Monday, August 25, 2014

Project Update: The Sew-Dolling/American Girl Hybrid

American Girl Josefina head on SewDolling's SewAble body
Back in April, when I reviewed SewDolling's Madison, I mentioned that while I loved many things about the doll, I wasn't a fan of the face.  At the time, I wasn't certain about whether is was the paint or the sculpt that bothered me, and mentioned the possibility of repainting her. 

Since then, I decided that it was actually the proportions of the face itself that weren't my style, and I decided to go the hybridization route and give her a new American Girl head. 

As a side note on hybridizing these two dolls, I've talked to a few people who have wanted to put one of the SewDolling legs on an AG body - unfortunately, I don't think that would work as easily as the head swap, due to the longer length of the SewDolling body's legs (in addition, while the basic construction is identical, the torso is shorter and the stance broader on the SewDolling body), so that would be a significantly larger challenge that this simple head swap.

The Josefina head
It's not difficult to find AG "head only" or TLC listings on ebay, so I knew I could find one fairly
easily, but my biggest dilemma was which head to choose - the SewDolling dolls are darker than AG's light skin, but lighter than medium skin, so there wasn't going to be a perfect match there.  Eventually I ended up choosing a Josefina head, primarily because it was the best priced non-classic mold I found (I have Samantha and didn't want a duplicate face shape). 

Once it arrived, the head actually turned out to be in better condition that the seller's description had suggested, so I was delighted to find out that the basic recovery work would be minimal.

Th Josefina head on arrival.
I cut the hair by about 33%.


Drying after a quick wash.
You might want to warn your friends and family before
setting this up - my husband shrieked when he saw this
in the bath without warning. ;)
The two heads together.  You can see the difference in facial proportions here.
Interestingly, because the vinyl SewDolling uses is harder than AG's, it reflects
more light, which makes the dolls look like a poorer colour match than
they do in real life.

The decapitation.
Aside from having a ziptie rather than a string, the method of attaching the head on
both types of doll is identical.
The AG head (left) has a longer neck and wider inner section than the
SewDolling (right) one, but the style is still the same.
This photo was taking with a flash, so the difference in light reflection
is even more obvious here.
New head/new body!

Dressed up and ready to go!
Amusingly, the reason it took me more than a month to share this project is because I'm still unsatisfied with her hairstyle.  But knowing me, that may take another year, so I decided it was time to stop procrastinating and  just put this up! 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

League of Extraordinary Bloggers: Cryptozoology, or The Search for Dragonne

It's been a while since I last posted something for The League of Extraordinary Bloggers, but this week's assignment caught my eye.  It was just one word: Cryptozoology. A quick search told me that it refers to the study of "hidden" animals - and that's "hidden" in the Loch Ness monster/Bigfoot sense, not the well-camouflaged sense (other League bloggers have already showed off Mezco's Cryptozoology figure series, discussed Harry & the Hendersons, and shared some personal monster stories). 

My immediate thought was that Dragonne would be perfect for this.  A half-lion, half-dragon from LJN's Dungeons & Dragons line of the 1980s, he would be a perfect example of a "hard to find" or non-existent species.
The D&D toy line-up

There was just one problem:  like the Loch Ness Monster, my own Dragonne figure proved to be elusive.  As with the creatures of urban legend, when it came time to bring out the cameras, he was no where to be found.  Not in my house (I had my husband hunt through my toy shelves), and not in my mother's basement (I did some digging of my own). 

I know he was around before we moved, because I have photographic evidence (much like the famous photos of Nessie, not particularly good photographic evidence, but hey - that seems to go with the territory):
Photographic evidence of Dragonne's existance.

Realistically, that probably means that he's in storage, but for the purposes of this assignment, I think we should imagine that he's having tea with the Sasquatch (which could be true, since my Alpha Flight Sasquatch figure is in storage as well). 

A rare photo of Draggone in the wild.
I imagine he's waving at Sasquatch and saying "Tea time!"

Monday, August 18, 2014

Out of the Basement: Sasha

As I mentioned in my post about the short-lived Moni line, I have a fond nostalgic feeling towards Sasha dolls.  My two (a dark-haired Gregor and a Sasha baby) are in storage, but my sister's old dolls were packed away in my mother's basement, so I was able to dig them out.

Sasha Blonde,and two Sasha Baby dolls

Sasha Baby:  This is the oldest of the three.
Sasha Baby #2: This one is the youngest of the three.
Sasha Blonde

I was pleasantly surprised by how intact they all were - aside from some wild hair and a dress that needs ironing on the big one, they're all in solid shape.  And I know my sister played with them extensively, so that's a real testament to their construction!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Wish List: Dolls, Figures and... throw pillows?

I haven't been making any major collection purchases this summer (in part because of all the travelling), but every now and then a preorder item pops up somewhere and catches my eye - and just these week there have been several, so I thought I'd take a break from sorting through the older items in my mother's basement and share a few upcoming items that I'm watching.

Photo credit.

First up is a re-release of Soom's Chrom, with brown tan as one of the resin options.  He's on their Super Gem body which, while not their largest, is still 65cm tall - and I've been holding off on adding any SD+ sized dolls to my collection for three years now.  Still, I've admired this sculpt before, so it's tempting.

He'll be available for pre-order through the end of the month, so I have time to think it over.

Next up is Titan's upcoming (January 2015) release of a series of Dragon Age mini figures, to be sold as blind bags (or boxes).  I'm generally grumpy about the idea of blind bags over the price of $2, but knowing my ridiculous fondness for the Dragon Age games (and the franchise as a whole) that fan-feeling is probably going to get the better of me.

Photo credit

I didn't follow SDCC this year (aside from checking for a couple of game demos), but when I noticed the new Monster High Vandala Doubloons, she ended up on my watch list as well (both because I like the pirate concept, and because she needs to join the figure-with-prosthesis collection).

 And then last night I came across this Captain Britain throw pillow over on Studio6.  It might not be my favourite piece of fan art, but I can't help but think that it would look fantastic in my Captain Britain-themed guest room...

Photo Credit

And finally just this morning I was scanning recent posts over at toyhaven and discovered that Fewture/ArtStorm is putting out three figures based on characters from Fringe.  I was slow to get into that show (I'm currently working my way through season 4), and I'd always wondered why there wasn't more merchandise.
The Olivia isn't a great likeness, but the other two look decent.

And that's it!  At least for now...

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Out of the Basement: Transformers (Slag and Topspin)

Digging further into my mother's basement, I came across a couple of old Transformers - the Dinobot Triceratops Slag and the Jumpstarter vehicle Topspin.  Unlike a lot of the older toys I've unearthed, these guys actually have a decent amount of play-related damage.

I only ever had a handful of Transformers (one of my uncles noticed that my childhood self wasn't interested in dolls and sent these guys along instead for a couple of years), so they had to suffer through all sorts of adventures.
Slag: his horns are warped and part of his left hip has come off.
Slag in robot mode.  Yes, he has terribly unevenly placed stickers.
Topspin in vehicle mode
Topspin in robot mode.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Out of the Basement: The Muppets

The Muppets
As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I'm in Toronto at the  moment and staying through the end of August.  And as I mentioned in my Retro Week post back in May, that means I have access to my mother's basement which stores both childhood toys and her various warehouse sale finds.  So I thought I'd intersperse my regular posts with some shorter ones of the toys I discover whilst digging through the boxes down there.

First up is this random group of Muppets.  As far as I can tell, these are actually from two different lines - the Kermit and Scooter figure are articulated (Scooter has 5 points of articulation, Kermit 1) and have a slot in their backs, while the others are all simple vinyl figurines.  I don't know where any of them came from, so if you recognize them, I'd love to hear more.  In the meantime, I'll just enjoy the randomness of this collection of characters.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Revisiting the 3D-Printed Makie

In an MSD wig and a Bratz Boyz outfit.
When last we saw my 3D Printed Makie doll/figure, he was wearing his default outfit and wig (both of which I wasn't hugely impressed with).   Since I liked his construction considerably more than I liked the extras and since Muff suggested that it would be interesting to see his articulation with fewer clothes covering the joints, I'm going to let this guy enjoy the spotlight once more.

One of the first things I did after taking that first series of photos was to wipe the bottom half of this guy's faceup.  The original pink lip colour gave him a strangely aggressive sneer, so the blank face is quite the improvement.  Unfortunately that makes the sealant on the upper half the of the face more visible, so I'll have to fully wipe and eventually repaint him in full.

Next up was removing the original fur wig (which was cut in such a way that he appeared to be balding).  It came off fairly easily (despite being glued on), but there was quite a bit of adhesive left on the headcap, so that will still need to be cleaned off.

Luckily, the Makie heads are similar in size to an MSD, so I had some wigs on hand that would fit him.  The medium length fibre wig that he's wearing in photos here came from the Volks USA clearance sale.  The outfit that he's porting is from the Bratz Boyz line, and the top is a near-perfect fit.  The jeans are unfortunately not quite as perfect in that they're too long (although that's easily adjusted, and one could always just use the shorts) and a little too tight in the waist (they don't fully close in the back).

But enough about the clothes, let's take a look at the joints!

All of the joints (including the head) pop on and off easily. 
Each joint is a simple ball and socket.
You can see the semi-wiped face and the wig adhesive in this shot.

Arms raised, elbows bent, one foot up, one foot down.
The joints in action.
Standing up.
From behind.
The rectangular bit in the back is to allow for a battery to be inserted
(some people give their Makies glowing eyes, or a voice box).
You can also see the release point for the headcap here.