It's high time I posted some dolly stuff again... Lately, good ol' Murphy of Murphy's Law - and my old saying that when you collect something, all you need is patience - have shown up strong again.
On my recent trip to the US, I had decided to go for a vintage instead of a doll shop, and had no plans to even look at the toy aisle of Wal-Mart, as anything that Mattel has been releasing lately is just so small-childish (and the dolls' heads only getting bigger) and honestly uninteresting even for collectors like me who still like to redress their dollies. There isn't even much in the collector's line that could tempt me - certainly not dolls that have that stiff ModelMuse body, which is wayyyy too thin and has zero display value if you want to integrate such a doll into a display as I do.
However, fate took us to a mega-mega-Wal-Mart near Quebec Street, and we did come by the toy aisle. I realised that that glow of a certain shade of hot pink still has magical properties, and before I knew it, I stood before rows of shelves packed with Barbie dolls *lol*. And lo and behold, what did I see? A row of black dolls in purple boxes, dressed in stylish outfits, looking surprisingly "normal" - and with NORMAL-sized heads no less! It turns out, they're part of a new, African-American only dolls series called "So In Style". The basic play-line dolls and their story can be seen at the Barbie homepage. What I bought in the end are in a way spin-off dolls from the actual big sister/little sister idea at the heart of this line:
Kara and Trichelle - basic dolls. These dolls have non-bending knees, but at a price point of $4, you don't think, you just grab 'em off the shelf *g*.
Aren't they beautiful?
Grace and Chandra from the Pastry line. As I discovered at home, Pastry is a funky fashion label, and their clothing is not only in the style from that label, they actual wear mini-reproductions of Pastry shoe designs that can be bought online on their website! I quite like their clothing a lot, as it's realistic and fun.Grace is my special favourite, I admit! she's just gorgeous.
Of course I have redressed the girls since, or they wouldn't be living here *g*.
Kara swapped clothing with Pinky - I just saw her in something Mod before my mind's eye when I had deboxed her. And what better for an African-American gal than the bright & colorful Swirly Cue dress?
Romantic Trichelle hangs around the bedroom in this cute peachy ca. 90s wrap dress.
Chandra makes heads turn in the original SuperStar Barbie dress, while Grace oozes elegance in a BMR suit.
Since I've had the whole week off work, there has also been time to visit a dear friend - a fellow Barbie doll collector who also shares a love of vintage fashion and generally beautiful things. We spent a relaxing afternoon looking at books, talking about dolls and other things, and looking at the vintage fashion pieces she's kept for 20 years and more. Oh, the fun of it!
She's been cleaning out her attic lately and I have had the opportunity to buy a few things from her, before she puts them out for sale. I haven't been able to photograph everything either yet, but I was super-glad to find the one Fashion Avenue outfit that has always eluded me! I admit, I was (and still am) a huge fan of the Barbie Fashion Avenue clothing line, which ran from 1995 to 2004. In my opinion, Mattel's play line was at it's best then since probably the 60s. Beautiful dolls, and beautiful, realistic fashions. I remember seeing them the first time at a department store - I walked out with four or five fashions at once, and from that point on, I couldn't be stopped. Some fashions were so rare and hard to get, that it was quite a hunt for them. At the time, there was still a toy store at Zurich's main station, and many was the time during my apprenticeship, that I stopped by there on Wednesday noon on the way from school to the office, and carried a Barbie fashion with me in my school bag... (this was the time when nobody beyond my family and best friends knew I collected Barbie). As good as I was in getting what I wanted, there was the one that got away... but as it happens, my friend had it! I had the extra accessory set for it, but of course that's only half the fun without the actual fashion to go with it. So I came home one happy camper, and today I tried it out on one of my dolls - I really love it!
Another great find was yet anothet blast from the past - a 1989 Super Star fashion called "Star on Ice":
Style Magic Christie makes quite a good show girl!