Recently, I had the occasion to buy stuff from the USA and have a friend pick it up and mail it to me. Of course, dolls made the top of my list! The price difference is significant, especially if we're looking at used or deboxed dolls (we don't have a secondary market for brand name toys here). I decided that I had to have Cleos, especially the only fringeless Dead Tired version, which I find the most beautiful; more 'Lauras, because of the amazing hair and soft skin tone, and a Ghoulia with longer hair. I will not describe how much effort went into hunting down the seven MH I ended up buying, but I'm very proud of myself now that the package is here!
Let's take a look at the goodies :)
The Nude Dollies
A dirt cheap Draculaura
I planned to get as many 'Lauras as possible for makeovers, this one had all limbs and was really cheap, and I wanted one without a fringe. I hate fringes. I swear the missing hair wasn't visible in the pictures, both from the listing and what my friend showed me (though he didn't take it out of the bag because of the sticky goo - who can blame him?). In real life, however, it's very obvious that half of the hair is gone:
|A smaller chunk is missing from the other side|
I fell in love with Rocky's shoes at first. Then the dress. Then the tights. I quickly realized it was easier to add a couple of dollars and get the whole doll, although I'm not a fan of dolls with animal parts (what is a gargoyle anyway? is it a dragon/mammal hybrid?) So... I kind of promised the body to a friend and bought the whole box, and now hubby likes it. It's not as bad as I thought, the hands are nice and the ears are soft. Would look amazing with yellow cat (dragon?) eyes. The hair seems thicker than other characters', probably because of extra hairlines at the ears. It's soft and long, but loaded with gel (also dripped on the face). I washed it all the next day and even the fringe looks decent now.
Toys'R'Us exclusive Cleo from the 2-pack with Lagoona
All Cleo dolls are amazing, but I knew I had to have this one because:
1) kitty shoes!
2) little fringe
3) no tinsel
Of course, there were quite a few problems. For one, it's a TRU exclusive and there are no TRU stores in my country, so my only chance was the friend in the USA. Second, it's packed with Lagoona, which I could bear if it came with a lot of many other non-Lagoona dolls, but not as much as to spend over 15$ on it just to get Cleo. Of course, many ebay people split the pack to sell the dolls separately, nude or clothed, but here comes the third problem - the kitty shoes which I wanted so much were an extra pair, and everyone was selling the doll with the fugly blue shoes. I found the nicest lady who agreed to change the shoes, but shipped the wrong pair, and sent the other later for free. I like to imagine the bug shoes are instead a blue hummingbird with its wings spread to the ankles - it would have actually been a lot cooler this way.
The other accessories are nice. The dress looks better than in the pictures. The purse opens, although the construction doesn't allow to put stuff inside. The hair pin really opens and closes too. The kitty shoes are very hard to put on, impossible to do so over stockings. The scarf has two plastic ties!! One in the knot and one holding the ends. I almost tore it off because of the second tie. Do they put them in just to annoy us?
My Preciousss - Dead Tired Cleo
Several weeks on ebay convinced me that everyone is after this doll. It's the only version without a fringe, which allows to see the beautiful head sculpt. It goes for ridiculous dollars, new or used. Somehow I managed to win an auction for under 20$, and it included everything, except the slippers, mask, jewellery and sleeve. I didn't think I'd like the lamp, but I do. It's a pyramid when it sits down, and opens to reveal an hourglass when held by the handle. The pyjamas are too tame for my taste, but I'll try to trace the patterns for basic clothes from other fabrics.
I don't know how tinsel hair behaves new from the box, but this one looked awful. I'm not very crazy about tinsel and gold in general, but this is objectively bad:
|What is the main eye colour here by the way? It's exactly like my eyes and I have 2 IDs with contradicting information.|
I cut it all off with a thingy for ripping stitches:
|The right side is done|
So these are all the dolls I bought. After I promised I finished shopping, I discovered I want Spectra and Operetta too. Eh, maybe another time...
The inevitable comparisons
Leaving aside the fact that everyone will be repainted, Dead Tired Cleo is a lot prettier out of the box. Scaris' eyes are too big and far apart; the closer you look, the worse the effect. It's like a pigeon's head, with eyes on the sides. The hair, even though it's short, is much better without the tinsel and the blue highlights fit it nicely. Gold strands may be pretty in theory, but thready tinsel that can't withstand brushing is a bad idea. One word on the hair style, if you want to get the Scaris version, the rooting is a little weird. The fringe looks like a last minute addition. There is no hair behind it. On the other fringed dolls, like Rochelle, the fringe is actually the second line of hair; the first line is crossed with it to ensure no bald spots. Scaris Cleo has only one line of dense plugs at the forehead, and it's cut short.
I couldn't resist comparing Cleo's skintone with Barbie:
|OK, this is Courtney, but it's the same colour|
Oh and one more thing I noticed when I was standing them to dry the hair - since PJ Cleo is an older model, I got the strung hips and now I see why nobody likes them.
I chose the Scaris version because the length of the fringe should allow to straighten it and move to the sides.
Beach Laura wins the longest hair award, with Scaris Ghoulia and PJ Cleo coming very close.
Bonus - Rochelle's tights
This was the first time I got my hand on factory-made tights, so I was very curious about them. I should mention that I extended my stockings pattern into tights and made a pair (someone remind me to write about that), so here they are side by side. I imagined the bought tights would feel like pantihose; instead, the fabric is stiff and crunchy, like organza, but has a little stretch.
|Mattel tights hold their shape, and mine are all floppy|
The seams are really bulky and the fit is loose in some places, mostly at the crotch and left ankle. I wouldn't have imagined the sewing to be so sloppy! (My seams get twisted across the calf because of the soft fabric, otherwise they are straight). Rocky's tights get bonus points for the nice stripes, but still, I win.
I have so many ideas for these dolls. I wish I had more time. Last night I made jam. Next week my mother-in-law's cat is coming to live with us, which means there will be a live white featherduster exploring all the unfinished parts of the apartment. Sigh.
So I was thinking, if knotted bracelets for people are made with embroidery floss, and embroidery floss has 6 threads, it means that a 1/6th scale knotted bracelet is made with... Okay, random thought is out of my head now. I'm off to get some food.
~The Black Kitty (^^)~