Thursday, January 31, 2013

Just whittling down some joints.

After seeing Smidge House's Liv joint surgery, I was inspired to try it for myself.  I've only done one arm on this doll, but much like Smidge says, just a little bit of carving away of the joints makes gives them a better range of motion.
I just carved a way a little bit of her inner elbow here.
And a bit of her inner wrist here.
And here you can see that the arm closest to the camera, the one that has been cut away at the elbow and wrist, can get her hand much closer to her face than the untouched arm further from the camera.  I'm about to have a go at the legs. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Introducing Kenya!

Happy New Year everyone! 
I was thrilled to find that the $20 Kenya dolls were on sale for $10 at Family Dollar, so I picked up one on New year's eve, and one on New Year's day.  I have a South African Barbie who was still on an old TNT body, and one of the basic black Model Muse dolls with very dark skin who was still on the stiff MM body, so I was hoping for a match. 
I bought two Kenyas, Beverly Hills and Riviera. I didn't get pictures before, but here they are:
I actually really like these clothes and accessories.  I like the faces too, but they have the ridiculously large head syndrome.  So there may be shrinking in their future.

Skin comparison: Left to right, Riviera Kenya, Model muse 1.0 Goddess (#4), Beverly Hills Kenya, and Princess of South Africa.

As you can see, even these super-dark Kenyas are not an exact match for the other two dolls, but they are as close as I will ever get for Goddess, so I put her on Beverly Hills, and then put South Africa on Goddess's body.  The MM body is no more posable than the TNT body, but I do prefer it. 

But here's the problem.  These heads are VERY hard to remove.  The heads themselves are very hard, and then they have weak neck pegs and very thick hooks holding the head on.  
It's hard to see because it's so blurry, but there is no knob to speak of--just hooks. I heated both heads with a hairdryer, but they were still very hard to remove.  One of the head joints popped completely off (i replaced it with a spare) and the other almost did, until I got a small screwdriver and shoved it in her neck hole to stretch it.  If you buy these dolls for body swaps, be very careful removing the heads!  If you don't mind sacrificing the heads, I would just cut them off with an exacto knife rather than try to pry them off.  If I had it to do over again, that's what I would have done.  
Although there is a definite difference in tone, it's not as noticeable with clothes on.  Here's Goddess on her new flexible body!
 Here are a few obligatory "how they stack up" photos: 
 Here you can see Swappin Style barbie, Kenya, and Liv sitting.  That is as close together as Kenyas legs will get.  She has hinged knees like the old Fashionistas.
 No abdominal joint and hinged knees mean she leans as far back as a SS Fashionista. 
 Very graceful profile.  You can see that her breasts are larger than Barbie's (and rounder, less pointy) and her butt is smaller. 

And here she is, all dressed and ready to go.  All in all, I do like these bodies, but the difficulty of removing the original head is definitely worth noting.  And as I stated, they were as recently as 2 days ago on sale for $10 at Family Dollar.  I do hope they will sell the TJ doll locally.