As I wrote in my previous Op Shop doll post I spent most of a Sunday afternoon working on this batch of dolls and I had the wrinkly fingers to prove it. As well as cleaning the dolls I wanted to sort out their hair and also try a few things that I had seen on You Tube. The main one was fixing the swingy knee joints on the pivotal Barbie that I told you about last time . I was quite pleased with how that worked out so it will be handy to use for any other articulated dolls. I have spent literally hours watching YouTube tutorials lately and it has been quite helpful. I found out how to fix a loose neck knob by winding a rubber band around it and how to reattach a leg if the knob is broken. I haven’t actually had to try this yet. I’d still like to know if it is possible to swap limbs as I have a body that is perfectly good but for a chewed hand and another that has good arms but a broken neck knob. There is a fix for broken neck knobs though. I just need some wire cutters to cut through a hair pin.
I decided to try a different method of combing out doll hair too. Usually I like to comb out the tangles before washing dolls hair and as I’ve mentioned before I will sit and do this while watching TV squirting the hair with a spray of 50:50 fabric conditioner and water. Some people use a pet brush with metal bristles for this job and although I was doubtful about how that would work I decided to give it a try having recently acquired one of these brushes. I was quite impressed at what a good job it did as it took just a few minutes to get the major tangles out meaning I could get on to the hair washing sooner. I would definitely do it again when I have a big batch of dolls to get through.
Here is the pivotal Barbie again. Thanks to Andrea who correctly identified her as a Clutch Wave 1 Fashionista from 2012. I was unaware that this wave had pivotal bodies as Marissa who is from Wave 2 does not. Andrea explained to me that the pivotal Fashionistas are a bit different to the collector pivotal dolls which are a bit taller and have more well-defined neck bones. That’s what I love about doing this blog. You can always learn something new. Here is a link to a picture of the Wave 1 dolls. This is a website that has an excellent guide to all the Fashionista waves. I’ve also added it to our resources page on fashion dolls. As you can see this girl’s hair was quite a mess. It felt nasty too, very rough and sticky. In the second photo she has had her hair washed, conditioned and boil washed. I decided not to style it that day and may give it another wash before restyling it but it certainly looks and feels a lot better already.
Andrea also said that she thinks that the dark-haired doll that I had thought was Candy Glam Raquelle is actually a 2010 Fashionista and Pets Sassy. Having looked the photos I have to agree that she is probably right about this one too. I was fooled by the belly button body and thought she might be a foreign issue doll. This doll was meant to be on a pivotal body too so as she is on a standard belly button body someone must have Frankendollied her. I wish I’d met the person who brought her in. If there is another adult collector around here who does rebodying I would like to meet them.
I am still a bit nervous about boil washing. I am still a beginner at knowing whether a doll has nylon, saran or kanaklon hair so I decided that I’d just dunk the dolls for a few seconds at a time, take them out and repeat the process if they needed it rather than leaving them in for a long time and risking damage to the hair. I’m happy to say that this seemed to work quite well and all the blonde dolls hair was improved after the process.
The dolls that I didn’t feel needed to be boil washed just got a shampoo and conditioning and were soon ready to be dressed. I showed you those in the last post.
I have not identified any of the blonde dolls as yet. The ones with articulated bodies are probably from the late nineties while the belly button dolls are more recent.
I ran out of time to try fixing the curls on the African American doll so that will happen next time. I hope that I will be able to keep her curls but if not I can either turn her into a straight-haired doll or she will end up in the re-root box.
While I have been busy with learning about cleaning and basic fixes Naomi has been looking into some more artistic ideas. She wants to create some custom coloured hair on her male fashion dolls with dyes so she would like to borrow some Barbies to practice on first. They don’t know it yet but the blondes have volunteered for the experiment. I hope that we will be able to post the results later on.