Friday, December 16, 2016

Makeover Time! Madame Alexander 18inch Doll Goodwill Find!

Greetings and Salutations Doll Friends!!

I went into Goodwill on Monday on my way home from work... 

I found this beautiful Madame Alexander 18inch doll for only $3.99!! Score!!

Poor beauty had been very shabbily treated!! I try hard not to judge but I just can't imagine treating a doll so poorly. I try to remember that to many people dolls are just 'just another toy' and so are likely treated just like any other bit of plastic and fluff... I know my own daughter has, more than a few times, had her fashion dolls hair get into tangled messes. So it's all a matter of priorities, eh? The good news being is that this particular doll was in for a makeover and residence at the Doll House where all dolls are treated pretty well if I do say so... Teehee.

Her hair was in such disarray that I was a bit convinced that I'd just scalp her and give her a whole new look with a new wig...

When I got her home I was shocked to discover that not only was she wearing a nearly complete (no shoes or tights) outfit... But it was also her 'meet outfit'! Meaning it was the outfit she arrived in when she was new in the box. How did I know this? Because the stitches they put in the clothing to keep it looking it nice, but that also basically sews it on the doll, hadn't ever been removed. Isn't that crazy? Nearly the first thing I want to do when I get a new doll is change her clothes. Haha. Perhaps they didn't have any other doll clothes? Perhaps they didn't like dolls and got her as a gift and just tossed her into the toy box? Who can know? However that meant, to me, that I had just gotten a nearly new Madame Alexander deluxe doll for $3.99!! Why do I call her a deluxe doll? Because she has 'rubber' feeling limbs and a good armature... I will have to pull out a couple of different Madame Alexander dolls soon and show you the differences. They've been released by several different stores under different names and the quality differs depending on which they were. Once you get interested in 18inch dolls, it can kind of blow your mind the seemingly endless 'kinds' there are!! For someone who is a collector, like me, this is dangerous information. Because you end up like "I want one of ALL the dolls!!". Or one of each type and then one of each variety and on and on.... Then there are customs which opens a whole new can of worms! You see the hazard? Oh well, there are worse things to worry about than having too many dolls. Eh? 

I didn't have anything to loose by trying to fix her hair.... I brushed it out as well as I could with my doll/wig hairbrush, washed and conditioned it and then hot dipped it and brushed it out again. In the initial brushing she lost a bit of hair but given that she was still in her meet outfit, I don't think she'd ever lost any before due to rough brushing or styling... She'd just been dumped into the toy box gotten Toy-Box-Dread-Locks very organically just like people get them in real life; by not brushing or washing or doing anything at all to her hair! Haha! So... Once I brushed it out, despite having lost a bit, it was still full and pretty!

Here she is, all cleaned up and brushed out....

And after her hair dried....

When I first found her I thought she'd look a lot like the other brown hair and brown eyes Madame Alexander doll I own named Mary.

But once I got her home, I realized that they weren't twins at all! I can't decide for sure but I think that they might even have different face sculpts...?

I've always thought Mary had a sort of middle eastern look to her... Hence my naming her Mary after Jesus' mother. I thought she could very well look a lot like Mary might have....

Whereas the new Madame Alexander, who I've decided to name Patti, looks a bit more like the 'girl next door' American, if that is a good description. I named her after my lovely friend Patti who I have breakfast and Bible study with every week because she looks a lot like her! 

Here she is with Mary and Nicky (the blonde, another MA doll) 

They are both so pretty! Do you think they have different sculpts? I can't decide!

Out of time! Happy Friday! Have a great weekend!
Till next time!


  1. Great find on the MA doll! My area seems to have a plentiful supply of these dolls at the thrift stores...I was picking one or two up every time I went thrifting--I just couldn't help it, because they're so pretty! I usually fix them up, make them an outfit (if they have none), and list them on Ebay. However, I recently discovered I have around 50 (yes, that's FIFTY!) 18" dolls in various states of repair waiting to be put on Ebay--most of them MA dolls! My 7 year old told me she thinks I have a problem...! Anyway, I have now put myself on a strict budget of ONLY buying MA dolls that are ethnic, because these are much harder to find and sell better. It's just so hard to see these lovely dolls at the thrift stores and then leaving them behind, because I just KNOW how much prettier they'd look after a makeover. 'Sigh'. Guess I can't save them all! It is interesting to note the different body styles-some have the bendable armature system in the legs and others are jointed the regular way like AGs. Some have very pale, almost grayish colored skin, and others are very pink and rosy. Some vinyl is rock hard, others are soft and pliable. I do think those two face sculpts you showed are different. Your "Mary" doll had a more mature look than "Patty", who looks more innocent and child-like. I'd love it if you did a post on the different MA dolls done for different stores, because I really don't know much about them in this regard. I do know that Walmart had a line for a while, as did Costco. Interesting that you weren't afraid to go ahead and wash your doll's hair--I do the same thing, even though the body tag clearly states NOT to get the hair wet at all! Seriously? How else are we supposed to get it clean? I've washed, brushed, and flat-ironed all my MA dolls' hair with good results. Anyway, I look forward to any more information you might be able to post about these dolls sometime!

    1. Hi Angela! I am glad to know I am not the only one who has trouble resisting a doll in bad shape needing a makeover. I would love to see photos of the MA dolls! How fun to have fifty! Even if just as a foster doll mom. How do you store them? I always tell myself I need to/ should list some on eBay but I never end up doing it. I have some BFC Ink dolls I've decided to weed out of my collection. I've decided the really slim line dolls like BFC Ink and most of my Disney Princess dolls need to go... Mostly because it's gotten out of hand trying to keep wardrobes on hand for several different doll sizes. Haha. So I think having all generally the same size dolls like JG, AG, OG, MA etc is better because they can, for the most part, share clothes. Anyway, I am rambling. I won't lie, can't imagine ever finding a doll that I think I can salvage and not buying it. I get a kick out of the process as much as anything. Also, I love to customize and they are like 'canvas' to change into whomever you can imagine. Fun! ;) But... I'll have to learn to weed them out. Thanks for great comment!
      :) Heather

  2. My poor MAs are stored in boxes until I can get around to working on them, but sometimes my 7 year old takes pity on them and releases them from their cells! That's when I'll walk into my room and find a whole bunch of them, lined up, wearing various pieces of clothing, staring at me with expectant smiles as if to say "how much longer until we're presentable again?" Talk about guilt! I collect dolls of all sorts (antique, modern, vintage, large, small, etc.) so I have to be more selective about how many of any one kind I bring home, or things can get crazy pretty quickly! I think your idea of weeding out the dolls that can't share clothes is a good one. I personally don't mind having dolls that can't share clothes since I am a seamstress and love to sew. Everybody gets a least one, new outfit when they come to stay at my house! I do have a blog where I like to chronicle my dolls and sewing projects...check it out sometime it you ever have a free moment-- --although, I'm constantly amazed at how much you seem to get done with your dolls and how much you post, I can't see that you have much "spare" time at all!