Wednesday, August 29, 2012

New Release of Chelsea and Friends!

Chelsea and Friends!

While over at Wal-Mart I noticed that they had a new release of Chelsea and her friends.  Here they are on the shelf. These girls look ready for the beach! They are left to right Madison Chelsea, Kira and Delia!

The names used last time for Chelsea friends were Kitsie, Tamika,Viveca & Renee. 

Chelsea!  Sometimes Chelsea has the face with the full smile sometimes not. She comes with a bucket but sadly no shovel.

This is Madison.  I guess we know it is not Chelsea because she doesn't have blue eyes. She has floater for her arms and snorkel glasses.

This is Kira.  She comew with a board.

This is Delia and she comes with a fish floater.

None of these girls have bent arms! Yeah! I notice Tamika is missing from this release! Too bad, I was hoping to get a different looking Tamika.  As you can see I purchased the Delia! I sure hope they come up with friends for Stacey.

Thanks For Looking!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

KiKi To The Rescue!

After contacting his grandmother and Toure’, Steve’s next call was to his mother.  
KiKi  is in the small storeroom of the Laurent Department store.  It is one of the few rooms pretty close to being finished.  She can hear the contruction going on around her outside of the storeroom.  She hears her phone ring!  Here ringtone is I’m Every Woman by Chaka Khan.  KiKi thinks to herself-It’s my first call on my new Smartphone! 

Talking to herself--Oh boy, now how do I get whose calling to appear?  That right I push here. Oh, it is Euphea! She puts him on speaker.

Steven: Hi mom! Guest what!  I got a promotion!
KiKi : Oh honey, that is so nice!  I’m so proud of you! Knock, Knock, knock! Just then there was a knock at the door.  Come in!   

It is Cabe with a delivery. Cabe: Hello Mrs. Laurent! You have a package.
KiKi talks into the phone… Honey can you hold on? Yes! Ok, I need to sign for some packages.

She puts the phone on the table.
KiKi: Hi Cabe. How are you!

Cabe: Just fine and really busy now that so many new businesses are opening up! The store looks like it is coming along!

KiKi: Thanks! So, I sign on the board and then the machine.

Cabe: Yes, that is right.  I put the package on the chair to make it easier for you.
 Steven knows he is on speaker so he decides to talk to Cabe. Steven: Hey Cabe is that you? It’s Steven!

 Cabe: Hey Steven. Yeah it’s me.

Steven: Any packages for the Gallery?

Cabe: No, not today!

Steven: Alright, take it light man!

Cabe: You too!

Cabe: Hey Steven. Yeah it’s me.

Steven: Any packages for the Gallery?

Cabe: No, not today!

Steven: Alright, take it light man!

Cabe: You too!
KiKi: Thanks Cabe!  I’m expecting some large packages to come every Friday for the next 6 Fridays.  It is diplay items.  They are going to be heavy so my son will be around to help you with them!  She makes sure Steven heard that.  Right Steven! Steven: Right mom!  Cabe just smiles, says goodbye and leaves.

KiKi returns to her phone conversation. KiKi: Hi, I’m back. So what will you be doing? 

KiKi returns to her phone conversation.KiKi: Hi, I’m back. So what will you be doing? 

Steven: I will have my own show! I’ll get to pick my own team!  I will be doing interviews,  expanded reports and new pieces.  I might do a little traveling.

Wow!  That sounds really wonderful! As KiKi said it, she realized that he didn’t have the wardrobe he needed for this job.  He did need a dressier wardrobe than the one he had in college.  Things were changing for her son.  Hmmm! She and Camille had given him dress shirts for graduation last year and a suit at Christmas but even working part-time at the station he needed more things.  I guess you have to stop wearing your father’s shirts.  There is a lot of sharing that goes on in the Laurent household but that is another story!

Steven realized that he would need more things to wear on camera, in meetings and maybe at the gallery.  He had spent most of his reserves on getting the Gallery ready. Hmmm!

KiKi : Come by the store.  I am just unpacking the things for the men’s department.  We can work out a discount and layaway for airtime promotion of the store. 

Steven smiled. He would never think about taking a handout. Laurent’s don’t do that! It was his mom business but it is a business and he understood that. A discount and layaway he could do.

KiKi: I be in the storeroom all day, stop by and we can see what we can do.

Steven: Thanks mom!

KiKi: You are welcome honey!


Thanks For Looking!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Double Date At The Beach!

Double Date At The Beach!
There are no words.  You get to tell me what you think is being said or going on.

Thanks For Looking!

Monday, August 20, 2012

My Last Blogger Interview!-Update!!!

Hey Gang,
Here is the site for Kev and Miya

This is the interview that started it all-- The Mass Blogger Interview! I was contacted on thedollpage a bout a doll body and notice that the interested buyer was from Philly! Well that doesn’t happen often. I know only one other person who collects dolls in Philly (yeah D7ana, you). So I suggest that we could save on shipping and that I would love to meet her. She lived in South Philly. (My old stumping grounds) I suggest that we meet at the Gallery Mall in Center City in front of the Toys R Us there! When I got there Miya and Kev were waiting. Since I don’t know that many collectors I had a lot of questions for them. We talked so much and so quickly I couldn’t remember it all. I kinda keep the knowledge of my doll collecting quite but surprisingly they seemed very open about it. They really opened my eyes! I suggest I do an interview on them for my blog and while waiting for their answers, I wonder what others would say to the same questions. There you have it--The Mass Blogger Interview. If you didn’t read the Mass Blogger Interview, here is the link and if you didn’t read my answers, here is the link to that too!

Kev and Miya

The Interview!
How long have you been together?

We've been married since December of 1994, although we've known each other since we were fifteen.

When did each of you start collecting toys and when did you start collecting dolls?

We have been collecting toys pretty much from the start; When we first got married we went to antique shops, thrift shops and flea markets all over Michigan on the weekends. Being overgrown kids and never being able to resist a bargain, we soon found ourselves collecting and selling things ourselves. We couldn't resist...

When did you start collecting dolls together?

We've always collected dolls together- Kev always liked dolls, but adulthood and marriage allowed him to be more unapologetic about it.

What was your first joint purchase?

It was a Tyco “Little Mermaid” doll, because it looked a lot like Miya once you cut the hair...

How many dolls do you own?

We only recently figured out the total, and it's around 450. Wow.

What is your favorite doll and why?

That's a hard question, and probably one of the major reasons that we have 450 of them! It sounds a little clichéd, I guess, but we treat them all like our favourites! It also varies with the days of the week... Kev is sort of partial to his Modern Circle Melody, though, and Miya DEFINITELY can't choose one. But she LOVES all Steffie faces, Japanese dolls (Sekiguchi, Takara, Annz) and Sindy!

What doll or dolls are not your favorites?

Bratz dolls-they are one of the worst things of all time; creepy dead-looking baby and clown dolls, and those porcelain dolls who look like they are cursed and will come to life and kill you in your sleep; we can't fathom why there are so many immobile dolls coming out nowadays when articulation technology has improved SO much in recent years; blonde bimbo Barbies, some of the very unfriendly looking Fashion Royalty girls, and Kenner's “Dusty”. She was scary.

What is the biggest challenge about collecting dolls?

Money, certainly! But really, more than anything, it's SPACE! Space for storage. Space for display. Space to play. You can NEVER have enough. And owning cats just makes it trickier...

How do you display or store your dolls?

Any way we can. Half of our dolls are in Montreal, and half in Philly at the moment. About 70% are still boxed. Shelves are the most important pieces of furniture wherever we live: wall mounted shelves, bookshelves, cabinets with doors, all of them- they tend to take over our living space. But in a GOOD way!

Have you ever been to a doll show?

We used to go to them all the time, especially when we lived in Oregon in the nineties; I think that there are not as many these days, or so it seems, anyway. One of the many changes that the internet has made to the hobby. The eBay is definitely not as much fun, though far more efficient.

You travel to Canada a few times a year.  What do you find there in the way of dolls that you don’t find here?

High prices! And a few dolls that you don't really get to see much of in the States, such as Germany's Steffi Love and the cute nineties version of Hasbro Sindy; nowadays, though, it seems a lot more Americanized and homogeneous.

What is your latest purchase?

A bunch of long overdue Monster High dolls- Sweet 1600 Frankie Stein, the Clawd and Draculaura combo pack, Operetta and Rochelle... we're both suckers for Monster High; the whole concept is clever as all heck, and we find the dolls are adorable. And the whole “It's okay to be different and we can all respect and enrich one another” message at the center of it all resonates more with us than the “shopping is fun” or “life's a beach” messages that are typical. Probably better for the kids, too, but do any kids  even play with dolls anymore? Also, we just got our first NRFB regular issue Momoko doll- “Love a la Mode”! Gorgeous!

What doll is on your wish list?

Doll”? Did you mean for that to not be plural? Kev wants a bunch of pivotal bodies right now for some well-deserving pretty heads; Miya wants Reese and Sooki from the “Dynamite Girls”, an articulated Chandra SIS doll, and many more...Our 'Holy Grail' dolls include Wild Wolf Kumi, Black Francie, Sindy's friend Gayle, and Tokidoki Barbie( as die-hard Tokidoki enthusiasts we could kick ourselves for not knowing to pre-order).

What do you wish you didn’t purchase?

We try not to buy stuff we won't like- we do a lot of homework and soul searching before parting with our money! It's one of the blessings of being the cheapskates that we are! We must add, however, that we are glad we began concentrating on NON-NRFB dolls. Loose dolls are not only less expensive but you we don't have to feel guilty for de-boxing beautiful pristinely packaged dolls and getting our grubby paws all over them. We have a terrible time deboxing our dolls, though we are coming round to it slowly...they deserve to be released from their prisons and appreciated!

What is your favorite doll related item?

At the moment it is probably all the super nifty 1/6 scale things that Re-Ment has to offer... so many cool things- and they really add to the realism, too...

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

We only recently began photographing our dolls. First, because we finally had a decent camera, and enough time and equipment to make dioramas. But as we have gotten more proficient with the camera, the more we realized we could do with it, and we discovered that people actually like looking at doll pics online- AND saw all of the cool dioramas that people were putting together all over the web and decided “That's cool. We have to do something like that!” The articulated dolls definitely take the best pictures. Kev realized this last summer when he really started getting serious about taking pics of them and he realized what nice pictures he was getting of our Melody doll. Momokos photograph really well, and Monster High dolls actually yield some beautiful pictures as well, as do Kurhns! Sadly, some of the prettiest and most favourite dolls we have take the most disappointing pictures because they have too limited articulation (gift-giving, karate-chop, or what, me worry? arms) to look natural and/or we haven't got enough knowledge or gear to light them properly. Very pale dolls and ebony dolls alike tend to lose their beautiful features unless the lighting is plotted carefully.

Kevin and Mya, I love this shot! What a hoot!

Ms. Leo: Hey, I know this top! :)

Simply Lovely!

Do talk to other collectors?

You're really the first one we have in a while, other than sales-related small talk! We'd like to know more collectors, but dolls don't seem to often come up in conversation!

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

There are so many things we'd like them to hear- they seem to REALLY be skimping on the 'play line' dolls- in quality and variety in particular- can't we have poseable AND attractive dolls, and realistic practical outfits that aren't so cheaply made and glittery? The Fashion Avenue stuff was great! And we MISS that sort of quality! What about variations in skin tones, too, especially for dolls issued with pivotal bodies? Unless you want a 'slight tan' you're pretty much out of luck. We tend to like very pale or very dark dolls. Variety is the spice of life! And why the hell are you selling a 'doll' that doesn't move (Model Muse and StarDolls)? Who decided THAT was a good idea? Stop packaging the dolls so excessively. It's bad for the environment, must add to the cost, and removing the doll often damages its hair or clothing. On the plus side, thank you Mattel for Monster High dolls and SIS dolls. However, even then, MH dolls are constantly having false shortages, which raises hype but also prices as scalpers snatch them all up and sell them on ebay for inflated prices. This is discouraging and we don't see how Mattel actually benefit from this. As for SIS dolls, please make more of them articulated, and bring back the Chandra ebony skin tone. It seems as if they want all the girls to pass the paper bag test, and need to be reminded that beauty comes in ALL colours. Make them more available in more stores. We miss the textured hair that 90s dolls used to have as well. Also, could we have another AA male doll face mould? Steven is sort of dorky, bless him. Basic 17 is a great improvement, but can they not make more male dolls that move as well?

What doll do you wish would be reissued?

Agent HAVOC. We both agree that if they had still made Havoc when we were kids, she pretty much would have been our favourite toy of all time! A cute girl secret agent doll with GI Joe style adventure accessories? Heck yeah! She was the right scale to be partnered with the Shindana Wanda career dolls and the“Slade” doll, too, which would've made the coolest  secret agent team ever- they even both came with disco-riffic silver radiation suits! And Mary Quant Daisy dolls, too, from whom Havoc was created, as well. Hispanic Barbie from 1979/80. Crystal Barbie. And Christie's early 70s bf Brad! We recently discovered Tonner's Tiny Kitty Collier, Dottie, and Simone Rouge dolls, too- they are very pretty and nifty (and at ten inches at 1/6 scale make them Miya-sized), but evidently not popular enough, so they don't make them anymore. But her lack of popularity makes her pretty easy and inexpensive to find, though, so I guess its a mixed blessing.

If there is just something you would like to say, I can put that in too.

We have surely already said far more than anyone would ever want to hear from us, for certain...

Thanks for Your interview Kev and Miya! This was such a great interview and you are such a great couple! 

Well I hope you enjoyed all the Blogger Interviews!  I know I did.  It was one of the highest viewed post I have done!  I came away with really good tips, and a new outlook on dolls and collecting.

Thanks For Looking!
Ms. Leo

Friday, August 17, 2012

Out And About Part 2!

Out And About Part 2!

So there were other things that I saw while out and about that didn’t make the first post! If you missed my first post here is the link.  I saw  some Biebers!

I have this guy.

I like the clothing on this guy!  I wish there was a market for nude Biebers!  I didn’t think I’ll get him…yet.

I was hoping with the new GI Joe movie that we might get a new 12 inch Dwayne Johnson figure but thus far it is a no!  I am keeping hope alive for him! This figure is smaller than 12 inches.

I saw the D1 guys too!  There is something about their posture that is odd.  I am looking forward to OOAK of them to pop up on the net!  It soo great to see what others doll collectors can do. I think I like the outfit with the jacket.  There isn’t anything special about the outfits of the rest of the dolls.

This guy is very short! He is even shorter than GI Joe!

His face looks likeDomic Purcell, the guy form Prison Break. He is too small for me to use for any thing but I stopped to look!

Is Skipper old enough to drive?

I hope that is Barbie beside her in the cart and not another of Skippers teenaged friends!

These girls are cute!  They don’t fit into my dolly world but they are cute!

Look at that face! I don't know how they got the name.

Hair –Tastic Barbie/Nikki! 
This girl is another example of Mattel odd articulation.  She has articulated legs but not arms.

 Her hair color is really, really nice!

There are some new clothing packs!

I purchased this one (Dance Rock Pop Punk)!  I’m seeing Bea in some of these outfits.  I wanted to see the new Ken fashion packs too but they didn’t have them.  I was told that they look better on the web that in person.  They said that could have eliminated the pink stitching on the suit and the pink tie on the shirt. The sports sets are the 1 ½ and 2 ½ sets and not the three full outfit sets.

They had the Barbie Fashionista Ultimate Closet! 

 I couldn’t tell from the web that most of the items were just pictures!  You can see that they are in person. Umm, that is why I have to make trips to stores to see them in person.  It isn't shopping, it is research! 

I was really interested in it until I saw it in person. I found something else that I think I can use.

Barbie and Ken are snow boarding!  Mattel should have to list if the doll's body is articulated on the box!Vanessa, somehow I don’t see Nikki and Darius wearing this on their ski trip!

Thanks For Looking!