Hey, guys! 😀
Today I have a really different sort of post. I know that I’ve mentioned before my unbelievably incredible tour of the Mattel Design Center that I had the opportunity to experience earlier this summer, but I haven’t had a chance to completely explain this, or to tell you all about the AMAZING gift that I received afterwards. So settle in with some tea or coffee and get ready for a little story (don’t worry, there will be plenty of photos soon 🙂 ).
As I’ve said before in some previous posts, my mum and I took a road trip to Los Angeles earlier this summer. It was a ridiculously fun and crazy trip, as you might have guessed by Clawdeen’s Road Trip Vlogs. 😉 By the time we made it to LA, I was feeling exhilarated and amazed by everything we had already done. Little did I know that I was about to experience something I had previously only dreamed about!
My AMAZING cousin Hillary (you can follow her on Twitter here!) is a producer at Mattel Creations. When she generously offered me a tour of the Mattel design center, you can bet I was fangirling on the highest possible level. 😉
And WOW. It would take a really long time for me to explain what I was feeling throughout the tour, but let’s just say I looked like this the entire time:
Okay, so maybe my hair wasn’t quite that crazy. But you get the idea. 😉
I was absolutely amazed. I was seeing the offices and cubicles of the people who make the stuff that I photograph and fawn over in every single post on this blog. I could not believe all of the prototypes and design boards and spools of doll hair and AHHHHHH I can’t even finish this sentence it was so amazing! 😀
Hillary and I had actually never met before, but we hit it off immediately. 🙂 She’s a fantastically creative and enthusiastic person, and I can’t think of anyone I would have rather taken the tour with. 🙂
After the tour, back at Hillary’s house, I was given several amazing gifts (like the Vintage Barbie Fashion Packs and Signature Spectra that I showed you all a while back) and I was already feeling like the luckiest, most thankful nerd in the world…but there was no way that I was prepared for what was coming next.
Before I show you what that something is, let me explain something else. (I know that I’m talking a lot more than I usually do, but you’ll see in a second that it’s with good reason 🙂 ).
Way back before I started this blog, when I was mainly sewing human sized costumes and projects, I somehow got this spark. This spark just lit up inside me and inspired me to start applying my love of sewing to a miniature scale. I have this odd part of my personality that makes me extremely driven, and after I binge read almost every post ever written by my favorite doll bloggers (namely Never Grow Up: A Mom’s Guide to Dolls and More), I had this spark to start my own blog. I didn’t care if anybody ever read it, I just wanted to do it. I wasn’t sure if I had much to offer that wasn’t out there already, but I figured why not give it a shot. I would never have guessed that that first Ginger Breadhouse review would have taken me this far. 🙂
But anyway, when I was first educating myself on the topic of dolls (namely Monster High and Ever After High), I spotted a few dolls online that I knew right away would be my lifelong favorites, even if I never actually owned them. One of those was Signature Gigi, who, as you know, joined the cast of Doll Dimensions earlier this year. 🙂
The other was Signature Abbey Bominable. Something about Abbey drew me to her immediately when I was watching the webisodes. Abbey just seemed so awesome to me. It really resonated with me that she stood up to a bully in her first ever webisode, and I just adored her icy fashion sense. 🙂 I had wanted Signature Abbey for a long time, knowing that I would probably never own her.
So let’s just say that when Hillary opened a cabinet and handed me a Signature Abbey Bominable, I was literally in tears. 😉 But that wasn’t all. This doll is signed by the creator of Monster High, the Pablo Picasso of dolls himself, Garrett Sander. And more than that, it is signed TO ME!
These pictures are a pretty accurate representation of what my reaction was. 😉 (Photo credit goes to my mom 🙂 )
Even though I received this incredible gift back in June, I have had a ridiculously hectic summer, which included planning and running a My Little Pony summer camp and taking a Spanish class and political science class (which are each usually 16 weeks, but they were both squeezed into 6). So even though I looked at this amazing gift every day that I went into my studio (and almost cried tears of joy every time 😉 ), I was just waiting for a few days that I could really take my time and try to accurately express this ridiculous amount of joy to you all! 🙂
At first, I thought I would leave this treasure in the box. It was so incredible to even hold this signed doll in my hands, I didn’t think I could ever take her out of the package. But I don’t own dolls so that they can just sit on a shelf. I own dolls so that I can enjoy them, photograph them, and use them to show others how they can expand the dimensions in which they collect dolls (that’s what inspired the name of this blog! 🙂 ), and I knew that I would never fully enjoy Abbey unless she came out of the box.
I know that the in-box collectors everywhere are probably freaking out right now 😉 , but don’t worry, I found a way to keep the box completely intact, and I can put Abbey back in it whenever I want. 🙂
So, here she is, in all of her glory!!!! 😀 In case you can’t tell, the signed part says:
Thanks for being such a clawsome fan!
Hugs + Stitches!
Yes, I do cry almost every time I look at this doll. 😉
I LOVE the older style of Monster High packaging. The box is so customized to Abbey’s character, and her little skullette logo with the earmuffs is so cute! 😀
Also, can we just take a few minutes to appreciate the ridiculous amount of adorableness that is Shiver the wooly mammoth? 😛
The back is equally awesome, with some fantastic character art and a wonderful bio.
You can see the autograph a lot better with the backdrop slid out. It was really easy to remove, actually. I didn’t even need scissors!
Whew. Here we go. Here is Abbey……wait for it…….OUT OF THE BOX!
To be completely honest, Abbey is my singular favorite doll EVER. I’m serious, y’all. The amount of detail, quality, and creative thought that has gone into every single part of this doll is flabbergasting.
Starting with accessories, she has white ski boots with INCREDIBLE fur leg warmers over them. These leg warmers have no shortcuts–they’re actually faux fur, and they feel SO GOOD! The best way that I can think of to describe them is that they feel like a baby bunny’s ears. I’m serious. 🙂 The arm warmers are constructed in the same way–and they are equally incredible!
Abby’s dress has the same fur on the collar, and it has a fantastic mod print (and you all know how much I love mod stuff!). Sewn into the sides of the dress is a criss-crossed white cord, and hooked onto the cord is Abbey’s purse, which has a tiny key ring on it! 😀 Inserted into the dress are panels of white ribbed stretch fabric. This is probably my favorite piece of Monster High clothing ever. It’s just such a great combination of mod, ice, and Abbey! 😀
Underneath the dress Abbey has amazing shimmery tights!
Underneath the fur collar at the top of her dress, Abbey wears a cute blue ice choker that (in the show) keeps her comfortably cold even if she’s in a warmer environment than she’s used to.
Abbey also has a pair of earrings: a purple snowflake on her left and a blue icicle on her right. I love these earrings!!! 🙂 She also wears an adorable fur headband with elastic at the back to hold it on.
Now on to my favorite part: her face. I really, really adore Abbey’s face. First off, as you may have already noticed, Abbey has an incredible shimmer all over her skin. It’s not just glitter sprinkled on the surface–it’s partially embedded in the plastic! I think it does a fantastic job of replicating her look in the webisodes and movies, where she has snow falling around her all of the time. 🙂
I also adore that Abbey has upward facing fangs, and the color of her lipstick is really cute, too. Her lavender eyeshadow coordinates really well with the lavender in her dress and hair.
And, guys. GUYS. Her hair is amazing! If you looked at it from the back, you might say, “Oh, it’s blonde.”
But, then, BAM! PASTEL RAINBOW in your FACE! 😛
Gah! Her hair is my favorite doll hair ever. It also has incredible textured tinsel in it that is different from the kind that I’ve seen used in other dolls, like Thronecoming Cupid. It has a lovely texture and it is so icy looking! 🙂 Another thing to note here is that I did nothing to her hair…it just looks this good straight out of the box!
Abbey also comes with her pet wooly mammoth, Shiver, who is so cuteee, and works great in pictures with Abbey!
In case you haven’t guessed already, Abbey is the most incredible, highest quality, and just plain fantastic doll I have ever owned. And the fact that her box is signed by her creator to me? Yeah, the entire concept still makes me squeal! 😀
And since she is such an amazing addition to the Doll Dimensions cast, the other girls HAD to throw her a welcome party! 🙂
They set up a snow garland, a banner, a seat of honor for Abbey to sit in, and a cabinet full of presents for her!
Ginger made a s’mores cake (she thought the marshmallows looked like snow 🙂 ), and set up a faux candle behind it.
Not all of the dolls were able to come to the party (the Dollvengers were still in the process of shooting their video when the party happened), but I was able to round almost every other doll I own for Abbey’s surprise party!
The welcome card that you see in the middle was signed by every doll I own. 🙂
When Abbey saw her party, she looked like I did when I first saw Abbey. 😛
The girls showed Abbey to her seat of honor, and proudly presented her with her card! 🙂
Next, Abbey was given her new tote bag, plus two new dresses made by Clawdeen!
Finally, the dolls dimmed the lights, lit their candle, and welcomed Abbey by singing part of “Shooting Stars” from the Boo York, Boo York movie. Then, they feasted! 😉
Abbey had this look of wonder on her face, and I was thrilled to see my gang of dolls coming together to welcome a new friend. 🙂
To both Hillary and Garrett Sander, I would like to say an ENORMOUS thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have made my dreams come true in a way that I would never have dreamed possible. My tour was the most amazing experience I’ve ever had, and it was incredible to see the awesome folks at Mattel doing the same things that I dream about doing someday.
Abbey is a gorgeous doll, and one that I will keep and treasure forever. You both have made me, just a teenager who still plays with dolls, feel significant, and that is the most amazing feeling in the world. I know I’m just one fan out of millions, but every time I look at Abbey, I feel special. 🙂
I would never have thought when I obsessively started reading every Monster High character’s diary online last spring, or when I started haunting Ebay every day looking for good deals on dolls, or when I decided to go for it and buy my first Monster High doll, or when I posted that first Extreme Doll Makeover, that it would expand into this amazing outlet of creativity…and I certainly never thought that I would obtain an extremely rare doll that is signed to me by the person who created the entire concept of Monster High! 😀
If someone had told me, say, two years ago, that I would be doing this stuff, I would not have believed them. I liked dolls, sure, but I would never have believed that I could actually gain a following for talking about them! Every time I’ve ever finished a post on this blog, I’ve just been filled with wonder that this is even happening….that I found such happiness in such an unexpected way.
And to those of you who read all the way through this, thank you! 🙂 You all are awesome readers. ❤ I appreciate every single one of you so much. Whether you’ve read this blog from the beginning, or you’re reading something by me for the very first time, thank you so very much.
What? No, I’m not crying. I just have glitter in my eye. :’)
It is with tears of joy that I say, as always,