top shelf and saw...

Wow! She's the first Moonlight Dance doll I've seen in person, what a surprise. This Sophie was also marked $9 like the Sophie Brite doll, but Moonlight Sophie is a much better deal if you compare the bodies and outfits.

The four Moonlight Dance girls were released in July 2010 and retailed for $20 at Target. Back then they were Target exclusives but this is the second Liv Target exclusive I've seen clearanced at the discount store Ross -- Liv Brites were the first. Maybe Liv in Wonderland dolls, also a Target exclusive, will show up at Ross too? :) (I didn't know about Liv until this year so I missed out on the Liv dolls that weren't still lingering at TRU.) I really like the dresses in this line so I'm very happy to have Sophie. Thanks again Ross!

Her eyes could've been set better, it's not a perfect match
If you'd like to compare the actual production dolls to the box art below check out this excellent photo on Flickr (click that link, it's not my photo so I won't copy it here). Katie's dress changed the most, I like the production doll even better. Daniela's dress is my favorite.

Box art #1
Box art #2

Articulated Bratz

I then went over to TRU and saw the articulated Bratz Catz, they're still $20. Oh well. No catz for me, but I'll watch for a good clearance sale.

But wait, there was a Bratz Rock Yasmin hanging out with the Moxie Girlz. Articulation!

TRU sometimes overcharges when a doll line is new or popular but they have awesome unadvertised clearance sales. My motto at TRU is "If you like it, scan it!" It might be more affordable than you think. The real price doesn't always match the shelf tag (maybe this is just an issue at my local store). There were no sale signs but Yasmin scanned for only $4.48. Nice! The low price sent me on a fruitless search for more hiding rockers. I'll keep looking at TRU and Ross, I'd like at least one more skin tone too. There are four different Bratz Rock dolls available, here's the back of the box:

Sasha channels Sheila E

Bratz Rock promo photo. MGA made some changes to Yasmin's outfit (black shoes instead of gold, one zipper on the leg instead of two) so the other dolls could've turned out a little different too.

I popped Yasmin's head off and replaced it with a Mattel fairy head, which is obviously not a vinyl match. This was a temporary body swap just to show the Bratz body with a normal size doll head.

Bratz Rock body w/ Operetta's Roller Maze outfit

There's a bit of paper towel stuffed in the MH skates so the Bratz peg legs can't sink too far. This MH dress doesn't velcro completely closed in the back, it's a little too small for the Bratz bust. Keep scrolling to see the Bratz rocker outfit on a Monster High Abbey doll.

I'm not sure which line this Mattel fairy with lavender hair came from, she has an unusual body with long legs and gimmicky stuff on the back where it looks like wings and something else attached. Her hands are graceful, which makes up for the molded on bodice. Her original body is shown in a photo at the end of this post. She was $2 at the Goodwill, I'm a sucker for non-traditional hair colors and she doesn't have a toothy grin. Yay! (Doll teeth usually bug me, even when it's just a tiny strip of white paint. Mattel's playline is full of toothy grins so I pass over a lot of fairies at the thrifts despite their colorful pretty hair.) I do like her unusual fairy body, despite the gimmicky stuff, so the body and head will be reunited soon.

No waist articulation but she can tilt from side to side at the bust line
(c)2010 articulated Bratz compared to (c)2001 Bratz body -- note 2010 is taller
normal Barbie-size head compared to Bratz head

A quick look at Bratz shoes

Did MGA change the Bratz shoe size? The Bratz Rock shoes are significantly smaller than the older shoes! (The bigger shoes shown below are from a bag of doll shoes I found at the Goodwill a few years ago.) I don't pay much attention to Bratz so I don't know when this happened. Next time I'm at TRU I'll look at the Bratz to see if they all have smaller shoes now.

The rocker's pegs fit in some of the older Bratz shoes (like the strappy blue heel below) but not the boots. The rocker legs slide in the boots but they don't lock or suction in place. I think this can be blamed on what the bodies are made from, the (c)2001 Bratz body is vinyl and boots stay put on the vinyl legs. The (c)2010 articulated Bratz is made from lightweight smooth plastic so the boots can't cling to the plastic legs.

Abbey says hi

Rocker-fairy stole, er borrowed a Monster High outfit so Abbey asked to try on the Bratz Rock outfit (with Venus McFlytrap's shoes).

My favorite part is the plastic faux zipper detail across the thigh, it probably would've been cheaper and easier to make that a decal or leave it off the final design. Nice touch. This outfit looks just OK in the photos (because the photos didn't turn out so hot, what else is new), but I like it in person, even if I'd never wear it in a million years. It's very '80s, sans big shoulders, but I didn't dress like this back then.

The Line-Up

You can see the original fairy body (B) and the Bratz Rock body (C) compared to some other bodies you might be more familiar with.

A. LPS Blythe
B. Unidentified Mattel Fairy's original body (head is on body C)
C. Bratz Rock body with stock shoes and Unidentified Mattel Fairy head
D. Monster High (Frankie Stein)
E. Liv (Alexis)
F. TNT Barbie (1980 Black Barbie reproduction)
G. Teen Skipper body (Generation Girl Mari/Mariko)
H. Bellybutton body (My Scene Madison)
I. Bellybutton body with hinge knees and normal size head (Twilight Bella)

I think this is long enough, I better stop before I run out of room! :D


Friday, October 12, 2012

Knit dresses for LPS Blythe

I knit two more dresses for the petite dolls. I'm still experimenting with modifications to the original Kelly pattern. There's more info on that pattern at the end of this post.

This first dress was knit in the round so the back doesn't open (where you'd normally put something like velcro or a snap). This looks great, but it made dressing little Blythe and Pullip difficult because their arms stick out at an angle and don't simply move straight up and down like Kelly dolls. Squeezing the tiny arms made me worried they'd pop off the body, so lollipop girl will keep this dress, which she's quite happy about. I didn't plan for it to match her face up and accessories so perfectly, that was serendipity.

A halter style dress would work better for LPS Blythe. Her head pops off easily so I can remove the head, slide her body into the dress, pull the halter strap over her headless neck, and then put the head back on. No snap or Velcro required and no danger of breaking Blythe's arm just to get her in a dress.

This outfit doesn't really match her bubblegum pink lips

Déjà vu

You might have seen the following photos before, when I first posted them in March. Little Pullip and LPS Blythe are wearing the first doll dress I knit, which swims a bit on the petites but fits Barbie's sister Kelly correctly -- which makes sense as the pattern was written for Kelly. The Kelly (or Shelly, as she's known in Europe) dress pattern is #645 from "Sticka till Barbie," a Swedish website with hundreds of free knitting patterns for fashion dolls... and Monchichi, in case you have a monkey in need of clothes.

too big!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Stardoll fashion pack = Monster shoes!

Yeah, the title is old news, but I had to wait for the clearance sale to get my hands on Stardoll shoes. :) 

When I heard Stardoll shoes fit Monster High dolls (with varying degrees of success, depends on the shoe style and your definition of fit) it gave me even more reason to want this Stardoll fashion pack, but I couldn't justify spending $15 on it.

(The actual items are circled, everything else is background art. That can be difficult to make out in online photos.)

When I first saw this fashion pack I figured everyone would want the killer purple dress so it wouldn't be around for the clearance phase, but I was wrong! Sometimes I really like being wrong. :) It was $7.48 at Target, 50% off retail. I peeled up the top sticker to check the previous clearance price: $10.48.

The remaining Stardolls were $7.48 as well, but the only Stardoll I really like was the raven haired gal in a red dress and I think she was in the previous wave of dolls? She wasn't there so I didn't buy a Stardoll despite the generous discount.

I love the purple dress but the raw edges are so cheap! :/ Bad Mattel! I'll be very gentle to avoid stressing the fabric, but it makes me even happier that I waited for the 50% off sale to buy it.

The leotard would look nice with jeans, leggings, or a skirt. The Lady Gaga silver plastic shoulder pads have already been misplaced, they're somewhere and I don't care where. Plastic doll jewelry is not my favorite thing to begin with, plastic made to look gold or silver usually looks especially bad -- unless it's very small like stud earrings or a simple bracelet.

The black bird hairpiece makes me think of Hitchcock (also Forget Paris and Frasier), but I might find the right doll to pull off the look. 

Bettie Page?

It looks like the designer tried to avoid a Hitchcock homage by making the wings different sizes ("see, it's NOT a bird!")... but it still looks like a bird. The octopus headpiece shown in the background art would've been a lot more interesting. Hm, I think that's a headpiece and not the Stardoll's pet. That'd be cool too though.

The rest of the accessories are OK, I mainly wanted this pack for the dress and shoes.

Today's fashion model was the only nude doll in plain sight, she's the Hayden I bought at the doll show last month.

Hayden is wearing her friend Daniela's wig, it's black with purple streaks. Yes, I love this dress! Maybe it'd look even better with black tights, I would've worn this dress with black stockings to a high school dance... which was awhile ago. ;) 

I thought the shoes looked familiar and then realized they're similar to shoes that came with an official Liv fashion.

Liv dolls wearing Stardoll shoes (left) and Liv shoes (right)

Liv dolls wearing a Stardoll fashion (left) and Liv fashion (right)
Hayden & Alexis, almost ready for the school dance

So what about the shoes? I was a little surprised to see they fit the Liv feet just fine, they're a smidge big but they still look good. Here's what they look like on Monster High dolls (Venus is wearing her stock MH shoes for comparison, the other shoe models are Frankie and Ghoulia):

I think they look good. You can see where the Stardoll shoes don't fit Monsters perfectly: a little gappy around the top, more foot is exposed in the back. I don't usually display my dolls with their backs facing front, so the back view isn't important to me. The heel on the red shoes bends in a funny way, but some monster shoes have the same problem. Maybe if I heat it up in boiling water it could be set properly.

Side note: Venus McFlytrap's shoes are so much fun! She's currently my very favorite Monster, Mattel did just about everything right with her. I love Venus so much I'll even overlook all the pink. :)