Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The trouble with the W club....

So I've been re-dressing some of my dolls that haven't received alot of attention. One of them would be Mademoiselle Jolie. I decided to finally take the outfit from the online event doll High Visibility Agnes Von Weiss and try it on Jolie since they have the same 'exploding body' as it is so fondly called on the W club. Same big monstrous feet, same idiot waistline, same everything, so I figured she would look really good in it. I had not tried this outfit that came with Agnes on Agnes at all, today was the first day I had taken the jewelry and shoes out of the packaging. Sigh....


Before I begin my rant, the photo shoot turned out nice. So here's Mademoiselle Jolie in her jungle outfit with some plants striking a pose...

I couldn't find the hat to go with this outfit, I have misplaced it in dolly wardrobe...and while attempting to put on the earrings, I dropped one of the earring posts! $#@@~!!! After many curses I decided she didn't need earrings and the bracelets and sunglasses were just fine....Now onto the issues...

The first is that vest. How anyone ever gets that strap thru the buckle without shredding it is beyond me. I had to take a pin/needle and poke it thru and thread it thru the buckle twice which caused it to fray. If I have to continue to do this too much I foresee this item fraying beyond repair unless I get some fraycheck. Thanks, Integrity. 

Next, where do I begin? It's not enough Integrity creates shoes for the dolls that have endless lacings. These look like gladiator heels from HELL. The one on the right is ok. Still looks like crap to me, but it will pass. The one of the left, her toes are sticking out and it clearly does not fit. I could raise hell now but I know that Integrity would probably say, why didn't you check the item when you received it? Frankly, I'm not in the mood to argue with them. I am half tempted to sell the Agnes at this point to recoup my money and call it a day, even though I love Agnes. Or behead her and sell the body. I have Poppy bodies coming in August. 

So the trouble with the W Club?......................
1. It is not their products. They produce stunning, simply stunning dolls. It is their inability to listen to their customers. Pick a body and stick to it. Each line has a different body. I think most of the customers agree - hey I want my dolls to be able to wear the clothing- so I don't have to have multiple clothing and shoe lines. I would like my Fashion Royalty dolls to be able to wear the Silkstone clothing and vice versa. I know Fashion Royalty wants to set themselves apart. But if I want a body that comes apart, I'll buy a Hot Toys action figure, not a fashion doll. This is causing me to think very hard about what I buy in the future.
2. I'm attracted to the 'cheaper' dolls. 
I'm finding myself attracted to their Victoire, Poppy Parker, and homme and Dynamite Girls lines more and more. One thing that made me stop on the Katy Keene line was the Color Infusion Body and the gigantic feet of this line. Yes, I love the comics of Katy Keene. Can I really afford to invest in shoes and clothing of this line? No I didn't jump this time, and glad I didn't.(This didn't mean I didn't want to.) The cheaper dolls have bodies that will intermix with my Silkstone clothing and older Fashion Royalty dolls. By no means are they 'cheaper'but they appeal to my vintage and 60's love. 
3. Leaning more and more towards the action figure genre...
More and more I am beginning to lean towards the Hot Toys venue and I might start buying less and less of the Integrity line if they keep this exploding body and overscaled fashion doll mess up. Mattel is beginning to catch up with more unusual sculps on their fantasy doll lines that are intriguing as well, and look less 'doll-like' for lack of a better word. 
4. Tired of the scalpers ...
My experience of convention last year and how things got ugly when customs held up dolls led me to believe that Integrity caters to alot of hard core, scalpers and ebay sellers who buy multiple memberships who subsidize their collections by buying multiples and selling at sometimes obscene prices. It can disillusion even the most hard core collector /dealer who is used to the collecting scene.The ones who enjoy collecting, diorama, photographing - are probably few and far between like myself.  I may get some flack for this but I am past it. Some of the behavior I witnessed was not the fault of Integrity who cannot control customs and were doing their best to make the convention enjoyable. Some of the attendess however, and their behavior, left alot to be desired when they did not get their dolls. Having to fight to get a doll that you would like to have after it is unveiled is beginning to get more than a little tiresome. I lucked out this time after the webinar because I decided to limit myself to two dolls. 
5. Big question? Will I continue to join the W club?
Probably. BUT-
I am definitely going to tone down my buying. I did this year. I did buy all of the registration dolls. I am going to go over them with a fine tooth comb and if something is out of place, they will have to send me another doll, end of discussion. 
I purchased the webinar doll...here's hoping I don't get another dud like I did this year. I should have paid attention and not ordered her, but the clothes were stunning. As far as W club dolls, I have not ordered a great deal of them this year. 

And to wrap this up- I hope my long rant hasn't rained on everyone else's dolly parade. Sometimes I think - am I the only one? because everyone is too busy singing the company's praises. My dissatisfaction came last year with High Visibility Agnes and the company announced after we received her that her body comes apart as if it was a 'surprise' and what a wonderful thing that was. It wasn't for me. I was half afraid to undress her, she is impossible to pose, as is Mademoiselle Jolie. Their joints are stiff, and they are extremely tall. There is a tutorial on how to take their bodies apart on the forum. If one of their limbs broke I would simply freak. This is supposed to be easily repaired as you send the 'broken' part back to integrity and they send you the replacement part instead of a new body. This part I hate the most. I realize there are points for Integrity saving money. But somehow this just feels wrong for the buyer. And somewhere I know these dolls will eventually not be holding up in the long run. 

Ok, rant is over now....:) Have a great dolly day...


D7ana said...

Hi Lisa!

Your post struck me as having legitimate points:

IT produces lovely dolls

Sometimes the finer accessories are so fine that they are difficult to put on, remove - for dolls that stay in one outfit, that might not matter. But most of us like to re-dress dolls.

Scalpers focus on getting the most money they can get for these dolls adds stress to buying them.

Action figures are fun and if you get just the figure, less expensive than IT dolls. Posing action figures is easier and they have better articulation.

I don't see how you could rain on anyone's dolly fun - you expressed some exasperation that anyone who collects these dolls in particular may have also experienced.

And hey, I got to see lovely photos of Mademoiselle Jolie AND pick up a new dolly term. "Exploding body," hmmm? LOL, thanks for the image ;-D

Lisa Neault said...

D7ana, thank you for understanding. 'Exploding body' was the term that is used on the W Club forum when we were informed upon receiving the High Visibility online gift set- by the way- she has a new body and it ALL comes apart. It literally had alot of us freaking out. Some of the more adventurous W club members who love everything the integrity team does- virtually everything- took the doll apart and the admin came up with a tuturial of course which they posted and their reasons behind doing this- which of course was saving money for the company, which on the one hand I can understand.

But that is not the reason collectors buy fashion dolls. I like the quick switch features of switching out hands, and the heads. I do not mind that which I find convenient. But this whole business of being able to take it apart like legos really made me concerned about the doll lasting - the joints being more brittle and apt to break, snap, etc. in the long run. Hot Toys is a very expensive product for good reason, as is Kaustic Plastic, Dragon, DID and Sideshow. If these figures come completely apart it lets you know up front before the purchase because that's part of the figure's package.

IT produces lovely dolls, but not lovely collectors/scalpers, or dregs as I might call them. Not all of them are like that, just a few. I shouldn't generalize all of the dolly collectors like that. LOL...These few do make the hobby unpleasant and hard for the new collector in my opinion.

I am just having very mixed feelings about the new FR2 line and its body. Though the face sculpts are beautiful, the clothing and accessories are gorgeous, I am finding it difficult to make the adjustments to diorama and scale building as Integrity seems to be way off the charts with scale. They are making 1:5 dollies, not 1:6 dollies. these freakish long legs make the dolls difficult to stage, pose and photograph/disguise in a diorama with 1:6 props.Call me a perfectionist.

D7ana said...

Thanks for defining 'Exploding body,' Lisa. I thought that meant that the dolls were especially well-endowed ;-P (Buxom, curvy, etc.) I didn't think that the dolls literally fell apart. Sheesh. I'd be furious.

billa's dolls and fashions said...

Hi Lisa, I can fully understand you, even though I've been really lucky with my dolls so far. I've noticed that the quality of the finishing on the fashions is on a sliding path. Unfortunately this is what happens trying to reproduceultra modern fashions in 1/6 scale, if this little features are lined they become too bulky, if they are not they fray, they just don't fit the scale IMHO.
I admit I'm not cut for the competitive world of the WClub. I'm still satisfied with the product and I haven't yet played enough with the new girls to tell if the "exploding body" will be an issue for me. I hope not.
I know I'm in a minority, but I like the new FR2 body, mostly I'm comfortable with it when I sew my fashions. But as I'm putting together my first dioramas I know their scale is a pain!
I've just made the decision to stick only to two of IT lines (Old NuFace and FR2) keep my lovely hommes and then I switched partially to action figures for the guys.
The production issues of IT I've seen are scary, eyelashes falling apart, two left shoes and so on.....expecially with the prices these dolls reach on the secondary market.
The one thing I really believe in is being an eclectic collector of dolls, simply buying what I like if I can get it and that's it.
This is the reason why I didn't renew my subscription to the WClub this year. I love IT dolls and I still collect them, I've just added a bunch from the gloss convention and one from the new 2015 FR2 line, but I'm going to be really relaxed about it.
You've not rained on anybody's parade and I believe you raised some important issues for IT collectors!

Kisses Billa

Lisa Neault said...

Hi D7ana, glad I clarified the technical term of "exploding body" to you. Now you understand all of the doll collector's frustration. I might have made it sound worse than it really is; however, it has made me stop and think of the future of my FR2 collection.

Billa, you nailed many of the issues in your statements. Some dolls have wonky eyes, missing eyelashes, and those are the minor issues- mine had a bad shoe I should have had sense enough to check as soon as I got the giftset. Imagine if I had tried to sell this and not deboxed it!

And the biggest problem is not the dolls themselves...or their 'exploding bodies'...I could in , overall, live with that problem and the problem of finding clothes to fit their ginormous feet. It is the freakish long legs and the too-tall Tinas- I mean, if these dolls are made to scale these girls would be freaking 7 ft tall! No supermodel is 7ft tall!! My biggest issue is the scale. If Integrity would only make them 12 inches high, I could deal with it. They definitely has someone who doesn't give a rap about scale or just likes to sculpt big now. So like you, I'm going to buy what I like and scale back on the FR2 dolls as that seems to be where the quality issues are, when they try to replicate edgy modern fashions without quality control. Very very good point!

I am being pulled in their FR16 department which does not look like it has an issue- those dolls look stunnign this year!

So glad I haven't rained on everyone's parade! Not criticizing Integrity, still love the company but wish they would listen to some valid points.

Vanessa said...

I don't buy a lot of Integrity dolls. The ones I have haven't experienced the quality issues that seem to be too frequent. I've always felt for what those dolls cost, even when they first come out, the quality should be impeccable. The whole premature yellowing of the bodies, amongst other issues, makes it seem like they aren't testing the viability of their materials. I hadn't heard of the exploding body, but that would probably irritate me, too. But mainly because they don't have the best reputation for quality. So I would worry this new experiment wouldn't work either. I didn't realize the FR2 body was actually bigger than the other FR bodies. They definitely wouldn't work with my Barbie dios. Not that I had plans on buying one any time soon.