Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner!

While de-boxing The Faces of Adele Makeda, I decided that I wanted mold 3.0 on a FR2 body instead of the Nuface2 torso that she came wearing.   Integrity Toys (IT) advertised that this giftset was produced with the A-Tone skin color.  Last year, I purchased a few Coquette Jordan dolls as body donors.  (There hasn't been a lot of love for Coquette, so she has been available nude for a very good price.)

When I took out one of the Coquette bodies to make the switch with mold 3.0, I was surprised to find that they were not a perfect match.  (Why I was "surprised", I don't know because few dolls actually match in advertised skin tone since the individuals at IT who mix the color are doing this by eye now.)

Well ... shoot!  Doll collectors have been trained by IT to be forgiving when skin tones are off.  This has been very frustrating for me.  I started collecting IT dolls in early 2005.   If you bought a White, Japan, or Tan body it was always the same tone.  It was very easy to put my earlier dolls on taller bodies and then even move them onto handspeak bodies as improvements were made.   Collecting and improving your dolls' appearances was a joy.   (African American/Black have always had subtle differences in color runs.)

The first incidence where it was very obvious that the head did not match the body of a produced doll was Dark Swan Elyse Jolie in 2010.  There were only 190 of her released and she was a convention exclusive.  She is also a grail doll and impossible to purchase without spending a great deal of money.

The next time this happened was 2011's Flawless Elyse.  This time collectors were not as forgiving.  I remember when my doll arrived in the mail.  It was an obvious mismatch in head and body.
IT responded to this issue by having collectors return the original head and providing a replacement.  Heating pads were turned on and it took weeks for the replacement to arrive. The new head was a much better color match to the body; however, the faceup and hair was not as nice somehow.   This doll is also grail status.  I still do not regret selling this doll on secondary market.  The whole experience was negative for me.  I could not enjoy the doll.

Have these color match problems been specific to FR2 only?  I blogged about this skin tone issue with the Latino color in 2011 when I tried to transplant Cosmetic Takeover Natalia to a taller body.  (Here is the link Private Goddess Provides a New Skin Tone to the Integrity Line Up )  The tone change in the Latino skin color was made without most collectors even aware of it happening.  The difference wasn't a color difference between head and body this time, it was a change in formula.  All the FR Latino girls from 2010 forward were on this new tone.  It did have some consistency; however, it happened without notice to collectors.  This is not true for the Latino color for FR2 dolls; that skin tone is all over the place depending on who mixes the color.

The next permanent change in color happened with the "White/Caucasian" skin tone.  Collectors were becoming very alarmed when they discovered their earlier FR dolls' bodies were yellowing and becoming brittle.  (Brittle to the point the heads were snapping off at the neck!)  IT had to act quickly because they had developed a very strong following.  Their first attempt at correcting the problem was put a "matte finish" to their doll bodies.  I love these matte finish bodies and all of my favorite tall dolls with the original body have been transferred to them.  It turned out the "matte finish" wasn't satisfying enough for IT, so they actually changed the tone of the "White/Caucasian" skin color without any notice (Here is the link for my post about this change:  IT's Color Change in Caucasian/White).  The biggest problem with this is that all FR2 bodies are slightly darker except those produced for the Dasha character prior to 2012 and the Evermore Vanessa (which makes it difficult to get a perfect matching FR2 body for Fashion Royalty dolls produced prior to 2012).

It was announced in 2013 that the regular tall FR body was going to be retired in favor of the FR2 body.  In response to collector demand, IT released replacement bodies for the regular tall body.  Unfortunately, the Caucasian/White bodies were the newer skin tone color.

Many collectors started accepting that they "couldn't have everything".   It was better to have a "shade off" body that wasn't yellow or brittle than no body at all.  Collectors were beginning to get trained to accept differences in heads and bodies.  This opened the door for another major change.  Starting in mid-2014, the Japan skin tone became grayish.  Again, this poses a problem if you want your earlier Japan skin tone girls on FR2 bodies.  Unless, of course, you've just come to accept the fact that doll heads are a shade or so off from their bodies.

The last "major issue" with a doll's head not matching the body was Love, Life, Lace Agnes Von Weiss.  Here is the link to my review:  Love, Life, Lace Agnes Skin Tone Issue (the variation was in the Cream skin tone).  This time the difference was just too much for collectors to accept; however, it turned out that collectors received some important information from IT.  When producing a version of a doll, the factory will "use up" bodies already in stock before producing another run of bodies.  Some of the LLL Agnes dolls did not have a problem with a skin tone mismatch.  It's the luck of the draw.

In an effort to help collectors organize matching heads and bodies, I tried to create a database.  Here is the link to that database:  Skin Tone Database Up to 2015 .  I stopped updating at 2015 because it was announced at an IT Convention that color runs were being produced "by eye" - there is not a formula for skin tone colors.  This was very disturbing to me.  You can have different shades within one skin tone.

This brings me (finally) to my point.  The Faces of Adele Makeda was produced using the A-Tone skin color.  The formula created was a shade off from Coquette Jordan Duvall.  I know I've kept my readers waiting, but I think it was worth it.  This discovery sent me running to my doll cabinet.  Was it possible?

I used The Faces of Adele Makeda mold 1.0 body as a donor for ...
Second Skin Vanessa Perrin.
It's not perfect, but it is the closest match I have found so far.  I am very excited about this.  I guess with the lack of a formula, collectors are faced with just making these discoveries by sheer luck.  At least I was lucky today.


Deborah Steinmetz said...

"By eye"... seriously??? How does a company that mass produces dolls do something as important as skintone mix the pigments "by eye"! That is just crazy to me. Glad you found a suitable body match! :-)

Barb the Evil Genius said...

My personal budget does not really leave a lot of room for the more expensive dolls like IT. If I was going to spend the money on one, it had better be flawless. Having said that, I did go through the yellowing bodies issue with some of my Gene dolls and some of my Madame Alexander Alex dolls. On the other hand, I did get those dolls for a *lot* less money.

I'd like to see some more competition on all levels of doll collecting. Perhaps that might improve overall quality.

Anonymous said...

I have been a collector since the beginning and then stopped collecting for a few years as there was such a huge issue with quality control that almost ever second doll I receive had issues. I went from being excited when a doll arrived to dreading opening the box, in case there was another issue. It stopped me collecting for a few years. I think things overall are better, but I still see many issues with the faces and hands not being a good match, but yet, as you pointed out, everyone seems to be staying hush hush about it (including myself, I can't deal with the fallout and drama lol). I try now to SEE the doll before I buy if I can, but sometimes that is not an option. I could name several dolls in the last few years that have slightly mismatched heads or yellow chins and noses lol I also wish that they would change the lashes back to the old ones, these new ones are nearly impossible to fix if they are not right. I still love these doll, so I usually just suck it up, or sell the doll with full disclosure if I just can't enjoy the doll because of factory defects.