1/15/2023

MoneyQueen Dolls by Nataliia Luka

Unfortunately, I have to say this again: All the images and text on this site are copyrighted by me except in the case of other attribution. If you wish to use one of my photos, you need to get permission in writing from me. Thank you.

MoneyQueen Doll

I have taken several days of consideration and many photographs before writing a review on the MoneyQueen doll that I purchased at the end of August 2022. She arrived in a big box from Poland just after the new year. This purchase was pretty much outside of my comfort zone as I am firmly a Kingdom Doll collector who makes occasional forays into the 12" and under vinyl doll category. 

I don't remember what sent me in this direction at that time other than she looked nice and had two faces and wigs. She was not inexpensive at $700. plus $30. postage.

She did not come with a fashion or doll stand. 

What I Received

The order was not delivered in its entirety with the additional head and wig and the CoA was not included either. Nataliia is not fluent in English and apparently, there was a 'misunderstanding' about what I ordered. I did not misunderstand at all. I did know the CoA would be late and told her I did not want to wait for it to be ready. I received a pair of lower legs with a fixed foot. At first, I thought perhaps it would have a flat foot but it is just like the other feet without ankle articulation.


Nataliia's Photo

This is the posted advertisement upon which I based my order.  Nataliia told me she will make a new head for me and I will get the missing wig. 

As I do with all my new dolls, I had her in my doll room and tried to find shoes that would fit. I had no luck at all. Her feet are wide. They look good but I'll have to get a pair of shoes for her. 


Before I go further, I need to explain that all the photos I shot with my iPhone in my doll room have been color corrected to my taste. The above photo and all the ones I shot with my SLR in my studio are not retouched or color corrected at all. In one case, I removed stray hairs that were on her face. 

Why did I color correct when my iPhone usually corrects everything automatically? The blushing on the MQ has an obvious orange tint. I did not like that at all. Here is a full-body shot that clearly shows the orange. This is a matter of personal taste. I would prefer a more neutral blushing on the body and face. 


The photo below shows a comparison between the original, unretouched head and the color-adjusted shot. Let me just repeat, this is my taste and not a defect.


As long as we are on the subject of the head, several collectors have made comments about the shape of MQ's head. I didn't notice that it was really unusually large because her face appears to be proportionate. However, after studying my photos and those from Nataliia, I see that they should be minimized. 

Left - color corrected iPhone. Right - no adjustments.


MQ needs a size 5-6 wig.  I have a few non-hard cap wigs and did some quickie try-ons. These were size 6-7. I didn't fuss with them obviously, and they don't do anything for her. 


This 5-6 wig fits her. I didn't say it looks good but any soft cap wig will need to be styled after it's put on. Trimming is often necessary.


The rooted scalp system is clever but a bit fiddly to put on. And, it would look better if the head/forehead were smaller. 
I'm going to put a ribbon through the stringing inside her head. That makes it much easier to pull up to remove or replace the head. 
Notice that she has inset as opposed to painted eyes. According to the BJD mavens, that makes her a true BJD. 

During her photo shoot, I decided to move the upper chest joint. It seems to have been too tight and left some marks. 


Her hands are lovely. The nails neet just a bit of refining. I will polish them myself with a tiny brush, acrylic paint and gloss sealer. I'll do the same to her toenails.


MoneyQueen has incredible flexibility. I think she will make an excellent lingerie or bathing suit model in my collection. The extra joint in her upper hip allows all sorts of leg positions. It also sacrifices a bit of stability when standing. The stringing is very good.




MQ is a lovely doll that needs refinement. Most of all, her head needs to be made smaller. Her feet need a narrower sculpt to be in line with shoes that are readily available. The color blushing needs to be less orange.

Other changes I'd like to see are:
-an extra set of differently styled hands that can be switched out,
-closer attention to the eyebrow painting.
-a doll stand
-a face shield.


1/04/2023

2023 Barbie Lunar New Year Doll Designed by Guo Pei

 Barbie Signature  2023 Barbie Lunar New Year Doll Designed by Guo Pei.  $80.

We partnered with renowned Chinese couturier Guo Pei once again to create a resplendent two-piece couture look inspired by a design from one of her past collections. Draped in classic Chinese royal blue, this stunning doll features sumptuous dragon embroidery, balancing artistic heritage with contemporary innovation through Guo Pei’s signature craftsmanship. Golden earrings, a sparkly statement ring, and gold-colored pumps complement the custom creation. 

  • Release Date: 1/5/2023
  • Designer: Joyce Chen
  • Label: Gold. (Gold Label is a collecting tier of Barbie dolls. There are sequentially numbered editions of 20,000 or fewer worldwide for each doll.) 
  • Face Sculpt: Mari
  • Body Type: Model Muse

 Limit three (3) per person. Doll cannot stand alone. Includes doll stand and Certificate of Authenticity. Colors and decorations may vary. Designed by: Guo Pei. Facilitated by: Asian Couture Federation. 



Guo Pei is widely known for the intricate and symbolic embroidery she weaves into her couture designs. 

We’re awestruck by her latest outfit, featuring a dragon motif that signifies strength and good fortune.


“The inspiration for this year’s doll comes from a design in one of Guo Pei’s past collections,” says designer Joyce Chen, who also worked with her on the 2022 doll.


“The intricate embroidery is one of the most striking details on this doll,” Joyce says. “We were able to capture all the colors and detailed artwork in this more modern silhouette for a Chinese traditional dress.”


© 2022 Mattel










© 2022 Mattel

All Trademarks not owned by Mattel are the property of their respective owners, and are used with permission.

12/10/2022

The Final Dolls From Integrity Toys X Magia 2000

Celebrating 23 years in the doll world, Magia 2000, the artistic duo formed by fashion designer, Mario Paglino and graphic art director, Gianni Grossi, playfully began in 1999. After a few months, playing became collecting, which was soon followed by artistic passion. Their elegant, rich, fully detailed style, which takes a lot of inspiration from Italian couture, has been their distinguishing mark from the start.


Through the years, they attended almost 100 doll conventions around the world, traveling everywhere from Japan, the US, and all over Europe, promoting their brand and passion for doll customization, while generously donating several of their unique creations, which helped raise over $200,000.00 for various charities!


Magia 2000 was the first international design team to attend an Integrity Toys convention back in 2004 and won Judge’s and People’s choice awards at several design competitions afterward. In 2018, they were the first and only to host a Poppy Parker event outside of the US, welcoming designer David Buttry for the unveiling of the exclusive “Ciao!” Poppy Parker convention exclusive doll. Today, Mario and Gianni collaborate with various celebrities and brands and have been featured in multiple media outlets.


About The Final Dolls In This Series



“For the final two dolls of our capsule collection, we wanted to continue with the concept of “day-to-night” fun!
We know how much IT collectors love to play with their dolls, undress them and switch accessories and clothing pieces, therefore, we opted to embrace this facet of collecting as much as possible. We were given the chance to design for two NU. Face characters and we couldn’t be more excited at the opportunity to challenge ourselves by creating extravagant looks for this highly prized, modern, and younger doll collection.

We also jumped at the chance to have Colette and Karolin appear in never-used-before skin tones/hair color combos and incorporate details inspired by the last two cities of the Italian tour, Milan and Rome!"

-Mario & Gianni, Magia 2000









For me, Colette "Runway in Milan" fills the requirements of being different and attractive enough to add to my collection. The two fashions she's shown wearing are very stylish and edgy. I would have liked to see different makeup, but it's supposed to be runway so it makes sense. 

Look at these very early versions of Colette. I like 1.0 better.




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At first glance, Karolin, "Grand Gala in Rome," looks dramatic and appealing. Then I looked at a close-up of her face. She's not for me. Her hair is beautifully styled. The gown has a WOW factor. The mini skirt and high boots are adorable but I'm not a fan of the sculpt. 
_________________

Dolls are available by lottery first. A portion has been set aside for the public. 









11/27/2022

My Kingdom Doll Presentation

Today I gave a Zoom presentation about Kingdom Dolls to one of my doll clubs. In addition to talking about the dolls, I prepared one photo of every Kingdom Doll I've had in the last 9 years along with some other relevant shots. I thought it would be a good idea to post some of those photos on my blog as a visual record. 

I'm just putting them up here and when I get more time, I'll do more with the captions. Only 22 are shown in their original fashions or wigs. 


Nelson

Brighton

Hadrian

Brunel

Chaucer

Eira

Liberty

Star

Viola

Saville

Arnamentia

Nimue

Guinevere

Morgana

Draig

Draig (Same doll, different wig and dress.)

Elgin

Marconi

Helen

Avarice

Envy

Seren

VanBrugh

Logan

Eden

Electra

Rosalind

Rafaella

Rosie (Realm)

Destiny

Lizzie

Kit

Harmony

Siddal

Celestial

Aether

Terra

Severine


Ophelia

Queenie

Setanti

Watson

Sherlock

Moriaarty

Booth & Garrick

Lancelot

Taeus

Evan

12" La Scala

12" Victoria