Sunday, October 13, 2013

Kari Michell and Back to Business...

The doll business, that is. Man, I cant believe it's been 2 whole months since I posted. I can readily blame being on the road and work commitments for 6 weeks of that time. The last 2 weeks, however, I've just been goofing off, cleaning my place and sleeping. So, yeah.

Anywho, I did not work on a single one of my doll projects the entire time I was awol, so I have nothing to show for those many weeks away. I was going to take a doll with me to photograph on my travels, but I felt weird doing that when I was supposed to be working so that didn't happen either.

Sooooo, before I tackle my projects, to get me back into the swing of things, I figured I'd open up one of my doll boxes, take some photos and do a little review. 

Distributed by Big Lots, the Kari Michell sets are $10 but I got mine at 20% off. I've seen them before, of course, and passed them by. Thanks to the awesome attitude of Limbe Dolls towards clones and their sets, this time I took a closer look and I'm glad I did.


I picked this one because except for the floral skirt, I liked everything else in the package. They even put plastic on the doll to prevent staining, I guess, which is a good idea for any doll really. You cant take the pearls off without removing the head, but it's not like I was going to use that body.


The other versions available, but I must say that in person, they don't look so hot or perhaps the colors didn't sway me. Given the quality of the one I got though, I may give them another look.


Paired with a Barbie top and a Liv Jacket, this vinyl skirt is smoking hot. You know I tend to go on about the hoochie length of Barbie clothing but the length of this skirt is perfect and still sexy. I love the bag because it looks like a bento lunch box.


The skirt fits a Liv body perfectly but gaps open slightly on a hipper Fashionista body. The stitching is nice and it's not a half print!



I thought the shoes were going to be too small, but they fit Barbie feet quite well. Liv feet are much too big for them though. The shoe designs are very simple compared to Mattel, but still, simple can be good.


Was this doll based on Angelina Jolie 'cause sometimes she sure looks like her. Anyway, paired with Barbie pants and Liv shoes, the top fits slightly loose at the waist of a Liv body. The inside stitching gives an almost shoulder pad effect to the top, but I don't mind it at all. The bag is very Dalmatian-ie and I kinda like it, but I kinda don't. I think the strap is awkwardly shaped.


Look at that nice fabric and the ribbon detail at the waist is well done. The black vinyl holding the ribbon is the same as the skirt.


All the pieces have velcro closures and they will snag the material, but if you are careful it shouldn't be a problem.


I was giving this floral skirt the side eye in the store but it's rather flirty paired with a Barbie halter top. I mean, Ginger Rogers wouldn't dance in it, but it's okay.


They even lined it with a slip! C'mon, son! Now that's just a cool detail. You know I like a doll with some decorum.


Probably the only piece with a questionable fabric choice, but still sewn together well with a simple closure.


How much do I love this sweater? A lot! It's just sexy with that gold thread running through it. Those are Barbie boots with Liv leggings and a Liv skirt (I think).


On a Liv body this sweater seemed a little overwhelming, but Barbie's boobs fill it better. It's still not as tight at the waist as most would be used too, but it would be perfect for those with Happy Grandmas or Rosie bodies.

Final verdict: Fashionable (to me), well made, decent quality (better than Mattel) and worth the price (full price or on sale).

They changed some stuff with Blogger while I was away. So far I'm not minding it.

44 comments:

  1. These are awesome dolls. I bought one twelve years ago at Dollar General and she is just as good as a Barbie (sometimes I even think she's better, LOL). Great post!

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    1. Hi RagingMoon! The doll I got had a defective click knee so I would more recommend these sets for the clothes than for the dolls. Even with only one knee bending it's pretty comparable to the old twist and turn Barbies. This doll would make a good teacher or tour guide though.

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  2. I bought three of those dolls. Bought it for the clothes. I just made some adjustments here and there I like what I got for the price. I,m glad you picked one up.

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    1. Hey, Mustiwait! Well, on that recommendation I gotta check out the others again next time there is a 20% sale because your dolls are always looking fly.

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  3. Wow, I looked at some of these dolls today at Big Lots and gave them a pass. I may have to take a second look though. That black skirt is amazing!

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    1. Presto, the clothing is totally worth the $8 I paid for it. Big Lots have revamped their Rewards program so the sales may happen more often in addition to individual coupons. Hold out and you may get some on sale.

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    2. Ah, see I've never gotten around to joining the Rewards program! I need to check that out on my next visit!

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  4. Very nice! You have an eye for a bargain, LOL. I much prefer these outfits over some of Barbie's pukey pink, overly done outfits. The floral skirt, actually reminds me of the BC tea outfit that was like $20 or something.

    Anyway, thanks for the info...I'll have to keep an eye out for these girls at my local Big Lots.

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    1. Hi Tracy! If I was the sewing type, I would refashion that floral skirt. Shorten it, add some pleating, make a sweetheart top out of the excess material and it would be just as cute as the BC tea outfit. Too bad I hate to sew, lol.

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  5. Congratulations on your new find - the Kari Mitchell fashions - AND on finding them on sale. Go Muff!

    I like them, too. If you should see the doll-wardrobe sets with tweed coats, you might like those, too.

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    1. Tweed, Dana?! I didn't see any with tweed. I'll have to check out all the Big Lots around town. I noticed that the one I went to had already started to revamp their toys section and was making it bigger to get ready for Christmas. I like tweed... and houndstooth.

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    2. Yes, tweed, Muff ;-) Here's the box the coat and fashions came in. You remember that post I wrote about tweed and houndstooth, huh, lol.

      May your Big Lots stores have the tweed coat sets and at a decent price ;-)

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    3. Glad you're back blogging, too!

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    4. LOL, Dana, yes I do remember that post! I really like that Kari box set you got. I hope they repeat that this year.

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  6. I tell ya these knock-off dolls will surprise you! I bought those cheap michelle dolls from dollar general and the quality of their outfits are good too. BTW that leather skirt is hot very stylish!!!

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    1. Also new doll challenge for you, ive seen a flickr member cut off the scalp of one doll and attach it to another to give it a new look and avoid a reroot think you wanna give it a go?

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    2. Jay that skirt is super nice and they lined the inside of it also. I know we have Dollar Generals but I have never been in one. I'll be sure and stop by next time I see one.

      Your challenge kind of makes me laugh because when I first started collecting and experimenting with dolls the very first "franken" experiment I did was to remove Nikki's scalp (still have a couple of them). I wanted to make wigs by putting her scalp over other dolls heads. Even on a doll with no hair it looked ridiculous because the scalp would show making it look like a bad, scalpy lace front. It also sat up really high because of the rooting underneath. But, if you're going to take the other dolls scalp off and then match the seams, I would think it would work. I don't know how versatile it would be though... hmmm.

      Can you share a link or it's private?

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    3. http://www.flickr.com/photos/fashionistas4u93/10022468935/
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/fashionistas4u93/10104353293/in/photostream/

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    4. http://www.flickr.com/photos/juskidding09/9493021626/
      knock off outfits i got

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    5. Thanks for those links Jay and especially to your knock offs. I actually like those prints and will look to see if I can find some on sale.

      Now as to your challenge - accepted. I will say that I think that the flickr-er used photo editing to smooth out the hair line. I got no proof, mind you. So I'm going to try it and see how it works out without any editing and also to see how interchangeable it is - if it is at all. I'll get to it this week.

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  7. Hello from Spain: the latest denim skirt is LIV dolls. I also I have for my Barbies. I love your outfits. I like the long skirt with flowers. Very trendy. It is a great purchase. Nice pictures. I'm happy that your back to your blog. Your creations are always very inspiring to me. Keep in touch

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    1. Marta, thanks for commenting and for confirming that that is a Liv skirt. That long skirt is starting to grow on me. Probably not the print I would have chosen but with some nice accessories it could be jazzed up.

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  8. Welcome back, Muff!

    I purchased a white Kari Michell doll from Big Lots last year (the one wearing pink shown in your illustration of available dolls). The doll was purchased for the fashion and to do a face up on the doll in an online tutorial that never happened.

    I also found two AA Kari Michell dolls on eBay last year and swooped them up because I have never seen them at Big Lots.

    Your post proves that there is more than meets the eye with regard to the fashions. They are much better than I expected and well worth the 10-dollar price I paid.

    dbg

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    1. Debbie, soon as you said there were black versions I did a yahoo photo search and the images from your 2012 post were on the 1st page! I swear, the internet is thrilling and frightening. I like that one of your black ladies is wearing the black sweater and skirt that was included in my pack. The purses in your aa packs look much better and appear to be made of fabric instead of plastic.

      Now that I look at those I know I have seen black clones at Big Lots before and they were in a double fashion pack. This was around last Christmas and they also had single fashion packs with no dolls but the quality was terrible. Just like with Mattel they probably release super cheap versions for the holidays.

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    2. Yes... the Internet can certainly be as you described, both thrilling and frightening. Sometimes when I Google doll stuff, my blogs and my "mug" pop up and I gasp. The thought that I need to stop sharing so much in blog form often results, but the fact that this is what I enjoy doing keeps me at it.

      Speaking of the availability of dolls at Christmastime, I was at Family Dollar yesterday and saw a dark skinned clone for $5 that has at least two extra fashions. Not bad for $5, but the doll and the clothing are cheaply made. Still, I was tempted to buy one, but resisted. I might get one eventually just because it's a dark-skinned clone to add to my "these are not Barbies" collection.

      dbg

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  9. Muff, Congrats! I have purchase several of the fashion packs that D7ana mentioned. I have a few of the tweed coats in different colors. They are a little slim but my dolls like them. The only problem I have with clothing in the line is that the pants fit the older doll bodies. They don't fit the BB and fashionista dolls with larger hips. I have re-body one but because they have the round head knob it is hard to keep the head on. One year I saw these dolls at Target and the now closed KB Toys too but not since! BTW, we all need more sources for dolls! Here is my post of the Fashion Pack. I noticed the newer packs include a doll and less clothing. I much rather have the clothing!

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    1. Thanks for the tweed info, Ms. Leo. I definitely want to keep and eye out for those packs. Even if they aren't the best fit for the hippy girls, many of my rebodies are on Liv so they could wear them.

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  10. Glad to see you're back! I love the way you mixed and matched the clothes, espcially with the Angelina type gal.

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    1. Hey there, Verona and thanks! I'm not the matchy matchy type so I like mixed pieces best.

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  11. You really brought these fashions to life! I bought this set for the sweater and skirt but have only placed them together on a doll. They look great mixed and matched how you have them. Hmm, I need to do some redressing.

    P.S. Glad to see you back. I hope to get back soon also. I am having computer issues.

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    1. Thanks, Georgia Girl! I hear you about the computer issues. I still have not replaced my main pc because I'm trying to hard to wait for Black Friday so I can get a good deal.

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  12. Hi Muff! that most stylish clothes, I love. Your wrists are with these look divine. Great pictures. A kiss

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    1. Thanks, Karmen! The clothes really are very stylish. Besos!

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  13. I love the knock-off lines because there's guaranteed to be some surprise somewhere in the box. What I don't get is that if the lower-tier companies can do something awesome (like line a skirt), why can't Mattel get off their asses and do the same? Or at least put shoes back in the $5 outfit packs? I'll have to keep my eye out for this--I picked up an earlier fashion line from the same company--the clothes were utter shite but the doll head was FABULOUS.

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    1. Hi, Tina. Sometimes I think that Mattel is so huge that they cut corners at every turn to better mass market. It means cheap fabrics, flimsy accessories and a lack of quality control. That's why, even though they themselves are cheaply made, people shouldn't immediately poo poo the clones. They can get comparable merchandise at a lower price point.

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  14. Interesting fashion proposals, Muff, but, you missed to show the pure fit perfection of a pivotal body, like mine

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    1. Christie, that is because you are one of a kind. Without you to model in person, I had to make do.

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  15. I love all these clothes!!! Your dolls are really fantastic, good buy!!

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    1. Hi again, Ana! Thanks for stopping by.

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  16. I'm glad they are putting the KM clothing back out there. I have several sets from when they were sold at KB Toys. I may have some of these peices already. I loved the variety and colors KM offered.

    Glad to see you back :O)

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    1. Hi, Dollz4Moi and thanks for the welcome back. I remember KB Toys! I got just about every one of my 1/12 figures from them but they have gone out of business in my area.

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  17. I love the Kari Mitchell clothes. I was one of the fortunate ones to get the sets with a ton a outfits. That's why I haven't been able to justify buying the sets with the dolls in them. I want the other sets. Maybe one day they will bring them back. The floral skirt is my favorite piece from this set. Probably because I have all the other pieces already. lol. I may have to do a fashion show with all the Kari coats that are in my collection.

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    1. Vanessa, I think I would rather buy a pack with a doll than without. I know that's silly since I'm not even going to use the doll but I feel like I'm getting a better bargain if the doll is in it, lol.

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