Little Girls Toys 3 to 4 Years – Barbie and the Diamond Castle Dolls

Little Girls Toys 3 to 4 Years – Barbie and the Diamond Castle Dolls

Barbie and the Diamond Castle Dolls is a great gift for a little lady, and is among the hottest toys for 3 to 4 year old girls for 2008/2009. (Manufacturer recommended age is actually 3 to 8 years.)

The dolls (Liana and Alexa) are based on characters from the movie, "Barbie and the Diamond Castle" and are simply beautiful in themselves. But there are a number of features for these dolls that make them quite special, and even more certain that almost any little girl would love them.

  • The dresses do a "magical" transformation with a simple twist that turns their "regular" dresses into magical princess gowns. This is a delightful feature that little girls love.
  • Individually each doll sweetly sings songs from the "Barbie and the Diamond Castle" movie
  • There is a beautiful necklace that comes with the doll lights up when she sings and makes magical princess sounds
  • If both dolls are purchased they can hold hands and sing a duet song from the movie.

Other characters and items from the movie are also available as toys, such as the Prince Ian Ken Doll, the magical Horse and carriage from the movie, the Diamond Castle Glimmer (TM) horse and the Barbie and the Diamond Castle Playset (a darling version of the castle from the movie with lights, sounds and music).

Safety note: The Barbie and the Diamond Castle dolls come with some small pieces, and definitely not recommended as a toy for a little girl younger than 3 years of age.

Cost Information: These lovely dolls from the "Little Girls Toys 3 to 4 Years" list retail at around $ 50.00, the dolls as well as the other toys available can be found at a discount price from specific merchants online.

Source by Tonya Brisnehan

History of Kokeshi Wooden Dolls from Japan

History of Kokeshi Wooden Dolls from Japan

Little is known of the early history of Kokeshi Japanese Wooden Dolls. One school of thought believes that Kokeshi dolls have their origins in the practice of spiritualist religion. Wooden dolls were thought to contain the spiritual essence of the dead and were often made for honorary remembrance.

The modern history of Japanese Kokeshi dolls began in the latter part of the Edo Era (1603-1867). Originating in the Tohiku region of northern Japan, famous for it's hot springs and rejuvenating spa waters, Kokeshi Dolls acted as an important source of extra income for local artisans known as Kijiya (which means woodworker in Japanese), who specialized in wood work and the production of household utensils such as trays and wooden bowls. In severe winters these Kijiya craftsmen began making "Kokeshi Dolls" to sell as souvenirs to visitors who frequented the local hot springs. The dolls acted not only as souvenirs but also as massage tools used by the bathers to tap their shoulders while enjoying the warm benefits of the hot springs.

The Kokeshi dolls were very simple in design, originally made on hand-powered lathes. Traditional Kokeshi dolls had common characteristics that consist of a basic cylindrical limbless body and a round head. Although the first dolls might have been unpainted, today most Kokeshi are painted in bright floral designs, kimonos, and other traditional patterns. Colors used were red, yellow and purple. As all the dolls are hand painted, no two faces are alike. This is perhaps the greatest charm of the Kokeshi. Some dolls are whimsical, happy and smiling, while others are serious.

Soon their popularity spread throughout Japan and they became favored as wooden toys for those unable to afford porcelain dolls. In addition the simple rounded shapes of the dolls lent themselves as early teeth rings for young babies.

Kokeshi dolls traditionally represent young girls and they quickly became popular for their depiction of feminine beauty. In addition their simple charm and association with childhood meant that they were often given as gifts when a child was born, as birthday presents or as symbols of remembrance when a child died. In addition Kokeshi Japanese Wooden Dolls were popular with the children of farmers as it was widely thought that they would promise a good harvest, as it was believed that it would create a positive impression on the gods if children played with the dolls.

The woods used for Kokeshi vary. Cherry is distinguished by its darkness. Mizuko or dogwood is softer and used extensively. Itaya-kaede, a Japanese maple is also used. The wood is left outdoors to season for one to five years before it can be used to make a doll. Today, Kokeshi is recognized as one of the traditional folk arts of Japan.

Despite their common features two schools of design exist, Traditional Kokeshi and Creative Kokeshi.

Traditional Kokeshi are for the main part still only produced in the six prefectures of the Tohoku region. The twelve schools of design here all exhibit distinct features that allow experts to tell exactly where they have been produced and often by whatever.

Creative Kokeshi do not follow the traditional designs originating from the Tohoku region and instead have an unstructured inspiration which is completely free in terms of shape and painting, the only traditional constraint being their manufacture by means of the lathe. Unlike traditional kokeshi, they do not display any of their distinctive local color nor the techniques that had been passed down through the generations. They simply represent the creative thought and ability of the craftsman.

Traditional and Creative crafted dolls have become a cause for celebration in Tohoku and across Japan. Every year, in early September, people gather in Naruko Onsen where craftsmen from across the nation gather to honor Kokeshi in a competition where the number one prize is an award from the Prime Minister.

There are many different styles of Kokeshi, but there is one philosophy that all Kokeshi dolls share, and that is the pursuit of beauty and artistry through simplicity. This philosophy is extolled at the website:

Source by Ivor Conway

Monster High Gloom Beach Dolls Review

Monster High Gloom Beach Dolls Review

A new line to the Monster High toys

The Monster High characters were created by Mattel, and since releasing a line of Monster High toys in 2010, kids have loved these characters and of course have loved the dolls, plush toys and accessories that have also been produced.

The toy franchise has a new addition this year: The Gloom Beach Dolls. Gloom Beach in the Monster High story is the characters' favorite beach.

Characters included

The Gloom Beach Dolls line of toys includes only five characters from Monster High: Frankie Stein, Cleo de Nile, Clawdeen Wolf, Draculaura and a new character Jackson Jekyll.

Frankie Stein is the daughter of Frankenstein. She is bestfriends with Draculaura and Clawdeen Wolf.

Her usual ensemble consists of black and white stripes. In the Gloom Beach Dolls line though, she is dressed in an enmseble with black, yellow and green details.

The yellow detail is in a form of a lighting and is found just at the middle of her bathing suit. She's also wearing yellow sandals. The green details comes from the sarong that is wrapped around her waist.

Cleo de Nile is the daughter of The Mummy. Her usual fashion accessories are her headdress and her jewelry.

She goes without all these though in the Gloom Beach Dolls line. She still shows off her style in what she wears to the beach though and this is through her yellow and black swimsuit adorned with the teal sarong wrapped around her waist. Cleo usually has bandage wrappings on her and she is still with a bit of this even going to the beach.

Clawdeen Wolf is the daughter of The Werewolf. She is known to have a fierce fashion sense and it shows on how she looks in the Gloom Beach Dolls line. Cleo is dressed in a swim dress that has a stripe design at the top part and a leopard print in the middle and bottom part, showing off her funky fashion.

Draculaura is the daughter of Draculular, who is despite the most popular monster character of all time.
She is usually dressed in colors of black and pink, and also likes spicing up her wardrobe with laces and frills. This type of fashion sense is evident in her beach apparel in this new dolls line.

She wears a black swimwear with pink details and laces. Draculaura adds yellow to her ensemble though, with her yellow and pink sandals, and her yellow swimskirt.

Jackson Jekyll is the newest Monster High member out of the five. He is the son of Dr. and Mrs. Jekyll. He has a plain style and usually wears sweater vests. In the Gloom Beach Dolls though, it wears a patched-up black and white shorts and yellow and white striped shirt with black details.

Dolls come with cool accessories

Aside from the cool new envelopes the five characters are wearing, all of the Gloom Beach Dolls also comes with cool accessories that will make playing out in the sun more fun.

The Draculaura doll comes with a sunblock. Frankie Stein brings a beach bag where she stores things needed for the beach. Clawdeen Wolf brings a Frisbee for everyone to play with. Cleo de Nile brings with her a brush and fan to Gloom Beach. And Jackson Jekyll has a yin-yang beach ball to play with if they get tired playing with the Frisbee.

All of the characters of course come with the must-have accessory in going to the beach: shades. They come in different colors for the different characters.

Kids will have fun playing with the Gloom Beach Dolls. Each outfit and accessory that comes with each Gloom Beach Dolls really makes the Monster High characters day in the sun fun.

Source by Clinton Crane

Ashton Drake Dolls

Ashton Drake Dolls

Ashton Drake dolls have been delighting families and doll fanatics for many years now. Drake dolls are a line of specialty, hand made dolls that have many different categories ranging from baby dolls, to child models, even to designs of celebrities like Hannah Montana.

What sets these dolls apart from other doll manufactures is the excellent quality. While prices range from very low to very high, even the least expensive designs are perfectly crafted and extremely realistic. Many people collect said dolls and have gathered hundreds of them. There are many different styles of Ashton Drake, but the most popular are there reborn baby creations. These dolls are made to look like real babies and often times many people can not tell the difference between a reborn creation and an actual child! Another popular category of the dolls are the miniature styles. These can fit in your hand and are 5.5 inches long. However, the detail on these are fantastic to behold and must have seen to believe. Also, the porcelain models are great for decorating the house, or any room that needs to be livened up.

Ashton Dolls have become so popular they have even spawned several different brands. Some of these brands include Emmy's World, which are extremely lifelike and detailed, Heavenly Handfuls which are very tiny dolls that fit in the palm of your hand and feature babies and even kittens. In addition, the So Truly Real collection has recently becoming extremely popular and these premium dolls are fantastic to behold.

Source by Calvin H Johnson

Little Girls and Their Dolls

Little Girls and Their Dolls

I have had people say to me … Little girls just do not play with dolls any more. My response … Have you encouraged her, or played with her?

I know growing up, that dolls played a very important part of my life. Our family struggled to make ends meet, and our toys were treasured and few. So treasured in fact, that the dolls I owned as a child, are still my treasured holdings today. I rescued them from the toy box after my two younger sisters had also had their turn with them!

My dolls were babies when we played pioneers, with a wagon and trunk. They were my patient clothing models, when I began to learn the art of sewing, and they put up with countless terribly designed and sewn outfits. They were my comfort on cold winter nights.
My sisters and I played with and treasured our dolls much longer than most young girls seem to today.

Paper dolls were another huge part of our creative childhood. A few magazines of the era such as McCalls came out with a sheet of paper dolls each month. We had a neighbor who subscribed to McCalls and saved the paper doll sheets for us. Betsy McCall and her friends were greatly anticipated on a monthly basis! Carefully cut out, the dolls glued to the back of cereal boxes and cut out, they made fantastic play things. Looking at the elaborate craft sets that are presented to today's children, it is hard for me to imagine that they really stimulate creativity any more than our own imaginations did.

Doll houses played another large part in developing our creativity. As we could only dream of owning a store bought doll house, or furniture, we industriously set out time and again to create our own doll houses out of whatever materials came to hand. A large cardboard box held infinite possibilities.

Items such as empty paper rolls, match boxes, bottle caps, to name a few became pieces of furniture, dishes and much more. Careful searching through the Eatons and Sears catalog as well as weekly sales flyers also produced a wealth of accessories. Pictures from the food flyers glued to cardboard, were used to fill the kitchen cupboards, people cut out and glued to cardboard became the doll house families. My sisters and I enjoyed countless hours of creative fun with these simple materials.

I read an article recently that suggested little girls are tiring of dolls as young as 6 years old. What do they play with then, that can develop their imagination, creativity and nurturing instincts.

I hope parents everywhere will realize the value in simple, uncomplicated playthings for their children. A doll house, with a doll family, furniture, and accessories can provide countless hours of decorating and imaginative fun, as rooms are changed and rearranged. Not only is the imagination developed, but also fine motor skills are honed as children learn to manipulate miniature items.

I also can not help but feel that a little girl who cares for, changes, puts to bed and adores a favorite doll, will learn valuable nurturing instincts that will stay with her into her adult life.

Source by Jayne Cremasco

The Origin Of The Russian Matryoshka Dolls

The Origin Of The Russian Matryoshka Dolls

A popular tourist souvenir in Russia is the matryoshka or the babushka doll. It is a nesting doll set which is decreasing in size and stacked inside each doll. Typically, the traditional nested figures are at least five and some craftsmen can even stack a dozen of these inside the other. The form of these dolls is cylindrical and less definition or depth on its curves and details. The head is rounded as it tapers toward the bottom and these dolls are noticeably without any hands or feet, although these can be painted articulately on its cylindrical body.

The name matryoshka came from its root word "mat" which is a Russian word for mother. However, some references would also suggest that it came from a popular name in Russia at that time which is Matryona. Still the word is still derived from the Latin word "mater" (mother). The traditional Russian costumes that are painted on these dolls are kaftans, sarapan, and the famous headdress called kokoshnik.

The history of the matryoshka started in 1890 and inspired by the Japanese wooden dolls which are also cylindrical in shape. Many references connect this to the Kokeshi dolls of Japan and also its Seven Lucky Gods doll set. The first set of matryoshka was designed and painted by Sergey Malyutin but was carved by Vasily Zvyozdochkin. Malyutin was a crafts painter in the estate of Sawa Mamontov who was a Russian industrialist. During the World Exhibition in Paris in the 1900, Mamontov's wife showcased the dolls there and it earned the bronze award.

Today, several doll manufacturers and master craftsmen have created their own version of the matryoshka. The characters can range from the traditional to the political figures that make it interesting and significantly educational. From the start, the purpose of these dolls was to educate and expose the children of that generation to the traditions and culture of Russia. Diversity has already started influencing its culture and the doll was the easiest way to gain acceptance from children.

The first museum established for the matryoshka was opened in October 2001 in Moscow and is located at a building that was used to be called Detskoye Vospitaniye which means Children's Upbringing. The collection consists of 14,000 figures and you may bring home a piece of this tradition from their souvenir or gift shop. The museum is open from Monday to Thursday and viewing hours are from 11 AM to 6 PM. The good thing is that the entrance is free.

Source by Shannon Rae Treasure

Ashton Drake Dolls As Collectibles

Ashton Drake Dolls As Collectibles

With time, every aspect of our life has become more sophisticated and advanced toys for children is not away from the impact. Toys for children have witnessed a sudden burst of variety and overwhelming choices. Toys now have a revised definition though they are now not just sources of fun and entertainment, but a lot of toys serve as a mode of education and training for children. There is yet another more interesting aspect to toys and they are very aptly named collectibles. The toy manufacturers have now created a new market for collectibles, its amazing how these collectible toys or rather items have found buyers among children and adults both. For example Ashton Drake dolls, if you have seen at least one Aston Drake doll, you would know why they are called collectibles. Ashton Drake Dolls are very real looking dolls and the sizes that they come in make them look all the more real because the sizes of dolls mostly correspond to real human-size.

One has to take note of the fact that most of the online sellers of the Ashton Drake Dolls clearly mention that these dolls are not meant for children to play with it. Most of them market these dolls as ‘dolls for the child in you’. It is certainly an amusing concept as some of the websites have an outlet where the dolls are sold in the manner the hospitals discharge a newborn baby. The buyers of the Ashton Drake Dolls who come to the store are treated as the new parents and once they buy the doll of their choice they are handed over the doll bought as if they are sending the newborn home with the new parents. One feels how creative the toys and collectibles have become and equally creative are the sellers of these toys.

Most of the Ashton Drake Dolls are created based on themes and are marketed based on those themes. Like for an example ‘Emmy’ is one of the Ashton Drake Dolls from a theme based collection called – Tiny Miracles. It’s a baby girl doll that is again a very real looking baby doll and is one of the most popular collectibles of Ashton Drake’s products.

Normally most of the dolls that are the toy dolls are made up of either plastic, fiber or wood but the Ashton Drake Dolls are known to use their trademark materials that give all their dolls and also other collections like Teddy Bears, jewelry, Figurines and Ornaments close to life and very real feel. One can say that Ashton Drake is one of the popular and highly acclaimed companies that manufacture realistic dolls and Teddy bears. All the features of the Ashton Drake Dolls are carefully carved out of again their trademarked material Real-Touch Vinyl Skin. The hair is micro-rooted and the eyelashes are deceptively real and one can’t find any visible difference between real and created eye lashes here. A close observation would reveal that even the fingernails and toenails are hand painted to give the doll an overall realistic look.

Source by Victor Epand

Meet the Liv Dolls

Meet the Liv Dolls

The Five Liv Dolls

There are currently five Liv Dolls. Their names are Hayden, Katie, Alexis, Daniela, and Sophie. I will go over each doll in this order.

Hayden Liv Doll

The original dolls came with four dolls. Hayden was not one of the original dolls, and she was just added. She has quite an interesting personality. Hayden is an animal lover and a vegetarian.

Hayden regularly takes in stray animals because of her love for animals. She is so fond of animals that she will even take in mice and various insects. She can also easily promote her love of animals at the local Pet Adoption Agency where she works.

Hayden is a great role model for young girls because of her healthy and loving lifestyle. This is why I often recommend these dolls to parents that are looking for toys.

The original Hayden comes in the Outdoor Fashion set. Just like all of the other dolls, she comes with many accessories. She comes with her very own bunny in the Outdoor Fashion Set. Another set, which features a My Nature Hayden, comes with her horse (Clover) that she loves to ride. Hayden also has an animal rescue set so that she can take care of all of those stray animal. Hayden also comes in an after school set and a Making Waves set.

Liv Doll Katie

Katie absolutely loves sports. She is the most athletic of the dolls. She also loves being in the outdoors. Katie has tried a ton of sports, including skating, BMX biking, and even snowboarding. She is always looking out for new activities to try. She also always tries to involve her dog SK8 in her activities. SK8 is always there when she is skateboarding. In fact, Katie is on her skateboard so much that she is quite clumsy when she is off of it.

Even though Katie is a top athlete at her school, she is still a great academic. Many of the guys in her class have secret crushes on her, but she oblivious to this. She mostly doesn’t care because she is in love with a guy named Jared that works with her.

The original Katie doll is wearing a green jacket, and she also comes with a frisbee accessory. Just like all the dolls, Katie comes in many different versions. You can get skateboarding Katie in the Outdoor Fashion set. You can also get a Katie and SK8 set if you want Katie and her dog. School’s Out Katie is also a great collectible.

Liv Doll Alexis

Alexis is a typical teenage girl. She is the prep of the dolls, and she loves fashion. Currently she works at a fashion store, and she designs unique clothes. She is trying to move up at work to eventually pursue her dream of being big in the fashion industry.

Lacey is the Alexis’s pup. They do everything together, and Lacey likes to dress her up. Sometimes Lacey chews up Alexis’s clothes, which makes her really mad! Lacey always ends up forgiving her though.

Alexis’s favorite activity is going shopping with her other Liv Doll friends. Alexis’s least favorite activity is babysitting her little brother Miles.

Just like the other dolls, Alexis comes in different styles and sets. She has different hairstyles that can be changed out. The Outdoor Fashion set comes with clothes for a nature setting. Katie also comes with her dog Lacey in a different set. Finally, School’s Out Alexis is a great addition to your collection.

Daniela Liv Doll

Daniela is the musician of the Liv Doll group. She is naturally gifted at music. She is talented at a bunch of different musical aspects, including drums, guitar, and singing. She writes new songs in hopes of becoming famous one day. Currently, she tries to get her name out by performing at open mic nights. Daniela also has a dog named D.J. D.J regularly performs with her, providing an entertaining aspect to her music.

Currently Daniela works at a coffee shop, and she is saving up money to pursue her musical career. Luckily, her cafe hosts open mic nights, so Daniela has many opportunities to perform.

Daniela comes with two wigs and an outfit in her original set. There are also other sets that feature Daniela. School’s Out Daniela has a purple shirt, and she also has dyed her hair with streaks. Daniela comes with a guitar in the Outdoor Fashion set. Daniela also has her dog D.J. in another set.

Sophie Liv Doll

Sophie is the blonde of the dolls, and she gets a lot of attention for her looks. She loves to style hair and be fashionable. She wants to one day be a big hair stylist. She regularly practices on her friends, but sometimes her friends don’t like her outrageous hair styles. When this happens, she likes to practice her styles on her Shih Tzu Frizzy.

Luckily, Sophie has a job as a hair stylist. When she is not at work, she likes to pursue other hobbies like painting. Sophie is a natural listener, and she is often the Liv Doll that the others come to for help with problems (especially boy troubles).

Just like all other dolls, Sophie comes with wigs and an outfit in her original set. There are more great variations of Sophie, such as an exclusive set that comes with an additional purse. School’s Out Sophie is one of the first sets, and you can also get additional hair styling accessories with the Outdoor Fashion Sophie. She also comes with her Shih Tzu Frizzy in a separate set.


The Liv Dolls have great personalities, and their styles are much more reserved when compared to those of Barbies or Bratz Dolls. You should check out these dolls and consider them as gifts for a young girl. They are also great collectibles.

Source by Lisa J Brow

The Dolls Of Armand Marseille Doll Company

The Dolls Of Armand Marseille Doll Company

Popularly known as one of the best manufacturers of bisque head dolls, Armand Marseille Company had been manufacturing from 1885 until 1950 in Thuringia, Germany. The brainchild of the company was Herman who was a son of an architect and was born in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1856. His family immigrated to Germany after 1860. Herman then purchased the Mathias Lambert’s toy company in 1884 and later on acquired Liebermann & Wegescher’s porcelain factory in Koppelsdorf in the year 1885.

According to historical figures, the company had manufactured around 1,000 bisque doll heads per day from the year 1900’s to the 1930’s. They made baby, child, character, and lady dolls with either painted or glass eyes. The company also used other materials for the bodies such as composition and cloth bodies. However, the doll bodies they have used for their products were produced by other doll makers but were still of good quality.

For those who want to get a reference of the dolls produced by Armand Marseille, here are just some of the dolls that were popularly launched:

1) Floradora (1894) – The doll has a marking “Made in Germany/AM/Armand Marseille” with the mold number 370. The doll measured 19 to 20 inches tall, had a cloth body with a pair of glass eyes, and a slightly opened mouth.

2) Beauty, Jubilee, Queen Louise, Majestic, and Princess (1894) – These are just some of the names used for the dolls that had composition bodies with bisque shoulder head. The markings on the dolls were “AM/DEP/Made in Germany” with their mold numbers.

3) Baby Betty / Character Baby – The doll typically had the marking “Germany A.M. DGRM or DRMR with the mold number 231 beside it. The bisque head doll had glass eyes, painted eyelashes, wig, and bent and jointed baby limb body.

4) Baby Phyllis – This baby doll had a cloth body, bisque shoulder head, and the lower arms were partially composition. Other character baby dolls were named Ellar, Melitta, and Baby Gloria. These dolls would either have straight legs or bent baby limbs.

5) Googly eye (1920) – This bisque head doll with a pair of side glancing rounded eyes and it measured 12 inches tall. The doll mold numbers are 200, 210, 240, 241, 253, and 323.

6) Just Me (1925) – The doll had sleep eyes and painted eyelashes. It measured 7.5 to 13 inches tall and the mold numbers are 310 and 318. For the avid Vogue doll collectors, yes, these dolls were also sold by the Vogue Doll Company.

Source by Shannon Rae Treasure

The History of Berenguer Dolls

The History of Berenguer Dolls

The history of Berenguer Dolls began over half a century ago in Spain when Jose Berenguer began a lifelong passion for designing dolls in 1944.

By the 1950's Jose Berenguer's dolls had built an excellent reputation for quality craftsmanship and beauty. The most popular during this decade were the Chelito and Pepin dolls.

His passion for doll making and design was passed on to his son Salvador, who was also born in Spain – a country that has inspired many artists. Salvador comes from a family where the gift of sculpting has been passed down through the generations and inherited his family's legacy.

He has personally sculpted many Berenguer doll masterpieces that capture the essence of a child's beauty. He is an expert at recreating the look of innocence and purity that reflect childhood.

He is the creative genius behind the ingenious designs of today's Dolls by Berenguer, now owned by JC Toys. With his sculpting background and a keen eye for detail, Salvador has created countless dolls that reveal the many varied emotions of childhood. He draws his inspiration from everyday life and – closer to home – his own children and grandchildren.

Salvador took over from his father in the 1960's and continued his pleasure of a toil with the same passion and dedication as he began over 40 years ago.

Today Salvador is Head Sculptor for the company JC Toys which has offices in Florida, Hong Kong and Spain.

JC Toys Group dolls were first introduced to the American market in the early 1980's. You've probably heard of them under another name – they were known by the popular name of BERJUSA.

The Berjusa dolls had a considerable effect on the doll market at the time due to because of their amazingly life-like features and innovative gentle facial sculpts which had never been seen quite like this before. Popular brand names of dolls of the 1980's and later were Tunene and Minene.

Later on that decade, new baby dolls were introduced to the range, like La Newborn and La Baby.

Today JC Toys is an international designer and manufacturer of collectible and specialty dolls, with one of the largest ranges in the world. And the name Berenguer continues to be synonymous with dolls of superior quality and unique design.

That is Salvador Berenguer's legacy.

Source by Rosemary Greenwood