1/02/2017

Collecting 2016: The Best and the Rest

This has been a very interesting year in my collecting. I've cut way back on my 12" doll purchases and forged full steam ahead with my 16" BJD collection.
Most of my dolly funds went for Superdoll, designer fashions, wigs and Kingdom Doll. Other purchases were scattered amongst Integrity Toys, Mattel and Tonner.
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Mattel wins the award for a good idea but failed execution with regards to its articulated Silkstone. The first release, Classic Black Dress Barbie® Doll, was a huge disappointment. The finish of the Silkstone seams and joints was poor. The dress was seriously cheap-looking. There was no quality at all.


I did buy two other Silkstone dolls this year but I think I'm going to stop. Glam Gown has a pretty face, a nice hairstyle and in the promotional photo, her gown looks lovely. Unfortunately, IRL,  the fabric is stiff and doesn't drape well. Too bad.


Stiff As A Board Barbie
  

In my not so humble opinion, the best doll Mattel produced in 2016 was The Barbie Look™ Barbie® Doll – Party Perfect. 
She has an articulated body, a cute hairdo, a decent face and an adorable outfit. AND...she actually looks like the promo picture! Shocking. Compared to my other dolls she cost near to nothing and she's just a delight so it didn't matter that the "accessories" were garbage. 
I have a very eclectic collection which contains dolls costing less than $20 up to $1000. I buy what I like.



Each of the Barbie dolls shows Mattel's promotional photo alongside or underneath.



The best Barbie outfit came on Hudson's Bay Barbie although I did change the boots and the body, got rid of the crummy handbag and somehow lost the hat while I was holding it. I can't explain that phenomenon. She was originally on the boring Model Muse body which I can't abide. 
This outfit is so cutesy and matchy with it's dress, coat, doll coat, coffee cup and cell phone all clad in the signature Hudson Bay stripe. The fact that they included a poodle didn't hurt either.
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Integrity Toys wins the award for abandoned doll lines and dolls which are indistinguishable from toys. However, there were some that appealed to me from the very small Fashion Royalty line.
I purchased only three dressed dolls and one fashion from Integrity in 2016. I did buy quite a few designer fashions from individuals not connected with IT.

Anika Luxotika uses the Dasha sculpt and I loved everything about her such as the interchangeable robotic body parts and the strange, far away look on her face. 




Culte de Paris made the edgy fashion she is wearing in the third photo. She'll be wearing it for a very long time.



Fashionista Eugenia was my one bow to the 2016 Integrity convention. The designer dress and the beautiful Eugenia with her red/orange chalcedony color hair and full red lips are very attractive to me.


The third IT doll is Marie Laveau from the television series American Horror Story. She is played by Angela Bassett and there is a decent resemblance to her. Basically, I just really liked her hair and the outfit is cute and well constructed. Below, on the right, is an older Mini Avantguard doll whose body is quite slim. The bodysuit fits her, too.


While I'm sure Integrity has an audience with it's Jem and My Little Pony lines, the grown-ups are not going to be around for long, hungering for the scraps they feed us. I joined the W Club at its inception and the exclusives were all Fashion Royalty dolls. I may not have loved every one of them but at least I had choices from dolls I actually collected. Someone posted the number of dolls produced this year for all the lines and Fashion Royalty totaled only about 10%.

Below are two dolls I'd expect to find in an 8-year-old's room, manufactured by Mattel and priced very low.


I don't want to have to wear sunglasses to look at my dolls. 


But everything changes and all companies do what it takes to stay in business and stay relevant. I still love the 100 or so FR dolls I've kept and updated (and keep updating).
Sadly, many of the bodies, even the newer FR2 bodies, have deteriorating joints. Lots of them are now sitting down. 


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Rudi Teruel has been selling limited edition designer fashions. They're mostly for 12" dolls.
Here are some of my favorites of this past year.




When you stop buying doll after doll, it's appealing to freshen up your collection with new fashions.
From left to right, my models are Dasha, Elise, Elise and Marie.



And my dear friend, Antonio Realli, keeps them coming
These are two of his fashions for 12" dolls. Several more will be shown on 16" dolls further on in this post. 


Superdoll is putting out a lot of product. There are no shortage of GENX dolls and any collector who logs into their site at about 11 AM EST, on the date previously announced, can find the doll. They don't disappear in very short periods of time like the popular resin dolls used to. Some are even available for 24  hours or more! 

My absolute favorite Superdoll item from 2016 was an outfit called Blue Duke. The styling is trendy. There are lots of pieces - blouse, sweater, pants and jacket, handbag, boots and two bracelets. I love it. 

Miss Chief modeling Blue Duke:


Two other fashions from 2016 which are charming are Glitter Tit and Moon Mood.  
Forest modeling Mood Mood:
Star modeling Glitter Tit:


It's very useful that Kingdom Doll can wear so many outfits made for dolls from other manufacturers. 

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Kingdom Doll
I added eight dolls to my collection of Kingdom Dolls this past year. Morgana was a surprise as she was the centerpiece at my table during the convention. I was stunned that I won the chance to purchase her. She has become my favorite with Guinevere and Draig following closely behind. 

Morgana in her original fashion. 

Here Morgana is wearing a confection of a gown by Nigel Chia.
Guinevere in her original fashion.
Draig wearing her original fashion.
I mentioned above that several designer fashions have found their way into my collection.

Liberty wearing another Nigel Chia.



Here are Star and Viola modeling Antonio Realli fashions. 





One of my favorite photos I shot this year was this Halloween picture of Viola wearing a Tonner witch ensemble.


A big challenge for me was not to completely rely on my iPhone camera as it is my lazy way to go. Every now and then the phone did quite well and produced a worthy image. But the opposite is way more common. I had an excuse for several months but, thank goodness, that's over and now we'll be getting down to business. I hope.

Big news this year was Tonner's announcement that all of his proprietary lines (i.e. Tyler, Ellowyne, Marley, Cami, Antoinette, Deja Vu) are being discontinued as is the Tonner Doll Company and Wilde Imagination. He is forming a new company and will call it Phyn & Aero. (See my post dated 12/22/16.) They will be continuing with the licensed dolls and we'll see Outlander. Yay. You better believe I want Jamie in a kilt. Tonner can do excellent reproductions of costumes and hopefully we'll get a Scottish one as shown in this photo of Jamie below. This is what he wore in the wedding episode in the television series. 


The bad news this year was the discovery that decal eyes were being used on several of Integrity's dolls. The controversy and invective on the W Club board was like a typhoon. Many threads were ultimately deleted. Come to think of it, that's the regular practice of the Admins now. They delete any thread that has major criticism about the dolls. 
Collectors PAY to be there. I don't think deleting controversial threads is right. Some individual abusive posts ought to be deleted but not entire threads. That is just downright disrespectful of their clients, especially when they are paying to be part of a community. 
If it were free I'd say that it's visiting their living room and they can do whatever they want as it's their 'home.'  
But that's just my opinion. Collectors can speak with their walles. Money is what companies understand - the bottom line is what they pay attention to. 

The other news is Haute Doll Magazine has folded. 



I wish all my readers the best New Year ever. May we all be abundant with good health, happiness and love. May we have the pleasure of beautiful dolls and fashions. May we enjoy each other's success.

Happy 2017!!

Sincerely,




16 comments:

  1. Great overview- I love those OOAK fashions you managed to aquire- and LOVE Morgana of course- such a gorgeous doll and I LOVE her original outfit!

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  2. Oh and just read the part about deleted threads- yes that does appear to be fairly commonplace now and while I can understand the desire to reduce drama, deleting threads where collectors are discussing product concerns seems to defeat the purpose of the wclub board completely...

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    1. … and if they really don't like what you do, they ban you from the w club forum. that's what happened to me for making that STICKERGATE poll where 90% voted NO on the sticker eyes.
      so if you wondered where i went, I WAS BANNED!

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    2. Weren't you warned in advance? I can't imagine that you were warned out of the blue with nothing prior.

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  3. So much has happened this past year in the doll world. I hope 2017 will bring in much positivity. I myself also love the new Party Perfect Lea, and I like your views on changing doll outfits, sometimes I end up buying too many while not redressing the ones I already own. I'm a younger collector, still in my twenties, so some of the recent licensed IT lines like MLP and American Horror Story appealed to me. No need to say the <3 MLP dolls look cheap and are for children. Sure, the show is aimed at kids but these are obviously well designed and thought out dolls. Kind Pegasus95 is by far my favorite doll this year. I just thought the comments were a bit insulting even if you didn't mean to direct it at anyone personally. I'm a long time reader of your blog, too so maybe that's why it struck me the way it did. Happy New Year and doll collecting.

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    1. Thank you for your comments.
      Terri

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  4. I am going to miss Tonner, and do hope Mary Astor, Jaime, and Clare are unbelievable in detail and scope. Would love a Debbie Reynolds ala Singin' in the Rain in the future. As for Classic Black Dress Barbie. THAT dress and no panties. Given the fact we were given a formal chair as the gift for joining the Barbie club, one assumes we were supposed to pose her as if she were in Basic Instinct. The international versions of the doll/ dress were much cuter. My Glam Gown suffered the same fate as many, and resided under the steamer awhile to reshape the the ruffles at the bodice. Her hair came "broken" and went in for restyling. AHS Coven- Wished Marie looked more like Angela Bassett (whom I love). Evan Peters looks fine once his unruly hair is tamed. Am I wrong to want a Kathy Bates? LOL?? Anyway, AHS Hotel would be a good next choice- Lady Gaga wore some spectacular clothes. Then you have Matt Bomer, Finn Witrock, Cheyenne Jackson as good old-fashioned eye candy, Kathy Bates (yet again) And of course, Denis "Liz" O'Hare for good camp value. Better to go camp than juvenile (I<3MLP)!!! Terri, as long as you rock your camera, beauty in the doll world will still exist, despite the corporate lack of judgement and common sense. (does that come off as TOO 20th century?)

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  5. Intriguing review. I second your sentiments regarding Integrity and the Silkstones.

    It seems to me like IT is catering to a different type of customer with their Jem and MLP venture and who knows what other tacky, playline license they will come up with for next year. Those are just not IT level dolls. IT started out as a doll company creating mini high end Jason Wu and other runway dolls and fashions in 1/6 scale. The emphasis was on the unique, beautiful model like sculpts and screenings. They were truly fashion dolls, but high end and that is what attracted their core customer base.

    I feel that in the past few years, they have gradually betrayed that core principle in service of these tacky, playline licenses and ill perceived ventures such as the CI body.

    The worst part is that they introduced all these changes at the expense of some of their favorite, best selling and popular lines, such as Dynamite Girls and Monograms. They put Nu face on hiatus for 2 years which alienated a lot of people, Victoire Roux has been on hiatus for 2 years and FR2 has become just regular FR, lines have merged and then the CI bodies that they keep making en masse again and again despite unsold stock.

    It feels like it has all become Jem, Poppy, ITBE, CI and some half assed FR dolls thrown in there as an afterthought, with the best ones really only made for conventions while the mainline dolls don't get the attention they deserve. And the ones they make are plagued with quality control issues from paint to glue to product defects, the decals disaster. I know a few long term FR collectord who will not be returning.

    The latest bust has been the Coven dolls. After two years of waiting and anticipation, this lackluster, boring collection that leaves much to be desired was introduced with the email urging us to hurry to get them because they would "fly off the shelves." They even created a separate section/thread for them on the club thinking people will wanna talk about them. Instead, no one gives a shit and no one talks about them, other than the same 5 people who also sound like they are, more or less, talking themselves into how great they are.

    What worries me is that the unsold stock of MLP and CI and such will backfire and take the form of even worse quality control issues. I really do not want to see that happen. I think they should put an end to these licenses and go back to what made them in the first place.

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    1. I never understood the reason behind the CI body...particularly the huge feet. Even if I wanted to buy a nice-looking doll with a CI body, I wouldn't because of the feet.
      The Coven dolls are seriously unattractive except for Marie. Dowdy, dowdy, dowdy.

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    2. I can see them making the CI dolls as originally envisioned (which wasn't even on this body, it was Misaki): a capsule collection of a handful of dolls in low edition sizes each year. A fun line to experiment with fashions and colors. What I don't understand is making 12 of them, fashions and dolls separately for the convention (for a total of 24 separate boxes), wasting two entire licenses using those bodies and even having a mini collection of them. Given that their bodies really are just too big (hands, feet, limbs etc) and their fashions and shoes practically unusable on the rest of the IT dolls, I do not see the point. They are taking over, which would be ok if they sold and were popular, but they are not.

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    3. I have purchased the male outfits since the homme body has remained the same from the beginning. Apparently, many of the homme clothes also fit Kingdom Dolls! The shoes are on the large side for their flat feet but the shirts fit.

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  6. I am honored to be a reference mentioned by you, thank you very much for the affection Terri, my year started more inspiring thanks to you.

    Antonio realli.

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    1. I'm happy to hear that, Antonio.
      T

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  7. Hey Terri, Great wrap up. I love reading about things through your eyes. One omission, that I personally enjoyed this year, was the Lovetones dolls. Do you have any thoughts on them? Thanks for your dedication to this blog. It must be hard to keep it going after so many years. Happy New Year! Don

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    1. Hi Don: It's not difficult as I have cut back a lot. My collecting has changed as well.
      Here's my review on the Lovetones Dolls.
      Go to this link: https://terrigoldphoto.blogspot.com/search?q=lovetones

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