Thursday, March 28, 2013

Tutorial: Customizing eyes on Bratzillaz

My husband saw this photo and practically had a heart attack.
Two of the dolls with their original eyes: Meygana, left, and Cloetta, right.
Since last year's line of Bratzillaz are still only $10 (at several different stores, apparently), I got a few more and decided to try my hand at customizing them.  I got three and took it upon myself to see if I could switch out their eyes.  I bought two "Cloetta" dolls and one "Meygana."  The Cloettas came with odd-eyes, as you can see ... one brown and one blue.  Meygana came with lovely side-glancing blue eyes and curly red hair.  I wanted to take Meygana's eyes and put them in one of the Cloetta dolls, and give my Meygana brown eyes harvested from the two Cloettas. 

Views of the neck plug and the eyes, front and back.
I didn't invent this procedure.  I'd seen some pictures on Flickr of other people who'd done it to their Bratzillaz, and I wanted to try it. ... So they get all the credit for the idea, although I wrote this tutorial.  I learned Bratzillaz's eyes are not glued in, and can be taken out pretty easily.  It's getting them back in again that's difficult.  Here's what I did:

View inside the eye sockets.
1.)  I put a heating pad on "high" and warmed up the doll's head for several minutes to soften the vinyl, to get the head off the body.  Getting the head off was very easy.  After each step on this list, I kept the head inside a folded heating pad to keep it warm and pliable. 

2.)  While the head was still warm, I took a pencil and stuck it into the neck hole, eraser-end first.  I pressed it firmly against the eyewells from the inside of the head.  This pushed the eyes out of the eye sockets.  They came out of the sockets fairly easily so long as the vinyl was softened with heat. It was interesting to note that the eyes were fitted with two pegs on the backsides of each eye.  They were made to fit into matching peg-holes on the insides of each eye socket, which you can see in the photo to the left. I repeated the steps with my two other dolls so I could play mix-and-match with the eyes. 

IMPORTANT:  I discovered you can tell the right eye from the left, and the top from the bottom, by looking very closely at the backs of the eyes once they're out.  If you look closely, each eye should have a very tiny "R" on it for "right" or an "L" for "left."  If you pay attention to these markings, it's a lot easier to figure out how the eyes are supposed to go in so you won't wind up with wonky eyes. 

3)  Now the hard part:  Putting the eyes back in.  I had trouble with this, and came to the conclusion that the heating pad I was using just simply was not hot enough to keep the vinyl as soft as I needed.  I switched to using a different, hotter heating pad and the process was easier after that. The eyes need to be pushed back into the sockets from the outside of the head, the same way they came out.  You'll need to use some sort of tool to help you.  I used one end of a pen to help me push the eyes back in.  The eyes are glass, so they won't be scratched very easily, but of course you have to be careful not to chip the paint around the eye.  Squeezing the head a bit makes it easier to get the eyes in.

My finished Meygana with her new brown eyes.
4.)  Voila!  New eyes!  I couldn't finish all three dolls (yet) because I stupidly managed to drop one of Meygana's gorgeous original blue eyes into an inaccessible place deep within my couch.  Sigh.  I can't get to it.  I skinned my knuckles trying to reach it.  (Literally.  Ouch!)  I might have to buy another $10 Meygana just to get another one of those eyes.  In the meantime, I'll show you pictures of my new brown-eyed Meygana Broomstix.  I wanted her to look different from "Magic Night Out" Meygana, another doll I got recently.  (In my photos, she's the blue-eyed girl with the straight red hair, bottom photo.) 

I lost the matching blue eye, so this doll's makeover will have to wait.

I was comparing Bratzillaz's default eyes with some 12mm and 14mm doll eyes I have.  Size 12mm's might work in Bratzillaz, but the irises are a little smaller than the Bratzillaz's default irises.  If you don't mind the slightly smaller iris, though, then they'd probably work fine.  14mms look too big, both in size of the iris and the size of the eye.  If there is such a thing as a size 13mm, that might work. Also, it looks like the eyes that would fit their eyewells the best would be flat-backed.  I haven't tried putting a full-round eye in there. ... I don't think it would work. 

EDIT:  Upon further experimentation with the eye sizes, it seems 12mm *IS* the perfect size for Bratzillaz.  I tried a half-round 12mm in one of my Bratzillaz, and the eye fit perfectly (no picture, sorry).  The half-round 12mm was perfect, and the iris size even looked quite good, except that I really needed a low-dome eye.  The eyes I used had domes that were a little too high for the doll, and it made her eyes look buggy.   If you use low-dome eyes in 12mm they'll work so long as they aren't full rounds.  It looks like both half-rounds and flatback oval eyes will work. There were no gaps in the corners with the half-round eyes.


My two Bratzillaz Meygana Broomstix dolls.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Giveaway Contest Winner!

The winner of the Pinypon giveaway is Lamia of the Dark!  Please e-mail me with your real name and address at violetbunnyfish at hotmail .com.  (Replace "at" with the @ symbol and remove the spaces.  I had to do it this way to confuse the type of spambots that collect e-mails from the internet.)


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Bratzillaz on sale at Target; Barbie stuff 15% off

Right outa tha box.
Bratzillaz were one of those dolls I'd always found intriguing, but never bought before.  I just saw these on sale for half off(!) at Target this week, so two of them ended up coming home with me.  50% off ain't bad!  The Barbie stuff is all 15% off this week at Target, too, so you might want to check the Mattel aisle out as well.

I always liked these two the best, but particularly the purple-haired witch.  Love her or hate her, you at least have to admit she has personality! 


Also right outa tha box.
The Bratzillaz I bought have bending elbows, wrists, and knees.  This makes them really posable and fun.  The inset eyes are glass.  The dolls have tattoos (LOL) and Gothy outfits that I like for their weirdness.  Their hair is a pretty bad quality: stiff and cheap.  (Note: These two are from the original series; I've heard the newer Bratzillaz have better hair.)  The earrings are cheap plastic and a terrible quality (but you can say the same about Mattel earrings).   I think the earrings on these two were quite ugly, actually, and ended up taking them off.  The quality of the outfits themselves are OK and about on par with playline Barbie clothes.  ... Even better than many of the lower-end Barbie clothing, actually.  The shoes are a soft plastic and are easy to remove, and not bad for a play doll. They have real feet under those boots, not detachable feet like other Bratz dolls. 

There are a couple of different kinds of Bratzillaz.  There is actually a line of cheaper Bratzillaz that have painted eyes instead of inset glass eyes.  I don't think they're half as cute as the ones with inset eyes, personally, and their jointing is different.  They aren't as articulated as the more expensive ones. ... The cheap ones don't have any jointing in their arms, for one.

With cloaks taken off.
My two would be so fun for Halloween!  The white-haired lady is called Jade J'Adore (Jade? She doesn't have a single bit of green on her!  They should have named her Ruby.)  The lavender-haired girl is Yasmina Clairvoya.  I like them a lot more than I even expected to, now that I've deboxed and photographed them. I may get another one at some point.

Jade's outfit looks like a cross between a nurse's uniform and a witch costume.  The first time I ever saw her I actually thought she was supposed to be a Gothic nurse.  LOL.  If she had a nurse's hat it would just be too perfect.  She came with a black veil over her eyes, but it lifted off easily and there wasn't any staining. 

I had to take off their cloaks and earrings.  It was just all too much.  Sometimes less is more, ya know?  I like them even better without those superfluous extras.

Click on the pictures to make them bigger.


Arm tattoos.  LOL.

Love the lavender braids.

They look so much better without the earrings and cloaks!

Jade's pupils are hearts.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Poopsy Pets (seriously)

I heard about this on Dollieh Sanctuary.  Apparently there is a Moxie Girlz line called "Poopsy Pets" that consists of a moderately cute doll with a pet ... that defecates.

As amusing as this is, it's not half as amusing as the comments that have already begun underneath the auction.  Really, when you're selling a unicorn that poops rainbows, you have to expect some snark.  

Oh, my. ...  You can find the auction here.  Click on the pictures to make them bigger.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Redressing Amelia

This is Amelia Thimble in an outfit by Duds for Dolls.  I just thought it was so cute!  I had to show you a few pictures.  The panda bear hat can be snapped closed under her chin.  The dress is open all the way down the back to make it easy to get on and off, and it closes in the back with velcro.  I have a weakness for animal hats, so SQUEEEE!!!  I had to get this set.

Amelia is also wearing my latest purchase from Juju's Dolly Mall, a Monique "Sugar Pie" wig in brown-black, size 2-3".  Monique's brown-black color is very similar to Kemper's medium brown, FYI.  I used tiny little 1.5cm diameter rubber bands to put little pony tails in the wig.  I just thought it looked cute that way.

I have to give a shout out to Juju's for their great service.  The lady who runs it is so nice! 

I'll keep the pictures smaller so the page will load faster, but you can click on them if you want to see them bigger.  :)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Review of Amelia Thimble

Oh, gosh.  This girl is a ridiculous amount of cute.  Amelia Thimble is the tiny, 4"/10cm doll by Wilde Imagination, the same company that does the Ellowyne Wilde dolls.  She's resin, and a true strung ball-jointed doll in every respect.  ... Very like the Asian ball-jointed dolls (BJDs) that are popular now, although Wilde Imagination is an American company. 

She's been around for a couple years now, but in case you've never seen one in person, I'll tell you about her.

She has a changeable wig and eyes.  Underneath her wig she has an easy-to-open headcap held on with magnets.  Her eyes are held in with putty inside the hollow head.  The very first thing I did when I got my Amelia Thimble was to re-position her eyes to be side-glancing.  ... I had to use a toothpick to help me, since her head is so tiny! 

This particular Amelia is from 2011 and called "Cute as a Button."  It's sold out on the Wilde Imagination web site, but still available on eBay.  I adore her dress: It's sewn well and a nice quality, and comes with separate bloomers underneath.  Her default curly wig was too frou-frou for my taste, so I pretty much immediately switched her to this braided "Heidi" wig by Kemper (size 2-3" medium brown).  Her shoes are plastic and not anything special, but they fit her feet well.  The shoes didn't stain at all, despite being red.  She actually was packaged wearing her black wig and red shoes in the box, and there was not a single stain on her!

Her eye size is 6mm, in round or half-rounds.  I've heard oval eyes won't fit in her eyewells.  The acrylic eyes in these photos are the ones she came with, and as you can see, they're quite pretty. 

It's unbelievable how tiny this girl is!  She's dollhouse-sized.  In these pics she's posing with a Mini My Little Pony unicorn.  She's also a good size to utilize the accessories that come with Mini Lalaloopsies, and of course, dollhouse furniture and things. 

The last photo is meant to give you an inkling of how small she is.  I've posed her next to a Pinypon and a Mini Lalaloopsy.  Yes, the censoring is silly, but you know how people are.  I didn't want the blog hosting site to see the picture and yell "Eeee!!! Naked resin!!!" and close down my blog.  LOL.

Right out of the box, with her original wig and eye placement.

From left: Pinypon, Mini Lalaloopsy, and Amelia Thimble.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Review of The Barbie Look: Tea Party fashion

I had to get this Mattel outfit for my Poppy Parkers.  It's "The Barbie Look: Tea Party" set that's being sold as a separate fashion.  I got it at Target; I'm not sure what other stores sell it.  It comes with the fascinator-type flower headband you see in these pics, as well as the tea set.  The tea set is plastic, but looks really nice!  The painting is wonderful.  You can tell they actually made an effort to make the tea set look realistic and in-scale with their 12" dolls. 

The dress has snaps in the back and is lined.  The fabric is soft and a good quality.  The belt is a separate piece from the dress and is plastic, but it doesn't look bad with the dress.  I'm so impressed with this set that I now want the Barbie Look fashion with the red evening gown. 

Here the dress is modeled on "Dream Teen" Poppy Parker, my sultry goddess.  It's a perfect fit for the Poppy body. 

The set was $25 USD.  It's higher than you'd expect to pay for a 12" doll dress in a store, but when you consider Poppy Parker clothing sometimes goes for twice that on the secondary market, the price doesn't seem so bad. 

By the way, this is literally the first time I've ever redressed my "Dream Teen" Poppy.  Boy, she must be so glad to get out of her default outfit!  I think this Mattel fashion really suits her.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Doll giveaway!

My very first blog giveaway!  I'll be giving away this Pinypon fairy set to some lucky person.  To enter, please post a comment (any will do) in the comments section below this post.  Just don't post as "Anonymous." (Although ... it would be pretty funny if 30 different people all posted as "Anonymous."  LOL.)  Please don't post your e-mail. ... I can get that later from whoever wins.  One entry per person.

A random drawing for the winner will be held Saturday, March 23rd, so check back then to see if you won.  Shipping cost is on me.  :)


Friday, March 8, 2013

Review of the new Target Pinypons

Target stores have just started carrying Pinypons.  We (my 5-year-old and I) played with two of the sets today.  One was a car set that came with a yellow-haired Piny, a purple car, and a picnic basket with a themed set of dinner items.  Apparently Pinys like to eat pizza when they picnic!  ;) The other set we opened was one of their new fairy sets, which came with a blue-haired fairy and a translucent unicorn with a mane that looked like whipped cream.

Ga, the cuteness! 

If you haven't seen these before, the hair is all interchangeable, their bodies twist off at both the waist and the neck so they can exchange upper and lower body parts, and the heads even turn around to reveal a second, alternate face on the backsides (covered up by the hair).  They're only 7cm tall (a shade under 3").  They come with tiny accessories like hearts, flowers, stars and butterflies that you can stick on them at various places ... also interchangeable.  They aren't suitable for a toddler who still puts things in his mouth, but my 5-year-old loves them. 

The fairy has removable wings, which is something I didn't expect.  It's a nice touch.  The glitter hair was driving me crazy (small amounts of glitter on the fingers if you touch it directly), but my daughter Eva liked it.  I asked her which she liked better, glittery hair or the regular hair, and she claimed to like both equally.  The unicorn's head turns.
My daughter was really enchanted with the picnic set, and wanted to play with that right away.  I have to say, the car is SO CUTE.  It has flowery wheels, seats up to three Pinys and is sturdy ... really nicely-made.  It's not a piece of cheap junk that's going to fall apart after five hours of play.  The Pinypons are nicely-made, too, but have a zillion itty-bitty accessories that would get lost in a heartbeat if they weren't kept together in one box.  At my house, I've designated a big purple plastic box as "The Pinypon Box," and that's been working so far to keep everything together.  Thank goodness, because my girl is pretty messy!
Their alternate faces. The unicorn is saying "Huh? What's so funny?"
I photographed their alternate faces as well so you could see them.  I adore the blonde's alternate face.  She looks like a cheerleader in mid-cheer, or something.  LOL.  This might be the single happiest doll on the planet.  Her shoulder bag is removable as well, by the way, if you twist off her head.  As I said, the heads are meant to come off, but at the same time, they are fitted well enough that they won't fall off on their own during play.  You have to twist the head and apply a little pressure to get them off, which is pretty much perfect.  You don't have to worry about rolling heads traumatizing your preschooler.  LOL.  At this point, we have 16 Pinypons (Eva got a bunch for Christmas), and only one of them has a loose head.

They seemed quite pleased to try on each other's hair.
Picnic basket in back. 


I have an unopened pink fairy set to use as my very first blog giveaway!  More on that in a later post, so please check back later to sign up for the giveaway.  You can see the picture of the giveaway prize down below.  ;)

Just had to include this pic 'cause it's cute. :)

Blog giveaway prize! Details about the giveaway in my next post!