Saturday, June 14, 2014

Summer Vacation Day 42

One of the most complicated characters to follow is Natalia Fatale.  The very first issue (2004) of this character was the subject of blog post Day 53 - Cosmetic Takeover.  Cosmetic Takeover

Version 1.0 was released three times in 2005 and three times in 2006 (on the taller body).  Also in 2006, Natalia was released with a closed mouth (Queen of the Hive) which became known as version 1.5.   Natalia went through a personality crisis and was on sabbatical in 2007.  The story cards rumors were that she was having "cosmetic work done".  Version 2.0 was released in 2008.

Sometimes Integrity Toys isn't willing to give up on a mold.  Natalia version 1.5 is an example of this.  Although most mainline Natalia dolls have been released as version 2.0 since 2008, version 1.5 pops up on rare occasion; in 2011 it made two appearances:  at the Integrity Convention as an ITBE called "Night", and this doll, IFDC Go West Natalia Fatale.  (One of my favorite TV shows is Once Upon A Time; Go West Natalia reminds me so much of Regina!)
IFDC Go West Natalia Fatale is a modern interpretation of "The Wicked Witch of the West" from The Wizard of Oz.  This is another doll in my collection that I cannot bring myself to redress.  I believe her to be completely perfect in her original presentation.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Summer Vacation Day 43

If you've been following the blog since I started this summer countdown - bless your heart - I've spotlighted 16 distinct Fashion Royalty characters.  (Yesterday, I strayed into FR2 territory, but I will get back on track with today's entry.)

To further complicate matters with the 16 characters, many of them have had "refreshed" molds.  Starting with this blog post, I will be repeating the characters but focusing on their newer versions.

The first character to get cosmetic surgery was Adele Makeda.  Version 1.0 was only produced for a couple years (2001 - 2004).  Although I like the doll and have purchased several, I don't have one living here.  Version 2.0 was released in 2005 and was the subject of Day 55 - The Muse:

Day 55 - The Muse Adele Makeda

At the Integrity Convention of 2011, they unveiled version 3.0, Style Counsel Adele.  This doll is difficult for me to capture with my camera.  I wound up going outside.
I need to take a couple photography classes to become better at taking pictures.   It was my intention to spotlight all of my subjects against a neutral background to focus on their beauty.

But as you can see, Style Counsel Adele took better photos outside.
Style Counsel Adele had a great big "hair bump" - as did most dolls from this convention - which required some work to correct.  I think Style Counsel Adele is a lovely mold and probably the best representation of version 3.0; however, version 2.0 is still my favorite of all Adele molds.  Version 3.0 was released two more times (in 2012) before moving on to the FR2 body.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Summer Vacation Day 44

I started this series with the intention of spotlighting only Fashion Royalty dolls, but yesterday the mailperson brought me a very special package.   I had been anxiously awaiting the arrival of this box.  (By this,  I mean I was very excited about receiving it, not that the artist had them for any length of time.   The artisan actually only had them for a little over a week.  Incredibly fast turnaround.)

When I opened the package, my eyes filled with tears.   There were three "refreshed" faces ready to greet me!

If I had to list my favorite character molds they would be in this order:
1. Eugenia
2. Vanessa 1.0
3. Agnes
4. Adele 2.0
5. Elise
6. Dania

Earlier this spring I gave a quick review of the last doll offered to W Club Members last year, A Touch of Frost Eugenia Frost.  Here is the link: Touch of Frost Review

I had high expectations of this doll, especially after receiving After Tonight Eugenia Frost from the 2013 Integrity Convention.  Unfortunately, there was something off with her eye screening.  A doll friend and I were discussing it and thought it would be an easy fix.  I tried to photoshop a picture and put that in another blog entry:

So, I turned on the heating pad, removed her head, and she got mailed off for a little cosmetic eye fix.  I figured while I was doing that, I'd send two others who were in bad need of tweaking.  To help my readers understand the difference, I will include two photos.  The original followed by the enhanced version.

First, we have the original with the odd eye problem (to me she looks like she has a "sleepy" right eye):
And now, with the pupils brought down and enlarged a little,  drum roll please 
Another photo to show you a more direct look at the eyes:
So, this blog also spotlights the 9th Doll added to my collection in 2014.  With correction, she truly supports being a member of my favorite Fashion Royalty mold and the perfect doll for Summer Vacation Day 44.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Summer Vacation Day 45

I am now at the end of characters that have been produced on the FR body (not including Hollywood Royalty).  If you've been counting, we have a total of 16.  I want to have at least one version of each character in my collection.    As a review:

2001 - 2002 (Veronique Perrin, Adele Makeda)
2004 (Kyori Sato, Natalia Fatale, Vanessa Perrin)
2005 (Isha Narayna Kalpana)
2006 (Agnes Von Weiss)
2007 (Luchia Z, Eugenia Frost)
2008 (Tatyana Alexandrova)
2009 (Jordan, Dania Zarr, Elise Jolie)
2010 (Anja, Kesenia)
2011 (Korinne)

This is the second mold that is actually two characters!   In an earlier post, I shared Dress Me Luchia.  Luchia actually shares a mold with Isha Narayana Kalpana.  Luchia was the caucasian doll and Isha was the Indian counterpart.  Things got mixed up recently when Luchia was given a new mold and put on a FR2 body.  A caucasian doll using the original mold was released as an  Integrity Toys Basic Edition earlier this year and was called "Isha" since there is a new Luchia.  Therefore, future releases of this mold, regardless of skin tone, will be called Isha.   Confused yet?

My favorite Isha (not including the ITBE which should be Luchia) is Age of Opulence Isha.  This version has the jewel nose stud and the bindi.  Since my husband and I just returned from vacation, Isha  is just getting back from a vacation in Hawaii and is wearing the Dressmaker Details ensemble "Aloha Kalakoa".
Age of Opulence Isha is from 2005.  She was released in an edition size of 1000 and cost $119.   I believe this was the first doll I purchased directly from an Integrity dealer.  I like the diversity she adds to my collection.  She is the only Isha who resides here.  She has been put on the taller FR body (Rare Find Isha) and continues to hold a special place in the display cabinet.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Summer Vacation Day 46

It's hard to believe that it is Day 46 - we're one quarter of the way through my summer vacation and I haven't duplicated mold/characters in my blog entries.  Now I'm to the point where we have a couple molds that are actually two characters!   This doll mold is Tatyana Alexandrova when she is caucasian, but she is Jordan when she is black.

The doll that is featured in my blog today is one that has a special meaning to me.  When my mother was still alive, she purchased this doll for me as a gift.  I had entered the W Club lottery for two dolls that were being offered.  I won the opportunity to purchase this doll (was hoping for the other), and I wasn't sure that I wanted to add her to my collection.  My Mom said, "Stop fretting about it - I'll buy it for you."  I even had it shipped to my parents' home when I was visiting there.  It was 2009 and she is Platinum Jordan.  Platinum Jordan had a very small edition size of only 180 dolls and sold for $75.
Since she was a gift from my mother who is no longer living, she is the most special doll in my collection.   She is a another doll I find difficult to capture with the camera, but she is lovely!  Every time I look at her, I think of Mama.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Summer Vacation Day 47

When looking over my collection, I realized that I had more "short" Fashion Royalty dolls than I thought - there are still 20 living here!  When initially released in 2001-2002, Integrity Toys (IT) produced their dolls on a body about the size and shape of a vintage Barbie.  The only real difference was the added articulation of a knee joint.  These bodies have yellowed terribly and become brittle - so brittle in fact that the plastic will sometimes just crumble in your hands.  (Far left in photo below)

IT added articulation to the dolls' bodies in 2004 with the addition of hand, elbow, upper arm, waist, and torso joints.  (2nd body from the left)   It was a welcome change, but the mobility of the joints was very limited.  The design team at IT realized they could increase "poseability" by lengthening the limbs a little.  That's how we got the taller body which was released in 2006.  (3rd in photo)  The taller body received an additional enhancement in 2009 with the handspeak system.  Almost all of my older Fashion Royalty dolls are on the third body with the handspeak system.  All three of these bodies can share most of the same clothing.  The only difference being the length of sleeves, slacks and some gowns which didn't transfer to the taller body.

In 2010, IT released a new line called FR2 with the last body in the photo.   They announced last year all future releases would be produced on this body - then they started the ITBE line again using the older FR body - so I don't know what exactly is going on.  I'm confused, but I thought I would include a  photo for reference.  This body cannot wear many of the clothing pieces created for the FR body - the waist of the FR2 body is higher and wider, the hips and thighs thicker, the bust smaller.

Back to my statement about many of my favorite dolls being produced prior to 2006, which was a surprise to me.  The next doll to be showcased is from 2004.  She is Glam Slam Kyori Sato, was released in an edition size of 1200, and retailed for $60.   She is wearing a blouse and skirt from the Black as Night gift set from the 2006 Integrity Convention.
Again, this is a doll that does not have the enhancement of the added eyelashes, but I think she is one gorgeous face up!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Summer Vacation Day 48

Sometimes a follower will read my blog and it leads to questions.   A couple entries ago, I mentioned that I had purchased Follow the Line Kesenia for her body and ensemble, only to fall in love with the actual doll when she arrived.  I was asked what was so great about this particular ensemble, so I decided to showcase it on today's doll.

Integrity Toys has this habit of sometimes introducing a new character or mold as the featured doll at conventions.   I was surprised that I had already included three of these dolls so far in my count down:  Blue Blood Elise Jolie from 2009, Dress Me Luchia Z from 2007, and  Cosmetic Takeover Natalia Fatale from 2004.  This is the fourth such doll - Fete Acompli Tatyana Alexandrova from the 2008 Integrity Convention called "The Heist".  She was released in an edition size of 450 and was included in the convention registration fee of $325.
It's hard to tell from the photos, but those pencil pants are just perfection!  They even have little cuffs and belt loops.  They fit perfectly and are an excellent length.  (Unfortunately, like so many tailored skirts, pants, and shorts, these slacks do not fit the FR2 body.)  The blouse is a white chiffon material with a great bow.  The jacket is like a cropped tuxedo jacket.  There are little buttons on the sleeves and a satin lapel.  Cute little matching buttons on the jacket and pants.  LOVE IT!
Here is a closeup to try to provide a better look at the lapel and Tatyana's lovely face.
Tatyana was only released three additional times on the regular Fashion Royalty body (2008 FAO exclusive Paris J'Adore, 2010 IFDC The Red Queen, and 2012 IFDC Follow The Lines) before pairing her with Elise to be two of the first regular characters to move to the FR2 line.  I think there is something very elegant about Fete Acompli Tatyana Alexandrova and she holds a lovely spot in my collection.