Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Interview Answers!

When I did the Mass Blogger Interview Post I was laboring under two misconceptions. First, I’m a little busy lately, so I thought this would be easy! I wouldn't have to do much but put the questions up! I’d get a few quick answers and it would buy me some time to work on my next blog entry. Second that those question would and should be answered on my own blog and not yours!

Boy was I wrong! When I saw the first answer, I knew that for many of you, it would be better answered on your own blog. You bloggers gave some really interesting answers. I especially enjoyed the pictures and the links you provide. I think I've learned a lot about many of you and tons about collecting! Oh, and if you haven’t answered, It is not too late! Some of you answers were so good that you should provide a link to your answers to your profile.
So here are my answerers! See Marta, I didn’t forget!

When did you start collecting dolls?

I think most of us had Barbie dolls as a child but I started collecting as an adult. When I think about collecting I don’t just think of very rare dolls you keep in the box but the dolls pursuit of dolls. Like my profile states, I was doing a temp job at a local toy store over the holidays. (I did a lot of temp jobs along with my full-time job to pay off my house as single women. I meet my husband two week before my house was paid off!) My job there was to stock the Barbie and doll isles. How much fun was that! I saw all the beautiful dolls that they had and said I would get myself one when the house was paid off. Fast forward a few years and I had got a black Barbie or two from the local Toys-R-Us and had them sitting on a shelf in my bedroom. I still didn’t see myself as a collector. There were two events that change me into a collector. The first was attending the Black Doll show here in Philadelphia and the second was find a doll in a local hardware/variety store that I had never seen before.

What was your first purchase as a collector?

The three Shani dolls and I doll called Elle.  I had seen the Shani dolls in the store when I was working but they weren’t there when I was ready to buy. 

Elle was the first doll I had seen that was that dark.  They sold her to me for a discount because she was so dark that no one liked her! Well I had to have her then.  I had her several years before Princess of South African came out and a few years before Mbilli.  I have her on a  Princess of South African body.  Her old body was of poor quality.  She has purple eyes!

 How many dolls do you own?

About three hundred dolls give or take a few. Most of my dolls are Mattel dolls: Barbie and friends and Disney. I have one original body Rees doll, and two Integrity Toy Mattel hybrids (three in total) , I have other popular fashion dolls, some off brand dolls and many action figures. I have found out that in doll world as in the real world….you can never have enough men!
What is your favorite doll and why?

I have dolls that come and go in favor. They might change depending on my mood. I even have background dolls but I have two favorites dolls: Ms. KiKi (Kenyan Barbie hybrid) and

Ms. D (Julia Repo hybrid).

 Ms. D is the sentimental favorite because she is Julia and Ms. Kiki is just a favorite and she is my favorite of the Shani head sculpt.

What doll or dolls are not your favorites and why?

I only like 1/6 dolls and of them only certain ones. So, all cloth and porcelain are out. What I don’t like also is all big head dolls like My Scene, Liv, Moxie, Bratz and…I’m sorry, Monster High! I just don’t think they look 1/6. I also don’t like dolls with those creepy glassy looking eye or large eyes like Liv and others!
What is the biggest challenge about collecting dolls?

First is money, second is space and third is that I like to be able to see dolls in person to know if I want them. Many dolls are not sold in stores. Fourth is keeping it organized.  I find myself look all over for a
doll sometimes or and item of clothing to take a picture.

How do you display or store your dolls?

I do have some little setups around but I don’t have a cabinet or anything like that for them. Maybe one day. Right now I store them in cardboard boxes to breath.

Sydney on the bedroom table.  Sydney will be appearing at the Student Union.

Ghana Barbie relaxes in the upstairs hall.

Have you ever been to a doll show?

Yes, but there is only one in the area—the Phila. International Black Doll Show and Sale. I need to find more.
When you travel, do you look for dolls?

If I am traveling by myself, yes. I always want to look for dolls. When I am away with my hubby, he doesn’t what to do that type of things on vacation.
What is your latest purchase?

This Girl

I’m calling her Shania

What doll is on your wish list now?

I want some AA FR men!

I have two tall gals with no tall guys around here. And well, I purchase an AA Magic Wings Mariposa doll (small Mackie face) from a local flea market the other day and she fell out of the bag somewhere along the way to my car and now I have to find her or at least her head.

What do you wish you didn’t purchase?

The Dancing Liv Alexis!

I didn’t know her body did articulate until I got her out of the store. I take most dolls out of the box at the store so I don’t take the trash home. It is also easier to sneak into the house that way. I haven’t been able to sell her or any of the Liv heads and wigs I have. I think the market is flooded! Anyone interested in some Liv heads?

What is your favorite doll related item?

I have a lot of stuff but I guess my go to pieces are my park benches

and backdrops! They show up a lot in my pictures. Nothing else is used as much right now.

How often do you photo your dolls and what doll is the most photographed

and/or photogenic?

Not as often as I should. Right now, I do it mostly for my blog. I hope to do more fun photo shoots. The most photographed is Ms. D (Julia Repo hybrid) and the most photogenic is Ms. KiKi (Kenyan Barbie hybrid). I just love her big brown eyes!

This was my favorite photo shoot! The Dance of Rouba!  KiKi's Office and dress from the The International Black Doll Show In Philly!

Dominique is complaining that of all the great shots of her I would choose that one!
Ms. D: OK, that's better!
Do you talk to other collectors in person or just on the web?

I don’t know too many collects other than the ones I have met on the web. So I mostly talk to them on the web.

If you had the chance to speak to Mattel or other toy makers, what

would you say?

To all---

There has to be quality in your item! There reason why some dolls end up in secondary markets and the thrift store is because they are sturdy and well made.

Natural looking makeup is important too. They are dolls not clowns!

The next step in doll evolution is articulation. Don’t be a Dodo!

Your lines need more diversity of dolls in female and male dolls. Black men and women come in more than one complexion and most have dark eyes. Not every redhead has blue or green eyes and even blondes have brown eyes.

Develop you lines. Example: We see the Barbie sister but what about clothing packs and other stuff? It might be too much for the store but how about on line?

Action Figure Companies—it is not just little boys buying your figures! Keep your figures 1/6! You will sell more that way. Large hand and feet aren’t necessary for them to appeal to boys. The more your figures can fit into other manufactory’s items, the better they will sell

More realistic looking clothing for girls and guys!

What doll do you wish would be reissued?

Mattel Diana Ross,

Janet Jackson and

Tutti's friend Carla!

What two dolls would you combine and how would you want them

combined? (Muff style question)

#17 with an articulated body and more AA males on an articulated body!

Well, I hope you found my answers as interesting as I found your!

Thanks For Looking!

Ms. Leo


Heather said...

Oh! The Janet Jackson doll is so cute!!! I love her smile, they got it down!

Yeah, I really hope someone sends a link to Mattel, almost every single message to the companies is one about articulation. LOL.

Thanks for the great answers!!!

Georgia Girl said...

Nice interview Ms. Leo! I love Elle. I don't remember seeing her around. I agree Ms. Kiki is very photogenic. I need to remove mine and take some pics. Of course Ms. D reigns! I always love your dio pics. I can never seem to find backdrops such as yours. Thanks again for a great post and for allowing us to get to know you better!

Have a lovely day!


Marta said...

Hello from Spain: I'm glad to read your answers. I also like to see more of your collection. Thanks for sharing all these details in your collection. I had not seen before Shani. She is very pretty and adorable. Now I read that you have three hundred dolls About. How lucky you were working in a toy store. It is very interesting. I agree with you that I do not like the My Scene dolls like or Monsters. Also I have on my list of future purchases some FR AA man. These men are very masculine! I really liked to know more about you. Thanks for this wonderful initiative. Keep in touch.

Sergio said...

Really glad to read your interview, Ms. Leo. I want FR men too!! Once again, thank you for this :)

D7ana said...

Hi Ms. Leo! Thanks for sharing your answers to the Interview questions. Neat how you started collecting and THEN you met you hubby.

I enjoy seeing your backdrops and reading about your characters, especially Ms. D.

Good luck getting an AA FR male!

Muff said...

I was all, "reading, reading, enjoying," and then you put the photos of Ms. Ross and Ms. Jackson and I lost it! Those are AMAZING. They look just like them. Wow.

LOL, you really dislike big heads, huh? They just creep some people out. I feel the same way about baby dolls. I don't like that they are actually the size of babies. But I'm not a fan of real babies eithers, so...

Loved reading your responses!

limbe dolls said...

Thank you again for launching the mass interview and thanks for sharing your answers. Your collection is very interesting. I especially love your Elle doll. I'm impressed too that you managed to own your home free and clear! Maybe one day I will be able to say the same.

RoxanneRoxanne said...

Ms. Leo, thanks so much for this interview, and thanks for your answers! I enjoyed thinking about and answering the questions, and now for the past several hours I've gone back and read the responses. Pretty fun! Thanks also for posting these photos.

Black Doll Enthusiast said...

Ms. Leo -- I did find your answers quite interesting. First of all, I want to compliment you on being such a determined, goal-oriented, disciplined, mortgage-debt free woman! Woo hoo!

I can only imagine the fun you must have experienced working amongst dolls. Again, I admire your discipline for not succumbing to any doll-buying urges you might have experienced during that time.

Elle is beautiful. I love, love, love, her rich complexion.

Good luck in finding those AA male 1/6 scale man. I think many who answered this mass blogger interview share your desire for more dark-skinned male figures Hopefully toy manufacturers will listen.

Because you and so many others added images and/or links in their posts, I have revised my Q&A post to include images and links as well. The revised version can be read here.

Thanks again for conducting this interview.


D7ana said...

The best source of 1:6 scale ethnic male figures are the nude action figures carried by many online stores like OJI. You can find ethnic male figures under $20.00. I stress nude because the same figure dressed could cost 5x as much. And if you don't want the guns, etc. you don't have to get them.

Good luck ;-D!