Monday, December 29, 2014

Universal Studios Japan, Part 1 - The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

For Christmas this year, we decided to go on an Adventure, we traveled to Osaka in order to visit Universal Studios Japan. 

The park has a variety of rides and attractions, including some that are no longer existing at Universal Studios Orlando, such as: Back to the Future - The Ride, Backdraft, and Jaws. It also has a brand new area, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Because the area is new and it is severely crowded, it was necessary to obtain timed entry tickets to that part of the park. The ticket machines are located in the Central Park area of the theme park.

Visually, Hogsmead and Hogwarts are stunning. The buildings even had snow on them, since it is Winter. Crowd wise... it was very, very, crowded. The wait time for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey was about three hours. Luckily, it actually only took us about two hours to get through the line. The ride was worth it, but I won't wait that long to ride it again.

The stores were so crowded that is was virtually impossible to walk through them. There was a 30+ minute wait to get into Olivanders and the line to get into Honeydukes looked even longer.

The good news is, when we came back the next morning to look at the shops, they were much less crowded, since everyone was in the ride line.

Everyone seemed to be drinking Butterbeer. It was everywhere. It could be purchased at stand-alone carts, which always had long lines, or at the Hog's Head, which had a much shorter line, and also served beer.

The only restaurant in Hogsmead is The Three Broomsticks. There was a waiting line, but it moved pretty quick. I'd say that we got through the line, collected our meals, and were shown to our tables in about 20 minutes. 

The menu was limited, about 5 meals, but it was relatively inexpensive and a step up from fast food. The restaurant also served Butterbeer and Pumpkin Juice.

I had the shepherd's pie.

My husband had the fish and chips.

Going to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a must do, if you are a fan of the books or movies.

To be continued...

Gene Comes Home

Since the first time I saw a Gene doll in person, I have coveted her. Almost three years later, and she has finally joined my doll family.

The Gene I bought is Hello Hollywood, Hello. She represents the beginning of the starlet's career. Her beautiful curls and sultry eyes are what drew me to this particular doll.

I also bought five of Gene's outfits. The first one I had to try on was her Usherette outfit. In the Gene storyline, She was an Usher at a theatre when she was "discovered". 

She even comes with an tiny flashlight.

Pros and cons of the doll and these two outfits. Pros - they are lovely, and Gene's shoulders have great movement. Cons - this is an older Gene and she doesn't have bendable elbows or knees (but I knew this when I bought her), and the shoes that came with the usherette costume won't stay on her feet. She is wearing her Hello Hollywood shoes in the photos. None of the cons detract from my enjoyment of her, though sitting her on her furniture is going to look awkward with her legs sticking straight out.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Jingle Bell Rock, Licca Style

A month ago, I won a drawing for a doll outfit from Jane Cherie's Blog. It arrived today, and it is simply fabulous. It sparkles in 70s rock style! The outfit is for the Only Heart Club dolls, but it fits Licca perfectly.

Licca is backing up Miku on guitar during their Christmas concert.

Thank you, Jane Cherie.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Not Suzy, but Pretty Cliose

I am always hunting for the baby doll of my childhood. Christmas 1975, when I was 4 years old, I received the most beautiful large baby doll and I named her Suzy. My best friend/next door neighbor was named Suzy, so I thought it was the best name in the world.

Unfortunately, Suzy, the doll, not the best friend, had a tragic beheading and was gone by the time I was 9. 

This is the latest doll I have found that is close to being Suzy.

She is a 20+ inch, vinyl, doll by Eugene.

Like my Suzy, she is a large (18" - 23") baby doll, drinks and wets, and has sleeper eyes. Unlike Suzy, she has a lot of hair. Suzy had short, strawberry blond hair with a little lock tied up with a ribbon.

Also like Suzy, she has nicely detailed feet and hands, and the classic baby bent leg.

Suzy, though, had a hard plastic torso, and heavy vinyl/rubber limbs and head. This doll is made of a thinner, hollow vinyl. The last difference is the neck. Suzy's head was stuck on a neck plug. This doll's head and neck are one piece, and stuck into the body.

I redressed her in a cute 0-3 month Minnie Mouse outfit, for the holidays. I wish I had found it in newborn size, the sleeves are too long on her.

Decking the Halls, Ghastly Style

Day two of getting my dolls ready for Christmas - my Evangeline Ghastlys.

Friday, December 12, 2014

It's Christmas Time, Licca Chan

Between Thanksgiving, Christmas shopping, decorating, and crafting, I have been neglecting this blog. So, in the spirit of the season, I will post some holiday pics over the next few days.

First up: Licca and family. (I'm sure no one is surprised.)

Miki and Maki are all decked out in their green plaid finery and adorable animal hats.

Licca is all grown up and sophisticated in a white lace number.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Time with Grandma

One of the neat things about Licca, is that along with friends, boyfriends, and younger siblings, there are also dolls of the adults in her life, including her grandmother.

She comes in a purple blouse, black skirt, white undies, white apron, black shoes, purple earrings, and red glasses. She also has a bouquet of flowers and a cupcake on a saucer.

As you can see, she is a relatively young grandmother with few wrinkles.

Licca is a dutiful granddaughter, and gives her grandmother flowers when they visit.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sindy's Halloween Treat

When I was a little girl, in the 70s, I fell in love with Sindy. She was like Barbie, but she had more of a hippie feel. She was marketed as pose-able! She could bend at the knees, like Barbie, but she also had joints in her arms, wrists, and ankles. Boy, did I want a Sindy, yet I never got one.

When I learned that Tonner was coming out with a vintage-style Sindy, I was hooked.

This is Sindy's Halloween Treat, from the 2014 Wilde Convention. Her face looks a lot like a vintage Sindy. She has big eyes, and a sweet expression.

Unfortunately, Tonner's Sindy doesn't have the pose-ability of the Sindy of my childhood dreams. Her arms and legs are only bendable at the shoulders and hips, and can only move in one direction.

The good news, is that even in kitten heels, she can stand by herself. 

Her body seems more realistically proportioned than some of my other dolls that are around the same height.

In fact, Hayden and Barbie's limbs are extremely thin compared to Sindy's.

Unfortunately, this means that outfit sharing is not in the future. I'm pretty sure she won't be able to wear vintage Sindy clothes, either.

She is a lovely doll, and a great representation of Sindy, but not as awesome as I hoped she would be.