PUDDLE Prep Update #2

I can’t believe there’s just over a month left until PUDDLE time! I’m still rushing around to get everything done, and the closer it gets to time the more I feel like I’m running out of time! I think I’ll be able to get everything done, though!

The contest dolls are all 3 100% done now. There were a couple minor details I’d been putting off that I went ahead and got finished today almost entirely just so I could say they were done here 🙂 I do need to do some body de-flopping work on one of them but I’m putting that off until the last minute out of fear that if I do it too early the floppiness will return before contest time.

Deer boy and skunk girl are both almost done as well. Both have their ears and tail, although if I have extra time I may need to do some tweaking to deer boy’s to attach them more securely to the clips. Skunk girl has all her clothes, after I decided to forego a couple extras I had been considering giving her. Deer boy has a vest in the making right now, and both will get their shoes hopefully this weekend.

I did sort of use the pattern out of the Doll Coordinate Recipe book for Skunk Girl’s skirt. I say sort of, because I didn’t pay attention to the fact I was supposed to enlarge my scan of the copy and figured out on my own that it was way too small after printing, so I basically just hand drew a larger version that I ended up using for the skirt, but I do think I know what I’m doing with the book now so in the future I’m thinking I’ll have more luck. It also has a pattern I think will work really well for Stevonnie’s bomber jacket so I’ll be messing around with that later on.

I can’t decide if I’m going to work on clothes for Stevonnie or Josefin next, as I’m slightly worried I won’t have time to get both done. I had originally planned to do Stevonnie next, but I’m leaning more toward Josefin now for a couple reasons: First, there’s less outfit pieces involved, and second, since she’s actually an “on-topic” doll for PUDDLE I feel like she should get my last slot. Still, I’m really excited to finish Stevonnie and would love to take her with me; it just depends on timing I guess.

General things about the past couple months of crafting: I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how well shoes have turned out and I’m not nearly as scared of making them again. I’ve still got some work to do to get them to come out nice and delicate but chunky shoes aren’t terribly and they’ve worked perfectly for everything I’ve needed them for so far, so I won’t complain. I’ve also discovered how wonderful and helpful fray check is when sewing on this scale. It makes everything easier (which I’ve known DGRequiem, who I buy a lot of patterns from, has always said but I’ve been too cheap to buy any) and actually was the only reason I was able to use a couple of the fabrics I’ve utilized without them going to pieces. I’ve gone through a whole bottle with these projects already and I think it’s something I’m going to start stocking up on.

And some non-PUDDLE doll crafting stuff: I got my BJD, and even found time to make her a kimono! She’s lovely and as soon as I’m not swamped I owe her a post, as well as an update post on my Ladybug and DC Superhero Girls collections. I’m not done sewing for my BJD, though– a fellow forum member suggested I make her a junihitoe and I think that will suit her perfectly, and they were even kind enough to share measurements and progress images of their own MSD junihitoe project to help me figure out what I’m doing. That’s definitely post-PUDDLE work though. I’ve also finally made a decision in regards to an extra Dal I’ve had lying around to customize. I think I’m going to turn her into Vanellope Von Schweetz from Wreck-It Ralph. I love the movie, love the character, think a Dal version of her would be super cute and fun to make, and I figured out I have perfect eye chips for her already, so I’m excited to add that to my post-PUDDLE crafting list.

I’ll keep you updated as I continue to finish out my sewing in the next month, and hopefully next week sometime I can start taking some sneak peek photos and things! Stay tuned!

PUDDLE Prep Update #1

Figured I’d share an update for my progress on getting ready for PUDDLE- I think I’ll try and share at least monthly updates for you all!

Contest dolls are coming along nicely, and are almost finished. All three of them just need some accessories (in total, 4 pairs of shoes, 2 ties, and 1 pair of fingerless gloves) and some detail work on the clothes (painted details on outfits for all three and some decorative cord on my partial custom boy). My goal is to get all that done by no later than next Monday. 

The handmade wig for my partial custom boy turned out nicely! I did have one false start with the wig cap, but after that it was pretty smooth sailing. Sewing with that much hair in the way was a bit fiddly but it honestly didn’t take nearly as long as I expected it to, and the results looked fine for my first try. 


^Partial custom boy channeling the girl from The Ring a bit before his haircut. 

All dolls have had their necessary haircuts and styling and are fully assembled body-wise now. The hair all looks quite nice and I’m really excited about that! Sooo much doll hair everywhere, though, this week!

After I finish up the contest dolls, the next month of work is set to be focused on Skunk Girl and Deer Boy. I’ve got a Doll Coordinate Recipe book on its way to me right now, set to arrive today (assuming the shipping company’s website is right that the tracking is lying to me and it’s not getting delivered to a city on the other side of the state like it says, but I digress) and I’m thinking it might have a great skirt pattern for Skunk Girl, but we’ll just have to wait and see. 

See you next update!

Countdown to PUDDLE 2017

Ok, so in reality crunch time for me started a couple months ago when I began to work in earnest on faceups and supply ordering. But as PUDDLE 2017 approaches and I’m semi-scrambling to get everything done that I’m wanting to get done, I thought I’d share a little about my PUDDLE-related projects with you and their progress (partially as an impetus for myself to keep working on them)!

Contest Dolls

I’m planning on entering three dolls into the customization contests this year: two full customs and one partial custom. I’m keeping who I’m making a surprise, but the two full customs are both from one of my favorite animes (one that sort of fits the tea party theme) and the partial custom is from another of my favorite shows. 

Full Custom Isul: the closest of the bunch to being finished. Faceup and rebody has been completed, as well as the majority of one of the two outfits I’m making for this doll. I need to finish outfit one, make all of outfit two, make two pairs of shoes, and attach and style the wig. I’m also waiting on a couple minor accessories to arrive. 

Full Custom Taeyang: this guy arrived a little later than the rest so he’s not as far along as everyone else. I’ve sanded off his stock faceup. His clothes are in progress, but I have not yet done his faceup (I’ve got it planned for late March) and I’ll have to wait until his eyelashes come in to put him together anyway. He’ll also have some shoes I’ll need to make, and of course attaching and styling the wig once the faceup is done. 

Partial custom Taeyang: aka the “how is the one with the least sanding and painting to do still the most complicated custom?!” doll. His faceup modification is done, and it looks great. I’m custom-making a wig for him since he has sort of distinctive hair (that’ll be a first for me; wish me luck!) and I’ll have to custom-draft the patterns for his clothes as well, including shoes, since they’re pretty unique and complicated. Depending on the time I have left I may be making some accessories too. I’m hoping he’ll turn out looking as nice as he does in my head! Somehow I managed to lose one of his eyelids- I’m hoping I’ll track it down but I’m starting to doubt it so there may be some finagling involved there too. 

Non-Contest Dolls

I’m also working on a few custom dolls not for contests, but just to show off and potentially sell. The contest dolls are my top priority, but these ones I really want to have ready as well!

Deer Boy Isul: is going to be super cute, I think! I’ve got his faceup finished and it’s my favorite of the bunch. He’ll need custom clothes and shoes when I get the chance, as well as detachable deer ears and a tail. I’m waiting for the clips I’m using for those to come in, as well as his wig (which may also be my favorite wig I’ve ordered for this bunch).

Skunk Girl Dal: is growing on me the more that I work on her. Her faceup is done and she’s gotten her wig in. I still need to attach and style it, but it does make her look a lot cuter than she did without it, and I think once I get her outfit and shoes made that I’ve got planned, she’ll be a darling. 

Stevonnie: is not a Groove brand doll but a Hasbro Pocahontas. I’ve been wanting to make her since I did Connie, and I’m excited to get her finished! Her faceup is done, which means what remains is sculpting and painting her gem, styling her hair, and sewing her clothes. Since Stevonnie has a pretty basic “central outfit” with several variations I’ll be making her three full outfits, and I’m thrilled that I don’t have to do shoes for her!

Josefin Dal: is someone I’ve been working on since just after last PUDDLE- oops! She’s completely assembled including her wig, and I was even able to find shoes I liked for her online, so really all I have to do is sew her clothes, but sewing doll clothes is something I have a serious love-hate relationship for so I’ve been putting it off. She’s low priority still compared to all the other dolls, but I hope to be able to have her ready to travel with me too!

Non-PUDDLE Stuff

And I might as well give a bit of a general update on some other doll crafting I hope to be doing but don’t necessarily have to get done by PUDDLE. 

BJD: I’m officially waiting on my first real, resin BJD- a DikaDoll Mudan/Peony Lion with a faceup. I know what I want her to look like and I’ve already received her wig, which is perfect, and some eye options. I’ve got a pattern printed out to make an outfit for her, a kimono, so now if I get a chance I’m going to get that cranked out. I’m not planning on bringing her to PUDDLE so it’s not crucial, but I’d love to have her an outfit before she gets here (which I don’t know the exact time frame on anyway but I’m predicting May). The good news is the pieces are big enough I think I might be able to tolerate machine sewing this one. 

Custom Byul: I recently impulse-bid on an inexpensive Byul Rhiannon on eBay, fully expecting not to win, and won. I wasn’t in love with her stock look (she came without any of her stock items), so I was tentatively thinking about customizing her, and when she arrived and I discovered she wasn’t in great shape (ratty wig that had been hot glued on, scraped eyechips, dirt marks, etc.) that sealed it for me. Since I didn’t pay much for her I don’t feel bad experimenting a bit on her, so she’s going to be my guinea pig for some more extreme customization- facial carving, sculpting, and full body painting to change skin tone. I’ve already got her carving mostly done and I’m pretty happy with it other than some fine tuning I want to do. I still need to sand-matte her body in preparation for painting and do her sculpting, and I haven’t even begun to look into eyechips or anything for her. I think I’m going to make her a brushed yarn wig, and her outfit will be pretty straightforward, so as long as the experimental parts go well I think she’ll turn out great! I’m keeping her future identity a secret too, but I will tell you that she’s a Steven Universe character. She’s almost certainly going to be a post-PUDDLE project because of the amount of work involved on her, as well as how much I have to get done before PUDDLE, but I’m already excited to see how she’ll shape up!

And that about covers it! Be expecting more updates in the future as well as some dolly sneak peeks!

Selling some of my dolly-related extras!

I’ve recently gone through all my doll stuff and am trying to weed out considerably, so here’s a great big sales post of things I’m offering up to the world!

General Info

~Smoke-free, cat friendly home. My cat gets into everything whether I want her to or not so if you have allergies I’d say steer clear.

~Payment via PayPal, please.

~Prices listed do not include shipping, unless otherwise stated. I’m willing to ship internationally at the buyer’s expense. Please contact me for shipping quotes; I’ll do my best to get as accurate of a number as I can.

~Prices are not set in stone. Feel free to make offers, especially if you’re buying several things.

~I’d really appreciate it if you could link to some sort of buy/sell/trade feedback too! It helps to put my mind at ease!

 

Trades?

I’d be willing to work out trades for the following:

~Non-stock eyechips

~Obitsu or Pureneemo bodies (I tend to prefer smaller busts over larger, and on obitsu I like 25cm a little better than 27cm)

~Monique Destiny wig in 8-9” burgundy (on the off chance somebody’s trying to get rid of one)

Please note that at the moment I don’t really have a lot of extra money to spend on doll things, so I’m not able to do partial trades on my end. Please only offer trades if you’re wanting enough of my items to make it worthwhile for you! 🙂

 

Pullip

Wigs

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Taeyang Alberic Stock Wig: $5

Dal Charlotte Stock Wig: $5 (I bought and de-wigged two Charlottes, and both times the curls from the sides of her head came off separate from the wig. I’m assuming this is standard but wanted to make note of it regardless.)

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Off-brand wig: $1

I bought this one at a flea market, still in its original packaging. It was some brand I’d never heard of and seemed to be geared more towards cloth dolls and baby dolls. It doesn’t look terrible on a Groove doll; the hair’s a little thin and the actual wig cap is far too small to stay on without gluing/cover the bald spot and roughness left by a stock wig, but if someone has a use for it please take it! A couple more pictures:

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To show off the general sizing of the “cap” itself.

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And an idea of how it looks on a Groove doll, modelled by Alberic because he’s the only assembled baldy I have at the moment.

 

Stock Outfits

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Isul Sith:

Coat $3

Pants $2

Backpack $2

Hat $1 (The black pleather is peeling really badly for some reason)

Bow and Skull charm removed from shirt- free; just pay shipping

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Byul Tiger Lily:

Vest $2

Headdress $1

Capelet $1

Quiver $1

Undies $1

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Pullip Aya Hairpiece $2- This is rather frizzy and probably needs some sort of TLC to get it looking decent. I am at least the second owner; prior history is unknown.

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Byul Pollon:

Bonnet $2

Jacket $2

I am at least the second owner; prior history is unknown.

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Isul Fairy Lumiere:

Wand $1

Hat $2- The cat got ahold of this one, so the tassel is less full than it should be. It’s also fairly crinkly; I thought I’d stored it with plenty of space but apparently something smooshed it.

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Taeyang Alberic:

Full stock without wig: $16

Full stock with wig: $20

Inquire about prices for individual pieces. The little silvery loop thing that I think is a garter was loose in the box when I got him and doesn’t appear to have any sort of velcro or fastener where it is separated; not sure if it was supposed to be a continuous loop or have a fastener but neither was true when I got him.

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Dal Charlotte:

(Currently pending- I have an offer on the petticoat and shoes; no full stock sales available until after these items clear or fail to clear)

Full stock without wig: $16

Full stock with wig: $20

Inquire about prices for individual pieces.

 

Other

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Pullip Type 4 Stock Body $7- squeaky hips but otherwise in good condition.

PENDING Dal Stock Body $3- both wrists broke as soon as I tried to move them. I attempted to glue the hands back on; one is still attached (not super securely though) and the other has gone missing. Otherwise fine, just needs those new arms!

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Cards: $0.50 each

 

Non Pullip

Low Quality Custom Dolls/Custom Bait Dolls

Most of these have some sort of flaw or issue with them, which I have done my best to note here. These are being offered as-is and I won’t be particularly offended if you wipe my customizations, etc. for your own usage.

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(All of these girls are getting a boil perm treatment as soon as I get a chance; new photos when that happens.)

Cotton Candy Clawdeen $15- Reroot and faceup by me. Cleo De Nile body with Clawdeen’s head and hands. Her neck hole was widened inexpertly in an attempt to get her old hair out more easily; her neck plug has hair elastics on it to attempt to help her head hold its place better but it’s still on the wobbly side. There are a couple of errant blue specks on her face:

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Baby Blue Lagoona $15- Haircut and faceup by me. Her hair’s on the gluey side. Her leg fins are still present. No major flaws that I can see other than the sticky hair.

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Honey Lemon $7- Faceup by me. Was going to be Honey Lemon from Big Hero Six but I got a little overzealous on the teeth. Ashlynn Ella is the base model. She’s come into contact with my first ever custom doll, who I had sharpie-dyed the hair on and hadn’t realized was starting to leach, so  she’s got a greenish spot on her cheek that I doubt will fully come off, although I haven’t tried. Maybe she could become a zombie or something?

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Sweetheart Operetta $10- Faceup and addition of pink streak in hair by me. Her eyebrows may have stained the surrounding vinyl (I did seal her so it may just be bleeding over the sealant but I’m not sure) and her lips are doing this weird thing that all my light-lipped customs from right around that time are doing where the color’s breaking down and turning chalky-looking. Comes with outfit shown in picture, or buy her nude for $6.

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Yellow-Eyes Scarah $5- dehaired, faceup by me. She’s got a split in her scalp along the part, toward the front, and her sealant is kind of flaking (probably from being thrown around in a box more than anything).

Blankie McStains $3- a blank Ashlynn Ella that used to be a self-portrait doll. The neck peg broke out; I can’t remember now if I glued it back in or just attached the head gently without it but if you want to know I can check. She has stains on her face because I dyed her hair with sharpies (you may be sensing a trend of idiocy from my early customizing days here); I have given her one zit cream treatment and they’ve faded considerably but they’re still there.

Cross-Eyed Cerise $5- dehaired, faceup by me. Her irises seem to have faded unexpectedly, and there’s some mild sealant flaking, but otherwise in okay condition.

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Mattel Disney Dolls- Free; just pay shipping. If anybody wants these, please take them off my hands, otherwise they’re going to be in my next batch of thrift store donations.

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Apple Head- Free; just pay shipping. A foam apple that has been “modded” (aka had a hole poked into the bottom) to fit as a head for an Ever After High doll. I never really bonded with my apple head girl so I figured if someone else wanted one they could avoid the work of finding and making a head. 🙂

 

Monster High Dolls

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Signature Operetta $10- complete, includes everything pictured. Her hair’s not great, but it’s not terrible either.

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I ❤ Accessories Operetta $6- complete, comes with everything pictured. I’ve never done anything much with her hair so it’s still pretty box-hair-ish.

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Kiyomi Haunterly $8- complete, comes with everything pictured. I made her more “faceless” by removing all factory paint except for her lipstick. Her hair is fantastically silky and wonderful.

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My Little Pony

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Pinkie Pie and Applejack $3 ea or $5 for both- I have no idea what release Pinkie Pie is. Applejack’s packaging is pretty beat up, not suited for MIB collectors.

 

Miscellaneous Clothing and Accessories

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-Disney Outfits $2 each- Hasbro Jasmine and Pocahontas

-Monster High pieces $1 each

-Blue fleecy shorts .50

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Monster High Plastic Items $1 each

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Various items .50 each (paired sets such as shoes and earrings count as one item)

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Various items .25 each (paired sets such as shoes and earrings count as one item. Additionally, each of the two piles of hair clips and the one pile of “food” things are priced for the whole pile. If I ever find Jasmine’s other earring I’ll include that too but it seems to have gone missing.)

 

Cards and Journals

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Free; just pay shipping. To my knowledge, here are the ones I have:

-DC Superhero Girls Poison Ivy (Signature release school ID)

-Art Class Draculaura

-Way Too Wonderland Madeline Hatter

-Skulltimate Roller Maze art card of some sort?

-Signature CA Cupid (EAH)

-Signature Raven Queen

-Signature Ginger Breadhouse

-Signature Holly O’Hair

-Signature Poppy O’hair

 

Hairbrushes

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Free; just pay shipping. Most of them are either Monster High or Ever After High; the heart-shaped one is Once Upon a Zombie and I’m not sure about the roundish silver one (although I’d guess either Mattel’s Tangled Ever After Rapunzel or Fairy Tale High Rapunzel based on dolls I own)

 

Handmade Goods

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Doll Quilts $20 each- Made by me, machine quilted.

Crocheted cat ears hat $5- sized for Pullip. Here’s Marty in her blue one for an idea of fit:

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(I’m also more than happy to do made-to-order crocheted items for dolls or doll quilts; just let me know if you have an idea and we can work something out!)

 

And that’s about it! If you’re interested in anything, please get in touch with me and we can work something out!

Bandai Miraculous Ladybug Part 2: Chat Noir Doll!

As promised, here’s an update now that I have one of the male dolls! I’m trying to keep my dolly spending under control, so I only got Chat Noir instead of getting both the boys while I was there, but give me a couple weeks and I assure you I’ll have the full set.

Most of what there is to say about the line as a whole, I’ve already said in my review of Marinette, so this will mainly be the highlights on things that are different between her and Chat.

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Chat in all his glory. His belt does have a tendency to creep up his torso a bit. Chat comes with his “catsuit,” tail belt, boots, and his baton/communicator.

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Chat’s backdrop is an Eiffel Tower scene, with the Bubbler as his little cardboard companion. I have yet to see the Ladybug doll in person, but I’m hoping/betting her backdrop is the other half of the tower.

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Leather catsuits are a bit hard to replicate in doll-sizes, but I think the stretch knit they chose does a really good job of looking similar. I like the painted on details and the fact that they sewed a center seam where his zipper would be. The little bell actually jingles, which thrills me to bits and confuses the living daylights out of my cat!

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As is common with male dolls, Chat’s hair is molded plastic rather than rooted, brushable hair. I think in this case that’s okay, though, because it does a far better job of replicating his signature spikes. His cat ears are also a part of the sculpting, and therefore non-removable. You can also see his “tail” here. Posed as such because I thought it suited Chat’s attitude.

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Chat’s mask is painted on as part of his faceup. I can’t say that I love this about him, but that’s mostly because I’m thinking like a collector who likes to redress dolls and the mask kind of limits his versatility. To be fair, though, so do his ears, so it’s all probably just the same.

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His gloved hands are likewise achieved with paint. I actually prefer this- While the extra versatility of “normal” hands is nice, I’ve never been super fond of how doll “gloves” look since they have to be more mittens than anything. The sleeves of the catsuit are long enough that they cover any gaps, and they stay put well, so there’s no awkward fleshy bits showing. Chat’s hands are not clawed as they are in the show; I suspect but cannot currently confirm that this was so they could use the same hand mold for both Chat and Adrien.

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And it turns out I was wrong when I reviewed Marinette- the hands do come off! They’ve just got really tight plugs, so I don’t think they’re likely to go anywhere by accident. I’m glad they do detach; this catsuit is tight enough that getting it over the hands is a massive pain. Conveniently, this does mean that if I were to want an ungloved Chat for certain pictures or what have you, I should be able to “borrow” Adrien’s.

I rather like the design of Chat’s belt. The peg that keeps it closed fits into the base of the “tail,” which uses the extra plastic needed for such a connector as a way to make the tail stand out a bit more. Plus the holes in the belt are actual holes!

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His communicator, on the other hand, I’m not as sold on. I’m not sure why they decided to make it black rather than silver/grey. On the plus side, it does have lots of detail, and it fits well in his hand.

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I love the way his boots are molded! They’re slitted down the back so they can go on and off easily, but the tops are still connected so they don’t flare out weirdly or fall off. It’s not a design I’d seen before, and I like it a lot!

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The catsuit as a whole, with no accessories covering it. The legs are footless just as the sleeves are “handless,” but they’re long enough to cover half his foot and stay well in the boots when they’re on.

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And here’s his body sculpt. Chat has pretty much the same articulation and range of motion as Marinette. His shoulders and knees seem to be a bit less flexible, and his head does seem to move around a little more, but for the most part they’re pretty comparable, with two noticeable exceptions:

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Ankle articulation! Shown at its extremes here. I’ve never quite got why this seems to be common in male dolls than female (to me it seems like ankle articulation would be a great solution to the flat-vs-high foot arch issue) but I’ll take what they give me.

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And Chat can do a full side split! I’m sure this is because of the hip design. His front split is a little less deep though.

I think my to-do list is a little shorter on Chat than it is on Marinette. His hair is just fine as-is and doesn’t really need additional work due to its being molded. I’ll be planning on repainting his accessories as I plan to do with Marinette’s, and I’m also giving his catsuit a soak in watered down vinegar to color-fast it. Chat’s already suffered a bit of the plight that faces all black-clothed dolls; his feet have minor staining:

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Other than that, I think Chat is pretty much good to go! I hope these posts can help with anyone considering whether or not to buy the dolls. I really do think they’re great dolls and highly recommend them!

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Bandai Miraculous Ladybug Marinette Doll

Confession: I’ve been a fan of Miraculous Ladybug since well before it actually came out. I’ve been low-key following the project since the days where it was planned as a 2D, anime-esque series and getting increasingly excited about it up as its release neared. The show itself hasn’t disappointed me- it’s definitely corny and a bit repetitive at times, but to me that is part of the charm. It’s become one of my favorite– if not my absolute favorite– shows and I’ve been incredibly excited in anticipation of the doll line’s release.

(Also, as a side note, I’ve mainly been watching the French and Korean versions and do tend to use some of their terminology more frequently, so you may notice me not using the “official” English title and things.)

The dolls hit my local Target this week, so the wait is now over! I picked up the Marinette doll last night; they also had Chat Noir and Adrien and I’ll probably return for one or both of them later this week as I intend to own all four.

I’ll be honest- I haven’t been too impressed with most of the prototype and product photos for the dolls. I knew I would still buy them– for one thing, I want to support the series and as a doll collector there’s no way I’m going to pass up on official dolls of some of my favorite cartoon characters, and for another thing, I’ve done enough customizing to know I could fix a lot of the problems I had– but I thought the faces looked kind of bland in photos and was expecting to not be super pleased with them as-is. I was pleasantly surprised to find I like them far better in person than in the photos, but more on that later.

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I really like the packaging on these dolls. I like that it has the same hexagonal “texture” as Ladybug’s real costume. One of the first things I was struck by in person was the attention to detail put into these dolls’ clothing. They really made every effort to replicate all the details on Marinette’s outfit, from her pants pockets to her floral-print shirt to her polka-dotted jacket lining, and from what I saw of Adrien and Chat the same could be said for them.

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The side and back of her bock have more of the official character images. The back includes photos of the other dolls available,  and also includes this little gem that made me think whoever wrote the copy  hasn’t actually seen the show:

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Somehow I feel like being a 5000-year-old god, Tikki probably deserves a little more respect than to be called a “pet,” but I digress.

The packaging was not at all difficult to open. It had the typical perforated plastic tabs attaching to the the cardboard. A pleasant surprise for me was that all of the ties holding Marinette to the cardboard were plastic rather than metal or something tougher to get through, so careful scissor-work had her freed in no time.

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The backing card was a picture of Marinette’s room, and could probably make a nice backdrop for someone if they wanted to save it.

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There’s also this cute little cardboard Tikki that’s pretty much in scale with Marinette. I would have liked a vinyl or rubber Tikki a little more, as I probably won’t personally save the cardboard version, but it’s still good that they included her in some manner at least.

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Marinette comes with her outfit and shoes, and her pink school bag. No stand or brush were included.

As I was taking her out of the box, I noticed my first real disappointment- The entire back of her jacket was a velcro closure:

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That’s when I realized that her jacket and her shirt are not actually two separate pieces, but are a one-piece item. The polka-dot lining also doesn’t quite go all the way back to where the shirt connects to the jacket, so there is a small gap of unlined jacket that can become visible if you pose her just so.

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Her backpack, like her clothes, is quite well detailed. It’s all one color, but it does include the detailing of her embroidery “carved” into it. For reference, here’s the bag in the show:

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And here’s the doll-sized version:

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I think I might add some paint details to make it more accurate, but it’s still pretty nice-looking. It’s all one piece, doesn’t open, and feels rubbery.

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Because it has some flex to it, Marinette can easily wear her bag on her back like in the show.

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Marinette’s face-up is quite sweet, and I liked it far better in person than in pictures, as I said above. Her blushiness doesn’t photograph well, but she does have very visibly pink cheeks that I think are part of why I like her so much more. I like that they didn’t go overboard with her makeup and kept her look fairly natural. I do wonder why they gave her brown eyebrows instead a blue or black that would have matched both the character and the doll’s hair more accurately.I may still do some enhancements eventually, but I’m going to wait on having all the dolls before I make that decision.

Marinette’s hair is a lovely blue-black blend that I think does a very good job of matching the character’s hair. It’s quite soft, and rooted thickly enough that there’s no gaps in her pigtails anywhere. There’s not nearly as much product in it as some dolls seem to have– her pigtails have a waxiness to them, but her scalp seems soft and nice and none of it is stiff at all. I do think her pigtails are way too long compared to the in-show character– they actually remind me more of “Bridgette,” her counterpart from the 2D trailer, so there’s certainly that option for any customizers out there who like the 2D trailer– but I guess that makes sense for a toy as well. I will almost certainly be trimming them at the very least, and likely trying to style them more like Marinette’s poofy pigtails. I do like that they give her the little sideburns she has in the show:

Of course, while inspecting said sideburns, I also noticed my other big disappointment: Marinette has no earrings!

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If you’re not a fan of the show, Marinette’s earrings are the object that allows her to transform into Ladybug. It seems very odd to me that they didn’t give her at least painted-on earrings, but that will just be another thing I’ll fix myself.

Marinette’s body is decently proportioned for a fourteen-year-old girl, in my opinion. It’s not as curvy as some fashion dolls, and it also has a little bit of “meat” on it as is fitting for a girl who’s constantly doing acrobatics across the rooftops of Paris.

Her body has 11 points of articulation: the neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, and knees. Her hands do not detach (or if they do, they’re really tight in there and I was worried about breaking her. If it turns out they do detach I’ll be sure and update this post). EDIT: Turns our I was wrong, and the hands do detach and are just really tight.

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Let’s talk about arm articulation first:

 

Her shoulders have a fairly broad range of motion. They allow her to hold her arms almost vertically, and she can stick her arms straight out to the side as well as nearly straight forward, back, down, and anything in-between.

Her elbows are hinged with rotation, but don’t have quite the range of motion you see in some dolls. They can almost bend at a 90 degree angle, but not quite. Interestingly, they can also bend somewhat “out” as her left arm demonstrates above.

Unfortunately, her wrists only rotate rather than including hinged movement too. It’s still a far cry better than a lot of fashion dolls but it does limit her a bit- she can’t actually touch her head at all.

Marinette’s hip joints have some rotational ability and can swing out to the sides a bit. This is still somewhat limited, however; as you can see she can neither do a full side split or front split, although her front split is much closer.

Her knees bend to roughly 90 degrees.

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Her knees also have rotational movement- she can swing her leg inward and outward as far as you see pictured here.

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While a bit limited, her leg movement does allow her to sit modestly– her legs are not required to swing out to sit down. She can also cross her legs while sitting, allowing for some cute sitting poses.

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And much to my surprise, Marinette can actually stand on her own if you’re careful! Much credit to my roommate, who is apparently a goddess when it comes to getting dolls to stand– she was the first to get Poison Ivy to stand on her own as well. Marinette’s feet are nearly flat on their own and her shoes have a sturdy, flat bottom, so I think that contributes to her stability. I’ll have to test if the others can stand as well when I get my hands on them.

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Here’s Marinette in comparison to some other similarly-sized fashion dolls. Pictured left to right are a Hasbro Disney doll, Marinette, an Ever After High doll, and a DC Superhero Girls doll. As you can see, she falls in between the Disney and EAH dolls in height.

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Connie’s former Jasmine outfit looks quite nice on Marinette from the front, but is too tight to close in the back. (This means she’ll be way to big for Monster High or EAH clothes, too, as their dolls both appear to swim in the Disney Princess outfits.)

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Barbie clothes seem to be a perfect fit, though, which is nice because it means she can share clothes with Barbie, Pullip, J-doll, and any number of other similarly sized dolls.

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Overall I’m quite pleased with this doll. While the somewhat limited range of motion and the small corners cut on her clothing/earrings bother me a bit as a collector, they shouldn’t be any problem to a child interested in the show or dolls, and the amount of detail they did include made me quite happy, especially considering the price point. I seriously hope these dolls are successful enough that the line will later expand- I’d love to get Alya as a doll, especially, and any future Miraculous-holders we may meet would be great! I’ll update you when I’ve picked up some of the other dolls with any additional information that might arise.

UPDATE: I now have Chat Noir as well, and have done a small(ish) post on him and his additional details. Check it out here.

More Miscellaneous Photos!

It’s about time to share another group of random uncategorized photos!

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My doll display area, up above my closet. My Groove dolls are rarely up there, though, because I like working with them, and they’ve grown in number since this picture.

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And on around the corner!

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Some nightgowns I sewed for the girls. I’m hoping to crank some out to sell in my etsy eventually.

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All the girls got new clothes! As per usual, Marty was the big winner, but it’s nice to finally have some casual clothes for Nevada too.

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And finally, this got taken the day my camera arrived and I was messing around with it. This little fellow is technically a bootleg but I love having him around, and I think the Equestria Girls mini’s are adorable too!

Photo Ficlet: Finally!

This is something I haven’t done much of here- short little ficlets based around the characters/personalities of my dolls. I was a writer and artist long before I was a doll collector, so it’s something I’ve thought about doing a lot, but I’m just now getting around to doing now. Expect more in the future, though, sometimes with photos and sometimes with artwork.

This was the first full photoshoot I did using my DSLR (also used for some of the indoor photos of Star) and I’m still learning to get it to focus and such so there were lots of pictures that didn’t turn out too well. This was also a fun one due to location- I was taking pictures from the hallway because this was the only really uncluttered part of our house so I was laying down in some really interesting poses to get these photos.

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Nevada: Well, I’m glad we could all make it today. Summer vacation can make it hard to find time to see friends, even when we do all live in the city. I think it’s important we find time to socialize.
Marty: Yeah! I really love hanging out with you guys! You’re welcome to come chill at our place anytime, you know. Ooh, Jace, you’ve gotta try this one! It’s delicious! Here.

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Jace: You’re right, that is good! I’ll have to order that one next time.

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Nemo:…Anyway. Are either of you doing anything exciting this summer?
Nevada: Oh, the usual obligatory trip with the parents. We’re going to Paris this year.
Marty: Sounds fun!
Nevada: Not really. At least Paris is fashion-forward.

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Jace: I’ll be going to see family as well, in July. It’ll be nice to see my sister Jayni again.
Marty: Where’s she live?
Jace: Boston. It’s a lovely city; you all should come with me sometime.

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Marty: Sounds great! Mom and Dad are coming to see us for a week in August, so you guys will have to meet them then! This smoothie is amazing; what kind did you get?
Jace: Honey mango. Oh, hold still. You’ve got a little something there.

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Nevada: All right, that’s it! You know, a large part of the reason I let you two be friends with me is because you’re both incredibly perceptive. You’re really good at reading other people’s intentions. So why, for the love of Coco Chanel, do you suck so hard at reading each other?

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Nevada: You! Are you doing anything Friday afternoon?
Jace: …I don’t think so?
Nevada: And are you doing anything Friday afternoon. Marty?
Marty: Huh-uh.
Nevada: Faaantastic. Since you two can’t seem to figure out how much you’re into each other and ask each other out on your own, I’ve just done it for you. You can figure out between the two of you what you want to do. Or you can decide not to go, I suppose, but in that case please spare yourselves all this mushy build-up stuff in the future.

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Nevada: Come on, Klepto, I’ll drive you home. Let’s give these two idiots time to figure things out.

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Jace: Is she right? Are we missing the obvious here?

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Marty: See, here’s the thing. I really like spending time with you, Jace. In the past year you’ve gone to some random person whose want ad I responded to, to my best friend, and I’m so grateful for that. And yeah, I can’t deny that there’s been times when I’ve thought about what it might be like if we were something more. But I really dig our friendships- not just with each other, but with Nevada and Asamura and the others- and I don’t ever want to do anything to jeapordize that, you know? I could never bring myself to be so selfish as to pursue something more unless I knew for sure it wouldn’t hurt any of our bonds. Although I guess I know where Nevada stands on that matter now, so really I suppose I just need to know how you feel.

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Jace: Marty, I’m sorry.

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Marty: Oh.

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Jace: Oh my god, that came out wrong! That’s not what I meant! I’m sorry for being an oblivious moron, is what I mean! Sorry I didn’t notice that you had those sort of feelings for me, or even more so that I had the same sort of feelings for you. Nevada’s right; I do tend to get a little oblivious when it comes to you. But don’t you ever worry that you’re going to ruin our friendship- none of us are going to let that happen. Don’t be afraid to go for what you want- in cases like this it may be what we’re all wanting, after all. …Good gracious, I’m usually more eloquent than this.

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Marty: So are we on the same page then?
Jace: It certainly sounds like it.
Marty: Soooo do we have a date on Friday?
Jace: It would be rude of us to turn down the opportunity Nevada has given us, don’t you think?
Marty: Oh, yes, absolutely! We must honor her wishes; to do otherwise would simply be cruel. There’s just one more question to be asked.
Jace: What’s that?

Marty: Are you going to finish this?

 

Photoshoot 5/18/16: Girls on a Stroll

The weather was quite nice in late May, so the girls decided to take advantage of it and spend some time outdoors. This was pre-Murry/Anxi, so just Nevada, Marty, and Nemo. Also, I got over at least part of my social anxiety of the neighbors seeing me taking doll photos, so that’s nice!

 

Meanwhile, Jace was left sitting at home, wondering why the girls hadn’t arrived an hour ago to study for their final exams like they had agreed to do:

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