Saturday, June 9, 2012

Casting Call: Part 1

If you were very lucky (and very well-behaved), once or twice in your childhood Santa Claus might have brought you so many toys that it took you weeks to get around to playing with them all.  With two dolls shows last month, I felt like I had received that kind of Christmas bonanza, which is part of why I haven’t posted in a while.  It has taken me all this time to organize photo shoots so I can show off all my new loot.

I also wanted to spotlight some of the faces in my collection since I focus on “clones” rather than name brand dolls.  While many collectors assign their dolls to families and spend considerable time, effort, and money tracking down just the right spouse, children, parents, and other kin, I don’t group my dolls in permanent families.  Instead they are all contract players with my video production company – Ayamedia.  Thus, for the last year, my strategy for doll show purchases has been to cruise the bargain bins for articulated bodies.

While pickings were pretty slim at the May 20th doll show, one vendor had a bin full of clothes she was offering at $1 per piece.  After she dumped the bin out on the floor and encouraged me to take my time making selections I ended up buying about $20 worth of “vintage values.”  So this is the first in a series of five posts introducing some of the up-and-coming talent at Ayamedia Studios.


Blue eyed blondes are a dime a dozen but blondes with melting brown eyes like this charmer are not so easy to come by.  Big Lots used to sell bikini-clad dolls with this face mold for $4.  They had hollow plastic torsos, but the bendable vinyl legs were good quality. 

I don’t know whether the pink top was originally intended as outerwear or lingerie but for a $1 find, it coordinates very well with the Saint Regis Lace bra and panty set.  


Jeanne was originally a head and torso designed for a Wilton doll cake.  I always hated the face mold on my pregnant Midge doll so I did a head swap and came up with a sporty-looking mom-to-be. 

I paid $1 for the maternity dress at the May 20th doll show.


With her bright red hair and violet eyes this spunky schoolgirl has a very distinctive look.  I paid about $4 for her at Wal-mart circa 2005.  Mimi had a small role in “Sticks, Stones, and Camera Phones” as a girl who texted a suggestive photo to a classmate.  Her talents earned her a premium Mattel “poser” body with a pivotal waist and arched feet. 

I paid $1 each for the jumper and black tights at the May 20th doll show.


Hobby Lobby sold this doll as Native American, but she has the same face mold as her blonde counterparts and her rounded, hazel eyes give her more of a mestiza look in my opinion.  She reminded me of the blue-eyed Scots-Native American heroine that Helen Hunt Jackson created to draw sympathy for the plight of Native Americans in her best selling 1884 novel, Ramona.   An earlier doll show purchase enabled Ramona to upgrade to a flat-footed Mattel body that originally belonged to a WNBA star. 

I picked up the pink gingham pants for $1 at the May 20th doll show.  The coordinating pink top was already part of my wardrobe department.

I have my reservations about “The Princess and the Frog” but to date I have acquired three Tianas.  One has the original lacquered hairstyle.  


I washed the glue out of the second one’s hair but left her with a shoulder-length permed style.

I scalped the third one so she could wear natural texture wigs and upgraded her to a Mattel cheerleader body that I found at an earlier doll show. 

The top and pants were $1 each at the May 20th doll show. 

Stay tuned.  In the next post it will be raining men!

À Bientôt


  1. We were wondering what happened to you. Thanks for sharing your new ladies with us. Veronique looks wonderful in her lingerie set, and I love your newly headed pregnant Barbie. She seems so happy. Perfect expression for a mom-to-be. Bring on the rain! I mean the men!

    As a collector who does families, I will say that I don't spend a lot of time finding the right kids, spouse, etc. They really do happen pretty quickly without much effort on my part. Most of my family pairings are accidental. Halle is the only doll where it didn't happen on the spur of the moment.

  2. Nice post/lovely pics. Wow, you found nice clothes. I purchased a few items from that same vendor, but it was at the end of the not much was left.

    The robe/jacket that Veronique has on is a part of lingerie from a fashion avenue outfit. I don't like the pregnant AA midge face either. I plan to change the head on mine as well. I am looking for a more mature face/head for the body. A lot of my girls are single and still having fun living the single life. Lol!

    Happy Saturday to you!

    P.S. It was great seeing you!

  3. I posted a comment earlier using my Kindle Fire which may have been identified as spam or may be somewhere in Cyberspace.

    Recalling, I wrote:
    I recognize the pink jacket as part of the Barbie Fashion Fever Bathtime Chat fashion.

    I congratulated you on your $1 doll show finds. My favorite is the jumper and tights.

    I like Tiana's natural textured hairstyle; she looks very different.

    Looking forward to your next installment.


    PS Adding: Good to see you posting again.


    I do not create families and rarely rename my dolls for lack of creativity and poor memory recall.

  4. That's good to hear that you've needed to gather your photos, etc. before you could upload them. Congratulations on your great deals - outfits for a dollar cannot be beat.

    I've never heard of the book, Ramona - I will look into that the next time I'm at our Free Library. (I appreciate your sharing text titles with your readers. Thanks for that as well as the doll photos.)

    I enjoy how you use clone dolls and then upgrade them to better bodies. One of my younger guys, Chad, wanted to know if your Ramona's pants had padding. We can ignore his impertinence though.

    I'm looking forward to the Reign of Men - sorry, I left the keyboard for a minute and one or more of the Kens wrote that. The rain of men is what I meant to type. Sounds very promising ;-D

  5. I like your new characters! Mimi and wig Tiana are very pretty :))

  6. I love your doll show finds and the clone upgrades. I enjoy learning how your process works. It's great that everyone gets cast instead of permanently placed. I can't wait to see the men :O)

  7. You really found some great doll clones!! The up grades are pefect too. I must say this much a blond hair BROWN eye doll is excellant find!! Congrats on all of them.

  8. Dear All,

    It's nice to know I was missed. Thanks to Georgia Girl and Debbie for identifying the Fashion Fever Bathtime Chat top. I'm glad that I had correctly guessed it was lingerie.

    Contrary to Chad's hopes, Ramona does not have "back." I think the velcro made her pants look puffy in the seat. I didn't want to use that photo but I didn't have any other that showed Tiana's outfit full length.