The Premiere: Integrity Convention 2013 - Day I

The annual Integrity Toys convention is always a major event both for the company and the many fashion doll collectors that covet the exclusive dolls presented during the proceedings. It is also the moment of the year when important announcements are made for the company's future collections. The first day was Thursday, 31st of October, Halloween! Let's see what happened over in Los Angeles, where the event takes place this year. It is called The Premiere, probably because the new FR doll body is officially premièring in this collection (it unnoficially made its début with the exclusive FR2 Purity Dasha doll). It also celebrates ten years of annual conventions, making it even more special.

First thing to do when attending a convention is, of course, registering! Each guest received a welcome swag bag that contained a welcome envelope, a copy of the latest DOLLS Magazine and as is the norm these past few years, a doll: this time it was an FR:Monogram doll which will probably become a giftset with various outfits and accessories given throughout the duration of the convention. She is a lovely Monogram and one of the last released as the line will be discontinued.

Item # 93032
FR: Monogram™
Welcome Doll
2013 Convention Exclusive

Although the workshops that are part of the convention are starting on Friday, the attendees received their kits upon registration - more dolls!

Item # 76012
Victorious Glamour 
Victoire Roux™
Workshop Doll
2013 Convention Exclusive

Another beautiful Victoire, fpr me one of the best released so far. She has a dress too, although usually the workshop dolls come nude.

Item # PP058
Poppy's Makeup Makeover
Poppy Parker™ 
Workshop Doll
2013 Convention Collection Exclusive

This Poppy is ready for her make up session! Simple yet lovely. Workshop Poppy dolls are usually extremely popular.

Item # 93034
Shining Star
FR: Monogram™
Workshop Doll 
2013 Convention Exclusive

Another Monogram doll! They might be discontinued but they will go out with a bang. She's very beautiful and makes me wonder why the last couple of years of this line did not have dolls like this in their collections. Sigh.

Item # 91314A
W Cosmetics Hair Care
Fashion Royalty®
Workshop Doll
2013 Convention Exclusive

This is an Elise doll, one of the best Elise releases I have seen. She has the new FR2 body like Purity Dasha and the rest of the FR convention collection. Wish I could get this one but it will definitely have a forbidding price on the secondary market.

The evening had an event scheduled in the ballroom and attendees could wear their Halloween costume! There was a costume parade so that everyone could admire the effort and imagination of the costumed members! People who had attended all ten conventions got a silver trophy from Integrity as a memento. Of course there was a centerpiece doll for the event, and this was none other than...

Item # 91329
After Tonight
Eugenia Perrin-Frost™
Dressed Doll 
2013 Convention Exclusive Centerpiece

She's breathtakingly beautiful and very retro looking. With the grey brows, she reminds me of Gene Marshall. Pity the full skirt hides the pink booties! The centerpiece dolls are raffled to their respective tables so there were some really happy people coming out of that ballroom! But everyone got a doll: there was one as a give away and it was...

Item # 91330
Agnes Von Weiss™
Dressed Doll
2013 Convention Exclusive Giveaway

A tan Agnes is surely a great way to end the first day of the convention. Which also included the presentation of the convention collection, coming up in the next post.

**All photos and information contained herein is copyrighted Integrity Toys, Inc. and Intercap Merchant Partners, LLC 2013 and may not be reprinted or disseminated without express written permission.**

Beauty and The Beast with a twist - as Nu Fantasy characters by Integrity Toys

Today a new pair of Nu Fantasy dolls are available at all Integrity Toys dealers. As before, with the Hansel & Gretel pair, the company releases a famous fairy-tale duo, re-done to match the modern fashion aesthetics of the Nu Face line. This amalgamation of characteristics is always the strong element of the Nu Fantasy line. This time around it is Beauty and The Beast that gets the treatment, but with a catch: Beauty is the male character here, with Beast being a sizzling-hot lady.

Item # 75009
The Nu.Fantasy™ Collection
Limited Edition of 800 Dolls
Suggested Retail Price: $125.00 USD
Estimated Ship Date: Approximately the Week of November 20th, 2013

Doll Tech Specs:
Body Type: FR: Homme (12.5 inch)
Quick Switch Feature: No
Skin Tone: Japan
Hair Color: Dark Brown
Eyelashes: No
Package Dimensions: 9" X 15" X 3"

Beauty is male and who better to embody this than the ever popular Lukas Maverick sculpt. The doll wears a multi-layered look that consists of a tailored, long evening coat over a matching fashionable shirt and vest combination. His hair is coiffed in the latest hip style popular with fashionistas and his face reminds me a bit of Ringmaster Lukas - it must be the blue eyes. If you hurry, you might be able to pick the last one, he's THAT popular.

Item # 75010
The Nu.Fantasy™ Collection
Limited Edition of 800 Dolls
Suggested Retail Price: $125.00 USD
Estimated Ship Date: Approximately the Week of November 20th, 2013

Doll Tech Specs:
Body Type: FR2 2.0 (12 inch)
Quick Switch Feature: No
Skin Tone: FR White (Caucasian)
Hair Color: Light Brown with Golden Highlights
Eyelashes: Yes, Hand Applied
Package Dimensions: 9" X 15" X 3"

In a great twist, Beast is a woman! A fashion beast that roams the forest of haute couture, LOL. This doll features the sculpt of the Pizzazz character from the Jem & The Holograms line of dolls, making its début in the Nu.Fantasy collection. It was not mentioned officially in the Integrity W Club newsletter (probably for copyright issues) but was later confirmed. She is dressed in black "leather" pants, a red bustier with a long layered skirt and knee high boots.

The dolls are sold separately but many dealers chose to sell them as a pair, to avoid having left-over Beast dolls, as Lukas is the sure-fire hit of this lot. Beast looks great though and I suspect once she changes into a tailored suit, she will break many hearts. And she has the new FR2 body which will be the norm for the former FR and FR2 characters from now on. Is this the first time a Nu Fantasy doll does not have the Nu Face body?

**Please note that the photos are of prototype dolls and subject to changes and modifications. Dolls are sold separately. All photos and information contained herein is copyrighted Integrity Toys, Inc. and Intercap Merchant Partners, LLC 2013 and may not be reprinted or disseminated without express written permission.**

Integrity Toys Tropicalia Convention 2012: W Club luncheon

Saturday morning: a few more workshops to attend, the Souvenir Shop to visit for those last minute items, the raffle room with all of the fabulous goodies available, the museum and the Style Lab to do some incredible creating. And let's not forget the always popular competition room. Guests could view all of the entries made by their fellow attendees and vote on which doll they liked the best. But, everyone would have to wait until the final gala event to find out which entry won.

One of the perks of being a W Club member is being able to attend the popular W Club luncheon that takes place during the Integrity Convention. W Club members had already been given a clue that a very special collector favourite character would be making her appearance at the luncheon and no one would want to miss out on this surprise. It was an FR2 centrepiece doll, none other than...Elise Jolie! Each member also found a beautiful FR2 shoe pack as their thank you gift for attending at each place setting.

Item #57024
Elise Jolie™  
FR: Squared Dressed Doll
2012 Troplicalia Convention Exclusive Table Centerpiece  

I love this one! Elegant and ethereal, she would look great on any couture catwalk - again no tropical connection for me here (which is not necessarily bad). With the right posing, she will look amazing. The FR2 shoe pack again was really a great gift as shoes matching these ladies are hard to find.

Then it was the turn of Carol Roth and Chris Stoeckel to unveil the mystery doll to the members and everyone was thrilled to see that it was Victoire Roux. Keeping to the theme of the convention (someone should tell them that Saint Tropez is far from tropical though), Victoire sports a golden tan and wears a cute lavender fashion. All W Club Luncheon attendees were not only able to purchase the Elise Jolie doll, her being a centrepiece, but they could purchase Victoire.

Item # 76006
Saint Tropez
Victoire Roux Dressed Doll
2012 Tropicalia Convention Exclusive

Members were also given a sneak peek at the latest collection that Integrity Toys will be offering to collectors from the movies! Funny Face is the latest classic movie that Integrity is bringing to plastic! Photos and information will be coming soon! Good news there (not for my wallet) - after the success of Sabrina, the Funny Face is a natural sequel to the Audrey theme.

**All text (with modifications and my comments added) and information contained herein is copyrighted Integrity Toys, Inc. and Intercap Merchant Partners, LLC 2012 and may not be reprinted or disseminated without express written permission.**

Opium Ayumi for

A very dear friend, Chryssa, asked me to do an exclusive photo shoot and write an accompanying post for the brilliant website she owns with Natalia, (in Greek). I picked Opium Ayumi as a model (I was dying to photograph her) and here are the results, along with the translated text.

"I collect dolls." Just the phrase gives one the picture of a spinster with glass cases filled with endless porcelain dolls in an old house covered in cob webs, that has not seen the sun since the time of Mommy Dearest. And the terror filled looks when they hear this phrase reminds me of Shelly Duvall being chased by Jack Nicholson in the Shining (not the Greek series made by Foscolos, relax). The truth is that in the closed and sometimes snob world of fashion doll collectors, one can meet people who will easily stand up to Bette Davis and would send Joan Crawford in the corner crying silently with just one look. But most of us are normal (as anyone can be, ok?) people who just so happens that our favorite hobby, occupation, obsession, curse (call it as you like it) is a collection of lovely ladies with stylish clothes.

Usually modern, sometimes of a bygone era, the clothes worn by fashion dolls (unlike most other dolls) are small works of art. Sometimes copies of (exact or simply inspired by) real clothes from major fashion designers, make up the wardrobe of dolls that have model proportions. Even poor Barbie, trying but struggling to be recognized as a fashion doll, had Mattel put out a special body (Model Muse) to be able to sell in this area. I personally started my collection in quite the opposite way. Although I always had an obsession with dolls and since childhood I tried to clothe every doll in my path with my creations from remnants rags and remnants (with an indignant mother chasing me as best she could), it had never occurred to me that there were dolls out there that are chic and elegant, with a style that rivals the best models from the catwalks.

That was until in 2000, when I got a doll of Olivia Newton-John as Sandy in Grease, complete with all the outfits she wears in the film. This started me searching and slowly I discovered several companies who made dolls in the image and likeness of famous actors and singers. Some of them however had other dolls, which faithfully followed the dictates of fashion's whims every season. And so it began: my collection started to grow until it reached a point where I'm afraid to really count them.

It is clearly an expensive hobby. These dolls are anything but sold at the prices that playline Barbies have. Some rare or unique ones can have values reaching astronomical heights. But they are beautiful and charming and every year many come out that you always want to get, but usually you can not - and this is part of the charm of the game. And I have met many interesting people from different countries (and people in Greece, counted on the fingers of one hand) and so a new world opened up before me.

There are so many people working creatively with them, photographing them, making their own clothes (some with a very artistic view and value) or by painting them so as to completely change their personality, often making little masterpieces that you think can really breathe. And I think this is the biggest benefit that one has to discover the fascinating world of fashion dolls.

I hope you enjoyed reading that. Now let's see the actual doll. Opium Ayumi is part of this year's spring release of Fashion Royalty Squared, like Nouveau Regime Tatyana that I presented to you here. She is wearing a long black dress in what looks like jersey, that has a lining skirt underneath (detail below). It comes with a red jacket, a bag, shoes and jewellery set.

The jacket is a bit stiff, the fabric too thick to let the doll be positioned properly. If it had been done in a thinner fabric it would also fit better over the dress, which would add to the style of the doll, which reminds me of Adrian's outfits for Hollywood stars of the 30s and 40s. More about this later on. The dress is a beauty, the intricate cuts on the neckline make it unique and stylish. I wish the ribbon tying at the back was scaled a bit to fit the size but then it would have been a drag for my huge fingers.

Her accessories are to die for. A black and red clutch bag (looking like a Fendi baguette) that matches her outfit perfectly, as well as a gorgeous pair of shoes in black patent "leather" and "lucite" transparent heels. The shoes are some of the best ever made for an Integrity Toys doll.

Her jewellery set is amazing. A pair of drop earrings with red and black stones, and two incredible rings with differently shaped and sized black stones.

Opium Ayumi is an incredibly beautiful doll, impossible to photograph in an unflattering pose. Her style for me is an amalgamation of so many different eras and things: Adrian's Hollywood outfits of the 30s and 40s, old glamour Hollywood stars like Joan Crawford and Norma Shearer, the first Chinese-American film star Anna May Wong but also the Chinese stars of today like Gong Li, Maggie Cheung and Michelle Yeoh, Yves Saint-Laurent late 70s-early 80s couture, Schiaparelli's designs and of course Jason Wu's Fall/Winter 2012-2013 collection (even to the make up, which of course channels the legendary Tina Chow). Below is a mood board with all these influences and more.