Sunday, October 9, 2016


I guess we all experience this emotion sometime.

  • The anniversary of the loss of my mother, which started me on the journey of this blog, is quickly approaching.  
  • The weather is getting cooler and fall is settling in.
  • My little fuzz baby, Millie, has been diagnosed with heart problems.  I have her on medicine and she is laying on the floor watching me type.  She is 11 years old and has been with me since my divorce.  
  • I didn't sign up for the IT convention this year, so I will be joining the fun like so many other collectors, through the lenses of our friends.  
  • I have been so underwhelmed by Fashion Royalty this year, that I have been seriously rethinking the future of my collection.  
When the upgrade dolls were released for the W Club, I was very uncertain about Take Me On Vanessa Perrin (photo from Integrity Toys).  I even told a friend that something was bothering me about the eyes.

It turns out she was the first doll released with "decal"/"water slide" eyes.  These are printed and applied.  When magnified in photos, you can actually see the dots from the printing process.  Sometimes when the head is heated or the hair washed, the decals have been reported to come off.

When the FR mainline was previewed a few weeks ago, I only ordered three of the six dolls and the upgrade doll.  Three of the dolls had "water slide" eyes.  Daytime Impact Dasha was an immediate fan favorite.  (Photo from Integrity Toys)

Unfortunately, the IT disclaimer "Final productions may vary slightly" applied to this doll because her eye screening was completely different. Instead of having white on both sides of her irises, she had extreme side glancing eyes and the left eye was noticeably different from the right.  I'm glad I did not order this doll, but I was a fan of the ensemble and picked it up secondary market for $60.  I knew who was going to wear it, a personal favorite from last year, Evening Blossom Dominique Makeda.
It turns out that Dasha was immediately followed by another doll with "water slide" eyes, Fabulous Fields Lucia Z.  (Photo by Integrity Toys)
Again, there are a lot of unhappy collectors because the eyes are off.  It seems there are more problems caused by the water slide decals than solutions.  Luchia Z, mold 2.0, is not a favorite of mine, so I passed on this doll also.  I managed to get the dress and put it on the right model though, Rock Me Baby Rayna.
From the four dolls in this line that have water slide decals, I did purchase one, Emerging Rebel Kyori Sato.  She had a minor eye problem, but I was able to use Cel Paint to correct it.  Years ago, I read that the best paint to touch up vintage Barbies was the paint used by cartoon artists because the cels they worked on were vinyl.  I purchased some at a college art store.  It seemed to work fine, although I wouldn't recommend anyone trying to fix these problems on their own.  Even with the decals, I think Emerging Rebel is my personal favorite use of mold 2.0.
Ruffles and Blooms Eugenia Frost-Perrin has started being received by collectors.  Her head is pink and her body is Hungarian.  Collectors are just happy the eyes look in the same direction.  (Photo by Integrity Toys).
Eugenia is my favorite mold; however, I do not like the color or style of this dress.  I already have several Eugenia dolls living here, and I didn't see how this dolls brought anything new or different to my collection.

Contrasting Proposition Natalia is here (the second doll I purchased from this collection), but I cannot even bring myself to debox her.   There have been reports that her hair is coarse.
Somehow I feel like Integrity Toys has lost its way.  There are just too many quality control issues.  (And what's up with these eyebrows?)   I am worried about Elise and Agnes (the two dolls left from this collection).  I hope the collectors who go to the convention are treated to better, but I don't like feeling that I have to attend a convention to get my money's worth from dolls I used to enjoy collecting.

To get out of this funk, I decided to photograph some of the dolls and clothing that started me on this journey.  First up is 2004's Glam Slam Kyori Sato wearing 2001-2002's Adele Suited Luxury.  This was the second Kyori Sato I ever owned and still a personal favorite.
And here is my first Veronique, Sheer Goddess, also from 2004.  She is wearing Silver Society from 2001-2002.
And, of course, I had to photograph the doll that cemented me into collecting Fashion Royalty, Poesie Sans Coleur Vanessa Perrin, wearing her own sheath.

I am very blessed to own examples of such quality.  I hope the best awaits my friends in Chicago this week.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

I Hate You, Poppy Parker

As many of my followers know, Poppy Parker and I have had a difficult relationship.  I actually purchased (I still have trouble writing "started collecting") Ms. Parker when she was first released.  Many of my earlier Poppy Parkers have been sold, but she keeps sneaking her way into my heart ... I mean collection ... every now and again.

When the "Poppy Goes to Paris" line was premiered, my response was simply, "I don't need these.  I really don't like the styling on these dolls.  Anyway, I don't collect Poppy Parker."  As I looked over the photos, I started realizing that two of these girls were going to live here whether I won the lottery to purchase them or not - Powder Puff and Miss Amour.  I rationalized, "At least I didn't order from the retail line." 

When this collection started showing up in the hands of collectors and "real life" photos started being posted, I did a double take.   The doll that I had originally considered the weakest in this line was "Night at the Ballet".   The fabric scale was wrong, the screening did not appeal to me, etc.  Here is the promotion photo from Integrity Toys.
Well... the production doll is amazing.   I think they softened her eyeshadow and it made such a dramatic improvement.    I have to blame Rebecca Berry for this one (it's not the first time Rebecca has impacted my wallet).  Her first flickr photos were amazing.  I completely folded when I read her review Inside the Fashion Doll Studio - Night At The Ballet Review

I was able to order one at retail price because collectors had not realized yet exactly the sleeper this doll was to become.  First, I love the packaging on this line.  It is just so "girlie" - the little bow on top is the perfect finishing touch.
Here is a full length photo inside the box.
I do like the little accessory boxes they've started including with Poppy now.  And here's a closeup of the face.
Here are the accessories.   The shoes are "everything" - just look at the detail here. 
This doll reminded me so much of Elizabeth Montgomery's character, Samantha Stephens, from the television series "Bewitched", which was my favorite show when I was a child.  I used to make believe I was "Sam" in play.  

Unfortunately, when I took my doll's hair out of the hairnet, there were several "pieces" that had pulled away from the rest and were folded under in the back.  BAD quality control, BAD.  I am not a hair stylist, but here is my attempt at correcting the mess in a full length photo.
The fur stole is a nice finishing touch.  
I redressed this doll in an earlier Poppy Parker fashion, Sealed With A Kiss.  I love her in this.
I really do love this doll very much.  For someone who does not collect Poppy Parker, how did 26 of them find homes here?  The latest addition, and one of my very favorite versions of this character, Night at the Ballet Poppy Parker, is breathtaking in real life.