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Whoot! I have been lusting after the Monster High dolls for months now, but to my dismay, they’ve been difficult to get my hands on, due to their incredible popularity. I FINALLY got one last Sunday when Jason and I ran by Satan’s Store (aka Walmart) to pick up a few things and buy each other an Easter gift. I got him Legos (hmm…perhaps I can get him to guest post a review?). He got me Ghoulia Yelps from the Skull Shores line, which was the last MH doll left aside from two of the Black and White Frankie Stein dolls. I realize that those are harder to find and will probably have a greater value than Ghoulia, but when was I ever one to collect toys for value? I may pick the B&W Frankie up in the future, but I’m too much of a color-lover to pick her as my first MH doll.

I was, of course, ridiculously excited and couldn’t wait to get Ghoulia home and debox her. I always keep an eye on the fashion doll isles of toy stores to see what is new and interesting, and as I mentioned earlier, I’ve had my eye on the Monster High line for a long time now, but never could find them when I actually had money to spend (and I wasn’t about to pay the inflated prices they sell for on the Internet). I’m not really into the paranormal craze that is so popular right now, but I don’t hate it, either. I really love these dolls because they have such a quirky anatomy, and they’re so dang pose-able. And you know I can’t resist bright hair colors.

Here she is straight from the box. I’m no expert on the back story of the characters, but I do know that Ghoulia is a daughter of the zombies (all of the characters are kids of famous monsters). She has greyish skin and blue hair with grey streaks. I’m not sure how blue hair figures in to the “zombie” theme, but I suspect it got picked because it goes well with her skin. Who’s complaining, anyway? ūüėČ

Look at those hands! Aren’t they so petite and quirky?! Ghoulia’s non-clothing accessories include her stand, hairbrush, and this little island drink in a coconut shell!

Ghoulia’s bangs are hard and crunchy to hold their shape, but the rest of her hair is soft and brushable, and of surprisingly nice quality. I’m not sure how well it would hold up under a child’s rough yanking and brushing, though, since I have no child to test it out on! She has a little red hair clip in her hair which I believe to be a bit of coral reef (not real, of course!).

She also comes with these green sunglasses. They’re rubber-banded to her head in the box, but they fit securely without the rubber band, too. ¬†I imagine it would take a good deal of shaking for them to fall off!

When you removed her glasses, you can see that Ghoulia has bright green eye makeup. You can’t tell from this picture, but it’s actually quite sparkly! Much like the Bratz line, the MH dolls have very large heads compared to their body size, with exaggerated eyes and lips, although they’re more realistic than the Bratz dolls.

You can see from the previous two pictures that Ghoulia has mismatched earrings – a white dangly one on her right-hand side, and a red stud on the left. Her earrings are quite small and are removable, so if you’re thinking about getting a MH doll yourself, be careful about losing them!

When you remove her sheer red skirt (which has a¬†Velcro¬†closure), you can see that she is wearing a black halter-top swimsuit that ties over one shoulder and also has a Velcro closure in the back. I’ve got to say, I love that she is wearing a one-piece swimsuit. It’s incredibly cute, and it’s so refreshing to see a skinny figure in a one-piece! Her clothes seem to be of comparable quality to other doll clothing from play lines. You can also see her red bracelet in this picture. I’m not quite sure it is also supposed to be coral, or if it it fashioned to look like dripping blood as a tie-in to her zombie parentage, but I suspect the latter.

Ghoulia wears red peep-toe heels. The ankle straps match her dripping-blood bracelet and are split in the back so that it is easy to get them on/off.

Here I’ve stripped her naked to give you an idea of her anatomy, and put her between a newer Barbie and a Moxie Girl for comparison’s sake. This is where the fun really begins! Mattel seems to have given up realistic body proportions altogether and just gone for an extreme look with this dolls. Remember the big stink about how Barbie gave young girls’ body image issues? Well, Barbie’s got nothing on the MH line. My Ghoulia makes Barbie look positively chubby! The Monster High dolls give hope to pear-shaped women everywhere, because these dolls’ hips are about twice as wide as their busts. They have an exaggerated sway-back and curvy legs that go on forever. These dolls really make me think of fashion design drawings of unreasonably skinny women. To those of you who worry about your daughter’s body image, this may be a negative thing. After all, Ghoulia does kind of have the stature of a starved child. I don’t buy these dolls for kids to play with, though – I buy them to dress them up, and they suit that need quite well. Their big hips, swayed backs, small chest, and petite arms and legs are basically made for designer clothing (oh, shut up, we all know that stuff isn’t made for real women)! As you can see, MH dolls won’t be trading clothes with Barbies or even Moxie Girlz unless you’re going for a baggy look (which seems a shame to me, since their weird figure is part of what makes the MH dolls so charming!).

One of the best things about the MH dolls is that they’re much more poseable than most fashion dolls. They have joined shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, and knees, which offer any number of posing options. I’ve given some examples above. Overall, though, I would be hesitant to give these dolls to a child that likes to play rough with their dolls, because they seem to me like that would break easily if put under a lot of stress. I’m not going to test this theory out, though, obviously. =P

Overall, I am thrilled to finally have one of these dolls, and I fully expect to buy more when I am able! This particular doll was about $13 at Wal-Mart, and I think that is a fair price for a doll of this quality. I probably wouldn’t pay more than about $15 myself (granted, I’m a very thrifty spender), unless the doll came with a fair number of outfits and accessories. Ghoulia is a great choice if you want a doll that has a neat retro vibe going on. Check back in the future to see more Monster High posts as I make clothes for her and get new dolls!

 

I didn’t plan on going garage saling this weekend, but when one of the pit bull rescues that I follow on Facebook posted that they would have a booth at the “Biggest Garage Sale in OKC” at the state fairgrounds yesterday, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity for concentrated bargains in one place. I dragged Jason out of bed and off we went to see what treasures were waiting for us. And treasures we did find!

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Here’s a picture of the whole shebang; everything we bought. Trust me, we probably would have had more, but we had to peruse quickly because we were catching a movie at 2:30. It’s a sad thing not to have time to dig in the piles of junk, but we did pretty well, regardless.

First off, you’ll notice the Harry Potter sleeping bag that I got for $2. It will look fabulous used as a blanket on the futon couch in my toy/craft room! That is, if I can ever get all the craft supplies cleared off my couch! =/

Here are the books we purchased, along with the prices we paid:

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“Soul of the Fire,” “Temple of the Winds,” and “The Pillars of Creation,” all by Terry Goodkind. Paid: 3/$1. I actually have the first two in this series (The Sword of Truth) already. I’ve heard that the first three are good and then they start to go downhill after that, but I figured for that cheap, they’re worth a shot, and if I hate them, I can trade them off on paperbackswap.com (a site that I just heard about from a coworker).

“The Girl Who Played With Fire” by Stieg Larsson. Paid: 25 cents, I think? One of Jason’s picks.

“Timeline” by Michael Crichton. Paid: 10 cents. Another of Jason’s picks.

“A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail” by Bill Bryson. Paid: 10 cents. I’ve never heard of this book, but I’ve got a weakness for the Appalachians, and it sounded “nature-y” enough to catch my eye for ten cents.

“Deep Black” by Stephen Coonts’. Paid: 10 cents. Another of Jason’s picks.

“Where the Heart Is” by Billie Letts. Paid: 25 cents. My sister loved the movie version of this, and I’ve always had a special place in my heart for it for that reason. I can’t remember whether or not she had ever read the book (I want to say she had…), but I figured I’d buy it, read it, and put it with a variety of other books I have that remind me of my sister.

“Canning, Freezing, Storing Garden Produce” by the United States Department of Agriculture (1977). Paid: 25 cents. Can’t have enough of these kinds of books. I’m hoping to put it to use this summer, if we can get a garden to grow, now that I have a pressure canner!

The Reader’s Digest “Complete Guide to Sewing.” Paid: $1. This is a sturdy hardback filled with lots of handy pictures and information. I’m sure to use it in the future when I’m having trouble with one technique or another.

“Vegetarian Gourmet Cookery,” by Alan Hooker (teeheehee!). Paid: 25 cents. Even though I’m not a vegetarian anymore, I still prefer vegetarian food over lots of added meat (I don’t mind meat, but I tend to like it to be separate, like a steak, instead of mixed into a casserole or something), so I always pick up cheap vegetarian cookbooks when I happen onto them.

“How to Fix Damn Near Everything” by Franklynn Peterson. Paid: $1. Jason says he probably has all the information contained in this book in various other books of the same type that he owns, but he picked it up anyway, because really, you can’t have enough of these lying around. They’re just damn useful!

And lastly, “The Solar Age Resource Book: The Complete Guidebook to the Dramatic Power of Solar Energy.” Paid: 10 cents. Jason’s an alternative energy junkie, and I’m all for it. We’re hoping to convert the house we eventually own to be powered entirely by alternative energy sources.

Total paid for all 13 books: $4.40

We also picked up two DVDs for $1 each: Bedazzled (Jason’s pick) and Madagascar (mine!).

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At one booth I found a gallon ziploc baggie full of a rainbow of embroidery flosses (plus a few random cross stitch pieces) and snagged the whole thing for a whopping 50 cents! I having something special in mind for those flosses, if I have enough of the right colors to do it. ūüėČ

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At another booth, I found an entire box of crafting patterns, plus a few other crafting oddments, and the whole box was marked $1! Hells yeah! Everything was priced individually, so I guess they tried to sell them that way at one point of another, and the leftovers got dumped into the box I bought for $1. Most of the patterns are for baby quilts and stuffed toys/dolls, and all appear to be from the 1980s, but some were never even opened! I’ll probably pick out my faves to keep and sell the remaining ones off. The oddments in the box included some old crocheted potholders, a couple of pin cushions, a baggie of little plastic letters, a box of toothpicks, and a package of seam binding. I don’t have a clue what I’m going to do with most of it (although I’m beginning to think I should just start collecting those old crocheted/knitted potholders and blanket squares that are often found in the garage sales of old women, and sew them all together into an afghan in a mish-mash of bygone days and unfinished projects). Here are pictures of the patterns:

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That last picture includes my favorites of the box, particularly the giant panda (IT’S SO 1980S!) and the Jemima and Jasmine patterns (are those even ok to sell anymore?!?). I would have paid a buck just for those two! Most of the patterns looks to be locally produced, which I find folky and charming. With the onslaught of sites like etsy and ebay, locally produced and distributed patterns are becoming a thing of the past!

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But I guess our favorite purchase of the day was this box of K’Nex (and a random Hoberman Sphere, and since Jason loves those things, that was just icing on the cake!) for $10. Don’t get me wrong, we’re still hardcore Lego people, but building toys are just fun (unless they’re MegaBloks, MegaBloks suck.). This appears to be at least part of a roller coaster set, and has at least three working motors in the box (Jason hasn’t sifted through it entirely yet). Jason has told me that he likes the K’Nex roller coaster sets before, so he was thrilled, and has pretty much claimed it as his own. Who knows where he’s going to put the thing.

So total, everything cost just under $20 ($19.90). There was an elliptical exercise machine there for $25 bucks that I totally would have snagged (I’ve been wanting one!), but it was an older model and pretty dang big, and we wouldn’t have had a way to get it home (or a place to put it once we did!). There’s no telling what else we would have brought home if we had had the time to browse. By the time we got there, sellers were already marking things down to move them out! Oh, and did I mention that most (if not all) of the booths were charity booths? We saw booths for animal rescues for golden retrievers, pomeranians, and pit bulls (the rescue I follow on Facebook), as well as boy scout troops, church mission trips, and more! It was a pretty nifty event!

Not a bad haul for an impromptu garage saling trip, don’tcha think?

Last week, with some of the money I’ve earned via superpoints.com, I made the first purchase I’ve made on eBay in years: a lot of four vintage G1 My Little Ponies. I’ve been talking about picking up some G1s and G2s for a while now to go with the G3s and G4s that make up my Pony collection, and when I won this lot for just under $10, I was quite the happy camper. There’s nothing especially valuable in these ponies – they’ve clearly been played with, but we all know that I find joy in reviving previously loved toys.

My package arrived today, and here are the ponies straight out of the box (apologies for crappy pictures; I’m currently having difficulties with my camera’s memory card, so I’m using my phone for pictures):

These are the first G1 Ponies I’ve owned in years! I had several that survived my childhood tucked away in my bedroom when I lived in Texas, but they mysteriously disappeared, and I suspect my sister stole them from my room and sold them on eBay, as she was prone to doing this with my things while I was away at college.

In this lot, I got four ponies total: two adult earth ponies, one baby earth pony, and an adult unicorn. Let’s meet them individually, shall we?

Probably my favorite in this lot is pretty miss Bow Tie!

Bow Tie was made in My Little Pony’s second year (1983-1984) and, true to her name, her cutie mark is made up of a cluster of bow ties. I’m not really sure why Bow Tie became my favorite of the lot, seeing as I have never had a particular affinity for this earth pony pose. Maybe I just like her coloring. Maybe I find her freckles charming. Maybe I just have a special love of bow ties. Whatever the reason, I’m especially enamored with this girl. As for condition, she could use a bath and her tail is a bit dry, but her cutie marks are still bright and I can’t find any major defects.

The second adult earth pony in my lot is Sundance, in the same pose as Bow Tie, who was made in the third year of My Little Ponies (1984-1985).

Sundance is actually a bit of a special pony as far as production went, because she was always sold with a Megan doll (Megan and her little sister Molly were some of the only human characters featured in the original MLP Movie and the 1986 television series). Although they weren’t often featured together in the movie or television series, the were sold together after they appeared in the 1985’s “Escape from Catrina” television special, during which Megan helps Sundance see that she is special even though she is clumsy. Aww, warm fuzzies. =3 My lot didn’t come with a Megan doll, but I plan to acquire her at a later date so the two can be reunited. Sundance could also use a good bath and has some random blue marks on her non-display side (I haven’t determined yet whether they will come off or not), but her worst problem is her dry hair. At least some little girl braided it so it hasn’t turned into a mess of dry dreadlocks yet, although I’ll be taking the braids out.

The baby earth pony that came with my lot is called Baby Tiddley-Winks.

She was also released in Year Three and was sold as a part of the Lullabye Nursery set. My Little Wiki has provided the story that was written on her backcard (the cardboard backing she was originally packaged on):

Every morning at one minute before sunrise, the clouds magically separate to greet the ponies arriving at the Lullabye Nursery. Inside this enchanting house, delightful surprises await them.

Tiddley-Winks, the Baby Pony, lives in the Lullabye Nursery and prepares an afternoon tea party for all the ponies. After tea and crumpets, they play their favorite games.

One day while riding the lullabye swing high into the air, Tiddley-Winks wished she could swing high enough to touch the rainbow. “Hop on me, Tiddley-Winks, and I’ll carry you to the rainbow,” called a big, white, fluffy cloud as it floated down to the swing. Tiddley-Winks jumped on the cloud and rode it like a magic carpet all around ponyland.

“Look! There’s the rainbow,” she said with a spark of excitement. As she spoke, the rainbow dipped down and tied a pretty lace bib around her neck.

That night, when the ponies gathered to tell bedtime stories in the nursery, Tiddley-Winks told everyone of her adventure with the rainbow.

Doesn’t that story just bleed with the charm and naivety of the 1980s?

My Baby Tiddley-Winks needs a washing, has a bit of tail rust, and has a couple of light scratches/smudges on her cutie marks. But isn’t she adorable anyway?

And lastly, the adult unicorn I now own is named Moondancer.

Moondancer was a Year Two unicorn released in 1983. Of the lot, my Moondancer is arguably in the worst condition, namely because her cutie mark (a glittery silver moon surrounded by stars) has quite a bit of rubbing, and her original white plastic has yellowed over time. She also has a dry tail. She’s sure to present a challenge if I want to try and restore her original white coloring.

For under ten bucks (including shipping), I’m pretty pleased with the lot, even in their played-with condition. Considering that they are older than I am, I’d say they’re holding up pretty good! I’m thrilled to finally have G1s in my collection and I look forward to adding more, although it will definitely be tough to have both the vintage and new ponies vying for my “fun money!” I pretty much plan to buy exclusively in lots simply to save on shipping, so I’m sure each package of ponies I receive will be a treat! I am still hoping to acquire some G2s soon, as these were the ponies from my generation (although I only had one or two growing up), and they are the only generation (other than the 3.5s, which I don’t plan on collecting) that I don’t have represented in my collection yet.

I’ll post again after I’ve had a chance to clean up and get to know these cuties so you can see their transformations!