Another beauty from the Fashion Week convention, and the doll that most embodied the theme. This doll was an instant hit. The hair scared me to death! Someone posted they used a steamer to control theirs, so I got mine out and it worked! Easily in the top five on many collectors' lists ... Best of 2019 #3 - London Show Nadja Rhymes:
It would be near impossible to choose a favorite character or favorite mold that is produced by Integrity Toys. I've been collecting their lines for almost 15 years. There are some dolls I've owned for that entire time. There are some dolls that have resided in my collection since their first release, but I have sold many, many dolls. I have owned every version of Agnes Von Weiss except Saks Fifth Avenue. I find that I'm either "hot" or "cold" with Vanessa Perrin, preferring mold 1.0 and her classic looks. I've rarely been able to resist Adele Makeda mold 2.0. But the one doll I can honestly say makes me swoon when the screening is just right would be Eugenia Frost. Best of 2019 #4 would have to be Secret Garden Eugenia Frost. She is one of the most beautiful dolls in my collection. Amazing screening!
It is no secret that I love the NuFace dolls. They have quickly become the focus of my collection over the past four years. I think Jessy Ayala does incredible design work for Integrity Toys. His work is interesting and often cutting edge. He likes to push the envelope just far enough.
The next two dolls were advertised in 2018, but collectors did not receive them until earlier this year. They were the most eagerly anticipated of the NuFace dolls from last year. Anytime they show up, they cause excitement. These characters were my #1 of 2018 and have appeared more often on my countdown than any mold excluding Agnes Von Weiss. Those Blair sisters really make an impression!
There have been a few times when the sisters appear as individuals, but Integrity Toys likes to put them together (sometimes as a giftset), so they have coordinating ensembles. I can't express how much I love these fashions!
These dolls represent purchases # 56 and # 57 in 2019. First up is Unknown Source Lilith Blair. Lilith usually represents the "darker sister".
Here is a full length in box photo.
And a closeup.
Here are the accessories (photo property of IT).
Out of the box, she's quite lovely!
And here is her twin sister, Reliable Source Eden Blair.
A closeup of Eden.
Her accessories (photo property of IT).
Out of the box. Just look at those freckles!!!
The two girls standing together.
And a closer view.
When the twins appear together, I usually prefer Lilith for some reason. That wasn't the case this time. Even with the grayer sclera, I think Reliable Source Eden is one of the most beautiful NuFace dolls in my collection. Her hair is fabulous. Those freckles just kill me! She's everything!
I was feeling badly about the fact that my Best of 2019 countdown list was filled with either dolls advertised in 2018 but not released until 2019 or W Club and Convention dolls. I was feeling badly until I checked the statistics for doll releases in 2019. If you were a collector of Integrity Toys dolls but weren't a member of the W Club and did not attend the 2019 "Fashion Week" convention, you had an extremely lean collecting year. A few of the 2018 dolls weren't released until 2019 (FR2: Divinely Luminous Elyse, Resurgence Natalia, Devotion Agnes, and Secret Garden Eugenia; NuFace2: Beyond This Planet Violaine, The Awakening Annik, Nirvana Dominique, Reliable Source Eden, and Unknown Source Lilith; Split Decision Poppy Parker; et al). From the two mainlines, there was only one FR2 female doll available for purchase to the general public, Female Icon Dasha, and the FR2 Retrofuture and NuFace Off Duty collections weren't even advertised until "Dolly Days" earlier this month. Collectors are still waiting on three NuFace and four FR2 dolls that were advertised earlier this year. There were fewer NuFace characters at Fashion Week since they came out of hiatus in 2014 (2014: 5, 2015: 9, 2016: 4, 2017: 6, 2018: 4, 2019: 3). If you only consider female characters, there were fewer FR dolls at Fashion Week than any convention in over ten years (only seven this year). For the sake of collectors, I sincerely hope IT can correct the production problems they are facing in China and can move forward. I think collectors are beginning to feel the stress and frustration but are unable to figure out exactly where it is coming from. This brings me to my Best of 2019 #6 doll - she represented purchase #34. I couldn't believe my eyes when I registered at the W Club Convention and was handed a bag with this doll inside! I don't believe Agnes Von Weiss has ever been a Welcome Gift before. Attendees felt very special indeed! Best of 2019 #6 is Fresh Perspective Agnes Von Weiss.
As I continue to prepare my blog entries for my "Best of 2019", I realize that I should share my reasoning for which dolls I select. Some dolls arrive at my home and they sit in their boxes. Often there are things about the dolls that I don't love, but I'm not ready to give up on them just yet. But sometimes when a doll arrives, she comes right out of that box! I can't wait to start redressing. There is something special about the doll; it speaks to me at a place I can't resist. Those are the dolls that usually get an immediate review, and I can't stop photographing them. The dolls in my countdown are those dolls. They are personal to me, so they represent my personal taste. I know they are not for everyone, but they receive the most play time in my hobby. That is true of the next doll. She was the sixth doll to be deboxed at my house. I immediately saw a resemblance to Victoria Beckham, Posh Spice. Here is the original blog entry Best of 2019 #7. Although part of the 2018 Sacred Lotus Collection, she was delayed in production and wasn't received by collectors until 2019. Best of 2019 #7 is Resurgence Natalia Fatale!
One thing that is really great about Integrity Toys is that the designers really do listen to the collectors. It was a very wise move to take a mold that collectors liked and give it a new character. Vanessa Perrin mold 2.0 was turned into the third Perrin sister in 2019, and collectors received two outstanding versions. The second version was one of the Spring Capsule, three doll, NuFace "Basic" collection. She was called "My Love". Fans love this version! (She was purchase #55 of 2019 in my collection.)
I have already blogged about the other version: Beyond This Planet Violaine Perrin. This doll was received in 2019, but many collectors had problems with their production dolls; the foreheads were too high on most of them. Even with the replacement heads with better hairlines, the gray sclera was just too gray with the pale blue eyes. A lot of collectors wanted to love this doll but just couldn't. I didn't find my love until I repainted the sclera on mine. I like the extra rings in the ears and the one in the nose. I even like the navy blue lips! Best of 2019 - #8 would be Violaine Perrin, and I chose Beyond This Planet to represent the mold!
It would be an understatement to say, "I love what Jessy Ayala does with the NuFace line." My NuFace collection has increased substantially since he joined the design team at Integrity Toys. Although production problems in China affected production of lines this year, somehow Jessy still found a way to get some incredible versions of NuFace molds into the hands of collectors. It doesn't hurt that he used characters/molds that haven't gotten a lot of attention over the past few years. The next doll in my countdown was already highlighted in blog: #53 of 2019. I was so pleased that she was the W Club Luncheon doll. Many collectors have avoided her because of her original ensemble, but her redress potential is unparalleled!
In my opinion, she was an obvious choice for my countdown; her screening is truly gorgeous! #9 of 2019 is NYFW Karolin Stone!