Kingdom Doll Star and Turn on Your Lights

The third in a series of three Kingdom Doll "Angel" dolls, Star, arrived last week and I am very happy with her.

She is super photogenic. Here's a shot taken with my iPhone.

She is wearing her own lingerie and wig. Her necklace had opened which escaped my eye during the picture taking.

Her beautiful silver shoes zip up the back. I have a vague memory of being told these are her 'signature' shoes. They are the same style that Liberty came with and the pink suit from the Liberty event also used this style.

 I never leave my gals dressed in lingerie and Star's first redress was into this beautiful, slinky dress from one of Sandra's conventions. It's a favorite of mine and looks great on many of my girls.
The wonderful, curly wig is a Cheryl Wood creation. You may recognize Tonner's Snow Leopard from his Golden Compass line.

 The whole scene is very jungle-tropical. I really didn't plan it this way. These days most of my studio photos use very simple backdrops and props. I'm too lazy to do elaborate dioramas.  But I do have a bunch of different artificial greens and in this case, I just pinned a few to the huge bulletin board I have in back of my shooting table. There were some empty spaces and I Photoshopped that away. I also used PS to darken the background because I thought it competed too much with the foreground. I kept the focus on the doll's face to draw the viewer's eye there.

I see loads of indoor photos in which there is barely any light on the dolls' faces. So many people with beautiful dolls don't know how to light their photos. I just want to scream, "Turn on the damn lights!" You don't need professional equipment.

There is a false belief that using a flash is anathema. Seriously? Have you ever been to a professional studio? We're not aiming for Annie Leibovitz here; we just want to see your dolls!

As I stated, the top photo on this page (and the shoe shot) were made with my iPhone - using it's built in flash. In many cases, the phone's flash doesn't do what I want it to, but there's a way to make it work. Admittedly, it was daylight in room - actually it's in the bedroom. I opened the shades and the room was pretty bright but I knew I'd need some highlights and the only way to do that was with some direct light. I didn't hold the camera directly aiming at the doll, instead I angled it a little off to one side.

Here's a shot that did not work:

 The angle is all wrong. Her hair is too bright. It's a discard.

The beauty of digital photography is that you can keep going until you are satisfied. You get instant feedback. In my studio, I constantly move the lights and change their power and/or the settings on the camera until I'm happy (or until I'm so tired I can't go on.) You can take multiple shots with your phone as well. But do us all a favor, don't post all of them. Pick out the three best,  then toss two of those.  I look back at the last 15 years of my own doll photography and really should toss 80% of the images but I'm keeping them as a record of what I've had in my collection. Of course there are days when I can't take a decent picture no matter what.


There are websites, books, ezines and loads of information out there. The problem is, you may not even know you need one.

A great all around source of tips and tricks:  http://www.digital-photography-tips.net/


Superdoll "Chinchilla" Dressed Doll

The Valentine Venus this year from Superdoll is a sparkling vision of diamonds and silver.

Here is the description from the website:


Boop - boop - de - boop! BANG!

Venus was all out for her Valentine, and just couldn't resist a little 'Shake in the Box!'

NEW! GENX.2 body!
NEW! Cosmetique skin tone!

Her waist length wig is a delicate blend of silver and grey, tousled for that come and get me look! Eyes of steel gray and blue surrounded by shadow in pinks, greys, white and dark charcoal. Brows of shaded grey accentuated with a stroke of pure reflective silver. Lips the colour of marshmallow rose.
Her all in one 'corselette' is of pale pink satin and bears panels of mirror foil, firstly to grab your attention and secondly to blind you as she stands in the spotlight!
Rose coloured hose, a pair of pink giant powder puffs and a drizzling 'diamond' neck piece are her accents for this gleaming outfit. Grey tulle opera length gloves.
And of course what could be more spectacular than her mirror foil bunny ears and matching slip on stilettos?

Clone: 1000 Venus d'Royce

Of course she comes with the following standard accessories:
-manic_cure hands (see booklet for hand change instructions)
In stock and ready to be delivered
Price: £247.68 (Excluding VAT at 20%)

 She is very pretty but I'm passing. 


First Ever Posable Silkstone Doll "Classic Black Dress"

Today, members of the BCC received invitations to order Classic Black Dress at the retail price of $40—surprisingly inexpensive.  I was able to use my first quarter $20 coupon bringing the total of this gal to only $25.95 including shipping.

This will be interesting.

Here's the description:
Gold Label®
Designer: Robert Best
Release Date: 2/1/2016
The little black dress is a staple in any sophisticated wardrobe. Barbie® doll wears this classic with an air of modern chic, featuring a dramatic deep “V” neckline and feminine bows at the shoulders. Tall boots and a signature ponytail complete the oh-so-fabulous look. For the first time ever, the 2016 BFMC series features a posable Silkstone® body, for endless posing possibilities.

Please note:

  • Fashion designed especially for the Silkstone® Barbie® doll body. Not for use with other Barbie® dolls.

    Production doll may vary from the photo shown above. Mattel reserves the right to modify the fashion/fabrics, sculpt, hair color/style, and accessories. Doll cannot stand alone as shown.
In addition, all in stock Silkstone dolls went on sale. They're practically giving away the Silkstone Ken dolls at just above 50% off the already reduced prices. If the outfit on Blush Beauty didn't look so much like a prior fashion, I would have purchased her last year.

The website actually worked for 10 minutes. And then, when I wanted to do some research into the older Silkies, it took forever to load, then it froze again, loaded, froze again. They still have a lot of work to do.


W Club Registration for 2016

Is this the "moment you've been waiting for" as stated on the web page? I've been a member of the W Club since the beginning and this is the first year I've delayed joining. Registration closes on February 16, 2016.  I'm also not going to buy any of the 'upgrade' dolls - for the first time.

Here are the "perks and privileges" as listed:
If you are looking to get the latest scoop on every brand manufactured by Integrity Toys, search no more, the W Club is THE club to join! W Club members get the best perks in the industry, which makes a W Club membership a tremendous value! Aside from gaining access to the members-only W Club forum and exclusive newsletters, here's a peek at some of the great perks W Club members will get in 2016...

  • Awesome Club Exclusive Dolls!
  • For 2016, every member will have an opportunity (in addition to the upgrade dolls) to pre-order at least 5 exclusive Club-only dolls, including 2 Fashion Royalty dolls (which may include NU. Face), 2 exclusive Poppy Parker dolls, and 1 JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS™ doll*, plus additional surprise items!
  • FREE Digital Subscription to DOLLS and Haute Doll Magazine!
  • DOLLS Magazine is once again generously giving a FREE year-long digital subscription to every 2016 W Club member! This year-long digital magazine subscription is the best way to keep up to date on all of the dolly news!
  • Updated This Year: Our Annual Coupon is Better Than Ever!
  • Each W Club membership that you purchase will automatically add a special $25 coupon to your IT Direct Coupon Wallet that can be used towards ANY IT Direct shopping cart purchase of $99 or more online only during the 2016 W Club year! No more restrictions to W Club exclusive items-- as long as your order is above $99 before shipping and tax, you can apply your coupon towards any order of your choice!*
 As time goes by, the W Club becomes less like the club I joined which was all Fashion Royalty. I don't collect Poppy Parker or Jem. The 2 Fashion Royalty exclusives may be NuFace instead of FR.  But I keep joining because I'm afraid to miss something.

Yes, I still love my 12" dolls. They are a joy to look at. I buy designer clothes for them and they're staying but my passion for the 16" resin BJDs is where the dolly funds go for the most part.

Anyway, here are the three optional dolls that can be purchased along with membership:

Vanessa (3.0) "Take Me On" $130.
At first I was intrigued but she's the wrong Vanessa sculpt for me and I don't see her fashion as being useful or complete. I like the shoes and that's it.

Poppy Parker "Ma Petite Fleur" $120.

 Did someone say Beverly Hillbillies? I guess if you have a record with French songs on it, you're French. Poor Elly Mae Clampett (R.I.P.) She didn't have that.

Imogen "Be Daring" Nu Face  $120.
I like the outfit and the really cute skull jewelry. Looking closely at the fit of the top, I don't care for her boob joint so exposed like that and the fit at the arm seam doesn't look right.

Did you know that there were 2066 members in 2015 according to the member list. If you multiply say, 2055 paying members by $50. that equals $102,750. Take away $25. per member if everyone uses their coupon, you have $51,375. remaining. Of course, there are expenses (salaries, web) of which I have no idea but I'm going to guess that there is other income from the advertising which is a constant.
The entire operation is a brilliant, money-making, marketing tool.
For me, if I'm not going to get something of value that no one outside the club can get, it won't be worth it to continue. However, it is a difficult habit to break.
So the W Club will just be getting my $50. and we'll see if it's worth it. You know I'll let you know.

Did you join? If so, are you adding the extra dolls? 

Photos of the dolls and accessories are the property of Integrity Toys.

Editor's Note:
I've been informed by a friend that the Poppy Parker doll may be inspired by Brigitte Bardot who often wore pink gingham dresses.


My Antonio Realli Fashions for Fashion Royalty

FDQ recently published my interview with dress designer, Antonio Realli of Brazil. Now I can show off the fashions that I showcased in that interview and a few more I've recently added.
My 12" dolls are definitely getting a wonderful fashion infusion.

Adele. Franklin Mint pearls.
 Below left is Elise and on the right, another Elise. Fashion Royalty shoes.

 Below on the left is yet another Elise and on the right is Vanessa. Fashion Royalty shoes.

Elise yet again. Added fur and FR hat.
Natalia. Added Jewelry.

In every case, the seams are finished beautifully. The zippers are set in properly and work smoothly. There's not a stray thread hanging anywhere. Lest I forget, the fit is excellent. All the dolls shown have the FR2 body.

Of all the fashions I show above, the first and the last are my favorites for now. I will certainly be adding more this year.

His Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/toni.ritti.79
Website: http://www.antoniorealli.com/

Jamieshow Mel Odom's "Poised for Success" Zita Charles

After a few days of being trapped enroute due to a major blizzard, Zita finally arrived.

Zita is dressed in a stunning deep royal blue suit with a wide satin collar and cuffs in ivory. She's wearing a white blouse, blue and white pumps and a large dark blue tulle trimmed hat.

Unfortunately, the blouse was a design mistake. It's ill-fitting and looks messy under the jacket. However, I did see this in the promotional photos and I had the choice to buy or not. It's obvious which option I took.

Her face is just so adorable it's irresistible. Look at those lips!

Zita's wig cap is a deep mahogany red with a platinum streak. It's pulled back and turned under at the neck. She has a blue bow in her hair.
My wig cap, which George is going to replace, was rooted into dark brown resin which shows through on the forehead. I want to comb this one out to see how that looks but I suppose I'm going to have to return it. I hope the factory sees this wig cap and is careful not to repeat this.

In which direction should the cuffs have their opening? Away from the body, right? Of course. James would never stand for it.

Better with no shirt but on the revealing side. I've also turned up the hem of the skirt just for fun.

I didn't buy Zita for the fashion. I'm very happy with the doll herself. I'd like to see these Jamieshow Gene line dolls with fashions more like those of Phoenix, Violet and Gene Black Lipstick. I like gowns - well-made ones with some jewelry.