Friday, January 11, 2019

2019 - Reset Button

With the "Top Ten Best of 2019" list behind me, it is time to take a minute and reflect on my collecting.

2018 was a year of refinement.

1.  I have been a collector of Wilde Imagination Ellowyne dolls since the line premiered in 2006.  Several were stuffed away NRFB in a closet.  I found homes for 13 members of my Ellowyne family and purchased two of my favorites that had eluded me.   I decided to keep only one version of each of Ellowyne's female friends - one Lizette (2014 All Natural Spice), one Prudence (2010 Ennui and Me), and one Amber (2011 A Dark & Stormy Night).  Any male dolls left my collection.  Although there are several Ellowyne versions still residing here, I hope to fine tune my collection a little more.

2.  I found homes for all of my Pullip dolls this year except one - that was 6 more dolls out the door.

3.  I donated a few older NRFB Barbie/Bratz dolls to the a message board's birthday celebration.  There are no NRFB Barbie dolls residing here now.  That was the last of my Bratz clan.

4.  I am down to only one antique doll in my collection; hopefully, I will find her a new home in 2019.

5.  The daughter of a fellow teacher at my school is a younger "doll collector" and I introduced her to some of the better dolls.  I have given her a couple to add to her collection.  She is developing into a true collector!

6.  The following changes were made to my Integrity Toys collection as well:

Poppy Parker (18 sold/6 purchased)
Monogram (3 sold/0 purchased)
Victoire/East 59th (1 sold/4 purchased)
Nuface (9 sold/9 purchased)
Dynamite Girl (1 sold/0 purchased)
My Little Pony (1 sold/0 purchased)
Misaki (3 sold/3 purchased)
The Industry (0 sold/1 purchased)
Fashion Royalty (13 sold/20 purchased)

That's 49 sold and 43 purchased.

There is a Tag Game on flickr where you are supposed to create a photo collage of the additions to your collection.  I was little embarrassed when I finished mine.  There were 45 dolls that joined my collection in 2018.  That's almost one per week.  I felt miserable about this.  It doesn't seem like a lot when they are coming in one at a time, but when you put them all together, it really adds up!
10 of these were pre-orders from 2017, eight of them were W Club Exclusives, one came from the IFDC Poppy Collection, and nine were form the Luxe Life Convention. 

But then you have to consider how many dolls left my collection in 2018.  I had 75 dolls find other homes!
My goal of one doll out for every doll in was definitely met in 2018.  That felt good!  A few of my dolls to leave represented some grails that were not getting the display or attention they deserve.  It was hard to let them go, but it felt nice to be able to pass them to other collectors.   

The lists of dolls acquired and sold that runs on the left side of this blog has been reset!  Last year's success is now in the past as I focus on 2019.   I have several dolls pre-ordered that will be delivered this year.  I guess I better get to the doll room and start "weeding the garden".   I hope you have the best of luck in 2019 with your collection.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Best of 2018 - #1 - The Twins - Public Adoration Eden and Afterglow Lilith

It can't be denied that these were the most talked about Integrity Toys (IT) dolls of 2018.  Some collectors didn't like them; a lot of collectors loved them.  There's also no denying they stole the show at the IT Convention Luxe Life.
I was able to acquire Afterglow Lilith almost immediately following release at a very good price.  I had given up hope of ever owning Public Adoration Eden when she arrived as a Christmas present from my dear husband.
Afterglow Lilith was the centerpiece doll at the W Club Luncheon.  W Club members who purchased a ticket to attend the luncheon got the opportunity to purchase Afterglow there.  She is in the new "sun kissed" skin tone and has platinum hair with bleached eyebrows.  It's her gorgeous green eyes though that impress me most.
I can't even imagine the excitement when the slide was shown that Public Adoration Eden was the gift doll to all attendees who paid for the luncheon ticket!  Arguably the best gift doll ever given at a convention (right up there with Big Eyes Poppy Parker).  Public Adoration was an instant grail, being compared by collectors to Going Public Eugenia Frost.  She has the most gorgeous face of any doll produced in 2018.  The use of a blend of pink and platinum hair combined with the sun kissed skin tone propelled her to the top of many a collector's Best of 2018 list.
They are two of my favorite dolls in my collection.  I look forward to redressing, posing, and photographing them often in the years to come!  I think it is phenomenal how Jessy Ayala took one mold and created a set of twins with distinctly different personalities, yet work so well together.  Count me impressed!  Best of 2018 #1 - The Blair Twins: Afterglow Lilith and Public Adoration Eden.

I hope you enjoyed my countdown.  It does reflect my personal taste and what I enjoyed adding to my collection this year.  It was not an easy countdown for me.  

Several dolls are absent from this countdown that could've very easily bumped a doll off.  They are worth noting:  Affluent Demeanor Agnes Von Weiss, Optic Illusion Giselle Diefendorf, Serenity Vanessa Perrin, Seduisante Elyse Jolie, Walking on Gold Adele Makeda, Divinity Isha Kalpana, Vamp Agnes Von Weiss, A Fabulous Life Rayna Ahmadi,  Vanity & Glamour Nadja Rhymes, and Hauntingly Lovely Ayumi Nakamura.  It was a very good year for IT collectors.  

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Best of 2018 - #2 Fame & Fortune Vanessa Perrin

If you think W Club members felt pretty spoiled the last couple years, you wouldn't be mistaken.  When you join the W Club, you get the opportunity to purchase upgrades to your membership.  There is usually one doll from the FR line, one from the NuFace line, and one from the Poppy Parker line.   You can buy one of each for each membership you purchase.  In addition, you are promised five "Club Exclusives".   Plus members get preview events for upcoming retail lines with a special W Club Exclusive doll for each event.   Then there are lottery opportunities to purchase special versions of dolls throughout the year.  It only costs $50 per membership to join, and you get access to a private website where members post news, photos, and share information about collecting.

If you've been following my "Best of 2018" countdown, you've probably realized that five of the first eight dolls have all been W Club Exclusives.  It's worth $50 to avoid secondary market prices on such beautiful collectible dolls!

And if that doesn't convince you, how about the next doll in my count down.  She is another W Club Exclusive from 2017 that didn't arrive until 2018.  (Please remember my countdowns from the past eight years have only included dolls that ship to collectors in the year highlighted since post-promotional changes can happen during production.)  I've actually already written a preview of this giftset as she was the 11th doll to join my collection in 2018 - Fame & Fortune Vanessa Perrin.
Such an extravagant giftset, could easily fill a #1 position.  There was an evening gown, casual ensemble, lingerie, special new gloves, and paired luggage!

Some collectors complained about getting versions of this doll with "wonky eye" or "wonky hairlines".   I was very fortunate to receive a perfect version!  This production uses the mold 1.0 version of this character which is a fan favorite.
She is quite gorgeous and definitely deserving of a position in my Top 10 of 2018.  #2 of 2018 is Fame & Fortune Vanessa Perrin.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Best of 2018 - #3 Goddess Tatyana Alexandrova

This is another doll from the Sacred Lotus mainline.   I love it when Integrity Toys (IT) produces something new and exciting.  As a collector who has been purchasing Fashion Royalty dolls for over a decade now, I am thrilled when one comes along that is very different and exciting from other versions.

Goddess Tatyana Alexandrova just pushes all the right buttons.
Look at that hair and face!
This is easily the best version ever of the Tatyana mold.  The red ensemble is gorgeous and very thought through.  The jewelry is amazing!   I am totally on board with this whole doll; she is so ethereal!  

Number 22 to join my collection in 2018 and Best of 2018 #3 - Goddess Tatyana Alexandrova.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Best of 2018 - #4 Karma Kyori Sato

This is the very first time Kyori Sato mold 2.0 has appeared in my countdowns (that's been eight years now!).   I have never warmed up to this mold.   

That is until Karma Kyori Sato was released as one of the Sacred Lotus Collection this year.   (Yes, she was actually previewed in 2018, arrived in 2018, and was available to purchase directly from IT dealers!)  Her eyes are a deeper brown color and it is difficult to capture them with a camera.  Had she light blue eyes she would look like Carmen Electra circa Baywatch. 
And a closeup in the box.
The ensemble is not as dramatic as the other dressed dolls in this collection, but it seems to fit her personality.
I decided I wanted to redress her.  I started with the Key Pieces gown.
It looks nice, but it doesn't fit her sensuous nature.
How about Sister Moguls lace gown?  Now that's more like it!

This doll was a totally unexpected surprise for many collectors.  She was the least pre-ordered of all dolls from the Sacred Lotus Collection.  I was able to grab her from a dealer weeks after she started showing up in collectors' pictures.  
Number 21 in my collection in 2018 and Best of 2018 #4 - Karma Kyori Sato. 

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Best of 2018 - #5 Merveilleuse Agnes Von Weiss

Agnes Von Weiss is no stranger to my "Best of" countdowns.  As a matter of fact, she has showed up in six of them and has even appeared multiple times in one year.  

Queen of Everything set the bar pretty high in 2017.  She was my #1 doll that joined my collection.  She is still in my top five Agnes versions ever produced.   Such an amazing face.  #1 of 2017 Queen of Everything Agnes Von Weiss

There were three versions of Agnes available to collectors in 2018.   All three were notable candidates for the honor of the "Best of 2018" list.   The convention version, Affluent Demeanor, is such a beautiful doll and would've joined my group here had she not competed with another brunette doll with a updo - most notably Queen of Everything.  In my personal opinion, there is no contest between these two dolls.  Vamp was another extraordinary version of Agnes, but she is so similar to 2013's Nightfall and 2008's Firefly.  The version that was most special and unique was MerveilleuseBlog Review of Merveilleuse Agnes Von Weiss

This is the first short-hair version of Agnes.  She came dressed to look like Carolina Herrera.  She was the third doll to join my collection in 2018 although she was a W Club Event Exclusive from 2017.   She is also my Avatar on the W Club.
She is wearing the AFL Vanessa gown.  She looks good in everything.  I love her eye screening.  She is easily in my top five dolls received in 2018 and definitely fits the bill as Best of 2018- #5.   Merveilleuse Agnes Von Weiss.