Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Thrift Store Find

I was in my local Salvation Army the other day and came across this cutie:

She is Sophie Kate from the Play Along Club doll line, released in 2007.  There's something about her that reminds me of a Muppet. :) 

She was in rough shape.  Her flocking was rubbed off on her thumbs and toes, and she had some dirty spots and rub marks.  Nothing like a challenge, though, right? :)

Here are her before pics:

I saw these dolls a couple of years ago in the stores.  They were really cute, but I didn't really give them much thought at the time.  Then, about a year ago, I discovered the amazing, a site full of dolls, doll supplies, and "how to" posts.  Once, while I was browsing their site, I came across their page on Mel Birnkrant, a creative toy inventor who has been successfully producing toys for years.  That led me to Mel Birnkrant's Website, which tells all about his toy collections and inventions, and even toys that never made it to the market.  I loved reading about his successes, trials, and unproduced toys.  The site gave an interesting glimpse into what it's like to be a toy inventor.  I don't think I'd have the patience for it!  Just a warning, I would suggest sticking to the girls toys.  Some of his toys for boys were pretty gruesome (at least in my humble opinion)!
Ever since I found the site, I've been more aware of Mel's toys as I've been out and about.  So when I saw adorable Sophie at Salvation Army for only $2, I just couldn't resist. :)

  Click HERE to read the story of how these dolls came about, in the words of their creator.

Here's how Sophie looks now:
I wasn't able to replace the flocking, but I was able to clean her up a bit using a damp Magic Eraser.  I was also able to get her hair back in its original style. 

As you can see from the following pics, Sophie is very poseable.  She has wire in her arms and legs to help her hold a pose.  Her head, hands, and feet are plastic (or possibly vinyl) covered with flocking, and her arms, legs and body are cloth.  Her hair is made of yarn.  She has glass-look stationary eyes that are most likely plastic, and feathery eyelashes.  Her dress and bloomers are her original outfit.  She originally came with pink shoes and a hair bow as well. 

I love the sweet innocence of this doll line, and knowing the story and creativity behind such toys always helps me appreciate them more.  These aren't dolls I would actively collect, as I'm more interested in realistic dolls, but she's still a cutie.  And it's so nice to find fun, sweet dolls for little girls that don't have cleavage or teeny-bopper clothing.  I miss the innocence of childhood that we're quickly losing in our society. 

I'm not sure what Sophie's future will be, but my daughters are having fun with her for now. :)


American Girl Dolls Rock!! said...

Wow she is sooooo cute! You did a great job remodoling her she looks so pretty now!

Elliebob said...

How cute she is!

beast'sbelle said...

Thanks, gals! :)

Bama said...

I love Mel Birnkrant! I was an avid Baby Face doll collector from way back. I had almost all of them, plus some of his rarest toys like one of the Doggy Bag Doggies & the smaller dolls like this one, and more! I liquidated that collection to pay legal fees for my daughter. Her ex was trying to take her baby daughter from her. Of course that didn't happen, but we still had to have a lawyer for court, etc and lawyers are not cheap! I don't regret it a bit. I have thought about collecting them again, but I know I would never be able to replace the more rarer dolls now.

We do have Sophie Kate and a couple of the fashion packs, which you can still find on ebay. I can't seem to find her original dress, because my granddaughtrer loves to change her clothes. She is really a sweet doll and a lot of fun to play with. I love their yarn hair and happy smiling faces.

You got a great deal for $2.00! :o)

beast'sbelle said...

Thanks, Bama! I've found a few of Mel's Baby Face dolls at a Thrift Store. I loved his Doggy Bag Doggies. :) Some of his unproduced toys were so great too, especially Real Little Nursery (the way it was SUPPOSED to be done).

I'm sorry you no longer have your collection, but I agree that parting with it was definitely worth it!

Sophie is a sweetie...I'm so amazed I found her for the price I did! :)

Elliebob said...

I have a post up of some cute things on sale for $8 on ag online. :)

beast'sbelle said...

Thanks, Elliebob. Just read your post before coming here. :)