Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Tennille's Story: An Update (unidentified brunette Tonner doll)

When I wrote my original post I was still grieving for my first owner. The loss and the loneliness that I felt came across in the tone of my words, and I ended the post with the seemingly impossible wish that Treesa would bring home another doll in my scale. I recently realized that I never shared what happened after that. I thought some of you might be interested to know that Treesa did later purchase two more dolls in my scale secondhand. They're not Tonner dolls, but I'll go into that later.

It was autumn of last year when Treesa came to me with the news. She told me that she'd 'rescued' a doll in my scale from an indoor flea market, a doll she'd named Ginny. Treesa let me know up front that Ginny wasn't a Tonner doll. Ginny is in fact a Disney Store Singing Anna doll, based on a character from the animated movie Frozen. But I think Treesa realized how out of place I felt in the collection with no other dolls in my scale to socialize with, because she told me that she'd thought I might like to meet Ginny anyway.

I'd met Disney dolls before. Treesa has a number of one sixth scale Disney dolls in her collection, and like any other group Treesa's Disney dolls have a wide range of personalities. I wondered what kind of personality this new doll, Ginny, would have. But mostly I was excited at the possibility of having a doll friend in my scale again. So I followed Treesa as she led the way towards the stair landing.


I got my first look at Ginny from the top of the staircase. Her long, red hair was hanging down her back in waves, and she was wearing an ankle length red dress with black lace trim at the hem and long sleeves. Ginny's back was facing the staircase, and she seemed to be pointing at something on the floor in front of her with a long stick in her hand.

"Wingardium Leviosa," Ginny said as she raised her arm. I gave Treesa a puzzled look, hoping she would explain Ginny's odd behavior. Treesa somehow managed to look embarrassed and amused at the same time. She leaned towards me and murmured, "Don't mind her. I gave her a Harry Potter blind box wand for a photo shoot and she got really into it."

Treesa turned back towards the stair landing and then called down to Ginny. Ginny turned and looked up at us with a smile. "Hi, Treesa," she said. Then Ginny noticed me and asked curiously, "Who are you?"

"This is Tennille," Treesa said, making the introductions. "She's a Tonner doll." Ginny tilted her head slightly to one side, looking puzzled. "What's a Tonner doll?" she asked.

"I'll let Tennille explain all that," Treesa said hurriedly before explaining that she needed to get the pictures from Ginny's photo shoot uploaded. Treesa headed down the staircase as she talked, carrying me along with her. When she reached the landing Treesa set me down beside Ginny before leaving us to ourselves.

For a few seconds Ginny and I just stared awkwardly at each other. I had wanted a friend in my scale so badly, but now that I was face to face with Ginny I couldn't think of anything to say. Ginny looked as unprepared as I felt. I can still remember the nervous smile on her face as we looked at each other. It was Ginny who broke the awkward silence.

"Hi, I'm Ginny," she said, holding out her hand to shake. Unfortunately the hand she held out was the same one that had the Harry Potter wand rubber-banded to her fingers. Ginny looked extremely embarrassed. She apologized and quickly switched hands, explaining how she'd kept dropping the wand during the photo shoot and making an awkward joke about how it was a good thing the wand wasn't real, or she might've accidentally turned me into a toad. After I shook Ginny's hand she quickly changed the subject back to her original question of what a Tonner doll was. I explained to her that the Tonner company made fashion dolls for adult collectors.

It was certainly an awkward first meeting. But even after that initial awkwardness had passed Ginny and I still had some trouble finding things to talk about. We seemed to have very little in common, partially because we'd come from such different backgrounds. In my first home I was a display piece in an adult's collection. Ginny had been a child's toy, and even though she talked about her first owner fondly I don't think it was always an easy life. I found out after I commented on the lovely color of her dress that Ginny had been nude when Treesa found her for sale at the flea market, after her first owner outgrew her.

Even though Ginny and I weren't close friends, we were friendly enough that I knew I could come to her on days when I longed to spend time with a doll my own scale. I think Ginny may have felt the same way I did, to some degree. She gets along well with many of Treesa's other Disney dolls, but every now and then she'd come looking for me with a certain expression on her face that I recognized.

Despite this sense of community we shared I could still feel a distance between Ginny and I whenever we spent time together. But then something happened that helped bridge the gap between us. I was paging through a book that Treesa had left out when I heard Ginny call for me. I looked up and saw her coming towards me with a smile on her face, and another doll in our scale that I didn't recognize following behind her. "Tennille, this is Noni," Ginny said when she reached me. "She's a Disney Store Tiana Singing doll."


Noni greeted me casually. I noticed that her dark hair was arranged in a curly updo that reminded me a little of my own hairstyle. We also seemed to have somewhat similar taste in clothes, since both of us were wearing knee length, sleeveless dresses. Even though the green, cottony fabric with a white floral print that Noni's dress was made from wasn't something I would wear myself, it did seem to suit her. When I complimented the dress Noni said it was a lot more practical and better made than the princess dress she'd originally come with, and that she was glad Treesa had gotten it for her.

Noni was also glad that Treesa decided to remove her one remaining shoe. Noni said it was a lot easier to walk around barefoot than to try to walk with one shoe. She then made a joke saying she had no idea how Cinderella managed it after the ball. Ever since I'd come to live with Treesa I'd been a little sad knowing that I'd probably never get a pair of shoes, since shoes for dolls in my scale can be expensive and difficult to find. But I had to admit that Noni made a good point.

Noni seemed to have an easier time connecting with Ginny than I did, possibly because Noni and Ginny were both Disney dolls whose first owners had been children. But Noni had also been a display piece in her previous owner's bedroom and hadn't really been played with, so she seemed to be able to see things from my perspective as well. Before Noni came I couldn't really relate to some of Ginny's experiences. But Noni was able to explain things in a way that helped me picture myself in Ginny's place. Once I could do that it was easier for me to understand why Ginny thought and believed certain things, and why she sometimes acted in certain ways. I even started to understand how Ginny could still love her first owner, even after that owner had lost Ginny's original clothes and had then sold Ginny at a flea market.

Spending time with Noni also helped me to see that while it's ok to be disappointed when things aren't the way you want them to be, you shouldn't dwell on your disappointment. Noni has a way of seeing the practical side of things, like what she said about going barefoot for example. Rather than getting upset about losing her shoes Noni focused on the fact that she could walk better without her remaining shoe. Hearing Noni talk helped me to realize that some things that seemed like serious problems really weren't that important.

I'm glad that Noni and Ginny are here. They've shown me different ways of seeing the world, and I've learned a lot from both of them. It's my hope that I've contributed as many positive things to their lives as they have to mine.


Tuesday, October 22, 2019

New Hope Doll Show and Sale

Hello again friends and visitors. It's Treesa. I know this is technically supposed to be my dolls' blog and not mine, but the post my Tonner doll Tennille is working on is taking longer than expected. In the meantime, I wanted to tell you about the doll show and sale that I attended over the Columbus Day weekend.

The show was held at the Eagle Fire Hall in New Hope, Pennsylvania. It wasn't a huge show. In fact, some of you reading this would probably have been disappointed by the size. But I thought it was just the right size for someone like me. This was my first doll show ever, and I sometimes feel overwhelmed by large crowds. There were a few times during the show when the attendees were so tightly packed around a particular booth that I started to feel anxious, since the booths for each seller were relatively small. But the main aisles were wide enough that I could simply move on to the next booth.

The show also had a wide variety of things for sale. There were antique dolls, vintage dolls from the 50s onward, more modern collectable dolls like Tonner, even a few resin ball-jointed dolls. In addition to these were 'reborn' baby dolls, American Girl brand clothing and accessories, and one seller who seemed to specialize in dollhouse miniatures. Some of these things I had never actually seen in person before. I had only ever seen pictures in doll collecting magazines.

I didn't have enough money put aside to make any really extravagant purchases, but I did pick up a few things.

my doll show haul

The Pocahontas doll is 18 inches tall. I have a bit of a weakness for Pocahontas dolls. The other things I purchased are shown in more detail below.

The little dress and slip set was my first purchase of the day. I thought the pieces were really cute, and the price was right. The set looks handmade to me. Granted, I have no idea what brand of doll the dress and slip were originally made for. But I do have a variety of smaller dolls in my collection, so I'm sure someone will fit in them. So far I'm planning to try the pieces on a Disney Petite Princess doll, a mini American Girl doll, and a Mattel 90s era Stacie sized doll.

Speaking of smaller dolls, I bought this vintage Skooter doll from the same seller that I got the 18 inch Pocahontas doll from. The seller made me a combined deal, since I wanted both dolls. For anyone who might not know, Skooter was one of Skipper doll's first friends. I don't recognize the outfit, but the style looks like something from the 1970s. It's also very patriotic. The stars on the pants look black in the photo, but they're actually navy blue. Skooter might not end up staying with me though. I'm giving my mom first dibs on her.

Despite some brief bouts of anxiety, I really enjoyed myself at the show. There's going to be another one at the same location in the spring. I'd be interested in going again, but I'll have to wait and see what my schedule looks like then.

Signed, Treesa

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Galoob Anastasia Doll Dress

Hello friends and visitors. It's Treesa. This post starts with the dress pictured above. Originally, this dress would've belonged to an Anastasia Dream Waltz doll by Galoob. (The Galoob Anastasia doll line was based on the Anastasia animated movie, produced by Twentieth Century Fox in the late 90s.) I got the dress in a bag lot of doll clothes that I bought from the thrift store. I held onto it because, honestly, I just think it's a beautiful dress.

However, the body design used for the Galoob Anastasia dolls must've been very different from anything used by their competitors, because I've tried this dress on just about every doll body type I can think of and it hasn't fit anyone. The major problem seems to be with the waist. I don't own a Galoob Anastasia doll, but judging by the cut of the dress the Anastasia dolls must've had very tiny waists. The dress is also high-waisted, and based on the fitting problems I've been having I strongly suspect that the doll herself was high-waisted as well.

Below you'll find a list of the various doll body types that I've tried the dress on, along with some brief notes I made listing the fitting problems I had with each of the different body types.

Barbie 'belly button' doll body (dress doesn't close in back)
Barbie doll body, pre-'belly button' era (dress too tight, doesn't close in back)
'Model Muse'/posed Barbie doll body (dress doesn't close in back)
Barbie/Midge vintage doll body (dress doesn't close in back)
Barbie 'twist & turn' vintage doll body (dress doesn't close in back)
Fashionistas Swappin' Styles articulated doll body (dress too small, doesn't close in back)
Monster High articulated doll body (top too loose, waist fits)
Ever After High articulated doll body (bodice too large, dress doesn't close at waist)
DC Super Hero Girls articulated doll body, first run (bodice too large, dress doesn't close at waist)
Disney Store articulated princess doll body (dress doesn't close in back)
Hasbro Disney princess doll body (bodice too large, dress doesn't close at waist)
Project MC2 doll body (bodice loose/too wide, dress doesn't close at waist)
Liv doll body (a little too tight in the bust, dress doesn't close at waist)
Skipper 90s era doll body (bodice loose, dress doesn't close at waist)
Francie vintage doll body (bodice too loose at sides and below bust, dress doesn't close all the way)
Star Wars Forces Of Destiny Sabine Wren Hasbro doll body (bodice slightly too large, dress doesn't close at waist)

The fact that I tried the dress on Sabine just proves that I was getting desperate. Sabine was not at all happy about being redressed by the way, even though I told her it was only temporary. I can't say that I blame her. The dress really doesn't suit her personality.

Anyway, if you can think of a doll who isn't on my list and who might fit in the dress, be sure to leave a comment. Though I've gotten so frustrated by the whole thing, I'm beginning to think I should just toss the dress in a donation bag.

Signed, Treesa

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Greetings From Endor

Happy Star Wars Day from everyone at Fashion Doll Memoirs. May the 4th be with you.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Victoria P. Spice's Story (Spice Girls On Stage Posh Spice by Galoob)

Right, for starters Treesa wanted me to tell you she was never, as she puts it, 'a hardcore Spice Girls fan'. She listened to their songs on the radio. Everybody did back then. But Treesa didn't buy me because I was a Spice Girls doll. She bought me because she thought I was pretty. That's what she told her family in the car when they saw me in the shopping bag, and I believe her. I believe her because Treesa never owned a Spice Girls cd, but she does own two Aqua cds.

Treesa bought me on a shopping trip with her family about twenty years ago, during the winter holidays. The first time I saw her I was standing in my box on a shelf at Toys R Us, with the other Spice Girls dolls. We were all excited. We knew the holidays were coming, and all of us were hoping we'd be bought as gifts before New Year's.

When Treesa took me down from the shelf, I thought she was buying me for someone else. Treesa looked younger than she was. She still does. But I could tell she was 'too old' to be playing with dolls, which just shows how little I knew. I got the shock of my life when Treesa admitted to her family that she'd bought me for her doll collection. I'd never heard of a human old enough to be out of primary school collecting dolls. I don't think it's something Treesa was very proud of. She seemed embarrassed talking about it, even with her family. But things were different then. Now there are plenty of online groups for teen and adult collectors of any type of doll. But back then, Treesa and her family didn't have the internet.

I got another shock after Treesa took me out of my box, when I found out she still acted out stories with her dolls when no one was watching. I was cast as the girlfriend of a Russian businessman, played by a Czar Nicholas II doll from the animated Anastasia movie redressed in a Ken tuxedo. What can I say? It was the late 1990s, and Treesa had seen her first James Bond film. I will say, the name Treesa gave me could have been more original. Victoria was the real first name of Posh Spice, the singer I was made to look like. But at least I'm not stuck with a bad, sexist pun like some classic Bond girls.

By the way, the outfit I'm wearing in my blog pictures is new, or 'new to me', as Treesa puts it. For my 'Russian businessman's girlfriend' role Treesa had me wear a short tee shirt dress and white fishnet knee high socks. When Treesa started talking with her dolls she felt guilty for, as she put it, 'neglecting' me. To make up for it, she decided to update my clothes.

I like my new look. It covers more than the tee shirt dress but it's still casual. Even though the jacket's a bit tight, I feel comfortable in these clothes, in more ways than one. I never felt like myself in my last outfit. I always felt embarrassed and ashamed. I knew the way I looked sent the wrong message. I looked like, like a floozy. At least that's the most polite word I can think of.

But there was more to it than that. I didn't just look like a doll with 'low morals'. I also looked like, like one of those hollow glass balls that humans hang on their Christmas trees, pretty on the outside but empty on the inside. That's exactly how I thought I looked, like a pretty face with an empty head.

I used to spend a lot of time worrying what Treesa's other dolls thought of me. Mind you, none of them ever said anything offensive or hurtful. But I still worried how they saw me, and that made it hard to talk to anyone. After a while, I noticed the other dolls were talking more to Nicholas than to me. They probably did it because Nicholas would answer them more often than not, while I was quiet and withdrawn. At the time though I thought I was being snubbed because the other dolls saw me as, I think the term is 'arm candy'. I worried that I wasn't really a person to them, just a pretty accessory. Not that Nicholas ever treated me that way. He was always polite and respectful. But we never really warmed up to each other the way some of the other doll couples Treesa paired off did. We always felt awkward around each other because of the roles Treesa gave us, and that awkwardness never really went away.

Now that Treesa's changed my outfit I feel more like myself again. It's really helped my self-esteem, and I'm more confident than I've been in years. Some of Treesa's other dolls said they hardly recognize me. Treesa did apologize for the storyline she made me act out. I told her to forget it. After all, she didn't know I was alive then. And maybe copying stuff from films and television helped Treesa shape her own ideas. If the fanfiction stories she has saved on her laptop are any clue at all, then her writing has gotten a bit more original. Though I will say, I never realized just how hard writing is until I tried it myself.

Spice Up Your Life, Victoria P. Spice