Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Amaze Chase, best of the longer Dreamhouse cartoons

The new Life in the Dreamhouse episode is "The Amaze Chase," a mini-movie at 25 minutes in length.  It's by far the best of the longer videos and doesn't drag like the other lengthier ones did.
Obviously it's a parody of The Amazing Race, with five teams driving across Barbie's version of the United States.  One team gets abducted by aliens.  Skipper leaves the Roberts team to race with Raquelle, and when you see the two girls/dolls side by side you realize that they look very much alike.  This incarnation of Skipper looks far more like Barbie's enemy than she ever did with Barbie.
Details I noticed: the 1987 red Ferrari, the 1990 pink Western Fun Motor Home and the 2012 Skipper light blue golf cart.  There are several references to Independence Day and V.  Ken's last name of Carson is mentioned, as is the town of Willows.
The most interesting detail is at the end.  There's a cast list, which has never been included before.  Cast members are:
Barbie: Kate Higgins
Skipper: Paula Bodin
Stacie: Paula Bodin
Chelsea: Laura Gerow
Raquelle: Haviland Stillwell
Nikki: Nakia Burris-Gavino
Teresa: Katie Crown
Summer: Tara Sands
Midge: Ashlyn Seylich
Ken: Sean Hankinson
Ryan: Charlie Bouden
Haviland Stillwell also voiced Barbie's pets, Tawny, Blissa and Lacey.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

another competitor for the Barbie doll

There is yet another competitor fashion doll.  A doll which I think is again being marketed wrong.
This new doll is named Lammily, and is wider than Barbie.
How many times have we seen this happen?  A person who doesn't approve of the Barbie doll comes out with his or her own design and then proceeds to advertise the doll incorrectly.  Sales last for two to five years and then the doll fades quietly away.
What do I mean by incorrect advertising?  I mean that, rather than first mentioning the doll's merits, the producers come out by saying this doll is NOT Barbie, that its measurements are more realistic and that she offers a better role model than Barbie does.
Only after going through that spiel does the designer finally talk about what the doll can do or offer.
I have nothing against these competitors.  In fact, as a collector I've owned many of them over the years.  I never have a problem reselling them to other collectors.  So from an adult seller's viewpoint, these dolls are a GOOD thing.
Little girls may still play with Barbie more, both because of the fantasy she offers and because she is better-made (although a little girl may not consciously realize this).  If any of these competitors show up at a girl's Barbie house, the newbie is always welcomed warmly and moves in.  If the little girl is anything like I was, the last thing she is studying are breast and hip sizes.  Rather, she is planning the dolls' next adventure.
So who have Barbie's larger competitors been?
1960s: Ideal's Tammy and family (the most successful and longest-lived of the competitors), Remco's Littlechap family
1970s: Kenner's Dusty and friends, Mego's celebrity dolls and Kenner's Darci and friends
1980s: Hasbro's Jem and friends (although not as long-lasting as Tammy, Jem had more publicity)
1990s: High Self-Esteem Toys' Happy to be Me and friends
I know there have been others but these are the best known.
I wish Nikolay Lamm the best.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Mary and Barbie make raspberry ice cream

Part of the instructions that come with the Barbie Ice Cream Make

This is a follow-up to my previous article at about the 1987 Barbie Ice Cream Maker.  Yes, I finally made ice cream!

The Ice Cream Maker tub
holds about two cups.
The storage tub that comes with the Ice Cream Maker holds about two cups.  I don't know what the tub is made of, but the plastic is hollow and thick and when it is room temperature you can hear liquid sloshing around inside.  The instructions say to put the empty tub in the freezer for about 12 hours so that the liquid will freeze.  I had the tub in the freezer for days before I had the chance to experiment, so I figured it was cold enough.

I followed the instructions to combine the ingredients.  I did not have strawberry jelly, but I did have Smucker's Natural Red Raspberry Fruit Spread (note to Smucker's: I expect a commission for mentioning your product), so I added that instead.  Per instructions, I then placed the ingredients into the tub, covered it with the lid holding the mixing paddle, and stuck it in the freezer for about 30 minutes.

This is what the lid and tub look like from the top
with the ice cream inside.  The now-broken paddle
is supposed to fit into the lid.
The liquid never did freeze.  It looked like I was going to end up with raspberry eggnog.  In frustration, I dumped the contents into a medium-sized ceramic mixing bowl, placed the lid and mixing blade on top of it, and left it in the freezer for another hour.

It set!  It took awhile but it was eventually the semi-mushy condition that ice cream was supposed to be.  So I did my taste test and....

My eyes widened.

It was delicious!  I nearly fell over.  My cooking skills are okay but not contest-winning and this was the best thing I'd ever created.

The ice cream had more ice crystals than store-bought but it was also creamier and thicker and richer than store-bought.  I can eat only a few spoonfuls at a time.

Voila! A bowl of Barbie's Raspberry Ice Cream!
I made one mistake.  I put the ceramic bowl back in the freezer overnight.  So of course the liquid froze hard by the next morning.  I attempted to use the lid with the attached blade to mix up the ice cream and proceeded to break the paddle.  I stuck the bowl into the refrigerator instead to let it get back into liquid and then dumped that back into the original tub.  For whatever reason, the ice cream has now stayed the correct consistency in the tub in the freezer.

I think you can just use the instructions to make your own two cups of ice cream, and mix it up and allow it to set for an hour in a ceramic mixing bowl.  You can cover the bowl with foil and use a spoon to stir it.  But I don't know what you can store it in after you get the contents to set properly so they won't turn hard in the freezer.  You'll just have to experiment.

I don't know what plain vanilla ice cream from the Ice Cream Maker's recipe tastes like.  I've eaten homemade vanilla ice cream before made in a large metal mixer and always thought the cream was very bland and didn't have much substance to it.  The recipe I followed made a product that was much more of a thick and not-too-sweet mousse.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Nov. 15, 2014, new epier and etsy listings

I have placed the following for sale this past week at either epier or etsy.

1973 Barbie Chic and Neat sweater
This item was sold in April 2015.

1978 Barbie Fashion Combo swimsuit

3 pairs 1980s Skipper gym shoes

1991 Florida Vacation Skipper top

2000 Kelly poster

1973 Barbie Short and Sweet dress

1973 Barbie Authorized United Airlines Stewardess

1973 Barbie Leisure Fashion pantsuit