Happy New Year ~ 2010

A brief diversion from the dolls:
If you love blogging, cooking and/or just great movies rent the DVD Julie & Julia. I loved it. Meryl Streep is perhaps the most talented actress ever. Another movie we saw this week was Up In The Air.  George Clooney is still very nice to look at so many years after ER. It's worth seeing and has absolutely nothing to do with dolls - although the hobby of collecting could definitely be related to this movie. If you haven't seen it yet, go see Avatar. Then tell me what manufacturer you think will come out with the first articulated Na'vi doll. Every topic leads back to the dolls.
Yesterday I set up a temporary diorama or stage set for the larger dolls. None of my dioramas is permanently installed. I like variety. My doll cabinets are just for the dolls. The furniture and props appear in my photographs. I acquired in the last month three major pieces - Gene's Swan Bed, Tyler's Armoire and a Gene Convention souvenir which is a lighted dressing table. Unfortunately the table arrived broken and I am in the process of repairing it. When it's done, it will look better than new.
I like the furniture for the 16" dolls better than the furniture for the 12" dolls mainly because it is more substantial and truer to scale. Every sofa Integrity made for the FR dolls is too low to the ground. They are lovely to look at but too small. The liquor cabinet is too short. The best pieces are the bed and the large trunk. But due to their size and limited usefulness, I sold those items.
The only dolly stuff I did today was restyle an RnD Angels "Jaclyn"  wig. It was too long and fairly impossible to comb through so I swished it for a while in a diluted fabric softener solution, combed it through, rinsed it out with warm water and repeated the procedure until I could comb through the hair. When it was dry, I combed it again and decided to cut off at least 1/2". When I can't comb through a wig after all that, the fiber is damaged and must be removed. It looks great now. No pictures yet.
The RnD Angel wigs fit the AvantGuard dolls. They are a touch large but go on very easily. Use a rubbery wig cap and they are perfect. Check out what Rudy has remaining at the website. Remember that they will need styling before use!


 This is just a sampling of what may be available. The price is right and Rudy is a dream to deal with.


Integrity Toys W Club Fifth Year Registration Opens

It was a cold snowy day on February 14, 2006 when we left Woodstock in the late afternoon headed for Manhattan and FAO Schwarz where the first W Club event was to be held. We actually made very good time into the city and had plenty of time to eat and traipse around on Fifth Avenue. By the time we headed over to the store, the line outside was already around the block. Flurries were in the frosty air but so were the sounds of expectant W Club members. We stayed warm by huddling together, yakking and laughing. When the uniformed doormen finally allowed us entry, the going was slow as all our entry cards were checked against a guest list. But we were finally inside.
I had not been in FAO in a million years, certainly not since it was renovated. I liked it better before the renovation but it was still amazing with masses of huge stuffed animals alongside the escalator accompanying us as we ascended to the next level. It was a mob scene up there; the noise level was astonishing. I greeted many people I had met in Canada four months earlier. My poor husband was surrounded by wide-eyed collectors everywhere; nevertheless, he survived to attend many more events after that one.
An Isha gift set called Final Cut Cannes was the event doll. It was in a free standing showcase and rather difficult to see and photograph. I don't think we got to take them home that night. Many procedures were changed as the event went forward and that is a good thing because that night we had to stand on lines to buy the doll and it took forever. All the Integrity staff was there and although the event lasted only two hours officially, it felt like much more. Did I forget to mention that what did accompany us home was the de rigueur New York blizzard?
Meeting other collectors changes the entire landscape of the game. Even if one is in contact regularly on-line with other collectors, face to face encounters are so very different. I was saddened to learn that there will not be a February event this year other than a virtual meeting. For some people, the New York event was the only one they ever attended or could afford to attend. It is definitely a loss. From a business point of view, it's the right move for Integrity as it saves a huge amount of money. In that respect, I don't blame them for cutting out the event. The members of the W Club are a built-in market at this point. No further promotion is necessary. I don't know if Integrity ever did participate in the actual Toy Fair event anyway.
That being said, promotion may not be necessary but quality is. I'm in a quandry. One of the upgrade dolls is an AvantGuard called Freeze Frame. I love her look but they are so difficult to pose standing up and are so, the best word I can think of is wiggly, that I don't know if I want another one. But she is very cute - especially the wig and I want that wig. The dress, meh. The boots are cute. What will I do with the stuff in the middle? When will we get an AG in a gown? I plan to cut that wig Lady GaGa length and get some big sparkly sunglasses. I want a Lady GaGa doll!!!!

Base membership in the W Club for 2010 is $50. The AvantGuard Freeze Frame is $160. plus shipping.
The other optional or upgrade doll is "Spring Forward" Eugenia Perrin. There is nothing about this doll I like except the blouse and shoes. I find her to look very much like the original Natalia. See the inset of Natalia "Behind Velvet Ropes." Eugenia appears way too stern-bordering on severe and that doesn't go along with the bright, happy colors used on her.

The price for Eugenia is $75 above the membership.
There is also an option to purchase both upgrade dolls. The total for that with the base membership comes to $285.
The prices are quite fair in light of what we've been paying for AG and FR. Both dolls are scheduled for a May delivery.

Many Integrity dealers are offering W Club members a one-time free shipping per member for the coming year until December 1, 2010. And....members will be offered the opportunity to purchase two other Fashion Royalty Club dolls and one AvantGuard doll in addition to the upgrade dolls. That's what I mean about a built-in market. We sign up; we buy.

Payment must be made by January 22, 2010.

Since there is no contest this year to award the person who signs up the most new members, you can tell them my poodle, Rudy, sent you.


Picture of the Week Award ~ December 27, 2009

We are wrapping up the POW Awards this year with a gorgeous repaint of a Sybarite Seville by Idrusa. It's obvious that there's a lot of talent here! The repaint and the photograph are beautiful.

If you would like to see more of Idrusa's work, here is the link to her flickr photostream.

Congratulations on the Picture of the Week Award, Idrusa.