Saturday, October 14, 2017

Vivacite Eugenia Frost

My followers know that there are four molds that I have a difficult time resisting:  Agnes Von Weiss, Eugenia Frost, Vanessa Perrin 1.0, and Adele Makeda 2.0.  I was so excited when Integrity Toys (IT) revealed their 2017 mainline collection "La Femme".   Vivacite Eugenia was a "no-brainer" for me.
And a close up in the box.
The accessories in this line are very reminiscent of older IT releases.
The shoes are excellent, the purse is just amazing, and the jewelry quite impressive (yes, that is a watch you are seeing!).
The hair is rooted nice and thick!  It needs to be washed to get out the product that makes it feel heavy and greasy.   The cotton blouse has a very long tie in the back.  I crossed it and brought it to the front like a belt.  The capri pants are nice.  Everything is very well made.
I love the screening on this doll.   I also like the Hungarian skin tone that was used.  She is easily one of the best versions of Eugenia Frost in a few years.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Majesty Giselle Diefendorf

I have been a member of Integrity Toys' W Club since it began in 2006.  It's hard to believe it is already 11 years old!  I enjoy the perks afforded by the membership such as upgrade dolls.

When the 2017 upgrade Nuface doll, Majesty Giselle, arrived, I took a couple quick photos of her in her box and then shoved her in the closet with the other dolls waiting to be released.

Recently during a discussion, some doll friends were talking about which dolls that had arrived in 2017 were their favorite.  Majesty's name came up more than once.  I decided that maybe I had missed something here when I opted to take out Feeling Wild first.
And here is a closeup.
Here are the accessories.
Here they are out of box.
The purse is a large bead and is quite heavy.  The little boots are somewhat vintage looking.  I love the bracelet/ring piece of jewelry!
So this is how she looks out of box.  She's a lovely doll, but her hair seemed heavy with product.
I decided to wash the hair with some shampoo and hot water.  For me, it wasn't enough.  I decided to take her hair down, boil perm it to straighten, and then give it a little trim to even up the ends.
Anyone named "Majesty" must have a throne, right?  But, sadly, it is Autumn and she needs to return to classes to the morning.
It looks like IT has fixed many of their quality control issues of the past few years.  The new dolls are feeling very high quality with many lovely accessories.  The faces and hair seem to be more consistent and the clothing is very well made.  I am looking forward to future releases.

Until then, Majesty Giselle is definitely a doll that demands redress and play time.  She is excellent in just about anything she puts on.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

eenie meenie miney mo ...

I should stay off flickr.   It's just a simple fact, but I'm addicted to seeing the photos taken by other doll collectors.

I really like Coquette Jordan Duvall.  Thanks to friends on flickr I discovered that her body was the same skin tone as earlier Jordan versions Splendid and Trust Your Instincts and three of the 2015 ITBE Basic Lingerie Dolls, Buxom Veronique, Entice Kesenia, and My Desire Isha.   Many of these reside here and have never been removed from their boxes.

Usually I am a purist with most of my doll collection.  I am not one of those collectors who jumps from one body type to another.  Although I have changed almost all of my shorter dolls to the taller bodies, I don't mind the more womanly figure of the earlier body, so I've not moved those dolls to the FR2 body.  Of course there are a couple exceptions.

So, I surprised myself when I broke down and bought multiple nude Coquette Jordan dolls for body switching.  I know that each Integrity doll is completed by hand, so there have always been subtle differences in each doll.  Here are my four girls redressed.
The first doll is my original and the one from the previous post and review.  Even though the fourth doll seems to have the best hair, she became the first body donor.
Next, was the difficult choice of which doll would get the new body.  I don't have a version of the Kesenia character on a  FR2 body, so I decided to finally release her from her box.
She was so appreciative.
So ... which Coquette is my favorite?
I think this example had the best eye placement and screening (there is less white under her irises).  Her hair seems rooted well.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Coquette Jordan Duvall

Apparently, dolls have not stopped coming to my front door.  It's obvious I better try deboxing immediately.

The only doll convention I've ever attended was The Tropicalia Convention of 2012.  I believe there are only four dolls from Tropicalia that remain residents in my collection.  In my opinion, the latest Integrity Toys (IT) release, Coquette Jordan Duvall, is an example of what the dolls of that convention should've looked like but, unfortunately, did not.

Here is Coquette Jordan in the box.
And a closeup.
Here are the accessories.  
The shoes are quite well made; the ties are like real ties and not cheap ribbon.   The ring is exactly like the jewelry used for Haute Societe Veronique.  The purse also reminds me of Haute Societe.  Here is a link Haute Societe Accessories.  It does deserve its own photo.
Here is a full length photo of Coquette out of the box.  I really like the ensemble.  It feels like the quality we've come to expect from Integrity Toys and has been missing until recently.
The only thing I'm not "feeling" is her hair.  I swept it all to the side for now.  My doll's eyes do not seem to have as much white under the iris as some I've seen in photos. 
It's been a while since we've seen Jordan Duvall.  She shares her sculpt with Tatyana 1.0 and Lana Turner 1.0.  Personally, I like this version quite a bit yet still prefer Platinum and Splendid.  

I believe this is the very first time we've seen the upgraded body in the original A-Tone skin tone (I believe it is sometimes referred to as A-Tone 2).  It will be a great match for Splendid Jordan and My Desire Isha/Luchia 1.0.  It's a close match for Entice Kesenia and Buxom Veronique.  Although not a close match, some collectors are satisfied with using it with Second Skin Vanessa.  After seeing it in person and comparing it to other dolls in my collection, I actually decided to order a second as a body donor.

So Mood Changers Red Head Poppy Parker screams, "No harm: No foul!" and runs off with Coquette's pants!

We prefer things a little more casual around here anyway.  Here is Coquette Jordan wearing Old Is New's jacket and a pair of jeans.

There is something about this doll's hair that is bothering me.  I think her faceup is so strong, that the hair needs to be pulled away from it.  I tried putting it in a ponytail and slipped her into Anja's In Sequins dress.  I think I am getting somewhere with this character now.
She's a little more "polished" feeling.  I'm beginning to find her inner diva.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Feeling Wild Giselle Diefendorf

After I completed my last blog entry, I told myself that I may feel less overwhelmed if I started deboxing.

The doll that I have been most excited about is Feeling Wild Giselle Diefendorf.  She was one of three 2017 IFDC dolls from the Dollton Abbey Collection.  I feel I need to mention that I am a huge Downton Abbey fan and never missed an episode.

Here are the promotional photos (all are property of Integrity Toys and are being used for informational purposes only).

First we have Never Predictable Adaline King (mold 2.0).  She is obviously representing Lady Mary.

Next up is Touch of Whimsy Finley Prince.  I immediately got the connection to Cousin Rose.

And last is Feeling Wild Giselle Diefendorf taking on Lady Edith.

I thought I was "safe" from the temptation of purchasing any of these dolls ... until IRL photos started showing up.  All of them are quite lovely!   I like Never Predictable a great deal but I am not a fan of the eye screening with the lower lashes, nor do I care for the sheerness of the gown.  Although I love the boots and jacket from Touch of Whimsy, I don't like the hair at all. I'm not sure how Feeling Wild changed so much from promotional doll to production doll, but all I have to say is, "Lady Edith would've been the star of the show had she looked like this!"

Here is Feeling Wild in the box.
And a closeup.
Here are the accessories.  I can't say how much I adore the little bee hair pin.  It is so on point for Victorian/Edwardian jewelry!  The jewelry has small sapphire stones that contrast with the plum color of the gown nicely.
I don't care for the netting - it only messes up the hair as far as I'm concerned.  The hose are beautifully designed with a seam and "peep toes".  They are plum colored like the dress!
Here she is out of the box.
I had a friend ask me how I keep my collection in such good shape, so I am going to show you what I do as I dress and prepare a doll.

First, I never throw anything away, especially those clear rubber bands that often come with play line dolls.  It is too easy to destroy a doll's hair when redressing her.  If I plan on leaving the doll's hair alone and it is wavy, I take a couple of these rubber bands and put them on at the waves.  you see them from behind, but they "fit inside" the wave from the front.  Here is a photo from behind.
This helps keep the hair from being pulled out of its style.  (You don't want to use the smaller bands because they will pull the hair too tight.)

Personally, I am a big fan of how the newer bodies come apart.  I pull the legs off to put the shoes on!
I use magnifying glasses and tweezers.  (When I put gloves on my dolls, I actually use spare sets of hands I have here and leave the gloves in the hands for storage!)  With the removable legs, you could actually switch off the whole leg with a doll of the same skin tone!  The pedicure wouldn't match, but who cares - you wouldn't have to worry about destroying the shoes.
Just throw a lampshade on and it comes from Italy - Fra-gi-le!   (BTW ... the straps on these shoes are short - there isn't a lot left over when putting them.)
I use a corsage pin to pierce the earring holes.  It opens the hole and makes it easier for the post to slide in.  It has saved me quite a bit of frustration and broken jewelry.  I try to be very careful with my dolls because the money I spend on them is a lot out of my budget.

It takes me a long time to remove a doll from her box and dress her properly.  But the result is always worth it.  Here she is ... Feeling Wild is feeling pretty regal if you ask me!

I know this doll is going to redress beautifully, but I think I am going to enjoy her in stock for a little while.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Dolls, Dolls, Dolls

With the flood of new dolls, the song "Girls, Girls, Girls" by Motley Crue keeps running through my head.  It seems, no matter how hard I try, I'm just unable to get a firm hold on my collection.

For those of you who have followed me over the past years, you know that my collection has been quite organic.  Even with my guidelines for collecting dolls, I sometimes feel overwhelmed.  I have narrowed my scope considerably, focusing on Ellowyne and dolls produced by Integrity Toys (IT).  Of course, like everyone else, I get an occasional "fix" from a play line doll, and I still haven't been able to let go a couple of my favorite Pullips.

As new dolls come in, I really have to consider them carefully.  I ask myself, "Can this doll replace one that is already here?  Does this doll bring something different to my collection?"

It used to be relatively simple to manage my doll collection.  Originally IT only produced a few doll lines and they could share much of their clothing.  Dynamite Girls, Poppy Parker, and Misaki swap out ensembles readily.   NuFace and Monogram often shared with FR.  (Remember when Mattel was producing nice clothes that IT dolls could borrow??)

Add to that the convenience of selling dolls on The Doll Page and it was quite an enjoyable hobby.  Dolls were produced in edition sizes that allowed a collector to move their collection along.  It was easier to be financially fiscal with your collecting habits.

I find myself trying to be more selective and have made a few mistakes along the way.  I try to resist purchasing dolls on secondary market (excluding convention items).  The edition sizes are becoming ridiculous as more and more opportunists have joined as scalpers - the latest releases at 1200+.    It's difficult to take a chance on the purchase of a $150 doll when it can't even be sold on secondary market at original retail.  (Not to mention e-bay, paypal fees, and shipping!) When you are selling dolls to pay for those coming in, you find yourself losing money as you have to sell two or three dolls to pay for the new one.

Add to that how quickly the lines are being released and it takes my breath away.  The  Heirloom Collection of the NuFace line went on sale before the last doll of The Reckless Collection arrived!

Within the last few weeks, 7 dolls have shown up on my doorstep!  I haven't even deboxed one because I feel so overwhelmed (Not to mention that Fresh and Delightful, Total Betty, and Mad Love are still in their boxes as well.)   Let's take a look!

Let's do FR2 first, starting with Fresh and Delightful Veronique Perrin.  This doll was the last doll from the "Delicate Bloom" collection of 2016.  It was originally stated that this doll would use the "water glide decals" for her eyes.  I believe the actual production doll did not.  She was produced to order on the W Club and many members were reluctant to take a chance on her.  I'm glad that I did. (Hopefully, I will be able to do more complete reviews of these dolls soon ...)
This doll combines the forward glancing eyes of Breaking The Mold with Sweet Smell of Success and Breathless.  Surprisingly, I think she may be my very favorite version mold 2.0.

I ordered all three of the W Club upgrade dolls to get the diorama free.  Here is Riviera Drama Agnes Von Weiss.  Agnes Von Weiss is typically produced in the Japan skin tone.  There are variations, such as Firefly, but IT has been having trouble with their Japan skin tone being too gray.  The last couple versions, including Riviera Drama, have shown up in cream skin tone.
Again, I see elements combined from past versions.  Although not quite as dramatic as High Gloss or as polished as Silver Zinger or Intimate Reveal, Riviera Drama can fill that void for collectors who do not own the other versions.  I actually like the green eyes!

Next, let's look at the NuFace line.  Here's Total Betty Ayumi.
She is probably my favorite doll from the Reckless Collection.  This is the first time we've seen the new Ayumi mold in this skin tone.  The face up is amazing.  She is often compared to model Chrissy Teigen.

Next up is Mad Love Rayna.
I own every version of Rayna.  Many collectors were not happy with the extreme side glance, but it is a very different version of this mold.

The last doll in this series just arrived.  Although I wasn't lucky enough to win Trouble Eden in the W Club lottery, I was fortunate enough to get her nude at a reasonable price. (Personally, I prefer this doll to Style Mantra, the other red haired version.  I think it is primarily due to the fact that I am not a fan of the layered cut on SM.)
The twins are always popular.  Using the W Club purchase opportunity for Smoke & Mirrors Lilith was a no brainer.  I believe most collectors agree that she is the preferred twin this time around.
I am surprised that I am alright with the mulberry lipstick, but it works great with the silver hair.   I even like the smoky gray "leather" more than the black version.

Next, is the second doll from the W Club upgrade.  The NuFace upgrade was Majesty Giselle.
For some reason, I'm not terribly impressed with this version; I'm not sure why.  I have seen some gorgeous photos of this doll redressed.  She may be one of those dolls that need to be released and played with a bit to "come to life".

Now, it's "Poppy Time"!   After such an impressive year in 2016, I didn't think IT could keep the momentum.  The last doll of the 2016 collection arrived a few weeks ago; First Taste of Champagne was a W Club Exclusive.
I was reluctant to purchase this doll, but I was afraid I was missing something from the promotional photos.  This doll reminds me of a "formal" version of Traveling Incognito which is one of my favorite dolls.

Next up is the W Club Poppy upgrade doll, Popster.
I really do adore this one.  She's so cute.  She sort of reminds me of the earlier Misaki dolls.  I really like a doll that requires minimal hair care!  There is a lot of play value here.

And the last Poppy to arrive here is Welcome to Misty Hollows.  She is another W Club Exclusive.
This doll just pushes all the right buttons for me.  I can't say enough about how much I love everything about her.  There is so much expression in the screening.  It's obvious that Poppy plans to keep the center stage again this year.

I've not been very lucky with W Club lotteries over the past few years.  For some reason the IFDC dolls were not very popular with collectors this year.  Even though a "few were reserved" for the W Club, it seemed like there was a large number of winners for each doll.

The only doll from the IFDC collection that I was interested in adding to my collection was Feeling Wild Giselle.
Feeling Wild is like a supercharged version of Giselle.  She's so mature and regal.  I LOVE this doll.  She may be the first to be released from her box.

That's 10 dolls still in their boxes that have arrived since this spring.  Seven of them are exclusives from the W Club and Feeling Wild was W Club Lottery win of an IFDC doll.

Why do I feel so overwhelmed?  How about the fact that I have 2 Poppy Parker, 6 FR2, and 2 NuFace on pre-order with my dealer?  And the convention collection hasn't even been released!

I must give credit to IT though.  Many of the production and quality control problems of the last couple years seem to have gotten under control.  The screenings are better, hairstyles nicer, eyelashes better placed, and clothing better constructed.  Obviously they are back on track ... but I am left feeling like a "runaway train"!