Sunday, November 16, 2008

More ReRooting Info

After getting a fair amount of hair into my doll's head, I became quite concerned about how it wasn't laying flat. I'd experimented with styling doll's hair using hot water and even boiling water in the past so I decided that THAT'S what she needed.

I boiled the kettle, then poured the water gently onto her head while holding her hair down. I held her at an angle so I didn't get the water on my fingers. I could just as easily have poured the water in a cup and dunked her head in, but I like to live dangerously.
Well anyway, now her hair is laying flat, so I just have to wait for it to dry and then I'll continue. When I'm finished I'll do the same to the new hair and then go onto cutting and styling it.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Dia De Los Muertos Barbie?

Well, you know me........or maybe you don't......but I just HAD to put a Barbie dress on a toy skeleton.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My First Re-Rooting Experience

Here are my basic re-rooting tools. A "hank" of synthetic hair, a needle that has had the tip of its eye snipped off, and a doll's naked head.

(okay......I'd been working on her already, so it isn't exactly naked)

The modified needle is probably the most wonderful tool idea for this purpose ever! This idea came from an article I have linked in my sidebar. I tried re-rooting with a needle and thread, but I couldn't find a needle long enough with an eye big enough that was slim enough to fit through the already existing hair holes.
So I took a regular sized needle with a large eye and snipped the very tip off with wire cutters. Be careful doing this because you don't want the tiny piece of metal to fly off into YOUR eye! It's also wise to wrap the sharp end of the needle with masking tape, like I did.
You will end up with this tool that looks like a tiny tuning fork!

Next, you'll need to wrap some strands of new hair over your finger quite tightly, then slip the tiny fork over them, so that they're caught between the prongs.
I apologize for the poor quality of these images....but I had to take the photos myself while doing this.

When you have the strands firmly held between the prongs,(use your fingers to keep tension on them) stick the little fork right into one of the old doll-hair holes.

Push it in, then pull it out. Voila! The hairs will stay inside the head! (This is for OOAK dolls that won't be played with by children by the way)

This is as far as I have gotten today. Stay tuned for more!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Another Thrift Store Find!

As if I didn't already have enough Barbies to work on! Today I found this batch.

Starting from the left we have "Baby Spice", most likely from the second release of Spice Girls dolls. Then this one with weird arms and pale skin...(which I have OOAK plans for), and the brunette next to her that looks like Tura Satana, and a honey-blonde with subtle auburn tones.

Oops, I repeated the honey-blonde, then a two-tone haired belly-button bodied great find, a version of "Skipper" and a platinum blonde. I'll be making most of these into One Of A Kind dolls......and good hair is definitely an asset. But I've been getting very curious about re-rooting.

The batch I bought were bagged in 2 groups of 4. In the one bag was a cheap Barbie knock-off made in China. I decided to sacrifice her first, (head on the left) learning how to remove the head properly and take all her hair out. I read to run the head under very hot water first BEFORE attempting to pull it off. The body on the right belongs to the "good" doll.

I used hemostats to get inside the heads and get the hair plugs out. I fully expected little rubber "plugs" to be on the ends, but there weren't. Just U shaped hair. I became a little impatient on the Chinese one and found you can still successfully get them out from the outside, but the vinyl on the Mattel doll was softer and I didn't want to risk tearing the hair-holes. Here she is holding her precious head which will sport black hair in the very near future. (And new face paint) Stay tuned to see who she will become.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

My Latest Purchase and Why

I was at a big toy store downtown last week and I saw this Barbie, part of the Birthstone Beauties Collection ON SALE! That wasn't really the reason I bought her, it was because her face reminded me of Sarah Brightman!

Here's a better image to help make the comparison. I know with the right hairstyle and costume, I'm going to have my very own One-of-a-kind Sarah Brightman doll. Just wait until she's'll see.

Now this image here has NOTHING to do with Sarah Brightman. It has to do with my understanding of the "Model Muse" body-type of Barbies. The hips are SO slim, that the "Belly-button" Barbies can't wear the "Model Muse" clothing. I know because that's what I tried to do with "Miss Garnet's" clothes. I'm just going to have to make some adjustments. This one is going to get an entirely new costume and hairstyle anyway.

Friday, October 3, 2008

A New Halloween Barbie!

I just received this 2005 Halloween Barbie in the mail today.

The first thing I did was set her free! Also, she was dying to show off her knee high black boots.

I ended up switching her boots for regular shoes and gave the boots to one of my many barefoot Barbies. I also thought this one should pose with a cute Japanese cat! I'm going to change her outfit a bit, but she's keeping the hat!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Muslim "Barbie" Dolls

If you're like me, I'm sure you want to know all about the different unique "Barbie style" dolls that are available in the world. I find it fascinating. I learned about these dolls a few years ago....Razanne dolls. I believe she was the first Muslim doll available. As you can see by the packaging and stiff pose, she looks pretty "low rent". I read that the plastic of her body wasn't the greatest quality either.

Then came Fulla, which means flower. The packaging looks a lot more like Barbie packaging.

And now there's Salma, which means peace. Salma is manufactured in Indonesia, where I noticed a lot more Barbies are manufactured recently. It's no wonder that Salma looks identical to a Barbie. They probably used the same mold. She is by far the most appealing looking doll of the group, and her clothes look more finely crafted.

Here's a photo of them being dressed in Indonesia where they're made. I have to admit, the outfits are really cute!

You can see in the lower left-hand corner of this shot that the undressed dolls seem to have the more "belly button" bodies of modern Barbies. In my opinion, that body style is by far the most appealing style to shape a doll as.

You know, Mattel should have come out with a Muslim Barbie when Razanne first hit the scene.......because now it's too late. I read that under Muslim law, copyrights mean absolutely nothing. It'll be interesting to see what comes of this. It's a shame....because these Salma dolls are really cute! (Not like "Brats" which I think were ugly to begin with.....and if you wanted to change their shoes you had to take their whole FOOT off!)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Re-Posting Old Pics

You may have already seen these images from my other blog, but I felt I should re-post them here on my Barbie blog. This is my customized Xena Barbie, whom I made back in 1996 from a Kira doll, (from the Barbie line). I sold her to a friend from Nelvana who wanted her for her daughter, who was probably a big Xena fan at the time.

And of course my "Burqa Barbie" who is actually a "Teresa". The burqa could fit over any Barbie, but this is the one who wears it for now. I have some other bellydance Barbies in mind and Middle Eastern styles ready to put together. I'll post them as soon as they're ready.

Also I need to do some more research on burqas, because I don't think they come right down to the feet in the front. I KNOW they do in the back....but I think they only come down halfway in the front so the woman can use her hands. So, realistically, I don't think she could get away with wearing an Egyptian cabaret bellydance outfit under it.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Warning About Catalogue Shopping

I was browsing the internet, bringing back memories of dolls I'd had or wanted, when I remembered an incident that happened to me back in 1997, or early '98. I had ordered a Tangerine Twist doll through a mail order Barbie doll supplier based on the image in the catalogue. Well! Was I disappointed when I got the real thing. Her face was so different! Her whole head seemed smaller and her eyes were too close together. Compare these images....the catalogue image on the left, the real doll on the right. I remember I had to return her and exchange her for a different doll. (I recall they didn't allow refunds). It was such a hassle wrapping her up and sending her back, then waiting for the other doll to arrive. I believe I chose the Thai Barbie instead which was just fine.
Another disappointment is the Dutch Barbie. Based on the photo on the left, her costume looks great and authentically Dutch....but when they manufactured her, I guess they couldn't get the darker fabric and she turned out like the image on the right. She looks like she's been left out in the sun and faded! I crossed her off my wish list after discovering that.

What I do now is only shop for Barbies in person.....or by eBay photos of the ACTUAL doll being bid on......not the catalogue image.
This is just a friendly word of advice.....because it happened to me. I'm very fussy about the dolls I buy......but it's funny, because I couldn't care less about the box. I'm just interested in the doll.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Some of My Current Collection

Here's the Malibu Barbie...most likely the re-issue because her face and hair are in such great shape....all cleaned up. I washed her and her bathing suit in the sink with dish washing liquid. A bit of conditioner helped smooth out her hair.

Here's a "Brandy" doll that I want to dress as Cleopatra. I fell in love with this doll's hair!
It's done in tiny braids! I have no idea how I would go about restoring it if it got messed up. I've kept this doll pretty much out of reach of my daughter with a stern warning not to wreck her hair. Her original outfit has been lost, but I don't mind because I'll be making her a new one.

This is my Oshugatsu Barbie that I bought in Arizona. She was one of the first expensive ones I bought. I got her for a bit less because her packaging was damaged.....but I'm a "box remover" so that didn't matter a bit.
I have her shoes but I didn't bother putting them on for the photo. I find they don't stay on very well. They're little sandals with a strap between the big and small toes and the doll doesn't have a gap for it. Also, she's wearing those little Japanese socks which I am told Japanese women wear to keep their feet warm to boost fertility.
I'm just repeating what I was told by a Japanese friend!

Now here's a face from the past.....Scary Spice. At one time I had all 5 Spice Girls dolls, but I gave them away to some nieces. Well, Scary showed up in the toybox at my Dad's house and since the kids are getting older, my Dad wanted the toys thinned out. I ended up grabbing this doll because she was originally mine ....and boy was she a mess! I had to restyle her hair and make an outfit for her. She has no shoes because her feet are larger than Barbie's and I have no idea where I will find Spice Girl shoes. Oh well, I may have to custom make a pair.

Here's my only doll that is still in her original packaging.....Romantic Interlude Barbie. I've done this because she's dressed in black velvet and I need to keep the dust off of her.
I bought the African American model because she has such a beautiful face.

And here's the custom made deerskin dress complete with tiny moccasins. I don't care for the design of the Pocahontas doll's face, so I put the dress on a "Teresa" Barbie. This outfit was made by a Native lady who lived in Sedona Arizona.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Barbie Bodies

Here are a few different Barbie bodies. By the way, ALL of these dolls came from thrift shops. The one on the far left had me very confused because of her strange arms, but now I know she was a "Poison Ivy Barbie" from the Batman series. Her arms are supposed to be more poseable, but I think they made a mistake with that idea. Her arms make her look like a Gumby figure! Also I thought I had found a vintage Malibu Barbie, but after doing some research, I reasoned she may be the 2002 reproduction.
The two on the right have the newer body which some people refer to as the "muse" or "belly button" body. The one in the middle has the old body which is pretty ugly....and she has perma-undies.

On Malibu Barbie's bum is imprinted 1966, MATTEL INC. U.S. PATENTED U.S. PAT. PEND.
MADE IN JAPAN. At first I thought that the originals were MADE IN TAIWAN....but then I saw a listing of 1971 Malibu Barbie having the MADE IN JAPAN marking. So I honestly don't know if she's an original or a repro, because she had no packaging or accessories except for her blue swimsuit. If anyone can clear this up, I'd be grateful. Yeah, you can't really see the writing in this photo, but I thought I'd try anyway.

My New Barbie Blog

I have decided to make this blog because I am a Barbie doll enthusiast, and I am not alone. After searching the internet for Barbie restoration and identification information, I felt there should be a place where a lot of these sites and blogs should be linked. So I took it upon myself to oversee a blog where other Barbie enthusiasts like me can comment, question and learn. Important things like "how to restore a thrift shop Barbie" etc.
I'd just like to begin with these images of an old collection of mine. Some are now gone due to having children and moving many times.
I started the collection in 1996 once I discovered the "Dolls of the World" collection. They were some of the most beautiful dolls I had ever seen! I was living in Phoenix Arizona at the time, working at an animation studio, and I was thrilled to see how many dolls were available at the local Toys R Us! They were quite affordable too!
I still have the doll of Anastasia, although I don't think she was made by Mattel. That was the film I was working on at the time, therefore, I HAD to get her.
The Pocahontas wearing the real deerskin outfit and matching moccasins is from Sedona Arizona. A native woman there made the outfits and sold them for the dolls.

The only dolls I have left from the bottom shelf are the Thailand Barbie and well as two India Barbies at the far left.