Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Kitty Kapers x 2

Two Kitty Kapers cats
Every so often I get a request for a custom piece, and by far my Kitty Kapers replica cat is the most popular. A couple years ago a customer introduced me to this cat and since then I've lost count of how many I've completed. Here are my two latest Kitty Kapers clones: twin cats!

Cat 1

Cat 2

The Kitty Kapers cat is a very rare Barbie accessory from 1972. Kitty Kapers was the name for outfit #1062 from the Put-ons & Pets line. Each outfit from this series came with a pet, and all of these outfits and pets are extremely difficult to find. There is an Afghan hound, a poodle, and this white cat. I've seen this outfit with the cat sell for over $800 not even still mint in the package! With a price tag like that it's easy to see why people want a replica. That way they get the look of the original outfit without the high cost. People rarely want the cat exactly as it was originally made. I don't like how flat the original cat looks, so I made mine more three-dimensional with string joints to aid posing. Previous customers wanted a happier looking cat. My latest customer wanted the face more similar to the original, so I used darker beads and made the mouth more downturned.

Cat 1

Cat 2

Besides the joints, I use higher-quality materials than the original cats. The bodies are made from wool felt and the fur is a Peruvian Merino wool/synthetic blend yarn felted onto the body. The eyes and nose are real glass beads. Each one is completely made by hand from my own pattern, so it's impossible to make them look exactly alike. I do think that makes them look more custom, however; if they were factory-produced they would look identical, but these are clearly artisan-made.

The cats have string joints that allow them to pose.

If this were a real cat it would be enormous, probably record-breaking! But the original Kitty cat is large as well, so I tried to keep mine to the same scale. You can see the large size compared to my Sindy vintage doll. She's a model for me since her amputee status makes her not really worth selling. I'm an equal-opportunity doll model employer! These are bespoke cats, but you can order your own by contacting me through this blog or through my Atelier Mandaline store. I do have what I believe are the boots from the Kitty Kapers line listed right now, so I hope you'll check!

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