Fashion Doll Friday – Fashion Fever Gillian Wave K

As far as I know the only Fashion Fever doll to have freckles, this is Gillian from Wave K in her original outfit.

Fashion Fever Gillian Wave K

Fashion Fever Gillian Wave K

If The Shoe Fits -Fun With Barbie Shoes

Pink Barbie ShoesDo you ever get impatient with fashion doll packaging? You know what I mean. You have just received a brand new doll in the post or maybe you’ve just got her home from the shops. If you are a de-boxer like me you can’t wait to get her out, photograph her, change her outfit, maybe her hair and so on. First though you have to contend with the packaging. Many of today’s dolls are so tightly attached to their boxes that it’s a battle to get them out without damaging them. They have those little plastic ties around their limbs, sometimes a wire round the waist  and worst of all that plastic strip that their hair is stitched to before it’s attached to the box.  I can now de-box a Barbie fairly quickly by snipping the ties and liberate the poor girl without taking out chunks of hair but I wonder how the mother’s of young children manage to do this with the child waiting impatiently for their new doll.

Basics Barbie in box

Basics Barbie in box

I often wonder when I’m having a Barbie re-dressing session if other people have as much trouble with all the little bits and pieces as I do. Take shoes; Barbie shoes are the bane of my life. It used to be a simple matter. Find a pair of shoes that match Barbie’s outfit, put them on her and hope they don’t fall off. I don’t know about yours but my dolls shoes seem to prefer the floor to Barbie’s feet. I’ve learned to be very careful at my sister’s house carrying a doll from one room to another because in the doorway of the room where she keeps her toy collection there is a crack between the floorboards that seems to have a magnetic attraction for Barbie shoes. I have lost at least one shoe to it.  If I’m so unlucky as to drop a shoe elsewhere it never falls straight down. I am sure they bounce. I have to be quick to find them too because her little dog learned early in his life that finding and running off with a Barbie shoe is a great way to get attention. He holds them to ransom for dog treats.

It’s not so easy to find the right shoe now either. In the 60′s Barbie’s shoe wardrobe was a separate accessory and I always thought it would be nice to have all those different coloured shoes and sandals. I do like the variety of styles that modern fashion doll shoes come in now, so much nicer than the plain pumps that were around when I was a child but they are not “one size fits all” any more. Model Muse dolls can’t wear a lot of the Fashion Avenue and Fashion Fever shoes, their shoes even have left and right feet. Recently I bought two Poppy Parker dolls and discovered that they could not wear some Barbie shoes either. Nor could my Rosie O’Donnell doll. Amongst the vintage girls  original Sindy and Tammy can share shoes although the later Sindy’s have smaller feet than the early ones. My Palitoy Tressy can’t wear Barbie shoes either. I’m still trying to find some shoes that fit the Tressy’s. I did discover that the Poppy’s could wear some Barbie sandals and that Rosie could wear the Poppy’s shoes so that problem is solved. I want to make Rosie a new outfit as she doesn’t fit standard clothing and I was worrying that I’d have to try to make shoes too but I won’t thank goodness.

Fashion Dolls in a variety of shoe styles.

Fashion Dolls in a variety of shoe styles.

The other problem I have with shoes is actually doing them up, those sandals that have the ankle band and the little knob to do them up. I have the worst time with those. I was putting some on a doll the other day and I had her upside down while I twisted, stretched and pushed the wretched straps into place. I have to admit that some days I just pick a different pair of shoes.

I have trouble tying up tiny bows too. I’m just clumsy I guess. I find it very hard to tie a nice miniature bow. That’s why I’m so in awe of people who make dolls clothing in 1:12 scale. I don’t think I would be able to dress a doll in that clothing let alone make it.

I suppose that is one reason that Barbies for young children now often come with moulded on shoes. It does save a lot of bother I admit but it just doesn’t look right. You can’t make the shoes match her outfit and you would never be able to play “Cinderella” with her.

A final word on shoes. If you leave them on a doll for too long the colour may bleed into the vinyl. It’s better to take them off if the doll will be stored, especially dark coloured ones. I’ve had this happen with dresses a couple of times too.  I remember a Barbie I bought that had a very nice satiny red dress. I actually liked the dress more than the doll but every Barbie that wore it for more than a few days ended up with pink stains on her thighs. She was a cheap playline doll so possibly collectible dolls with more expensive outfits wouldn’t do that. I’ve only had it happen with a couple of outfits over many years and I have stored dolls dressed.

Candi doll's feet coated in Remove Zit.

Candi doll’s feet coated in Remove Zit.

I used Remove Zit to get the blue colouring out of my dolls feet and it has worked but her feet are a little paler now. Prevention is better than cure.


Pink Barbie shoes image by Beth Coll Anderson.This image is free for you to use, commercially or otherwise. All I ask is that you attribute the image to myself and include a link from your blog or website to my site:Beth Coll Anderson






April Does The Splits

The other day I decided that it was time I redressed two of my Denim Basics Barbies as I’d left them in their original outfits since I bought them. Although I had photographed them when I deboxed them I hadn’t realised that one of them was different from all the others.

I had noticed when handling them that these two dolls were lighter than my other Basics girls but when I came to undress April (Denim Basics -01) I discovered that her legs were jointed like a Fashionista although her arms and body were standard Model Muse.
So April can do this:

April is the only Basics doll I have who can do the splits.

April is the only Basics doll I have who can do the splits.


I’m curious to know whether all the 01 dolls were made like this or if April is unusual. Anyone seen any others like this?

Fashion Doll Friday – Anyone For Tennis – Pedigree Sindy

We haven’t had a Sindy for Fashion Doll Friday yet so here is one of my “newer” Sindy’s. I mainly collect the dolls from 1963-69 but a few of the later ones which I never saw as a child live with me too. I need to go through the Sindy’s and ID the later ones properly so I will do that soon.

Sindy in "Centre Court"

Sindy in “Centre Court”

When is a doll not a doll?

In a recent post I wrote about my costume dolls I referred to one of them as being more of a figure than a doll. To me a doll is something that you can play with which may or may not have moving joints but  a figure cannot move and is intended for display only. But… a lot of dolls are really only intended for display, think of collectible Barbies in elaborate costumes, Ashton Drake dolls, celebrity dolls like Marilyn Monroe or Princess Diana and modern porcelain dolls or “reborn” baby dolls. None of those are toys for children so are they dolls, or are they figures? See what I mean?

Dolls or figures. You decide.

Dolls or figures. You decide.

I decided to look online for other views on the subject but what I found were a lot of articles comparing dolls with action figures. That’s another interesting question, is there a difference? Most of the answers I read said things like:

  • Action Figures are for boys
  • Action figures can be customised
  • Action Figures have many points of articulation
  • Action Figures have lots of accessories like weapons and vehicles
  • Dolls are for girls
  • Dolls have few points of articulation
  • Dolls can’t be customised
  • Dolls are made of soft material and stuffed
  • Dolls have pink accessories

However this isn’t necessarily true either.  Modern dolls, especially in the 1:6 scale, are being made with articulated joints. Fashion Royalty, Obitsu and even Barbie have articulated knees, elbows, wrists and sometimes ankles as well as waists. Does that make them action figures? Dolls like Obitsu are intended to be customised and I’m sure girls like doing that as much as boys. They may even like dolls with weapons instead of hair play accessories.

The best article I read and the one that comes closest to my own opinion said that there is no difference between a doll and an action figure but at the same time there are differences. You  can read the article here. See what you think.

My take on it is that action figures and dolls are both toys. A doll can also be a figure if it is not intended for play as can an action figure. Some dolls are very similar to action figures in the way they are constructed.

It really doesn’t matter what you call them as long as you enjoy owning them.

Lady in a sari

Lady in a sari – a figure

Faun dolls made in Hong Kong

Faun dolls made in Hong Kong -are these figures?


Fashion Doll Friday – Teen Skipper

Apologies all, Fashion Doll Friday is late going up today. I was out trying to photograph a historic ferry for My Other Blog. Today’s doll is Teen Skipper from 1997. I think she may have been the first one. She is wearing a Fashion Avenue outfit called “Spring Break” from 2000.

Teen Skipper 1997 in "Spring Break" 2000

Teen Skipper 1997 in “Spring Break” 2000

I have just finished a new page for this blog called It’s A Small World. It is about my love of dolls houses and other scale models. I’ve included a few interesting links and photos of dolls houses and model villages that I have seen. I hope you enjoy it.

The Dolls House and Miniature Show

It's up there.

It’s up there.

Today I went to the Dolls House and Miniature Show in Hobart. The show is put on every  other year, usually around the end of June or beginning of July, by The Miniature Enthusiasts of Tasmania Inc. The past couple of shows have been held in the Long Gallery of the Salamanca Arts Centre. It’s a good venue as it is right in the heart of the city with easy access to public transport and parking and plenty of cafes around the Salamanca area. The entry fee was a very reasonable $5. The club always supports a children’s charity and this year they chose Tascare’s ‘Freedom Wheels for Children’.

Each year the show has a theme and this year it was “A Matter of Scale”. The highlight of the show was a fictitious English village called Littlebourne which was created by members. I spent a lot of time admiring the village and all its detail. I loved the little back garden with washing on the line, the farm and the different styles of houses. Littlebourne was created in what miniaturists call “quarter scale”. In quarter scale a quarter of an inch equals one foot, an inch equals forty-eight inches (1:48). Railway modellers will be familiar with this as it is used in “O Gauge” train sets. You can read more about quarter scale here.

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The other popular scales for miniature houses are 1:12 and 1:24 scales and the tiny 1:144. I’m a fumble fingers and can’t imagine working in such a tiny scale. I saw a lady knitting a jumper for a teddy bear with needles that looked the size of a pair of match sticks.

There were not so many dolls houses this year as the miniaturists had mostly concentrated on other ways to display tiny goods, some of them were quite ingenious. Here are a few that I saw.

A collection of miniatures on the theme of "You don't need a dolls house."

A collection of miniatures on the theme of “You don’t need a doll’s house.”

I liked this model of a caravan complete with cat.

I liked this model of a caravan complete with cat.

This must be the smallest miniature I saw.

This must be the smallest miniature I saw.

One display I liked was a series of framed dioramas each depicting an Australian song. Unfortunately these did not photograph well, even without using a flash I found I was getting too many reflections but I have included a couple so that you can see what I’m talking about. Some of the songs featured were “Pub With No Beer”, “Redback on the Toilet Seat”, “Up There Cazaly” (about Australian Rules football for those who don’t know), “Our Don Bradman” (about cricket), “The Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree”, “Click Go The Shears” and several others.

Each one of these portrays an Australian song.

Each one of these portrays an Australian song.

"Our Don Bradman"

“Our Don Bradman”

Another clever display was called “Ex Libris” and has a very interesting feature in the basement!

What is the secret of the library?

What is the secret of the library?


This is a terrible photo but included to show what was in the basement in detail.

One of the things that I learned at the show was that the miniaturists set out to make their models with things that you might find lying around the house. In “Launceston’s Little Loos” the challenge is to make the miniature without buying anything. “Powder Room” is another example of this as the only thing that was bought was the cat!

Launceston's Little Loos

Launceston’s Little Loos

Powder Room

Powder Room

Of course there were traders there too with everything from lace nightgowns in 1:24 scale to lighting, food and furniture. I thoroughly enjoyed my morning at the fair and will look forward to the next one in 2016.

One of the many trade stands.

One of the many trade stands.

I have been planning for some time to do a page about my love of small things. I’ve always loved dolls houses but I also like things like scale model villages and of course model railways. I will try to put this page up in the near future and will include a bit more of the information I gathered today.