Tuesday, May 25, 2021

The third anniversary of my blog

 Another year of collecting is behind me and what can I say other than … I got more dolls. The doll cabinet is full and so is my wish list. How is that possible? It’s been a good year for my collection. I’ve got some dolls I had dreamed of for a long time and the ones I didn’t even dare to dream. The posts were fewer but longer and the photos were consistently bad. That’s my standard, I have neither talent nor time for good photography. I want to thank you for dropping by and leaving a comment. It motivates me to continue.

Last year I described the collection shelf by shelf and I had taken photos of dolls sharing the same molds. This year it turned out impossible. I was in haste as I had just one morning to take photos of all of the dolls. I would run up and down the stairs bearing pounds and pounds of vinyl. It was exhausting and so much fun! And I didn’t lose a single shoe! So let’s start right from the top – the Dolls of the World. Sadly not one new doll joined my old girls. I still haven’t managed to acquire the first Parisian, I think I’ll get the second edition since I can’t have the one I like best and she's still very, very pretty. I haven’t got the Chinese or the Korean or the first Russian or the first Irish. The lovely Oshogatsu Barbies are still not there either. But you can’t have it all at once, right?

The classic 80s shelf looks pretty much the same as it did last time, but be not deceived. There’s one doll that I had been hunting for – the saran haired Doctor Barbie. The problem is not much can fit in here really, but the 80s are everywhere, you’ll find them on other shelves too, it’s my favorite decade by far. Sadly, Tracy and PJ are still wearing replacement outfits. I like Tracy’s but I’ve redressed PJ several times already, I can’t seem to find a dress worthy of her. I got her the “Dynasty” dress with shoulder pads she could fly away with. And since we’re at the topic of Dynasty… still haven’t got Krystle or Alexis and they’re getting more and more expensive, but hey, 3 years ago I didn't even dream my collection would grow so much, so anythink may happen!

The DOTW and Classics shelves may look pretty much the same, but Skipper’s corner definitely changed. For one thing, I finally completed the Teen Fun series and together with Teen Sweetheart, I’ve got all the original big eyed releases now. I also got Hawaian Fun – the very first Skipper I ever saw. It took me 30 years but I finally succeeded! I also planned to extend my Skipper mold collection and I did it! Great Shape Skipper with the classic mold is here at last. I got more Courtneys too, Pizza Party and Teen Skipper – check! I still like the anime-eyed Skipper the best so I got some duplicates. I really wanted Babysitter Courtney in her original outfit, but I have absolutely no excuse for another Cool Tops Skipper, but … do I really need it? You’ll also see some non-Mattel dolls. Yesss, there are two Licca-chan dolls and a Himari from Takara Tomy! I never thought I would get Licca and now I’m positively obsessed with her! Barbie is in no danger though. She’s still the best!

What’s next? The 90s shelf which is pretty much an assortment of dolls. There’s some 80s and my Ken dolls too. One new Ken joined the squad – the fiercely orange Benetton Ken, I just couldn’t resist him.  There are my two most wanted European Fashion Play Barbies and a nearly Fashion Play – the Woolworth’s Special Expression lovely blonde. I’ve managed to cross out some great dolls from my wish list – Flight Time, International Travel, FAO Schwarz Fifth Avenue and Perfectly Suited were my long lasting dreams. So long lasting I managed to forget about Perfectly Suited in the process of acquiring new dolls. There’s even one doll I didn’t even dream of getting – a Rotoplast Heart Family Mom with a baby son joined my collection thanks to a kind fellow collector.

The next shelf is party all the time, or should I say ball?!There’s fewer dolls there but more dresses and hair if that makes sense. The dresses are huge and take up a lot of space, but they’re the beginning of my collection and every so often I just need to get a doll in a huge dress no matter what. So what’s new? Two Holiday dolls – check, a JCPenney gorgeous lady in royal blue – check, a Swan Lake dark-haired ballerina from my dreams – check, the Queen of the Oceans – check and a Grand Lady that just loves Tea – check, double check because she happens to be the only doll with the Generation Girl headmold in my entire collection!

The lowest shelf is a doll waiting room of sorts. There are miscellaneous dolls there that I simply can’t do without, or the ones that I often take photos of, my regular models. There are also some girls that will eventually be moved to higher shelves, like my lovely Magic Curl Barbie. I guess she should join the 80s classics but she’s too tall with that afro of hers to fit in the space between shelves, so she’ll probably go to the 90s girls. Some dolls are still waiting for their stock outfits like Perfume Pretty or Fun-to-Dress, and my Pet Doctor is wearing my only childhood fashion pack – repurchased of course. There’s My First Tea Party here as well, one of the two dolls whose legs don’t bend. She and Kevin set up the “Stiff Doll Club” but find it hard to get along –one likes basketball, the other prefers to sip tea or coffee, because she’s my doll, right?

That will be all for the doll cabinet, but as I said – the cabinet capacity is exhausted and some dolls had to move to boxes. I find it hard to decide which dolls should be displayed and which ones should be stored in boxes, but I simply can’t fit them all. So seasonal dolls like Holidays or dolls that are incomplete would move houses for the time being. I still like them a lot and want to keep them even though they may go to the cabinet only for a few weeks a year. There’s one doll too pretty to go to boxes and wearing a dress too hideous to classify for the cabinet, she’s waiting for some smashing fashion pack and I temporarily display her at “the other cabinet”. It’s technically speaking not destined to hold dolls though. For the time being, it’s my doll storage where I also keep the only two playsets I manager to acquire within the last 12 months.

Uff I’ve made it just in time. I think it’s a success that I managed the photo shooting within one day though the pictures are not perfect and the dolls were too many to fit in the backdrop, but oh well. My plans for next year? Get that Harley Davidson II edition Ken and Tod! I also want a Golden Dream Barbie, the Parisian and all the DOTW I previously mentioned, a Jewel Secrets Barbie, more Fashion Play, more Skippers, more Licca and vintage Barbie reproductions. Maybe I’ll be lucky and get a hold of some AA versions of the 80s classics like Magic Moves or Day to Night. Peaches perhaps? It looks like a busy year ahead of me. Keep your fingers crossed!


To those of you who visit my blog, I want to say a huge THANK YOU! My collection as well as my blog have been a respite from all that has been going on, a safe place I could forget about the things that were so saddening and depressing. I know this year must have been difficult for you too, the more I'm grateful for your visits and your comments. Thank you! 


Thursday, May 20, 2021

Yumeiro Meiku Himari-chan / Dream Color Make-up Himari-chan 2021

 I’ve been unusually productive of late when it comes to writing posts for my blog, but my collection anniversary is fast-approaching and there’s one doll that I’d like to show you before that happens. It’s Yumeiro Meiku Himari-chan or Dream Color Make-up Himari-chan 2021.

Himari-chan belongs to Licca’s universe and as I derived from the below promo video by Takara (well Takara Tomy but you know what I mean), she’s a teenage actress and vlogger. Her vlogs concern all things make-up. I believe she goes to the same school as Licca-chan but she’s older than her, or she should be since she’s using make-up, right? I remember my first trials with make-up, I was 5 and borrowed my Grandma’s cosmetics. My Gran was a classy lady and she had loads of high quality cosmetics and expensive perfume. I borrowed all that one day and made my Gran laugh with the effect. She decided I needed some cosmetics of my own and the next time I dropped by she had a gift waiting for me. It was a play make-up kit in a lovely little case with a mirror and drawers. There was a battery operated hairdryer as well. The plastic was so shiny and the set was of amazing quality, my Gran didn’t approve of anything less than great so the toy must have been pricey.

Ok, back to Himari-chan, she belongs to the Yumeiro (Dream Color) series that is gimmicky and is all about color-change when exposed to warm or cold temperature. Licca’s hair will change from purple to blue to pink depending on the temperature. Himari share’s the pattern, but it’s her face that’s going to change. Cold water will make her make-up appear but touch her when you hand is warm and you’ll wipe off the make-up completely. The series first appeared in April 2020 and within it, there was Licca the regular version, a regular accessory set, three outfits and a playset. In October 2020 a Deluxe Dream Color Change Licca made her appearance and the set also included an exclusive dress. All the pictures were taken from www.1999.co.jp

Licca Dream Color Doing Bag playset apr 2020

Licca Dream Color Change Colorfully Deluxe (doll)  oct 2020

Licca Dream Color Accessory Set  apr 2020

Licca Dream Color Dres Set cosmic passion apr 2020

Licca Dream Color Dres Set yumekawa Sweets apr 2020

Licca Dream Color Dres Set Rainbow Color Dream apr 2020

Licca Dream Color Change Colorfully (doll) apr 2020

This year the series continues and Himari-chan joined Licca. A deluxe accessory set and three more outfits were a part of it. Takara seems to release gimmicky series every year: Jewel-up Karen appeared in 2019. You could decorate her hair and dress with rhinestones using a special applicator. A year before Aqua Curl Misaki was released with a curling device to style her hair in ringlets. Misaki-chan is so pretty, it would be delightful to own the deluxe version of her. By the way, I noticed a peculiar pattern – the regular versions of dolls like gimmicky Licca, Karen or Misaki appeared around April-June only to be rereleased as Deluxe in October or so. I fully expect to be smashed with a deluxe Himari round the end of the year. I’ll cry … Anyway, Himari-chan is brand new, she was released on May 3rd and I bought her on that day but she was also available about two months before that as a pre-order. The clock on Himair’s back indicates January 2020 as her production date.

Licca Dream Color Make up Himari-chan 2021

Licca Dream Color Dress Set Dream Jewel 2021

Licca Dream Color Dress Set Make Happy

Licca Dream Color Dress Set Yumekawa Rainbow

Licca Dream Color Accessory Set Deluxe apr 2021




I couldn’t wait for Himari to be released, I liked her a lot when I first saw the promo video published on Takara Tomy youtube channel and I was curious as to what the end product would be. The only promo pictures online showed Himari and her accessories so I had no idea what the box would look like but I expected something great and I was not disappointed. The box looks lovely and I almost felt sad to unbox the doll. Owning two dolls would be a perfect solution, I could keep one in box and another one out of it but it’s impossible. Purchasing one Himari was expensive enough but I had to have her. I guess boxed dolls are wasted on me. Anyway, the Japanese have a talent for gift-wrapping and most stores offer such service when you purchase a product. Oftentimes the wrapping paper costs more than the item but they still do it. No wonder that doll boxes should be so lovely. There’s rainbow, cotton-candy colors and shining stars, and what’s inside the box is even better! Now, the back of the box also shows how to apply Himari’s make-up, but let’s open the box already!

The set comes with a booklet – ‘Arenji bukku’ (the arangement book). Jewel-up Karen and Aqua Curl Misaki have those too, though I’m not sure about Misaki. The colorful pages of the booklet showcase Himari-chan and suggest how you can make her hair look lovely. It’s also  a catalogue of sorts so you’ll find the outfits and other products available. The booklet also instructs you in the matter of Himari’s make-up. You are supposed to use the little jar. Just pour cold water and toss a couple ice cubes for good measure, use the applicator and the make-up appears. You can wipe it off with your fingers, the body temperature is enough for it to disappear. The set also includes a pair of decorative hair elastics, a hairpin, a hairbrush and a rainbow hair extension.

So Himari without make-up looks very fresh with her pale pink eyelids and lips and thin eyebrows. She has four eyelashes on the upper lid. The made-up Himari’s eyebrows are ticker and darker, she has more lashes on upper and lower lid. She has blue and purple eyeshadow and her lipstick is so vibrant. Lovely stars appear on her cheeks, three on each side – blue, purple and pink. I love both versions and I like the options she gives, especially if you want to redress her. As to her hair, it’s a peculiar style, very characteristic of the Japanese – the front sections are shorter like bangs that you want to grow, but at the back her hair is very long. It’s not thick, but it’s not because the manufacturer wanted to cut the corners here, it’s made this way on purpose, I think because the hair is excellent quality.  Himari-chan reminds me of Sailor Moon, she has the most manga eyes I’ve ever seen on a doll! Now, as to the headmold, I don’t know what the symbol is but Himari’s mold is definitely different from Licca’s and you can see it clearly in the lips that are slightly parted.

This entry is pretty long but there’s so much I’d like to share on the doll, like her articulation that is different from my two Licca dolls. Himari’s arms don’t stretch out to the sides, they go up and down and all around but at least she can touch her face, which Yumekawa and Exciting Shopping can’t though I forgot to photograph it. As far as I know there are also Licca dolls with this kind of articulation. As to Himari’s legs and waist they’re like my two other Liccas. The vinyl is however, slightly paler and not so pink.

Himari’s outfit is simply delightful. I love pastels so it’s right up my alley and I appreciate all the intricate details like bows, reflective rhinestones, tulle details and all the frills. I guess making the dress with so many layers of ruffle isn’t easy or chap, but Takara like to make their dolls special. And we’re talking play line on top of that! Himari’s headband is a simple example of Takara’s excellence – they could just make a molded bow, but they didn’t. Himari’s shoes are pretty lovely too. They’re made of clear, glittery rubber. Himari is also wearing a pair of plain undies like a decent Japanese doll should and she’s got a pair of silvery star earrings.

Despite my efforts, I cannot find a single blemish in Himari, she’s perfect. I have to look at her whenever I enter the “cabinet room” because she’s so pretty. Just make sure to set her make-up properly because I noticed in one picture her eyebrow looks like it’s faded, it’s my fault of course because I was so excited “playing” with that feature. There’s one thing that lingers on my mind: If this is the play line standard for Takara’s dolls, what would the collector’s items be like? Surely magnificent!