It's been a long time since I last posted (or showed any sign of life in the blog community). I was busy taking care of stuff before a trip with hubby in September and I barely had time to finish a draft post before leaving. Then I came back, but I've been sick all this time. We found some new dolls which I wanted to introduce. I wasn't happy with the last "shopping" post where I hurried to take pictures while some of the dolls were still unbrushed. Well, now I took my time to tweak each of them a little. I mean, who hasn't seen a basic Raven Queen out of the box? Old news. But have you seen mine? Anyway, doll pictures ahead!
I should start by saying I was going to take some creative pictures to go with the whole not-a-review feel. I didn't. I'm sorry. On top of all that was going on last week, hubby found this:
So, yesterday's photoshoot was less creativity and more rushing to get it done through heartbreaking cries and bitten toes. We're most likely keeping her though :)
What was I saying? Oh, the dolls. I finally caved and bought my first EAH. I was going to choose between Raven and Lizzie. Unsurprisingly, Lizzie didn't come to Europe yet, so I ended up with a first edition Raven Queen. I really hate the gradient eyebrows, but the cheapest store only had those. Hubby promised to help me repaint them. Speaking of repaint, I found some nice brushes in a board games store:
I love the names! "Detail" and "Insane detail". I can't wait to put them to use :) Raven's face reminds me of someone I dislike. I have some ideas for a repaint, but first of all, I wanted to take the hair down and hide the widow's peak and purple streaks. The lighting is unflattering, but in reality I like her much better like this!
After reading many reviews, I was prepared for a flood of hair glue. In spite of a pretty hard head, I was pleasantly surprised by the hair quality. It's nice and soft and completely glue-free, even after boiling.
I chose the basic doll because I love the outfit. I even like the plastic belt because it's nicely made and fits snugly, like a real cincher. One defect worth mentioning is that my doll had two right shoes. I can't believe I misplaced the picture, but it's exactly what it sounds like - there are two of the right shoe and none of the left. It's just as well, I don't like shoes with open toes and this will hopefully motivate me to cover them.
I wanted to see Raven and my j-doll side-by-side. They are both dark-haired fair dolls with purple eyes. The photo is pre-boil-washing.
The best thing about Raven's construction is her weight. It's a sturdy body that should hold up to play. J-doll's body is hollow and feels like it's made of egg shells. Still, she looks like the more expensive doll. The "skin" is translucent and has a natural delicate colour, while Raven's face looks like it's caked with cheap, one-shade-matches-most foundation. I like Raven's thighs and hips, but the torso is disproportionally short (another reason why I was leaning towards Lizzie) and poses problems when trying to swap clothes.
Raven sort of fits into J-doll's dress, if we ignore the gaping shoulders.
The only item of Raven's wardrobe that fits Lavalle is the belt. Overall, I'm pleased with the purchase.
I went to all stores in search of the Zombie Shake set, and instead I found Freaky Fusion Ghoulia, which hubby wanted to see in my collection. The store had a 50% off the second item, so I added the Barbie Style whose green trousers I wanted so badly. Each doll ended up costing 21 euro, which is as good as it can get in France.
The hair had messy ends and some bald spots from the headband, so I straightened it. The trousers are very tight and the boots oversized. I was very tempted to give those to the j-doll after some manipulations on the waist.
I'm still thinking if I should do it, but meanwhile I did some shoe swapping and managed to improve all three outfits involved:
The long boots are being revamped at the moment, they'll look even better when I'm done.
On the day I swapped the shoes, I noticed I was quite fond of the new Barbie in spite of the sickening GG grin. The difference, it turns out, is the skintone. I don't know if it's a corporate decision or a batch thing, but my doll is lighter than all my previous Barbies/Summers/Teresa. It doesn't look like porn actress tan, it looks... normal.
In fact, now Raquelle, whose skintone seemed fresher to me, is the odd one out. LED light doesn't make it look that bad, but in sunlight she appears decidedly sunburnt. Fashionista Barbie is a shade too dark for a healthy white person. The newcomer is the best of the three.
As I was posing the doll I noticed a defect in the right elbow joint. It seems that something is coming out of something else and the whole thing is stretching apart. I'll give it a close look some other time.
Lastly, I had a good laugh out of this baffling inventory item:
It's a purse strap moulded to be perpetually folded like that. Oh well, another victim for repaint experiments!
The second doll from this store is Ghoulia. Her fangs went straight to the trash, but the rest of the stuff is nice. I took down the ponytails and steamed the kinks reeeeally carefully. Some of the ends still fried into that frizzy texture, but I managed to get most of the top layer reasonably flat without losing the silky feel. Yay!
I'm considering cutting the fringe in a V-shape, like Skull Shore Draculaura's. I'm not a fan of fringes in general, but this one might actually work. What do you think?
Finally, hubby insisted we buy another used doll from leboncoin.fr because he wanted to "work on his conversation skills". The doll we chose was an Operetta, like the previous one! The Roller Maze version.
|During the mandatory mole removal, I changed the mouth contour a bit.|
I like this doll more and more!
The hair is simply wet, it doesn't look like this now. Reviving an almost non-existent part, separating the front strands and convincing them to lie flat without disturbing the rest of the curls took many boil washes and I had no patience to wait for it to dry again. I wanted to soften the square hairline and this hairstyle was the best idea at the moment, but as soon as I was done with the pictures a better one came to me. I'll try to make it happen and show it in a different post with other hair alterations I performed.
This "budget" doll cost more than I expected, but the lady threw in an extra Operetta dress, bolero and purse. The dress is pretty cute.
Back at home, I kept searching for the elusive Zombie Shake pack. I contacted an intermediary for quotes on some dolls I'd like to get (meanwhile, the Zombie Shake was found and bought for me, I just have to figure out the delivery ^^). This is where the rant starts. Why can't I get reasonable prices on dolls? I asked about Barbie Basics, articulated S.I.S. dolls, Twilight Jasper and J-dolls. The results:
- Basics for 63-238$ (they cost 10-20$ on Barbiecollector.com! I could have them FedEx-ed over here for the price they are asking!)
- S.I.S. for 37-169$, depending on the clothes (all of which I don't care for). I'll think about letting go of 37$ for a Chandra (if she's even available for this price)
- j-dolls for 72$ and 80$
The only normal offer is Jasper for 28$ (never mind that he costs 10 in USA). The thing about Jasper is that he uses the same head and body sculpt as the Denim Basics Ken we really really like. The curls should provide some hair length after straightening and with a bit of work he could make a handsome Ken. His skintone is a bit odd, but at least he doesn't sparkle.
On the above pictures, Jasper (28$) is on the left and Ken (238$) on the right. I don't like the price discrepancy at all. How to bypass it? BarbieCollector doesn't ship outside their country. J-dolls, for some reason, are only found in USA as well. Middlemen take the lion's share when exporting these dolls. Non-American people, how do you find your dolls? Are you pleased with the variety offered by your local stores? What difficulties do you encounter when ordering dolls online? Is your second-hand market developped enough to provide dolls worth looking at? Share the good and the bad below!
The Black Kitty