Saturday, January 6, 2018

Best of 2017 - Number 6

This is another doll that I have already reviewed.  Here is the link: Review of Vivacite Eugenia Frost. My followers know that I cannot resist the Eugenia mold, and this version is not one to pass up.

She is from the 2017 La Femme collection.  Although there were 1025 of her produced she is already climbing in price on the secondary market.  Some have described her as the dark-haired version of Going Public.
She is a truly lovely doll and my countdown would be flawed had she been left out.
Here she is wearing a winter ensemble from Dagamoart.
And a closeup.   Best of 2017, Number 6 Vivacite Eugenia Frost.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Best of 2017 - Number 7

Although one of the more recently deboxed acquisitions, this doll was delivered several months ago.  She was one a W Club Exclusive members could purchase as part of the 2017 Poppy Parker retail line.   I reviewed her on December 10, 2017 and she quickly became a popular model around here.  Here is the link:  Review of Welcome to Misty Hollows Poppy Parker.

2016 was definitely Poppy Parker's year with several incredible versions released.  As a matter of fact, there were so many exceptional versions of Poppy Parker I listed the mold as my #1 of 2016.  

David Buttry was really on his game last year; I added so many versions in 2016 that I was nervous about this year.   But the bar was set so high in 2016 I found myself lacking enthusiasm for most of the releases in 2017.  (It's not that the dolls weren't beautiful; I just added so many amazing Poppy dolls in 2016 that the 2017 versions paled in comparison.)   That is true for all but one - Welcome to Misty Hollows Poppy Parker is one of my very favorite versions ever released.

This doll reminds me so much of my youth.  We used to get off the bus and rush into the house to watch old reruns of Dark Shadows, The Munsters, and The Addams Family.  This doll brought me joy by reminding me of my childhood and reminding me of the niece, Marilyn, on The Munsters.   Number 7 of the Best of 2017 is Welcome to Misty Hollows Poppy Parker.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Best of 2017 - Number 8

Nadja Rhymes, mold 2.0, is no foreigner to my Top 10 countdown.  In 2015, Out of Sight made number 6 in the countdown, and Polarity placed in the Number 9 position last year.   There were two beautiful versions of this mold received by collectors in 2017 and another was previewed for the mainline but is not expected to be shipped until January 2018.

I reviewed I Slay Nadja Rhymes in February of this year (link:  I Slay Nadja Rhymes Review).  Although she was part of the 2016 mainline, she did not make her way into collectors hands until this past winter.  I believe she has one of the most beautiful faces in my collection.  Here she is wearing a OOAK sweater ensemble purchased from Gwendolyn's Treasures on Etsy.
 I Slay Nadja Rhymes is probably one of the runners-up in this year's countdown and was barely nudged out of the Top 10 by her sister.

In 2009, Integrity Toys (IT) gave convention attendees a "build-a-doll" giftset.  Here is a list of giftsets so far:

2009 - Power Game Natalia Fatale
2010 - Head for Glamour Agnes Von Weiss (Thank you Luis for the catch on the name)
2011 - Point of Departure Eugenia Frost
2012 - High Point Vanessa Perrin (mold 3.0)
2013 - Interlude Monogram
2016 - You Better Werk Tulabelle (Thank you Phyllis for catching this!)

In 2014 and 2015, attendees received a special convention ensemble in lieu of the build-a-doll giftset.

I cannot imagine the excitement when attendees realized IT had resurrected the build-a-doll concept for the 2017 convention.   This year's offering is Sweet Dreams Nadja Rhymes and she represents the Fairytale "Sleeping Beauty".

I believe I prefer the faceup and hair of I Slay, but the packaging and concept of Sweet Dreams just cannot be ignored!  A common saying in creative thought is "Think outside the box", but the IT design team "Thought about the box".  Here is a photo of the complete giftset (including the additional body and limbs)
And a photo without the plastic covers for each compartment.
The first piece was received by attendees as they registered; it was the packaging/box which is made to look like a book with a vellum lay on top.  There is even a bookmark.   Each compartment was received at a different event and has a plastic cover that says, when put together, "Somewhere In The Forest... The Beauty... ...Sleeps in Peace."  What a lovely tribute to a favorite childhood fairytale!

At the Welcome Banquet, attendees got the actual doll, "Somewhere in the Forest ..."
Here is a photo without the lid.  The blue dress is separate to the lace top.  Cute off-white booties, white fishnet hose, earrings, and a chocker finish the look.  She is actually a very beautiful doll and attendees should've been thrilled to have the giftset included in the registration fee.
The second piece received was at the luncheon and was the sleeping doll, "...Sleeps in peace"; it came with a ticket that allowed attendees to buy the completer body and limbs in the salesroom for a nominal amount - NOTE:  since IT dolls use "peg-in-hole" system for assembling, it's not difficult to take the torso off the awake doll and replace it with the sleeping torso; therefore, collectors didn't need the additional lower body and arms.  It was a nice gesture on IT's part to make it available for collectors who wanted both dolls fully assembled.
The originality shown in the development of this giftset is extraordinary.  The doll's eyes are painted closed as if she is actually sleeping!  Attached to the box is the matching panty to the bra and a set of jewelry.
The final piece of the giftset, the addition ensemble, "The beauty ...", was given to attendees at the final dinner.
Here is a photo without the plastic cover.  It is a coral/pink dress with additional shoes and necklace.

I am very impressed with the whole concept.  It is fresh and clever.  Whether you are in love with the actual doll or not (and I think the doll is none too shabby!), you cannot deny this is one of the most creative giftsets ever designed.
I want to take the doll out and play with it so badly, but I love the packaging and want to savor it a little longer.  I am quite impressed and have never seen anything quite like this.

Bringing me the joy of creativity and making its way into my Top 10 Countdown of 2017.  At Number 9 of 2017, Sweet Dreams Nadja Rhymes.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Best of 2017 - Number 9

The next doll in my countdown hasn't made an appearance since 2012, but she was in the Number 1 slot that year!   It seemed that Jessy Ayala took it personally that Giselle Diefendorf has been missing from my Top 10 Countdown for the last four years and made it his mission to make sure she got listed this year, giving collectors five versions of this mold in a 12 month timespan!

Although previewed as a member of 2016 Reckless NuFace line, AKA Gigi did not make it into the hands of collectors until 2017.   Unfortunately, I totally missed the mark on this doll and, due to secondary market prices, didn't add her to my collection until November.  I reviewed her on November 25, 2017 - here is the link Review of AKA Gigi Giselle Diefendorf.

There has been some problems with "shiny face" on some of the production dolls, but neither of my dolls had this flaw.  I love the way this doll photographs.  Her stare is intense.

Because she brought me joy in remembering that I can be flawed in my initial decisions about a doll purchase, here is Number 9 of 2017, AKA Gigi Giselle Diefendorf.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Best of 2017 - Number 10

I truly struggled with putting together my Top 10 Countdown for 2017.   This will be the 8th anniversary for my listing of favorite dolls, and there has never been so many beautiful examples from which to choose.

One of the reasons I had trouble with this year's countdown is that I was trying to be objective and choose dolls that were popular with collectors.  Unfortunately, I was finding that other collectors' favorites were not my choices.  I guess dolls around here pretty much fall into four categories:

  1. Debox immediately and let the redressing begin!
  2. Debox but display the doll in stock because she's just too beautiful to redress right now.
  3. Can't make up my mind, so shove her in the closet.
  4. Off to another collector who appreciates her more.
I decided to stop looking at other collectors' lists and think about the dolls that brought joy to me this year.  I hope, if you are reading this, you keep in mind these choices are personal to me for various reasons and may not reflect what is popular in the collecting community.

... so let's get on with it.  The first doll in my countdown came to my collection in June.   I have been a supporter of the Victoire Roux line since its debut in 2011.  Unfortunately designers changed the facial screening in 2013, and the line lost its attraction to many collectors.  Integrity Toys (IT) tried to correct this in 2014 but failed to recapture the momentum of the original line.  Victoire Roux went on sabbatical until Chris Stoekel joined the IT design team and launched the East 59th in 2017.  The two new characters, Constance Madssen and Evelyn Weaverton, were supposed to be friends of Victoire.  The style was vintage, classic, and glamorous!  The bodies were compatible to the original Victoire body.

Here is the link to my original review of Luxurious Leisure Constance Madssen Review of Luxurious Leisure.  Although I wasn't head-over-heels in love with the face screening, the ensemble was amazing, as were the accessories.   The packaging was unique and exciting.  The best thing about the East 59th dolls is that she can wear just about everything from the early years of Fashion Royalty.  (The fact that my FR2 dolls cannot wear much of my accumulated doll closet has been a annoyance since their release.)

Here she is modeling Hot Topic from 2005.  I love this brocade coat.  The details (like the brown "suede" piping) are so fabulous!  Even the sleeves are just the right length!  (The shoes are snug, but with a little effort can stay on her feet.)
Because this doll brought back my joy of playing with the early FR fashions and returned classic glamour to my collection, Number 10 of 2017 is Luxurious Leisure Constance Madssen.

Well, Hello Mattel Part Deux

I had a follower who was concerned about how the new Mattel ensembles looked from behind.  That follower is correct that many of the recent ensembles are printed on the front only and look horrible from behind.

It seems Mattel realized this problem and tried to correct it with the newer lines.  Here are my models from behind (the red Hello Kitty dress isn't pictured because I couldn't get them all in one frame; however, that dress is printed on the back as well).

This is just a "down and dirty" photo.  The pink skirt is the only one where the fabric on the back is a little different, but the colors are so close, it's not that noticeable.   I don't usually photograph my dolls from behind, but side shots can also be disrupted when there is an obvious difference in the print.

I hope this helps!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Well, Hello Mattel!

As a collector who redresses my dolls, I get very excited when I find an inexpensive way to add to my dolls' closets.  Since Integrity Toys doesn't release clothing packs and Mattel has turned to throwing glitter on everything, I've had to use on-line clothiers such as Clear Lan to stock my dolls' wardrobes.

I got downright giddy recently when Mattel released its newest clothing pieces.  It appears Barbie has just returned with a vengeance!  Here is one of the $5.00 complete ensembles.  (I don't know what the names of these individual paks are, so please excuse the absence.)
There is a knit crop top and matching skirt.  There are some very cool sunglasses but no shoes.  Here is what it looks like on the older NuFace body compliments of a frankendolly.
It looks like she is coming back from holiday in a warmer climate!

In addition to the regular Mattel Barbie line, Mattel has joined forces with Hello Kitty again.  Here is one of the dresses ...
And another Frankendolly.  This time I took a Fashionista from a Model Muse body and put her on a Mattel articulated body.
Aren't those sunglasses just the most!  And I love the clear plastic purse, even if you can't open it!  Again, another $5.00 ensemble.

Even more impressive than the complete ensembles, there are the little individual paks which sell for $2.44.  I have tried these on different body types to show fit.

First up is a pink Hello Kitty top with a newer Barbie knit skirt.
And here is Wild Think Poppy Parker from 2014.  (I added the running pants, Doc Martins, and skull cap to make the ensemble a little more street edgy.)  What do you think?
Let's see if we have anything that will fit the NuFace 2 dolls?  What about this red Hello Kitty blouse and a knit Mattel skirt?
Just add a belt and voila!  The model is Be Daring Imogen from 2016.

In addition, I got extravagant and spent $8 on a Mattel mix n match set.
I purchased this for the rose t-shirt (oh yeah! we'll get some mileage out of this one!) and the red skirt.  The big surprise was how much I liked the plaid dress once it was on a doll.  Here is The Industry's Liu Liu modeling it.
It fits very well and looks super cute on.  I may add some tights and boots.

At this point, I realized I had tried items on almost all body types.  I wondered if my FR2 women could get away with one of these looks.  I wanted to try that red pleather skirt on someone, so I reached for Coquette Jordan Duval.  I decided to add a "Hello Kitty" blouse.  It is urban and different.
This is only a sampling of what is currently being offered in the Barbie aisle at the local Walmart.  I assume these items will sell out quickly because they are so appealing.  I know scalpers are already trying to profit from their sale on e-bay.  If you find any of these interesting, you may want to check it out the next time you're near Wally World.