9/04/2015

In-between a Rock and a Hard Place

"The polka dots are completely mismatched around top, middle and bottom of the dress. The dots are misaligned, droop far too low on the left side and it's only accentuated by the black trim."
Browsing a doll forum today I came across the above comment by a very disappointed collector who had received doll dress in a giftset for which he paid $225.
He rightly believes that the dress should have been "impeccably" made for that price. I get the feeling he hasn't been around that long because of this expectation but he is, nevertheless, correct.


The dress in question is seen above.
Royal Treatment VĂ©ronique Perrin™ Dressed Doll Gift Set The Fashion Royalty® Collection 2015 Online Event Exclusive Limited Edition Size: TBA (Edition Size Based on Orders Received) Estimated Ship Date: Approximately Fall 2015

The set came with this dress as well:

Apparently the belt was made too small because many collectors are having difficulty fitting it onto the doll.


All of it:
 Wouldn't it be better to have one high quality item rather than two poor quality items?

Blogger "Desperately Seeking Dolls" states:
"I believe IT missed an opportunity here.  It wouldn't have been a major cost to include another pair of shoes, some hose, better jewelry (including a pin for the coat), and a hat.  That would've tipped the scale.  I believe the Royal Treatment is a lovely doll, but they overcharged for a gift set that wasn't executed well.  It's left a bad taste in the mouths of their loyal collectors."

But that's not the point of this post.

My question is what is a proper return policy? If the manufacturer cannot provide a properly made item, should you get your money back? Can they tell you that all the polka dot dresses are made that way and there are no replacements and no refunds? Should they give you a token credit to use towards a future product?

This was a direct from Integrity Toys item not available through dealers although some dealers have some for sale. The issue a collector could face if this were a dealer product would be that the dealer could get annoyed. We don't want to mess with our dealers, do we? 

So are we between a rock and a hard place or is there another way to demand appropriate quality for money spent?

9/03/2015

From Kingdom Doll: Two Outfits with Accessories

These two adorable, casual outfits will go on sale on Friday, September 4, 2015 at 6PM Britain Time.
That's 1:00 PM here on the East Coast of the US.
The blue "Bobby" comes with sweater, jeans, boots, handbag and water bottle, compact and lipstick replicas. $185. US
The red "The Guard" comes with another cute sweater, denim short skirt, boots, handbag and the same accessories as Bobby. $175. US



I'm going to get Bobby as I will have more use for the jeans than the short skirt. I'd like both pairs of boots but a girl can't have everything.

Link to Kingdom Doll store

9/02/2015

Introducing the Second 2015 W Club Exclusive Doll

Yesterday W Club members received a preview and opportunity to order the second W Club doll.
Her sculpt is that of Vanessa 1.0 which was verified today as yesterday they told us she was 3.0.
Her price is $130 plus s&h. Members can use their $20. coupon only towards the final payment, not the deposit.

She's called "Black-Tie Ball" and the edition number will be equal to the amount of club members ordering her which means it will probably be somewhere over 1,000. There are 1,978 memberships. Not particularly exclusive, but I get it.

Here is the text describing her:
Vanessa Perrin has been invited to be the official Master of Ceremonies of one of Europe's most talked about events and she's absolutely thrilled about it! Ready to be the perfect stage host, Vanessa will surely steal the spotlight from the firmament of stars in attendance!
Vanessa is a 12.5-inch fully articulated vinyl fashion doll with beautiful platinum hair that is gorgeously styled, yet perfect if you wish to create your own looks! Her gown is intricately detailed with elaborate corset detailing and shows just enough leg to drive Vanessa's admirers wild! Complete with shoes, a lovely jewelry set and a doll stand. For adult collectors ages 15 and up.

While I'm a lover of the original Vanessa sculpt, this gal does nothing for me. I do not like her makeup and the dress looks pedestrian and ill-fitting in the bodice and bust area. I do not see "elaborate corset detailing" as they say exists. The horizontal seam looks like it goes right across the fullest part of the bust. Something is off.

These earlier Fashion Royalty items do have elaborate corset detail:


This new dress does not have it.
I detest phony hype from any company. Collectors are not blind. However, many are driven by the collective crowd mentality and the belief that a W Club exclusive is special.


She's pretty and there is nothing special about her which is sad because club members should be offered the best of the best.


I must add that these Integrity Toys photographs are of the prototype and "final production colors and textures may vary slightly."



9/01/2015

Review: "Hot Shot" Nigel North

Nigel North arrived today. He is the second 2015 male doll I ordered this year. The other one was Vice Effect Ollie Lawson. I'm not disappointed with Nigel but he does need some work on his coiffure and the pants have to go.

I'm not a fan of faux velvet on 12" dolls. The fabric is too bulky and just doesn't lay correctly. I think I'd like white pants with this outfit. There is so much color that between the gorgeous jacket and the shirt a neutral or no-color slack would look better. Destroyed jeans would look good, too.

On the topic of faux velvet, I don't like it on any doll because it shows every piece of dust and lint in a photograph.


Nigel's shirt is very form fitting and I was surprised to find that the sleeves are sewn shut at the cuff! I wanted to press the shirt when I pressed the jacket and slacks but I wasn't going to open the stitching when I was just going to redress him right away. I've never come across that on any IT doll. Of course it makes for less bulk but still...


I planned to show him with his jacket closed but it's too tight and the fabric bunches and pulls a bit. The hooks can be moved, of course, to make it fit better. 

In the promo, above, the jacket looks perfectly fitted. His hair is shoulder length. Below is how it arrived...very weird. I'm sure that in order to drop that flipped up part, I'm going to have to dunk it into boiled water. His hair is the biggest disappointment with this doll.



 I love the sculpt. He would look good with straight hair in a pony tail. Looks like I have a little work to do.


I wonder if adding eyelashes, painted or applied, to the guy dolls would improve their somewhat bland faces.

Nigel comes with a little metal SLR that can be attached to his clutching hand with a clear rubberband. His ring has a purple stone and his sunglasses have purple lenses - no surprise there.





The bottom line: Nigel was $120. which is the same price as the rest of the Poppy Parker line. It's rapidly creeping upward.
He's a LE of 600.

Anyone wanna buy a pair of purple velvet pants?


8/29/2015

Review and Comparison: Sybarite Chandelier

This Sybarite arrived faster than the previous 4. She is the last in this series and I decided to debox this one. I have been asked many times about the differences between resin Sybs and the new ones and now I can answer the questions.

Deboxing was not fun. It reminded me of the process we used to have to go through to get an ordinary Barbie out of a box. Chandelier was attached to the back of the box to within an inch of her life. Clear, flexible plastic was pulled taut around her arms, legs, chest and elsewhere. Finally there was a coated wire which could be accessed only by tearing the back of the box open. Her hair was held in place with thread that was stitched to the box on both sides.
Prior Gen X dolls had loose items inside the boxes; this one did not. However, I dislike this packaging immensely. It feels cheap.

Reminder: clicking on the photos will enlarge them.


I like the fashion and all the bits and bobs included in the ensemble. She comes with a tiara, two 'gold' necklaces, a ring, several thin bangles (not shown.) The outfit consists of a t-shirt which is actually a bodysuit, pantyhose, shoes, handbag, skirt, rhinestone buckled belt and a Chanel-like jacket. It's an interesting mix of sophisticated and bling.

The skirt is too large and sits very low on her hips. I would have liked it better if it were shorter.  I order to remove the crown necklace, one has to open a jump ring. The other chunky necklace fits over her head but be careful not to screw up her hair.

The fabric used for the skirt is beautiful. It's like a miniature upholstery material blinged up with the coppery gold points on the hem. The jacket is very nice but be very cautious about the rhinestone settings catching fabrics and causing pulls.


The belt is adorable. It has two purses which can be slid off if desired so the belt can be used as a conventional one...as if a hot pink belt with a rhinestone buckle is anywhere near conventional.

The fingers are all separate and rings work very well. It arrived attached with a rubber band. What I do to secure rings is put some Elmer's glue on a toothpick and touch the back of the ring's band so the glue also touches the finger. It's easily removable when dried and the ring won't fall off on it's own.

Look at that cute pony! While I'm not a huge fan of hot pink faux fur, the bag is adorable.


More:
The color of her vinyl is sallow. She looks a little sick. In the comparison pictures, you can see it accurately. I think the previous 4 vinyls were a better color but I don't have them here to compare and I never deboxed them to take pictures.
The dolls are very close in size but not shape. Gen X has an incredibly high arch. The shape of her breasts are different and possibly larger.
The sculpt has changed somewhat and I think the original is prettier.
Chandelier weighs 18 ounces (1 lb. 2 oz.); my resin girl weighs 21 ounces (1 lb. 5 oz.) I was surprised at Chandelier's weight; I thought she'd be lighter.
The vinyl doll sits well with her knees together.


Superdoll's vinyls come with 4 sets of hands and instructions for changing them. They are like the Fashion Royalty hand-speak hands and Tonner's removable hands but these are hard to remove. The brochure suggests warming in hot water for a short period of time. I could not remove the hands on my own.

My biggest pet peeve is a doll stand that doesn't support the doll. This stand is a piece of crap. The wire saddle is too high to allow the dolls feet to rest on the base. If she were wearing platform shoes, it would be fine but she's not. The funny thing is, the stand is adjustable albeit in the wrong direction.  Poor engineering.


Look closely at the saddle part. There's a raw end of wire ready to snag pantyhose or scratch the body.  Of course I know that I can coat that on my own with something to protect my doll and her clothes but why should I have to?


The parts of the outfit I tried out fit my resin Syb, including the shoes. No, she will not be wearing the crown. 
I want to shorten the skirt!


Bottom line:
The first three Gen X dolls were the nicest ones of all. Superdoll needs to up their packaging and engineering

8/28/2015

tokidoki® Treasure Hunt! Find the Platinum Label® Dolls



Tempting, but I am no match for the thousands of insanely driven Barbie collectors who are also tempted and determined.  Here is the information released by Mattel today:

Your search for the hidden sale page for Platinum Label® tokidoki® Barbie® Doll at The BarbieCollection.com begins 9/1! Here’s what you need to know about the tokidoki Treasure Hunt.
In case you haven’t heard the hot-off-the-presses story, it’s tokidoki’s 10th anniversary! To celebrate the occasion, tokidoki partnered with Barbie® Collector to create not one, but two new dolls. Designer Bill Greening collaborated with the tokidoki team to bring the glamour of Barbie and the wit and whimsy of tokidoki together again on this momentous occasion.

The Black Label® version of the doll will be easy to find, while supplies last – the last tokidoki® Barbie Doll was one of the hottest sellers of 2011 – but the Platinum Label® version will be much harder to find. Some will be mixed in with shipments of the Black Label® doll to select retail outlets, and some will be available in the online shop beginning on 9/1 at 9am PT.
 
Two webpages, somewhere on TheBarbieCollection.com, will have a picture of the tokidoki Cactus Friend that comes with the Platinum Label doll:

When you find the Cactus Friend, click on it to be taken straight to the hidden shop page for the Platinum Label tokidoki Barbie Doll.

What webpages will they be, you might ask? Since it’s a Treasure Hunt, we can give you a hint … one single paragraph in this very news story has the answer to which two webpages will have the Cactus Friend on them! It’ll be smaller than the example you see in this news story, but it will be up high, and not in any of the headers, footers, or sidebars of the site.
Good luck with the Hunt, and don’t forget to pick up the Black Label version of tokidoki Barbie Doll as fast as you can!

Please note: The tokidoki doll sale will be managed by our new “Waiting Room” process, whereby you may be placed in a Waiting Room before you’re sent into the shop.
This process is designed to create a more efficient and stable shopping experience for high-demand items, and is part of the new website platform for TheBarbieCollection.com. Once you’re in the Waiting Room, don’t refresh the page or navigate away from it! Doing so will remove you from the Waiting Room, and you’ll have to re-enter and start the process all over again.
 
Be sure to follow the Waiting Room instructions carefully to ensure your best opportunity to buy the items you want!