2016 in Review


This has been quite a big year for my doll blog as I’ve started to enlarge it with posts about different subjects including Naomi’s vintage fashion dolls and paper doll collection.

I’ve very much enjoyed reading comments from readers about my posts especially the ones who have been able to help with identifications.  I’d like to encourage all of you to keep sharing your questions and your knowledge in comments. If you would like me to feature a doll of yours on the blog either for identification or “show and tell” . I’d be happy to do that. All I need is a photo and any information you have. I will attempt to add a contact form to the blog in the near future but otherwise I’m happy to receive emails.

We were especially pleased that the mystery of the Queen’s Coronation Robes was solved by a reader.

New Dolls This Year

I have not bought many large dolls this year due to lack of space but those I did buy have been quite special. I’ve added a couple of Pedigree girls and my half-share of Shirley Temple,our first composition doll. I’ve let a few dolls go due to lack of display space but have adopted a few others, mainly porcelain dolls given to me by friends.

I’ve added more fashion dolls to my collection both vintage and modern. I still have a few vintage dolls on my wish list. I’d like more Tammy Family members and  Tammy outfits and I am still looking for some vintage Sindy outfits that I don’t have yet. My vintage Barbie wish list includes Francie and an American Girl Barbie and vintage outfits for them too of course. I’m sure all of these will come my way in time.

Here are a couple of things I was able to tick of my wish list this year. My vintage Barbie collection is growing and I’m gradually getting some of the fashions that I admired as a child.

I have bought a few modern Barbies too, my favourite have been Barbie The Look although I loved the Made to Move body and I like the concept of the new Fashionistas having different body types although they are not all to my taste.

Thumbs Down

I am still frustrated by some of Mattel’s offerings and Naomi is at her wit’s end trying to find Ken’s that she likes and clothes for them all. It really seems that Mattel have forgotten that one purpose of fashion dolls used to be to change their clothes. I guess we were spoiled being kids in the sixties when fashion dolls had beautifully made, realistic clothing.

My main gripes are with the current playline such as:

  • Too many dolls with molded on clothing, coloured vinyl legs etc
  • Boring face molds. I hate those blank expressions.
  • Molded hair Kens.
  • Most Ken’s look the same.
  • Ken’s wardrobe – nothing but shorts or tux as usual.
  • Model Muse bent arms, hard to dress and pose dolls.
  • General cheap appearance of many dolls and clothing.

What’s coming in 2017?

I hope to continue to post regularly on a variety of doll related subjects. There will be the usual Barbie and friends posts of course but I hope to write more about vintage dolls houses,  continue the paper doll series and Naomi says she is happy for me to post about more of her dolls as well so I will be able to introduce you to some of them in the near future. We have both enjoyed learning more about her clone dolls as well as Dollikins and Little Tuppence. I’m also considering a page about teddy bears as Naomi has a large hug of bears although we have not done much research on them as yet.

I have been looking at pictures of next years Playline Barbie line and there are a few dolls with possibilities but a lot more with molded on clothes and weird hair colours so I don’t expect to be buying many. Ken is a disaster as usual with more molded hair and basic fashions, jeans and T-shirts, shorts and more tuxedos. There are only a few Ken’s planned for next year although there is a huge Barbie line and Chelsea (Kelly) Friends are back. I haven’t seen the collectible line yet so I hope there will be something affordable that I like there.

On a personal note it is quite possible that I will move house in 2017 as Naomi and I have been discussing selling both our houses and buying one together. We just need to find one big enough for the two of us, our pets and our collections. Until that happens it will be business as usual here on the blog. Some dolls have already been packed away in preparation for sprucing the house up but I hope I’ll be able to keep most of them out for as long as possible.

I’d like to thank everyone that’s stopped by this blog over the past year. I absolutely love doing it and I get a great deal of pleasure from knowing that others enjoy what I do. Happy New Year to you all and see you in 2017.

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8 comments

  1. Hi, You asked in a previous post discussing Baby So Beautiful if Jan Shackelford made those dolls. I am Judy Shackelford, ex Mattel Exec VP Product Development and Worldwide Marketing. I was a toy inventor before I went to Mattel, and returned to inventing products after that. I invented all of the Baby So Beautiful dolls, Newborn Baby So Beautiful, Just Born Baby So Beautiful, and Lady So Beautiful. I licensed them all to Playmates Toys, and was totally involved in the development through overseeing the sculpting, hair, outfits, brand strategies, marketing consulting, etc.

    I also invented all of the Amazing Brand doll. Amazing Amy began the whole electronic smart virtually alive doll category, and she was the first one that I did. She was followed by Amazing Ally, Ally’s friend Amazing Maddie, Amazing Babies, Amazing Li’l Ashley, Amazing Friends, Amazing McKayla, Amazing Lexie, and Amazing Amanda who remains the smartest doll on the planet in my view.

    Love to chat with you sometime and be able to email you directly. I signed up for your blog because you love dolls as much as I do. My email is judyshack@jshackelford.com. Hope to hear from you soon. You mentioned moving. Good luck with the move when you do it.

    All my best,

    Judy Shackelford

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  2. Happy New Year!

    I love seeing Year-end round-up posts & your vintage dolls from the past year are a perfect example of why they’re so fun. You’ve had some great finds this year!

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  3. Belated Happy New Year to you and Naomi! I hope you find a suitable house and have a smooth move, if you do.

    I’m so with you on your Barbie gripes. I even passed the 2016 Holiday Barbie, her dress was too cheap for my taste.

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      • Best wishes for the ideal place. Your very special people size dollhouse. Feeling the modern Mattel doll thing.I have tweaked kens lately with repainted doll heads that came in an auction lot. Though not a huge fan of Justin Beiber there were about five or six versions of him. A couple with real hair. Maybe celebrity dolls might broaden your choices. Hope your move brings you lovely new memories.

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      • I had not thought of just buying the heads but that is an option. We do look at the celebrity or movie theme dolls a lot because the playline dolls don’t vary much. Naomi has several of the Twilight dolls.

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