Friday, February 27, 2009

Dolls and attitude problems.

I've recently decided to branch out the scope of my narrow collection of 16" Tonner dolls to include some dolls by Integrity as well. They are of a completely different caliper than the dolls I have collected so far, and do not fit in with the scale or theme of my current collection. Upon further thought, I wanted to put into words what attracted me to the Integrity line in the first place, and I believe I can sum up the attraction in a single word: attitude.
Using the Avant Guarde doll Androgyny as my example, I'll explain. This doll won't be released until later this year, and yet they have already sold out everywhere. Let's compare this doll to the original baby doll as she was most likely intended.
Baby doll:
  • Soft, easy to carry
  • baby face
  • used for feeding and nurturing
  • helped to "train" young girls to care for their young and place in society (what?)
  • Nothing soft of this girl--she's even got her soft hair pulled back into an ultra-sleek ponytail
  • Her outfit is a complete power suit--almost masculine cut, except for the deep V, she's playing with gender roles
  • She's not welcoming or warm--her spiked heels and mask covering her face offer a stand-offish stance, and her makeup is almost icy
  • Her storyline: She's a super-thin supermodel who makes money off her looks. (She's super articulated with fingers and toes, even, which make for best posing.)
Some would argue that Androgyny is too thin to be realistic. I don't think she's meant to be realistic--she's a doll, and merely a representation of what we think of as beauty. And I, for one, am thrilled that her creator dares to cross the gender boundary a little bit. I'm only sorry I didn't jump on the boat sooner--before she sold out. 
In the meantime, I'll be happy with the new Integrity models I am adding to diversify my collection. I'm thrilled with the ones on their way--I already found one of the (retired) dolls on Ebay for more than twice what I paid. I'll be sure to post photos as they arrive, as well!

In reference to this blog post, check out the cool Wikipedia entry on Dolls.

Note: I found a copyright notice on Integrity's website about using their photos, permitting only authorized retailers to use their product photos. Therefore, until I get permission to use their product photos, I don't feel like I can post their photos in this blog.  Sorry for the inconvenience!

Sun-Kissed Sophisticate

Sun-Kissed Sophisticate, originally uploaded by tac_stamper.

This is another doll I picked up for a song from Angelic Dreamz, Sun-Kissed Sophisticate. She's a Shauna sculpt with blue eyes and beautiful strawberry blonde hair. She's a limited edition of 500 dolls.

Her dress is a golden yellow taffeta and has a yellow pleated skirt and attached belt (it snaps up the back). She includes fun yellow strappy sandals, a leopard print over-sized tote, and a large rhinestone necklace, but no earrings. She adds a little sunshine to my display.

Check out the rest of my photos in my Flickr gallery.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Abandoned Bride

Abandoned Bride, originally uploaded by tac_stamper.

Another recent addition to my collection is Abandoned Bride. Created in the likeness of actress Keira Knightley, she portrays Elizabeth Swann in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

For my project, I plan to donate her dress to Elizabeth I as her marriage to England (coronation) gown, and transform Keira into the Duchess of Devonshire, one of the most gorgeous movies I have seen in the past year, The Duchess.

Feel free to examine the rest of my photos of this beautiful doll, and wonderful likeness. The dress is truly astounding in detail.

Do gentlemen really prefer blondes?

Sydney Panache shows off her Valentine's attire in a Franklin Mint gown, intended for Marilyn Monroe, from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. While gentlemen may not really prefer blonde, diamonds certainly are this girl's best friend.

I believe the Franklin Mint Marilyn might be slightly bigger than most standard Tonner dolls, but the dress still fits all right. You can see other photos of this doll and gown in my Flickr account.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My new display

My current display of dolls needed revamping, so I took the time to rearrange some of my ladies today. Henry's wives are taking a short vacation, and instead, are being replaced by an assortment of white, gold and pastel pink ladies.

Starting on the left, my newest addition, Mrs. Coulter in Oxford Dinner (a real steal from Angelic Dreamz)--and her daemon monkey--from the Golden Compass. She is a limited edition doll, formerly only available through FAO Schwarz. I'll have to do a photo shoot with my real camera soon (these are iPhone shots), so you can see her great shoes and outfit! Next, the two sister Shaunas, Dreams and Sun-Kissed Sophisticate, Jane (the one wife who refused to go into her box), Sister Dreary dressed in Noel's angel costume, Abandoned Bride, Golden Stella dressed in Court Gown and Sydney as La Belle Mademoiselle.

Next, on my other shelf, I have the pink ladies. Sydney Panache is wearing a Franklin Mint dress (for Marilyn Monroe) from Gentleman Prefer Blondes, I believe (Diamonds are a girl's best friend!). Basic Joan (brunette) is wearing Mad About the Hat. Next is Cynders and Syndey on the Rocks wearing an 80s inspired OOAK outfit by Jen Eugley. Rapunzel is in the case, and is followed by the Snow Queen and Mademoiselle a la Mode Tyler.

That's my current display--I do need to take some individual shots of some of these girls--they've been pestering me for a while. But it sure does brighten my day to have my dolls around me in my everyday life. It just brings a tiny bit of beauty into my living room. And I'm old enough now so that if someone comes over and comments on them, well, that person doesn't to live here anyway!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Integrity Toys new Spring 2009 line...

Check out the latest from Jason Wu and Integrity Toys. (I use Safari as my browser and couldn't get the presentation to work easily, but the site says to use Firefox or Explorer instead. A girl has to have principles!) Click on the presentation button.
I have to say, I'm not currently an Integrity collector, but I just may start this year. I am in love with the limited edition doll listed for sale on the front, Nadja the Illusionist. She is simply gorgeous. I know she's a Fashion Royalty size--12"--so she won't fit in with my current collection, plus I've blown my budget for the month. And then, in this spring line, there is Poppy Parker. Her face is just adorable! I think she'd make a fantastic companion for Tiny Kitty! Love her!

Shipping schedule update from Tonner Doll

Tonner has updated its shipping schedule again, with dates for the following dolls:
  • Winkie Guard - middle of April
  • Minor Conundrum - in stock
  • Gravely Giddy -- end of March
  • Agnes - in stock
  • Alice in Wonderland - in stock
  • Reading to Alice - beginning of April
  • Catwoman™ - end of March
  • Hawkwoman™ - beginning of April
  • Bordeaux - beginning of April (yay for me!)
  • Vivaciously Vintage - end of April
  • Snow White - in stock
  • Someday My Prince Will Come - in stock
  • 22" Belle - in stock
  • 22" Princess Aurora - in stock
  • 22" Cinderella - end of April
  • Don't Look Back - in stock
  • Professor Dumbledore™ - end of March
  • Bellatrix Lestrange™ - end of March
  • In Make-Up - in stock
  • This Side of the Rainbow - in stock
  • Decadent Dalliance - in stock
Unfortunately, still no release dates for any Antoinette™ items!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Dolls in motion

This lovely photo was taken by Mark Freburg, of Mark's Action Figures & Fashion Dolls forum. To see the rest of his awesome photo shoot, you should register on his forum (though you can also visit as a guest, I believe) and check out the rest of his amazing shots.
One of the things I enjoy in doll photography is getting the dolls to look as life-like as possible, and one way to do that is catching them "in motion." This shot is a perfect example. I still am amazed when I look at this shot, wondering how on earth Althea (that is this raven Cinderella's name) is balancing. Some quick photo credits:
  • Model: Althea (former Alice in Wonderland Queen of Spades)
  • Earrings and bracelet: Mark Freburg
  • Dress: Tonner
  • Shoes: Beauty Toys
This is the doll forum I visit most frequently for tips on doll photography (Mark is the owner of the forum, by the way), updates on new releases, where to find specials and good deals (including on Ebay and online stores), and how to fix problems with dolls I have. I have found lots of great advice on this forum. What's great about this place is that it isn't just a message board--you can always go back and refer to the messages months later, refer to photos (lots of great photos!) you've seen, techniques you've read about, and it's even searchable. 

Plus, the people who post there are diverse, fun and friendly. You'll find they are from all over the world, and collect every kind of fashion doll and action figure from Barbie to 1:1 mannequins. You may even find you will broaden your own horizon and collection after visiting. Plus, they make you feel welcome, regardless of your doll collecting habits!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sale at Angelic Dreamz

Tyler Holiday Sale at Angelic Dreamz... blow-out prices on end-of-season dolls.  If you haven't been able to get retired 2008 dolls, this is the time to do it.  (Plus if you order at least $150 worth of product, you even get standard shipping for free.)
  • Sun-Kissed Sophisticate-Shauna sculpt (retail $159.99) sale $99.99
  • Crimson on the Park-Tyler sculpt (retail 169.99) sale $109.99
  • Sterling Kagiso-Kagiso sculpt (retail $159.99) sale $99.99
  • Velvet Vixen Charlotte (retail $164.99) sale $99.99
  • Penny Lane-Ava sculpt (retail $159.99) sale $69.99
  • Cold As Ice-Kit sculpt (retail $159.99) sale $79.99
  • White Hot Ava (retail $139.99) sale $85.99
  • Bryant Park Tyler (retail $139.99) sale $89.99
  • Jeremy Voss (retail $139.99) sale $85.99
  • Gilt Glamour-Stella sculpt (retail $174.99) sale $105.99
  • Kir Royale-Carrie sculpt (retail $159.99) sale $99.99
  • Regina Returns (retail $189.99) sale $114.99
  • Martini Minx Jac (retail $159.99) sale $99.99
  • Great Strides Sydney Chase (retail $139.99) sale $79.99
Plus, check out the Golden Compass dolls on sale at almost 50% off retail:
  • Lyra Silvertongye with Pan (retail $224.99) sale $134.99
  • Bolvangar Chill Mrs. Coulter (retail $224.99) sale $134.99
  • Lyra at Oxford (retail $119.99) sale $71.99
  • London Restaurant Dinner Mrs. Coulter (retail $159.99) sale $95.99
  • Oxford Dinner Mrs. Coulter (retail $275.00) sale $89.99
BJD Shauna and Tyler and other exclusives also on sale!
  • BJD Shauna on sale for $395 (retail is $550--I'm so tempted!)
  • BJD Tyler on sale for $395 (retail $550)
  • Aurora Angel (Shauna sculpt) on sale $89.95 (retail $225)
  • Ultra Basic Shauna (Platinum or Auburn) on sale $39.99 (retail $59.99)
Lots of outfits are also on sale that I haven't listed here.  Check them out!

Deluxe Tyler Wentworth® Signature Style Giftset...

Someone at Tonner Doll Company must have my collection demographics on hand, because this set was designed for me! The doll is a limited edition original brown-eyed Tyler 1.0 sculpt (now retired) sporting a raven bobbed (most likely wigged) hairdo. The gift set includes three outfits:
  1. a two-piece lingerie set
  2. a two-piece black and white classic suit with matching handbag (check out her shoes!)
  3. a white charmeuse gown with black empire wasit
This limited edition of 250 also includes accessories (pantyhose, earrings, necklace and display stand). It retails for $299, but you can pre-order this set for just $255 from Dreamcastle Dolls. Shipping date is to be determined.
Photo courtesy Tonner Doll Company.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Even more lovely than I expected!

Anotinette™ is now available for preorder from your local dealer! Her fabulous collection is also available on Tonner's website for your perusal. Basic dolls retail for $89.99 and are limited editions of 1000, and include satin bras, panties, gold sandals with clear resin heels and display stands. They come in four skin tones: 
  1. Cameo is blonde with gray eyes.
  2. Bloom has strawberry blonde hair and amber eyes.
  3. Honey is brunette with aqua eyes.
  4. Spice has a dark auburn hair and dark brown eyes.
The dressed dolls are a rich collection of seven gorgeous dolls (retail price is listed--keep in mind most local details will offer lower prices with preorders):
  1. Idyllic - LE500 $199.99 - Platinum updo with umber eyes, catwalk faceup and dark red lips. Include black feathered headpiece and black lace neck wrap. Dress is white mesh rose couture pattern--absolutely stunning.  This doll will be in my collection!
  2. Hypnotic - LE250 $249.99 - Redhaired bob with hazel eyes, silver soft makeup and red lips. Flapper-inspired silver lamé beaded evening gown with black gloves and feathered headpiece.
  3. Symphonic - LE500 $224.99 - Brunette updo with smokey blue eyes and red lips. Spanish influenced red tiered evening gown with layers of black tulle and black lace wrap with beaded detail. Gathered headpiece with veil.
  4. Obsessed - LE400 $189.99 - Honey blonde Gibson curls in partial updo with floral headpiece with veil. Ultra-soft makeup with blue eyes and pale lips. Voluminous gold and blue brocade bubble gown with cape. Pearls complete this ensemble. (This doll will find her way to my house as well!)
  5. Dramatic - LE400 $224.99 - Pale blonde with blue eyes and shimmering pale makeup. Black sequined gown with sash and tiny sparkling buckle. Feathered opera gloves and matching headpiece finish this look.
  6. Sensual - LE400 $199.99 - Raven haired blue-eyed beauty in pale makeup.  Empire waist pale pink chiffon evening gown with shirred ruffles at the bottom. Black armbands, rhinestone brooch and ruffled headpiece complete the look.
  7. Emphatic - LE250 $224.99 - Raven hair tied with over-sized bow, brown eyes. Stretch velvet black gown with iridescent green taffeta straps that make a bustled train make this dress truly haute couture. Contrasting armbands, oversized earrings and bracelet also included.
Nine outfits are also available for Antoinette™ to wear as well:
  1. Enlightened - LE500 $99.99 - Blue sweater dress with boots and tights
  2. Optimistic - LE500 $89.99 - Hooded fuchsia sweater dress with faux leather corset and tights and boots
  3. Serene - LE500 $79.99 - Chartreuse bodysuit and velvet pants with quilted cropped jacket
  4. Influential - LE500 $99.99 - Black bodysuit and sequined cocktail dress with tights
  5. Frivolous - LE500 $89.99 - Pink tiered strapless cocktail dress with grosgrain ribbon rose trim (another one of my must-haves)
  6. Sinuous - LE500 $99.99 - A stunning royal blue draped cocktail dress with matching hat
  7. Brilliant - LE500 $99.99 - Gold cocktail dress with tiered lamé skirt and lace top
  8. Posh - LE500 $109.99 - Historically inspired tailored suit in burgundy with puffy sleeves and pleated tiered skirt with gold trim.
  9. Prim - LE500 $99.99 - Strapless magenta sheath dress with cape with purple lining and gloves.
In addition to all these goodies, shoe sets are available for $29.99 and boots for $24.99.  Then, you can also order blank Antoinette™ mannequins with rooted saran hair and unpainted faces for just $49.99 retail. They will sure to be a repainter's dream! They are available in the following combinations:
  1. Bloom skintone with blonde hair
  2. Cameo skintone with raven hair
  3. Honey skintone with bright pink hair
  4. Spice skintone with red hair

More new items from Tonner Direct...

Several more new releases are shipping now from Tonner Direct--and from your local dealers as well. (Often, local dealers have better prices!)

  • Basic Dorothy - $89.99 LE 1000, 15" tall, with the new teen body (she can't share clothes with Tyler-sized dolls
  • Dorothy Gale - $139.99 Open edition, 15" tall, also with the new teen body (this doll was previously available through FAO Schwarz)
  • Emerald City Princess Outfit - $79.99 LE 300, fits 15" teen body only
  • Munkinland Reception Outfit - $79.99 LE 300, fits 15" teen body only
  • Snow White - $174.99 LE 1000, 15" tall, also with the new teen body (why not order an extra outfit for her--I think Emerald City Princess would be stunning on her!)
  • Princess Aurora - $349.99 LE 100, 22" tall. This is an American Model doll. A great reason to shop from a local dealer--Dreamcastle has this doll available for just $298.00.
  • Don't Look Back Scarlett - $239.99 LE 250, 16" tall, from the Gone with the Wind collection.
  • My Mother's Portieres - $239.99 LE 500, 16" tall, Scarlett sculpt from the Gone with the Wind collection.
  • Heartthrob Tess - $189.99 LE 200, 16" tall from the Dick Tracy collection.
  • In Make-Up - $79.99 LE 500, 16" tall Joan Crawford sculpt. Another terrific basic Joan doll.
  • Serafina Pekkala - $179.99 LE 1000, 16" tall from The Golden Compass collection. An incredible likeness - I can't wait to see real life photos!
  • Minor Conundrum - $159.99 LE 300, 12" tall Agnes Dreary. She can share clothes with Marley.
  • Odd One Out - $124.99 LE 300, 12" tall Viktor Dreary.
  • Turning Heads Poolside - $99.99 Open edition (blonde, redhead, brunette) DeeAnna Denton basic.
Photos courtesy Tonner Doll Company.

Antoinette™ goes live at 1 PM EST today!

According to a promotional email from Tonner Doll Company, the complete Antoinette™ 16" fashion doll collection will go live today at 1 PM EST (10 AM PST) on Tonner's website. According to my dealer, she should be available for preorder then as well.

Just a brief update on Antoinette--she is a brand new sculpt and body style from Tonner, introduced at IDEX. From the photos I have seen, she takes on a new look based on her four different skin tones and face-ups. Her clothing is absolutely to die for--and a much-needed update from Tonner, including lots of couture-style modern runway styles.

According to the latest promotion email, she will also be offered as a blank mannequin (a Tonner first!) to emphasize the fantastic clothing line. This, of course, will be a repainter's dream. Collectors are encouraged to send feedback on his newest creation to

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

New exclusives from Tonner Direct

Tonner Direct is offering some new exclusive doll from the 2009 collection on its website now (use the promo code 09FREE through February 14, 2009 to get free shipping on your order):
  • Wonderland Costume Ball Queen of Hearts (Shauna sculpt) is a limited edition of 200. She is dressed in a gorgeous couture pink cocktail dress with a wide organza collar, and includes pink fingerless gloves, pink mules and a marabou crown. She'd look great with a collection of ReImagination dolls! Retail: $159.99
  • Traveling with Mother to Savannah (Scarlett sculpt) is a limited edition of 100 and retails for $224.99. This Gone With the Wind collection doll is one of the "lost collection" outfits that Robert Tonner was given permission to reproduce--it never appeared in the movie, but was designed for the film.
  • Ultra Basic™ Matt O'Neill™ is a limited edition of 300, retails at just $54.99, and is only available at Tonner Direct. This doll features long, rooted raven hair tied in a pony tail, and he comes dressed in black trunks. (No stand or shoes are included with UB dolls.)
  • Green Lantern™ Hal Jordan™ is the newest DC Comics character, limited edition 1000 available from Tonner Direct.  He retails for $169.99. You can actually see a close-up of his face (without the mask) on Tonner's website here. In my opinion, he's got a mighty fine face sculpt--I'm just not sure what I'd do with his sculpted fists. Also, he features a new point of articulation--a forward/backward ribcage joint.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

New Tonner shipping schedule is posted.

Finally, the 2009 shipping schedule has been released, and is up on Tonner's website. Not all items have a firm shipping date, yet--for example, the Tyler Wentworth giftset, which I am anxious to see.
I have heard from my favorite dealer--Dreamcastle Dolls--that Tonner Doll will be delaying the release of the Antoinette doll shipping dates till the production of these lovelies has been finalized. Dealers are not allowed to take preorders till the dolls are posted on Tonner's website.

Just a quick plug for Dreamcastle:  Carol is my favorite for her excellent prices and personalized service: she returns emails immediately. Once, when I was looking for a retired item, she let me know she found it from another dealer when she didn't have in stock.  Her shipping isreasonable and fast, too (same day, most times, if the item is in stock). I highly recommend her shop!

The making of Barbie...

My husband forwarded me this link this morning. It's an interesting snapshot of the history of Barbie, from a designer's perspective. For doll collectors of any kind, this could be an interesting site. I enjoyed it!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Tonner's new fashion doll Antoinette

No official promotional photos yet, but repaint artist Laurie Leigh has some terrific photos posted on her website. Check them out--and check out her amazing work while you're there as well. (She does absolutely amazing repaints of Tonner dolls and is currently working on Antoinette!)

Also, if you can't get enough photos, check out the photos by Facets by Marcia. Marcia makes the best rhinestone shoes and jewelry for dolls ever, though she has been ill and there has been a shipping delay until lately. I may need to add Idyllic to my collection of dolls. She is gorgeous!

Antoinette is a 16" tall fashion doll with a brand new, slim busted body sculpt, similar to the Geisha/Sister Dreary size, as you can see in George's (from Angelic Dreamz) photos. She has articulated wrists and elbows, similar to Tyler, but her hip joints are different, allowing her to cross her legs and arch her back. Her neck is also significantly slimmer than Tyler's.

Basic dolls will retail at $89.99 (in editions of 1000 per skin tone) and dressed dolls will run for $189-249 (in editions of 250 to 400). They should be available for purchase soon, and should start shipping in May or June.

Some other news about this doll: Robert Tonner said they would be adapting some of the current sculpts to fit the smaller neck, so we might be able to see some familiar faces on the new body style. The first wave of dolls won't be available till May or June, so the other sculpts won't be available till at least middle of the year. 


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