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  • No March Meeting

    Due to COVID-19, our March meeting has been canceled. Hopefully it will be safe to resume our meetings soon, but we will keep you updated on the status of our next meeting. In the meantime, please stay safe, and we hope to see you soon (when it’s safe)!

    On the bright side, amidst all the self isolation, you can have some fun and try to experiment with some doll photography to pass the time, or finally get around to making that doll outfit you’ve been meaning to make. Feel free to share your doll photos with us (send to Melissa), or a picture of a doll outfit or project you’ve done and they can be shared on our website.


  • Wild Hearts Crew

    A new line of funky dolls is coming to us from Mattel. They’re called the Wild Hearts Crew, and I can’t wait for them to hit stores. They’re supposed to be a little more edgy, a little more rock and roll, with bigger bodies than Barbies have, but still full of all sorts of fun details, not to mention some fun hair colors and fashions, and accessories.

     


  • Creatable World: Gender Neutral Dolls

    Mattel is launching it’s first gender neutral dolls, that are called Creatable World, where kids can customize their doll to represent themselves, or to create the doll any way they would like, in any fashion they would like. They come with short hair, and a longer wig, along with a few different outfit choices that they can mix and match, and thee pairs of shoes, and a couple accessories. They come in a variety of skin tones and hair colors, and both curly and straight.

     

     


  • Barbie Color Reveal Dolls

    Barbie released a fun new surprise doll. It’s something akin to some of the LOL Surprise dolls, in my opinion, with having the big reveal to discover what doll you’ve gotten. You get a tube that hides everything, only to open it, and see a totally pink painted doll, along with some concealed packages. Inside the packages are your wig, shoes, and a skirt. You use the tube it comes in, and fill it with warm water, and put the pink doll inside. As the water touches it, the pink starts to fade away to reveal your doll’s painted on bodysuit, and her skin and hair. But then you rinse it off in cold water, and you reveal the next set of hidden details, like the true hair color, and her makeup.

     


  • Fresh Dolls

    Some new dolls I recently learned about are the Fresh dolls, with a beautiful meaning behind them. They’re a new take on fashion dolls, with multiple points of articulation, and their own fashion line. Here is a blurb from their website, where the creator, Dr. Lisa, explains the story behind her dolls, along with some information about them:

    Dr. Lisa, Creator of The Fresh Dolls, Fresh Squad, and Positively Perfect dolls

    I am a mom and former professor.  I’ve always wanted to inspire young people. In 2003, I formed the World of Entertainment, Publishing and Inspiration (World of EPI) with the mission of spreading joy by providing children with dolls that inspire dreams, promote intelligence and build self-esteem.  Building self-esteem is the cornerstone of all the work I do, because low self-esteem can limit a child’s potential.  As a professor who had experienced low self-esteem, I quickly recognized it in the young women in my classes.

    One day while watching an updated doll study, I saw a beautiful little mocha skinned girl say she didn’t think the brown doll was pretty because its skin was nasty.  She then touched her own hand and said, “just like mine”.  As my heart broke and tears flowed down my face, I said, “Oh my goodness this begins in early childhood.”  At that moment, I knew I had to create dolls for multicultural girls.

    For four years, I’d carried the dream of creating a multicultural fashion doll line in my heart. I wanted older girls to see multicultural beauty reflected back to them during play.  In 2017, FRESH was launched.  They are called FRESH because they’re a new perspective on dolls.  These dolls have custom blended skin tones, beautifully authentic facial features, trendy fashions and hairstyles that include, braids, afros, afro-puffs, wavy and curly styles.  FRESH doll bodies are specifically designed to be more representative by having fuller hips, thighs and more realistic waists.  I designed the dolls to be poseable so girls could dream of what they want to become while posing, bending, and playing with their dolls.  Since traditional dolls clothes will not fit these shapely bodies, FRESH dolls have their own fashion line that is “elegant with an edge”.

    Everything we do at the World of EPI centers around love and self-esteem.  We love all children. We love creating dolls that honor the beauty and intelligence of multicultural children. We are here to support you in raising beautiful, confident children with unlimited possibilities.  Anytime a World of EPI doll is purchased, a donation is made to a national charity that supports and uplifts children.  When you take a doll home to the amazing child in your life, present it to them with a loving kiss.  In turn, I hope each doll gets tons of hugs and kisses, too.

    Dr. Lisa

    Meet the Fresh Dolls. I heard about them, and then remembered seeing them at some local Dollarama stores. It appears in the US, anyway, that they’re available at Wal-Mart, and aren’t badly priced, however I have yet to see them at any Wal-Marts here, but I’ll be keeping my eyes open, just in case.

    Here is the Fresh Squad, their male dolls to go along with the female Fresh dolls. I have to say, I love the look of these dolls and the different faces and hair.

     


  • We’re Back!

    You know what else September means, aside from back to school? It’s when our first meeting of the new term is after our summer break! So come join us, guests are welcome, and we’d love to have you. The meeting is Sunday, September 22nd, same time and place (and if you don’t know when/where that is, it’s on our home page). Come early and you can order yourself something to eat if you would like, just come before 1pm to do that, please. We’ll have some fun, see what everyone brings for Show & Tell, and catch up with other members! Hope to see everyone there! And for those of you debating if you should come or not — come on, you know you want to!


  • Back To School

    It’s that time of year again – back to school! So let’s get in the spirit of learning, and having a little history lesson by checking out this video of 19th Century dolls, featuring both expensive and inexpensive dolls of that time period. The video deems them creepy, and also features the Thomas Edison Talking Doll from the last post, including more recordings. As a collector, I found it more interesting than anything else, but you can decide for yourself whether they are creepy or not!


  • Edison’s Talking Doll

    With all the modern technology used today for all sorts of toys, let’s take a look back at one of the first dolls that used any kind of technology. The first ever talking doll, created by Thomas Edison. The doll made use of his recently created phonograph, and they began creating them in 1888, using some women’s and girl’s voices – which, technically, makes them the first ever recording artists. It was the first toy that was made to talk, and also the first recorded-audio product designed, manufactured, and sold for home entertainment. The problem, however, was that in 1890, when the dolls first came out, reciting parts of nursery rhymes when you cranked the handle on the back of the doll…may have come across a little more creepy sounding than intended. Children found them to be a little hard to operate, and given the time period, also rather expensive (undressed – $10, dressed – $12 to 20, depending on outfit). Needless to say, the dolls were only in product for about six weeks. Despite it’s short lived production, making it a bit of a flop, it was also a great step forward and a milestone innovation in the toy world.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The dolls are very rare, with some sitting in museums, and others owned by collectors. The sad fact to these dolls, is that given their age, they sat silently for years, as it was feared that an attempt to play the recording would damage it, as it became fragile with age. However, a government laboratory developed a way to play them, without any risk of ruining them. The method used has been able to recreate the recordings, which you can hear one here:

     

     

    Here are an assortment of pictures of Edison’s short lived talking dolls.


          


  • Barbie Fashionistas

    Mattel has released some new dolls as part of their Barbie Fashionistas line, and I’m sure it’s making some kids very happy, along with some collectors! There are three dolls as part of the newest wave of Fashionistas that feature dolls with disabilities. Two feature two different Barbies in a wheelchair, which comes with it’s own ramp to ensure Barbie’s house, or anywhere else, is wheelchair accessible. The third is a Barbie with a prosthetic leg, which can also be removed to see where the leg and prosthetic meet. Mattel has already become more including, featuring different body sizes, an wide array of skin tones and all sorts of different hair, and now they have begun including dolls with disabilities. This is not the first Barbie in a wheelchair they have released, however it’s the first to include it’s own ramp. Some did not like that the previous one’s chair was a little too wide to fit through the doorways of Barbie’s house. It is, however, the first Barbie with a prosthetic.

     


  • Love Is Love

    Mattel may not have done anything so far, after the request for a same-sex wedding doll set…however, it seems Integrity has released their own! It’s the first ever gay male fashion doll wedding set, which is called Love is Love. The details are amazing on the outfits, right down to their wedding rings, not to mention the details and differences to their faces.