Wednesday, February 19, 2020

The Flood Gates Open ... #2, #3, #4, and #5 of 2020

If I had to voice one complaint about collecting IT dolls and the W Club, it would be that they there are too many peaks and valleys in availability of product.

Sometimes there are weeks of doll drought when nothing is available ... production delays, hung up in customs, etc.   Then when a shipment arrives, your credit card gets hit really hard.  You may have purchased a W Club Exclusive in February, pre-ordered a couple dolls from a retailer in April, and entered a lottery or two in May to find yourself needing to pay for four or five dolls at one shot!  Ouch!

One hazard of W Club lotteries is that a collector will sometimes enter several lotteries at one time hoping to get trade leverage.  Here is an example:  There were three dolls in the recently released Boudoir  Collection.  You may only want two of these dolls, but you enter for all three hoping that someone did the same thing and will want to trade a doll you want for the one didn't but entered for anyway.  That compounds with multiple memberships.   

PROBLEM:  The W Club has a strict policy regarding payment of dolls you win or pre-order.  If you don't pay, you don't play!  Your membership will be banned from future offers.

SOLUTION:  In the notes section of lottery entry, I always write that I have two memberships and am entering with both; however, if I win with both to please pass one opportunity to another collector.  First, that allows someone else the opportunity to get the doll at retail price.  Second, I don't find myself stuck with additional dolls that I may not be able to sell.  

Some collectors speculate at this point and buy multiple dolls.  Sometimes this works when a doll is very popular and they can sell it on secondary market for a profit.  Sometimes, they get stuck with a poor production run and don't get their money back.  Sometimes the market is flooded with several collectors trying to sell the same doll.  Supply vs. demand and the price drops.   It may balance out in the end, but I don't need that added stress or frustration.

Since I brought up the 2019 Boudoir Collection (advertised in 2019 but not available until 2020), this brings me to the next dolls added to my collection in 2020.  I haven't had the opportunity to debox these yet, so please forgive my photos; they are actual production photos of the dolls received though.

#2 of 2020
Sweet Venom
Jordan Duvall
This was the doll I was most excited about.  She has the dark A-Tone body.   In the box, her head looks somewhat darker than her body.  (Several collectors have commented that the difference isn't that noticeable when she is taken out of the box.)  Integrity Toys has taken the position that since a doll's head is a different material than the body, there is always the chance for slight variances.  These production issues are no longer being considered a quality control issue and replacements are not being offered.
I have sometimes found that the body of one doll can be switched with the body of a different doll and the problem is fixed.  I have also seen instances where the difference is more noticeable or less noticeable because all the bodies and/or heads aren't from the same formula production.  (That is an issue that the factory should be able to control.)

#3 of 2020
Kesenia Valentinova

I really wasn't that impressed with this doll until I saw her promo version at the IT Convention last year.  Although I am not a fan of the black around the outside of the teeth area, she is quite lovely.  I've seen collectors who have fixed this, and I may try as well.
She has the hungarian skin tone, and I don't see a difference in head and body.  I really like her lingerie.  She reminds me a great deal of Irresistible Dania Zarr.

#4 of 2020
Make Me Blush
Natalia Fatale
This one is a surprise to me.  She is overwhelmingly the favorite of the three with most collectors and demands the highest secondary market price.  I have always been a fan of this mold, but I'm not as excited about this particular version even though collectors are comparing her to Nicole Kidman.
This is the first time Natalia has been produced in the Japan skin tone.  She is usually produced with a darker skin tone.  The other exceptions have all been in FR White:  Power Game, a giftset doll from the 2009 Iconic Convention, Bellissima, a 2013 Premiere Convention Centerpiece, Contrasting Proposition from the 2016 A Delicate Bloom mainline, and Luxuriously Gifted from the 2018 Luxe Life Convention (she looks paler than regular FR White).

#5 of 2020
Ocean Drive
Agnes Von Weiss
This doll was a W Club Exclusive from 2019.  This is the first time we've seen Agnes as a black doll, even though she has appeared a few times with a tan: Firefly (Latino), 2008 Dolls in Oz event, Force of Nature (Tan), 2012 Tropicalia Convention Centerpiece, Nightfall (Tan) 2013 Premiere Convention Souvenir doll, Vamp (Light Honey) 2018 W Club Boudoir Collection, and Fresh Perspective (Hungarian) 2019 Fashion Week Convention welcome doll.
Personally, I believe this is an exceptional version of Agnes and is definitely a keeper.

Unfortunately, Ocean Drive arrived closely to the Boudoir dolls.  I entered for all three dolls and won all three.  I decided it was better to have all four shipped together; I could look them over and decide whether or not I needed to let any of them go.  Unfortunately, I tend to lean toward being completist in collection lines.  I have the other five Boudoir dolls, so I needed these three to keep the group complete.  

Now, I need to put my purchases on hold for a few weeks and focus on selling.  If you've noticed the sidebars, you can see that I have sold three dolls this month!   Only two more and I will be even with purchases.  My goal this year is to sell more than comes in.  

Wish me luck!

Sunday, February 16, 2020

W Club Membership Window Is Officially Open

In case anyone is hiding under a rock ...

The W Club has officially opened its membership window for 2020.  If you collect products from Integrity Toys, you really should join.

Each membership costs $50, but you get $25 of that back as a coupon to use on a future purchase of $99 or more.  I'm not aware of anyone being unable to use their coupons!

There are several reasons to join the W Club:

1.  W Club members get informed of future releases prior to the general public.  Many dolls sell out before the general public even become aware they will be produced.  Many of the retailers actually announce on W Club forums when the dolls will be listed live on their websites, so W Club members are poised and ready to hit those "BUY NOW" buttons!

2.  W Club members are the first to be notified of the IT convention and are given the link to register before the general public.  In the past, the convention sells out within minutes; the link never even makes it to the general public except as a wait-list.

3.  W Club exclusive lottery dolls!  Every year there are several limited edition dolls only available to W Club members through a lottery system.  16 dolls were offered in 2019 alone!  Many collectors purchase more than one membership to improve their chances of winning.  (Personally, I've always kept two memberships in case my husband should ever travel with me to convention because only W Club members can attend the W Club luncheon.)  With two memberships, I've actually had pretty good luck.

In addition, exclusive dolls are sometimes offered to W Club members through the same lottery system.  There is always a small amount of IFDC dolls, IT Convention dolls that did not sell out, and sometimes Retail Exclusives.

4.  Exclusive W Club purchase opportunities.  When you join the W Club, they guarantee at least five exclusive W Club dolls.  

5.  W Club "Upgrade Dolls".   When you join the W Club, you are given the opportunity to upgrade your membership with three different doll choices (you can buy one, two, or all three with each membership).   There is a deposit requirement of $25 per doll with the balance of $110 due when the dolls are ready to ship.  This year's choices are (all photos property of IT):

Le Tuxedo Eugenia Frost
(An obvious re-imagination of Going Public)

Mademoiselle Lilith Blair
(The companion to twin Mademoiselle Eden Blair - the 4th W Club Exclusive Doll of 2019)

Pretty Bird Poppy Parker

The deadline to join is February 28.  Here is the link:
W Club 2020 Membership