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.

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.

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. 


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. 


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 wallets. 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!!