Saturday, April 27, 2013

Something Fierce This Way Comes

(EDIT:  This blog entry was edited June 23, 2015 to include newly released versions of Agnes Von Weiss since the original publication.)

Trying to get organized.  Trying to enjoy my collection more.  Trying to narrow down my number of dolls to something more manageable.  Sounds easy?  Well … it ain’t!
My husband suggested that I pull all of the dolls from each mold and eliminate any that favor.  So, I decided to start with one of my favorite molds.  Here is my history of Agnes.
Agnes was introduced at the 2006 Integrity Convention as the event doll and was released with an edition size of 500.  She is Concerto in M.  I remember collectors getting all upset about this “sour” faced doll! 
 Here is a closeup.   
This was when Integrity was still releasing storycards.  Here is the front of Concerto in M’s storycard. 
Here is the story.  (Click on the photo and you can read all about Agnes Von Weiss.)
It wasn’t long until collectors got their second Agnes.  She was the W Club Exclusive – Dressing the Part and was released with an edition size of 750.    For some reason, this version of Agnes is the one I think of as “Agnes”.    I played with this poor girl until I almost wore her out! 
Here is a closeup.  I think she was the first FR doll in my collection with applied eyelashes.
Here is the front of DTP's storycard.

And her story ...
My history gets a little fuzzy here.  I believe that, although Wicked Valentine was the third Agnes publicized, she was actually received prior to Dressing the Part.  She was a special promotion doll for an FAO event in February and had an edition size of 400. 
Here is a closeup of her face.  I remember how much I loved the raven hair and brown eyes!  Collectors stood in line in freezing cold weather to get her.
Another storycard!
 And her story from the back! (Remember you can click on the photo to read it) 
A special version of Agnes was given out at a Saks 5th Avenue event to 100 attendees.  This is the hardest doll to find and often fetches extremely high secondary market prices.  I have never owned this doll.  This photo belongs to Amanda who allowed it to be posted on http://woodsky.free.fr/LBX/listeFR.html.
By this time, I had a blonde, a brunette/raven, and a redhead.  I thought I could be satisfied with the Agnes dolls in my collection and not purchase any more of this mold.  Guess again!  At the 2007 Convention, we got the smuggest of all Agnes dolls – The Royal Weiss with an edition size of 500.  She is one of my very favorite dolls and is a strong character in my story line.  “I am NOT putting that gown back on.  You said because it was spring I had to change clothes.  That gown is not spring clothes!”  (There is no reasoning with this one!  And she always gets her way.)
There was a story cardcard with this doll, but there is no story on the back like others.   There is a web address to access the story.  This is when Integrity Toys started stepping away from the stories included with the dolls.
In 2008, Agnes showed up at the Australia Doll Convention in two forms.  300 of a beautiful tan version called Firefly.  My husband will tell you this is my very favorite doll due to the sheer number of photos I have taken of her.  I do love this doll so much that I actually have two.  She is one of the very few sets of twins I own.  EDIT:  I no longer collect twins.  Another collector is enjoying this doll. 
I regret that I have never owned the other doll from Oz – High Gloss who also has an edition size of 300.  She rarely appears on secondary market.   I always thought she was very harsh looking, but I have seen incredible photos by collectors.  These photos are from a blog follower Robin Pascual  and are used by permission.   (What a sweetheart!  He sent me the photos to include because to help me and other followers because it is always nicer to see actual production photos of the dolls.) First, full length in the box.
I don't know if either of these dolls came with storycards.   Here is another photo with more of a closeup of the face.
EDIT:  I have added a rerooted version of High Gloss Agnes since the original post.  
Also, in 2008, Agnes made another visit at the Integrity Convention.  This time we saw Behind the Drama released as 450 dolls.  I love this giftset.  It is extraordinary.  I believe this is one of the best gowns ever released by Integrity and the full length fur coat is amazing.
There was no story card included with this doll, and no storycards have been included with an Agnes doll since.   She has always reminded me of actress Nicole Kidman.
In 2009, we got a W Club version (Edition size 800) of Agnes called Festive Decadence.  She was the palest version of Agnes so far (even more pale than the customary Japan skintone).  This is a doll that I sold almost immediately upon receipt.  She had handpainted upper lashes with the applied ones.  It bothered me to no end.  
Even though I could never warm up to Festive Decadence, personally, I believe 2009 was the year of Agnes.   I remember winning the opportunity to purchase Optic Verve from a W Club Lottery offered to 300 W Club members.
This doll is on many Holy Grail lists.  She is so beautifully packaged, I have never released her.    This doll had a younger screening of Agnes.  It really shows how versatile the mold is.
The Integrity Convention theme was “Iconic” and the two Agnes dolls from that convention are definitely “iconic”.  I remember Marge selling the dolls from this convention on the My Favourite Doll website.  I was single at the time and had to choose wisely which doll I was adding to my collection.  It was between Silver Zinger (edition size 145) and Center of Attention Poppy.  That cocked eyebrow won out!   
I get a pained feeling every time I see COA Poppy, but Silver Zinger is the most unique of all Agnes dolls. 
I couldn’t afford the other Agnes from the Iconic Convention, Poesie Enchantee (edition size 350).  She is on my grail list and I am constantly on the lookout for her. Even though she also reminds me a little of Dressing the Part.  This photo is also from http://woodsky.free.fr/LBX/listeFR.html.
EDIT:  Poesie Enchantee finally came to live with me last year!  She is amazing.
In 2010, we had the most controversial Agnes of all time.  This doll was sold through an Australian retail shop that is no longer in business.  When the “leftovers” from the Dolls in Oz Convention were released, several buyers had their orders cancelled.  I was one of those.  I never got a good answer why, nor was I put on a waitlist.  I did, however, see the doll shop sell several of these for secondary market prices on e-bay.  Then, the dolls started arriving and had mold in the box.  I believe karma is a force and it came back to bite this doll shop.  Prices plummeted … dolls were returned for replacement … it was a big mess.   I wound up getting Regal Estate (edition size 300) from someone who got her nude in a grab bag at a subsequent convention.  Here she is:
She is a favorite here.  I believe she is  the “nicest” looking of all Agnes dolls – like maybe she has already taken her Xanax for the day.
At the 2010 Convention, there were two Agnes girls released.  One was Head for Glamour Blonde (she was the giftset doll from the convention for 425 attendees).  The other was a raven version for 50 helpers.   I purchased the blonde version, but she reminded me a little of Dressing the Part, so I let her go to another collector. 
EDIT:  This was one case of "Seller's Remorse" and I have added this girl back into the fold.

Although I can appreciate the raven version, I already have Silver Zinger and didn’t feel the need to bring her home.  This photo also belongs to “Amanda” and both Head for Glamour photos are from http://woodsky.free.fr/LBX/listeFR.html.
Agnes had a very rough year in 2011.  There was only one offering of this doll.  She is the convention doll, Vivid Impact in an edition size of 450.  I remember commenting to someone that the display doll in convention photos looked like someone had knocked her off the table, picked her up, shook her off, and just set her back down.  Her hair was so disheveled.  Some collectors referred to her as Endora from Bewitched.  I had purchased her from a convention attendee prior to the convention.  I told a friend, “It’s Agnes … they can’t mess up Agnes.”  Words I will forever remember. 
Even though I tried a trick of tying her hair down with thread, I still could find no love for this doll.  I sold her last year … actually taking a loss on what I originally paid for her. 
Last year we only saw two versions of Agnes.  I actually like both of them.  The W Club Event doll was Truly Madly Deeply and was released to 910 members (thanks Judie in Montreal).  She reminds me of the smug Agnes I have grown to love.  Although the wardrobe choices in her giftset were questionable, they are well constructed and look great on other skintones. 
Truly Madly Deeply made it into my Top 12 Dolls List of 2012.  So did the other Agnes. 
I had reservations about this doll.  She was so different from other Agnes dolls.  She had the younger screening of Optic Verve and Silver Zinger.  She is the second version to have a tan.  She has bleached blonde long hair with a razor cut.  Doesn’t sound much like Agnes, right?  At the convention, many of us thought it was Giselle when we entered the banquet hall.  Had my husband not won the opportunity to purchase her (edition size 200), I probably would have never sought her out. 
 But she photographs beautifully.  I haven’t found anything this “pouty faced” girl can’t wear.  Force of Nature quickly became a favorite around here.
I haven't found anything this doll cannot wear.  She's an awesome model and a very favorite.
So, now you know more than you ever wanted to about Agnes.  There are 18 releases of her so far.  Although she is only used as an “Event Doll”, I can’t wait to see what we get in 2013.
By the way … this did not help me “re-home” any dolls.  I love Agnes.  She reigns supreme here.  I have already sent away the Agnes dolls that I didn’t prefer.  The 11 dolls I have may be staying, and if I find High Gloss or Poesie Enchantee at a good price, they’ll be joining the battalion.

EDIT:  In 2013, Integrity Toys announced that all their mainline dolls would be produced using FR2 bodies.  Two were released at the 2013 Premier Convention.  The first reminds me a great deal of Firefly.  She is call Nightfall and has an edition size of 450.  She is redressed in the photo below.
The second is called October Issue and has temporarily pacified my longing for a Saks Fifth Avenue. She was in an edition size of 500 and quickly rose to the top of my collection - she is a personal favorite to redress (as shown below wearing Randall Craig).
In 2014, W Club members were given the treat of High Visibility Agnes Von Weiss as the "Event Doll" from a webinair.  Unfortunately, I simply don't like Agnes as redhead.  Her fate was almost immediate as she was traded to a friend.  There were 1350 in this edition.
The second doll from 2014 was the Gloss Convention Doll, Intimate Reveal.  She is wearing a miniaturized recreation of a Jason Wu original gown.  
Many collectors have compared her to Silver Zinger/Optic Verve.  There were only 500 in her edition size and she quickly became a grail.
W Club members got quite an incentive to join in 2015.  The upgrade doll was Aristocratic Agnes.  This is an unusual screening, but it looks fantastic!

Quick List:
2006  
Concerto in M (Convention 500)
Dressing The Part ( W Club 750)
2007
Wicked Valentine (FAO 400)
Saks 5th Avenue (Exclusive 100)
The Royal Weiss  (Convention 500)
2008
Firefly (Dolls In Oz 300)
High Gloss (Dolls in Oz 300)
Behind the Drama (Convention 450)
2009
Festive Decadence (W Club 800)
Optic Verve (W Club 300)
Silver Zinger (Convention 145)
Poesie Enchantee (350)
2010
Regal Estate (Dolls in Oz 300)
Head for Glamour (Convention 425)
Head for Glamour (Convention Helper 50)
2011
Vivid Impact (Convention 450)
2012
Truly, Madly, Deeply (W Club 900)
Force of Nature (Convention 200)

2013
Night Fall (Convention 450)
October Issue (Convention 450)

2014
High Visibility (W Club Event Doll 1350)
Intimate Reveal (Convention 500)

2015 
Aristocratic (W Club Upgrade 1600)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Rapid Fire

I was continuing my struggle with Out Sass Vanessa and beginning to feel the pressure of deboxing one.  I showed the two to my dear husband who responded, "They are EXACTLY the same doll."  I had to point out the subtle differences.  He rolled his eyes and told me I was obsessing over nothing.  Then he said, "Just put them away and look at them again when you've got nothing else to do."

I reminded him that the Classic line was due out in a few weeks and I wanted to get this matter over before they arrived.  "But isn't collecting about the enjoyment of each doll?"

That question made me pause.  Which, as doll collectors, I don't think we do enough.  With the sheer numbers of dolls released from the different variety of production companies, do we ever really get to pause and spend some quality time with our dolls?

Last year, Integrity Toys released 108 dolls.  Guess how many moved into my house - I am ashamed to admit that 56 came to live with me - 29 just from the Convention.   And even though I have sold six of them, 29 of them are still in their boxes. 

I cannot even imagine how many Mattel released.  They did seduce me back to Silkstone with 9 offerings.

This doesn't even take into consideration the past editions that are purchased on secondary market.  It's very easy to add one doll per week to your collection!  How much play time do you get with each individual doll at that rate?

I admire collectors who can truly limit themselves to a few dolls they consider perfect.  The redress opportunities they have - the characters they create - the more intimate collecting relationship with the product.

I go from one to the next at a feverish pace!  The ones I truly appreciate often set in the curio for months wearing the same outfits.  I continue to sell off dolls throughout the year which helps pay for the new dolls, but I still don't get the opportunity to relish a new acquisition and thoroughly enjoy the experience.

It's time to make some changes.

P.S. I apologize there are no new photos this week.