Sunday, September 1, 2019

#29 of 2019 - French Kiss Vanessa Perrin

As I've stated numerous times, there are some great perks about being a member of the W Club.  One of the best is the exclusive dolls offered to members only.  When a collector joins the W Club, they are offered a couple "upgrade" dolls to add to their membership fee.  This year the W Club offered Bossa Nova Beauty Poppy, Level of Suspense Lukas Maverick (NuFace Line), and French Kiss Vanessa Perrin (FR2 line using the 1.0 mold).

There are a handful of Integrity Toys molds that I have a serious weakness for as a collector.  Mold 1.0 of Vanessa Perrin is one of those.  This is the first time the mold has ever been offered in the "Sunkissed" skin tone, which has quickly become a favorite.  It was a "no-brainer" to add this doll to my cart.

Here are a couple photos from the original offering (Property of Integrity Toys)

And here is IT's photo of the accessories.
This is another case where the actual production doll can be better than the promo photos.  I use the term "can" because there is a lot of variance in production between dolls.  I know this seems odd, but these dolls are created by hand.  The rooting of the hairlines, the application of screenings, and even the facial paintings can be significantly different within one edition.

I was very fortunate to get one with a great hairline and facial screening.  My only problems were:  1) The head is a slightly off from the body, which is a common problem with IT dolls over the past few years, and 2) One of my doll's eyelashes was placed a little low.  I have found that I can heat the head slightly and use the "eye end of a darning needle" to carefully nudge a misplaced eyelash into a better position.

Here is my doll in the box.
And a closeup -
NOTE:  Now that IT is using a rose gold liner for their boxes, the camera tends to pick up on the yellows and make the faces look more greenish/yellowish tinted than it looks in real life.  BUT WHAT A FACE!!!

Here she is out of the box, so you can see the difference in skin tone isn't as pronounced as in the "in box" photo.
I adore this doll.  I think she is easily in the top 10 of FR2 dolls ever produced.

For me, the proof of any doll is how she redresses because I actually like changing their ensembles.  Here she is wearing Charlotte Olympiad's jacket and Modern Sensibility Dasha's shorts.  Her hair is very thick and luxurious.  It's style is easy to manage.
Let's try Coquette Jordan's ensemble!  With her hair pulled back, you really get a good look at that incredible face!

She looked so good in casual, I had to keep going.  How about an inexpensive Barbie ensemble?  Oh my!

This girl is definitely a "keeper".  Although several dolls have arrived before her, she came out of that box before many of them.  She clawed her way to the front of the line easily.  #29 of 2019 is French Kiss Vanessa Perrin; I bet you'll see her often on my flickr page.


Monday, July 8, 2019

Merging Traffic Ahead - Victoire Roux / East 59th Street / Monogram - #22, #23, #24, #25, #26, #27, and #28 of 2019

Wow!  Summer break is almost over for me (I teach elementary school aged gifted children), and I have not met the lofty aspirations I set for my collection.  Sadly, as you can see from my lists to the right, I haven't been as diligent at photographing and selling dolls that are meant to leave, nor have I been photographing and deboxing dolls that are staying.  I am out of balance once again.

... But life happens.  My mother-in-law has had a serious health scare this summer, I am still dealing with trying to ward off Type 2 diabetes, my best friend's father died, and I have to pack up my classroom because I found out three weeks ago that I am moving inside the building (this is awesome, but a lot of work and time).  

It would help if I stayed off the computer.  But, like many of you, doll collecting is my way of relaxing, de-stressing, and escaping the everyday cares and worries of the world.

In an effort to at least keep up with what has arrived and gain some sense of control, I decided to lump a group of dolls together for a review.  Most of these dolls have not been released from their boxes yet.  I will note when a photo is the property of Integrity Toys (IT).

One of the doll lines for which I have been a huge fan since its inception is the Victoire Roux line.  The designer is Chris Stokel and the dolls represent vintage clothing and style inspirations.  I have been onboard since the initial 2011 release at the IT Jet Set Convention.

One reason I enjoy this line is that the body is an amalgamation of other bodies.  The bust is similar to the original, large-breasted Fashion Royalty line.  The torso is similar to the older Monogram/ NuFace/ Poppy Parker.  The legs and arms are similar to the Dynamite Girl/ The Industry lines. This means the dolls can wear a little of everything!

Here is a photo of the first Victoire Roux, Faubourg St. Honore, wearing a Vintage Barbie fashion, Saturday Matinee.
It's always fun and exciting to combine one's love of different lines.  I've been collecting Vintage Barbie almost my entire life (it wasn't even "Vintage" when I started).  Fortunately, the dolls can also wear modern Barbie clothing inspired by the fashion industry.  Here is a photo of the second Victoire, Avenue George V, wearing the Christian Dior Suit.
Unfortunately, the dolls did not receive the collector support hoped for, so IT decided to take hiatus to refresh the head mold in 2014.  (Personally, I don't think the mold was as much a problem as some of the later screenings.)

While waiting for the re-relase of Victoire Roux, IT introduced some friends for her in 2017 with a line called East 59th Street.  The Victoire Roux body returned with some minor improvements.
They still share the same wardrobes and cross-wardrobes, although some of the earlier ensembles are a tiny bit looser in the waist and hips.  In addition to the Vintage Barbie and Modern Collectible Barbie clothing, this body looks great in the Silkstone wardrobe.  Here is Luxurious Leisure Constance Madssen wearing the Silkstone ensemble Walking Suit.  I refer to her as Karen Walker.
The wardrobe versatility is amazing and the clothing designed specifically for this line is quite unlike anything else offered by IT.  Unfortunately, both East 59th Street and Victoire Roux are struggling lines with collectors.  Even though produced in a modest edition size of only 500, The Cocktails Collection line from last year didn't sellout.  At the end of last year, I purchased The Americano and Tangier Tangerine at drastically reduced prices.  This spring, Mai Tai Sizzle and Turquoise Sparkler joined their sisters in the Bargain Bins.
I tried to resist this doll, reasoning that I already had two other dark haired dolls with widow's peaks with similar hairstyles.  Unfortunately, I struggle with resisting a good sale.  Here is a photo of the amazing accessories included, photo by IT.
#22 of 2019 became Evelyn Weaverton in Turquoise Sparkler.
One of the last dolls in "The Cocktails Collection" to arrive was Midnight Kiss Aurelia Grey.  Although I also resisted this doll, when photos started being posted in real life, I started folding.
The suit is remarkable!  Another great set of accessories (photo by IT).
All hope was lost when Erica posted a photo of this doll re-rooted on a NuFace body.  Please follow the link for some serious eye-candy Erica's Aurelia Grey.  

#23 of 2019 is Aurelia Grey in Midnight Kiss.  My goal is a similar doll to Erica's.
The only doll from "The Cocktails Collection" that I actually preordered was Blue Gold Victoire Roux with the "refreshed" sculpt.
The accessories for this line was mind-boggling for the price point.  IT cannot be faulted for not putting their full weight behind the line.  (Photo by IT.)
#24 of 2019 was Blue Gold Victoire Roux.  I have trouble resisting a good red haired doll!
I was worried about the refreshed sculpt for Victoire Roux and shied away from Divine Evening Victoire Roux of the 2018 IT Luxe Life Convention.  After receiving Blue Gold, I decided I would purchase the convention version (it didn't hurt that I got her for less than original convention prices - I truly do not understand the lack of collector support).
She was such an unexpected surprise.   I think she is still available at the Integrity Toys website at convention price.  Those green eyes are the perfect shade.  What a face!  
#25 of 2019 is Divine Evening Victoire Roux.
Like I mentioned earlier, IT is really trying to build a following for this line.  They have already released a "Spring Capsule Collection" for East 59th Street.  This line included a W Club Lottery giftset consisting of two dolls called Pink Champagne.  (Photo by IT)
It was incredible offering that retailed for $200 in an edition size of 500.
#26 of 2019 is Pink Champagne Victoire Roux.  This sculpt is very versatile and the mold is exquisite.  I hope collectors catch on to it soon, or it may get retired/refreshed again.
#27 of 2019 is Pink Champagne Aurelia Grey.
I love the creativity of the design team at IT when it comes to the IFDC (International Federation of Doll Collectors) Conventions.  We have gotten some exceptional dolls from that convention as IT has been supporting it since 2003!  (In my personal collection, I have 2004: Diamond Dusted Veronique Perrin, 2005:  Born to Gamble Kyori Sato, 2007: Dress Me Luchia Z, 2009:  Black Party Monogram, 2010: Checkmate The Red Queen Tatyana Alexandrova, 2011: Go West Natalia Fatale and Go Home Rayna Ahmadi, 2012: Long Cool Woman Kesenia, Shake It Up Korinne, and Rock Me Baby Rayna, 2013: Bloodlines Tatyana Alexandrova, 2017: Feeling Wild Giselle Diefendorf, and 2018: Time of the Season Poppy Parker.)

I was pleasantly surprised that the IT team decided to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the now retired Monogram line at the 2019 IFDC, which is where the line debuted.  Although I would've preferred the dolls released on their original body, IT combined the Monogram line with the East 59th Street / Victoire Roux lines by producing the dolls using that body.  (Maybe because the fashions were intended to represent the 1940's and they needed a more voluptuous silhouette.)

WARNING:  If you are trying to save money for the IT Convention or do not want to start collecting either the Monogram Line or the East 59th Street body, please close this window now.  I am not responsible for what may happen financially.

For the 2019 IFDC, IT produced the dolls in edition sizes of 400 - 500. Although IT always plans to have some leftovers for the W Club through lottery, the attendance this year was very low (about 150).  Next year will be the last year for the IFDC Convention due to this dwindling attendance.   

If you are a member of the W Club, your chances of winning one of the IFDC dolls is pretty good, especially since the support of the Monogram molds and East 59th Street bodies is lukewarm.

The IFDC Centerpiece Doll will be offered through W Club lottery at a price of $165.  She was called Dish (lower edition size of 400).
Although she is quite interesting, I'm not a big fan.  I love the hair color, but the rolled bangs were created by bringing the hair into a forward pulled ponytail.  The lingerie is more modern than 1940's in my opinion, but I would like to purchase it separately if it comes available.  I passed on this doll.

The IFDC companion doll is Glamour Pus - edition size 500, price $160.
I'm just not sure about this doll.  I like the hair, but the eyebrows look a little "startled" to me.  I'm not sure about the slit in the skirt relative to 1940's style.  The ensemble looks like a Katy Keene outfit paired with the accessories to the Splendid Jordan Duval.  Again, I passed.

The IFDC Convention Doll uses the first Monogram mold (Dish and Glamour Pus used mold 2.0).  Personally,  I really liked the open mouth of the original mold quite a lot.  I have seen some versions of this doll that are quite a mess.

I don't mind paying a little more on secondary market for a better version of a doll.  I had been watching this doll and saw some with bigger foreheads, some with eye screening problems, and some with serious rooting problems.  

When I saw the version I purchased, it was at a slightly higher price than the $175 W Club price for lottery winners.  But I really liked this particular version.

First I want to show a photo of the packaging. 
Here is Grandstanding Monogram full length in box.  (Note: Alain was true to his word and fixed the accessory box.  It stays closed now.)
And a box close up of the face.
The jewelry is amazing.  (Photo by IT)  No ties on the shoes!!  They just slip on easily!  Yeah!!
Out of the box. WOW!  Much better than the promo photos shows.
Love the back of the dress.  Yes, that is a zipper!
The fur is exceptional, but, as luxurious as it is, it hides the dress and overpowers it.
Maybe a short cape in natural white?
Or a dark stole with tails?
This doll has much more to offer than I initially realized.  I love the platinum hair (and even like the hairstyle - although you can see a little of the scalp in the center).  The dress is amazingly detailed.  The coat is extraordinary.  There is just too much to love here!  
#28 of 2019 is Grandstanding Monogram.