Friday, September 21, 2012

The Spice of Life: Part 1

In June I did a series of “Casting Call” posts featuring some of the actors and actresses under contract at Ayamedia Studios.  I believe “variety is the spice of life”  so my contract players are all clones with many different face molds.  It is easier for dolls with lighter complexions to break out of the “extras” pool and start landing roles because it is easier to find upgrade bodies for them so last time I mostly featured dolls with lighter complexions.  This time around, however, I’ll turn the spotlight on some up and coming actresses from the darker end of the spectrum.

Back in 2005 you could get a sturdy, twist and turn Kari Michelle doll with bendable legs and four well-made outfits for $10 at Big Lots.

Kari Michelle was manufactured by the same company that made the Power Team action figures.  I think this explains why her clothes were so good.  Needless to say I bought dozens of them.

I love the face sculpt and deep-toned complexion but I haven’t been able to find good complexion matches to upgrade my Kari Michelle dolls to articulated bodies.  Anyone who has tried to squeeze a Barbie into a pair of Kari Michelle pants knows that Kari’s hips are much slimmer.

Her bust is more generous, however, so she rocks the red knit dress that came with a set of My Style dolls I bought at Roses last year.

I bought Ximena at Roses more recently.

With her caramel complexion she could be either black or Hispanic so her studio bio says she hails from Guayaquil, a former slave port that has a sizeable community of Afro-Ecuadorians to this day.

Ximena was able to upgrade to a light-skinned Liv Alexis body immediately.  Liv’s slighter proportions make her look very young so she will be perfect in ingénue roles.

While she came with 10 dresses, this purple print sundress was almost the only thing in her wardrobe worth salvaging. 

Chantay was one of the blue-eyed fairies I passed over the first time I saw them in Roses.

I went back for the fairy costumes, however.  They were surprisingly well-made and Chantay turned out to be very attractive after I darkened her eyes with a brown Sharpie.

She has upgraded to a dark Liv Alexis body and sports an ensemble that came on a My Style doll from Roses.

Gabriela was another recent purchase from Roses.

I had already assembled a full court of black princesses before the Recession when the quality of the gowns was better and the dolls’ bodies had bendable legs.  Still, I wanted to add this face mold to my collection so I bought one twin pack of Hispanic princesses at Roses earlier this month.

Gabriella upgraded to a Mattel poser body that I found in a doll show bargain bin.  She is wearing the fanciest gown from the wardrobe that came with Ximena.

The gown photographs well but the fabric is so stiff, it feels like paper. 

Twyla was one of the $3 ballerinas I bought from Roses a few weeks ago.

Once the wardrobe department got done with her, she showed a completely different side of her personality!

I upgraded her to a dark Liv Alexis body so she could model this denim fashion which came on a glass eyed Dream Girl from Dollar General. 

I’m sure her versatility will land her a lot of roles.

À Bientôt


  1. You have the most coolest dolls I've ever seen!!

  2. I'm glad you revisited the fairies. Your Chantay turned out really nice. Love her outfit, too. I am always down for cowgirls and cowboys. I can't wait to see her in action. Thanks for sharing your transformations.

  3. I agree and really love Chantay's outfit! I wish they sold them near me! I would pick up a few. I keep trying at the Dollar General near me! Maybe they will turn up!

  4. Chantay and Twyla are my favorites. I love how you styled them and their hair. I really wish Kari Mitchell would make/sell more clothing. I agree with you they were well made.

  5. You have such a special and unique way of transforming diamonds in the rough into pure gems. I always enjoy seeing your doll transformations.

    I regret that these basic dolls have either not been in my area or their potential to become gems was overlooked.


  6. Dear all,

    Thanks for your compliments. In January I bought a Kari Michelle boutique set from Penney's after Christmas clearance sale. The good news is the clothes are still pretty good. The bad news is they completely revamped her and enlarged her head. Also there was no option to buy a black version of the doll from Penney's.

  7. Wow your dolls are awesome,I love the doll nd dress pack very much, the one that you shared at the top of your post!!:)

  8. I really like your revamping of these bargain fashion dolls. Your Chantay and Twyla especially look great. Thanks for sharing your tips - darker eye, new hair, redressed, and rebodied. Ayamedia Studios makes these dolls fresh and stunning ;-)

  9. Hello from Spain: congratulations on the transformations of dolls .. I really like the clothes they are wearing. You make a great change in these dolls. Keep in touch

  10. Wow, you have some great dolls and to include great fashions is always a plus!! I can tell you this much the take great pics too!