Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Finds for November 24, 2010

Found some fun things today. Lots of nekked Jem dolls, TMNT action figures, a vintage Barbie, a Chubble, Baby Brite (missing her jumper) the third Bright Heart I've seen this year, Polly Pockets, a dress for my My Child Doll and my favorite: a new Bradley doll!

Isn't she a cutie? I now need to see if the Chubbles works and maybe work on restoring Baby Brite. I missed thrifting. Hopefully I'll feel good enough to go out again next week!~

Also, on eBay today I snagged the rare Fairy Winkles set I have been searching for along with the variant jewelry box. As far as I know both sets are only available in the UK.

Blinky & Ursa - Before and After

I can't even begin to tell you how horrible of a week it has been. Not only am I STILL sick, my camera broke. Since part of my livelihood relies on my camera I will have to buy another one at about $600. Ouch! For now I will have to use my crappy cybershot. But this isn't a blog about my problems. Let's talk about toys, they never fail to make me happy!

I purchased Blinky and Ursa recently for about $17 shipped--which is a good deal considering it was a complete set with some extras.

Here's what they looked like when they arrived:

If you click on the image you can see how sort of sad they look. Both had a lot of playwear. So I put them  through a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser treatment (never fails to get stuff off!) and then I worked on Blinky's hair. One of the problems I generally encounter with certain dolls is the bangs sticking straight up. Lady Lovely Locks dolls are famous for this. I have worked on several ways to try and get them flattened again and was very happy to discover (after much trial and error) a method that works every time.

First, I fixed Blinky's pigtails. Then I wet the bangs, put gel in them and placed a band aid on her face, but made sure the bangs were not near anything sticky. This is important because you want the bangs to dry but not stick to the glue on the band aid.

And here's what they look like all clean and dry!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Fairy Winkles on Display

For the past month or so I have had my Lady Lovely Locks on display on my little white shelf in my craft room. Today I decided it was time for a change so I busted out the Fairy Winkles collection. Click on images to see them superlarge.


My collection is almost complete. I am only missing the address book play set and the mail away set. There is also a variant candy box out there that I need to get my mits on. Oh, and did you notice the bell charms on my dress dummy?

I had enough charms to make three complete necklaces. Now . . . got to find a place to wear them!

Finds for November 19, 2010

I've been down with the flu for almost a week now so I haven't felt good enough to get out to the thrift stores until today. The pickens were slim but I did grab a few things:

I'm not sure what that pink doll is. I think it's a Monchichhi knockoff. I was happy about the Quints book. I have a box of quints dolls I need to go through. I plan to start seriously collecting them soon.

Just for fun I had my daughter scan the book. Click on the images below to see the Tyco Quints coloring pages!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

What I'm NOT going to collect . . .

If you read a lot then you might have picked up a book called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Ruben. In it she test drives the wisdom of the ages to see if it makes her happy. She gives lots of advice in the form of rules such as "Be Gretchen" (that is, be yourself), and "Do what ought to be done." One bit I picked up in the book that really struck me was the advice to "give something up."

This is an interesting idea. How can giving something up make you more happy? It's simple. By giving up things you kind of love you make room for the things you really love.

With that in mind, I decided to list some things that I will not collect, even though I think they are cute and fun and I find them all the time at thrift stores.


They are cute, yet sort of creepy. Even though I have a lot of good memories of these creatures of the cabbage, I decided I do not want anything but perhaps a good outfit for my My Child Doll. As time has evolved I have begun to look at them as too close to Chucky and not close enough to cuddly.

Just looking at Jem zooms me back about twenty years into the past. That alone is tempting. But to be honest, while I loved the show, still love the artwork and respect the line, I find the dolls odd looking . . . even unsettling. I wish they'd do something like Bratz or Monster High with them . . . you know, ditch the androgyny and ramp up the stylistic aspect.

Sure they are cute. Sure they are cuddly. And yes, I do want to get my hands on the poodles (I had them as a kid) but I draw the line there! The reason? There is no end. If I were to try and collect all the random permutations of Pound Puppies I would fill my entire house with them. If there were, say, twenty different and definite styles I would collect them. But as it is . . .

Do you know how many non-USA ponies are out there? THOUSANDS! Yes, if I even attempted to get my greedy paws on every 80's pony ever produced I would lose my sanity, my family and my marriage . . . not to mention money. I love the vintage MLP line. They are gorgeous and awesome, but for now I am not setting my heart on every single one. At least I am trying . . . very hard. Pray for me.


I love these too, but I only had a few and so, they gotta go off my list. I just didn't love them as much as I love other 90's toys. I find them all the time though. I guess there's always trades.


 Actually, I had quite the TR collection going before I noticed Teddy was really creepy. And I mean really horror flick freaky. You don't think so? Turn him on in the dark. You will see.


Ahh  . . . the daily temptation that is THE TOY AISLE. And when I say tempted, I am talking salivating-on-your-pushcart tempted. There are so many cute things out there. And yes, I did grab up all the new Care Bear figures that came out in the mid-2000's but that was where I stopped. Strawberry Shortcake, Littlest Pet Shop, Polly Pockets, Disney, Moxie, Bratz, Monster High, Zoobles, Zhu-Zhu . . . I mean they are all so cute it's hard not to want to start on something that you don't have to troll the internet for. But I realized two truths: 1-The feeling of holding an old toy is what I enjoy. It is something that brings back a time of my life that was simpler. This is why I collect. 2-The toy companies may never stop producing these toy lines. We may be in 2030 and still be buying Strawberry Shortcake dolls for our great grandkids. So where do you draw the line? Plus, I like the challenge of finding old stuff.

So I encourage everyone to think about what brings them the most joy and narrow things down a bit. It really does release a bit of tension on the bones. Repeat after me, "I don't have to have everything, I don't have to have everything, I do not have to have everything!"

My Child Dolls

When I was eight years old my mom gave my sister and I a My Child Doll for Christmas. Even though I wasn't huge on baby dolls, I adored this one. At the time I had a friend named Eric with black hair so I decided to name my doll Erica.

When my mom got pregnant with my little sister we went to a class at the hospital that taught us all about babies, how to take care of them and how to change their diapers. We were allowed to take a doll so of course Erica accompanied me.

I don't know what ended up happening to Erica. Chances are she went the way of all yard sales. But in 2004ish I found another doll that looked just like her. I put the doll away for a time and recently found her again. She was really gross looking so I decided to restore her.

So now I present to you: THE NEW AND IMPROVED ERICA!

(Click images to see her in all her glory)

I am really happy I found the time to restore her. Her hair was horrible. I had to wash it pretty thoroughly and cut some new bangs. Now she's as good as new and sitting on my dresser.

In the picture she is wearing Cabbage Patch clothes. I am going to try and find some more during my thrifting adventures. I have found probably four or five actual My Child Dolls over the years, including a Hispanic boy. But I sold them all but Erica. If I find more I will probably keep them. They can go for quite a lot on eBay these days.

Looking at My Child Doll pictures on the web can get pretty addicting. I recently joined a fabulous forum called The My Child Doll Repair and Restore Community. Just browsing around that place puts me on a happy high. Apparently these dollies are huge in Australia and to see the ones with the long hair makes me want to sell my car and buy one, lol. I'll be posting more pictures of Erica in different clothes sometime soon ;)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

13 Tips for getting a good deal on toys.

I thought I would share some tips I have discovered over the years on how to get a good deal while collecting toys. Anyone who is just starting a collection might find them useful.


Know what you want. A lot of time and money can be wasted by buying up lots of items that you end up not really wanting later. Sit down, examine why you want to start a collection (because you want to relive memories, you want to preserve history, its fun, you want to share your old toys with your kids) and go from there. If you know what you want you will most certainly not waste money buying up sheets, dishes, books and other branded merchandise that later clutters your home.


Be Patient. You have an entire lifetime to collect. The temptation to max out your credit card to feed your toy obsession is fierce. You start to get this feeling that if you don't buy that super expensive piece now, you will never see it again. Remember, if there is a toy up on eBay today, chances are very good it will be there tomorrow. Even the very rare items. You have your entire lifetime to collect. Make sure you wait for a good deal.


 Look for lots. Buying things in bulk can save you a lot of money in the long run. Four-hundred dollars for a complete collection of Strawberry Shortcake dolls might seem like a lot. But when you look back at sold items, tally in shipping costs for each individual doll that you might have paid, plus the competition for that one last piece factor, you will have saved money in the long run. This is a pretty obvious tip, I know. But sometimes it is hard to save your money for that big lot.


Never rack up debt to feed your toy wants. Period. You will end up selling those toys years down the road to unload the debt.  This doesn't even factor in the interest.


Look for mint. I learned pretty quickly that buying lots of junk lots, TLC dolls and mismatched parts not only drags me down, it ends up costing me MORE in the long run! Trust me, you will feel the same when you have an army of sticky, cancer-spotted dolls. Later you will experience a powerful urge to replace them with mint items. Then you will have bought the same item twice. So save yourself some money and time. Buy mint, buy complete--the first time, if possible.


Buy during market downs. Buy low, sell high. This is an old motto, yes, but I am speaking of entire lines of toys. For example, did you know that Care Bear prices have dropped over 60% over the past six years? Why? The invasion of new Care Bear products of course. On the flipside, Glo Friends have gone up quite a bit this year, with Glo Land routinely going for over $200 as opposed to the $30 it cost last year. So, if you collect in different toy lines, focus on the ones that are being given away at the moment. Do your research and watch the market carefully. Chances are the one that is expensive now will plummet at some point.


Keep an eye on message boards, Craigslist, and local ads. Most of you already do this but it does pay off. You can often find better deals outside of eBay.


Think like a non-collector. I can't tell you how many times I have seen mislabeled lots, hidden jewels among common toys and poorly priced bunches. The best deals come from people who don't collect. They can underestimate values and misspell title words and all sorts of funny stuff. Keep your eye out.


Thrift, garage sale, antique stores, etc. The more you go, the more you'll find.

TIP 10

Observe the rule of halves. Let's say you are looking at a lot of dolls that starts at $5. You have done your research and decided that the lot is really worth about $40. You now have a choice: freak out and bid the highest possible price because you want it so badly you might pee your pants with desire. OR--you can decide what you will pay by splitting the value in half and only bidding that much. Remember to factor shipping into the mix. Decide right then that you will only pay $20 for the lot, no matter what happens. That way you are guaranteed to get a good deal.

TIP 11

Bid on auctions at the last possible moment. If you bid three days before the auctions end, you will pay more. People will try and outbid you. See tip ten and decide what you will pay before you get that rush of bidding excitement. Beware! Emotion makes you spend more. Put that number in the box and walk away. There is another deal coming.

TIP 12

Set a budget. This probably should have been tip #2 but I am too lazy to go stick it up there :) Decide what you can reasonably spend on toys per month. Even if it's a small amount like, say $15. If you have a budget then your options narrow quite a bit. You can't go nuts buying up big lots and getting yourself into debt. Suddenly your goal will be to get as many toys as possible for as little money as possible. It will force you to get a good deal.

TIP 13

Don't focus on what you don't have. If possible, do everything in your power to appreciate the pieces you do have. If you focus on what you don't have, you will always feel dissatisfied by your collection. Dissatisfaction will lead you to spend more money than you should in order to fill that void. Let me tell you, the void cannot be filled. It's better to switch your focus off of it and onto an attitude of gratefulness.

I hope you enjoyed those tips! Happy collecting!

Some fun things I got this week!

 I have been a bad girl this week . . . or a good girl. You be the judge. I bought a lot of stuff online. Good thing I got the items for awesome deals. The prices here include shipping. If you can't find a good deal, the purchase isn't worth it.

Complete Lady Lovely Locks Sunnypeek Doll $5

 Plush Apple Dumpling .50 cents (thrift store)

 Complete Oatsmobile $20

 Complete Strawberry Shortcake Lime Chiffon Deluxe Miniature $4

 Complete Smooshees Heather on a Hike set $4

Complete Angel Cake Blow kiss doll $12 

 Various Moon Dreamers $15

 Lady Lovely Locks complete Sea Magic Salon $10

 Sweet Secrets (plus some accessories not shown) $5

Cabbage Patch Poseables $10
Precious Places Ballet Studio (Has box too) $5

Ballerina Lady Lovely Locks (Missing Pixie tail) $30