Friends for Addy

As many of you know, I have a large 18" vinyl doll collection, and I keep it manageable by setting up display areas in my doll room focused on "friend groups". For instance, Lindsey is the ringleader of my modern American Girl dolls and several of them hang out in her bedroom. If a doll doesn't have a friend group to join where she fits in, adds variety, and fills a role (without overcrowding the space), s/he gets rehomed.

Since I like variety, especially in face mold, most of my friend groups incorporate dolls from many different doll brands. When the main character of a group has a well-defined character and back story, such as Kirsten, from American Girl (AG), I like to choose dolls to represent other characters in her books. So here you can see Kirsten with her cousins Lisbeth (a customized Engel doll), Anna (originally Monica from Götz), and little brother Peter (vintage like Monica, but from Rothkirch).

My Pleasant Company era AG dolls are very special in my collection, so each of them has a group of friends like Kirsten, but finding friends for Addy has been particularly challenging for me! Addy is one of my favorites and she is spoiled with most of her collection at our house. I love her face mold and I really appreciate companies that try to capture African American features and not just put on black hair and darker vinyl and call the doll AA. So, when I went looking for dolls to be Sarah Moore and Harriet Davis from Addy's stories, that's one of the things I was looking for. They also had to fit AG clothes quite well and they had to have proportions that display nicely with Addy.

 
 

The Sarah Saga

My first attempt for Sarah was a Heidi Ott doll originally named Georgia. I liked her face mold but her hair wasn't right and she is non-articulated. I looked for a wig for her with short, curly hair but couldn't find one that worked and Georgia has such nice, silky hair, it seemed a shame to change it. But, more importantly, Georgia has a non-articulated body with cloth upper arms and legs which looks odd in many American Girl clothes. I considered adding a plastic armature to make her poseable, and I also looked for a body donor for her so I could do a body swap, but her vinyl is a very rosey color and I couldn't find a good match. So, poor Georgia went into the "to be rehomed" closet (because all dolls must fit into a friend group around here) and I went looking for another choice for Sarah.

My current doll for Sarah was originally Laylie, and she's from the A Life of Faith (ALOF) doll line. Laylie has a curly wig styled in a short style that works slightly better for Sarah. I think Georgia (above, on the right) looks more like Sarah than Laylie does, but Laylie is a very high quality doll and I wanted to find a role for her so I could keep her in my collection. I do not like the bent arms of the ALOF dolls, but I like everything else about their all-vinyl bodies and they fit AG clothes very well. The Laylie character is from a similar (slightly earlier) time as Addy so her collection had several outfits that I added to Sarah's wardrobe. My major issues with Laylie as Sarah, besides wishing she had a open-mouth smile, is that her head is a bit over-sized, and those bent arms.

I haven't sold off Georgia yet because I still may do a wig swap with her and Laylie and then insert the armature I bought a while ago (which I just came across while organizing my doll repair supplies the other day). After all, most clothing from the 1860s was long-sleeved. Plus, adding the armature would be a fun project and would make a good tutorial.

I would appreciate opinions in the comments to help me decide.

Will the Real Harriet Please Stand Up?

Finding a doll to play Harriet has also been a (fun) challenge. After buying a custom yellow dress from Etsy, to match the one from the book illustrations, I decided to use my AG Cécile as Harriet. The only issue I have with this is that I miss her (and still think of her) as Cécile. I moved a black Götz doll (named Maddison) up to her display space to keep Marie-Grace company and to inherit Cécile's wardrobe, but I'm not really pleased with that substitution. Plus, Cécile looks too sweet to play the part since Harriet is rather mean in Addy's stories.

Then, my friend and fellow 18" doll enthusiast Nonna (of the Mommy's Doll Club blog) added a slew of 18" vinyl play doll brands to the Dollipedia. One of them was Prodigyrls, which I hadn't heard of before. I loved their face molds and, when I saw a picture of Nicole, my first thought was, "Look, it's Harriet!" I did some Google searches to see if the quality would be high enough for my standards and if she'd be able to wear AG clothes, but I didn't find too much about this fairly obscure brand. I did, however, find one for sale for $45 and bought her on impulse. After all, it's almost the holiday season and I can always donate her to a community toy drive I always participate in that gives toys to kids in a battered women's shelter in Boston, many of whom are children of color. (If I decide to keep Nicole, I'll go buy and donate a Journey Girls Chavonne in her place.)

After undressing her and examining her closely, I concluded that she was Journey Girls size (slim bodied, and of slightly less body quality than JG) and wouldn't fit into AG clothes. She's also a pinhead -- her head is in proportion to her body but it is smaller than AG and (especially) ALOF. But I do love her face mold and head/wig quality, so I did a body swap with a My Twinn 18" doll (who was a failed contender for the part). Here she is on the right dressed as Harriet. Her hairline is very high, but her hairstyle is great for Harriet. Her expression is also just right and I think her face sculpt is gorgeous. (It's too bad this doll line wasn't marketed better! I like the dolls so much better than the Positively Perfect Divah Collection that have the same strategy.)

The Nicole vs. Cécile as Harriet decision may effect the Laylie vs. Georgia decision because they all must display nicely together with Addy. Here are the some of the combinations (keeping in mind that Georgia would have a wig swap with Laylie if she is chosen for the part.)

So, I am reaching out to you, my doll collecting friends. Which dolls do you prefer as Sarah and Harriet? What customizations would you make (if any)? Or should I keep looking?

Also, what do you think of the Prodigyrls? Had you heard of them before?

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Nonna
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Last seen: 2 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 07/21/2015 - 1:43pm

I like Nicole as Harriet a lot especially after your mods. I know what you mean about Cécile. I have never been a fan of Laylee (although I wanted to be). I might be inclined to mod up an CL Vanessa face sculpt (also used on OG Abriana and all the new dark skinned dolls) for Sarah. There are no teeth showing in the face mold but her expression seems closer to Sarah's playful one. If I kept Georgia, I'd rewig and body her to be a match which sounds difficult. One of The A Girls might also be a suitable match (but I'd have to take off some of the face paint - way too much for me).

Nonna @ mommysdollclub.com

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