Jun 082014
 

Yesterday I finally made time to go out after work and shoot some (non cat) photos with the nifty 50. I hesitated going to the local park/bike trail and my honey basically said wasn’t that the whole point of cobbling the old body & lens together? I said “yeah. something like that.” and after some hemming and hawing I got Giselle, redressed her in something appropriate and tossed her in a tupperware container and off we went down the road.

We got there and of course the place was teeming with kids and dogs. Neither of which I really want to have to deal with while I’m kneeling, or in some cases lying on my ample stomach to try to shoot photos. So Mark and I walked down the path a-ways until the noises subsided and the dogs and small people (and their keepers) went home. Out came Giselle from her tupperware prison and I looked for someplace likely to pose her.

I love the creek/brook that runs through the trail area.

creek

I only found the whole park last month when Mark came home and our friend came to visit. It seemed like a good time to explore our area, you know? πŸ˜‰

Anyway…Here are some of the photos I took to begin with: (my favorite photos are at the end of this post)

martin-1

Hmm, did I mention a new guy showed up in town…? We’ll have another post about him later!

giselle-at-the-creek-3

You can tell by looking when the light was stronger and when I changed photo locations. For the photo below I really should have gotten down to eye-level but I didn’t want to lay on my belly in the mud. πŸ˜› I know…it would have made a better shot. I have to think about bringing things to lie on, maybe?

giselle-at-the-creek-2

This next one is possibly my all time favorite of Giselle.

giselle-at-the-creek

giselle-on-the rocks

giselle-on-the-ledge-portrait-b

For some of these photos I had to get wet. I was standing in the creek to get them: but that’s part of trying to break through my camera/damage fear of shooting outdoors, right?

shooting-in-the-creek

Anyway, I think overall the photos came out pretty well. I was shooting without a tripod or other means of stabilization and that says a lot since I have incredibly shaky hands (and poor balance)! I did almost slip on the slimy/ moss/covered rocks under the water ,but I saved myself and did not go >SPLOOOOOOSH!<

So there you have it. The first batch of photos on my road to breaking through that mental roadblock! πŸ˜€

Something I WISH Integrity Toys would do with their doll bodies…

 1:6 scale Dolls & Action Figures, fashion royalty, What do YOU think?  Comments Off on Something I WISH Integrity Toys would do with their doll bodies…
May 312014
 

I thought I’d blogged about this already but apparently not! No wonder no-one had anything to say about my thoughts on the subject!

giselle Giselle however…Is concerned about what the future holds for her.

As I said in my last post, I joined IT’s W-Club and had a good look-see at the new FR line and Poppy Parker dolls that they will be releasing later this summer/early fall. Of course I ordered some, of course! I went nuts. LOL. πŸ˜€ Despite my euphoria at getting an Agnes, and Integrity Toys re-releasing the Ayumi 1.0 mold (as Tina Tanaka in the poppy Universe) I’m still bothered and a bit disgruntled that with all the “re-vamping” and “changes” that IT is/has supposedly made/is making to their lines of dolls that they seem more hype than actual changes. Ok, so the FR/ FR2 lines merged and now there’s just FR 2.0.

IMO one thing that really sucks is that they just keep getting taller and taller and taller! My other big gripe is that the articulation/ pose-ability isn’t improving in any marked way.

This is what I mean:
Remember back in 2009 Integrity Toys came out with the Handspeak System?

Wow. Removable hands. They made life a lot easier for those of us who re-dress their dolls, and gave us pose-options with a few different hand types.

The handspeak system is a very simple one. Hand with a jointed section with a long pin to insert into the forearm/wrist area. It’s mostly a friction fit. NOT rocket science.

(As an aside:Sadly, Integrity Toys didn’t bother to release any packs of hands with alternative or different poses. I’d have happily plunked down money on that. And even bought duplicates so I could put different colored paint on the nails as polish for them!)

Well, what have they done since then?

1) “Quick Switch” headswapping feature (on limited dolls-1st Joan Crawford doll, now some of the Poppy Parker & Jem dolls that were newly announced will have it.)

2) ERR…? Anything else I forgot about? I mean aside from adding the FR2 line and then discontinuing it and melding it with the FR main line? Does anyone know if the new FR 2.0 line still has the waist joint the original FR2 dolls had or if that’s been nixed?

As you can see they haven’t done a whole lot of world shaking upgrades or changes. Maybe, if I didn’t know about the wide array of female action figure bodies (which are constantly changing & evolving into more aesthetically pleasing AND articulated pieces) I’d be ok about it. For example, if all I’d ever collected or played with were barbies—I’d probably still be over the moon about ITs handspeak system. Maybe. I doubt it though–I’m a demanding collector/player. πŸ˜‰

So back to that earth-shaking Handspeak System: Why couldn’t Integrity use the same thing for FR or Poppy Feet/ Legs? (again, because I’m a cross genre figure collector I know that 2/3 of the female action figures on the market not only have feet that are removable–interchangeable for flat feet or High heel feet)

Some people might say that it’s because adding those joints at the ankle (like Poppy Parker has) are unsightly and ugly. Some might say that they’d be fragile and unable to hold the weight of the dolls or the poses most fashionista doll owners want them to hold.

My response to that is this: many ball jointed dolls have those joints (and more) such as Sybarites, Dollfie Dreams, Soom dolls etc which are IMO “fashion dolls” not really doll-dolls. And of course action figure females, and also too, volks 27 cm beauty dollfies too. They all seem to function perfectly fine with that joint there.
Actually, thinking about it, didn’t Tonner’s Tyler Wentworth doll have removable feet at some point? Allowing her to have flatter feet or high heels??

Oh yes: they do!

24 bucks for a pack of feet?Β Β  I’d pay it just to have the options for poses! Why can’t Integrity manage to do something similar? WHY, Integrity? Why? *cries*
I’m not saying that FR/ Nu Face or even Poppy need to have ballerina feet (I have no ballerina dolls) but I do have dolls that I want to have more options for foot wear and poses!Β  It would be a great improvement on the lines to be able to swap out their feet. It would allow for more ranges in height (hello, notice that everyone in FR land is the same height as everyone else? Ugh.)

I’m not going all out here on articulating the Integrity Toys doll lines (for instance, I think they could also make the knee joint like the Syb’s but I don’t see them ever doing that they’d consider it too ugly, although the Jamieshow knees look ok).

Just talking about the next reasonable step from the Handspeak system. Shouldn’t it be the Footspeak?

My thoughts are this:

#1) They could either make the lower leg removable from the knee joint and sell a packet of flat or high heel (or uber high heel) feet separately. The pink line shows the post application.

footspeak-system-idea-1Β  footspeak-system-idea-2

#2 they could make the joint at the ankle (Hey, Poppy’s body already HAS a joint there! Score! If they wanted to test the feasibility they could release a Poppy with “foot speak” and see how that sells. I know a lot of people who dislike Poppy dislike her solely because IT made such a craptastic joint there. It flips back and forth when it SHOULD be a ball joint. unless they make it removable. Like the hands.)

Seriously, IT what were you thinking?Β  When you put her feet flipped back in high heels the line of the foot looks misshapen.Β  I deal with it because I love the fact that she can be shorter than other dolls but a lot of people avoid the line and or/ rebody their Poppy Parkers onto FR bodies because of it.Β  IMO they should re-do it and do it right.

So what to do?

1) I’m waiting for the Nu Face reveal later this year. Do I think they’ll have adjusted or added or done anything with the ankle? No. I doubt it. In fact, I’d bet good money that they won’t. I think the Nu Face girls will be taller, with slightly resculpted torso/ chest areas. That, and a new face sculpt or two. that I think is going to be the extent of the massively touted re-vamp.

2) A while ago I bought the Monogram Echelon on the doll page. I bought her specifically because she is the same skintone and chest size as the Poppy Parker body that I re-bodied Giselle onto. My original thought at the time was to tweak my other Old is New Giselle head and pop that on the Echelon body thus allowing me to have Giselle wearing High Heels when appropriate or having her in flats/ sneakers or whatever whenever I wanted. But you know, the more I think about that, the more I don’t want to have to have 2 versions of her head and body just for her to be able to wear some of the great high heeled shoes out there.

I’ll wait until the reveal, but if it reveals what I expect, then I will be doing some surgical re-modeling of the echelon and poppy bodies to give Giselle the interchangeable feet /legs she so needs and deserves! I have a saw and I’m not at all afraid to use it! πŸ˜›

But my point is: as a doll collector, and someone who enjoys playing with them: I shouldn’t have to play chop shop with my doll bodies to get them to be as good as what other doll manufacturers are putting out there.

 

Jan 172014
 

Let’s see… This is what Kyu looks like now that I have boiled his hair…

kyu-boiled-hair

He needs a haircut/style but I’m a bit stumped on what to do with it. Do I cut it short? Just cut the bangs area and try to level the rest out? I’m so clueless…. :S

Aside from Kyu needing his hair restyled he needs more doing to him.

1) He needs to have a joint-fix applied so he has a better range of motion.

2) Repaint or partially repaint his face. As it is now it’s pretty bland. It needs some life being given to it!

3) Make some clothes. Poor guy only has the threads he came in and IMO they don’t do it.

 

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Jan 082014
 

Tell me, what was Integrity Toys thinking when they gave London Calling Kyu his hair style?

london-calling-kyu-head-front

Can you really call that a hair style? I don’t know! I don’t think so.
It’s so helmet-head-ly. And…. What is this?

london-calling-kyu-head

Flocking? Uhm…o-kay… So we have massive side-helmet hair, flocking…..and…..

london-calling-kyu-head-side

Underneath that side-flip-helmet hair thing — MORE flocking?!

Ugh. What am I supposed to do with that? Ugh, Ugh UGH!

The way I see it, I have the following options:

1) thin out the side-flip so that it lays a lot flatter and closer to the head.

2) Cut the whole side flip thing off short enough to make the center look like a brush-cut. I suspect this may work because of the flocking on both sides.

3) thin the hair out, boil perm it so it will lay smoother and more flat over the flocked sides. This is the one I think I’m going to go this route and if it fails then I’ll go route #2. Of course there is the chance that the flocking will come off when I do the boil perm…

Right now he looks like this (which I find much better) LOL

london-calling-kyu-head-front-mussed

Jan 052014
 

Yea. I know. I said it was highly unlikely that I was _ever_ going to break down and get a Fashion Royalty guy doll. I know. And I’m now being forced to eat my words! πŸ˜›

So I hear you asking…

Why, Erica? What’s changed? you might even look at me funny and say: Didn’t you just swap a whole bunch of your Fashion Royalty girls onto Poppy Parker bodies so you could use them with Hot Toys Action Figure guys?And you’d be right! I did!

What changed is the fact that Mark and I are going to be making doors & windows (and other things too) for Etsy.

I would feel rotten if we sold a door to someone that it is good for FRs and found that it was actually too short (not that that doesn’t happen in real life, mind you–our house is old and Mark smacks his forehead on them all the time). But still. We don’t want that to happen….

Kyu is roughly 13.5 inches which in 1:1 scale means he’s 6 foot 9 inches tall. He must be a model…or a basketball player! πŸ˜€

So My FR girls are expecting an FR guy to arrive soon.

I was trying to source a low-cost, FR guy that I could tolerate looking at. Not an easy feat in the after x-mas financial state… I ended up selling 2 of my Girls Mission dolls to a fellow collector and using that money to buy London Calling Kyu, from the dynamite girls collection. It was a sacrifice–letting go of older, hard to find figures to get him. I really, really hope he ends up being worth it!

london calling kyu

I’m not overly thrilled with his appearance. However, I suspect that with some work I can make him into a figure I can tolerate looking at and using. And who knows–after a re-style, a bit of repainting and a re-name… maybe he can get cast in a role in Wrenwood Hall, you never know. πŸ˜‰

The first thing I am going to have to fix is that “helmet head” thing he has going on.

Anyway that’s the doll update. πŸ˜‰ Keep watching Etsy — I’ll be listing stuff later this week (probably Thursday) and mark is still working on his technical drawings for the furniture he is making for etsy! Exciting things ahead! πŸ˜€

 

 

Dec 032013
 

So you may or may not recall that I got a Poppy Parker Spicy in Spain a little while back. I swas surprised at the time that I kep her because, well she didn’t really fit my tastes…but I kept her anyhow. I thought that if I did a partial repaint I’d like her better… And I do! πŸ˜€

So here she is before:

poppy-spicy-spain-2

And how she looks after:

repainted spicy in spain 2

I like her new look a lot better although the repaint is pretty sloppy when you see it close up. But even so, it’s an improvement in my book!

 

Oct 142013
 

I posted about my first Poppy the week before last a couple of weeks ago…

I’m pretty new to Poppy Parker dolls.Β Β  I’m still getting used to the proportions of their bodies as compared to the other Fashion Royalty dolls. I do like the fact that they are capable of standing upright, unaided. πŸ™‚ That IS a big plus in my book.

What I don’t like about the Poppy Parker body is a pretty short list: (in order of most disliked to just tolerable…)

  • The totally and completely useless bust-joint
  • The ankle joints.

Sorry, but they could have used a ball-joint there and it would have been great and allowed a smoother line of the foot when “arched” to use in non-flat shoes.

  • The lack of a double joint at the elbow

Something that would allow Poppy (and whoever happens to have her body) the ability to hold a phone to her ear, etc.

So is there anything I can do about any of those problems?

Uh huh. Yep.Β  I think I may have an illness….I seem to be incapable of leaving my dolls alone and un-customized!

I haven’t tried to do anything with the ankle joint, and I know better than to try to put a double jointed elbow in. I’d have to do so much extra work that at this point I don’t think that’s feasible.

But I did do something about that wasted joint, the bust joint!

*cue scary horror movie mad scientist laugh* MWhahahahahahahahahahahha!*

A long while back I saw the photo-tutorial that Emlia did regarding increasing/improving the articulation on the Fashion Royalty Homme body. After giving it some serious thought I hoped that the Poppy Parker body wouldn’t be that different inside and began to take her apart. After all, I figured that since Integrity Toys made both of them they probably weren’t that far removed….

I was and was not quite right about that…..

Interesting to note that Integrity is not (as far as I can tell) using a giant nut to weight the body. But what I did find inside the Poppy Parker body (bodies actually since I did this mod on all of them except India) is that they are filled with varying amounts of hot melt glue.

poppy-parker-torso-inside-1

Not uber cool in my book, but, eh, whatever.

That glue did present something of a problem on some of the bodies because it was in the way (or there was just too much of it) of feeding the elastic through. However, because I am a determined kind of girl I got it done on all of my girls. >:D

And this is what the body can do after the mod — OIN Giselle has been re-bodied onto the new and improved Poppy body. (There are obviously more poses possible and more extreme but, eh, I’m not in the mood to take pics today.)

giselle-poppy-parker-body-mod-2

giselle-poppy-parker-body-mod-1

Now if, on the off chance you want to try this too and you want me to share the photos I tried to take of how I did it (during the process) let me know and I’ll update the post with some more photos–I just need to resize them etc. I didn’t want to bloat the post with a lot of unnecessary pics if no one was interested.

 

Oct 072013
 

It’s likely you know that one of my biggest problems to overcome with using the Fashion Royalty girls is that they are sooooo tall!

Because of their height it’s difficult to find them any male companions that they don’t tower over (aside from the male FRs).Β  I’ve spent quite a lot of time over the last couple of years trying to figure out an alternative…a way to make guys (action figure/ hot toys) taller so that I could use them with my FR ladies. But alas I wasn’t lucky with that and I ended up with pairings like this:

Standard Hot Toys Male Figure & the HT Muscle Body

But even so….how many giant, muscle bound guys could I have in one city?
(ok–to be fair, a lot, but my wallet can’t handle more than one LOL).

giselle-and-the-regular-ht-body giselle-and-the-musc-ht-body

For example, Amber (http://www.flickr.com/photos/appark/) has been helping me to find a way around the height issues by re-bodying some of my favorite girls onto Poppy bodies (did I even know that was possible? No! Or at least not really? I knew she put a lot of FR heads on the Poppy bodies but I didn’t realize the improvement that a Poppy body could give the FR girls!)

Ok let’s look at the positives with regard to using Poppy Parker teen Model doll bodies instead of the Nu Face or Standard Fashion Royalty bodies:

The proportions are in general more pleasing. Not one of them is a massive difference but all together they add up to make a considerable difference IMO.

They are shorter! Yay!
And not by a tiny bit (like the difference between the Nu Face body and the Standard FR body). The bodies seemed to offer a solution I could live with! πŸ˜€

Here’s a comparison between Fashion Royalty Flight Pattern Kyori and Spicy in Spain Poppy Parker (the height difference is actually a little bit bigger but my Kyori has a slump)

fr-vs-poppy-height-comparison-1Β  poppy-height-vs-fr-kyori-shoulder

And here’s a comparison between the Nu Face body and Poppy Body:

nu-face-vs-poppy-height

I did it. I jumped in and got a couple of Poppy Parker bodies (and 2 dolls…that’s a longer story) and set about swapping out heads on my Nu Face girls to the Poppy donor bodies.

giselle-and-kendall-apt-1

giselle-and-kendall-apt-2b

Now, on the off chance that like me you’d like to swap some heads here are some skintone matches (again courtesy of Amber (Appark on Flickr). πŸ™‚

These are close matches for Old is New Giselle (FR standard caucasian skintone)

Spicy in Spain
She’s Not There
The Look of Love
Beatnik Blues
Forget Me Not (Blonde)
Holiday in the Hamptons

These are close matches for Colette Perk:

Irresistible in India
Sweet Confection

These are close matches for Ayumi (FR standard Japanese skintone)

Sweet in Switzerland
Lilac Frost
Isn’t it Romantic?

Coming later this week: I’ll post about the body mods I did to the Poppy Parker bodies and another mod that I am going to try out to see if it will work (wish me luck or it will remain the headless body forever!) πŸ˜‰

 

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