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Topic: Doll Invasion & Repairs (Warning: Way too many photos--for realz!)  (Read 6061 times)
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Patraw
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« on: August 03, 2016 10:12:41 AM »



How many photos can you put in one post before Craftster breaks? And to think, some members put "lots of pictures" in their subject lines when they only have something like ten of them. When the king of photo spammers issues such a warning, he's not messing around!:D

Pottermouth has been sorting through tons of toys lately, and, very generously, she offered to send me a free box of things that she, and other family members, had weeded out! I often buy blind-bagged random assortments of toys from thrift stores, so, getting this package from Pottermouth was almost like one of those, just on a larger/grander scale! Yes, I already have way too many dolls, but I never let that stop me from acquiring even more!









So, what all was inside that magic box? Well, I'm a gonna tell/show you!

Some 11-12" Mattel Disney Princesses. Cinderella (plus a little Gus mouse figurine), The Princess and The Frog Tiana, and The Little Mermaid Bride Ariel. I have several Ariels, but no bride version, a bunch of small Cinderellas, but not a larger one like this, and no Tianas at all, so, all three are useful to me. I haven't watched The Princess and the Frog in quite a while, so, I can't remember if she ever wore blue or not (I usually see dolls of her wearing green), but the dress Tiana has on strikes me as a Cinderella one. Rainbow Dash is adamant that Pottermouth also sent Jaq but Gus ate his rodent pal on the way here . . . I told her that it doesn't make any sense that Gus would eat Jaq instead of the cupcake (see below), but there's no reasoning with that pegasus.



Two Polly Pocket style Disney Princess dolls, Belle and Snow White (wearing rubbery Polly-Stretch garments). I love these things, and, while I didn't have Snow White, I already do have this Belle, but my version doesn't have all of those extra roses all over the front of the gown's skirt like this one does, and Beast never says "no" to more Belles (he is an animal after all, what did you expect?) One of the off-the-shoulder straps on Belle's gown is ripped, but, for practical purposes, it doesn't really matter much because the rubbery material retains its sculpted shape, and I've torn Polly-Stretch garments myself in the past, even when I'm being careful (they can rip/snap pretty easily if you stretch them too far).

I also got two different Dopeys, Sneezy, and Sleepy dwarf figurines. I have some other Snow White Dwarf toys in my collection, but not these particular ones. A firm believer that all jokes should be run into the ground, Rainbow Dash gravely informed me that, after eating Jaq, Gus was still hungry, so, he proceeded to devour Grumpy, Doc, Happy, and Bashful too, which is why they're absent. She also insists that Dopeys reproduce via fission and that the resulting pair are even less competent than the original, as they had to split a brain between them. Did I mention that Rainbow Dash failed biology? Twice.



Five-inch Disney Fairies, left-to-right, Rosetta, Tinker Bell, and Periwinkle (Tink's sister). I thought that I had this Rosetta, but she's actually slightly different than the ones I already have; likewise, this Tink isn't the same as my others, and, while I do have a larger Periwinkle doll, I didn't have one in this scale at all. Besides, there's no such thing as too many fairies in my opinion! Sadly, while you can't see it in this photo, Tinker Bell's plastic wings are ripped in half and they're missing the attachment peg that secures them to the hole in her back. That's actually pretty typical; thin plastic fairy wings on dolls tend to be very fragile in general (fabric ones hold up a lot better)--in my experience, most secondhand fairy dolls that I find have either missing or broken wings. But, fear not, that shall be corrected shortly!



Pottermouth also included a large selection of Disney Fairy dresses, footwear, and some accessories. Only Rosetta's pink dress is fabric, all the rest of them are rubbery ones that close in the back with button/hole arrangements (they don't stretch like the previously messed Polly-Stretch clothing though). While they all have clothes, several of the Disney Fairies in my collection were lacking shoes, so I appreciate the extra footwear, and you can never have too many dresses (or so I'm told, as I don't wear them, I wouldn't know)! All of the Disney Fairies I already have came with fabric clothing, not this rubbery sculpted variety, so that difference was interesting. While I'm not absolutely certain that they're Disney Fairy items, I grouped the ladle, purse, and spoon here because they have that rustic, nature-made look that Tink and her friend's usually favor.



A trio of Barbie dolls. The first one has freckles, so she's probably one of Barbie's friends or family members, rather than Barb herself (Midge is sometimes given freckles, but she's usually a redhead, not blonde). The first and third both have '98 heads and '99 bodies, while the one in the middle has a '76 head and '66 body, but I very much doubt that she's actually that old, because Mattel loves to play mix-and-match Dr. Frankenstein with their doll parts, and they seldom change the years molded on the individual pieces, as such, just because a Barbie has a particular date on it, never assume that was the year in which it was actually produced. The Barbie on the far right's legs are molded in pink vinyl (but her panties are flesh tone, like her torso, which looks rather bizarre when she's undressed), so she permanently has tights. I like all three of these ladies, so, I can't pick a favorite from this group.



And here's a Disney Tangled Flynn Rider (a.k.a., Eugene Fitzherbert), dressed in princely attire, rather than his usual travel clothes, and two more Barbies.



I have several Tangled Rapunzels, but this is my first Flynn, and, as you can see, that's going to be a problem. A firm believer in (literal) Occam's Razor, Rainbow Dash offered to chop him up into pieces so that each Rapunzel could have her own chunk of Flynn, but I passed on that suggestion.



Unfortunately, the center Barbie's head/neck is broken. When I opened the box, her head was pushed way down onto the neck, to keep it in place, and I thought to myself, "Well, that's the shortest neck on a Barbie doll I've ever seen.", and, as soon as I started messing around with her noggin, it came off and I knew why! She must have ticked off the Red Queen. Her left hand is also a little chewed up, possibly from the teeth of a pet. Our cat likes to gnaw on my toys from time-to-time, and he almost always goes after projections like fingers, toes, and horns.





The Butterfly Barbie on the far right is also interesting in that she has a wind-up, motorized wing flapping mechanism on her back, but, alas, no wings to go with it. That will be corrected by the end of the thread!



Pictured is a trio of Kelly (Barbie's youngest sister) dolls. Mattel renamed her Chelsea in 2010, but these dolls all seem to predate that event anyway. My favorite is the winter-themed one of the far left; I love her outfit and using a white pom-pom as a snowball was particularly clever in my opinion. The center one appears to be dressed as an angel, and I don't trust the one on the far right, because she's got Monster High-esque fangs painted on her lips (while her current attire doesn't reflect that, she's probably a Halloween-themed vampire Kelly)!



Pottermouth also gave me a huge (one of those gallon volume ones) Ziploc bag full of 12" doll clothing. You can never have too many garments in your doll wardrobe. I seriously have more doll attire than clothing for myself, but then, I mostly go around in jeans and a hoodie 95% of the time, so, it's not like I need much anyway. And, yes, I've been stopped/questioned by the police, on more than one occasion, just because I was wearing a hoodie with the hood up. Remember: hoodie = degenerate criminal, no hoodie = law-abiding citizen. Nine-times-out-of-ten, when a crime is committed where I live, and the police are looking for the perpetrator, they usually say to watch out for a guy in a baseball cap and a hoodie, which describes a large percentage of the male population in my area, including myself, making said description almost useless. Besides, any criminal with two brain cells to rub together is going to change/dispose of their attire if they know witnesses saw them wearing it whilst performing the crime in question, right?



I tried to roughly organize things by garment type, and match tops with bottoms, but I wasn't entirely successful. Please note that the ones that Pottermouth sent the dolls dressed in aren't pictured here.













Care Bear figurines, left-to-right, Cheer Bear, Tenderheart Bear (maybe . . . his fur color and appearance are right, but his tummy symbol is different than I'm used to), Wish Bear, Grumpy Bear, and Share Bear. They're more modern designs (from the Care Bears: Adventures in Care-a-lot 2007-2008 cartoon I believe), but still super cute. I used to watch the original cartoon regularly when I was a kid, and I have some plush Care Bears/Cousins, and a couple of the new Just Play blind bag figurines, but none of these.



A small red Hello Kitty storage box (that, while not pictured, Pottermouth packed several of the Disney Fairy shoes/boots into) and a charm that seems to depict Hello Kitty as some kind of marshmallow-like sandwich treat with a smaller chocolate cookie charm connected above that. I have LOTS of Hello Kitty toys (mostly McDonald's and Mega Bloks ones), but I didn't have either of these two items.



A quartet of Domo-kun charms (he's the famous mascot for the Japanese broadcasting company NHK if you're not familiar with him), a devil, a mustachioed one, and a pair sporting gold necklaces that would make Mr. T envious. I have a couple of larger Domo-kun figurines, including a cool flocked rapper one, but I didn't have any of these.

Now, if you're wondering how this Japanese mascot gained a foothold in America, and elsewhere, I'm afraid that the answer is rather sordid. You see, years ago, people online started sharing a fake public service announcement photo, that depicted Domo-kuns chasing a cat, with the text "Every time you masturbate . . . God kills a kitten (Please, think of the kittens)." Which was soon followed by a similar response photo, showing felines hunting a Domo-kun, that bore the legend, "Every time you send that @#$%*&! picture . . . God kills a Domo-kun (Please, think of the Domo-kuns)." Things snowballed from there to the point that a lot of people online around the world instantly recognized who Domo-kun was, despite having little to no familiarity with his Japanese origins. That was my first exposure to the character as well (and I still have those dumb Domo-kun/kitten pictures saved on my hard drive, even after all these years).



A pair of Shopkins shopping bags. Shopkins are little blind-bagged figures that depict food, cosmetics, household items/appliances, etc. with cute faces. I think they're cool, but, at the moment, I only have one (a red dress) and a children's sticker/story book of the characters. Even so, these work well as bag accessories for larger dolls like Barbie.



This final assortment is mostly odds-and-ends that didn't specifically fit in with the other things or that I'm uncertain about. Out of the three brushes, I only recognize the silver, key-shaped Ever After High one--those will all be going into my giant Ziploc bag of doll combs/brushes. The little fairy doll is Polly Pocket--secondhand Polly Pocket play sets are often missing these tiny dolls, so, it never hurts to have more of those. Her fairy wings were coming apart (the iridescent front material was peeling back from the webbing on the back), but a little white glue fixed that up right quick. The red running dude is DC's Flash, from a 2011 McDonald's Batman: The Brave and the Bold toy assortment. I think I've got that same baby bottle in yellow, but I can't remember what it's from--maybe it'll fit in my baby G3.5 Rainbow Dash's mouth. And an extra pitcher, glasses, spoon, cupcake, etc. are always useful for diorama displays.



Anyhoo, this is a crafting community, so, I'd better actually do some of that instead of just posting photos of, and writing about, toys, or I'm going to get into terrible trouble, right?

Let's start with 2000 Flying Butterfly Barbie and her missing wings. The first thing that I did was search online, on eBay and Amazon in particular, to find some good, close-up photos of the doll and her wings to use as reference models. I then did some calculations, in a spreadsheet, based on the dimensions of the actual doll as well as two of said photos, to determine the approximate height/width the wings needed to be. This spreadsheet may, or may not, make sense to you, but my math told me that I should make said flapping appendages 9.5 cm wide by 10.7 cm high, that's all that matters!



Once I had that figured out to my satisfaction, using the GIMP art program, I placed a black grid overlay on top of one of the photos to aid me in replicating the wing's shape on paper.



This is my paper template, transferred from the photo via drawing the contents of the individual grid squares onto it. I then took this, placed another piece of paper on top of it, held both up against my bedroom window's glass (to provide the necessary light for tracing; you can use a lightbox too, but, I never bother with that during the day time when the sun is easier and free) and traced it, twice, onto the other piece of paper, glued said copies onto cardstock, played some Freecell and Klondike solitaire on my computer for a little bit to allow them time to dry, and then cut them out. Voila, wings!



Here are the working, cardboard prototypes (made from a box of Cookie Crisp cereal--I don't want to live in a world where tiny cookies aren't an essential part of a nutritious breakfast!) I had to tweak the shapes of the wings, where they connect to the flapping mechanism, a little bit, but, other than that, the initial fit was near perfect.



These are the finished plastic wings, which I cut out of transparent sheet plastic from a toy package. I didn't have any hot pink paint, so, I went with purple instead. Surprisingly, at least to me, the cardboard wings actually worked better than these plastic ones. While they're functional, due to how thin and flexible the material I used is, the tops of the purple wings wobble when they flutter, not unlike gelatin. I should have used thicker and more rigid plastic than I did. The stuff I employed works fine for transparent wings on the tinier figures that I sculpt, but, I have a tendency to forget that things don't always behave the same way when making larger objects. I also considered making her some alternative bat and bird wings, so that she could play succubus and angel, but, after working on these projects, I had my fill of tinkering with dolls for the time being.

This dress came from the bags of clothing that Pottermouth gave (and seemed appropriately fairy-like to me), but I stole the white boots from my Pink Label Hello Kitty Barbie. Oh, and if you're wondering what that hook, sticking up between her wings, is for, the original toy came with a zip line, attached to a butterfly wand, that you could use to make the doll "fly" from one spot to another. And, no, I'm not going to make one!







On to Tinker Bell. Here's a closer look at her broken wings, torn in half and missing the connection peg that plugs into the hole in Tink's back. She must have had a bad run-in with Captain Hook!



Unlike Butterfly Barbie, I didn't have to do any research online or mathematical calculations before I could fix Tink's wings, because Periwinkle's intact pair are identical, except for the color/pattern, so I already had the perfect model to take measurements from. Here are the three components of the peg connector piece that I fabricated from scratch, using paper, cereal box cardboard (Cookie Crisp is magic stuff I tell you!), wire, and white glue. The original peg was made from transparent plastic, but, to replicate that, I would have had to make molds, and cast the pieces in transparent resin or something similar (which would have taken a LOT of extra time and work that I was not willing to invest, no matter how much Tink pouted), so, my replacement pieces are opaque.



Those components finished, I painted them spring green, to match Tink's usual garment color choice, joined the broken wings with super glue, and then assembled and glued all of the pieces back together again to complete my repair job. Voila, Tinker Bell flies again, pirates beware! You can still see the crack lines where the wings were broken, but, all-in-all, they're not too bad. In retrospect, perhaps I should have painted the back square of the peg assembly sky blue, rather than green, as that would have matched that side of the wings better.





Finally, let's reattach decapitated Barbie's head. Thankfully, inside the neck, the horizontally-orientated plastic cylinder that the missing neck post would attach to was still intact, otherwise, that would have made things much more difficult, as I wouldn't even have anything to attach a new neck post to! The first thing I did was bend a piece of wire into a hook shape and went "fishing" with it, inside the neck hole, to catch it around said cylinder. Once I had the wire looped around that, I took a pair of tweezers and pulled the short end of the hook, elongating the wire again until both ends were the same length. I then twisted the two ends together, at the cylinder, to fix the wire in place. I actually had to do this twice, because, the first time, I twisted the wire too much, which put kinks in it, so the wire wasn't straight enough for the shaft of the neck post I made to slip over it.



Next, I fabricated the new neck post out of (what else?) paper, cardboard, wire, and white glue, copying the structural design from a photograph (you'll know that you're serious about dolls, and that your life is really sad, when you just happen to have a comprehensive collection of doll neck post images, from multiple toy manufacturers, saved on your hard drive). After all, I wasn't about to rip a head off one of my "good" Barbies, potentially breaking her, just to get a look at another neck post to use as a model for this damaged one! If you're not familiar with Barbie doll construction, the idea here is that, after jamming the neck post inside her head, the little pointed "wings" on the post catch on the interior rim of the head's hole, keeping her melon in place. Doll heads can be a royal pain to get on/off without damaging the neck (and this one is already cracked to begin with). Normally, you can heat the head/neck, with hot water or a hair dryer, to soften the plastic up and make the removal or insertion somewhat easier, but, as my neck post isn't made out of plastic, that probably wouldn't help all that much in this case.



That said, I didn't have a hard time getting Barbie's head onto the neck post at all; it went on the first try. It's not a perfect fit though; Barbie's head is a bit loose, and sits a little high, but her noggin stays on now, and that's what's important. And, on the upside, that does allow the neck joint to tilt/lean at sharper angles . . . and she can headbang to heavy metal music. If I were to do this all over again, I'd make the shaft of the neck post several millimeters shorter and reduce the space between the post's "wings" and disc, to get a tighter fit. While there is definitely room for improvement, this was also the first time I had ever made a new Barbie doll neck post from scratch, so, I'm just happy it even worked and that her cracked neck didn't shatter from the stress I subjected it to.



Sadly, when I stripped this Barbie down to work on her (to keep glue and other debris from getting on her dress), I also discovered more damage. She's got unsightly discolored/bleached spots on the vinyl of her right thigh and buttock--this poor girl can't catch any breaks! While I would never buy a doll in this condition, having one like this to try repair techniques on is good practice, and, if I ever get ambitious enough (don't hold your breath), maybe I'll customize her into someone, or something, else someday.



My wife is VERY unhappy with Pottermouth (she HATES my out-of-control toy collection). "Why is some woman in another state sending YOU dolls in the mail?", she demands to know. I keed, I keed. I'm not married. Cheesy



Well, that's it. If you actually read the entire post, you deserve a medal or something! Many thanks again to Pottermouth for generously contributing a box of goodies to my toy/doll addiction!
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dfabbric
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2016 10:27:53 AM »

Maybe Barbie needs some Tattoos, thats what I'd do if I wanted to hid a scar or something
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Patraw
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« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2016 10:29:42 AM »

That's a good idea, tattoos hadn't even occurred to me as a way to cover up damage (probably because I don't have any myself)!
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« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2016 10:38:30 AM »

Wow. What a fabulous package! It seems that those toys have found a good home with you. I love that you repair toys by fabricating their accessories and anything else they might need. Great work!
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« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2016 11:17:24 AM »

Quote
...and a charm that seems to depict Hello Kitty as some kind of marshmallow-like sandwich...

Perhaps a macaron?   Grin

Awesome goodies from Pottermouth...I loved reading the details of what you found in the box  Smiley








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« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2016 11:41:33 AM »

What a wonderful box of toys. Christmas in July. You have so much experience of fixing toys and dolls - even the repairs that look rather tricky.  I'm sure you could set up a toy hospital if you ever wanted to, with yourself as senior consultant surgeon of course. Does Rainbow Dash ever fancy herself in a nurse's uniform?
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« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2016 11:47:16 AM »

@loves2experiment:  I think you're right.  Hello Kitty probably is supposed to be a macaron.

@elderflower:  Repairing toys is okay every once in a while, but I wouldn't want to do it on a regular basis.  I imagine Rainbow Dash would look cute in a nurse's outfit and cap, but she's more likely to be a patient, because she's always getting injured doing crazy things!
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« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2016 12:57:23 PM »

Sending you a box o' stuff was win-win for me, since I figured you liked (a few) art projects and would restore Butterfly Barbie plus fix those sad fairy wings, and then also accepting my clutter.  Cheesy I am still hoping that you lop off Mauled Hand Barbie's hand and give her a super rad Terminator arm, but that may be asking too much. Darn!

Thanks for the humorous post, and for mending the dolls like a magician!
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shortmom
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2016 04:46:22 PM »

WOW! I haven't seen a collection like that since... ever Smiley I think that the freckle faced "Barbie" might actually be a "Skipper" as I noticed in the clothing you had a "Skipper" outfit. Wonderful work you did with the wings and the head. thanks for the walk down memory lane  Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2016 06:16:49 PM »

Looks like you hit the motherlode Patraw!  Amazed you fixed the broken Barbie neck and the wing repair was wonderful.  I cannot wait to see what you may come up with using barbie parts but sure I'll be blown away. 
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