Friday, September 16, 2016

50th Anniversay Francie

50th Anniversary Francie doll
Barbie Fan Club Exclusive
by Mattel
(literally taken fresh out of the box)

I rarely ever take box photos before I rip a doll out of its package. For Francie, I'd do it. She's always been kinda special to me that way. Opening her box has been just as much a celebration as the doll itself. I had been particularly excited about the 50th Anniversary Francie because the promo shots looked closest to the original than the previous reproduction dolls. I wasn't disappointed.


Let's nitpick (and I say that while rubbing my hands together excitedly and with a smile). 

Would I have chosen a pink box to put her in? Probably not. I'd never associated Francie with pink like her older cousin Barbie. I'd always thought she was more into yellows, lime greens and oranges...the citrusy stuff. But it's just a box so meh. It might interest never-remove-from-box collectors to know that she did come with a dust cover for boxed-in purposes. Again, to a collector like me who has no ounce of self-control when it comes to keeping dolls in their original boxed state, I say, 'meh'.

If you know your Francie, a prom type of outfit as such in this 50th doll is not typical of this gal. When it came to Francie, you could tell it's Mattel, not because she was swell, but because she was groovy. Nothing in this outfit is groovy. No blindingly bright colors or geometric patterns. No mini skirts, tall boots, hoop earrings, fringed hems, etc. etc. Instead, she's a goody-goody Miss Teen Beauty. It looks and feels like a very well-made attire though. And for her 50th year, I kinda get it. She's half a century old. It's a big milestone so why not do it with class. Groovy Francie had always been more a great mix of sweet yet flashy than coy and classy. And I like her that way but I don't mind this other side of Francie one bit. Plus, I think the original version of this outfit is supposed to be rare.

From left to right:
50th Anniversary Francie doll and 1966/68 Straight Leg Francie

Now the face...oh, joy, that pretty face! I do like the face of the 50th doll. This is the first time she's been reproduced without the rooted lashes and with the straight legs. I love the no-lashes Francie just as much as the one with them so it's not a deal breaker to me. 

Someone finally got the hint that to capture the essence of Francie isn't just about her funky wear, it's also the doll's face. To a Francie enthusiast like I, that means ensuring that her doe-shaped eyes were indeed that. This one sure has fact a little too doe-ish if I dare say. Again, I don't mind. I don't expect a reproduction to be a carbon copy of the original. It would be nice but probably not gonna happen. The way her lips are shaped also very much resembles the 1966 version. That made me happy!

The shape of the face on the new reproduction doll is where I found this Francie really missed the mark. This is consistent with the past reproductions. The original Francie does have a rounder shaped face, say, compared to Barbie, but the reproduction takes that to another level of 'round'. There's too much cheeks where cheeks are concerned. And her eyebrows are a tad bit higher than I like...but that's just me being an ass about it. She's still super cute! And her skin tone is nice. It's not overly pink-ish like the 30th Anniversary Francie doll.

The hair flip on the new doll is also not much of a flip but rather a curl as opposed to what the original Francie has. After googling Francie images, I came into the conclusion that the hair color varies in different shades of brown on the brunette versions. I don't know if that's just her age, lighting during the photo shoot, or my computer screen, affecting the color or what. So I really can't comment on it other than how nice, properly thick, and brown the new one is. It's a very rich shade of brown and I like it.  

It's important to note that even though 50th Anniversary Francie had the plastic head wrap, typical to how the originals came in their box, her hair has gel. I had to comb my doll's hair a bit to fluff it out after I took a few pics of her right out of the box.

Overall, I approve this reproduction doll. She exudes the Francie that I know and love. Best reproduction of her yet! (...I expect the next one to have less puffy cheeks...please with sugar on top... ^___^)

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Wedding Belle No More

Wedding Belle Poppy Parker
by Integrity Toys 2015
aka Ziya

I think this doll is really underrated. I don't see very many photos of her around. Even I have passed over her many times in my collection to pick up another doll. I think it had something to do with the wedding outfit she originally came in...and I'm sorry to say, the ugly half ponytail too. Not to mention, she might have sort of left a bitter taste in my mouth when I first opened her box and found that she had uneven eyes, as in one eye was literally bigger than the other, and I had to ship her head out again for an exchange. By the time I got her back, I wasn't too keen on playing with her anymore. It took me some time to debox her in the first place.

It took almost a good year for me to actually remember what it was that had me buying this doll to begin with. I remember liking her Hungarian skin tone, that is like a light tan. And I love the aqua color of her eyes. It's riveting. I have boring dark brown eyes so I like it when my dolls have different eye colors. Wedding Belle's eye color is by far my favorite from all the Poppy releases.

I had to take down her ugly ponytail too. I'm happier with her like this. It makes her look more sultry instead of being a drab bride. In the end, I'm glad I finally picked her up and decided to tinker with her looks. Not wanting to disturb too much of her curls, taking her ponytail down was a bit of a challenge. I may have snapped and pulled some hair out...still looks good though!

Here's a little secret about her photoshoot: She's only wearing one earring. The other one broke when I tried to put it in her ear so I said screw it. Hehehe!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Ooh la la indeed...

Ooh La La! Poppy Parker doll, aka, Arienne
by Integrity toys

The first W Club exclusive doll of 2016. I know. I know. I'm always late talking about stuff. Everyone's already moved on to the topic of the latest Fashion Royalty line, and I'm still only now appreciating this doll.

Ooh La La is a funny name...but yeah, let's go with that. This doll's hairstyle reminds me of Barbie's swirl ponytail as seen below. It's actually my favorite vintage look for Barbie so Ooh La La gets three thumbs up for that one! (It's a crazy dream but I'm still crossing my fingers that one day Mattel will produce a Francie doll with a swirl hairstyle.) In addition to the style, Ooh La La's hair is white so that's another three thumbs up from me. I love white hair on dolls. It gives them a very ethereal look.

Barbie Learns to Cook
by Mattel 2007

Another great thing about Ooh La La is that she's a gift set. Gift sets are awesome for fashion mix and matches since separate fashion packs are fairly non-existent these days. I was going to pose Arienne (I'm going to stop saying 'Ooh La La' now because it's just getting awkward) and take pictures of her with these mixing possibilities but I had a change of heart at the last moment. I ended up grabbing another doll that hasn't had very many photo shoots to showcase one of the other clothing pieces in the set.

Ooh La La and That Holiday Feeling
aka Arienne and Otrera

...Oh and I added puppies for the extra cuteness factor! I know the grey puppy was from Most Sophisticated Poppy Parker as Sabrina doll set but I don't remember which dolls came with the other two puppies. So if anyone reading this recognizes the pups, please let me know. I think I'll name one of these critters, Ooh La La for fun...kinda like Nanette Manoir's dog in Angela Anaconda. Anyone remember that?

I'm clearly all over the place with this blog post so I'll stop here. Collectors in the W Club, have lately been talking about having more color options for their doll's clothing other than black. This recurring feedback is currently reflected on the newest colorful Fashion Royalty dolls. I, for one, am actually a huge fan of black so this Poppy gift set with a black and white theme, and a touch of red, going on suits me just fine. Oh, it did come with yellow shorts...a picture for another day. One last thing to note is the difficulty of putting on the choker on the doll. I actually broke mine right out of the package just trying to unhook the bead enclosure. The beauty of photography is being able to hide what you don't want your audience to see. Both chokers on dolls are held together by a small piece of masking tape on the back. The black choker is the official accessory in the set. The red one is a piece of string that I tied around Otrera to match her bow...Looks legit right?

Happy Thursday!

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