National Barbie Doll Collectors Convention 2018 dolls: all kinds of new!

The National Barbe Doll Collectors Convention took place in Phoenix, Arizona, from July 11th to July 14th. I don’t have any experience in covering this event and usually their convention dolls are not favourites. This year though, things changed. The convention dolls changed. In a major way. And all thanks to Carlyle Nuyera, one of Mattel’s designers. He had the task to design this year’s convention dolls and, imho, did an amazing job. Let’s read what he has to say about them.

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“Presenting ‘On The Avenue’ Barbie, the 2018 National Barbie Doll Collectors Convention Doll! A few firsts for a Convention Doll; the first Curvy Convention Doll, the first Fashion gift set convention doll and the first convention doll designed by me! When I was designing the convention doll and knew that the theme was ‘On The Avenue’, my mind went to the Fashion Avenue line from the 90s, what I played with as a kid. I wanted to design a doll that allowed for one of Barbie’s earliest and purest play patterns; fashion play! Dressing your Barbie, mixing & matching pieces, styling her to create a lewk.

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On The Avenue Barbie comes with silver earrings, a pastel organza top that ties in the front with long tails, a shimmering champagne organza ball gown skirt with architectural draping, a black sparkly knit bodysuit (perfect for #Beyoncé #SingleLadies lewks 👯‍♀️), a knee length skirt with layers of silver foiled pewter mesh and silver lamé, a pair of black t-strap heels and a pair of cream strappy heels!

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I also want to always be forward thinking in my design approach. I wanted this Barbie to be a Collector example of how inclusive Barbie is now in terms of body type, so I designed her to use the Curvy Collector body that I first designed for Madam LaVinia Barbie. And you already knowww I love unusual face sculpts, so I used the Selma & Daria sculpts painted with side glancing eyes (#shemysterious 😜) and a beauty mark. Hope you all love her and have fun playing!”

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I read a lot of positive comments about the dolls on social media, both from attendees and from non-attendees alike. The most amazing ones were from people that recognised themselves in the dolls, people with normal bodies, people of colour, ordinary people. On the other hand, lots of collectors were disappointed that the dolls were not more high fashion styled, more glamorous looking and more embellished.

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My take? I love them, and I rarely like Barbie convention dolls. They are very chic and stylish, with both outfits reminding me of Isaac Mishrahi’s early collections, where he was combining full evening skirts with knit sporty tops in an way only US designers can do.

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I love that they are not in the usual model muse or Silkstone body, the stiff, frozen, high fashion style body that people are used to receiving in Barbie conventions. But taking a look in most worldwide Barbie conventions, I like these two best. By far. Great job Carlyle and well done Mattel. Please give us more like these.

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All Barbie photos courtesy of Mattel and Carlyle Nuyera.

IFDC 2018 - four new Poppy Parker dolls unveiled!

The IFDC convention took place from 27 till 30 of June 2018 in Las Vegas. This year, as usual, Integrity Toys made the convention and companion doll’s as well as the centerpiece plus one more IT Direct doll- and they were all Poppy Parker dolls! They were unveiled late Saturday night by the company team, another small collection created by the talented David Buttry. Every attendee also received a table gift from Integrity Toys, an exclusive Poppy scaled guitar designed just for the event. The four dolls make a very coherent group, all hippie themed, appropriately enough for the psychedelic theme of the convention. I like the variety of skintones and styles, even though a Darla with a big afro would have looked better than another black Poppy. They have different feet between them, the first has the high heeled foot, while the rest of them have the articulated foot to better match their shoe style. Always remember that lower legs are interchangeable and can pop out to be replaced with another type, if you desire. Regarding the new hand sculpts introduced for this collection: meh. They have no use than maybe one or two poses and that’s it. Plus they do not look as realistic as her normal hands, but more cartoony and almost weirdly squished. What do you think?

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Since the number of dolls made is larger than the attendees, the remainder is to be available through lottery to W Club members only. So if you are not a member, you will have to try the secondary market for them. The lottery will be held approximately in ten days and members have until the 25th of July to pay the dolls. Let’s see the dolls that were presented.

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Item # PP133

Free Spirit

Poppy Parker™

2018 IFDC IT Direct Exclusive Doll

Approx. Ship Date: In-stock, ships once the lottery winners have paid

Retail: $160.00 + Shipping

Edition Size: 500

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Head Sculpt: Poppy Parker

Body Type: Poppy 1.5

Foot Sculpt: Industry high heel foot

Skin Tone: FR Black

Hair Color: Black/brown mix

Eyelashes: Yes, hand-applied

Quickswitch: No

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Included:

  • 12" fully articulated doll with fully rooted hair and hand-applied eyelashes
  • Fashion (Bell bottom low-cut jeans, paisley printed cropped-top with lace-up detail and bell sleeves)
  • Cork sandals
  • Faux-suede purse with fringe detail
  • Jewelry set (necklace, earrings and ring)
  • Large brimmed hat
  • Pair of regular hands
  • Alternate "peace sign" hand
  • Alternate "I love you sign" hand
  • Doll stand
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I like this one, although, as mentioned earlier, a Darla with a huge afro would have looked better for me. Doll and outfit are great and would make a nice addition to the collection. Love the hat, it is very Jacquemus and will match other summer styles well. I’m still undecided about which doll I will enter the lottery for, but this one is ahead at the moment.

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Item # PP132

Peace of My Heart

Poppy Parker™

2018 IFDC Companion Doll

Approx. Ship Date: In-stock, ships once the lottery winners have paid

Retail: $160.00 + Shipping

Edition Size: 500

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Head Sculpt: Poppy Parker

Body Type: Poppy 1.5

Foot Sculpt: Industry articulated foot

Skin Tone: Japan

Hair Color: Auburn

Eyelashes: Yes, hand-applied

Quickswitch: No

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Included:

  • 12" fully articulated doll with fully rooted hair and hand-applied eyelashes
  • Fashion (Empire waist, pleated chiffon mini-dress)
  • Knee-high lace-up sandals
  • Sunglasses
  • Faux-leather shoulder purse
  • Jewelry set (peace sign necklace, hoop earrings and "mood" ring)
  • Large sun hat
  • Pair of regular hands
  • Alternate "peace sign" hand
  • Alternate "I love you sign" hand
  • Doll stand
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A beautiful girl with lovely colouring and a cute outfit. The hat and sandals are again great. I’m a bit on the fence for this one as I already have the Swinging London Poppy that has the same hairstyle but more intense red hair and paler make up. Hmmmm...

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Item # PP130

Time of the Season

Poppy Parker™

2018 IFDC Centerpiece Doll

Approx. Ship Date: In-stock, ships once the lottery winners have paid

Retail: $160.00 + Shipping

Edition Size: 350

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Head Sculpt: Poppy Parker

Body Type: Poppy 1.5

Foot Sculpt: Industry articulated foot

Skin Tone: FR White

Hair Color: Light blonde

Eyelashes: Yes, hand-applied

Quickswitch: No

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Included:

  • 12" fully articulated doll with fully rooted hair and hand-applied eyelashes
  • Fashion (long-sleeved printed satin dress and fringed faux-suede vest)
  • Pink fishnet stockings
  • Kitten-heel faux-suede shoes
  • Jewelry set (earrings and ring)
  • Pair of regular hands
  • Alternate "peace sign" hand
  • Alternate "I love you sign" hand
  • Doll stand
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This was the centerpiece doll so her edition is the smallest, only 350 dolls. I’m not entering for this one, the dress print reminds me of a couple of previous dresses and her colouring matches a couple of my Poppies too. Easy pass.

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Item # PP131

Summer of Love

Poppy Parker™

2018 IFDC Souvenir Doll

Approx. Ship Date: In-stock, ships once the lottery winners have paid

Retail: $175.00 + Shipping

Edition Size: 500

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Head Sculpt: Poppy Parker

Body Type: Poppy 1.5

Foot Sculpt: Industry articulated foot

Skin Tone: Hungarian

Hair Color: Ash blonde mix

Eyelashes: Yes, hand-applied

Quickswitch: No

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Included:

  • 12" fully articulated doll with fully rooted hair and hand-applied eyelashes
  • Fashion (cream colored maxi length lace dress with halter-top and waist wrap)
  • Lace-up sandals
  • Flower-covered head piece
  • Handbag
  • Jewelry set (earrings and bracelets)
  • Pair of regular hands
  • Alternate "peace sign" hand
  • Alternate "I love you sign" hand
  • Doll stand
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If her hair colour was darker, she’d be a dead ringer for Lana Del Rey, flowers on the head etc.  She’s beautiful and has the Hungarian skintone that makes her different from blond Poppies with pale make up I have. Her earrings and bag are gorgeous. I’m not crazy about the dress though and the braids in her hair mean less versatility. 

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As I mentioned earlier, all IFDC attendees received an exclusive bonus souvenir gift, a 60's themed guitar designed to fit with this quartet of dolls. This accessory is not available online,but  there's a picture of the centerpiece doll with the guitar in-hand.

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The dolls pictured are prototypes. Final fabrics, colors and textures may vary slightly. For adult collectors ages 15 and up only. 

All photos and information contained herein are copyrighted Integrity Toys, Inc. and Intercap Merchant Partners, LLC 2018 and may not be reprinted or disseminated without express written permission. FASHION ROYALTY, POPPY PARKER, NU. FACE, EAST 59TH, THE INDUSTRY, FR: Nippon, Misaki and all other character marks followed by ™ or ® are trademarks of Integrity Toys, Inc. Chesapeake City MD USA 21915. All rights reserved. The W Club is a trademark of Intercap Merchant Partners, LLC. All rights reserved. Doll Photography by Jayme Thornton. Layouts and graphics by Alain Tremblay, Marketing.

London Fashion Doll Festival takes place this Saturday! Are you ready?

I know Simon Farnworth for many years, first online through doll groups and social media, and of course his incredible doll portal Doll Observers. We finally met for real last month at IDC in Milan. And now he's presiding over the London Fashion Doll Festival, which will be held this Saturday, 30th of June at the V&A Museum of Childhood.

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The LFDF 2018 is organised by members of the London Fashion Doll Club, a not for profit organisation. A group of like-minded collectors who came together with the dream of organising an inclusive event for Fashion Doll Collectors. The event is not directly affiliated or sponsored by any doll brands or companies, including Mattel. Money raised from the raffle on the day will be donated to the V&A Museum of Childhood and proceeds from their Charity Doll Auctions will be donated to the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital Charity.

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The event is titled WONDERLAND and the organisers have also managed, in association with Superdoll Collectables, to secure a very special Sybarite Doll Upgrade Package for attendees to purchase. I think this is a doll anxiously awaited by all, attendees or not.

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The Summerly Rooms at the V&A Museum of Childhood will be home to the event with salesroom, exhibition, talks and more. Special OOAK Alice In Wonderland themed centrepiece dolls were specially designed for the event. Attendees will have the chance to win one for themselves. An Exclusive Fashion by Microsonik London will also be handed out along with a goodie bag.

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There will also be time for a spot of Afternoon Tea, following the general theme. A special breakout event for the unveiling of the exclusive Superdoll Collectables Sybarite event doll will also take place for the upgrade conventioneers. Charles Fegen from Superdoll will also treat attendees to a talk about the history of the Sybarite dolls. Other dolls brands exhibiting at the event include Andymy Designs, RDG dolls, Emperis, Janka Creator, Anouk, and Free Fantasy Dolls

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Registration for the event was £70 which includes entry, refreshments, goodie bag and more. The Superdoll Upgrade Package, which includes the regular registration price, Sybarite doll and VAT was priced at £448. Cannot wait to see the dolls and photos from the event. Hopefully next year, I might be able to attend myself!

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Poppy Parker 2018 City Sweetheart capsule collection reveal!

We knew that this year’s Poppy Parker collection theme would be something relevant to New York, as it was already announced back in the 2017 convention. And indeed, during the first Poppy reveal of the year, we discovered that the new collection is named City Sweetheart and it finds Poppy dressed in a variety of outfits for various occasions around the Big Apple. It is a small, capsule collection*, with four dolls available via dealers ( three in August and one in September) and a two-doll giftset available via right-to-buy lottery from IT Direct in late summer. I love two of the dealer dolls and the giftset, while the other two leave me cold. All doll’s have the high heeled foot, a first for a regular Poppy collection. There will not be a second wave of dolls in this collection as David mentioned, but the four IFDC Poppies, two W Club ones and the IT convention ones will be more than enough for the rest of the year.

* capsule collection is a condensed version of a designer’s vision, often limited edition, which transcends seasons and trends by being functional - read commercial. It’s made up of a few pieces which can be easily combined and interchanged.

Let’s see the collection dolls in detail, shall we? 

 

Item # PP140

Off-Beat

Poppy Parker™ Dressed Doll

The City Sweetheart Collection

Approx. Ship Date: August

Suggested Retail: $135.00 US

Available Via Dealers

Edition Size: 900

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Head Sculpt: Poppy Parker

Body Type: Poppy 1.5

Foot Sculpt: High-heeled

Skin Tone: FR White

Hair Color: Paper White

Eyelashes: Yes, Hand-applied

Quickswitch: No

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Included:

  • 12" fully articulated doll with fully rooted hair and hand-applied eyelashes
  • Fashion (capri length jeans, striped top, trench coat)
  • Black high-heeled shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Handbag
  • 1960s inspired pendant necklace
  • Cuff bracelet and small hoop earrings
  • Alternate pair of hands
  • Doll stand
  • Bonus Accessory: miniature "poetry book"
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This is the best doll of the collection and one of the best Poppy Parker doll’s ever released. Both doll and fashion are perfect and the accessories are fantastic! A book! That bag! The pendant! New cat eye sunglasses! Only minus: the dreaded, delicate, prone to break small hoop earrings. Her style is refined beatnick; the real thing would wear flat ballerina shoes.

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Item # PP139

Co-Ed Cutie

Poppy Parker™ Dressed Doll

The City Sweetheart Collection

Approx. Ship Date: August

Suggested Retail: $135.00 US

Available Via Dealers

Edition Size: 900

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Head Sculpt: Poppy Parker

Body Type: Poppy 1.5

Foot Sculpt: High-heeled

Skin Tone: New Hispanic

Hair Color: Dark Brown

Eyelashes: Yes, Hand-applied

Quickswitch: No

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Included:

  • 12" fully articulated doll with fully rooted hair and hand-applied eyelashes
  • Fashion (mid-knee pencil skirt, custom printed blouse and fitted sleeveless vest)
  • Cat-eye glasses
  • Clutch purse
  • Nylon stockings
  • High-heeled shoes
  • Earrings, cuff bracelet and watch
  • Alternate pair of hands
  • Doll stand
  • Bonus Accessories: school pennant, "pencil" and "books"!
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Second favourite doll from this collection! I love everything about Co-Ed Cutie, from her skintone and make up to her outfit and amazing accessories! More books! A pencil! Cat eye glasses! A watch! Her blouse print resembles molecules, a nice nod to her studies, emphasised by her Physics book! I’m confirmed for both this and Off Beat, which is great! During the Q&A session in the W Club forum that followed the presentation email, David Buttry said her skintone does not match Sweet Confection body, just in case anyone was thinking about using the body for a replacement.

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Item # PP137

World At Her Feet

Poppy Parker™ Dressed Doll

The City Sweetheart Collection

Approx. Ship Date: Mid-September

Suggested Retail: $135.00 US

Available Via Dealers

Edition Size: 900

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Head Sculpt: Poppy Parker

Body Type: Poppy 1.5

Foot Sculpt: High-heeled

Skin Tone: FR White

Hair Color: Light Red

Eyelashes: Yes, Hand-applied

Quickswitch: No

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Included:

  • 12" fully articulated doll with fully rooted hair and hand-applied eyelashes
  • Fashion (knee length dress suit with printed stripe shell bodice and matching jacket)
  • Painted on gloved hands (NEW! Sculpted glove detail hands!)
  • Alternate pair of hands (normal flesh tone)
  • Bracelet and earrings
  • Nylon stockings
  • Shoes
  • Handbag
  • Shopping bag accessory
  • Doll stand
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Not liking this one very much. It’s probably the styling and colours that don’t make her pop out to me. She has the new sculpted gloves hands that finally put an end to the oven mittens we amassed over the years. 

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Item # PP138

Peach Parfait

Poppy Parker™ Dressed Doll

The City Sweetheart Collection

Approx. Ship Date: August

Suggested Retail: $135.00 US

Available Via Dealers

Edition Size: 900

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Head Sculpt: Poppy Parker

Body Type: Poppy 1.5

Foot Sculpt: High-heeled

Skin Tone: Japan

Hair Color: Platimum/Light Blonde Mix

Eyelashes: Yes, Hand-applied

Quickswitch: No

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Included:

  • 12" fully articulated doll with fully rooted hair and hand-applied eyelashes
  • Fashion (light peach, full-length multi-layered gown with miniature bow details and soft, shimmering glitter accents)
  • Elbow length gloves
  • Clutch purse
  • Faux-pearl necklace, bracelet and earrings
  • High-heeled shoes
  • Alternate pair of hands
  • Doll stand
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Peach is my all time least favourite colour, so I definitely don’t like this one. She’s very washed out with her pale skin and colouring, so not even the doll attracts me like other pale Poppies before her, who at least had a smokey or better defined eye to make them appealing. I like the shawl like detail around her shoulders. And it seems over mittens stick around for longer gloves, instead of the new type we saw in the Vanessa FR giftset with the sculpted hand and fabric arm. Why should this ugly thing continue? The plain accessories make this one even more boring. 

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Item # PP141

Girl Talk

Poppy Parker™ and Darla Daley™ Duo-Doll Gift Set

The City Sweetheart Collection

Approx. Ship Date: Mid-Sept.

Retail: $175.00 US + Shipping

***IT DIRECT EXCLUSIVE***

Edition Size: 800

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Head Sculpts: Poppy and Darla 2.0

Body Type: Poppy 1.5

Foot Sculpts: High-heeled

Skin Tones: FR White / FR Black

Hair Colors: Auburn Mix / Black

Eyelashes: Yes, Hand-applied

Quickswitch: No

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Included:

  • 12" fully articulated dolls, each with fully rooted hair and hand-applied eyelashes
  • Poppy's fashion: day dress with bold engineered stripes and matching petticoat
  • Darla's fashion: brightly colored capri pants and 60s inspired printed crop top
  • Open-toe pumps for Poppy
  • Open-toe platform sandals for Darla
  • Pendant bracelet, bangle, earrings and brooch for Poppy
  • Cuff bracelet, colorful bangles and matching earrings for Darla
  • Faux-straw clutch purse
  • "Cool cat" tote bag
  • 2 pairs of sunglasses
  • Alternate pairs of hands
  • 2 Doll stands
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What a lovely giftset! I’m a sucker for anything green, so the colour was the first thing that struck me, with its great combinations and bright hue. Darla looks gorgeous here, in her capri pants, bright accessories and flamboyant hairdo. Poppy compliments her nicely, if more demurely so, with her lovely striped dress, brooch and sublime straw clutch. I will enter the lottery for these two ladies in late summer.

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So which ones are your favourites? Did you manage to get them? Let me know with a comment.

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The dolls pictured are prototypes. Final fabrics, colors and textures may vary slightly. For adult collectors ages 15 and up only. 

All photos and information contained herein is copyrighted Integrity Toys, Inc. and Intercap Merchant Partners, LLC 2018 and may not be reprinted or disseminated without express written permission. FASHION ROYALTY, POPPY PARKER, NU. FACE, EAST 59TH, THE INDUSTRY and all other character marks followed by ™ or ® are trademarks of Integrity Toys, Inc. Chesapeake City MD USA 21915. All rights reserved.

The W Club is a trademark of Intercap Merchant Partners, LLC. All rights reserved.

Doll Photography, layouts and graphics by Alain Tremblay, Marketing

Italian Doll Convention 2018 day III: the bazaar

Sunday was the final day of the Italian Doll Convention 2018. The main event is the bazaar, in two hotel ball rooms: one was filled with people selling all kinds of dolls, mostly Barbies but also lots of Integrity Toys, BJDs, etc. The second was dedicated to doll artists: creative people with their own designed dolls or dresses or both. Walking around the rooms was overwhelming- so many dolls! As my budget was practically non existent, I had decided that I would be just looking the commercial dolls for sale, checking prices, but also admire the creativity of the doll artists present. Meeting again all the wonderful friends was of course the icing on the cake: Ada, Simon, Ibrahim, Marl, Mario, Gianni, Sebastiano, Francesco, Aniello, Dan, David, Fito, Rogier, Patrizio, Lionel, Luca, Kazuko, Christelle, José, Antonio, Gloria, Giovanni, Makis, Effi and so many more... 

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Of course the doll artist and their creations were the best attraction: first of all the incredibly talented Joshua David McKenney, creator of Pidgin Dolls. It was the first time I got to see them up close and finally meet Joshua. I have been following his work for years now and the doll’s are even more amazing in person. Joshua is amazing, intelligent, kind, very creative and with an aesthetic I love and admire. He will be featured in a special post here soon.

 Joshua David McKenney and his Pidgin dolls 

Joshua David McKenney and his Pidgin dolls 

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Another incredible doll artist present, one I have also been admiring from afar, is Giancarlo Scrofani, or better known as Janka Creator. He had his amazing dolls there, with the new collection, Femina Santa debuting. A short film about them will debut in the London Fashion Doll Festival next weekend.  

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Third amazing guy and friend: Andrei Teican, or better known as Andymy, with his Luna doll and his gorgeous outfits, which were selling like hot cakes. 

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Below you can see some more doll artists and their creations. 

 The gorgeous  Free Fantasy Dolls  by Nickis Fabbrocile

The gorgeous Free Fantasy Dolls by Nickis Fabbrocile

  Sebastian Atelier  creations by Sebastien Giustetto  

Sebastian Atelier creations by Sebastien Giustetto  

 The  Black Swan Company  creations  

The Black Swan Company creations  

  Fil Mi Deco  doll furniture in both 1:6 and 1:4 scale.  

Fil Mi Deco doll furniture in both 1:6 and 1:4 scale.  

 They are made of plexiglass- this is in 1:6 scale

They are made of plexiglass- this is in 1:6 scale

 And this is in 1:4 scale

And this is in 1:4 scale

  DIVA - Dolls Italian Vogue Atelier , with their amazing Raffaella Carrà dolls! 

DIVA - Dolls Italian Vogue Atelier, with their amazing Raffaella Carrà dolls! 

  Créations Cotho  by Corinne Thorner

Créations Cotho by Corinne Thorner

 Corinne made an awesome replica of Blake Lively’s dress from this year’s Met Gala

Corinne made an awesome replica of Blake Lively’s dress from this year’s Met Gala

During the bazaar, there were two signing sessions: first was David Buttry, who happily signed the box of my IDC Ciao Poppy. 

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And when he was done, Linda Kyaw took her turn signing dolls and books. I was stupid enough to forget her book back at my hotel, so I got her to sign my convention Barbie instead. 

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Near the reception area you could see display cases full of comic style Barbie dolls. 

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Remember my non existent budget? Well, seeing the four different RuPaul dolls for sale at 45€ made me stop in front of Giulia Britti’s sales table and think. I always wanted to get at least one, and now was the ideal time and price. She even made me a discount and Supermodel RuPaul was mine! Giulia is one half of the Lantis Kelly atelier, who did the centerpiece dolls for this year’s gala dinner.

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Lots of people had travel dolls with them at the convention. The one that stood out for me, was this amazing manga/harajuku Poppy by @euphoriadolls from Spain! 

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At the end of the bazaar, there was a big raffle, with many gifts from various people to be raffled off for another good cause: Cuore21 from Rimini, helping children with special needs. And with that special gesture, it was over. It was sad to say goodbye to all the amazing friends there, but we promised we’d meet again soon in another convention. Little did we know that a few weeks later, Mario would announce, via email and social media, that the dream was over and there would be no more IDC. Here is his text:

Dear Conventioneers and Collectors Friends,
            the Italian Doll Convention was born from a truly personal dream of mine: to bring an event to Italy that could give all collectors, first Italian, then European, the taste and grandeur of those American conventions which I have been happily attending since 2002.
            About 10 years ago, when the Italian realities dedicated to collecting were essentially sales and exchange markets, I had an idea: I thought I would reunite collectors for an evening of fun and glamor under the “banner” of Barbie and Fashiondolls.
            Also ten years ago, Gianni and I began to work and collaborate with Mattel Italia, at a time when everyone was preparing to celebrate Barbie’s 50th Anniversary. Thanks to the people who worked at Mattel Italia, who were dynamic and enthusiastic, to their personal friendship and trust in us and to such a positive moment for the brand, we found the momentum to lay the concrete foundations of our ambitious project. At that point, I strongly wanted to involve a group of friends, because I had  always thought that the IDC would be an event to be held among friends and built up by friends.
To my delight, many people have joined me, embracing my project, when the national environment was neither used to such events, nor to their participation cost. It was a big leap into the dark, but without giving importance to gains, fatigue and stress, we started this adventure. And in such a dream, 100 conventioneers immediately believed; then, over the years, we have been working very hard to increase this number, first to 150 then to 200, up to this 8th edition of over 300 members.
            Creating such an event involves a lot of personal energy, so many sleepless nights to plan and imagine; hours that you strip away from your job and private life; your home becomes a warehouse and your life is overwhelmed by all this for at least 2 months a year. You work 362 days to have fun for only a very few hours, because you know you'll never sleep, you'll run like crazy, you'll be exhausted by the moving of thousands of boxes; but the people's happiness and gratitude is going to repay your investments in time, money and efforts, and comfort you from the bitterness that comes from detractors and the unavoidable disappointments along the way.
            Within all this, new things are to be planned for the following year, hoping to add the right piece, to get the favor of fashiondolls manufacturers who see their brand promoted by an event that is often reviewed – and oh so enthusiastically - in national newspapers and on TV or the radio.
            At the IDC we have given many new artists the opportunity to exhibit their creations, with a salesroom event among the largest and most varied in the world (and those traveling through conventions can understand how true this is). Many of the most amazing fashiondolls artists have taken part in the IDC: Superfrock with their Sybarites, the adorable Popovy Sisters, FashiondollAgency, Pidgin Dolls, Robert Best and Linda Kyaw for Barbie and David Buttry with his Poppy Parker. Thanks to the growing number of international friends, we have been the launch pad for Italian artists like Free Fantasy Dolls, Janka Creator, Lantis Kelly, Black Swan Company, Clara Fornari with Puparium and many others who were given the chance to meet some of the greatest collectors attending the event.
            At the IDC we have imported the Fashion Show, where we really enjoyed to forget everyday’s life and seriousness by turning into some of our most beloved dolls, without expectations but with so much passion. I want to thank all those who have spent tons of energy for this “event in the event”, which has become the most goliardic and glamorous part of the convention.
            At the IDC we had the opportunity to talk about the culture of fashiondolls, hosting some DCCI's and IDculture’s in-depth meetings and organizing workshops and seminars, because collecting should not only mean to accumulate, but also to increase knowledge and share information with others.
            At the IDC we have seen the birth of friendships, love-stories and, above all, many people having fun at approaching this world and collecting with joy, then becoming overwhelmed by passion, and so creating new collectors.
            The thing I'm most proud of is that, thanks to all the donors and buyers of the Ebay raffles and auctions, we have so far collected about 130,000 Euros for important associations and truly commendable projects that have helped sick or distressed children. There are no suitable words to underline this being one of the most important aspects of IDC, the one that most emotionally involved me, because helping others, especially those who are really in need, makes any effort bearable and  fills the heart with true joy. Therefore, thanks to Cesvi Italia, Dynamo Camp, Sos Bambini, Casa Oz, Mariam Association, Fondazione Blu, LifeGate, Karibu for believing in us and in the good and transparency of all our fundraising, always realized through their Ebay accounts and their representatives. We did it with our heart, in a clean way, without ever collecting a single penny for us and always with great results, thanks to the help of many international artists (Ninimomo, Numina dolls, Nigel Chia, Cotho Creations, Matt Sutton, etc ...) and to the donations of many private collectors.
            Thanks to all sponsors, which supported the events with gadgets and gifts, and a special Thank you to Marl Davidson.
            Thanks to Mattel USA and Italy, which have given amazing exclusive and special convention dolls over the years, as many as 3 exclusive Barbie Silkstone, and gave us the opportunity to create extra special and official dolls such as Barbie Via Montenapoleone, Barbie Sweet Delizia, Barbie Friday Pillow Party and Barbie Glam Comic Super Star.
            Thanks to Integrity Toys for believing in us and allowing us to organize the first exclusive event dedicated to Poppy Parker in Europe, an unique and unforgettable privilege. 

With this long and necessary list of thanks you may have realized that - after much, often painful, thinking and considering - we have decided not to continue with the organization of the Italian Doll Convention for the next year.

            The increasing costs of the event, from the hotel to the services involved, the expected taxation, in addition to a lack of future planning, by the manufacturers of fashiondolls, of exclusive dolls for our event, often in favor of a fairer support to smaller events, make it really very difficult, if not impossible, to guarantee the same quality we have become accustomed to and to which we have accustomed our conventioneers friends. Those who know me well, also know that I do not like  second choices, compromising, and not keeping up to mine and others’ expectations. With the close collaboration of Gianni and Marinella I have always tried to create the most beautiful and varied event for fashiondolls in the world. Although the final judgement is always left to the conventioneers, it is up to us to choose the right moment to stop a wonderful, exciting and engaging experience like the one we have experienced during these years, with the certainty to have succeeded in the original intent to prove that all this was possible and that collectors are available to join, have fun, get involved from head to toe in a big event like the Italian Doll Convention.
            I cannot say enough thank you to all my helpers; I won’t be naming each of you individually so as not to forget anyone, but you have always been amazing with your support and help to such a huge event, which may look easy to the conventioneers, but is really complex for those who organize it.
A huge thank you to Marinella Brighi, for her trust and loyalty in all circumstances, for seeing beyond what she knew of me and for giving me the opportunity to make myself known better.
Thanks to Barbara and Gabriele for always being there, before and behind the scenes, with their friendship and their commitment.
Thanks to my two “shoulders”, Sebastiano and Massimo, who have been my shadow and my support, the fun while I was working and the shoulder to cry on.
Thanks to Luisa Bianchi, who totally supported us personally and for free in the communication and advertising of the event.
Thanks to those who did not understand me, who even fought me and betrayed me, because they gave me the opportunity to rise from  the  pain, learn from my mistakes and stand up stronger than before.
And a larger, even more grateful thank you  to Gianni Grossi, for following me in this enterprise that has put us to the test in our personal life, with countless discussions about the details of every decoration, every gift, every single and meticulous touch of magic that we wanted to give to this event.
But, above all, thank you all for believing in us through all these years. We’ve had tons of fun and now we are moving towards other projects with the same enthusiasm as always.
See you around in the dolly-world….
LONG LIVE THE IDC, FOREVER IN OUR HEARTS!!!

But to end in a high note: during one of my coffee breaks on Sunday at the hotel café, with the bazaar at full force, a little girl came up to me, holding a Native American Barbie doll. She saw that I had a bag with doll boxes near me (IDC Poppy and Barbie plus RuPaul).  She was no older than seven. 

- Do you like my doll?  she asked in Italian, without any hint of shyness or hesitation. I told her that I did and that it was lovely. She proceeded to tell me about the great finds she got at the bazaar, showing them one by one by taking them out of her bag. She then asked me if I had some dolls too and I replied yes. At that time her mother,  visibly anxious, appeared and told me she was sorry about her little girl bothering me. I assured her that there was no problem and that I was enjoying the conversation with her daughter. 

- Mom, he has that special convention Poppy you wanted to see. Signore, could you show the doll to my mother please? the little girl asked me. I proceeded to do so and showed them Barbie and RuPaul as well.  

- Should we call your father to come pick us up darling? asked the lady.  The girl nodded yes and the turned to me.

- My dad cannot even properly pronounce Barbie!  

Im still laughing thinking about this and I know that a warm smile and love will always be there when I think of Italian Doll Convention 2018 and all the amazing people I got to meet and spend time with there. Grazie Mario e Gianni! 

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