Friday, September 30, 2011

BFC Ink Kaitlin Doll Review (including a Comparison with BFC Ink Gianna)


Now that Kaitlin's hair is more presentable and I finally found her some clothes, I thought it would be fun to do an official review post! :) 

Many of you mentioned the fact that the Disney Princess and Me dolls look very similar in body style and in the face to the BFC Ink dolls.  Sadly, there aren't any Disney Princess and Me dolls in our house, but we do have the next best thing:  my oldest daughter's toddler Rapunzel doll from Walmart. 

I was curious to see if her clothes would fit Kaitlin, and they did!  Doesn't Kaitlin make a lovely Rapunzel stand-in?  She even has the right hair color and eye color. :)

For those of you who don't know, the toddler Disney dolls sold at Walmart are much lower quality than the Disney Princess and Me dolls, and they are only 14" tall.  This explains the length of Kaitlin's Rapunzel dress. :}

As I stated in an earlier post, my local Walmart had a few BFC Ink outfits on sale.  There were two bikini sets and the one I purchased, the "Bright and Beautiful" set.  Ordinarily, it's not an outfit I'd choose, but I was desperate for Kaitlin to have something to wear (and I knew my oldest wouldn't want to give up her Rapunzel dress for long). ;)

Here's Kaitlin in the entire ensemble.  The set included a sundress, an orange shrug, some plastic purple sandals, and a brown fake-leather purse. 

The purse was cute, but didn't really go with the rest of the outfit, in my opinion.  I'll probably use it as a handbag for my AGs instead. :)

Here are the sandals a little closer.  Not the greatest quality, but I don't mind them.

Here's a closer look at the material of the sundress.  It's not terrible, but something about the pattern makes it look like cheap material to me.  Especially when you compare it to the picture on the back of the package:

I would definitely have preferred this dress!

Here is the sundress with the shrug...

...and without it.

Overall, it's a cute little outfit.  I definitely wouldn't pay more than the $7 I paid for it.  I would have been more comfortable with paying $5.  I liked the fact that it had easy Velcro closure on the back (especially since this was marketed to younger girls).  It's a cute, simple little outfit.  I didn't care for the fact that it was a bit plungy in the bodice and the pattern on the material wasn't as nice as the one shown in the picture.  Also, it's a little short for my taste, but I figured a short dress was better than nothing at all! :} 

I must confess, even though Kaitlin looks cute in this, I don't think orange is the best color for her, especially after seeing her in Rapunzel's dress.  Lavender is much more flattering for her skin tone.  Maybe I'll have to take advantage of that free t-shirt pattern from Liberty Jane Clothing and find some lavender material. :)  I'm seriously considering buying the jeans pattern, too.

Kaitlin is one of the earlier versions of the BFC Ink dolls, so I thought it would be interesting to do a comparison between her and Gianna.  There were 2 different 18" BFC Ink doll body styles that I am aware of.  The first ones to be released came in the long boxes and were sitting down.  The newer releases came standing up in a tall box filled with photos and messages emphasizing their super poseability.  The newest dolls I've seen appear to have the same body style as my Gianna doll, but are in smaller packages.  I'm sorry I don't know the official release dates on these...that would be more professional.  I figured I could at least share the little I know for now. :}

So here are some side-by-side pics of Kaitlin and Gianna.  You'll notice that Kaitlin has a much simpler body.  Kaitlin has movable arms, a movable chest, hip joints, knee joints, and a movable head.  Gianna has all this as well as elbow, wrist, and ankle joints.  You'll notice from the pics that Gianna's hip joints appear to be slightly different, presumably to give her more articulation.  Her chest joint is a little different, too.

Here they are from the back.  In these pics you can definitely see the difference in the chest joint, as well as the differences in the knee joints. 

Here is a closer look at Kaitlin's arm.  It's got very simple articulation at the shoulder, and no other joints.

Kaitlin's knee joints are rather...interesting.  She looks like she had a surgery gone wrong or something. ;)  The knees have to look like this for her to stand.  If you try to line them up, they're in the wrong position for her to stay upright. 

One big disappointment about her knee joints was their lack of poseability.  The above picture shows the absolute farthest they can bend.  I was expecting them to be able to bed a lot farther.

She is still poseable, though.  I love how this pic turned out. ;)

It's interesting.  One of the concerns I had about Gianna was the weakness of some of her joints.  I wondered how long they would hold up to normal play.  At the same time, I loved being able to pose her in all sorts of different positions.  At the time, I wondered if one of the earlier BFC Ink body styles would be more durable. 

Now that I have Kaitlin, I'm wondering the same thing.  The nice thing about having fewer joints is that she's a little sturdier.  However, I find myself really missing Gianna's poseability, especially since Kaitlin's knee joints are so difficult.  And there are still issues with loose joints on Kaitlin.  Granted, I got her used and have no idea how heavily she was played with.  Still, I almost find myself preferring the possibility of worn out joints in the newer dolls because they're so much more fun to pose. 

 One other change I wasn't expecting is that Kaitlin's head only moves from side to side, while Gianna's could move slightly up, down, and side to side as well.  Because of this, Gianna had a lot more potential for expression in photography. 

So, some final thoughts.  I love Kaitlin's sweet face and pretty eyes, but find myself disappointed that I can't pose her nearly as much as the newer dolls.  I think there are durability issues with both body styles. 

Depending on how roughly your kids play, I would recommend holding off on these dolls until your girls are at least 7 or 8, or an extremely careful younger child.  If I was getting a BFC Ink doll for my oldest daughter, I'd probably go for one with the older body style, like Kaitlin, simply because with fewer joints to move, there are fewer parts to break! ;)  I think my daughter would probably be frustrated with Kaitlin's knee joints though, especially since they look like they should move farther.  

As a collector, I think I would prefer a Kaitlin with the newer body style.  I'm not in the habit of playing roughly with my toys ;) and most of my dolls are on display for the majority of the time, so the joint durability would not be as much of an issue for me.

I'm still hanging on to Kaitlin for now despite my preferences.  She was such a splendid find and she's an incredibly beautiful doll.  She may eventually be a doll for my daughters...I'll just have to see.  I'll keep you guys posted, though. :)

I hope you found this post helpful.  If you have any thoughts you'd like to share, feel free to leave a comment below.  Please be aware, though, that tonight is my party, so I may not be able to publish or respond to comments until sometime tomorrow. :) 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

BFC Ink Thrift Store Find: Hair Results :)

Kaitlin's hair has officially dried.  The hair is not completely to my satisfaction, but it still looks loads better than it did when I got her. 

One thing I wanted to add to my last post is that when her hair was no longer dripping, I moved Kaitlin to a sitting position so that her hair would dry correctly, like so:

Here's what her hair looked like this morning, after it had completely dried:

I was a little disappointed with the end result.  Like I said, her hair has still improved, but it was still pretty poofy.  Also, I think I brushed it a little too much while it was drying.  I'd love to get more of the original curl back in, but I'm not sure how to do so without adding product to her hair.  I don't know that finger curling will work with this type of hair, but I suppose I could try it.  All in all, it was still an overall success. :)

I love her eye color! :)

After I was sure her hair was completely dry, I tried styling it a bit:

This definitely helped with the untamed mane look. :} 

Here's the style from the top view.

Now I just need to find the poor girl some clothes!  I remember AlexAndrea mentioning that dresses from thrift store porcelain dolls usually work well on BFC Ink dolls, so I may have to stop by Salvation Army again.   They have a ton of porcelain dolls right now.  I think I saw a few BFC Ink outfits on clearance at Walmart, too, so maybe I'll check there as well.  

Once I find some clothes for Miss Kaitlin, I'll do an official review.  I'd like to show the differences between her body style and Gianna's.  Stay tuned for more! :) 

It's Official!

Today, I officially turn 30 (Happy Birthday to me). :}  It's funny, when I was younger, 30 sounded so old.  I was sure it would be the end of everything fun, because of course, you can only have fun when you're young, right? 

Now, 30 doesn't seem very old at all.  :)  The weird thing is, mentally, I still feel like I'm in the 21-23 age category.  I've heard older family members talking about the fact that as you age, you still feel young, and now I know what they mean.  It still startles me to have to go to the third age bracket in surveys. :}

Anyway, I'm actually okay with being 3 decades old.  In fact, I'm excited to see what the Lord has in store for me in the years to come. :)

So, some of you may be wondering what I'm doing for my birthday, especially since it's such a big milestone.  Well, last weekend, we had a family party.  My mom's birthday is the 21st, and my sister-in-law's birthday (my brother's wife) is the 24th, so we always have a 3-way birthday in September to celebrate.  That was really fun.  Today, my hubby will most likely be working late, so I don't know that there will be much of an official celebration.  But on Friday and Saturday, hubby is watching all 3 of the girls, and I'm having an old fashioned slumber party with some of my friends at my aunt's house.  We're going to eat ricotta cheesecake (I'll let you know if it's any good after the weekend), make personal pizzas, watch movies, play bingo, and just have a great time together.  No kids are going to be there, so we'll get to act like kids ourselves...and actually have some uninterrupted, adult conversation.  Yay!! :D

I was thinking about taking a trip for my birthday, but it was going to be too expensive.  Plus, I'm going to my church's Ladies Retreat next month, so I'll have a special trip then.  I think this will be really fun. And really, a slumber party fits with my "Never Grow Up" mentality anyway. ;)   My mom and aunt will be hosting the party, and there should be about 7 guests that are able to come, besides me.  :)   I'll be sure to let you guys know how it turns out. :)

Well, I'm off to fix breakfast for the girls and get them to school.  Later today I'll do an update on Kaitlin's hair.  It dried a little poofier than I'd hoped, but it's still way better than it was! :)  Talk to you all soon!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

BFC Ink Doll Thrift Store Find :D

WARNING:  THIS POST CONTAINS 1 NUDE DOLL PHOTO.  If this is offensive to you, please skip this post.

I'm sure you all remember my less than glowing review of my BFC Ink doll, Gianna.  I ended up listing her on eBay, and she sold a couple of weeks ago.  The funny thing is, Gianna had been in my room for a while, and she started growing on me.  I actually felt sad when she got her first bid, and boxing her up to ship out was a lot harder than I'd imagined it would be.

When I was in my local TJ Maxx shortly after her auction began, there was a BFC Ink Noelle doll, still in her box, for $24.99.  I bought her and kept her in my house for a few days, but I finally was a good girl and took her back to the store.  My AG #55 is my first priority, and the money I spent on Noelle was almost 1/4 of what I need for #55. 

So, you can imagine my excitement when I found a BFC Ink Kaitlin doll at Salvation Army today for $2.50! :)  Her hair was pretty wild, and some of her joints (especially her chest plate/joint) were pretty loose, but at that price, I was willing to take a chance and see what I could do with her. :)

Here are some pics of what she looked like when I got her:

She has a lovely face.  I especially love her pretty green eyes. :)

As you can see, her hair needed some definite work!! :}

She had a few thin spots as well.  She doesn't seem to have any missing hair...I think it's just the way it's rooted.  So even if I can get her hair back to its original condition, it may still have thin patches.

Since she'd been in the thrift store, I decided it would be a good idea to wash her hair, not just do a Downy dunk.  I usually use baby shampoo, but the only kind I had was an icky strawberry scent.  I decided that since BFC Ink hair isn't the greatest quality anyway, I would use Herbal Essences shampoo and conditioner.  I wouldn't feel comfortable doing this on American Girl doll hair, since it's not as mild as baby shampoo.  But since I'll most likely end up having to re-wig Kaitlin anyway, I figured it couldn't hurt to try it on her.

I rinsed Kaitlin's hair and added the shampoo, followed by the conditioner, without rinsing in between. I worked the shampoo and conditioner into a good lather, as shown in the pic below:

After the hair was nice and lathered up, I brushed through it with the wire doll brush I use for my doll projects.  You can find these on eBay for about $4.  I did NOT rinse the shampoo and conditioner out before I started brushing.   

I continued brushing until I'd gotten as many of the tangles out as I could.  This is what her hair looked like when I was done:

I rinsed the shampoo and conditioner out of her hair as completely as I could.  Then I brushed it through again, and it looked like this (pardon the naked doll photo):

Her hair was actually smooth enough after the shampoo and conditioner that I decided she didn't need a Downy dunk as well.  So instead, I wrapped her in a towel and hung her over the edge of my washing machine to allow her hair to dry overnight.  I put a towel on the floor under her hair to catch any of the extra drips.

I'll keep you guys posted on how her hair turns out once it's dried! :)

Update on Comments

Hi everyone!  I just wanted to do a quick post to let you know about some changes to my blog comments.  I had a reader interested in leaving comments who was unable to comment because of the format I had chosen.  As a result, I decided to change my comments to allow anyone to comment.  Because of this decision, though, I've decided to put comment moderation on for a while.  Since anyone who passes by can comment now, I want to make sure I can moderate the types of comments that come in, just in case.  If there are no problems with inappropriate comments, then after a while I'll take comment moderation off again.

I just wanted to let all of you know so you wouldn't worry if your comment didn't come up right away. :)  Have a great week!

Good grief, I think that's the most times I've ever used the words "comment" or "comments" in a post. :}

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Charlie and Emma's Outdoor Photo Shoot

Here's a fun, photo-filled blog post for all of you to enjoy. :)   

First off, as you most likely noticed, I changed my header, so I wanted to preserve this in a post for posterity. ;)  I really love how this one turned out!

I had the opportunity to visit my brother-in-law and sister-in-law a couple of times in the past couple of months.  They live in a beautiful area in the mountains, so I took Charlie and Emma with me for some photo shoots. :)

Here's Charlie, enjoying the beautiful scenery.  These photos were from our first trip. 

There's a little creek that runs through the front yard.  It's the perfect size for the dolls. :)

Charlie, the science lover, observes some of the local flora. :)

Charlie loves her boots, but she also loves squishing her toes in the muddy creek. :)

This photo started the shoot from our second visit up there.  I had lots of fun taking sister pics. :)

I had lots of fun taking photos of my photogenic girls. :)  Hopefully next month there will be a third sister to photograph!! :D