Thursday, June 30, 2011

Swapping Styles - I Finally Get It!

I remember when Mattel started producing the new Fashionista bodies with the easy shoulder/head swap. I didn't quite understand why at the time. I remember D7ana did a blog post about it, and there was a question as to why there was only one African American head available.

Well I finally see the true benefit of "Swapping Styles" and I have since adopted this new concept with my own dolls.  The idea recently came about because I ended up with 3 Trichelle Dolls and I love all three of them, So I want them all to be in my stories, as Shantavia. 

So here she is with her hair casually blown out. She can be seen in action in the latest video

Shantavia loves going natural most of the time.  We saw her first when she was photographing the kids with Santa in this video

And finally, Shantavia does love the glamour, so this will be her look when she gets really dressed up.  So I will behead two of these bodies and donate them to some other dolls.  She will eventually get an Artsy body when I start using her more regularly in the stories.

Remember Lisa.  This is what she looked like at the Daddy/Daughter dance.  You probably didn't notice that you had never seen this doll before.

This is the original Lisa that I had used up to this point.

Well I had a ballerina doll, with the sane face sculpt as Lisa.  Her hair was already in an updo and she had different color makeup.  Perfect!  One less doll hair to comb.

My two Chandras aren't that different, but I will still swap them when necessary.

I know some of you aren't fond of swapping heads and bodies.  If you have never tried it before, I highly recommend it.  I have personally gotten so good at it, that I no longer need water or hair dryers.  It takes me leass than 30 secs to pop a head off these days.  I have yet to break or tear anything in the process.  So look for all of my different styled dolls in my future stories.

I decided to go back and look at Fashionishta Artsy and add the pictures of the original Fashionishta Arty and the Swapping Head after getting Debbie's  comment.
Here is the original Artsy.

Here is the Original Swapping Heads Artsy.

And here is the swapping head.

So I would use the original as my "casual" girl and the the swapping head as the "glamour" girl.  I like that the makeup is so different.  For my purpose, the small subtle changes are perfect.  And as someone who doesn't like doing doll hair, I would leave both hairstyles as is and use when needed.  To Debbie's point, (see comment 1 below),  I agree that Mattel didn't take this far enough for the average little girl who is targeted for this doll.  Little girls love doing dolly hair, so I can't imagine that they would juust swap heads instead of just combing the hair.  So the swapping concept is lost when it comes to the intended market.


  1. I get it, too, Vanessa, but when the hairstyle and hair color offered by Mattel on the extra head is almost identical to the original head (as in the case of Artsy Fashionista), obviously Mattel doesn't get it as well as you have illustrated.

    Thanks for the idea (to go a step further and restyle the hair or make other changes for a new look).


  2. DBG - I just revised the post and added Artsy. I agree that Mattel didn't take this far enough for their intended audience. For me, the 2 Artsy would be perfect. I need the nice subtle changes to make the swap seem believable.

  3. Thanks for adding an image of the original Artsy to your blog.

    There is also the actual Artsy Swappin' Styles doll (shown on the left in this image). This doll is also illustrated on the box of the Swappin' Styles extra head.

    The differences are very subtle.


  4. DBG - Oops. I meant to add the swapping one. Just did it.

  5. Looks like you have found a good use for all the "twin" dolls we end up collecting.

  6. Hi Vanessa and thanks for the link share ;-D

    I agree with Limbe Dolls that this is a cool way to use "twin" dolls. I think DBG - me, too, here - both use our two YNU Group Opals as the same character - one Opal curly-haired, the other straight-haired.

    And to think that I almost convinced myself that I did not need any of more of the S.i.S. dolls because I had similar looking dolls.

    Thanks for sharing this tip on how to use the twins and sisters that Mattel generously bestows upon us ;-)

  7. limbe dolls - I hadn't really thought of them as "twins", but I guess you are right. You know my dolls have to work over here. No more of this sitting on the shelf trying to look cute.

    D7ana - I was only supposed to have the one Trichelle doll. I ended up with the other two right after Stacey McBride-Irby left Mattel. I didn't think I would buy anymore S.I.S. dolls, especially since they weren't on articulated bodies.... but there are some really cute ones coming out. So now I can "justify" buying more, should the situation arise. And since I will only need the head, I can even buy the stiff ones.

  8. So what's going to happen to the headless bodies? Any plans for those?


  9. DBG - I assume you mean the non articulated ones. I have quite a few extra bodies. I was going to sell some of the MM bodies, BUT I have decided to hang on to them for the future fashion show. Some of them will be used as mannequins in the boutique that is in the works (only in my head at this point).

  10. Yes,that's what I meant. Using the nonarticulated bodies for mannequins is a great idea.


  11. I like the idea of the swapping heads. I use the multiple head one body as of the beginning of this year. While I'm clearing out things I have found several dolls with the same face I love. I started using my Plano boxes to store heads. One character having several looks is working.

    Mattel needs to make some more shades of these dolls. I'm hoping the new Basic dolls w/the articulated bodies will offer me some bodies for some of my other ladies who want some mobility.

  12. Dollz4Moi - I had to look up Plano boxes. That's a good idea. I have to find something to organize my heads, now that I am moving into this direction.


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