Monday, May 21, 2012


 Better late than never - here are my answers to Ms Leo's from I-Luv-Dolls questionnaire. 

When did you start collecting dolls?
I've actually started collecting dolls twice.  The first time was in my teens and twenties and I collected Barbies (that was really all that was available at the time.)  I remember my younger sister laughing about how she went to a toy shop with a friend to buy me a Holiday Barbie for a Christmas present and her friend asking anxiously, " Are you sure that is what your sister wants for Christmas?"
The second time was just a few years ago, when a sewing student of mine brought her ball-jointed dolls to class so we could make clothing patterns for them and I rediscovered my love for dolls.

What was your first purchase as a collector?
In my first phase, it would have been Busy Barbie - she had articulated hands so she could move her thumb.

In my second phase, it was 'Innuendo'. She is a 16" (40cm) Goodreau American Ball Jointed doll who I named Naimh (pronounced 'Neve'). I've been told she is about the same body size as a Minifee.

How many dolls do you own?
Umm, how widely do we cast the net here? Do I count the StarWars Armidala doll and the Hasbro Jem dolls I bought and have left in their boxes as I may want to sell them some day? And what about the Monster High doll/s that my daughter and I both claim to own?  Probably about 30 - today.

What is your favorite doll and why?
I like them all.  Maybe my first Barbie because she was my first real Barbie - and I remember wanting one for a long time.

What doll or dolls are not your favorites and why?
Moxie Girlz and the new Bratz. I keep looking at them but I don't like their faces.  My daughter calls them 'ugly'.

What is the biggest challenge about collecting dolls?
The cost - dolls are always more expensive to buy here in Australia, sometimes a lot more judging by the prices I see quoted on some of the other blogs (eg. $50 for Moxie Teenz). Plus we don't have access to the variety that is available in America. I can buy over the net  and then I have to watch the exchange rate and also factor in postage, which can add significantly to the cost.  And storage - I have to do something about that.

How do you display or store your dolls? All over the place.  They pop up everywhere.  One day, I may have a more dedicated space.

Have you ever been to a doll show?
The closest thing we have to a doll show near me is the Melbourne Doll market which is held twice a year.  The next one is on August 4  and yes, I have been (and will go again).

When you travel, do you look for dolls?
Yes, you never know.

What is your latest purchase?
A Fashionista Ken - I decided I needed more male dolls.

What doll is on your wish list now?
Lots - too many to mention.

What do you wish you didn’t purchase?
None yet, although there are some dolls I will pass on to someone else as I bought them for the furniture and the doll was included but not really wanted.

What is your favourite doll related item?
Well, I seem to have developed a sideline collection of doll clothing patterns - I have a lot and people see my interest and give me more.
Otherwise, I would say doll shoes.  This is one area where I think Mattel has improved over the years.  The early Barbie shoes were mainly slides or closed toe in various colours but now there are lots of different styles with interesting detailing - although I do notice a lot more pink and black.

Original shoes above, modern shoes below.

How often do you photo your dolls and what doll is the most photographed and/or photogenic? Actually, I don't - yet.  My photos are done by either my daughter or my husband who both take photos as part of their jobs and all my dolls are being photographed more regularly now..  (I do have a digital camera I have to learn how to use.) 
My most photographed dolls are my Fashionista Barbies - I love the poseability.

Do you talk to other collectors in person or just on the web? Mostly on the web.  Very occasionally in person.

If you could talk to Mattel or other doll makers, what would you say?
Please keep producing articulated dolls.  Also, could we please have more of the Monster High males as single dolls and not just as sets.   And the most important thing - don't forget you have an international market as well as a domestic one.

Which doll do you wish would be reissued?
After reading everyone's blogs this week, it would have to be the Liv dolls.

What two dolls would you combine and how would you want them combined (Muff style quesiton)?
I'm not sure if this is the type of answer you wanted but I would like to see some of the original Barbie heads reissued on a Fashionista type body.  I know I could do it easily enough myself because I do love the ability to pose the dolls.

And the last thing I would like to add is: thank you very much Ms Leo for a very entertaining and thought-provoking set of questions.

Friday, May 18, 2012


Measuring a doll with a tape measure and getting accurate measurements is difficult.  And the smaller the doll, the more difficult it becomes.
The way I usually get the most accurate measurements on dolls  is to use narrow cotton tape.  It doesn't stretch  and  is narrow enough to get into the curves of small dolls.  Once I've marked the measurement, I lay the cotton tape against my tape measure and get a very accurate measurement.
But the other day, I was in one of our local quilt shops and I found this:

It's a narrow cotton tape that's being used as decoration on lots of quilts and bags and whatever else a quilter/sewer can think of. It's marked in 10cm (4") increments.  It's pretty accurate - over the space of 10cms it is 3mm out (which equates to an 1/8" over 4" for those still using  inches).

 However, if I use it to measure a doll and then use it to make the measurements on the pattern, the pattern will fit the doll.  And it is narrow and flexible enough to fit into the curves of a small doll so I can use it to measure small dolls (like Monster High and smaller) just like a tape measure.

 (It'a very hard to take a picture and make sure a tape is held straight. )

  And it gives Barbie a tape measure too!  (Doesn't she look professional?)