7/16/2013

If Nothing Changes, Nothing Changes

Excuse the inane title of this post. I'm in the confused zone about Integrity Toy's announcement made yesterday.  Here is a brief synopsis of what was issued:
The last major update of the FR body happened in 2006 and after careful consideration, the entire Integrity Toys team felt that another upgrade was long overdue. With this said, we are excited to announce that starting with the 2013 Convention Collection, the regular articulated Fashion Royalty body will effectively start to be retired and will be replaced by a newly refined version of the FR: Squared (FR2) body!
Since we love to mix things up, also starting with the convention collection, the core Fashion Royalty brand and its spin off FR: Squared will be unified as one.
All characters from FR and FR2 will show up in the new FR line and Monogram dolls are going to be discontinued. In 2014 there will be refreshed Nu.Face and later, Homme bodies.
The renovated FR2 body will be compatible with all FR2 clothing manufactured so far and some of the older garments as well, although not all (the Classic Tall Body torso shape and the FR2 torso shape are a little different).*
*At the convention prior to the introduction of the tall FR body, Jason Wu was asked about compatibility of the new body with existing clothing and shoes. He said they would be compatible. I heard him say that myself. It turned out to be untrue. 

Does a "newly revamped, more unified visual image" mean that everything will look even more like everything else?

Like every other company, Integrity Toys is in business to make money. Their refusal to offer replacement bodies is detestable. They are well aware that bodies have yellowed due to some chemical defect in their makeup. It is their fault for not correcting the issue with the factory. Collectors are willing to shell out money for replacement bodies and they are forcing them to either live with the ruined bodies or spend more money buying dolls just to get bodies.
What is their big fear regarding offering bodies for replacement? Tonner has been doing it for years. They're not out of business. It's no big deal.  It doesn't require fancy packaging or marketing.  Refusing to comply with collectors' needs is downright stupid and greedy. Their cheerleaders are touting their innovation and thanking them for each and every doll that appears and yet, they are not trying to make collectors happy. They are just trying to make money which reminds us again why they are in business.

The FR2 body was innovative for a 12" vinyl doll. They certainly charged enough for their innovation. I'm guessing they have found a way to lower the manufacturing costs. The hip joint can definitely be eliminated. Something will change.

I don't care about the elimination of the FR tall body or the Monogram line. I have enough. I've been selling off my extras.

Finally, they have come up with a new logo. I usually applaud Alain's designs but this one is very ordinary. The backwards F inside the box...does it mean the company is backward and forward looking at the same time? I can understand that.
New Logo

I love the crown logo. It made a lot of sense with the brand. It carried meaning. But just like everything else, it's disposable.

Original Fashion Royalty Logo
Retired Brands:
Avantguard, Monogram, FR2, Basic Edition, Hollywood Royalty, Valia, Monsieur Z

What was your reaction to this announcement?

35 comments:

  1. I hate to say it, but for me, it's time to move on. The drama is not worth the the dolls.

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  2. No-brainer!!!! I could care less. Unless the come up with something REALLY spectacular, no need to worry about buying any of their lines.

    My Avantguard Androgyny was upgraded with a JamieShow body. That is and was my LAST purchase of an Integrity product. The body MAY go to recycling.

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  3. I am disappointed about the discontinuation of the Monograms and FR2 though I guess it was to be expected given the poor sales of the last lines. The FR body is my least favorite so I am not sad to see it go.

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    1. The problem wasn't the particular line, per se, it was the fashions, sculpts and design of the last releases that were poor.

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  4. I'm just grateful they screwed up Misaki's or Poppy Parker's bodies. Hopefully they won't in the future.

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    1. I think you meant you are grateful they haven't yet.
      There's always tomorrow.
      T

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  5. I am sorry to hear that fr going to m.any changes

    but at least misaki is the same since azone own misaki
    And it made for the japan market
    But i will miss the monograms

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  6. Hi, Terri,
    I think most of the “ reworking” of the doll’s face sculpts is also tied to the same issue as the body change. I believe that Jason Wu’s own, separate corporate entity held the patents for the original bodies and for the Monograms and the FR2s as he did design the original FR body, and the original FR2s and the Monograms were the LAST dolls to bear his name as the designer. It makes me SICK that there won’t be any more Monograms. I really loved their fashions and it was usually evident that a true designer designed them.

    I agree with you that calling the bodies newly reworked FR2 bodies makes no sense. They will eliminate some of the features. Likewise, they have apparently lost the patent or rights to the NuFace body. It’s hard to see how they can “ rework” it very well and still have any of our clothing in that size fit. Ditto with the hybrid FR2 body. I have tons of FR clothing and I’m sure most other collectors do too. This may well spell the end of the company when people get their first newly designed doll body and the feet are huge and nothing fits, etc. I don’t think Allain or David care one bit about the collector’s choices or needs based upon our decade of collecting the dolls and fashions. They are “ making do” with what they can.

    Notice that Poppy Parker bodies and the DG bodies are NOT involved. That’s because David stupid Buttray designed those two lines. Jason never put his name on either line.

    Likewise, look at the original logo. The crown is a W for WU. Jason is distancing himself even further from this company, IMO, except for the financial revenue he brings in as part of the financial part of the corporation. I could be wrong, but I think it all goes back to patents, royalties and so forth.

    Did you like any of the IFDC dolls? I didn’t see a post about them. :)

    A Friend

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    1. I don't think I said anything about calling the reworked bodies the same names as before.
      None of us really knows anything. We speculate and they chuckle and the dough rolls in. Good for them. I wish them success. I wish us all success and abundance. There is enough in the universe for everyone.

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  7. Speaking for me, I´m happy they are changing the FR body, maybe this would help them come with new and better designed fashions for their dolls, the sexy-bombshell body only can support certain types of fashions, and i'm pretty tired of mermaid gowns and pencil skirts and huge-ass ball dresses, heck! I would be happy with some nicely made Jeans and a cute jacket! Yes, their job is to make money, and having one unified line instead of half dozen unpopular lines helps them to keep making beautiful dolls, then what's the problem? The people who love the older body, still have their old dolls, and there are TONS of options for dressing them. Still, I´m with you about the lack of replacement bodies... maybe they are waiting for the reaction of the new body? And they better get rid of the lower torso articulation, it was floppy and looked weird. I love your reviews of FR dolls. always did and they help me to become a collector, sorry to know you are done with the company. cheers.
    Luis

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    1. Thanks for your comments, Luis. I'm always glad to hear from collectors who have been enabled by my blog in any way. I'm not completely done with IT - yet, although I'm sure they would be very happy if I were.

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  8. Unfortunately IT doesn't appear to be very committed to their lines. This in turn makes it harder for consumers (us)to remain committed to them either.
    I, too, suspect the change of logo from the crown/W reflects a further distancing of Mr. Wu from the company. Given the time demands of his other endeavors this must have been expected and some contracts may be reaching their expiration dates.
    The bodies are a major issue and I hope the company at some point addresses these as they are a weak point in their marketing strategy....everyone who goes on line finds out about these problems very quickly.
    The "Club" is, to be kind, a marketing ploy, and one that has really become more of a liability then an asset in recent years.
    As always love the blog.
    Will C.

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  9. You share an amazing post great helpful knowledge. You make great blog and it has lots of information knowledge. I will also share this blog with my friends and share this blog on different forums.

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  10. As a new collector - well, more a doll lover - I only have few dolls, but I don't like the idea that their shoes and clothes won't fit the new body :-( Although the FR body is my least fave. I prefer NuFace and Monogram and hardly wait for new Dasha to arrive (she'll be my first FR2). I wish they would make the small feet FR2 bodies and offer them separately.

    As for the logo - I agree with you Terri - the old one had more meaning. If I (as professional graphic designer) was commissoned to do the job, I would retain the crown W monogram and revamp the lettering of the Fashion Royalty. But as someone said it probably all goes back to patents, royalties and so forth. I like the golden effect - It looks classy and prestigeous.

    Thanks for open the topic. I guess someone at IT reads your blog, but I doubt they value our opinions :-)


    Andreja

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  11. Love your comments, Terri. The logo is ridiculous (obviously Alain "designed" it). That backward "F" is outdated and distracting. Maybe that's what they're going for. Ever since Jason left the design team, it's been the Alain and David show over there. They create what they want, like Jem, since that's something Alain has loved since he was a little girl, and David lives in the 1960's and created a whole doll line based on his interests. Now I know that many people love Poppy and the Jem lines, but let's face it, these were dolls THEY wanted to see produced for themselves. The fact that others loved them too is just a bonus.

    If anyone truly believes Jason has anything to do with FR and buys that crap that he's still involved, I'm sad they're so easily fooled by the marketing spin from IT. Based on the quality and repetition across all the lines, it's clear that no one as talented as Jason is doing the design work. They should just be honest about it, because it makes them look ridiculous to keep lying and acting like Jason is so involved.

    Regarding the body change, I'm fine with getting rid of the old FR body, since it looks outdated and boring anyway. It will be interesting to see how they spin selling the new FR2 body at a lower price point. They can't say it's because they were able to cut costs at the factory - considering the issues with dolls yellowing after 2-3 years, I don't think anyone wants to hear about COST CUTTING given the quality we're getting now!

    Lastly, thanks for having this blog. It's the only place you can truly be honest since let's all remember, the Club is a MARKETING ENGINE, owned by Carol Roth, who was HIRED to be their PR person. It's her JOB to help them market their product and build their brand. She isn't a doll collector, and doesn't even reference the work she's done with FR on her professional website. Why is that? Because she's an external consultant hired to do a job, and paid to say she loves all things Integrity. That's what a PR person does! The marketing engine is fueled by butt-kissing fans looking for freebies or secret insight from the IT folks with loose lips (ahem, David....Alain...). It's pretty funny. However they have no reason to stop butt-kissing, because it obviously is paying off. They always seem to win lotteries, win the raffles, get picked as table hosts, and have the super secret inside scoop. Anyone expecting truly honest opinions on that club board is delusional. So thank you for having a forum where people can say what they really think, being neutral, and calling it like you see it. What's that saying- "don't pee on my head and tell me it's raining?".

    - Steve

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    1. Thanks for your comments. I think Carol used to work for them as a PR person but no longer. She does own the W Club but I don't know if it's co-owned by IT. The liaisons work for her. The W Club is also a business.
      From what I know she was/is a doll collector from way back.

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    2. I love a lot of Jason's work but he most certainly has had his failures. Valia was a major one. Unless he lied he definitely had a hand in the 2012 FR2 line which was not a major success. Also Bemused, Passionate and Envied were based on one of his original designs. I loved the dresses but the line was poorly executed as the short dresses were more suitable for NuFace, Poppy or Dynamite Girls than the mature Monograms.

      I do not know any of the IT designers so I can make comments on them personally but from the webcast, Vaughn seems just as involved in the Jem line as Alain.

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    3. I think the FR2 line is wildly successful. It was adding the Ayumi and Luchia sculpts that ruined perfectly nice dolls.

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    4. I just found this information on Carol Roth's blog. It is in a section wherein she describes her background.
      "Ms. Roth is also a recovering toy collector, trading in a portion of her collection for a more sophisticated toy (a Simpsons pinball machine). She also has her own fashion doll / action figure made in her likeness."

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  12. I am very dissappointed to say the least! FR was the only line of dolls I ever collected, I had purchased one doll with FR2 body and I didn't like it. I guess it is time for me to stop buying and start playing more with what I already have. Sad about the bodies too, they will discolour as some of mine already did and the oldest doll I have is from 2007!
    Also not happy about the news released afther the registration for the Convention! I would not plan to go there if I knew there would be non of what I collect :( What kind of bussiness practise is that?!? I am not buying any more of the product potentially becoming obsolete and yellowed after a few years along with a bunch of clothing and shoes that only fit that line.
    If Jason's designs are being put aside for whatever reason, does that mean Agnes and Eugenia sculpts will be "rewamped" as well? No regard whatsoever for collectors who invested a lot of time (and money!) in FR line... l would focus on the quality issues instead.
    I have never been to LA and kids want to go to Disneyland, seems to be a nice hotel for the price. I will try to enjoy my last convention. Are you going? :)
    Tatiana W.

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    1. I'm sorry you (and so many others) are disappointed but you will enjoy LA. There is much to see and do. Disneyworld is not in LA so I hope you have plenty of time to travel around. I have chosen to attend other doll conventions this year.
      Thank you for your comments.

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  13. I agree that IT should release some replacement bodies in a bunch of different skintones. It would be a very decent thing for them to do. Other than that, though, I'm happy with the idea of essentially every Fashion Royalty doll having an FR2 body from now on, since that body is very nice-looking, in my opinion. The other thing they said was that they're re-doing the homme body, which is GREAT NEWS, because it should mean they are improving the head mobility. VERY excited about that. I stopped buying hommes because of the poor head movement.

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  14. Just popped over to the W Club and read some posts. It seems KatwalKev spoke his mind very well concerning this issue. I applaud him for speaking his truth.

    I have to agree with him concerning the FR body types now being retired. If you never liked the body to begin with, then it really doesn't matter to you if Integrity Toys changes them. But if you have collected that certain type for years and your now older body types will not werk on the new bodies then it is a concern. It would definitely make you not want to collect the FR products anymore. Maybe Integrity is looking for a fan base of new collectors with their pushing the Jem line. Which is sad in my opinion. I would have thought there would be more loyalty to the collectors who have stood by them for years if not from the beginning. I don't think they care about this. And do whatever they want based on their own wants and desires.

    Can you imagine the out pour of upset if they changed Poppy Parker's body? OMG! The doll world would be screaming!

    Instead of their focus being on plastic body dimensions, they should probably focus more of quality control and design.

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    1. I collect and love FR. , But I wish FR had a better designed body. I like the FR tall best of the three FR body types and I rebodied all of my first two generation dolls to the FR tall body but I love other body types much better. I really do not love the outdated tiny twist and turn waist or the big breast. I do not plan to rebody my collection to the new FR body as I will enjoy my older girls as they are but I am looking forward to the new FR body.

      BTW - I hate that the new dolls will have the undefined FR2 foot.

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  15. Hi Terry,

    I cannot understand the hurly burly about the body. Integrity has changed the body before and noone was disappointed because they didn't tell as before. They just did it. Like so many other doll factories do.
    And the thing about fashion. Fashion changes all the time because it is fashion. Sometimes I love it and sometimes not. Well it is fashion. It must be different all the time.

    I love it and I will love the new body.

    The only thing I have to complaine is the qualtity and the discolouration.

    Kerstin

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    1. Hi Kerstin:
      The last time there was a big body change, collectors went crazy. Perhaps you weren't around at the time. It was a huge change in proportion and height and foot size, too. In addition the bodies arrived with cracking seams. It was a disaster for IT as tons of bodies had to be replaced. Supposedly rcy went to China as a result of this lack of quality to try to fix things.
      (That should say Percy.)

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  16. Yes, now I remeber the cracks. I also sent back Eugenia because of that.
    But I'm still more excited then affraid.
    I just keep the "old" Ladys as they are and add new girls.
    Can't wait to see the new possibilitys of posing
    Don't we have several foot sizes allready?
    FR,Poppy, Dynamite, FR2, Color Infusion... maybe we will see another footsize and I hope it looks naturally.

    I'm ACtually thrilled by this information. :-)

    Kerstin

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    1. I hope your expectations are exceeded by the new dolls.

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  17. No. I'm Disappointed today.... :-(

    Kerstin

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  18. I know we've had disagreements in the past, but I was waiting for you to post about this and applaud you for it.
    Doesn't just seems like a bad businesses decision?
    It's like Sunoco saying "Were not offering regular gas anymore just Super"
    If you need and Like Regular you're going to drive on!
    RIGHT?
    There is also no accountability on IT's part its the dealers who get stuck with the products like Holiday Monograms,Holograms,Misfits,Tullabelles etc etc
    Oh well
    People are very literal about what they want. If they wanted to offer something fresh how about giving them the furniture they've been asking for?
    Fashions sets? or a new designer??
    sigh

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  19. Special message to "anonymous"
    You don't have to be afraid to express your opinion on a topic by first evaluating my state of mind. It's OK to disagree with what others have posted. It's not OK to offer your psychological diagnosis on other people's posts. Be brave! Stand alone, not on the shoulders of those with whom you take issue. When you learn to comment on a topic without first trashing another collector, maybe your opinion will be posted - even if you're still scared to post your name.
    this post is not directed to comment that has been posted above.

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  20. The new logo looks like a cheap knock-off of the Toys R Us logo, except there's actually a purpose for the backwards R in TRU's logo (from their corporate site: "The iconic Toys R Us logo was created featuring a backwards 'R', in order to give the impression that a child wrote it.") Maybe more similarities than meets the eye?

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    1. Thanks for sharing that about Toys R Us. I did not know that. :-)

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  21. Great comments, Terri. I hope Alain reads your blog and will reconsider the decision not to offer replacement bodies. I accept that changes are made with time, but like you, I'm really upset about the discoloured bodies of some of my favourite dolls, especially the rare and valuable ones like my Haute Luxuries Veronique Perrin.
    Regards from Australia,
    DJ

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  22. Hi Terri,

    Thank you for this post that I only just now read. HaHa! Better late than never, I guess. I read your blog but somehow missed this one. I do agree with you about the bodies. I am very disappointed. I did pre-order the short hair Veronique because she is different from the others. I am not happy with the very high heeled FR2 foot. I still have some replacement bodies left over and it looks like I will need more in case of more discoloration. They need to get this right already. Thanks so much for your blog! It's quite enjoyable! :) Sheryl in TX

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