Friday, February 1, 2013


Imagine a doll collector on an island far out at sea.  They do not have internet access.  They don't have money for a "dolly fix".   Then put my face on that doll collector.

The good news is that I won the W Club lottery for the opportunity to purchase the exclusive gift set "Let's Just Kiss and Make Up".   The bad news is ... five new dolls with only two weeks to come up with payment.  I am on self-imposed exile from anything doll-related where I can be tempted to spend money.  No E-bay - No Doll Page - No Marketplace Thread on W Club.  It will take me until the end of February to recuperate from this one!  So, I will enjoy what is already here!!

You may have noticed my "Want to Purchase" list in the left margin.  It's been there for a few weeks now.  I decided to make a list of five dolls that I would like to own.  I won't purchase previously released dolls that are not on this list.  (I am hoping this will cut down on spontaneous purchases and help my budget.)  To keep things realistic, a couple of the dolls listed can be purchased at reasonable secondary market prices.

The first doll to be purchased from the list is Talking Drama Adele.  She's been a couple of weeks but is finally being deboxed.
I found this doll NRFB on E-bay with a BIN price $25 below its original retail price.  You can't imagine my excitement.  Although I'm not a "gown" person, this Adele has the most beautiful face. 
The second version of Adele is one of my favorite FR molds.  Bodacious and The Muse are two of my very favorite dolls that I own.  I was very disappointed when this mold was replaced at the 2011 Convention.  Although I can appreciate the new mold, I don't think it is nearly as beautiful as the girls from this mold.

This particular doll reminds me of "Miss Royaltini".  Only I think I like this doll better.  I washed and boil permed her hair. 

When released, you see how wrinkly the dress really is from being stored for years NRFB.
Here is a photo of the back.
As a teacher, I sometimes get gift certificates form my students.  I had received some for Target and found this little handy, dandy doll necessity.  It is a Rowenta, hand-held steamer.  It cost less than $30.
This is what it looks like out of the box.  The water reserve is a little small, but it is still perfect for doll clothing.
Here is a photo of Adele after the dress was steamed.  This is the first time I've used a steamer.   (The net slip was also steamed.)  This is from the front.
Now, look at the amazing result from behind.  I am surprised by how much this little steamer improved the dress in only a few short minutes time.  Since there was no direct heat, I didn't hurt the fabric at all.

Here are the cool shoes ... they have velcro closures. 
And, of course, a closeup of this beautiful face and all of the hair ornamentation.  I don't think I'll be able to remove this effectively, and I know I will never be able to put it back.  So, I'll have to redress her in things that will support this.

I had decided I wanted this particular doll on a handspeak system body; however, I was unable to find one the exact match.  When I started looking at the Adeles in my collection, I realized that my favorites.  The Muse, Bodacious, and Main Event all have slightly different color variations.  Talking Drama is lighter than The Muse and a little darker than Bodacious.  This only makes me love her more. 
She was so worth the wait!!  Now, who will I put on the "Want to Purchase" list to replace her.  She is definitely here to stay!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Fashion Royalty - Spring Unveiling

I've never reviewed an Integrity Toys unveiling before, and, truth be known, there are other bloggers who do an extraordinary job.  To not waste your time, I am only going show one promotional picture of most dolls.  You can go to flickr page and search for more detailed photos - I'm sure they will be all over flickr today.  Please be aware that all photos are the property of Integrity Toys and are copyrighted.  These photos were sent to all W Club members and were not to be shared until 12:00 Noon, EST, on September 28.  I am a member of the W Club.

First up, we have the Dynamite Girls.  All dolls were priced at $65.  There have been rumblings about prices this year.  Prior to 2010, these dolls were priced at $40 - $45.  So their prices remained the same for four consecutive years.  The 2010 Winter Collection, "Chill Factor," raised the price to $55.  The "Plastic Inevitable Line" collection of 2011 took the price up to $60, and last year's dolls were also $65.    People often overlook the amount of change we have seen in this line and the improvements.

For the $65 price point, you get a great, articulated doll that is dressed in layers of nicely tailored clothing with quality shoes.   I think the Dynamite Girl line is a steal for the price.  I know the International Collectors LOVE this line because of the Value-Added-Tax (VAT) they have to pay for imported items.  I have many Dynamite Girls also.  Since the Integrity Team has added boys to this lineup, they sell out almost immediately and hold secondary market values higher than many of IT's mainline dolls.

So, coming off the soapbox (but keeping it close by) -  here is "London Calling".  When I saw the title, many images raced through my head - none of which materialized in the collection.  The DGs this time  represent a winter collection with beautifully layered clothing.  The production size of this line was increased this year to 800 for each doll.  NICE.  All dolls will be arriving at dealers in late March, and there are six dolls in this collection.

I will show the dolls in order of my personal preference.   First up is the only doll I pre-ordered from this line.  Not because I didn't like the line - but because another line completely tapped out my budget! This is Kyu.  Look at that parka!  I squealed when I saw it.  Collectors who have the first Kyu compared this presentation to him and some did not pre-order based on that fact.  I believe the ensemble alone was worth $65!
Since he was purchased, he gets two photos.  I wanted you to see what he looks like without the parka.
The other doll that I loved from this collection was Dayle.  I am hoping to find her through a dealer at retail later, after my budget has recuperated from this spree.  She is just funky enough to join my collection of Back to Brooklyn dolls.  I passed on the last Dayle (the one with freckles) who many collectors think favors this one.
Another Cruz was also offered and will probably sell out fast.  I didn't pre-order this one because I changed my Hot Stuff Cruz's hair, and now he looks like this one.   But, do I ever love this ensemble!
One of my favorite DG girls is TJ.  I was so hoping this girl looked like the 2011 Convention doll.  She doesn't, but I still like her very much.  She may find her way to my front door sometime this coming year.
I want the next doll specifically for her shoes.  Love these shoes!! This is Dani.  I have two other of her in my collection.  Since she looks so much like the one from the 2011 Convention, I passed.  But this gives people who missed out on the convention version (which is highly sought after) the opportunity to snap one up!
Last up is a new character to the DG line.  Her name is Holland.  When I first saw her, I thought it was Jasper.   Everyone loves a new character, but I think I will wait for the next version on this one.  She's lovely, but not a must have for me.

In summary, there is a great deal of bang for the buck here.  The layering is wonderful.  The tights are super cute.  The shoes have really come a long way.  All of these dolls would be great to display and redress.  There's a lot of mix n match possibilities.   David Buttry's team really outdid themselves on this collection.   Since the edition sizes are 800, you may want to take some time to think about your choices with the girls.  I expect the boys to sell out immediately.  "Get thee to a nunnery" - I mean, "Get thee to thy dealer".

I am going to do the Jem and the Holograms dolls next.  I do not collect this line.  It is a collaboration between Integrity Toys and Jem license holders.  The Jem cartoons started after I finished college and was defining my life - I didn't have enough free time to watch cartoons.  Had this line been a "Josie and the Pussycats" line, I'd gone ape-crazy over it!!  I even had a Josie and the Pussycats lunch box when I was little.  But enough of my little walk down memory lane.

The edition size on this collection is 1000.  I know Jem appeals to a different collecting world outside of doll collecting, so this will sell out fast - even at the 1000 production number.   All dolls are priced at $120 and are due out in early March.  Integrity Toys gave us "The Holograms" this time.  Since I am not that familiar with the show, I will leave actual critiques of this line to the experts.  The only doll that remotely interested me was  Kimber Benton - I love red hair.
We also got band mates, AJA Leith.
And Shana Elmsford.
Here is a nice group shot of all the girls.

Tulabelle is new line of dolls that are 16 inch.  She is supposed to represent Poppy Parker's grand-daughter.  Poppy's story line takes place in the 1950's - 1970's.   It is now 2013, so we have moved up two generations.  Don't ask me what happened to the daughter, Tulabelle's mother.  Maybe we'll get her in another line.

I tried collecting 16 inch dolls with Tonner and have sold them off.  I tried an IT Avante Guarde ... not for me.  I don't have room for a lot of 16" dolls, so I have a very limited number of Ellowyne girls and some of the early resin Goodreau dolls.  However, this almost changed with Tulabelle.  I didn't expect to like this line ... I didn't want to like this line.  I barely kept myself from ordering this line.  By a hair!

These girls are limited to 300 each and are due out in May.  The first two were priced at $115 and I see a lot of influence from the Lead Singles Eden and Lilith here.  (Two NuFace dolls from the 2012 line that were very popular)  These are nice dolls and the price is great.  I love Violet Femme's wedge tennis shoes - so modern!!

First is Eden, I mean J'Adore Tulabelle.
Next is Lilith, I mean Violet Femme Tulabelle.
The remaining four dolls in this line were $150 each and are AWESOME.  I'll show them in order of my preference again.  My finger was really itching, almost uncontrollably, to pre-order this doll.  She's going to get two photos.  She is "Yeti to Wear".
I love this doll, and I am not a fan of dolls with bangs.  Without the fur, I get a serious equestrian vibe from this doll.  I like equestrian couture!  I'm glad she was 16 inches and I could resist.
The next doll is "Trend Spotted" - There is a definite FR NuFantasy Gretel influence - it's obvious with the hair.  This whole concept reminds me of The Carrie Diaries - The TV show based on the teenage/young adult years of Carrie Bradshaw from Sex in the City fame.  LOVE IT!
Since I am a sucker for redheads, "Coated In Glamour" caught my attention.
The last doll was kind of "Tulabelle gets into her grandmother's closet".  Love the pieces, but didn't like the doll's hair.  I see where they were going with the vintage look, (and I would love that leopard coat in 12 inch, please), but it was my least favorite from the group.
That completes my review of the first three lines.  The fourth line unveiled will have its own review.  It's the one that got me in serious financial trouble.   I may be pulling out the plastic to pay for it.

IT Spring Unveiling - Funny Face

History:   In 2011, Integrity Toys announced a collaboration with the group that owns the license for the Audrey Hepburn movies.  Because Ms. Hepburn's family owns the license to her actual "likeness", Integrity Toys could only focus on the characters in the movies and their ensembles.  A problem for Integrity, but their creative juices were turned up full force.

The first group of dolls was from Breakfast At Tiffany's.  An incredibly moody film - the song "Moon River" was composed for the character.  However, there were some amazing fashions which Integrity truly captured to great detail.  

Integrity Toys introduced a new mold for the doll.  Unfortunately, the doll actually shows the melancholy of the Holly Golightly character.   It was not well received.  All the dolls from this line used the same mold with similar hair styles and face-ups.  Many people could not justify purchasing so many dolls that resembled, just for the outfits.  There were six dolls in the collection.   Dealers still have some of these dolls in their inventory.    I only purchased People Do Fall In Love, but love the doll and ensembles.  It was a giftset, was priced at $175, and sold out quickly.  It includes some of the most beautifully tailored clothing.  This mold is now the Loni Lawrence character, Poppy's mentor who lives in the same boarding house as Poppy in New York.

Last year we got the movie Sabrina.  In response to the lukewarm reception of the new mold, Integrity Toys brought out a collector's favorite - Poppy - as the model.  Even though everyone loved this idea, and the ensembles were again "spot on", many collectors resisted the idea of purchasing multiple dolls who resembled so closely.  I originally passed on this line.  There were only four dolls in the collection, with an edition size of 450 each.  Due to Poppy's popularity, the entire collection sold out - most of which happened in pre-order.  Thanks to my dear friend Rich (does his name seem to come up often in my blog??), I was able to acquire Most Sophisticated and her wardrobe.  Gorgeous Poppy!

At the Integrity Convention this year, attendees got a sneak peak of Funny Face.  Keeping the doll size the same as the previous releases, IT announced they were going to use the original Veronique mold for the Jo Stockton character.   There was a brief slide with a couple of photos.  All of the dolls representing Jo Stockton from the film are on a Poppy Parker body.

Now, here is the Veronique 1.0 mold that was mentioned at the convention.  It is an extraordinary giftset called "Bonjour Paris" and sells for $199.  (Yes, it was pre-ordered!)  But look at what all you get.  We were told this was a custom print fabric done especially for this doll.
That aqua cape is to die for!
Then you get the casual Fishing Ensemble - LOVE the hat!!
And the dress with the balloons!  CUTE!!
What a face!  I believe she truly captures the soft warmth of Ms. Hepburn. 
I think this is a wonderful gift set.  Being a fan of the original Veronique mold, I was looking forward to this doll.  You get three completely different ensembles with shoes for each ensemble, two hats, and that aqua cape.  

I believe Integrity pays attention to its customer base.  At the convention we were told that they were using the Veronique 1.0 mold.  And they did.  But they also used other molds, so the buyer actually gets a different doll for each release!  Here is another preorder I made, "Take the Picture".  She is on a Poppy Parker body but has the Vanessa 1.0 mold!   That's right!  You read correctly. 

Look at this face ... there is going to be a power surge as heating pads start warming up across the country to transfer this head to a FR body ... 
The accessories are very nice, but limited.  I believe IT knows the popularity of Vanessa 1.0 and realizes they can charge a little more for this doll.  She is gorgeous, but collectors are rumbling about the $150 price point for what is included, especially in comparison to other giftsets in this collection.

All of this line is due in February, which doesn't give much time for budgeting.  The edition size is 400 of each doll.  I really do believe this line may suffer from its price and the fact that everything is shipped the second week of February.  However, I completely expect the line to sell out.  Unfortunately, I didn't have the funds for the other Jo Stockton doll, "On How To Be Lovely".  She has the Veronique 2.0 face mold.  These three dolls compliment each other beautifully without the repetition of the faceups.  Genius!

This giftset also had a retail price of $199.  Here is the yellow dress.  Even though it's a different size, I have enough yellow dresses already.

One of the dresses I was hoping to see was the wedding dress.  Unfortunately, it was one of the outfits I was disappointed in.  It fell short of my expectations.  It reminds me a little of other things I already have. There was a Lana Turner dress produced a few year ago by IT with a green sash.  It was called "Flight of Fancy", and when the green sash is removed, they are slightly similar.
I would love to own this pink and white evening ensemble and hope to get it on secondary market.   It was one of my favorite couture items, but I couldn't justify the cost of the giftset for this one item.  I will be trolling the boards for it!
As usual, the Veronique 2.0 faceup is gorgeous.  The whole look is a little reminiscent of Sweet Smell of Success to me, so that was a factor in my final decision to skip "On How To Be Lovely".

Now, here's when Integrity really hit this collection in the right spot!   They didn't just focus on the Audrey Hepburn character!   We also got Maggie Prescott, an Anna Wintour-type character,  loosely based on Diana Vreeland.  She is on a Victoire body (the Bride of Dracula body used for Victoire).  Her face mold is the Katy Perry mold.  She is more mature and will make a great friend for Victoire.  Another giftset at $199.  I passed on this - it's lovely but did not contain the "WOW" factor I felt with so much of the other couture offered.  This will respond to collectors who have been requesting an "older" doll for their collections. 

She comes with three fashions from the movie.
For anyone interested in a better look at the accessories:
Since IT included the Maggie Prescott storyline, one of the most memorable scenes in the movie is when Maggie is trying to develop a theme for her magazine.  She and her assistants break into an extravagant musical number called, "Think Pink".   Integrity Toys gave us one of the "assistants".   This is an Imogene face mold with a Monogram body, using Victoire's legs to keep the doll at similar height to the others in the collection.  What can I say?  They had me at "Think Pink".  Price point $150.  Ring me up Charlie.
She comes with two ensembles.  The first is the pink business suit you see Maggie's assistants wearing at the beginning.
And the second is just a design marvel.  The doll is wearing a pink evening gown that has a fur peplum
That actually turns into a cape when pulled up to the shoulders - JUST LIKE IN THE MOVIE!!!  
Here are the accessories.
I am saving the best for last.  Anyone who knows their fashion history knows who Supermodel Dovima is.  She plays a parody of herself in Funny Face and has a standout comedic role.  Now imagine Anja's face mold (everyone knows how much I love Anja!)  with a Monogram torso and Victoire legs.  We get "A Woman Who Thinks".

I think I actually started hyperventilating when I saw this doll.  I have been trolling the boards to find the Dressmaker Details "Funny Frock" outfit from a couple years ago.  It always sells for about $100+.  Now, I'm glad I never purchased it.
The other outfit is sort of odd for the collection, but it really does support the movie and the character.   I would have preferred another Audrey ensemble, but that would've mixed up the characters - but who cares?!
This giftset was also $150.  It was my favorite of the "reveal" and was my first choice and "must have" of the whole collection.

A photo of the accessories - minimal like "Take the Picture" - but the faceup truly carries the weight of this doll.

That was the complete reveal of Funny Face.   There was a thread on the W Club entitled "Who do you want to see as the online event doll?"  It was mentioned that we don't always get an "event doll", but we can always dream.  My guess was "Since they are unveiling Funny Face, how about a Funny Face giftset just for W Club Members".  That is exactly what we got!  They are going to be sold through an on-line lottery though.   I have already gotten my ticket.  I will cry if I do not win this lottery (especially after not winning a single lottery with my personal membership last year!)   If I don't get the opportunity and one of my readers gets an extra winning number, I would be forever indebted to take over your second purchase!  You can e-mail me at   I really must have this giftset and cannot afford the secondary market price of it!

So, without further begging ..."Let's Just Kiss and Make Up".  Since it is Jo Stockton, we have the Poppy body again.  This time using the Vanessa 2.0 mold.  I think this faceup is actually my favorite from the group.

There are three complete, different outfits.
Love this cream ensemble!
And who can resist the flower shop outfit?!
I hate to say it, but I think Integrity really wanted to show the W Club members that you get a lot for joining the club.   This was the best giftset from the collection.  And only W Club members can enter the lottery.  The price was again $199 and payment must be made by February 4.

I never expected this.  Since Integrity has moved to the tall body, I've often missed the mature face up on a shorter frame.  I have some magnificent earlier Barbie and FR clothing that just simply doesn't work with those long legs and long arms.  Many of my silkstone ensembles don't look quite right on a 12" doll.  That is one of the reasons I got so excited about Victoire.  Putting some of my favorite faces on this shorter frame will open up a whole new avenue for redress.

Recap:  1) We got four offerings of Jo Stockton on the Poppy body - with a total of 10 outfits, including a fur coat, an aqua cape, 10 pairs of shoes, five hats, a pet, etc. etc.  2) One Maggie Prescott doll on the Victoire body with 3 outfits, and 3) Two supporting characters - if you could ever call Dovima a supporting character - on Monogram bodies with four outfits.  A total of SEVEN new face ups.

I play with my dolls and that is where I derive my joy.  I am almost breathless with anticipation ...

or that could just be that I have had a bronchial infection for four weeks and plan on blaming all of this pre-order on the heavy dose of prednisone I am on.  "I didn't know what I was doing!  I wasn't aware I was even pre-ordering!  Honest!"