Friday, August 26, 2016


Ah, #13. We're getting nearer and nearer to the end of these. I think there are 19.

#13: Dolls and Seasons

1. First of all: What are the seasons like where you live? (hot, dry, rainy, humid, cold, freezing, etc)

I live in the Panhandle of Florida, so it's pretty temperate all year round. No snow, thank the gods. I lived in Buffalo for many years, so I know plenty about winter.

2. Many toy companies and doll-parts companies have darker skin as well as lighter skintones. Do you consider these dolls to be tanned, or just having a darker complexion, or something else?

It depends on the doll. Obviously, certain characters are not just tanned white people. I think a lot of dolls are open to interpretation. There are many that have a very clear race or ethnicity, but others can fit various ones and if there's no character development that provides a backstory, the doll is open to interpretation.

3. For people who buy dolls: Do you have any seasonal dolls? (e.g. Beach-themed dolls, winter sports-themed dolls) For people who customize their own dolls: Have you ever made a doll themed to a certain holiday or season?

Of course. Being from a very snowy place, I don't care for winter dolls, but of course I have several. I think Frosta from She-Ra would have been my first icy girl and EAH's Crystal Winter is my most recent. These aren't something I seek out though, so I really don't have many. Beach ones I'm not that interested in either, but there are some great swimsuit dolls out there.

4. Have you ever made season-themed photos or photostories for your dolls? (e.g., a beach story in the summer, winter holidays story in the winter)

I'm sure I did at some point. I know I took beach doll photos on vacation a few times.

5. For those of you who sew for your dolls: Do you sew/knit outfits so that they'll be ready for [insert name of season or holiday]? Or do you wait until the season inspires you? For those who buy outfits for your dolls: Do you have any feelings (positive or negative) towards winter-themed dolls and clothes showing up in August, or summer-themed dolls/clothes showing up in winter?

I don't care which dolls show up when. Different seasons occur at different times of the year around the world. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

OVERVIEW: Winx Club Part 2 Witty, Jakks and Beyond

Witty Toys Concert Flora
Okay, a quick note. When the new Season 4 dolls first came out, we called them the Simba dolls, but they're actually all Witty Toys dolls. Simba apparently is a distributor. Something like that. I just looked it up and read it from a source I think is reliable, so we're just gonna go with it. Call 'em what you want. I'll be referring to the entire line as Witty, even though initially, I knew them as Simba.


When Winx returned to the air with Season 4, neither Mattel nor Giochi Preziosi were doing the dolls. Mattel had that one random concert line, but I'm not sure if that had anything to do with Season 4 at all. Witty was the new name in Winx dolls and for awhile, they were the only company putting any on the shelves.

Mattel, Giochi 10", Witty, Giochi 13"

I was pretty excited about the Witty dolls, because their faces looked absolutely beautiful and the clothes! I really wanted the Concert line, because I love dark colors and the Winx were finally wearing them.

I got Concert Flora, Musa and Tecna on May 21, 2009. And it was love. The makeup detailing on the early Witty faces is beyond anything any other company has ever done. Period. The end. Stella, Bloom and Aisha followed on June 10th.

Witty's Believix line

I don't remember the details of release order but it wasn't until September that I got my first Witty Believix doll. I LOVE Believix. I like the transformations that are pretty, but also functional. Harmonix is terrible because no one could swim in those ridiculous outfits. Enchantix was too skimpy. One of their Enchantix spells must have been "keep top from falling off." But the original outfits and Believix? Those looked like outfits these girls could battle and fly comfortably in. (And Bloomix is the ultimate, but we'll get to that.)

I cleared a big space on my wall to do my first ever flying Winx display. Believix Flora was my first. I had to import all the dolls, so deciding who to buy often came down to which ones had the best deal. But Flora was my favorite during Season 4, so she got to be first. Aisha came next in November, followed a few days later by Stella and Musa. Bloom came a couple weeks after that, with Tecna a couple days later, and Roxy just a few days after Tecna. I love the Witty Believix dolls. Their wings may be flimsy, but they are perfectly beautiful and the best Witty line.

Witty City Roxy
I had gotten City Roxy with Believix Flora. I love Roxy's signature look, but I was disappointed they didn't get her hair right and her expression was a little off compared to the other girls. Believix Roxy has a prettier face.

In 2011, I got into Pop Pixie a little bit and the Believix figures, then we started seeing pictures for the Jakks Pacific dolls. Yes, Winx was coming back to American toy stores! Very exciting.

But I'm going to ignore chronological order and finish talking about my Witty collection before moving on.

I got a deal on City Musa on ebay and she was with me for awhile before being sold. Then I got into my second fave early Witty line: Hallowinx.

Witty Hallowinx 

Semi-gothed out Winx dolls? You know I was down for that! I got Musa in May 2012, and Bloom, Stella and Flora in early June. I wish the other girls had gotten their looks made into dolls.

After that, I was pretty obsessed with Jakks for awhile. I wouldn't get a new Witty doll until I won a friend's Tumblr giveaway in July 2013. I received a Charmix Flora and remembered how beautiful these dolls were. So I started picking them up again, mostly from an Asian seller (I can't remember the exact location) that had great deals. In October 2013, I got Lovix Tecna and Musa and Season 5 casual Tecna and Musa. Then nothing until October 2014 when I got a City Tecna. I always regretting missing out on her way back when I got City Musa.

Witty Season 6 Trix
Eventually, Witty dolls turned into weird hybrids of Jakks dolls and their own. They got more stable wings like Jakks and the heads were Jakks, but elements of the bodies were still Witty. The days of the beautifully detailed makeup were over.

But Witty did whip out one final awesome collection: THE TRIX. Yeah, the hair isn't quite right and the makeup isn't as bold as it should be, but still. It's THE TRIX. And they're my favorites. These three hold a permanent display spot on my coffee table where I see them every day.

Pop Pixie Tune and Cherie
Let's jump back to 2011. We didn't get Pop Pixie when it came out. (Did we ever get Pop Pixie? I'm not even sure.) But I did like the design of some of the dolls. I got Cherie, who I loved, pretty early on in March. I didn't get anything else until December 2011, when I got the Cherie plush toy. I wish I'd gotten more plush! A year after Cherie, I got Tune, Pam and Caramel in March 2012. I picked up some mini figures a couple years ago, but that's been the extent of my Pop Pixie collecting.

Pop Pixie plush Cherie

Speaking of 2011, the big news was that Winx was coming back to America. FINALLY. Jakks Pacific won the rights to produce the dolls and in September, we got a tiny peek at some sketches and a prototype Bloom in a Youtube video.

It wasn't until February 2012, at Toy Fair natch, that we finally got to see the dolls. The initial lines were Believix, Casual and Concert, all three featuring all six Winx girls. A basic line of Bloom, Stella and Flora was also there, as well as plush toys of the seven Love and Pet characters. Sadly, only 3 of the pets were ever made: Bloom's Kiko, Flora's cat Coco and Aisha's bunny Milly. I'm still irritated that I don't have a plush of Musa's bear. He was my fave.

Jakks Love and Pet plush shown at Toy Fair
In June, we got our first Winx dolls on the shelves! And that's when we all discovered just how poor the decision-making is at Jakks. Their idea of a case assortment is THREE Blooms, 1 Stella, 1 Flora and Tecna OR Musa OR Aisha. You can imagine how frustrating it was in those early days when the ones you wanted most were Tecna and Musa.

Jakks Pacific Belivix Tecna

The Jakks bodies were pretty cool and the outfits, while not really trying to be show accurate, were nice. Though I still don't get why it was so hard to make appropriate footwear. You're making new molds anyway, right? Just do the shoes based on the show. Yeesh. The deluxe dolls had a good bit of articulation, while the basic lines had less. My biggest issue, aside from finding the right characters at my stores, was the hair. Poor Flora especially had bad hair. Bloom and Aisha didn't fare well either.

Eventually, I ended up with Believix Tecna, Flora, Musa and Aisha. Then I picked up all the Concert girls except Flora. (I am very devoted to my Witty Concert Flora.)

Jakks Sky and SDCC exclusive Blue Believix Bloom
I was a bit surprised to learn that we'd be getting a Winx exclusive from San Diego Comic Con. It was a neat Blue Believix Bloom and she was also available on Her pearly skin, extra makeup and the black touches on the outfit made her a must have for me.

Oh, and on top of having to struggle to find the right characters in the regular doll lines, Jakks also put out action figures. Now I'd been wanting Winx action figures for years, because it's an action show and they'd be perfect. Well, the Jakks ones were really well-made, but tracking them all down was practically impossible. It took me ages to get all six Concert girls and all six Believix girls. The casual outfit dolls were also a problem. I had to have help getting Casual Musa! I just could not find her.

Jakks Target exclusive Icy
In August, Target got an exclusive multi-pack with 4 dolls. Bloom, Stella and Flora were in their Enchantix outfits. Talk about a throwback! But the most exciting thing was that the fourth doll was none other than ICY in her witch outfit. She is stunningly gorgeous and one of my favorite Jakks dolls. Jakks put out a bazillion exclusives. Most of them were just Blooms, but one two-pack did have Sky, so that was nice.

The character left out though? The most obvious one who should have been included: ROXY. Jakks started putting out these dolls for Season 4 and she never got one.

We got to see promos of the Harmonix dolls in November and that's when the cuts started to happen. Now I dislike Harmonix. As I mentioned above, it's one of my least favorite transformations. Actually, it is probably my very least favorite. It just makes no sense. But did I want Harmonix Musa and Tecna dolls? YES. And guess who got cut from the line. Yeah. Those two. They weren't even in the action figure line. However, someone more exciting was.

Jakks Trix action figures
THE TRIX. Oh, YES. These were also a pain to hunt down. I ordered Darcy and Stormy from, got my two Darcys (one to keep boxed that didn't end up staying boxed because I wanted her to do her replicating thing in a photo) and Stormy got cancelled on me, while other people got theirs. I was mad. But I just ordered her and Icy on ebay anyway.

The basic line that came out this toy season was Bloom, Stella, Flora and Aisha in some pretty outfits. I got all four, but they were harder to find and I ended up selling Bloom and Flora. I still have Stella and Aisha, because they were the best ones.

Jakks Sirenix and Dark Sirenix
In July 2013, I spotted the Sirenix dolls on Taobao. I was excited because Musa and Tecna were back. But I also spotted something else that blew my mind. Jakks...MADE DARCY AND STORMY. Yes, Icy, too, but Jakks would become only the second company (at the time, as Witty's came much later) to produce dolls of these two characters. My first and second favorite characters, mind you. They turned their cool tentacles into lame butterfly wings, but still. I ordered Darcy and Stormy from Taobao and waited impatiently for Icy to show up at Toys R Us. Then it took until October to complete my Winx Sirenix set.
Jakks Bloomix Bloom
When we got our first look at Bloomix from Season 6, I fell in love. Bloomix outfits were like the love children of superhero costumes and fairy fashion. They were perfect. So of course, I was worried about getting dolls. I thought Jakks might be done, because we'd seen at least one basic doll series go by unmade. Thankfully though, Bloomix made it to shelves! And they were finally in a proper case, so I was able to buy all six at once. Bloomix is mt favorite line by Jakks, aside from anything involving the Trix. The Bloomix outfits are very complex, so I didn't expect true accuracy, but aside from the repeat headbands and armbands, they didn't do half bad.

The Bloomix dolls would be the final Jakks items I bought.

I do however still collect Winx and my collection keeps moving forward when it can.

Recent collection pic of Giochi and Witty
In 2013, I started picking up "fixer upper" Giochi dolls off ebay. These may not be perfect, mostly in the hair department, but the price is right! I got the first season dance outfit Musa and Tecna. Then I got into the Enchantix dolls again. I still had my original Aisha and Stella, but I got a great deal on boxed Flora and Tecna, so I got them all up on the wall in a flying display.

In early 2014, I got Millennium Ball Musa as a fixer-upper. I used to have Millennium Bloom and Stella, but sold them and always missed them, so I gradually collected this line back in fixer-upper condition. Musa came first, followed by Tecna sometime in 2014 I think, Aisha in December 2015, and Flora and Stella in April and May 2016 respectively. My Tecna is actually my old Birthday Ball Tecna doll wearing the Millennium outfit. I wanted her to have the shorter hair with that dress, and the Millennium doll wearing the Birthday Ball outfit has a new home.
Giochi Millennium Ball dolls. Just need Bloom!

Along with Millennium Musa in January 2014, I picked up Nesia, the pink-haired mermaid. In August 2015, I got her friends Tala and Talassia, followed by a new in box Amarea in December. The mermaids are my most wanted Winx items right now. I'd love to have Coralia and Kalia to complete my set, and someday I hope to upgrade Nesia and Tala with boxed dolls. (Talassia's actually in great condition except for her missing wings.)

Giochi Tala, Nesia and Talassia

In January 2014, I actually got my first Mattel doll in many years! I picked up Biker Flora from Europe. Now Biker Stella is pretty much my only Mattel want.

Later in 2014, I got five of the six bobblehead Love and Pet toys. I'm missing only Coco, Flora's cat. Maybe someday!

Giochi Amarea

In February of this year, I discovered a 13" Giochi line I never knew existed. It was the outfits from the Grounded episode! I love that Flora outfit and even in the different colors, I really loved it. So I bought her from a helpful seller in Italy, and also picked up a fixer-upper lot of Winx for Grounded Musa.

Giochi Grounded Musa and Flora

So mostly these days, I'm looking for Giochi items. Mermaids Kalia and Coralia. My precious Eveningwear 2 Tecna and Bloom. Millennium Ball Bloom. I'd love that Stella in the neon orange ruffled top like the Mattel Shopping Stella wears. I still need Enchantix Musa to finish my wall. (She's there, but I refuse to overpay for Enchantix dolls.) I've never seen Grounded Stella, but I'd probably want her. Mattel-wise, I just want Racer Stella, who's annoyingly hard to find. I wouldn't say no to Rainwear Musa or any of the Concert dolls, but the likelihood of that is pretty nil. I might pick up some Giochi pixies. The older ones, not Pop Pixie. And I do need that bobblehead Coco kitty! Oh, and I'd love the Witty ice-skating Roxy. I always meant to get her and didn't. Or really any other Roxy dolls except the super basic ones. One of my most wanted items is also kinda random.

Stella and Bloom keychains
I've had these big figural keychains for many years, but I've never gotten Flora. I don't know if Muss and Tecna even exist, but I know Flora does. I saw her once in a ridiculously-priced auction. (Think $200 or more.) I'd love to have her, but like most Winx things, I figure it will never happen.

And that wraps up Winx Club!

PHOTO CREDITS: All mine except the Love and Pet plush image, which I took as a screenshot from a Time to Play video.

Saturday, August 20, 2016


A little late this time! Oh, well. I had a busy day.

#12: Does Size Matter?

1. Do you have a favorite doll size or body type? (e.g. American Girl, SD, SD13, MSD, Barbie, Blythe, Pullip, Licca) What do you like about it?

Nope! I'm a firm believer in variety, so I have dolls in all sizes with many body types. I don't have a particular favorite.

2. Do you prefer your dolls to be roughly the same size and body shape, or do you prefer different heights, shapes, etc? Why or why not?

Different. We just covered that. I have so much stuff that I like variety. I don't like to drop money on the same thing over and over.

3. For those with male and female dolls: Do you prefer your guys to be taller than your ladies, or does it not matter?
-For those with male dolls only: Do you like your dolls to be the same height, or would you like to give them variety (e.g. Volks FCS long-leg parts, etc.)
-For those with female dolls only: Do you have a lot of variety in your doll's body types, or do you find that you tend to gravitate towards one particular type?

Height doesn't matter. It doesn't matter in real life, so why should it with dolls?

4. Do you find it easier to shop for/sew for any particular doll more than others?

This is sadly outdated. Heh. I did so much more clothes-buying many years ago. I rarely do it now, but I think it's easier than ever. It takes a very specific, usually import, body to be hard to shop for. Like my Jossie doll still has no shoes because I don't have $20 to spend on importing doll shoes.

5. Is there such a thing as a doll that's *too* big or *too* small?


Friday, August 19, 2016

OVERVIEW: Bleeding Edge Goths

Series 4 Hypnotica Gaze and Fiona Fatale variants
Bleeding Edge Goths, or BEGoths as many call them, are a line that I don't have a good enough record of to go chronologically with my purchases. Instead, I'm going to talk about them by series and mention who I own and used to own from each one.

I remember first seeing BEGoths in Spencer's when Series 1 came out. I thought they were over the top and rather ugly, so I never bought any. I did get the Morbida figure though. She's very cute.

I don't remember seeing anything about Series 2. Series 3 was when they came back onto my radar, because someone was talking about or perhaps owned Divinity. I thought Divinity was really pretty, but I think it was pretty close to Series 4 then and I learned about the pair that would eventually be my first two: Fiona Fatale and Hypnotica Gaze. You see, one of the things I didn't like was the constant mismatched eyes with ridiculous contacts. While both Fiona and Hypnotica have the contacts, Fiona's match and Hypnotica's came close enough for my liking. I ended up buying the variants for each. The regular Hypnotica is red, not purple, and regular Fiona has a white skirt, not purple. When they arrived, it was love and many others soon followed.

Both Divinitys, Red Riding Storm, 1st Storm and Pandora
To the right is my only photo of a first edition doll that I have on hand. My collection is packed on a shelf and I'm too lazy to dig them all out. I can't load this piece with pics either, because I have a lot of photos to include as it is! But it is funny that Storm, who I actually did pick up when she first came out and I thought she was kinda cute but then ultimately passed, is from the first series, but was my last BEGoth.

Series 1 consisted of Storm and Raven, who were the two more normal-looking ones; Lillian, who looks sort of like a goth superhero; Malice, whose makeup is pretty over the top; and Sinstress, who has solid black eyes. There were a few variants, red bangs for Malice and I think different colored outfits for Lillian. Maybe a Sinstress, too? It's impossible for me to remember all the variants. There were also four 6" solid vinyl figures: Morbida, Belladonna, and two boys, Dagger and Wormwood. As mentioned, I do own Storm now, but I actually own the whole series. I bought Raven fairly early on, but Lillian, Malice and Sinstress were much later additions, then came Storm just a couple years ago. I still have the Morbida figure and used to have her red variant.

Series 2 Abcynthia Chaser
When Series 2 came out, I got two of the vinyls again: Trinity Tortura and Hysteria Venom. I still have those. Dru Id was the final boy to ever be seen in the line and Ophelia Pain rounded out the vinyl line this time. The five dolls were Abcynthia Chaser, Angelina Blasphemina, Victoria Creeper, Suzisin Ful, and "Casual" Storm. Storm would put in an appearance in every line but one.

As my collection grew after Fiona and Hypnotica arrived, Abcynthia was my only Series 2 must have. I do have the red Suzisin Ful variant now and she's pretty awesome, and I did have Angelina, but I ended up selling her years ago. I never got Casual Storm, though she was pretty cute, and never got Victoria, who I really like except for her horrible bloodshot eyes and I just can't get past those. Not even for the pink-haired variant.

I believe it was around here that Lolita Sun, the pink-haired exclusive, came out and she's part of my collection.

Series 3 Divinity burgundy variant
Series 3 came with some changes. The first two series had very simple, Barbie-type bodies. With Series 3, the girls got a new body. They got bigger breasts and more definition on the torso. You can see the difference between Abcynthia above and Divinity to the right. Just look at the collarbones (or where Divinity has that and Abcynthia does not). There was always a waist joint, but the movement increased with the new body. This unfortunately would pose a problem as time passed, because the plastic there became brittle and pieces would break off. They also got molded and painted black panties with the new body, where there was nothing before. While the design of the new body was improved, time would not be kind to either Series 3 or Series 4. I don't know what the problem was, but these are the two bad series. I mentioned the waist joint issue. That's mainly a Series 3 thing. None of my Series 4s have had broken waist pieces. However, both series have the most obviously problem in the entire line: yellowing heads. Material oozes from the vinyl and makes the entire head appear yellowish. You can see it on Divinity here and if you look up to the group photo, you can see how yellow her head is compared to Red Riding Storm beside her. Thankfully, there is a way to work with this, which I will go over at the end of this article.

Series 4 Evening Storm
Well, that was a wall of text! Heh. The problems with these two series are sad, because they produced some of my favorite dolls of the line.

Series 3 was Divinity, both the black dress regular and burgundy variant; Julia Doom, who's main look was lime green, but she also had a hot pink variant; Scorpio Vixen, who was very popular both in regular red and variant violet; Serpentina Maria Sangria, who had dress color variants; and Back to School Storm, now with white hair. The four figures were Eva Destruction, Nurse Hypochondrianna, Veronika Despair and Autumn von Sanguine. I got the Autumn figure before getting into the dolls. Never got the other three. But after I started buying the dolls, I got both versions of Divinity, green Julia Doom, red Scorpio, and Back to School Storm. Serpentina would come years later and she one of my only ones that's been redressed. I still have everyone except Scorpio. She never lived up to the hype for me.

Series 5 Esperanza de Muerte

Series 4 was my precious beginning. As I said, I got Fiona Fatale and Hypnotica Gaze, both the purple variants. Evening Storm came next and she's still my favorite Storm. She's just so elegant! Devastatia and Infinity A Byss round out the doll line. I have the black dress Devastatia variant and the variant Infinity with dark green hair. I'm a sucker for green hair. The four figures were Angelica Noir, Cyberella D Nile, Lunabella Whispers, and Malice Looming in Wonderland. Yes, Malice the doll from the first line got a figure! I had all four but sold them all, even the Egyptian one and beautiful Angela. I should rebuy those two.

Series 5 was the first set I bought in entirety right off the bat. Esperanza was my favorite then and she still is my favorite now. She doesn't have the matching eyes I like, but she's just exquisitely beautiful. Thankfully, whatever was wrong with the plastics was fixed with Series 5. From Series 5 on out, there are no aging problems.
Series 5 Annabelle Lee
Along with Esperanza, came her best friend Annabelle Lee. Very beautiful also. Plus, Leda Swanson, who had three color variations. The main one was pale blue, but there was also a purple and a silver. I have both the blue and purple. Ivanna Scream is excellent and I have her in the regular black and variant purple. The purple one is especially wonderful. And Storm this time is Red Riding Storm, my second fave Storm.

The figures were Delilah Blackheart, Jacqueline Le Spades, Joani Rotten and Mina Immortale. These four were another amazing set that I had and sold. I miss them, too. Dangit, I need to rebuy some of these. I even had the hot pink Jacqueline variant.

Series 5 Ivanna Scream purple variant
This would be the last set of figures, though we collectors didn't know it yet. The company showed Series 6, but they never got made, to the disappointment of many.

Atara Inferno prototype figure
The stunning baby dragon-cradling Atara Inferno was my favorite. I saved some photos of the prototypes so I can share them here. I loved her because she was gorgeous on her own, but she also reminded me of Darcy from Winx Club, one of my fave cartoon characters ever.

Katerina prototype
Cat-themed Katerina was another popular design. Can't really go wrong with goths and black cats!

The third one was Olivia O'Lantern, a beautiful goth fairy! I believe the detail on these four far surpassed the previous lines and likely was not cost efficient. I'm not sure how well the figures ever did compared to the dolls, but I would guess they didn't sell nearly as well. The fourth was Dinah Loneliness, a nautical pin-up girl that I didn't save a photo of, but she's readily available if you Google.

Olivia prototype
So as we were learning about the Series 6 dolls, we would be told that the figures would not be produced any longer.

Series 6 also shrank from the usual five dolls down to three.

Series 6 Pandora variant
The three dolls were Storm, now in a vampire-hunting guise as Slayer Storm; ethereal Pandora; and Penelope Fabrique. I ordered all three, plus the blue variant of the normally purple Pandora, and they came to my home while I was away at school. I had my mom send me blue Pandora and Penelope. Well, I was very disappointed in their hair! It had weird sticky gel all over it, something they'd never done before. I tried washing it out, but that somehow made it worse. Both Pandora and Penelope received haircuts. When I got home, I saw that Storm didn't have any issues, because she had her typical braids, while purple Pandora fared a bit better. So my blue Pandora has short hair and her purple twin has longer. Pandora is the standout of this line by far. I think she's one of the most beautiful BEGoths there is.

Series 7 Katerina
We weren't sure what to expect from Series 7, but we ended up getting some familiar faces! Yep, Atara, Katerina and Olivia, three of the cancelled figures, were now becoming dolls. Poor Dinah didn't make the cut and this would be the first and only series without a Storm.

The fans had a lot of say in the design process for these girls. I remember getting to vote on variant hair colors and such. I know Katerina got a red variant and I think Atara had at least two black-haired variants. I was glad the black-haired Katerina and the red-haired Atara got the standard release, but Olivia got a switcheroo pulled on her. She was supposed to be black-haired with a green and black outfit and the variant would be purple instead of green and have a rather ugly light streak in her hair. Well, the green one turned into the exclusive and I believe it was a UK exclusive at that. I was not pleased.

Series 7 Olivia green variant in signed box
Somehow I lucked into having a good rapport with one of the BEGoths team and she sent me a signed green Olivia. I deboxed Olivia, but kept the box, since it was an awesome gesture of hers. Olivia is a very beautiful doll and she even has pointed ears!

Katerina came out cuter than her figure and she's one of the most fun to photograph. Sadly, Atara, who was my fave figure, didn't translate as well into doll form. I'm not sure why exactly, but it's probably the fault of how much I loved the figure.

Series 8 Gloria Phobia 

Unfortunately, rising costs and lower sales would end the BEGoths after just one more series. Series 8 consisted of three beautiful dolls. Gloria Phobia had the shortest hair of the entire line. She's definitely high on my list. I adore her. Silent Storm, marking Storm's final appearance ever, came in regular black, variant blue and variant white. And the very sexy Greta Vendetta was the third. These girls were the end of a very fun era of collecting. BEGoths collecting was mostly easy. The biggest problem was being able to afford an overseas exclusive. 

Series 8 Greta Vendetta
I miss these girls and seeing what new ideas would come out next. I think I'm going to get some of the vinyl figures back in my collection!

This is by no means a complete list of BEGoths. There were many, many, MANY exclusive dolls like Anarchy Annie and Lolita Sun, plus color variants like crazy, both on figures and dolls. But I hope I've helped a bit with my ramblings about my collecting experiences.

YELLOWING MAINTENANCE: All it takes is a little dish soap! I use Dawn, but for those that don't have that in their area, pick a liquid soap that's meant to fight grease. I managed to catch my yellowed heads a bit earlier on, so this may not work on very yellow heads. All I do is soak the doll's head in the dish soap. Slather it all over the head. Let her sit for a little, then rinse it off. This should remove stickiness and the yellow is an oozing substance rather than a color change in the vinyl itself, so a lot of it should come off, too. I do this once every couple years or so and it's kept my poor Series 3 and 4 girls looking pretty good. Their heads are still a creamier color than the later series, but they're much better than what they were. I probably last did this 2 years ago and they're all still fine, so hopefully there's some point where the oozing will stop and I won't have to keep it up. But it's certainly not difficult maintenance and these girls are worth it.

PHOTO CREDITS: All mine, except the three unproduced figure shots. Two of those are and Katerina is an official BEGoths promo.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

REVIEW: Project MC2's Devon D'Marco

Now for the other new character! I reviewed Ember first because I spotted her first on, but it's Devon that actually appears in the show earlier. She's in Season 2, Episode 2, while Ember doesn't show until Ep 3.

Devon is an older character, a senior. I'm not positive how old the main girls are, only that they're not old enough to drive, so I'm guessing they're either freshmen or sophomores. So Devon's got a good two years on these girls and it shows, because the actress looks a lot older. I think she's only 3 years older than the others, but she looks older than 20.

Devon's style is mostly black and white. Those brown boots are one of the only other pieces I've seen for her and I personally don't like them at all. The style is really awesome, but why would you slap that ugly tan on a character that clearly favors black and white? It's not a good match. I thought about repainting them black, but I quite like the paint splatters on the toes, so they'll probably stay as is. Sigh. At least the basic doll has better shoes.

As you can see, Devon went through a major hair change from prototype to final doll. Why they leave these photos on boxes is beyond me. Like poor Ember with her wrong face in the photos. I would love to see them do this style for her someday. I like it.

The doll's hair is very pretty and actually looks better than the wig they gave the poor actress. That thing just looks so obviously fake, not like dyed hair at all.

Devon has some problems with standing, because her pants kind of act like marionette strings. The legs are so tight and constricting that moving her waist pulls at her legs and her knees seem to be in a battle against the pants, because they just won't stabilize.

I give massive points to whoever designed her though, because that design on her pants is so Keith Haring, which is very fitting for Devon but would probably be frowned upon by parents if they knew who he was.

Devon has a beautifully unique face, much like Ember. Devon's is quite long and thin, lacking the angles of Ember's, Her overly huge eyes almost give her an alien appearance, which is a bit odd, although I like it. She probably looks the least like her actress of all the dolls though.

Like Ember, she has a striking profile.

I love her little spike earrings, too. Second edition basic McKeyla also has these.

Her shirt is cute without the jacket, but I prefer it with. Devon's style is a bit odd. It combines artsy and athletic with the almost monochromatic color scheme. She's a rebellious character and definitely very into her art, so I'll be curious to see if she ever gets a sports theme or if these jersey-style shirts are just kinda random.

Devon's bag isn't as pretty as Ember's, but it is very well-suited to her. I like it a lot and I filled it with some art supplies from other dolls.

That's one thing that kinda sucks about the experiment dolls. For $27, you get a well-dressed doll and an experiment, but the accessories for the doll are lessened. Devon only gets the bag and a pair of earrings. Not even one can of spray paint or a jar of her puff paint and a brush? And a bracelet? She needs a bracelet.

Devon's boots give her the illusion of being even taller than the tall body girls, but she isn't. She's the same size as Ember.

I gave the girls some accessories they needed. Ember got a couple bracelets and Devon got a white spiky one from MH Venus. Now they feel a bit more complete!

I love these two new girls, both on the show and in doll form. I hope to see the 3rd edition basics become available soon, because both Devon and Ember have excellent outfits and hair in that line, too!


REVIEW: Project MC2's Ember Evergreen

Kind of hard to believe that it was only on Monday that I saw this girl on and ordered her and Devon.'s a bit pokey at shipping. Ember's not scheduled to arrive until Monday at the earliest, and Devon is Saturday. So when I saw this lovely hanging on the shelf peg, I grabbed her and Devon. Both of them appealed to me, so I brought them home, because I was itching to review them and have them smiling at me from my coffee table. I almost got McKeyla, too, but I was already buying 3 dolls, so I left her there. If she's still there when I return my extras of the new girls, I'll get her.

I had my usual deboxing issues with Ember. She did have one improvement: none of her hair was tied to any plastic bits sticking out from the back of the box. However, she has a complicated hairstyle and it got even more messed up than it already was by the deboxing struggle. I wasn't going to cut her flower crown loose, but I did (sewn to her head in FOUR places...seriously), and tried my best to smooth her hair, but there are flyaways and pieces of multiple lengths just everywhere.

Great quality hair otherwise!

Thankfully, the flower crown stays on very well.

This girl's face is so unusual and just plain beautiful. I love her rather angular cheekbones and jawline, combined with the more rounded nose. Her freckles everywhere are adorable.

There really is something special about her. She makes me smile, just like her character did once her accent smoothed out a bit.

Ember's dress is a pretty pattern in colors that look really good on her. I love that the design at the bottom is in multiple colors. Mine is more blue at the front.

But it's more pink and a hint of yellow at the back. The fabric is nice quality. It's not perfect, since it's white inside, but I actually kinda like that look.

The little shirt unties easily and she looks good both with and without it.

I love the belt with the pretty buckle.

I think she looks cute with or without the flower crown. It's so suited to her character that I'm leaving mine on, but she does look gorgeous without it. I think she'd look great redressed in all sorts of styles. I'm a big Game of Thrones fan, and I think she's got a little Rose Leslie/Sophie Turner thing going on.

Probably my favorite outfit detail is her boots. I love the colors and patterns.

I also really love her bag, although it's too heavy for her to hold in front of her and properly show it off. Right now, mine has it on her back, where it can't be seen, but she's standing on display so she can't hold it. It's such a cute fringed thing. I had no idea I was such a fan of pale pink, aqua and that soft brown, but I am!

Here's a better shot of her cute profile.

One of my concerns was the doll's height. I knew Devon would be on the heeled foot taller body, because she's an older character. But Ember I think is in the same grade. I don't actually even know what grade they're all in honestly. But anyway, Ember seems younger, so I was afraid she'd get the flat foot body even though her actress was taller than the other main girls. But yay, she has the heeled body!

So that's about it for my review of Ember. I think she's a lovely new addition to the cast. I love her style, her hair color, the doll's face, pretty much everything about her. She's one of those eco naturey types, but for some reason, she doesn't have the bad Dawn Schafer vibe.