Saturday, May 23, 2020

On The First Day of Summer Break ...

Grouping similar dolls with individual photos has been a major help in evaluating my collection!   When I looked at dolls with blonde ponytails together, I was able to make some evaluative decisions. One set of decisions seems to move logically to the next group.

I decided rather than tackle a major mold group, it would be easier to focus on a mold for which I have a smaller collection.   Renegade Dasha D'Amboise, a blonde ponytail,  is one of my favorite dolls, so it was a "no-brainer" keeping her here.  It is my personal opinion that she has the best screening and skin tone combination of Dasha so far.  I only have three other versions of Dasha in my collection.

The last to arrive was Female Icon in September 2019.   I still haven't taken her out of her box because I hadn't made up my mind about her.  Here she is in her box.
And a closeup.
But the tipping point are the accessories.  (Photo property of Integrity Toys)
That little scarf is amazing and the hat is actually quite attractive and different.  The jewelry is lovely, including three little magnetic pins!  The purse is very avant garde. Those "vulva-high" boots are something else!  (I almost cried in frustration when I saw there weren't any zippers, but they went on easily!)

I really, really, really like this doll's ensemble!   If I sell her, it would have to be nude because I plan on keeping everything else.  ... So let's see what she looks like dressed.
Very nice! (Although the fabric is fairly sheer for those boots, the dress is actually a bodysuit!  I used different hands for the gloves because those long manicures can destroy gloves and cause me to use bad words.)  How about a closeup?
Another one?
How about without the hat?
How about without the scarf, without the jacket, but with a pair of earrings by Isabelle of Paris?
This girl really photographs much better than anticipated.  The proof for me is alway how a girl redresses.
Enough said!   What I considered a "dead stare" in the box, comes to life when redressed!  

But there is already a Dasha with short red hair living here!   Let's look at the four Dashas and the other dolls here with short red hair.

I planned on displaying all the lingerie dolls together, so I don't plan on letting Daydreams go.  Diva is quite different from any other doll living here, so she's safe for now.   Flame Bleue goes with the A Fashionable Life duo (raven and platinum), so she's holding permanent residence.    Red Queen Tatyana is still NRFB;  I guess she may be the subject of the next post!   Fine Print Elyse Jolie is quite unique but gets little redress time.  She is probably the next on the chopping block.  Not a lot of change in my collection from this post!  But, I did release  Female Icon and have moved her to a shelf!  Since she was included in my list of new dolls in 2019, she will not show up in the margin list.

Friday, May 22, 2020

When They Begin Looking The Same ...

"Doll Collecting" is a very diverse hobby.   I have a friend who collects those tiny little German bisque dolls from the 1800's, displaying them in little domes with scenery.  Another friend gets an incredible amount of joy going into her basement and seeing all of her NRFB Mattel dolls lined up on shelves, while another has all of her dolls in their complete ensembles standing beautifully in glass display cabinets.   I have one friend with a "she-shed" who goes out there in her free time and redresses her dolls and sets them up in little dioramas like 1:6 scale dollhouses.   There really isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to collect dolls.  

I guess I am an amalgamation of all these.  I have a few dolls that have never been redressed.  They model their original outfits as I gaze at them appreciatively.   I have several dolls that somehow haven't made their way out of their boxes yet.  I still get goose-pimply each time I open their boxes and take a peek at them in all of their pristine glory!   And sometimes when I am feeling a need to relax, I just get out my tubs of clothing and spend hours creating new and exciting looks for those models who need a change.

Unfortunately, collecting dolls can become stressful when you feel like your collection has gotten away from you.   It's very easy for that happen, especially when you think of the sheer volume of product being released each year.   With "sheltering-in-place" and "social distancing" over the past several weeks, I figured out a way to get myself organized.

If you've been following my blog this year, you are aware that I am determined to get control of my collection in 2020.   I have already sold 30 dolls this year!   I am very proud of that fact.  

The day after "sheltering-in-place" started in GA, I started organizing and selling dolls.   I began with the first FR character, Veronique.  Here is a link to that blog post: Collection Organizing Part I - Veronique.  After going through my Veronique collection, I found myself led to dolls with similar looking molds -  Collection Organization - Part II.

At this point, my head started swimming as I began to realize that I often reach for the same dolls over and over to redress and play with.   Some of the dolls actually did begin to look the same!  I had to do something differently if I was to make some important decisions about my collection.  Now, for the reason I haven't posted in over one month about my evaluating and fine-tuning...

In order to truly evaluate my collection, I needed to get the dolls on "equal footing".   Since I have some dolls that are still NRFB, some that are displayed in their original ensembles, and some that are my models for redress pleasure, I decided to get photos of each doll and crop the photos consistently to the same size, so I could merge them into single documents.  

Since I started with Veronique, I realized that I had several blonde versions.   I decided to pull all of my blonde dolls with ponytails together.

I was surprised that there are 14 dolls living here with that look - representing 10 different molds!   (Although Shake It Up Korinne has her hair tied back, it is not in a ponytail, so she escaped this comparison by the slightest of margins.)

5 of these have high ponytails; the other 9 have low ponytails. 7 are pale blondes, 7 are darker blondes.  5 have center-parts, 4 have side parts.  

Before we start eliminating, we need to keep in mind that a doll collection is highly personal and represents one's individualized taste in dolls.  I'm sure many of you will disagree with my decisions; I am fine with that.

When evaluating my collection earlier this spring, I realized I didn't have a favored doll representing the Adele Makeda mold 1.0 version.   To remedy that, I recently added Perfect Skin Adele Makeda to my collection as #10 of 2020.  I got her at an amazing price, nude, and rebodied her.  This one's hair was original.  
She's definitely staying.  (#1 in the plus column.)

#2 Diamond Dusted Veronique - My first official FR doll. Add to the fact that mold 1.0 has been retired and she's going no where.  

#3 Quicksilver Kyori Sato - Mold also retired.

#4 Head for Glamour Agnes Von Weiss - She's Agnes.  Enough said.

#5 Passion Week Elyse Jolie - Another favorite around.Secret 

#6 Secret Garden Eugenia Frost - One of my top 5 molds and a beautiful version reminiscent of her older screenings.

#7 Renegade Dasha D'Amboise - After all these years, she's still my favorite version of this mold.  Gwen Stefani anyone?

It is still a little disconcerting that Elyse, Eugenia and Dasha still favor quite a bit!

#1 Kiss You In Paris Mme Jolie - I already have Bewitching Hour Luchia Z representing Madonna in my collection.

#2 Sister Moguls Agnes - Although this is a beautiful doll, I don't think she's received very much love here.  (My most difficult decision made.)

#3 Royal Treatment Veronique - Very rare screening and under-rated version.  

#4 Perfect Reign Tatyana Alexandrova - Still in her box, so she won't be terribly missed.

#5 Goddess Tatyana Alexandrova - This was my most difficult choice.

This leaves October Issue Agnes and Intrigue Elyse in a holding pattern.  They have one strike against them.  When I get to comparing them within molds, they may move out of my collection or solidify their positions.

I feel like I made some difficult choices, but my collection will benefit from these decisions.   

Who would've thought I had so many dolls with similar looks?  Here's a photo collage of the other dolls that have already left my collection with this same blonde ponytail theme:

Monday, May 18, 2020

Water For The Thirsty ...

With the current state of things in the world, most collectors find themselves "sheltering in place" and "social distancing".   It's nice to have a diversion like doll collecting; something to temporarily take our minds off the cares of the world.   

Unfortunately, some collectors find themselves in the difficult place of selling some of their dolls.   With everyone's jobs in such precarious places, buyers are being extremely selective on what they will spend their dolly dollars.  Premium purchases seem to be limited and values on secondary market are beginning to drop.   If a collector originally purchased a doll on secondary market, they are going to be hard-pressed to realize a gain in today's economy; they will be lucky to break even.

If a collector is looking to purchase at retail, there hasn't been a lot of options entering the marketplace.  That is ... until this past weekend.

In the midst of all of this confusion, Integrity Toys and the W Club was able to offer a mini capsule of a collectors' favored doll lines, Poppy Parker.  The theme is "The Model Traveler Collection", and as designer, David Buttry, explains, Poppy Parker is on a promotional tour and is traveling the globe.   The boxes for this collection are amazing and look like doll cases; they are designed to look like pieces of luggage!  (All Photos by Integrity Toys/IT)

The first Poppy of 2020, Pretty Bird, was an upgrade doll that collectors could add to their W Club memberships.  According to Buttry, Pretty Bird represents Poppy in London, England.

This spring's offering, takes us back to the start of her tour.  Ms. Parker begins in New York.  
Hello New York has beautiful strawberry blonde hair and a very fashionable tweed suit.  
What a gorgeous doll!  I believe it is fair to say, Buttry definitely has an eye for the details in this line.  Look at the chain at the waist of the skirt!  And that bag is a "must-have".
What a beautiful face.  Clean and fresh!  Our Poppy is beginning to look a little more grown up.  Here are the accessories.  

Poppy's first international stop was Tokyo, Japan. 
Twilight Tokyo used the inspiration of an actual vintage doll ensemble.   The top layer of the ensemble can be removed to display a lovely sheath underneath.
This doll's hair was inspired by a 2016 OOAK Raffle Doll.  Buttry reported that collectors had been begging him to do this style with a mainline doll, so he has honored their request.
Twilight Tokyo is a very special and unique Poppy.  The accessories continue to show Buttry's attention to detail in this line.

From Tokyo, we head over to Milan, Italy.
Thud ... mic drop ... that leopard coat is everything.
Mad for Milan looks like a darker version of one of my favorite Poppy Parkers ever produced, Powder Puff.    
The necklace is actually a belt that was doubled around her neck!   There are many wonderful items here that can mix and match in Poppy's wardrobe.
The final destination in this line is Paris, France.
Sizzling in Paris is an exclusive for W Club members and will be available through a lottery.  
This doll's screening represents something new and different with Poppy Parker, the eyebrows are actually placed a little higher than normal and I like it!

What a wonderful min-capsule!   Poppy Parker's edition sizes keep inching upwards.  Each doll was produced in an edition size of 1000 (the same as last year's Mission Brazil line).  One would think that should be enough for the Poppy Parker collecting community, but this line sold out immediately with dealers who took pre-orders.

I had originally talked myself out of purchasing anything from this line because I had over-extended my Poppy collecting with last year's Fashion Week Convention Style Lab.  My Poppy Parker collection increased substantially last year, and I have limited display area.  

I even forgot about the Saturday release time.  When I checked my e-mail and read the W Club thread, it was obvious that I missed the purchase window.   I rationalized that it was fate to miss this line.

Then I watched the W Club video interview with David.  Then I pined for at least one!   Then I found out that Couture Dolls out of Toledo, OH didn't take pre-orders but would be listing the collection for purchase live on Sunday at noon, EST.   (They sold out of all three dolls in a little more than 3 minutes!)

I was about to obtain the two that most spoke to me, Hello New York and Mad for Milan.  I will also enter the lottery for Sizzling in Paris.  Poppy Parker was my #1 of 2019.  Looks like she is staking her claim as a contender in 2020!

(By the way, if you are trying to locate one, The Doll Peddlar will list the collection live today, May 18, at 11:00 CST.  Good luck!)

NOTE:  All three dolls sold out at The Doll Peddlar within 15 minutes.  They went in this order:  Mad For Milan, Twilight Tokyo, Hello New York.