Monday, October 24, 2011

Comparison pics

Classic Darla Daley, left, next to new Darla.
I thought I'd do some comparison pictures for everyone, because I always found comparison pics fascinating.  First up are pics showing the new Darla Daley sculpt next to the original sculpt. I noticed the new sculpt's chin juts out more than the old sculpt's. Other than that, they're actually pretty similar.

I also thought I'd show the new 2011 Adele sculpt (with a closed mouth) next to the previously-used open-mouthed Adele sculpt; the two 2011 Fashion Royalty Vanessas together; and the convention Poppy Parker "Simply Simpatico" next to the Poppy she looks the most like: "I Love How You Love Me."  Remember, you can click on the pictures to make them bigger.

Old and new Darla Daleys in profile.
The 2011 Vanessas next to each other.

New closed-mouth Adele sculpt, left, next to the previous Adele sculpt.

Simpatico Poppy Parker, left, shown with Love Me Poppy.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Style Counsel

Holy freakin' crap.  I'm not sure whether I want to de-box this set, or build a shrine to it.  I've never had a really amazing two-doll gift set like this before (or ANY two-doll set of any kind).  It comes with the new 2011 Veronique sculpt and the new 2011 Adele sculpt from the Fashion Royalty line.  Scrumptious.  Drool.  Two amazing outfits, and one of them has TWO skirts instead of one.  Tons of jewelry.  Have I sold you on this set yet?  No?  Just wait.  FOUR pairs of shoes (two plastic, two fabric).  A hat like you'd see pictured in a European version of Vogue.  Two necklaces with two really nice earring-and-bracelet sets.  The outfits have separate tops and skirts so they can be mixed-and-matched.  Two pairs of sunglasses, stockings, extra hands and two pairs of panties in fucshia and blue.

I'd choose grumpy over the sickly-sweet Barbie grin you see in the cheapest playline Mattel dolls.  Still, I like a doll that doesn't look angry.  I think if this sculpt were painted differently, then Adele could be saved from looking crabby.  Perhaps it's just the way they painted the eyebrows?  I don't know.  Adele's expression makes me think someone just stepped on her foot. She's freakin' gorgeous, though.  I'll be thrilled to see future incarnations of her using this face sculpt.  I also love the new Veronique sculpt.  It's elegant and beautiful, and manages to have a surprising amount of expression in the face in all her incarnations so far.

My other, nit-picky, minor dislike:  Their fingernails are painted REALLY weirdly.  The nails are "nude" but with tiny dots of red or dark blue on the end of each fingernail.  Adele has red; Vero has blue.  It's really, really ugly and at first I thought it was a factory mistake until I saw that both dolls were painted like that.  I've never been tempted to re-paint doll fingernails before, but am considering it for the first time. Veronique has dark blue toenails. Ack!  I wish they'd just left fingers and toes unpainted.

I've already decided this set can't remain undeboxed for long.

For those who don't know, this was a gift set sold at Integrity Toys' 2011 "Jet Set" convention held two weeks ago. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Convention Poppys!

2011 Workshop Poppy Parker, left, has the same face screening as "Youthquake" Poppy, right.
I was able to get some of the convention Poppy Parkers through a very nice lady who had gone to the Integrity Toys convention this year.  I loves me some Poppys! These are the workshop and table gift Poppy Parkers. I photographed them next to previous Poppys who share the same face screening.  2011 Workshop Poppy (black hair, green eyes) has "Youthquake's" screening, and "In The Air" Poppy (brown hair, purple eyes) has the same screening as the 2010 convention workshop Poppy.  I thought it would be interesting to see these photographed together.

Out of these four, the 2011 Workshop Poppy is my favorite.  I love the green eyes/black hair combo.  I think if I'd been designing her, I would have given her some lower lashes, though. That's OK.  She still rocks my boat.

"In The Air" Poppy, left, poses with the 2010 Workshop Poppy.

2011 Workshop Poppy wonders why SHE wasn't the table centerpiece.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

New Darla Daley, new Adele ... new chance to spend money

I was forced to sit home recovering from surgery while people enjoyed Integrity's convention last week in Chicago. I did hear through the grapevine the Darla Daley character from their Poppy Parker line suffered a horrific tragedy at the factory.  Apparently the mold for her head sculpt was BROKEN at the factory, leaving Integrity to scramble to come up with a new Darla sculpt.  This makes 2011's "Twist n Shout" Darla (pictured left) to be the only Darla that will have the original head sculpt, unless I hear differently.  Ack!  I feel like a friend got hurt.  I loved the original sculpt.  I've since seen photos of the new Darla sculpt and she's nice, too.  I'm just glad I have the original.  You can see some Flickr pictures of the new Darla sculpt here, here and here

Integrity has confirmed that the upcoming "Hit Single" Darla, which was shown in promo pics with the original face, will indeed have the new sculpt and not the sculpt shown in the promos.

The other news was the introduction of a new, closed-mouthed sculpt for the Fashion Royalty line's Adele character.  The new sculpt is LOVELY.  I don't currently own the new sculpt (yet), but I'll link to a few pics here, here and here.  This sculpt change follows the revamps for the Fashion Royalty Veronique and Vanessa characters.  From what I understand, molds get old after a certain number of uses and start to lose their fine detail.  Integrity fans expect that Kyori will be the next to get a facelift; I can't wait to see what's in store.

Below is the last Adele made with the open-mouthed mold, 2011's "High Brow" Adele.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

LittleMissMatched dolls and the new Tonner Toys

I'm kind of intrigued that the Tonner Doll Company has decided to branch off into doing play-line toys.  Their current main customers and fans are adult doll collectors.  They've recently announced there will be a branching of the company into a new division/company that'll offer lower-priced, play-line dolls.  This new entity will be called Tonner Toys.  (As I understand it.  I'm sure I'll get more details in the coming month.)

The very first offering will be the 15" tall (39cm) LittleMissMatched dolls, which at first will be sold through Toys"R"Us stores and through the Tonner Direct web site beginning October 2011, unless the timeline changes.  The dolls are vinyl/plastic with thickly-rooted hair, and bending elbows and knees as well as shoulder and hip joints.  The clothes are brightly-colored and based on real little girl clothing from the LittleMissMatched company, which partnered with Tonner Toys for the purposes of creating the doll line.

The photos I've included with this post are of the very first doll released from the new line.  This particular doll was released as a QVC exclusive gift set in September 2011 and is the only doll in the line available as of this writing.  The dresses you see here are not the clothes she came with; she was re-dressed for the photos.

My personal review:  Adore her.  I really like the expression on her face, among other things.  Her shoes are a good quality and fit well.  I'll look forward to seeing the next releases from this line. 

My only two whines:  The red dress the QVC doll came with stained her shoulder a little bit.  I've Photoshopped the red staining out of the pics, so no point in straining your eyes trying to see the staining there.  LOL.  Also, the sleeves on one of her extra shirts were a little too tight to fit over her hands.  These seem to be problems that can be corrected at the factory, so I remain hopeful that the quality of the main-line dolls will be good. Other than these flaws, I am very pleased and really look forward to seeing the rest of the line released.

My re-rooted "Pencil Me In" Eugenia

"Pencil Me In" Eugenia wasn't a huge hit at first, at least compared to the rest of the 2011 Fashion Royalty line.  It really took seeing owner pics for people to warm to her, and the main objection seemed to be her "love it or hate it" hairdo.  Personally, I loved her face paint.  For me, her original hair was only so-so.  Didn't love it; didn't totally hate it, either, but in my world I saw room for improvement.  So I changed her.

Her new hair is a 50/50 mix of raven black and very dark brown saran.  I also re-touched her lips.  Nothin' wrong with her original peachy lips ... I just wanted them a deep, bloody red.  I wanted to create my own personal dream Eugenia, since it seems like over the years every truly wonderful Eugenia that's been produced has somehow managed to NOT make it into my collection.  I miss getting them at retail, and then cry softly as I watch them being sold on the secondary market for TWICE retail.  Sigh. 

Her photoshoot friend is Fashion Royalty "Regal Solstice" Anja. 

Of course, I didn't bother to take "before" pics of Eugenia, so here's a link to the page about her on the Integrity Toys web site, where you can see her original hair.

You can click on the pictures to make them bigger.

Regal Solstice's eyes

"Regal Solstice" Anja has got to be one of the best looking wonky-eyed dolls I've ever seen.  Usually wonky eye paint on dolls drives me crazy.  For me, it's all about the eyes, baby.  ... And this Anja has one eye that's slightly bigger than the other, Sinead O'Connor-style.  I know it's not just my doll, too ... every RS Anja I've seen has this same flaw.  Usually that would drive me mad.   To me, the eyes are the best part of the doll and eyes that are painted/screened wrong spoil the doll.  Here's the weird part, though:  I'm totally in love with "Regal Solstice" and she's become one of my favorite Fashion Royalty dolls.  For some reason, the eyes work on her.

It took me a while to figure out WHY they work.
It's because she has such a wonderful facial expression.  She has just a hint of a smile, and she actually looks like she's thinking.  When a doll's eyes are painted so that it actually looks like it has an intelligence, that's the hallmark of a very talented doll artist.  In this case, Anja was a factory-made doll and therefore the eyes were done by a screening process, which means it was a darn good screening despite the flaw.  There's something about the eyes that's kind of sultry and self-confident, yet gentle.  She doesn't have that blank-faced look that some dolls have.  Don't get me started on blank-faced dolls; I can't stand them.  Dolls have to have some personality to interest me, and Anja does.

I was doing searches for other incarnations of the Anja sculpt ... The Dark Hunter "Simi" doll, the Carol Roth doll, and the Integrity convention exclusive "Provocatice" Anja ... and only "Provocatrice" shared the wonky eye screening.  All of this sculpt's incarnations showed a great deal of character.  It just proves to me that it's a sculpt Integrity needs to use more often  ... although perhaps they can tweak the screening a bit on the left-glancing dolls like "Solstice."

The angle on the last pic best shows the subtle difference in eye sizes.  It's not her best angle, but she's still a nice-looking doll. Click on the picture to see it larger.

"Regal Solstice" Anja was a W Club exclusive from Integrity Toys from 2010.

My love-hate relationship with "Color Therapy" Vanessa

OK, when I first saw this doll, I have to admit I didn't like her.  My main objection was the green eyeshadow, but I wasn't a fan of her super-pale skin color, either, or the fact that her violet eyes actually looked paler than her eyeshadow.  I LOVED her sexy green dress. (Not the dress in the photos. ... She's been re-dressed into an outfit I made, here.)   I still think her original dress was the best thing about her. I also loved her dark red hair color, and I liked that her eyes were violet, even though they were a little light for my taste.  I adored her face sculpt, which was the original Fashion Royalty Vanessa sculpt.

She grew on me.  I ended up seeing some owner photos on Flickr of "Color Therapy," and decided I liked her after all.  (Doncha love how owner pics will change your mind sometimes?)  Although she came out in 2008, a couple of online doll shops still had her for sale for her original price.  I got her.  I figured if I hated her in person, I could still keep the wonderful dress and re-sell the doll nude (maybe). 

Well, she's still with me, so far.  I just saw a photo online of a slightly customized CT. The doll's owner had re-painted her lips a lighter, more natural shade of creamy peach that really toned down her look, and had boil-straightened her hair.  I LOVED the results.  Kudos to the artist.  Maybe I'll end up doing something similar with my Vanessa.  The lighter lip color, in particular was an improvement. 

More later on this one.  It looks like a little bit of customizing is in order.

Mini Lalaloopsy-Palooza!

Yes, I've gotten addicted to these cute, cheap little things.  Most of the dolls in the photos belong to my daughter, but some of them are mine, too.  They are just so dang CUTE.  Some of them don't sit very well, and the original Mini Pillow Featherbed (yes, this is the name of one of the characters) had a problem with her legs falling off.  LOL.  But, by and large, Mini Lalaloopsies are a charming little bunch. 

My daughter -- who is not quite 4 -- was the one who set up all these Loopsies neatly for the photos.  Didn't she do a good job?   I think so.

Beginning this year in 2011, MGA Entertainment has begun putting out "season exclusives."  The pic with the bunny and the witch are the first two, which debuted for Easter and Halloween, obviously.  Squeee!  The little witch came with a black cat, and the bunny came with a yellow chick.  Right now the exclusives are only being sold at Target stores, but I suspect this will change with time.

I'm betting they'll do a Christmas one as well.  (What about Hanukkah?  Don't know.  Doubt it. For that matter, I wonder if they'll do Thanksgiving or New Year's Loopsies?)

That black-haired, odd-eyed one is a custom I did a while ago.  She was originally a Mini Bea.  Now she's apparently one of those button-eyed people from "Coraline."  LOL.