Emilia Wins Award for Mirrorball at IDEX

In the category of One-of-a-Kind Dolls, More than $1,250., Emilia Nieminen has won first place.


Phoenix Gene Photo Shoot

Today I photographed Gene in her own fashion but I used other wigs. The first two wigs are Sybarite sized hardcap wigs. The third wig is a hardcap Avantguard sized wig. The last wig is a Jamieshow wig that came with another Jamieshow doll.

Cheryl Wood made wigs 1 through 3. Gold chair is by Clea Bella made for Sandra's Nashville event. Director chair is an Ashton Drake for Gene Marshall prop. The cigarette holder is from the Jamieshow event in Canandaigua.


Heading Back to PA from IDEX 2013

I have a little time this morning before having to leave for the airport so I wanted to talk a little about the new Gene doll and post a few pictures.
Phoenix is a pretty doll who comes with two wigs caps and a plain cap for use with your own wigs. She comes with a set of white gloved hands and standard hands. They are easy to switch out once you get the hang of it.
Monday night Sandra Stillwell came over and we spent about 4 hours dressing and redressing Phoenix and an IT Madra in Sandra's designs from her last convention. My rudimentary photo studio consisted of an ironing board, a few dim lamps and a good camera with a small external flash unit attached. Certainly not optimal conditions but we made do.

Yes, the IT dolls were taller. Even blocking out Madra's hair, you can see that the legs or torso contribute to the height. Phoenix is closer to the old AD height. Every other part of the body appears to be the same size.
Here she is with her brunette wig cap.
Phoenix dressed in her own gown without her jewelry and train.
Phoenix dressed in one of Sandra's lovely fashions.
These are just teasers. I will have more pictures of the doll herself later on.

Here are pictures from Saturday, the day of the presentation. The room itself was very dark so there is only one picture from there. Most of these are from the hall outside the venue and from nearby.

Mel went around like a proud Papa showing Gene to attendees. He was glowing with pride and joy.
During his verbal presentation he talked about how much he enjoyed the collectors over the years, sharing with them and traveling around the country to events. Sounds like he wants to pick that up again.
There are a handful of naysayers complaining about the price which was $525. at the event and $550. on line. But there were many more who defended the price of this exclusive resin convention doll as being similar to other resin BJD event dolls.
Apparently there is a market in this price range for resin BJD Gene because Phoenix Gene sold out lightning fast. Another one is on the way from FDQ according to the magazine distributed to attendees by Pat Henry.  More information on that doll will be forthcoming. What we do know is that she will be in day wear a la Dior.
This revival will be very interesting to watch. I'm looking forward to any individual fashions that may be designed and released. No, I do not have insider information on that aspect - I'm just hoping.

In the meanwhile, Sandra Stillwell has some beautiful, era appropriate designer fashions for sale on her website. I photographed many of them for her on Monday and will be sending her the images shortly so she can post them on her site. I'll post some of them on my blog, too.

Robert Tonner
John Dean, Philip Myers


Not Doll Related Orlando Stuff

I was obsessively careful in arranging our trip: limo to airport, flight, pay for luggage, pre-check-in online, tickets to parks, car rental, hotel reservation. It seemed endless but finally came together. The limo arrived exactly on time. We got to the airport with plenty of time for coffee and for the long walk to the gate. Why is it that every flight I take is ALWAYS the last gate in the terminal? So we're  We get through the full body scans without a problem and get to the gate. We were told that the gate on the ticket was still the same gate. Well it wasn't and we didn't realize that until 15 minutes before boarding. Then when we got there, the overhead bins were already filled so they had to take our carry-on luggage in which things I didn't want to be checked had to be checked. Ugh. You can be sure I will not be at the wrong gate on the way home because two Gene dolls will be in my carry-on and no one is going to come between me and those dolls.
The flight was fine. The luggage arrived quickly in un-tampered-with condition. We go to the car rental desk and they can't find my name or Bob's name. I never remember whose name I use for these things. But it didn't matter because we were at the wrong rental company anyway. Embarrassing but pretty funny. Got a car at the right desk. Drove to the hotel picking up our Universal tickets on the way.
Check-in at the hotel was a little delayed as our room wasn't quite ready. The lady at the desk gave me a big spiel about how our room was upgraded and that we were getting free bottles of water because I'm a Hilton Honors member. The room has a very nice view overlooking Universal but other than that, the hotel needs a major upgrade. They are about 10 years overdue for a face lift. It's kind of dark in the bathroom. The bed, however, is very comfortable and clean.
View From Our Room
I can sum up Universal Studios in a few words: go to Disney World instead.  Universal doesn't hold a candle to the professionalism and operation of Disney. We enjoyed a few rides yesterday but otherwise, it's a mess of disjointed buildings and lame employee scripts. Our favorite ride was had to do with the Minion characters from the movie, Despicable Me. I love those little creatures and this ride is a 4D event that is lots of fun. We went twice. The second time I had my eyes open. Ha ha.
The Mummy ride was dumb and not scary at all. Terminator was OK. The disaster thing had an awful narrator who made the wait to get to the real thing interminable. Skip it. The one at Disney is 100% better. The Men In Black 'ride' was cute. No great shakes.
Don't eat at Mel's diner. Ugh.
The patisserie was lovely but all we had there was cappuccino and gigantic oatmeal (delicious) raisin cookies.
Every ride exits through a related gift shop and there's very little that worth buying. They do, however, have several Hot Toy's character figures for sale. But they are just worth looking at for their perfection.
I did buy this little Minion and a Mr. Potato Head type toy that has a Minion body instead of a potato.
Today we're going over to the Universal park that is Harry Potter themed. It should be interesting just for the character of the buildings.

The best thing about Universal is their City Walk. The Disney equivalent (I forget the name) is very tame by comparison.

Disney World is beautiful and big and the rides are memorable, from the spinning tea cups to the haunted house. Universal is a mess - an expensive mess, at that.

Monday, April 15, 2013  at Islands of Adventure, Universal

This part of Universal is much newer. It's divided into several areas each of which has it's own theme structures and rides. It's much more attractive and a little more interesting. The Spider Man ride was pretty good. My expectations were lower so I wasn't disappointed.

I focused on trying to take pretty postcard pictures.

I will post more pictures on Face book.

When I return home, the doll related posts will go up.  Last night Sandra Stillwell and I played with the new Gene,  dressed and photographed her and an IT doll in Sandra's fashions. I also shot nude pictures of three versions of the Gene body. The major difference I see is that the new Gene seems slightly shorter. Everything fits the new body including shoes.


The New Gene: Phoenix

Here is her picture courtesy of Angelic Dreamz. She comes with two rooted wig caps and a plain cap for using with your own wigs. I haven't had a minute alone with my own doll to take pictures.
It is really Gene! A dream come true for Gene collectors although the price point may be a nightmare for some. It's better to have one gorgeous, high quality doll than 4 or five who will yellow. (At least that's what I tell myself.)
Phoenix Gene will be able to wear all earlier Gene clothes.

The price pre-ordered was $525. The on-line price for May delivery was $550. I was told that the entire edition of 150 sold out shortly after the additional 50, not reserved for event attendees, were posted for sale.