Friday, June 21, 2019

#18 and #19 - the Resurrection of Misaki

One of my very favorite dolls in my collection is Honey Harajuku Misaki.  She has been in my collection since 2006.
Honey has received more play and photo time than any doll I own.  Unfortunately, she keeps being pushed aside to allow deboxing and redressing of new dolls that arrive.  That doesn't mean I love her or the Misaki line any less.   

Maybe a little history is necessary here.

The Misaki (Nippon) line of dolls was created by Integrity Toys (IT) specifically for the Japanese market.   They were the predecessor of the Poppy Parker line created in 2009 for the American market.  Misaki dolls were the first IT dolls with the ankle joints.  The Poppy Parker body is very similar except it has larger breasts.  They can often wear the same clothing.

IT really pushed this line in its initial years.  Several U.S. collectors quickly jumped on the bandwagon, including me.   In 2006 there were 16 versions of Misaki produced AND a line of clothing separates!  I own eight of these and was ecstatic to add Tokyo Here We Go Marui One Shinjuku a few weeks ago.  (See blog entry: #10 of 2019 Tokyo Here We Go Marui  )

Nine Misaki were released in 2007, eight in 2008, eleven in 2009, ten in 2010, and then Poppy Parker took off!   Collectors have never been told this, but it seems that IT pushed Misaki aside for Poppy.   In 2011 there were only five versions produced, none were released in 2012, only two in 2013, two in 2014 (plus three dolls produced using the Misaki body for the IT Convention that year), two in 2015, two in 2016, and one in 2017.  There are still a few of us die-hard Misaki fans holding on (at least by our fingertips).

In 2017, IT did something it had never done before.  They included a Misaki/Amelie giftset as part of the IT Convention Collection - Drawn To You (photo by IT)
In 2018, the W Club had its first Misaki exclusive.  It seems that IT is testing the collecting waters for Misaki in the U.S. market.  In addition to the W Club exclusive, there were five other Misaki versions released and a OOAK doll presented at the IT Convention. (I added three of versions to my own collection last year.)

Here we are halfway through 2019, and only one version of Misaki has been released this year, and it was to the Japanese market.  Fortunately, I was able to get one!  Her name is Malibu Mood Misaki and she was created for Azone in an edition size of only 300.
I was born in the 1960's, so I remember playing with Malibu Barbies.  The purchase of this doll was a no-brainer for me.  Here is a closeup photo of #18 of 2019, Malibu Mood Misaki.

Like many collectors, I sell some of my dolls to fund the purchase of others.  Unfortunately, one of my girls, Patent Please Misaki from 2006, was adopted out several years ago.  I have missed her in my collection, and her secondary market price has kept her out of my purchase range.  ... Until recently.  I couldn't believe my fortune at finding one NRFB for a great price.
#19 of 2019 is Patent Please Misaki.  Although they are still NRFB, I hope to find a special display space soon for all my Misaki girls and get them all out together.


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

#16 and #17 of 2019 - Everything's Coming Up Dominique Makeda

I have noticed that, when refining their own collections, some collectors group all of their dolls by each mold and then choose the ones that need to stay versus the ones they can release back into the hands of the collecting public.  Being desperate to get some some control over my collection, I decided this strategy was worth a try.

For some reason, it seems that my collection has been very heavy with NuFace additions ever since designer Jessy Ayala joined the team at Integrity Toys (IT).   His relationship with IT has not been good for my wallet or my being able to control my collection.  My NuFace collection seems to have grown substantially over the last three years!

To start things off, I thought it would be easy (if not downright lazy) to choose a character that is already displayed on my workspace, so there's no better place to begin than with the character Dominique Makeda.

Let's get some history here.  Dominique Makeda was first introduced to the IT Community in 2009 at one of the best conventions ever, Iconic.  Her edition size was only 300, which is unheard of today.   Prior to her release, we only had a few characters in the NuFace lineup:  Erin Salston, Nadja Rhymes, Ayumi Nakamura, Colette Duranger, Giselle Diefendorf, and the Blair Twins, Eden and Lilith.   (You may want to note that four of these dolls have had mold revisions since that time!  Erin and Ayumi in 2012, Nadja in 2014, Colette in 2016, and Ayumi again in 2014.)

IT has a nasty habit of using the same mold for different characters.   The first Lana Turner became Tatyana Alexandrova (mold 1.0) and Jordan Duvall, Lana Turner (mold 2.0) became Dania Zarr, Luchia Z/Mme Jolie/Isha Kalpana all share one mold.

At the 2009 IT Iconic Convention, Dominique Makeda was introduced to the collecting community as Adele's younger cousin, a character in the NuFace line, using the Josephine Baker mold.  (Photo from IT)
Evening Glow is the only doll released on the NuFace body using the FR Black skin tone. The only other black character in the NuFace collection was Nadja Rhymes and she was always produced using an ebony skin tone.  (Annik Vandale became IT's third black NuFace character in 2011, but not using the FR Black skin tone.)  Although the ensemble is lovely and was the dark version to a similar white ensemble worn by Giselle at the same convention, the screening just didn't quite work; collectors rejected her immediately.
In 2010, IT tried her in a caucasian skin tone at the Dark Romance Convention.  She was the Vaughn Sawyer Workshop doll.  Collectors immediately jumped on the resemblance to a pop icon with a hit song title very similar to the name of the convention, and she is lovingly referred to as Gaga.  (Photo from LBX Website with no credit to photographer.)

Collectors refused to give this doll the "Dominique Makeda" identity.  She appeared only one other time - in 2015 as a Christmas Grab Bag doll called Cloudscape Josephine Baker.  Again, as a caucasian doll which is odd since she even used the name "Josephine Baker mold."
In 2011, Dominique Makeda resurfaced in the FR2 Line.  IT hit collectors hard with three different versions, all in edition sizes of only 300.

First there is Grand Gesture Dominique Makeda. (IT Photo)

Second, we have Impossibly Beautiful Dominique Makeda. (IT Photo)

And finally, there is Rare Appeal Dominique Makeda. (IT Photo)

The FR2 line started at the 2010 IT Dark Romance Convention.  The first dolls were promoted as a specialized line with a newer body design highlighting true designer couture.   In 2011, FR2 was released to the general public for the first time.   Unfortunately, they cost $175 (approximately 50% more than the regular FR line), so collectors were cautious with their purchases.  From the 2011 "The New Closeups" line, I purchased two dolls, with Impossibly Beautiful being my favorite version of Dominique.  This is a gorgeous doll.
FR2 was IT's segue between FR/Monogram to their modern doll productions.  As such, these dolls were more mature.   At first the NuFace line kept its original doll body, but that changed when IT took a break from NuFace production in 2013 to revamp the body to a "young version" of the FR2 aesthetic.  

At the 2014 Gloss Convention, collectors got their first glimpse at the NuFace2 body with four characters making an appearance.  One of those was Dominique Makeda, reprising her role as "Adele Makeda's little cousin".  In an edition size of only 300, she was a workshop doll called Tantalizing Dominique Makeda.  It was a surprise to collectors that this doll actually did not sell out at the convention.  I actually won the chance to purchase her through a W Club lottery.  Here she is full length in box.
And a closeup.
Sadly, collectors did not receive this version well, and word quickly spread throughout the collecting community that her body was a good replacement for the Miami and some Tan skin tone dolls.  Tantalizing Dominique quickly became a body donor.

... But not so fast.  Originally, it was my intention to use the body for High Frequency Kumi.   Being the lazy collector that I am, paired with my stray hair phobia, I had procrastinated in this body transfer until this spring.  Since the 2018 IT Convention, I had fallen helplessly in love with Afterglow Lilith, another blonde, tan Blair girl with green eyes.  Having straight hair, I don't need to worry about stray hairs.  That allowed me the freedom to sell my High Frequency Kumi at a great secondary market price!  It also allowed Tantalizing Dominique to keep her body.  I believe the hairstyle is part of her problem, so I released it, shampooed and conditioned it, and gave it a little restyle.
Now that's better, don't you agree?  Even though the hair is a little wilder, its quite manageable and suits her carefree vibe.  Although I have seen photos of this dress looking great on other dolls, I don't think it does Dominique any fashion favors.
Finally getting released from her box after almost four years, #16 in my collection for 2019 is Tantalizing Dominique Makeda.

One of my first blog entries this year was when I was able to give 2015's Electric Enthusiasm Dominique Makeda back her body (see blog entry Electric Enthusiasm Dom).  Although I didn't give this doll an official number in my collection since she had been deboxed prior to 2019, she definitely found her own place in my display case.
Also from 2015, this time showing up in the IT Convention Supermodel lineup, we have Evening Blossom Dominique Makeda.   Collectors immediately made a connection between this doll and Pop Icon Rhiannon.   I am so confused this doll didn't sellout immediately at the convention.  She even remained in the IT store for weeks.   I think she is one of the best NuFace2 dolls ever released.  She has been a staple in my collection for the past 3+ years.  I adore this doll!
This brings me to the doll that was the subject of my last post.  There was almost 3 years between the release of Evening Blossom and Nirvana.  Fortunately, Jessy Ayala had not given up on this mold and recognized its true potential.  Nirvana was #15 in my 2019 doll collection.

... This leads me to #17 of 2019.   There was a mini capsule of Basic NuFace dolls released earlier this spring.  They were only available through a lottery at the W Club.  Fortunately, my number came up.   Here is My Essence Dominique Makeda.
And a closeup in the box.
Although I prefer the eye screening on Nirvana, I think My Essence is probably the best version of this mold yet.  I love the hair, the lips, eyebrows.  She is just everything.  
I believe she could actually hit grail status.  It doesn't hurt that she has the rich chocolate A-Tone color skin tone.
So ... That means there are five versions of the Dominique Makeda mold 2.0 living here.  Who stays?  Who goes?  Whose body becomes a donor?  What do I do?  "Talk amongst yourselves".