Monday, November 20, 2017

Selma DuPar James, Already Sold Out?

Screen capture of Selma DuPar James, the third doll in The Harlem Theater Collection by Mattel

The third doll in the The Harlem Theater Collection, Selma DuPar James, after a long wait for production dolls to arrive, has entered the collections of those who preordered and the doll (as of this writing) is already sold out at TheBarbieCollection website.  (Just this past Friday, order status there was shown as "preorder").  Intense interest among collectors must have been the driving force for the first dolls to sell so quickly.  Will there be others produced?

Described as follows:
The bold Harlem Theatre™ Collection represents the courageous women of an era who paved the way for future generations to freely and creatively express themselves. During the Harlem Renaissance era, patrons of the arts like Madam Lavinia™ would often commission artists to showcase their latest work. Up-and-coming artist Selma DuPar James™, was selected to hold her first solo exhibition in the Harlem Theatre salon.  Her piece is a beautiful portrait of jazz singer Claudette. The third doll in the Harlem Theatre™ Collection, Selma DuPar James™ Barbie® doll is powerfully creative and powerfully stylish.

Doll Designer: Carlyle Nuera
Label: Gold
Body Type: Articulated
Facial sculpt: NEW, Selma sculpt
Fashion: Dress
Fashion Sewn On: No
Accessories: Pearl necklace with pendant, gloves, shoes, painting with frame

Price $85.

Barbie enthusiast, Romona Jennings, is one preordering collector who is now enjoying her doll.  In her collection, Selma joins the first and second dolls in the collection, Claudette Gordon and Madam Lavinia.  Romona's lovely photos of Selma follow:

Holding a box of long-stem roses, (added by Romona), Selma relaxes during her first solo exhibition in the Harlem Theater Salon.

Art gives her life and it is her hope that her artwork inspires others.

Selma's portrait of jazz singer, Claudette, is admired by none other than Claudette herself.

The three divas, Claudette, Selma, and Madam Lavinia, pose for one final photograph at the conclusion of Selma's art exhibition.

When asked which one of the three dolls is her favorite and why, Romona replied, "Selma!  Her lips, her entire ensemble, and her hair; however, it is gelled.  I washed her hair to make it soft.  The dress has snaps in the back.”

Romona seems thoroughly pleased with the doll's appearance and the quality.  Here's hoping Selma's initial sellout was only for the first run of the dolls and that more will be in stock soon at  

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Friday, November 17, 2017

2017 "Little Red" Christmas Doll

Back in June of this year, Karen Oyekanmi (Kissing Kousin Dolls) was commission to create a doll based on my specifications.  The doll was to have a caramel brown complexion, red hair, and freckles.  Because I was not in a hurry to receive the doll and because Karen was working on dolls for The Festival of Black Dolls Show and Sale, which took place this year on November 4, 2017, I decided having the doll dressed in Christmas colors would be appropriate.  I, however, wanted colors or a color that would be suitable for year-round wear.

This photo of a little girl wearing a kelly-green dress was sent to Karen to use for the doll's dress color and style with the exception that I desired short sleeves as opposed to sleeveless.

As her inspiration, Karen used the above photo of a little girl with the complexion, hair color/texture, and freckles I specified.

The following photos, shared by Karen, illustrate the doll making progress.  Details are provided in the voice of the doll.

"My body has already been formed.  Look at me.  I can already stand by myself."

"Now that my face is painted, I think I look almost identical to the little girl in the photo.  My hair and freckles match hers too."

"My kelly-green dress has been made with matching undies.  I am waiting for socks and shoes."
"Socks and shoes have been added."
"My ears are pierced.  In this picture I wear faux diamond studs.  I also have a red gift box."
"After I was completed, my trip from California to Texas began on October 26, 2017.  Debbie did not pick me up from the post office until the afternoon of November 3, 2017.  After she opened the box and removed my tissue paper wrapping, I could see her smiling.  'She must like me,' is what I thought.  She examination me from head to toe.  I knew she was surprised when she saw my hands."

"The next morning, after making some minor adjustments, she took the following photos of me in my new home."

"Debbie thinks I am beautiful!"

"How about you?  Do you think I'm cute? "
"There are three pearls on the back of my dress, which is permanently sewn on.  A green velour ribbon is at the waist of my puff-sleeve dress."

"My green headband matches the waist ribbon of my dress. Debbie exchanged my faux diamond earrings for pearl studs to match the buttons on the back of my dress.  She loves the texture and color of my hair because it reminds her of how red her grandson's hair was when he was younger.  I am looking forward to meeting him and his little brother."
"Debbie took photos of my hands to show my fingernails.  She was surprised about this.  Each of my fingers is also wired for posing. Pretty cool, right?"
"Here I am in one final photo, seated with the red gift box Ms. Oyekanmi sent with me."

"There's a toy inside my gift box!"

"On my certificate of authenticity, Ms. Oyekanmi gave me the name, 'Little Red.'  Because of the color of my dress, Debbie renamed me Kellie and wrote that on the certificate alongside 'Little Red.'"

Kellie is made of felt.  She has a gorgeous hand-painted face which, as she indicated, is almost identical to the photo of the girl that was Karen's inspiration.  She is 20 inches tall, with mounds of beautiful wavy red hair adorned with a green velour headband.  She has applied ears, which are also made of felt.  Her kelly-green dress has a solid green bodice with collar and skirt made of black and green print fabric.  The hem is trimmed with yellow scalloped stitching and the skirt is made fuller by yellow crinoline underneath.  Kelly-green panties, pearl stud earrings, white socks, and black faux leather shoes complete her fashion.  Made as a limited edition of "1" by Karen Oyekanmi of Kissing Kousin, Kellie is my first 2017 Christmas doll, a present from me to me.  I will have an opportunity to enjoy her for several weeks before Christmas and for many years to come.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Family Dollar Lovely Patsy Chef Set Doll

11-1/2 inch Chef Doll by Lovely Patsy, Ltd.

After grocery shopping at Aldi, I visited Family Dollar, which is in the same shopping strip.  I only needed to purchase a couple of household things that Aldi does not sell (Chlorox spray bleach for bathroom sanitizing and a package of cellulose sponges).

Family Dollar's toy aisle is now at the front of the store, so of course, I browsed the doll section, which is where I found this Lovely Patsy, Ltd. Chef Set doll. (I would have still browsed the toy section, no matter where it's located in the store.)

There was one blonde and several African American versions in stock.  I do not recall if the blonde uses the same head sculpt, but it was this doll's head sculpt that influenced the $5 purchase. Her unique face reminds me of someone whom I cannot pinpoint at this moment.  The thought of using her for eye repainting practice entered my mind as I examined all dolls to find one without imperfections.  I initially reached for the one with black hair, but the tip of her nose was blemished from being pressed against the plastic front of the box.  So I chose the most perfect brown-haired doll. 

Still attached to the box liner, the chef was removed from the box for a better photo.

Under column headings:  Manufacturer/Artist, Name, and Description, her spreadsheet entry reads:

Lovely Patsy Ltd, circa 2017 Chef Set from Family Dollar 11-1/2-inch fashion doll with brown rooted hair, has a unique face, wears white satin dress, red neck tie; has pink and white polka dot apron, pink pumps.  Accessories include cooking utensils (a pair of tongs, a knife, spoon, and spatula), bowl, cup/saucer, tray of pastries, boiler, skillet with top, and a pitcher.

The month of purchase and price are also headed columns of the spreadsheet under which were typed, September and $5, respectively.  She is not jointed, but for $5, I would not expect that extra detail.  She does have click-bend knees.  Her arms and legs are made of a pliable vinyl.  The body is  hard plastic.

As indicated, I purchased this doll in September, but now that the holiday season is steadily approaching, Family Dollar, Dollar General, and other such stores will beef up their toy department with dolls (and other toys), some of which might be worth purchasing.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad Is the First Hijab-Wearing Barbie | Glamour

Even though the doll is currently one-of-a-kind, this is an epic move for Mattel.  If rumors are true, the doll will be mass produced in 2018. 

To learn more about Ms. Muhammad, navigate here.


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Monday, November 13, 2017

Doll-size UgLy Christmas Sweaters

I ordered two sets of these ugly Christmas sweater ornaments from the Animal Rescue Site in hopes that they will fit petite Barbie or other similar-size dolls.  The price when ordered of $4.99 was reduced from $14.95 (the buy link is near the end of this post).  They are described as:

  • Set of 2
  • Wool
  • 3" L x 7.5" W (7.6 x 19.1 cm)
  • Handmade in & fairly traded from Nepal

Modeling Christmas sweater ornaments from various sources:  (in back, L-R) Nikki's sweater is from  Dasia and Anika's sweaters are from a local Michaels store, and (seated) Goddess Emerald's sweater is from
To size-compare these with others, I measured a couple of past Christmas sweater ornaments by different makers (shown above) that do fit Barbie (with width being across from end-to-end of outstretched sleeves).  Their measurements follow:

  • The ones purchased from Michaels in 2015 measure 4" L x 9" W -- they run a little large on Barbie but fit nicely on Big Beautiful Doll Dasia. 
  • The ones purchased from Christopher and Banks in 2015 and 2016 measure 3-1/2" L x 7-1/2" W.

Based on this comparison, the most recently ordered ones from the Animal Rescue Site might run a little short on regular height and tall Barbie.  Petite Barbie and even smaller dolls should be able to wear them.  I will know after they arrive.  Here is the buy link:

I will write a followup post after they arrive if any of my dolls can wear these (keeping my fingers crossed they can).  If not, their intended purpose (as ornaments or gifts) is a suitable option.


At the link, see what's in stock at Christopher and Bank for 2017:

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Saturday, November 11, 2017

The Promise: A Vietnam Solider's Story (Reshared)

Originally published on October 2, 2011, this post is reshared for Veteran's Day, November 17, 2017.

In 1969, one of three brothers, received a letter from the Selective Service informing him he had been drafted into the United Stated Army.  His immediate trepidation was followed by a sense of calm after hearing a soft still voice that reassured he would be okay.  The voice further assured that of the three brothers, he, at age 19, was chosen because one brother was too young and the oldest brother was too easily influenced by worldly vices.
The young man went through basic training at Fort Polk, Louisiana and completed advanced individual training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, along with another young soldier whose name was Briggs. They both traveled by air with a group of other privates to Anchorage, Alaska and from there to Saigon, Vietnam. During the flight, the 19-year-old  prayed the plane would crash, opting for an immediate and less painful death than one he imagined might occur in  the war zone he was about to enter. Due to a brief lapse in faith and uncertainty of what would lie ahead, he had forgotten what the soft still voice had assured him... that he would be all right.

At the Saigon airport, the young soldiers took seats on bleachers to await instructions on where they would be located in the field. As the others took lower seats, the 19-year-old continued alone to an unoccupied top row seat.

Once seated, the young solider turned his head and looked to one side; no one was there.

He turned his head in the opposite direction; no one was there.

Once again, he turned his head and there sat a grubby white solider who appeared to have been right out of a war zone.   His uniform was muddy and torn in places, but he was not visibly injured.   The 19-year-old (19-y/o) and the war-zone-looking solider (WZLS) exchanged a couple of, "Hey brothers." The rest of their brief encounter and the events that transpired immediately afterward are detailed below.

WZLS: What branch of service are you in?
19-y/o: Army. 
WZLS: What do you do?
19-y/o:  I'm in Artillery.
WZLS: That's good because wherever you go, we go. Infantry [foot soldiers] always goes with you. They [Vietcong] have to go through us before they get to you.
WZLS: Do you believe in God?
19-y/o: (After doing a double-take) Yes.
WZLS: That's good, because if you don't, you will before you leave here.
19-y/o: (Silence).
WZLS continued: Brother, I'm going to tell you something. You have to make sure you do it.
19-y/o: All right.
WZLS: You promise me you're going to do it?
19-y/o: Yeah-yeah, I'm going to do it.
WZLS: Now when you go out in the field, your First Sergeant is going to ask you if you know how to drive. Tell him, "No," because when you go up and down that road, you're being shot at going and coming... every day. Tell him you don't know how to drive.
19-y/o: Thanks, Man. I'll be sure to tell him I can't drive.
Once again the 19-year-old turned his head for a split second. After turning it back, the war zone-looking soldier was gone without a possible logical explanation of how he vanished from the top of the bleachers so quickly.  A sense of calm enveloped the 19-year-old.

After exiting the bleachers, the 19-year-old and the other soldiers received their orders to go to their field location.  In the field, the First Sergeant, a tall black man, greeted the young men and told them to relax.  The towering First Sergeant proceeded to deliver an unnerving speech to the soldiers.

Matter-of-factly, the First Sergeant said, “Some of ya’ll will make it out; some of you won’t.” Next, he callously described what might happen to them. “Some of you will get limbs blown off; some of you will get shot; some of you will die.” Immediately after, he asked, “By the way, does anyone here drive?”  After no one volunteered, the First Sergeant said, “The reason why I asked is because I need someone to stay back here and drive for me, back here where it’s safe.”

Several volunteering hands shot up in the air, including Briggs. Then the 19-year-old told Briggs about his encounter with the WZLS, but Briggs volunteered as a driver anyway. Holding on to his promise, the 19-year-old did not volunteer.

Realizing the 19-year-old  did not raise his hand, the First Sergeant asked, “Do you drive?”
The young man answered, “No, First Sergeant.”
The First Sergeant asked the young solider his age, to which he replied, “19.”
“And you don’t drive?” the First Sergeant questioned.
“No, First Sergeant,” the 19-year-old insisted.
Puzzled, the First Sergeant asked, “Where are you from?”
“Dallas, Texas,” the 19-year-old answered.
“Oh, the place that likes to kill presidents,” said the First Sergeant.
“You sure you don’t drive?”  he asked again.
“Yes, I’m sure, First Sergeant.”
Finally, the First Sergeant left the young soldier alone.

The young Artillery solider was sent out in the field, where it was actually safer than being in the back as a driver. Briggs remained in the back to drive trucks loaded with supplies that the soldiers needed, but was never assigned to drive for the First Sergeant.

The 19-year old completed his tour of duty and returned home a year later. He does not know what happened to Briggs because they lost contact with one another.

That young 19-year-old was one of my mother's three sons.   In essence, my middle brother kept his promise not to volunteer to drive.  Most importantly, God's promise and reassurance, sent in the form of the war zone-looking soldier, literally saved my brother's life.

My oldest brother was drafted as well.  He was stationed in Germany and never served in Vietnam because the middle brother was already there.  The youngest of my three brothers was never drafted.


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Friday, November 10, 2017

Congratulations Brains and Beauty Dolls!

I am pleased to announce the Brains and Beauty Dolls Kickstarter, which ended October 27, 2017, has been successfully funded!  Within 33 days, 71 backers pledged $22,203 to help bring this project to life!  This is proof that dolls, like Brains and Beauty Dolls, designed to accurately represent girls of color, are desired in the marketplace.

Congratulations to you, Ms. Niya Dorsey, for your hard work and dedication in creating "the first 18-inch empowering, talking doll with real stylable hair."  You did it!

Brains and Beauty Dolls Malia

Production of the Malia doll has now begun with an estimated February 2018 delivery of dolls and other products offered through Kickstarter pledges.

Although the Kickstarter has ended with successful funding, preorders for the 18-inch Malia doll continue at the Brains and Beauty Dolls website.  Buy a doll for yourself (if you are a doll collector or if you just like the concept) or buy one for a child.

While many parents routinely only purchase dolls for their children as gifts for Christmas, birthdays, and other "special" occasions, I am a firm believer that dolls are great gifts for any occasion.  So while Malia will not be available in time for Christmas 2017, this should not prevent the now-purchase of this innovative, first-of-it's-kind, beautiful, empowering, talking doll that is appropriate for any child at any time.

The goal of Brains and Beauty Dolls is "to create an entire line of dolls and accessories to keep the fun going while motivating our girls."

Shop now, here.

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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Naturally Perfect is now Mayzeepedia

Naturally Perfect's successful 2015 Kickstarter culminated in the creation of the 18-inch tall, Angelica doll, shown above.  Promoted as "a doll with facial features true to women of color and hair you can style/wash as natural hair," the doll is made of vinyl.

The company later received additional funding after their January 2017 appearance on ABC's Shark Tank with Daymond John (founder of FuBu) investing $200,000 in the company for 20% equity.  Watch the Shark Tank pitch next:

Naturally Perfect is now Mayzeepedia:  "the girl encyclopedia."  Their slogan is, "We know girls."

Their About page shares:  "We are creating Mayzeepedia to let girls know they are beautiful.  Our girls need to see a reflection of their own unique beauty.  It's time for our young girls to have a new standard."

Screen snapshot from the company's website

In addition to Angelica, Brielle, Camryn, and Kennedy are now part of the Mayzeepedia doll family.  The dolls share Angelica's sculpt and body attributes but are offered in different complexions and hair colors.  They are currently available for preorder for $49.99 ($40 off the retail price of $89.99).  Expected date of delivery is February 2018.

Below is text from the company's sponsored Facebook ad with a link to a video illustrating the many ways the dolls' hair can be styled.

When your daughter plays with her dolls - she sees beauty. The problem is that beauty comes in all types of skin colors and hair textures - but unfortunately, most dolls do not. 🤔We LOVE our beautiful black daughters so instead of complaining - we took ACTION. We created a line of beautiful dolls with washable and stylable hair that represent our daughters of color. ❤️💛🖤Want to give your little princess a doll that will enlighten, inspire and empower her for years to come?
For a limited time, you can preorder your doll and save 33% off the regular price! Click now to shop —>

Click here to view the video.  Follow the ad link or here to view/preorder the dolls.

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Monday, November 6, 2017

Maru and Friends Halle Mini Pal

Maru and Friends Halle Mini Pal was preordered in July of this year. She arrived on November 4, 2017.

Still attached to the box liner, Halle is ready to be free.  

Her certificate of authenticity (shown behind her in the above image), reads:

Certificate of Authenticity
Limited Edition Series
This certifies that your beautiful Halle Mini Pal was sculpted by the award-winning artist Dianna Effner. Exclusive design made in America by Maru and Friends, LLC.

It should also be noted that Halle Mini Pal is the first Mini Pal with this complexion.  She was preceded by other Mini Pals:  Maru, Chad, and Savannah.  

Dressed in a white turtleneck, white panties, white animal-print leggings, white sweater cape with faux fur at neck, and gray faux suede ankle boots, Halle is 13 inches tall.

She is all vinyl with dark brown inset eyes and a black curly wig, which I finger manipulated to fluff out the curls.

Because she was preordered, Maru and Friends included the above pack-of-three pastel trimmed panties.

After her release from the box, Halle was soon greeted by Maru and Friends Raven and Tanya. Even though the taller girls are dressed for warmer weather, they were eager to take photos with Halle.

Raven, Halle and Tanya's first meeting.

They each join hands.
In addition to Halle Mini Pal, the newest Mini Pal, Raven, will arrive in time for Thanksgiving.

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Sunday, November 5, 2017

Opportunity to Win Entire Line of Fresh Dolls

Fresh Dolls and Fashions by World of EPI as seen on the shelf at Walmart:  Mia, Lynette, and Indigo are three of the six dolls in this line.

Have you seen the new fashion dolls from World of EPI?  They are called Fresh.  Their complexions vary from light, medium, to deep.  They have different hair colors and textures.  Their facial features and bodies are better representations of women of color.  The dolls are posable with extra articulation at the elbows and knees. 

I have not had the opportunity to debox and thorough review the ones I own.  This will be done soon!  While at Walmart, I took the above and following photos of in-stock dolls and fashions and picked up a few of the fashions for my dolls.  With the exception of Gabrielle, it appears that Walmart had all dolls in stock.

The Deluxe Set dolls retail at Walmart for $24.88.  Indigo and Jacqueline, shown above, are Deluxe Set dolls.  They both have an extra fashion.

Before "she" realized I already own her, Deluxe Set Jacqueline took a leap into my shopping cart.

Tamra has a lovely medium complexion that her orange fashion complements well.  She is a basic doll that retails for $9.88 at Walmart.

Lovely Lynette, another basic doll, has the deepest complexion.

I am personally partial to Mia because she has big hair like me, but all the dolls are beautiful.

These are the fashion packs that were available.  They are reasonably priced at $4.88.

Win the Dolls
Also of note is that until November 26th, World of EPI is offering the opportunity to win the entire line of Fresh Dolls as indicated by their Instagram post, the text of which reads as follows:

  • the_fresh_dollsThe Fresh Dolls is an All African American doll line, created by an African American Woman available for purchase at major retailers such as Target,, Walmart,, Toys R, etc. How would you like to win the Full Line for your child? 😍😍 Well The Fresh Dolls are running a Holiday Contest! From Now until Nov. 25th Like, Share, and Tag any and everyone that you think would love these beautiful dolls and you will be entered for a chance to win The ENTIRE collection autograph signed by the Creator Dr. Lisa. 
    Contest Rules:

    1.Like this photo and Follow @the_fresh_dolls IG page
    2.Repost this post on your page
    3. And tag a friend who would love to have these for their child for Christmas. And Hashtag #thefreshdolls 
    Winners will be announced Live via Instagram on Nov.26th!

Follow this link for your opportunity to win the entire line of Fresh Dolls! They are a reFreshing change from other fashion dolls currently on the market. 

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