eBay Sellers - Always Good For A Laugh

I watch the auctions of a certain small fashion doll that was discontinued about 3 years ago. This particular auction was classified as: "New: A brand-new, unused, unopened, undamaged item..."
In the description the seller wrote: "New in box in a nonsmoking home."

Her picture shows a nude doll tied into a doll box and a loose fashion displayed outside of the box.
The title she uses is that of a dressed doll from the particular line. The doll is neither dressed nor is the fashion the one the title says it should be.

I wrote to the seller and asked: "How can you say the doll is new in box if she is not dressed? She has obviously been handled and removed from her box."
One week later I received this response: "You can tell the doll is new in the box if she is not dressed because that is how I purchased the doll."

Do you have to read that again?

Virtually Stunning Alex Styled by Jason Wu

My VS Alex arrived today and I am happy to say that she is prettier in person than her promotional photos indicated. I was on the fence about pre-ordering but when I saw that the Doll Market was offering her for $119.95 instead of the $149.95 list price, I crumpled and ordered. It's a sickness.
VS Alex is 16-1/2 inches tall, vinyl, rooted, eyelashed and highly articulated. She's a limited edition of 150 pieces.
Madame Alexander Promotional Image of VS Alex
Upon releasing her from her box I became alarmed when I couldn't move her ankle joint so she could stand properly in her pumps. I undressed her and tried and I was certain that I'd have to return her. But I warmed up my heating pad, pulled the foot out of the leg and warmed it in there for about 10 minutes. It worked! What a relief. I wanted to use some WD-40 but I didn't think that would be an intelligent choice of lubricant (duh) so I used a spray of wig conditioner. Hopefully that will last. If not, I know how to fix it.

If you are not familiar with the line of Alex dolls you may be surprised to find that they have a big head look. Alex also had big hands and feet. The big head seems to have grown some but the hands are nicer.  Here is a comparison between the newest body and the last body.

The legs are so much longer. I liked the original breasts better.
Older body cannot cross legs.
Legs are more shapely.
Prior to the last body, this line had articulated feet and happily they're now back.  Like almost all 16 inch modern fashion vinyl dolls, they have gone through a progressively more articulated evolution but the last release of dolls before these had less articulation.
Besides Alexandra Fairchild Ford herself, the other dolls in the line are Sophia Cruz, Paris Williams , Jadde Lee, Siena Evans, Suzette Morgan, Amanda Fairchild Ford. You can see many of them at The Matilda Company's website.

Jadde Lee and Paris Williams - Full articulation.

MA Alex dolls have historically held their value, possibly due to their limited numbers.

Back to Basics, Editor in Chief , Soleil Outfit, Dots Dress, Smashing Frame Outfit
MA has clothed their dolls in gorgeous fashions made from fine fabrics with detailed accessories. They have also produced some separate fashions for collectors to purchase. Again, these items are not easy to find except for a very few that were possibly over-produced or less popular.

Here are comparison shots with an Avantguard doll who is designed by Jason Wu as well.
Compare the size of the heads. Alex's head is huge!

Legs and torso are almost the same length.
I tried a few MA outfits on Alex and they fit. They will be shorter and the shoes will be slightly tighter. Antoinette dress fashions fit. Gene fashions will depend on the cut. The waist will be short in fitted fashions. Former MA Alex fashions will be troublesome as well due to the change in proportions. Again, the waist will be short.
Made for Gene.
Gene's suit.
Dressmaker Details for Gene and Avantguard
Tonner for Antoinette
The ringlets are well done without frizzed ends. Unfortunately the top of the head and the bangs are flattened against the head in an  unnatural fashion making her big head look even bigger. She needs height up there. I lifted her glued bangs to look underneath and her eyebrows are beautiful. Having no hair on her forehead changes her entire appearance. I will definitely restyle her hair. It's such a shame because I love the ringlet look. I don't understand the use of the helmet bangs over and over again. It's not attractive the way the factory glues them down. I can't picture a real person wearing their hair that way - even a model would look unnatural.
Her eyes are beautiful with lovely screening and great lashes. Alex has always had applied lashes. MA was always ahead of the pack when it came to lashes and articulation. I suppose they contracted Wu to bring the doll's face into the modern fashion scene. I liked her face as it was but the body is a big improvement.
The outfit she comes with is not what I've come to expect from Madame Alexander. The shoes are gorgeous. The rhinestone bracelet is lovely. The dress is a triple layer of fabric - lining, double knit in a dark color and an overlay of sequined lace. In this scale, the fabric doesn't drape or fit the body properly. The smooth black pleather handbag looks cheap and the hat with it's hot pink flowers would go better with a summery fashion.
I'm glad I purchased one of these new dolls but I will probably use the body for someone elses head unless I can fix up her hair and possibly repaint her lips to give them some depth.

As I was first working with Alex I couldn't get over how much she reminded me of Daryl Hannah as a mermaid in the movie Splash and the vengeful giantess in the Attack of the 50 Foot Woman.  


The Barbie Blonde Collection

Talk about excess!  This grouping of items glorifies glitz. That's not to say they're not attractive items. I love the three OOAK Barbie dolls for $5,000. each. 

 How about this collection of 40 gold clad dolls in hand sewn outfits? There's only one of these collections and it's priced at $5,000. You can start and end a collection in one shot.

And the must have on everyone's list this year is a 36" X 36" hair chandelier for $9,000.  I've wanted one since I was a little girl. Haven't you? There's only one.
Did I hear someone call this ugly?

For those of you on a coal budget, how about this black PVC headband for $15.?

 There's so much more at this link.

BTW You have until November 16th to save up for this event.

Dasha and Elyse

Had some time to do a photo shoot with the FR2 dolls from the convention. Elyse is now wearing the outfit from Extravagance Monogram. It works on her. The shoes fit perfectly. 

I love Dasha's gown. I don't know if I'll be redressing her too soon.

 The chairs are from Angelic Dreamz. They are Horseman products.


Fear and Mixing a Poodle With Another Dog Will Get You a Mutt

I have received a swell of support not only on yesterday's post but on Facebook and to my personal email address. I have been called fearless and open in these messages but let me tell you the truth, I am full of fear and for the most part, there's good reason. I walk through the fear when the perceived consequences don't seem so bad. It's a very interesting experience to have said that a doll is ugly and then to be attacked personally. Today I was accused of "voicing an adverse opinion on almost every doll that's produced and taking it to such a gross and personal level." My statement was taken personally by others and was being grandstanded on the board. I stayed away from the W Board for months. I forgot why until now.
At least some admit they are IT cheerleaders. That's a great attitude.  They don't take themselves so seriously. They're not holier than thou. Take what you need and leave the rest. You like a doll, buy it. The rest of the collectors don't have to like it.

I'm that way when it comes to poodles as a breed of dogs. I think they're wonderful. You can say what you want or mix up a poodle with some other dog and you won't get me down or make me insult you or tell you how to behave. I will tell you that mixing a poodle with another dog will get you a mutt. Likewise if you wish to re-root your doll or repaint it, I don't get insulted because you didn't like the original. You thought you could make it better. Maybe you did. But it's not what the designer produced. Do you think they care? You paid for the doll. In the end, the manufacturer looks at the bottom line.

(Note: I am not saying that repaints are mutts. I'm talking about poodles. Mutts are great dogs anyway.)

If you look through my blog and my Flickr, would you think that I have adverse opinions on almost every doll that's produced? Why do I post my gorgeous photos all over the place?

Are you fucking blind or just stupid
I've sold more dolls than you can imagine because of my reviews.

Exaggeration is a backhanded form of dishonesty. There are a few people who are in a snit over my blog. Go away and don't read it. You can always write your own opinion of a doll and/or post a response to my posts. I won't attack you or tell you how to express yourself. 

When I write my reviews, I don't bounce them off the opinions of others. I take credit and responsibility for my opinions. I don't preface them with "I don't agree with what so-and-so said." I don't have to. So-and-so can say what they want to say and so can I. If you like the doll, write about it. Don't waste your time writing about me. I've wasted enough time on this topic for all of us.

Posted by Permission of Petra


The Benefits of Being a Brown Noser

Every so often some goody two shoes will criticize my style of expression and tell me how I should express myself or that I shouldn't express myself at all because I am hurting the feelings of a doll designer.
In a recent episode, I posted a simple statement that I thought a doll was ugly. It wasn't someone's doll that they had posted a picture of; it was a specific doll from a manufacturer. I could have said that I didn't like her sculpt and I thought it was ugly. I could have said that I didn't like the extreme paleness of her vinyl or that I thought the dress looked cheap and that's what made her ugly. I definitely could have expressed it differently and explained why I thought she was ugly. But I just came out and said it simply. She is ugly.  I happen to like the performer that she is said to represent but I don't see the resemblance.

Others in the thread like the doll and some did not. There was a mix of opinion. I'm lucky in that I don't need to tell others how to express themselves and I certainly don't need to protect the manufacturer or the designers from the opinions of others. If they were being attacked personally, that would be a different story but this was about a product being offered for sale.

In this particular case, the critic wanted me to be positive in my criticism and constructive.  Well I positively think that this doll should not be constructed again. 

She said:
"There's another colloquialism that comes to mind here. Something to the effect that opinions aren't special and everyone has them. To say that you think something is ugly doesn't provide any insight. Also it's not very nice or constructive to the designers who have spent countless hours creating the doll. They've worked hard to bring the doll into existence and I think it's only fair that we should have to substantiate our opinions with arguments and evidence that we've actually given the matter some thought. " (The red highlight is mine.)

Is she talking about assholes on a doll board? If you don't know it, the actual expression is "Opinions are like assholes; everyone has one. "  Or "Opinions are like assholes; they all stink." So all of her thoughts aren't angelic. She's pretty snide if you ask me and definitely baiting the hook. I substantiate my opinion about a doll with my pocketbook. I bought the doll; she didn't.

However, the truth behind her criticism lay elsewhere. Apparently I jumped her on the line at the Integrity store! OMG I'm so ashamed of myself. Seriously, if that happened, it was not intentional. Many people got in front of where we were waiting.

I'm am ashamed to admit that at about 10 AM I sat down in the hall with my friend Dante and a few others near the store to wait on line for a few hours (!) until the store opened. There were very few people already seated near the door and there were some people sitting on couches around the corner from the door. Later on I was told that those people on couches were on line. Well, when we stood up and the door opened we stood aside and those people went in first.  

Well I certainly apologize if I bought the doll she wanted. Oh wait, there were a few hundred of each doll. And no, I didn't run right up to the register like some to buy the grab bags. I didn't even know there were grab bags.
 My critic wrote:
"I know that you write for FDQ. As a writer I expect more from you. And I also know that you love the Integrity dolls as I do. I know that because I saw you while I was waiting in line with my husband to get into the souvenir shop at the convention (first you were behind us then you were ahead of us). My point is, doll collecting should be fun. Bring more of the love and less of the negativity. If you must be critical, please at least make an effort to be kind and constructive about it."

I have to be a little snide here myself and say that her grammar is not all that good. The construction of that sentence means that she is a writer and expects more of me. There should be a comma after the word writer.  Maybe she is a writer but I don't think that's what she meant. She wants to hold me to a higher standard.

When I read the part about being ahead of her on line, I realized that she was not really talking about a doll at all. This was her personal resentment at me for being jumped (if I actually did that) or an attempt to raise herself to the heavenly level of collectors (aka sycophants) who are always lovely and loving.  I swear, I'm not making this up. I hope she takes me up on my invitation to discuss this issue via personal email.

Let me just say this about brown nosing: it works with at least one of the employees of that company.  

"I took a few shortcuts on the foundation. No one will ever notice."

Cartoon: by Larry Hehn on August 4, 2010


Photoshoot: Kyori, Smoldering, Elyse

Finally had time for a real photoshoot and here are the results.
First up is Elyse. I took out the braid and conditioned the frizzy mess. I did pour boiled water over her hair to loosen up the curls. I decided to just leave her hair wild and there was little choice and she looks fabulous this way.

Next is Smoldering.  I wish they had paid more attention to her hair instead of just chopping it.  The gown is gorgeous. I love it. And look at those shoes!

Kyori "Out of the Blue" needed a restyle as well. I took down her hair, shampooed and conditioned it and boiled it straight. I deleted the bangs by pouring the hot water in the direction I wanted those shorter hairs to go. She is very heavily rooted at the crown and I did thin her hair a bit.
Her outfit was made by Louos and suits her perfectly.
Last is the doll from the Poppy Giftset "Ask Any Girl" wearing the sweater and shorts from the set. A creature from the Tonner Doll Co. has been following her and showing up in pictures of her lately. Hmmmmm....