This year was my first foray into the W Club. I figured it would be a good experience and allow me a sneak peak at what new lines, dolls, and characters that Integrity is putting out this year. I thought at most I’d get one. Maybe two dolls.
To be fair, the forums are good, the people are pretty friendly, and I have gotten a lot of information that I’d never have gotten otherwise. So there was a reveal earlier this month.It wasn’t for the long awaited re-vamp of the Nu Face line (which I hope beyond hope that they haven’t screwed with Giselle’s face mold since I’d really like to pick a few of her up for customizing/ making into alternative versions of Giselle Weston, Actress and inhabitant of Quinlan.
The W Club makes it all about “secret” and “confidentiality” and all that jazz. IMO they hype it up a lot. Which, I’m not sure if people are paying for that exclusivity and feeling of being special or being in the first to know–or what. I can only discuss my personal motivations for being part of the Club.
I joined because I really was just hoping that they’d release an Agnes since I haven’t ever been able to afford one on the secondary market (she never seems to sell for under $200, and forget if you want her with some clothing, just forget it! Both of those things make her beyond the scope of my budget. Especially since I’m bound to eventually tweak and /or repaint her. Too much $$ for that…). Annnnnd there is supposed to be a release of the Nu Face line –and I wanted in on that before they went for scalpers’ prices on the dollpage and on feebay. So I guess I want that “first to know” info, don’t I?
Anyway, I broke down and bought more dolls than I’d planned on. A lot.
I know, I know. I Knooooooooooow
I said I’d just buy an Agnes if they had one–and maybe a poppy if there was one that appealed to me… Now before I go and start showing you photos of the dolls I pre-ordered, remember, this is my first go-round with the process…It wasn’t quite as straight forward as you might think it would be…
So, how does it work? How do I get the dolls I want? (provided there are some I want, right?)
I was asking that just about the time that they (IT’s W club) sent out an email stating when the webinar reveal was going to be.
The basic answer I got was: “You have to call or email when you see the doll you want (during the reveal/webinar). Then you hope that one of dealers carrying the line will take your order! Some will. Some won’t. Somne make you wait until after the webinar, some don’t. But order FAST because everyone else will be ordering then too!”
Didn’t sound like much fun to me.
Hmm…and I signed on for this? It wasn’t what I was expecting. I’d kind of thought that since it was a club, that it would be all neat and orderly–and that there’d be (basically) a doll for everyone who wanted to order one.
>Head Smack< What was I thinking?!!
Well, like any good survivor I rolled with it. Rather than waiting til the day of the reveal (I’d arranged with my job to work the evening shift so I could take part) I decided to do my homework and check out the various doll stores/ IT dealers and see what kind of feedback and what their shipping & payment policies were.
I was quite surprised to see how much it varied across the board. Some wanted 25% down, some wanted 50%, or 75% and some wanted payment in full before they’d take the pre-order. Some of them were reasonable, some of them weren’t (IMO) and some of them were real jerks when I called. Those ones immediately went into the discard bin. I’m not going to pay someone money to be mean to me (I may be a masochist, but I never pay LOL)
So I found two dealers who seemed pretty nice, capable of communicating, and willing to take my order (on the day of the webinar/reveal). Then all I had to do was wait for the actual webinar.
Well, the day came around, and voila! 11:30 I logged into the secret-magic-link that the IT people had emailed me so I could join the “fun”. I figured since it began at noon it was better to log in early and make sure I got all the tech/set up stuff out of the way. It was remarkably trouble free and when things started up it went pretty well. I wasn’t too thrilled at how the woman presenter was gushing over everything. Sorry, but no. Gushing will not make me want to buy something I think is naff. Be real, would you? I liked hearing the designers talk but the real show for me was (of course) the dolls.
They started with the Poppy Parker reveals. I didn’t really expect to want much. The whole spy-girl thing is ok, but I dislike Poppy because of her time period. It doesn’t appeal to me too much. (Now, take poppy, dress her in modern clothes and I think she’s much improved, and likeable.)
(photos below are all property of Integrity Toys)
They showed Lotta Danger Poppy Parker:
She’s pretty, right? Nice coloring combination going on there.
Yea. I wanted to order her–but I didn’t order her right away–(while they were revealing the other poppy parker dolls) because I wasn’t 100% sure about her. To someone who didn’t collect action figures (male and female) the whole spy thing might have been cool. But come on. I know what the articulation on it is like. Poppy’s body isn’t one I’d use for a character that has to have lots of dynamic poses. Uh uh.
But still, she’s pretty looking.
I waited and thought about ordering her. I was pretty sure she’d be popular with that coloring combo.
Wondering what the other poppy dolls were going to be like–they showed another poppy who looked like it was influenced by some old Cleopatra movie crossed with the 60’s clothing styles. The paint application and coloring wasn’t as striking and I passed.
Somewhere down the line….they showed the “poppy friends”. (Sounds lame, right?)
Meet Tina Tanaka:
Oh Wow wow wow!
Integrity did something I never expected! They released a doll that used the Ayumi 1.0 headsculpt! FREAKIN AWESOME!@!!! WOW!!!
I was thrilled! I immediately called and ordered one. How could I not? She’s on a poppy body with the articulated ankles, and that means I won’t have to futz around with body swapping! Ok, I admit the face will need repainting, but I was buying her so I could customize her. Repainting ahead!At that point I tried to order the Lotta Danger Poppy and was told by my first choice dealer that she was sold out (bummer) but I did try my second choice (they’re second because they want a larger pre-order deposit) and they had both (so err, I bought the poppy as well as a second ayumi.
Awesomeness! Yay! Now, even if there wasn’t an Agnes in the collection I could consider myself happy. YAY@!@@ After the certainty that IT wouldn’t be using that sculpt anymore (since they now had the 2.0 sculpt in the FR2 line) it was great to see ayumi’s original sculpt being used.
They went through more of the line, introduced a few new characters (and the old Nadja headsculpt) and then went into the next section. I think it was the Jem stuff. I have a certain amount of nostalgia about Jem, but as a doll, and as potential characters in my photostories they are too limited. Plus, I think that the paint applications on them are really flat looking.
They went through the Tulabelle stuff and whatever else, and then –then they started doing the FR line. I’m all kinds of anxious at this point. Is my internet connection going to hold? Am I going to get disconnected at the vital moment??!
No. It all was good. and surprisingly, the whole FR line was pretty good looking IMO. Just as well that I don’t tend to collect them. There were however two dolls in that set that I wanted and did order:
Eugenia:(mostly because I wanted her clothes for other wardrobes)since I’m not always the biggest fan of the sculpt.
And of course the other doll:
I thought I’d buy her and then see how I feel about her when she gets here. I suspect though, that she might end up finding a new home because I already have Escapism Elise waiting for a re-root. On the Rise Elise wouldn’t need a re-root but…I dunno. She was an impulse buy and I doubt she’ll stay.
They announced the Event Doll–Agnes! WOOT! There it is! The golden ticket! Rawr!
(Do I sound like a complete nutter yet???)
Her clothes don’t do it for me at all, but that doesn’t matter. She’s ordered and I have someone willing to split a 2nd one with me (she takes the clothes, accessories etc and I get the nekkid doll) which totally stokes me because it means I can experiment with taking her hair down (which we were cautioned about in the webinar) and see how it goes. It also means I can (on that one) tweak the lips and make them slightly more frowny like a regular Agnes! Woot!
So… let’s see. I’ve blown 4 months of doll savings in one morning. ouch. No one warned me about that!