Saturday, November 21, 2020

The Legendary Convention (Souvenir Dolls)

The W Club added a new perk for its members in 2015.  They allowed every member to preorder an IT Convention doll based on a designer's sketch.  W Club members have enjoyed this opportunity ever since, and got the fantastic opportunity of pre-ordering two dolls for the 25th Anniversary Convention.

These dolls were based on 2004's ensembles, Petite Robe Noir (edition size 1000) and Petite Robe Blanche (edition size 300).  

The first Fashion Royalty (FR) doll is Petite Robe Classique Nuit Veronique Perrin (mold 2.0).   Members could preorder her for $145 ($25 deposit).  I'm very eager to see this doll in hand.  She may be a total knockout!  I am not in the least bit disappointed that I preordered this lady!

The other is Petite Robe Classique Robe Jour Adele Makeda (mold 2.0).  Same price at $145.   This doll quickly became a collectors' favorite!  Again, I'm so glad I took the chance and pre-ordered both.

Two Fashion Royalty dolls were announced for the Convention Collection.  The first was promoted as "New Sculpt".   Collectors couldn't wait to see the new character.  It turned out to be Style Legacy Isabella Alves ($160, edition size 600).  I like the accessories.  

It was reported this doll was based on 2006's Style Renaissance Adele Makeda (edition size 1000).  Okay, whatever they say.

The other pre-announced Fashion Royalty doll was a no-brainer:  Intimate Soiree Agnes Von Weiss ($160, edition size 600)

She looks a great deal like Pop Icon Dita Von Tease (or winner of RuPaul's Drag Race, Violet Chachki).  It was noted that she was based on 2007's Intimately Acquainted Luchia Z.  (Edition size 450)

With the ensemble Soir de Paris (2003, edition size 200) thrown in for good measure.  

I haven't made up my mind about Intimate Soiree Agnes.  I'll have to wait to see IRL photos.  Either she will be wonderful or a hot mess.   I love the Agnes sculpt, but like my dolls a little "cleaner".   There is a lot going on with Intimate Soiree and I need to see her redressed.

The IT Gala Event doll on Thursday night was Miami Glam Kesenia Valentinova.  Collectors are comparing her to Donatella Versace.  Her edition size was 600 and she was included in the cost of the Convention Registration.

She was based on the "Grail" 2006's Glow Vanessa Perrin (mold 1.0, edition size 500)

I own Glow Vanessa, but had her eye irises repainted.  

Miami Glam Kesenia is another doll that I need see more photos to make up my mind about.  Although I think she is a beautiful doll, something is holding me back.  I can't justify secondary market prices on these dolls until I know I will "love" them and "need" them in my collection.

I purchased a ticket for the W Club Luncheon.  We usually get two NuFace dolls - one as a souvenir doll and one as a centerpiece.  This year, IT mixed things up and gave us a Fashion Royalty doll as the centerpiece.  She is Wicked Narcissism Eugenia Frost (edition size to be determined by order, price $150)

Collectors were informed she was based on 2007's Dark Narcissus Kyori Sato.

Since I could purchase her at retail price, I took the chance.  She may be an amazing version of one of my very favorite molds.

The last Fashion Royalty dolls are usually unveiled at the final night's Convention Dinner.  Since there was no dinner, it was just Saturday Night's webinar.  The centerpiece was Haute Desire Dania Zarr (edition size 600, price $175).

Collectors were told she was based on 2008 Most Desired Eugenia Frost??

Like others, I see more of 2010's Fine Romance Eugenia Perrin (Edition Size 425).

Either way, I knew Haute Desire Dania Zarr was magical.  There was no way I was waiting to let this version get away.  I purchased her secondary market at a fair price.  I can't wait for her to arrive.  She may be my favorite Fashion Royalty doll of 2020.

The main convention doll is always designed by Jason Wu, himself.  For the past several years it has been his muse sculpt, Elyse Jolie.  Jason decided to shake things up this year.  Using modern technology and a 3-D Printer, IT was able to take a 16" Avantguarde sculpt and reduce it 12" size.  The convention doll is Celebration Aymeline (included in the price of convention registration, edition size 600).

Shrunk down version of 16" Avantguards (no longer being produced).  Photo of 2016's AG Higher.

And here is what the original Version of the Jason Wu Gown RTW Spring 2019 looked like.

I love the miniature version of this gown more than the original!  She is easily the best Convention Doll since Intimate Reveal Agnes Von Weiss.  I may try to catch her on secondary market after the dolls get shipped.  She wasn't on my must have list.  (I'm sure I'm not the only one who sees Diana Ross here.)

... The Legendary Convention is over.  Dolls are beginning to ship to collectors.  What was my total damage?

Preorders:  Petite Robe Classique Nuit Veronique Perrin, Petite Robe Classique Jour Adele Makeda, Charmed Life Ayumi Nakamura (W Club Luncheon Ticket)

Retail:  Red Hot Evelyn Weaverton (Thanks to a doll friend on W Club), Wicked Narcissism Eugenia Frost (W Club Luncheon Ticket)

Reasonably Priced Style Lab Dolls:  Radiant Soul Kyori Sato, Red Reign Korinne Dimas, and Violet Obsidian Vanessa Perrin

Reasonably Priced Style Lab Ensembles:  Own It!, Social Behavior, and Brighter Bloom

Secondary Market:  The Enchantress Nadja Rhymes, and Haute Desire Dania Zarr.

Coming to my house:  10 Dolls and 3 Ensembles.

On the Fence:  Fierce Zuri Okoty, Miami Glam Kesenia Valentinova, Intimate Soiree Agnes Von Weiss, Celebration Aymeline

Long Shot: Not Pretending Eden Blair

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Legendary Convention Recap - (Style Lab)

It is fair to say that the most anticipated dolls from the Legendary Convention were the Style Lab girls this year.   Ever since it was announced that, for the first time ever, the entire Style Lab would be made up of Fashion Royalty characters, collectors have been on pins and needles.  Those who had convention tickets were ecstatic when they received notice that there were 8 different characters represented with a 9th character as a "Build-A-Doll".

This line was designed by Vaughn Sawyer.  He has been with Integrity Toys (IT) from the beginning.  It was a complete a sell-out, so congratulations to him.

Each doll cost $60 and came nude with a different piece from the Build-A-Doll ensemble.  Attendees had to purchase the ensembles separately for $75 each with a different piece from the actual Build-A-Doll.  To complete the Build-A-Doll, collectors had to purchase the entire collection.  

All dolls and ensembles were produced in an edition size of 400.  Apparently, IT needs to hire a good accountant: 575 attendees (virtual convention so family members didn't need tickets) - 400 dolls = 175 upset collectors.

Let's start easy.  (The ones there were less difficult to identify)  All photos are property of Integrity Toys (IT) unless noted otherwise.

Many years ago if you collected dolls, more than likely you subscribed to Fashion Doll Quarterly (FDQ), and you probably also had a subscription to Haute Doll magazine as well.  These magazines were such great resources for dioramas, redressing, styling, patterns, etc.

Sometimes IT likes to tease collectors with photos of dolls that were never mass produced.  For some reason or the other, these dolls may not have made the grade but are often used as models for ensembles or photo shoots.  One of those dolls was a red-haired version of Veronique Perrin.  She appeared on the cover of FDQ.

Collectors begged IT to produce this doll.  It only took them almost 15 years, but here she is.

Cover Story Veronique Perrin (mold 1.0).  I'm not sure about this doll.  There is something off with her hair.  If I decide to take the plunge, I will buy a doll from an actual post-production photo of the one I get. 

The ensemble produced, Haute Monde, is an obvious replica of what Veronique is wearing on the cover.  I may be mistaken, but I think she is wearing an older Randall Craig ensemble in the photo.  (A Fashionable Life Vanessa's slacks were tighter fitting than these.)  I do not recognize the top as a Fashion Royalty clothing item from this time period.   Maybe it is a sample that never made it into production, just like the doll.  (Was it a faux pas to call the ensemble Haute Monde - as Haute Doll was a competing magazine?)

Now, had Vaughn continued in this thread and given us dolls like Parisian Intrigue, The Gastineau Girls, Saks 5th Avenue, Venus Secret, Match Set Go, Guaranteed Chic, Capricious Prototype, The FR Trunk Vanessa, I Want Candy, or She Comes In Colors, this could've been a complete grail-worthy event.

Instead, we got re-imagined dolls from production issues prior to 2.0 molds.

Since Veronique was one of the first two flagship characters of FR, you would have to expect Adele Makeda to show up.  Unfortunately, rather than using the collector favored mold 2.0 or 3.0, Vaughn gave us the original mold with Flawless Beauty Adele Makeda.

I believe this is the first time mold 1.0 has been released with bangs.  

She is very Naomi Campbell with her signature bangs.  Too bad they couldn't capture Naomi's eyes!

The ensemble is called Perfectly Decadent.  It has become a hit with collectors.  At this point, I really began to admire Vaughn's imagination when it was noted this ensemble was based on 2004's Perfect Skin.

Even when I squint, I don't see it.  But I am impressed with the creative process here, getting from point A to point B.

Since Veronique had already shown her face, Vaughn chose another character to represent her in the re-imagined version of Social Call (2004).  

How about Social Standing Mme Margaret Jolie?

This is not a bad version of Mme Jolie.  I've read where some collectors want to cut her hair and give her that Anna Wintour look.  Actually, I can see a resemblance there.  I can't wait to see IRL photos when they are finished with her.  

The ensemble is called Social Behavior; I believe this is my favorite re-imaging of a complete ensemble.  It is very current and trendy but holds true to the original aesthetic.  Kudos to Vaughn on this one!  (Yes, I did purchase this ensemble on secondary market for 60% markup.)

The next doll was based on the very first FR Convention doll, Cosmetic Takeover Natalia Fatale.  There were only 300 of this doll produced.  (Photo from Integrity Reference Site "courtesy" of "Topaze aka LittleBlackButterfly) 

Vaughn gave us a refreshed face on Acquired Traits Natalia Fatale using her original mold.

Although a lovely and fresh take on Natalia, in this case, the original far surpasses the new production doll in my opinion. 
I am blessed to own Cosmetic Takeover; she is a favorite doll here and has been transferred to a FR2 body.

The ensemble was called Own It!  (For me, personally, the purse and shoes throw off the whole ensemble, but that's an easy fix.)

Are you sure the inspiration wasn't based more on RuPaul's ensemble from the Season 9 Finale of RuPaul's Drag Race.  Does anyone else see this?

I broke down and got the ensemble secondary market because I think it will look fantastic on a different doll (and I have a specific doll in mind).   Again, I had to pay 60% markup.

Exotic Interlude Anja Christensen is the next doll in my review.

She reminds me a great deal of 2011's Brightness Calls Isha.  I think it's her overall coloring.

This is actually an attractive doll, but I'm not completely sold on her.  

Exotic Interlude Anja's ensemble was called Foreign Exchange.  
It took its inspiration from 2005's Foreign Affair.  I have the original in my collection and it is an incredible ensemble; I think I may like it better.  Both the doll and ensemble were easy passes for me.

The next doll has left most collectors scratching their heads.  She is Body of Work Isha Kalpana Narayanan.

Somehow this Isha is missing the ethnic vibe from other versions.  The closest I could come up with was 2011's Scene Stealer Isha.
However, I think she looks more like 2018's Vamp Agnes.

The ensemble left me equally confused.  It was called ...And Scene.

The dress itself kind of reminds me of 2009's Monogram Best Drama?  

The coat?  2006's Final Cut Cannes?

Somehow it gives me a vintage feel - maybe more like something Chris Stoekel would do like 2013's Monte Carlo.

Either way ... I wouldn't mind picking up the coat.  Everything else I can live without.

The next doll isn't receiving a lot of fan support either.  She is Radiant Soul Kyori Sato.

Like many other collectors, I've been waiting a long time for the release of another Kyori Sato mold 1.0.    And, for me, this one doesn't disappoint.  

She is supposed to based on Brighter Side Kyori Sato from 2007 (above).  Many collectors are comparing her to Quicksilver Kyori form 2008 (my photo below).
For some reason, I see a little of Saks 5th Avenue Agnes Von Weiss in her (maybe it's the hair).
The ensemble is even called Brighter Blossom, but again, even if I squint, I don't see the connection.

I tend to see more of 2010's Spring Forward Eugenia.
It doesn't matter, I purchased the doll and the ensemble.  I don't care what other collectors think.  I love it.

Next up is the last doll from the Style Lab.  She is Red Reign Korinne Dimas.  

The closest thing I could come up for this one were the 2013 Classic Collection Dolls with their hair pulled to one side.  She's sort of a red haired Ambitious Kesenia.  
Of course, she could just be a nod to her 2012 sister Shake It Up Korinne.

She was wearing Royal Blood.

Attendees were told this was a remake of 2006's Royal Material, a BIC Exclusive.  I have this ensemble and it is amazing.  
I do not like the scale of the print Red Blood.  I did, however, find Red Reign Korinne worth taking a chance on purchasing.

So if you buy all the ensembles, you get the Build A Doll - Violet Obsidian Vanessa Perrin (mold 1.0).  

And if you buy all the dolls, you get the ensemble with the same name.

There was no mistaking this was a reimagining of Obsidian Society Vanessa Perrin from 2006.

Obsidian Society is a grail today.  I owned Obsidian but her eyes always seemed wonky to me.  Although I wasn't sure about the ensemble, I fell in love with Violet Obsidian Vanessa and was able to grab the doll at an extremely fair price.   My fingers are crossed that her eyes are as good as protocol.

From the collection of 9 dolls and 9 ensembles, these were my top 3 (and only purchases).

1. Obsidian Society Vanessa
2. Red Reign Korinne
3. Radiant Soul Kyori

1.  Social Behavior
2.  Own It!
3.  Brighter Bloom