Sunday, August 19, 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


limbe dolls said...

Thanks to you Ms. Leo for taking the time to post this interview and thanks to Kevin and Miya for their detailed answers. Happy collecting to all!

Black Doll Enthusiast said...

I enjoyed reading Kevin and Miya's interview answers. They seem like such a delightful couple.

I share their desire to find loose dolls to avoid the debox or not struggle.

Thank you for sharing and them for agreeing to allow you to share with us.


Marta said...

Hello from Spain: thanks for posting this interview of this marriage who collects dolls. I agree with them that the Bratz dolls are horrific. Since I read they have more than 450 dolls in their collection ... wow, wow ... How lucky you could meet them in person . Always nice to know that shares ours hobbies. Do they have a blog where they post their photos??? Keep in touch

Tracy India said...

Great interview! They're such a cute couple and love that they share the interest of collecting. That's a match made in heaven. :)

I really like the photos too. I'm starting to see MH dolls in a new light.

Wow, would love for Mattel to see these answers.

Thank you for sharing. :)

Muff said...

"Kev alays liked dolls, but adulthood and marriage allowed him to be more unapologetic about it."

I love this statement! In the face of what other's have to say about our collecting, it must be so nice to have someone who not only accepts, but actively participates!

Thanks for posting their interview, Ms. Leo!

jassica joe said...

thanks for sharing the interview miya and kevin is so cute togther.thanks again for posting that

Ms. Leo said...

Thanks for your comments limbe dolls, dbg of BDE, Marta, Tracy India, Muff and jassica joe! They were such a cute couple. It was realy good to see a doll collector team. I emailed them about the post so hopefully they will stop in and read your comments.

limbe dolls, I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Like everyone esle who answered, I feel I got some good info from their answers.

dbg of BDE, I really feel this post has been I gift for me, a gift for fellow doll collectors. I too buy doll out of the box for those reasons. Often when I purchase a doll new, all the packaging goes in the trash can right outside the door of the store!

Hello Marta! I will ask if they have a blog or Flickr page and let you all know. They had alot of photos in their phone. It is nice to find someone who shares your interests instead of look at you like you have an issue!

Tracy India, Yeah, they almost had me with that MH shot but I resisted! MH lend itself to humor. They do seem to photo well. Oh no, am I changing my mind?

Muff, I totally agree! When I read that statement, I thought it was powerful! I got to do my dolly thing and be unapologetic about it! Oh and yeah they were like that in person too. They are true collectors.

jassica joe, They were interesting to meet.

D7ana said...

Hi and thanks for sharing this interview with Miya and Kev. Very interesting to read.

The mass interview post was also a joy to read and fun to answer.

Please extend my thanks to the cool couple for sharing their hobby with you. It would be fun to meet with other local collectors.

Carrickters said...

So that's how it started - what a great interview, thanks for posting it. And I'm so glad you expanded it to the rest of us, it's good to know others who share your hobby.

Sergio said...

Nice to meet you, Kevin and Miya :) It's always a joy to know others collectors and learn about their experiences. I think that is wonderful to have someone so close to you who shares your interests. The people, but also your family, think you are abnormal only because you collect dolls and often it feels very lonely. I like their photos, especially those with the Doctor Who theme, great!!

D7ana said...

Thanks for the link to their blog. Darn, it is on Tumblr. Shrug. I can like, but I have yet to see how to post a comment. Shrug. Nice photos they have ;-)