1/3, 1/4, 1/12...
Doll scales and sizes are important to pay attention to when collecting dolls and providing them clothes and places to sit! It's especially important for creating doll stories if what you want is some scale consistency.
What size Mom do I choose for a 12" 8 year old? Big!
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Nesting dolls decrease consistently in size, keeping the scale in proportion, so the head is the same percentage of the total height in both the smallest, and the tallest nesting dolls.
For information purposes...
Scales like this help you choose the doll sizes that you want. Some dolls make a good match because of their comparative scales and sizes depending on your purpose.
Larger heads and squatter bodies look more child and baby like. Smaller heads and slimmer bodies look more adult....
Comparison showing a Blythe doll in the middle.
For some reason this doll is hugely popular, even with the out of proportion head. The head is really large compared to the body, if you are after a human-like proportion...
Once you get used to the look of it, she's cute. Blythe dolls offer 4 different eye colors with a mechanism at her back. She also comes in hundreds of varieties (it seems)...and has lots of clothes to choose from!
Tomi Jane and her dolls...
Thanks to the master doll dressmaker Tomi Jane, I have this wonderful photo of an American Girl doll and a Helen Kish Riley doll...
This is a GREAT example of the difference in doll scales and sizes. Not only is the AG doll taller, she is also massive compared to the delicate Riley. Look at those shoulders!
The scale and size of this 18" doll is not the only reason I have held back from collecting even one American Girl. I have four Terri Lee dolls, 3 by choice! (I have no memory of how the first one came to us...very vintage! )I mean,have you seen a Terri Lee doll naked? So cute! But very short and round.
I just find the American Girl less appealing. (Sorry AG!)
And her body shape/scale/size makes her look difficult to dress.
However, visiting Tomi Jane's Flickr pages with her American Girls dressed in her incredibly designed, sewn, smocked, laced fashions is the closest I have come to wanting one. (If you visit TJ's page, check out her other doll design albums, like for the Kish Dolls and the Little Darling dolls. OMG. I must get a page of doll fashions started).
I did! A blog with any of our posts now, on doll fashions. One on Tomi Jane herself...
Sticks and stones, dyes and resins...
There have been a wide variety of materials used to make dolls over the years,
from sticks, hide, and stones in ancient times, porcelain along the way,
to vinyl, resins, and 3D print materials in our modern age.
I tend to like the vinyl and resin dolls myself, but would be hard put to explain why....
The scale of my dolls, the relative sizes of one doll to another, has surfaced as an issue again as I share my doll photos with Someone I Know. And I find I am facing a kind of doll discrimination....
As I began my doll collecting in earnest again a while back, I was paying a lot of attention to scale. I collected lots of photos and information for reference, measuring my dollies and pouring over photos of dolls that might be a good fit. Since I was starting with a variety of sizes and proportions to begin with-think Terri Lee, Barbie, and 14" baby dolls for a start, it was a challenge to make decisions about who to add....
I decided to collect doll friends or "family" for my singletons, since having only one of each really showed up the wild difference in scales. It wasn't easy for me to imagine making up a photo story with my vintage Barbie and Terri Lee together.
So the old Terri Lee acquired a friend from the 90's (who recently fell to pieces soon after my Terri broke the rubber bands holding on her appendages...but that is another story). And Barbie now has a Liz Taylor and Clark Gable to keep her company.
My two old Dee An Cee Cindy dolls at least had each other. But I thought perhaps I wanted them to have children, to create a story about moms.... Since they are 14" I couldn't use the two 14" Dee An Cee baby dolls I have had since I was little. That would just look strange. So another doll hunt manifested 2 little 5" Berengeur babies, which will do. And so cute!
As my dolls' friends arrived, with some very successful scale matches and others not-quite-right (Tonner 18"males have smaller heads than my round faced 16" Ellowynes), my get-it-right scale demands started to relax as my dolls got to know each other. Okay, I mean as I got used to seeing them together.
And my photos started to include these slight mis-matches, as if everything was All Right, like in this photo of tall Crissy, playing hairdresser and stylist to tiny Agnes Dreary.
That's when Someone I Know started to kick up a fuss about it, as he saw some of the doll photos and stories for the first time (great editor if I can stand all the constructive criticism).
Now I hear myself justifying the use of this slightly big headed doll with a perfectly proportioned one, the big-eyed dolls with normal sized eye dolls, the skinny dolls with the chubby, the large with the small....
Come on, nobody will care like you say they will. Will they?
So...if my Barbies end up at a party with my Terri Lees, and I post the photos, you sticklers will know it is due to the steady deterioration of my own early discrimination.
I mean, have you noticed how many big headed humans there are?
And how many small minded?
Mixing with the rest of us?
And we put up with it!
Doll scale discrimination must be acknowledged and questioned!
There oughtta be a law.
Wait a minute. I think I have lost my perspective...
I am going to go play with my dolls for a while.
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