Wednesday, December 28, 2016

#8 of 2016

This doll sculpt is no stranger to my Top 10.  I wasn't as impressed with the ensemble and jewelry as many other collectors were, so I was thrilled to find her nude on secondary market for a super reasonable price.   When I first saw her, she reminded me of Iconic Lana Turner, which I owned and sold.  This time she looks more like Grace Kelly, so I had to dress her as such using a Mattel dress.

I really love the screening and blended hair color.  Such an elegant hairdo!  Number 8 of 2016 is Tweed Couture Dania Zarr from the Integrity Toys Supermodel Convention.

#9 of 2016

I had such high hopes for the 2015 NuFace line and purchased four of the five dolls offered.  One of those dolls made their way to my Top Ten of 2016 (since they actually arrived in 2016 - I got mine in late January); she is the doll who received the most "favorites" on her flickr photo last year.  She didn't come "alive" for me until I put her hair back into a ponytail away from her face, bringing out her true beauty.  Here is a full length photo:
I am trying to get better about telling where the different pieces of an ensemble come from.   She is wearing the blouse from 2015's Refinement Vanessa, the coat from 2009's Old Is New Giselle, the skirt is from 2013's Color Infusion Nightshade, the boots were borrowed from 2015's Electric Enthusiasm Dominique.

Number 9 of 2016 for me is Polarity Nadja Rhymes.

#10 of 2016

A little bedrest and a lot of medication, I am beginning to get around more.  I'll probably end up listing more than one doll each day to accomplish the countdown before I go back to school.

With such a lackluster first half of the year from Integrity Toys, my attention was captured by the 2016 Barbie Fashionista line.  When did they start being on trend???  I purchased several from the line to join my family of dolls.  Those that didn't already have Made to Move bodies were switched to  articulation.  I couldn't believe it when one of them actually found its way to a perfectly matching High Frequency Kumi body.  And so, Tayla was born - (Tayla is a blended word from Tall Kayla).
This body just made her a completely different character.  Even with the simple face-up and youthful look, she is amazing.  In the middle of a doll drought, Mattel gave us a cool sip of water - Leather and Ruffles Fashionista is my #10 of 2016.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Annual "Best of" Countdown Postponed

I realized it is past time for the beginning of the "Best of 2016" countdown and wanted to apologize to anyone who was wondering why it hadn't started.

My fur baby was diagnosed with cancer during the Thanksgiving holiday and I have been trying to attend to her needs.  Then, this past weekend, I was involved in a head-on car accident.  (The other driver took a left-turn from a right-turn-only lane.)   Although I have been able to photograph Key Pieces Elyse Jolie for a review, I've not had the energy or felt well enough to redress and organize the other dolls I have received in 2016.

I am blessed that I walked away with only bad bruising and muscle soreness.   (My sternum is bruised and that is the most painful.)  I do wish everyone safety, health, and happiness during this holiday.  I will get the "Best of" completed as soon as I start feeling better.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Key Pieces Elyse Jolie

It seems like forever that I waited for this one to show up.  The minute I saw her in the mainline reveal, I just knew she would be a permanent resident here.  She arrived last week, and I really do love her!  She is Key Pieces Elyse Jolie.  Here she is presented in the box:
And a closeup of that lovely face with the "barely there" makeup:
I've truly grown tired of black and white clothing, so I really welcomed the use of color.   This was a "mini giftset"; however, I think it is better than the J'Adore La Fete Elyse Jolie I received earlier this year.  A silly complaint is that I wish it had been received when there was warmer weather.  To me, this is a "spring/summer" giftset with such lovely pastel colors while the J'Adore La Fete giftset is more winter-like and it was received this summer.

Integrity was very generous with the accessories - there are two pair of shoes, hose for the lingerie, and a very nice purse.  She comes with an extra set of hands and a pair of sunglasses.  The jewelry consists of earrings, a very nice style of necklace, bracelet, and ring.
I'm not sure how I feel about the hair - the "rolled piece that is tied" is cut shorter than the rest of her hair.  It's sort of weird and doesn't make a lot of sense.  Oddly, my doll's ears weren't pierced.   I like the eyes.  I didn't think I would care for the uneven hem design of the skirt, but I'm okay with it.  She is standing on her own in this photo.  The shoes are a cool design but are difficult to get on.  (The earrings and bracelet were borrowed from Hot Dots Poppy Parker.)
Here is a closeup in the suit.
I am very impressed by this evening dress.  It's so "frothy" it reminds me of one of those sugar desserts.  I can't believe those seamstresses who can't sew a hemline (don't get me started) created this.  It's amazing in its construction.
And another closeup.
My favorite part of the giftset is the lingerie.  I love how feminine this looks.  It reminds me of some of the earlier FR lingerie.  (These are not the hose that came with the giftset.  I wanted something more cream like the lingerie.  I loved the little lace detail at the top!)
Closer ....

Closer ....
I think I really love this doll.  She's quite special.  As much as I love Key Pieces Elyse and the giftset clothing, I think the designers need to think about skin tone (complexion) when making fabric choices.  I believe the peach/coral lingerie would look better on a different skin tone ... like maybe Nocturnal Glow Veronique ...
The little tweed jacket is going to work with so many ensembles.  Blue Burkhart models it with Faded Desert Kyori's ensemble.
The real proof in a doll's stamina in my collection is how she redresses.   Here is Key Pieces Elyse wearing Time and Again Adele's suit.
I don't think she'll be going anywhere ... What a gorgeous doll.  Had I received her prior to the convention, I daresay I wouldn't have purchased so many dolls.  This girl is just about as close to perfection as they come.  I wonder where she'll land on my countdown!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Happy Holidays - Merry Christmas

It has become a tradition that I create a "Christmas Card" for my followers using one of my favorite dolls released in 2016.  Sometimes, I have a great deal of difficulty choosing the doll to spotlight.  Unfortunately, many collectors haven't been very impressed with the Integrity Toys' offerings to the general public.  My choice this year is Be Daring Imogen.  She is ringing in the season with her antique xylophone.

May your holiday season be blessed with joy, kindness, and love.  May you find peace in all parts of your life and time to spend with those you care about.   

Friday, December 9, 2016

Countdown Preparation Part VI - 2015

While looking through my "Best of" lists over the past six years, one thing became immediately apparent - if you collect Fashion Royalty dolls, you need to be a member of the W Club AND you need to attend the Integrity convention.   It seems that the majority of my "Best of" dolls are acquired from these two sources.  If you cannot attend the Integrity convention, you need to be prepared to spend some money on the secondary market.  

2015 was definitely the year of the NuFace collection as it returned with a vengeance; four of the dolls on my "Best of" list were NuFace dolls.  My favorite NuFace from last year came from the convention- Evening Blossom Dominique Makeda.  
I have enjoyed redressing this doll so much!   She was a very close second on my countdown and is worth another look.
My #1 doll on the 2015 countdown continues to be one of my very favorite dolls ever produced.  She was a W Club Exclusive.  She is Rare Appearance Dania Zarr.
There is a classic beauty to this doll that makes her timeless.  She is wearing Natalia's Inner Spark gown with a black feather boa.  She has always reminded me of Elizabeth Taylor.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Countdown Preparation Part V - 2014

The theme of "diversity" from 2013 continued into 2014.  My doll collecting was seriously branching out: Victoire Roux, Poppy Parker, Color Infusion, NuFace, and Fashion Royalty.  Mattel had such a great showing in 2013 that I was disappointed in 2014 with no Barbie line dolls being represented.

It was in 2014 that I seriously started cutting out doll lines.  I have sold almost all of my Dynamite Girls, Tulabelle, and all 16" Fashion dolls.  I have favorite doll molds and it is very difficult to let go of many of them.  It was in 2014 that I actually listed the top 5 dolls by character, with the best of each character being represented.

My Number 1 spot in 2014 was given to the character Elyse Jolie.  The version chosen as best was as big a surprise to me as anyone else.  When Montaigne Market Elyse Jolie was released (IN FRANCE) collectors were in a frenzy to acquire her.  Her secondary market price NRFB is usually over $500.  I had decided that she would not be joining my collection, when I found her being sold nude for less than a new doll.  I snapped her and never looked back.

While my other dolls were wearing blacks and neutrals, Montaigne Market Elyse Jolie decided to make a statement.  She is wearing a powder blue Mattel gown and boa.  (It is called "Between Takes" and is often found on e-bay for about $30.)
And a closeup of a remarkably beautiful face deserving of #1 of 2014.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Countdown Preparation Part IV - 2013

2013 was a VERY GOOD year for doll collecting.   This was the year that Silkstones made a serious comeback - Boater Ensemble, Luncheon Ensemble, and Cocktail Dress Ensemble were all released.  Although none of these dolls reside here, my girls are enjoying the clothing; they still represent some of my favorite ensembles presented by any doll manufacturer.  This was also the year of the Herve Leger Barbie!

Poppy Parker had an amazing year.  It was the first time I collected the "whole line" with At the 1965 International Fair.  Surprisingly every single one of the Poppies from that group (all six of them!) still live here, as does Young Sophisticate who is one of my very favorite Poppy Parker dolls ever produced.

Victoire Roux established herself in the hearts of collectors, Integrity Toys showed its creativity with the "mix up" dolls of Funny Face, and Mattel released one of my favorite accessories ever, The Barbie Look Wardrobe, the only non-doll to ever make it into my "Best of" countdowns.  (I own 12 of them; one for each color of clothing)

With all this diversity, my collection had a serious growing pain in 2013.  In addition, my best doll buddy in the whole world, Reese, had a friend who wanted to attend the IT convention that year and needed someone to pay the convention fees.  I would never had been able to afford the secondary market prices on the convention dolls that year.  They still represent some of the best dolls in my collection!  2013 was the first year that I could not make up mind about the #1 spot.  In the end, I just had to put both dolls there.  To me, they represent Integrity Toys at its best.  The face ups, hairstyles, and ensembles were all perfect.  I've never redressed either of them.  They have a special spot in my collection.

Here is Midnight Star Elyse Jolie.
And a Closeup.
We can't leave out After Tonight Eugenia Frost.
And a closeup.
This is the photo from the 2013 countdown that just solidifies my decision.  So much glamour!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Countdown Preparation Part III - 2012

I was asked in a comment about attending conventions.  I am a public school teacher, so it is very difficult for me to attend a doll convention in October.  In my last school district, we did standardized testing in October and teachers were not allowed to take personal time off during that time.  In our state, teachers do not earn "vacation time".  Teacher are allowed three personal days each year that are taken from their sick leave.

The only convention I ever attended was the 2012 Tropicalia Convention.  (After I retire, I hope to attend more.)  Several of those dolls made it into my "Best of" list that year.  However, it was a NuFace exclusive that made it all the way to #1.  Here is Glam Addict Giselle, wearing Dark Romance's gown, doing her best Angelina Jolie imitation.

Since it was 2012, I did a top 12 that year.  Seven of those dolls still reside here, including the beautiful Glam Addict.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Countdown Preparation Part II - 2011

I remember doing my list for 2011 and thinking that it wasn't a great year for doll collecting.

Even from the 10 dolls on my list, there are only six still living here.  Some were replaced by better examples (Point of Departure was sold in favor of Point of Departure Helper - with red hair).

My number 1 from 2011 is still a favorite of my Kyori 1.0 mold.  She was No Reservations Kyori Sato from the Integrity Toys convention.  Here she is borrowing Agne's Drama Behind the Drama gown.
I love her face up and hair; it is different from other versions of this mold.  She has a classic elegance that I really appreciate.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

2016 Countdown Preparation Part I - 2010

Oh my!  It's already December; where did 2016 go??   I was looking back through my blog archives and realized that my reviews started in 2010.  Where has the time gone?

In preparation for the 2016 countdown, my winners from previous years thought it would be nice to take a little trip down memory lane.  Since they heard the Supermodel Convention was "gown heavy", they decided to put on some finery.

Although there was no official "countdown of dolls" in 2010, I did blog that I had two favorite dolls from that year.  The first was Smoke Screen Dania Zarr.  She was a table centerpiece from the Integrity Toys 2010 Convention with an edition size of 150 dolls.  Smoke Screen continues to be one of my all time favorite dolls.
And the second was Regal Estate Agnes von Weiss from the Australian Doll Convention.

Two dark haired beauties!

Sunday, November 20, 2016


I thought I was showing exceptional self-control relative to the dolls from the Supermodel Convention.  I was unable to attend and there have been some extra financial considerations recently with my fur baby, so I've limited the number of new dolls arriving here.

However ... (it seems there's always a "however", doesn't it?)  the one doll from the convention that just kept haunting me was Glamazon Adele Makeda.  The Adele mold 2.0 is one of my very favorite molds.  When done correctly, it is exquisite.  In my opinion, Integrity Toys provided collectors an excellent version with Glamazon.

There were only 350 of this doll created for the convention (the same number as the centerpiece dolls) which makes her quite elusive.  Needless to say, she sold out first at the convention which eliminated the possibility of W Club members getting a lottery opportunity.   Most collectors really like this doll, so she isn't showing up on secondary market that often; when she does, she is easily bringing double her original sales price.

I rationalized that, since I didn't attend the convention,  I saved thousands of dollars in plane fare, hotel expenses, food, time away from home, and additional doll purchases.  Surely, that justifies buying a doll at secondary market price, right?

This is Glamazon Adele Makeda in the box.

And here is a closeup:
Glamazon Adele Makeda comes with an additional Versace-inspired dress in purple, a pair of matching boots, her original shoes, necklace, earrings, bracelet, and an additional pair of hands.
Here she is out of the box (kudos to the designer who figured out that it was better to put the plastic knee protectors UNDER the hose):
The shoes are very cute and are the palest seashell pink (to match the dress).  I think this is a new shoe design; at least I don't own a pair similar.   The dress is not to my taste, but it is iconic fashion from the 1970's and is very well made.  The additional dress was a nice touch, but it has a Velcro closure in the back.  In an Integrity premium doll?  Not sure about this.
And here is a lovely closeup.  I do love this version of mold 2.0.  (I didn't put her necklace on because  I thought it competed with the neckline of the dress.)
I do not regret adding her to my collection.  I think she is definitely going to be one of my favorite FR2 dolls to redress and look forward to the holidays when I can get some more playtime.  Glamazon Adele Makeda is a beautiful doll and will probably maintain a high secondary market price.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Supermodel Convention - Color Infusion

Many years ago, convention attendees participated in a program featuring Dynamite Girls where they got to put dolls and ensembles together.  This was replaced at the Orlando Tropicalia Convention with the introduction of a new body type and line called Color Infusion.  Attendees can buy basic nude dolls for a lower price than mainline dolls.  Then there is a selection of clothing ensembles that can be purchased separately.  Since its introduction, I have allowed myself to keep one doll each year.  (NOTE:  Color Infusion was originally introduced as a NuFace spinoff in 2011.)

This year's convention collection took Color Infusion to new heights.  I am so glad that I do not collect male dolls.  I would've been in serious trouble.  Here is the 2016 lineup:

Callum Windsor wearing "What A Man":
Ace McFly wearing "Too Sexy"
Tobias Alsford (my personal favorite) wearing "Hypnotize":
Ollie Lawson wearing "Mr. Vain":
Declan Wake wearing "Strike It Up":
Preston Woods wearing "Come As You Are":
And the female characters this year were totally amazing.

Monroe Jillian wearing "Pure Love":
Laka O'Rion wearing "Poison":
Dree Hill wearing "Crazy Sexy Cool":
Jaeme Costas wearing "Teen Spirit":
Tilda Brisby wearing "All That She Wants":
And Blue Burkhart wearing "Give It Up":
These were phenomenal fashions with a lot of mix and match possibilities.  There were nods to great fashion icons.  Even the packaging was elevated this year.  Here is a photo compared to previous packaging.  Teen Spirit on the left.
All of these items are selling extremely well on secondary market.  Many of the dolls are over $100 now as are some of the ensembles.  I was fortunate enough to get my three favorite fashions:  Teen Spirit (I have been waiting for a long sleeve denim blouse!!), Pure Love, and Crazy Sexy Cool (love those shoes!).   For anyone wondering, many pieces of CI clothing will actually fit the FR2 and NuFace bodies.  All of the shoes/boots are too big as the CI foot is larger.

I was unable to stick to my "allowed" one doll from this collection.  I wound up with two: Jaeme Costas (who hasn't arrived yet) and Blue Burkhart.  Here are a couple photos of Blue:
I am not usually a fan of big hair or even platinum hair, but I love this doll.  Here she is wearing a suit from Hoang Anh Khoi (who has an etsy storefront).
This doll is phenomenal.  I put her on a regular FR2 body and am truly enjoying her.
So, who was your favorite?