Happy New Year 2015!

Wishing all my readers a wonderful New Year of love, good health, abundance and happiness.

Amidst all the chaos and unrest in this country and this world, I often look for a true joy I can focus on. Right now that is the love I have for my dog. For almost 12 years he has been our constant companion, playmate and loving pet. Rudy has changed our lives and enriched it in ways I can't even describe.

As many of you know, his health began to fail a year ago and his prognosis was as bad as it could get. I fear that his time on earth is drawing to an end. But for now I can look at him, talk to him and touch him. We've been spoiling the heck out of him. Why not? He's been such a good dog.

My love for him is my retreat.
Dolls are ought but mirrors.
My dog is my soul.

 I hope you have a joy and a love in your life.


My Collection: The Best of 2014

For this post, I basically showcase my own collection and some of what I have added this past year.  I've made some wonderful purchases, some so-so average buys and a few mistakes.  My goal was to limit the adding of 12" dolls and concentrate on high quality resin BJD 1/4 scale dolls, fashions and wigs

Resin BJDs accounted for nearly 1/2 of my expenditures. Integrity Toys got about 1/4 of the total. The rest went to Gene (and a convention), Tonner and other assorted dolly miscellany.

In looking back I could have eliminated everything Gene related except for two custom fashions made by Matisse, Madra's dogs and an older Ashton-Drake Violet outfit (shown below.)  I'm just not into Gene any longer. I have sold all my Jamieshow Gene (and Madra, Violet) dolls except for one. They are lovely but not where I want to be.
JS Madra in AD Violet "Special Appearance"
The worst eBay purchase were several pairs of shoes from paul_zhangby and Zhang_young, whom I assume is the same seller, which purported to fit Sybarites. They don't come close. Many of their products claim to fit a wide range of dolls who have different sized feet. What was I thinking to trust this type of advertising? He's still listing doll shoes like this: Brand New Pumps/Shoes /16" Doll Sybarite V3 JamieShow /Ficon /NUMINA /AG. Don't believe it! His shoes are gorgeous and edgy but won't do any good if you can't use them.

Most of the dolls on this 2014 list were discussed on my blog when I got them and not all of them are actually new releases, but they are new to my collection.

I'll begin with my first and only (so far) Deva Doll, Angelo. He has blown away all the competition from the rest of the big guys who live here. I'll let the photograph do the talking as he's already been introduced in prior posts. His face was painted by Chewin who also designed the fashion and wig.

Brunel from Kingdom Dolls hasn't been here very long and I want to play with her. It's a problem when I have too many 'new' dolls. No doll gets the time it deserves.  She is perfect.

Poor Angelo has been trying to date her but she's not having any of it.

Ficon Bonita in a Cheryl Wood wig.
I have quite a few wigs made by the talented Ms. Wood but this is my absolute favorite!
Bonita is a gorgeous doll with great posing ability.

I added two gorgeous Sybarites this past year and several Superdoll outfits.

-a repaint of Dionysis by Yian.  (Chewin wig)

-Fidele wearing Bitter Fern. I removed the pink bow which was at the waist. 

The outfit from Langtry and Madra's Dogs (Ashton-Drake) modeled by Toxica.

The outfit from Masque modeled by Neurotica. Mohair wig by Ilaria.

The outfit from Gateau modeled by Domina.
I never tire of looking at my Sybarites and their gorgeous fashions.

Moving over to Integrity Toys, their FR16 dolls, at first, didn't impress me. Once I started collecting their outfits however, the dolls began to grow on me. Their bodies pose beautifully.
This is Tyler head on a Tulabelle body wearing a FR16 Platinum Society. It's a favorite.

As far as their 12" dolls issued during the year, nothing made the cut except three from the convention.

Going off the track here for Gloss' "Evening Siren" Ayumi who is such an improvement over the original Ayumi I felt it deserved mention and images from her spotty past. :-)
It's a fact that the face-up makes or breaks the sculpt.

This is the After:

Here are the Befores:

If at first you don't succeed...

I always felt that Natalia's original and more ethnic sculpt was beautiful and should have been preserved.  She was gorgeous.  The "refreshed" sculpt looked just like all the other dolls with their pointy little noses and pucker lips. They're OK but this Natalia was special. "Femme du Monde" 2006.

However, Grandiose Natalia was a surprise. I actually like her a lot and added her to my collection. What is it about this particular doll? It's not the pointy eyebrows. She's just stunning.

And then there's Elise. She has become my favorite FR sculpt. I've given up on Vanessa and although two were added to my collection this year, they are not favorites.

In the following photo, one of the 2014 convention centerpieces, Elise Jolie "Intrigue," is shown with Adrian Von Lamberg "Night Vision" from the 2010 Dark Romance Collection. That was the last FR convention I attended and I had him at that time but I was not collecting male dolls. That changed this year as I sought to add some special Hommes to the tribe.

About two months ago I swapped with someone for an Avantguard which had been repainted. It was pretty awful once I saw it in person. My dear friend, Vin Trapani, rescued this doll from a dark drawer with his inspired re-repaint.
She is currently on a Tulabelle body and looking great.

Memorable 1/6 scale fashions:
Poppy "Glamorous Darling" and "IT Girl" adorn one of my mini Avantguard dolls and a Monogram doll.

This dress was created by V.Jhon. It is modeled by Tropicalia Vanessa.

So there you have it.

I haven't determined my goals with doll collecting for 2015. What I do know is that I spend way too much time where they are concerned. I want to put together a book showcasing my black and white NYC era photography. That will take a long, dedicated piece of time.

I've had so much fun with dolls and doll people over the last decade or so but I have to bring back the joy that my creativity gave me and let it out of it's holding cell.

Thank You, Designers

If you've watched Project Runway, you have certainly seen Tim Gunn go into the workroom to chat with the contestants. Before he leaves he often says, "Thank you, designers."  Of course he's known for many other expressions but today I want to focus on the 'thank you.'

If you're a member of the W Club, you have read the same expression every single time a new doll is revealed. It could also be "Thank you, design team." Some liaison is thanking the people who work for Integrity Toys for designing a doll to sell.

Let me ask you a question. When you're about to leave the supermarket, do you go up to the manager and say thank you for selling milk. Perhaps you like the packaging of a box of donuts. Will you write to the company thanking them for the pretty designs? Do you thank the post office for designing beautiful stamps every year? I think not. They want you to spend money on their products. You thank them by spending your money.

Why would a company thank itself for designing a product to sell to you? You're not going to buy it if you don't like it, are you? Do they do it to convince you that it's worthwhile?
We hope that everyone is as excited about these two dolls as we are! We would also like to thank XXX and the entire Integrity Design Team for the XXX Collection; this year has been simply outstanding for XXX!
The company should be thanking the buyers not their employees. 

There are endless reasons to say thank you to people. Here are a few that resonate with me.

So, this is my advice:


Gorgeous Gene Marshall Holiday Themed Photos by Tom Logan

One of my favorites and a top notch photographer, Tom Logan (CA) posted these photos today on Studio Commissary.  This is delicious eye candy!


JAMIEshow introduces Mel Odom's Trent Osborn in a Double Life

I can hear the cheering from Gene collectors all over the world as they realize that their beloved male character, Trent Osborne, is now a resin BJD.  As handsome as Trent is in vinyl, his body is seriously stiff and unposable. Now collectors can pose Trent in all of his original clothes and shoes thanks to a smooth transition by Jamieshow.

The description from the website says:
Mr. Osborn, wearing boxer shorts, tank top and paisley slippers, comes with two molded hair caps, blonde and  brunette.  These icy blond and smoldering brunette identities are the focus of his 1943 noir "A Double LIfe", where he played not quite identical twins.  A large trunk was notably featured in this film.

In this life, Trent is packed in a stylish trunk for travel and clothing.  The trunk strikingly bears the Trent Osborn logo and is lined in brown velvet with ‘gold’ hardware and comes with 3 hanging rods.
Trent is made in JAMIEshow Smooth-J Resin in the same skin tone as Alejandro.  He has 15 points of articulation.  Trent has a new BJD body and can wear all of his previously produced wardrobe, as well as JAMIEshow Men's clothing and shoes. He will also come with a bald head-cap so he can wear a size 5 wig.  

Limited Edition of 100 Worldwide
The doll is priced at $475.
Pre Order item Shipping End of January/February

The trunk is pretty cool but I would have preferred the doll be dressed in something other than paisley boxers and matching slippers. Paisley was most popular in the US at the end of the 1960's. Although the design has been around for about 2000 years, I'm surprised to see an American actor wearing it...unless it is  bespoke man lingerie. Who knows what these actors did in their budoirs?

The resemblance to the original Trent is pretty much perfect right down to the molded hair. It was a good idea to include the molded hair head cap in two colors.

Jamieshow Dolls 

Here are a few of my own favorite vinyl Trent looks:

I have only two remaining Trents in my collection. My favorite is "Skiing or Sheing" see above, (redressed) lower right. The other is Dreamy Trent from the last Gene convention. They are very frustrating dolls to pose as they don't move and their knees are always collapsing. However, they make nice arm candy for the Gene dolls. Trent never changed - until now.

So...does the new Trent float your boat?


2014 Integrity's Surprisingly Great FR16 Dolls

To be sure, there are various interpretations of the word great.  In this case, I'm calling them great as compared to other 16" modern vinyl dolls. For example, Tonner dolls generally retail in the range of $99.-$250 for a dressed doll these days.  The less expensive ones will be dressed in more basic styles. The FR16 SRP was $175. That price has dropped a good deal for some of the newer ones.
The fashions are beautifully made and come with excellent accessories.
As far as articulation goes, the FR16 win the vinyl race, their only drawback being their awful articulated toes and awkward feet. Neither the ankle nor the toe joint add anything to the doll and should be eliminated in favor of a sleek fashion foot.

I don't know whether or not it's a good thing that the current IT designer keeps bringing back altered versions of Jason Wu's designs. In one way it speaks volumes about his creativity and on the other hand, Jason's beautiful fashions always work.

Except for Afterhours Hanne, I purchased the dolls and fashions separately. Once I found that I liked them, they started showing up.

For this post I show the original Jason Wu doll promo photo, a photo of my own 1/6 scale original and the new 16" version.

Red Blooded Woman Kyori has grown to become Hot Blooded Woman.
By the time I decided that I loved the outfit, I couldn't get Elsa Lin at a reasonable price. I will continue to look for her. Modeling the FR16 fashion is  "On Edge." Avantguard. She is wearing her own shoes as the FR16 shoes do not fit. The wig is by Ilaria.
Pretty gorgeous!

Cosmetic Takeover Natalia is now Cosmetic Surrender. This Natalia was the first Natalia ever produced. She was on a straight arm body. Mine became so brittle that even though I was very careful, her neck cracked when I first gave her a new tall body. (Not shown.)  My model for the FR16 fashion is Platinum Society Hanne whose outfit follows.

Silver Society Veronique's big sister is Platinum Society. Silver Society was also a straight arm doll. Mine is now on an FR2 body and I still love her as much as the day I first got her.
My model for Platinum Society's fashion is a Tyler head on a Tulabelle body. The head switch was easy and the body is perfect for the FR16 outfits. The feet, like those of the FR16 dolls are unnecessarily articulated. She looks like she has tumors of the ankle (whatever that is.) Do not click here for a Google search on ankle tumors. You will be sorry.
I love Tyler and I always will. She needs a body like this to bring her into the 21st Century.
Anyway, this outfit is a thin pleather-like fabric with wonderful embellishment. I like everything about the fashion and I'd rather have a ring instead of doll gloves any day!
The last picture shows how I've 'repurposed' my FR outfits from the early days to adorn Silkstone dolls. The fit is perfection-even the shoes.

Purple Factor Adele has grown up to become Amethyst Factor. Again, we have a straight arm, early Jason design. This was an amazingly detailed and sexy sheath with ruching, princess seams and a lace inset at the top of the bodice. The fur had beads between the stole and the tails. Everything about it was beautifully designed and executed. My model for Amethyst Factor is Afterhours Hanne Erikson. Her hair was a frizzy mess and still needs work.

Obsidian Society Vanessa's FR16 version is Obsidian Culture.  This was a wildly popular Vanessa; they all were until they started multiplying like rabbits. Vanessa's black suit looks nothing like the new Culture version; it is so much more stylish. My model is the brunette Obsidian Culture in the "Bijou" Avantguard gown.  It's nice to know that the Avantguard, FR16 and Tulabelle bodies can share fashions.


This is, in my opinion, the prettiest of all the Obsidian Hannes. Unfortunately, her hair was an overdone, frizzy mess. I have one side pinned back to hide the crimped, frizzed ends. Such a shame. I'll fix it one of these days. The fur is from the Hot Blooded outfit and the earrings and bracelet are from other sources.

Surprisingly great? Yes! Look back at the original 4 FR16 dolls. Three out of the four fashions are uninspired. One of the dolls looks like a corpse and another looks terrified.


I have the blond Obsidian Culture NRFB doll for sale at a very good price on the Show & Sell pages.
While you are there, take a look at my other listings. You should definitely buy something!