Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Liv Dolls v. Barbie

Hi Peeps,

Accckkkk I'm bored of Barbies! Yep you heard it right, and it's all Liv Doll's fault. ;) I used to collect Barbies as a child and then started buying collector Barbies in my twenties. Now in my late thirties I'm just so over them. "What?" you say, "gasp... sacrilege!!!"  Don't get me wrong they're lovely dolls and I still have Barbies in my collection that I love, but it seems that every new Barbie theme I see has been done before and everything is soooo PINK!!! I know Pink is Barbie's signature color, and that these iconic dolls are typically marketed towards little girls, but I think Barbie is proof that you can have too much of a good thing...namely pink! Also Barbies are often not articulated, plus their quality seems to be heading downhill with badly rooted hair, problems with face paint and sub-quality clothes.

So when I discovered Liv dolls by Spin Master a few years ago I was instantly hooked! After years of painted doll faces I fell in love with the glass type eyes, wigs and cool fashions of these amazing 12" dolls. My first reaction was, "Finally, an alternative to Barbie and they're not drowning in pink!" My daughter was about 9 at the time so hubby and I bought her the Sophie and Katie dolls. Here's the first wave Spin Master released.

*Liv Dolls
The wigs, the eyes, the amazing articulation! I had so much fun playing with them that at times my daughter had to say, "Uh Mom, can I play with my dolls now?" Lol! 

At about the same time I started collecting Ball Jointed dolls and all my time and dolly money went to them, so I drifted away from Liv dolls for a few years. Then just recently I decided to dig my daughters Livs out of the basement. They were just as awesome as I remembered them. Instant love again! But I was horribly disappointed to find that they had been discontinued! That's when the Great Liv Doll Search began and I embarked on a feverish mission to track down as many Livs as I could afford. I lucked out and found an Alexis and a Katie from Value Village. I found a Daniella Spa Doll at a deeply discounted price at our local Zellers which is closing. And for our 18th wedding anniversary a couple of weeks ago my darling hubby took me to ToysrUs (forget Disney Land, ToysrUs is the happiest place on earth for me...all those toys, squeeee!!!) and joy of joys there were some Liv Dolls left! I chose an Alexis Spa Doll, with a darker skin tone than my Value Village Alexis, and the Hayden's House with Hayden doll! I'm absolutely thrilled with Hayden's House! I LOVE the colour of the kitchen cupboards and it comes with some really cute accessories and a pretty bedspread! There was a large sticker of a purple desk that was supposed to go on the wall behind the bed, but I chose not to use it because I don't like sticker backgrounds. The set also included Liv Doll Hayden. She came wearing a floral dress, pink flats and a very awkward looking wig. It looks like a blonde wig sitting on top of a brown wig. I'll probably send it off to the Thrift Store if I can't make it look any less unfortunate. Sorry there are no pics of Hayden in her outfit but I've already re-dressed her in other clothes which you'll see below.

Here's Hayden's House freshly unboxed.

Here's Hayden who I redressed in a Barbie Cali Girl outfit and Katie's wig. The outfit suits her perfectly and brings out the beautiful green in her eyes.

She's so gorgeous! 

 Here's Hayden's house after I added some barbie furniture and accessories purloined (with permission of course) from my daughters toys that she no longer plays with. I've heard that plastic spray paint available at Home Depot works well on Barbie furniture, so I'll be spray painting the modern sofa, chair and bedside shelf white to tie it in to the bed and dining set. I'll also be painting some of the gaudier accessories to make them look more the day-glow green books, phone and anything that's pink! I'm going to re-size the bedspread because it's huge and needs to be folded to fit onto this smaller bed. There should even be fabric left over for throw pillows! I'm going to cover the cardboard kitchen backdrop above the counter top with scrapbook paper because I hate the way it looks right now.

Even my daughter who has pretty much grown out of her Barbies is getting into Liv Dolls again and wants a Liv Doll It's My Nature Hayden for her Birthday in March. Between us we now have 7 Liv Dolls and I can't get enough of them. They're like inexpensive Ball Jointed Dolls but without the exorbitant BJD price. Plus I just found out that there are a couple of ways that you can remove the eyes and swap them out. How cool is that?! 

Suffice to say that Liv Dolls have totally eclipsed Barbies in my doll collection. Barbies can no longer stand up to the extra details like wigs and eyes, articulation and the high level of customization possible with the Liv dolls. I hate to say this but Bye Bye Barbie...Hellooo Liv!

Thanks for listening to my ramblings...

Ta Ta for now Dolly Peeps!

*The above image does not belong to me.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Doll Memories

Back in the stone age when Barbies did not have articulated joints, and few had locks which were any other color than blonde, I discovered dolls. It was due in large part to my lovely Grandma who I adored. My Grandma was my first ever kindred spirit. She brought me back dolls of all shapes and sizes from the countries she visited during her world travels. Among the treasures that made their way back to me in Grandma's suitcase were, a lovely little Chinese doll from China Town, New York, a set of 6 beautiful Russian Nesting dolls (although not from Russia), a toy kangaroo with a baby joey in her pouch and a toy Koala from Australia. She also gave me many other dollies which were no less precious to me for not coming from far off lands. I remember wanting a baby doll with brown eyes like me, and my Grandma searched high and low until she found Kerry, the perfect brown eyed baby doll! Another time she bought me an adorable Grandma and Granddaughter doll set, it wasn't fancy or expensive but it was so very precious to me because it reminded me of my Grandma. Another time while my family were all on holiday in Wales Grandma bought me a beautiful doll in Welsh Costume which we together named Gwendolyn. Of all the treasures that made it home to me I still have the Russian Nesting Dolls. Right now they're sitting on my daughter's art desk upstairs watching over her like they did me. I think if there was a fire and I could only grab a few things I'd choose my kids, my hubby and those Russian dolls. Why? Because they're filled to the brim with my Grandma's love and the memories we shared together. 10 years ago Grandma made her last and most exciting journey to Heaven to meet her Savior. I miss her terribly but I know I'll see her again one day and I sure hope there are dollies in Heaven!

My Russian Dolls

Ta Ta for now Dolly Lovers!