Maud Humphrey

Maud Humphrey

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

New Dolls: My Life As...Asian Ballerina and Tonner Little MissMatched!

One of the things I love most about shopping at thrift stores is never knowing what you're going to find.   There's such an air of expectancy when you walk through the doors, and I almost always hold my breath as I round the corner to the toy aisle.  Many days there's disappointment, but sometimes you find something that's really wonderful, or at least intriguing.  Today I stumbled across this trio, stuffed together in a clear plastic bag at Goodwill.  And because their sticker had the half-price color of the week, I got them all together for only $3.50.
 
Do you recognize them?  No?  Well, don't feel bad, because neither did I.  In fact, I saw this bag of dolls two weeks ago and passed them by, because I didn't want to pay $6.99 for dolls of unknown origin.
 
But when I saw them again today, I decided to take a closer look.  I noticed that they each had "2014 Tonner Doll LLC" imprinted on their back waist.  This piqued my interest, since while I am familiar with the Tonner Doll company, I didn't know that they had made a line of play dolls like this.  And being that they were half price, I decided to take a chance and bring them home.
 
They stand just a little over 15" tall and have 10 points of articulation.  They have nice quality, rooted hair and darling expressions.  After some research, I found out that Tonner Dolls partnered with the Little MissMatched Company, which creates colorful, quirky clothing for little girls.  These dolls were sold at Toys R Us, FAO Schwartz, and the Tonner website, for somewhere around $30-40.  There were four in the series...I am missing the dark-skinned one. 
 
Here is a stock photo of the four.  They didn't have names, other than "Uptown Girl", "Artsy Girl", "Rock 'n' Roll Girl", and "Sporty Girl".
 
As far as I can tell, the redhead is "Uptown Girl", the brunette is "Rock 'n' Roll Girl", and the blonde is "Sporty Girl".  The blonde has some black staining around her upper and lower arms which I will try to remove.  The other two are clean.  Their hair is nice quality, and the shoes are adorable!  They kind of remind me of the short-lived "Hopscotch Hill" dolls put out by American Girl many years ago.  While I think they are very cute, I will most likely be putting them up on Ebay soon to find a new home.  I just can't keep every doll that comes home with me!
 
This next doll is not from the thrift store...in fact, I even paid FULL PRICE for her (gasp!).  She is, in fact, a doll which I thought I'd never buy...a "My Life As" doll from Walmart.  Now don't get me wrong...I don't have anything against Walmart dolls!  In fact, I think many of these dolls are very pretty.  It's just that I have SO MANY 18" dolls already, I really haven't wanted to add to the hoard collection.  But then I saw this ballerina doll a couple of weeks ago online (I love ballet!) and the Asian face sculpt (I have a weakness for ethnic dolls, especially Asians), and that was it.  I decided I needed to have one!  However, none of my local Walmarts carried her! And you couldn't order her online, either.  When I called Walmart, they told me she was currently unavailable.  So I figured that was that, and went on my merry, albeit slightly disappointed, way.
 
But lo and behold, what did I spot on the top shelf in the doll aisle at my local Walmart last night, while just making a quick run to pick up a hair brush for my daughter?  This!
I may have let out a little scream in excitement--I can't remember.  There she was, alongside the other two ballerinas in the collection, a Caucasian and an African American version.  Of course, I grabbed the Asian one as fast as I could.  I was so surprised to see them all up on the shelf...they must have just been put out since I hadn't seen them last week when I was there.
 
I'm not sure her features are as "Asian" as I would have liked, but she's pretty, all the same.
 
Back of the box which shows the three ballerinas near the top, along with a ballet studio available as a separate purchase.  Our Walmart had this studio!  What a neat accessory for any little girl who loves to play pretend with her dolls.  Unfortunately for me, space is at a premium, so this stayed behind.
 
Some of the new dolls, pictured along the bottom of the box.
 
She was not hard to remove from her box--just had to snip a few rubber bands and ties.  However, what the heck is the plastic stuff SEWN into her hair?!?  I know why they did it--to keep her hair in place in the box.  But boy, what a pain in the neck to try and remove it!  There was no way to rip it off without damaging the hair, so I finally grabbed my trusty seam ripper and removed it that way.  Seriously, Walmart.  Please stop with sewing things into the doll's hair!  It's annoying!
 
After removing those annoying plastic strips (there were two of them), I gently combed out her hair and it fell into soft waves.  Very pretty.
 
Speaking of combs, I recently picked up this wire doll brush at Target for $5.  I highly recommend getting one.  It has a wooden handle and is just the right size for a child to hold, although it felt very nice in my hand as well.
 
And for $5, I thought it was a pretty good deal.
 
Now, back to "Anna", which is what I have decided to name this beauty:
I can't decide if she has a completely different face mold from the other My Life As dolls, or if it just looks that way because of the painting at the outside corners of her eyes.
 
I love her outfit.  So classic and pretty.  Exactly what I picture when somebody says "ballet outfit".  And it doesn't hurt that it's pink--my favorite color!
 
Cute leg warmers and ballet slippers
 
The rosette trim at the waistline is a nice touch.
 
I was a little worried that these new dolls would have an all-vinyl body, like the boy dolls in this line do, but I'm happy to report that their torsos are still cloth.  Something about a cloth torso just makes them feel more quality and cuddly to me.
 
One last picture.  I really do like this doll--a lot.  And for $27 and some odd change, I am pleasantly surprised with the quality.  Now that American Girl dolls cost $115 for a basic doll (and $200 for one you design yourself!), I think Walmart dolls are a good alternative for families who can't afford that higher price tag, or who don't want to start out with such an expensive doll for a child who might not take good care of it.  I do think that AG dolls are wonderful, but are they $115 wonderful?  I suppose each one will have to answer that question for themselves.  In the meanwhile, I am glad to have this new, serene face looking back at me from my doll room!