So… This is my very first Doll Review. I’m kinda nervous and excited as there are so many excellent Doll Reviewers out there, each with their own style and qualities, and I love reading their reviews. There’s Stratos’s excellent The Fashion Doll Chronicles that links doll collecting to the adult fashion world like no one else, Terri Gold’s Collecting Fashion Dolls (Which covers so many amazing brands and has a straightforward approach to the habit of collecting), There’s the very nice and insightful Bonequea (In Spanish) which has amazing diorama tutorials and printables and has some very nice Poppy Parker and Barbie reviews… There are also brilliant Doll Reviewers on Flickr like Beau and Gamer-Kun to name my favorites. Off course, being the shy creature that I am, I more often read than comment… A mistake I intend to mend from now on. Bear with me, guys. It might take a while, but I’ll get there!
So, considering all these talented reviewers, the first goal here is not shaming myself. I’ll try my best. I wish the reasons for this review were 100% pure happiness with a beautiful doll… But alas… Well, let’s get to it.
Be Daring Imogen is the Nu Face Upgrade Doll from this year’s W Club by Integrity Toys. She was produced on demand, as the members who wished to order her paid for her deposit along with the W Club Membership Fee. My COA says her edition size is of 1010 dolls. Let’s take a good look at her, shall we?
Now, when there were hints about the theme being “Rebellious Chic” for the Nu Face, Alexander McQueen came to my mind, as well as that lovely Chanel Pre-Fall 2013 Collection. Balmain also came to mind, as Olivier Rousteing’s Balmain packs a good rebellious fashion punch, and since that’s where the inspo for the “Never Ordinary” giftset came from, it seemed very likely we would see some Balmain inspo again. What didn’t come to my mind was pastel tomes. Now, I’m a rebellious child of the 90’s. I grew up listening to Rock when Hip Hop and Boy Band Pop was all the rage amongst those my age. So her outfit ended up being a turn off instead of a turn on. I love the daring jacket, and I am a fan of a well cut pair of trousers, but powder pink doesn’t help much. Her accessories, however were exactly what I hoped for and a bit more. Here they are:
I love the Aviator Glasses, the Skull Accessories, her simple and elegant booties and the folder with book pictures and calling cards was a very nice touch. Very well thought of. I would have loved a skull clutch à la McQueen, but maybe we’ll see one when the Nu Face Collection comes out at some point. But I digress. What really made me get this girl is in the name I gave her. Ingrid. That’s my top model level beautiful, clever, fun younger cousin’s name. No, I won’t be posting pictures of her. You’ll have to believe me on this. At certain angles, Imogen looks just like my cousin. And those glasses… Ingrid has the very same style. So, Imogen with her glasses on = Ingrid. I love my cousin like a lil’ sister, so I had to have a mini Ingrid. That might be a weird reason to buy a doll, but from the perspective of my non-collector friends I would be weird for buying any doll for any reason, so that’s beside the point. So I got her, along with Vanessa (which deserves a review of her own, but that depends on how well I can review Imogen first.).
Fast forward to some two weeks ago, and I finally received my package. I opened up, and there she was. Her face is gorgeous to look at, and I was still under the effects of it when I noticed her jacket was strange. The closure on it is not nice and smooth as it is on the promo shoots. It looks askew all the time, and it is an ugly mistake. But, as I said, I didn’t care much for her outfit to begin with. So off with it, I thought, and that’s why there are no pictures of her in her box. I hadn’t decided to do a review yet. Not yet.
So, step one in my rulebook: Redressing. There’s a picture of my cousin in Santa Monica, CA, that I love, and I wanted to reproduce her outfit. I had the perfect items in hand to do so. Our very own sweater from Utopia Collection and our distressed denim from Modern Arda. Shameless, I know. But they are the perfect pieces to reproduce her outfit, and at the time I had no idea (yet) that I’d be sitting here writing this. So, it is not such a shameless propaganda as it might seem. I was going to send Ingrid these photos (which she loved) and then discreetly post one or two on Istagram… But things went differently from what I expected, so… Here she is, redressed. Credits are on the subtitles.
I’ve noticed the second issue while I was redressing her. Her knee joint has a failure in the paint right at the plastic seam. It’s a small thing, but it looks awful with shorts or short skirts. I painted it over so it wouldn’t show through the gaps in the jeans. That made me frown, but I wasn’t going to write about it. But, third time is the charm…
I had just put on her new outfit when I decided to try her own boots with it… And that was the start of 40 minutes – yes, 40 minutes – of trying to put one of her boots on without damaging the faux leather. I don’t have too big hands or anything, and my fingers are quite nimble. I had never had this kind of problem with Integrity’s boots before. Sometimes it might take a little while to open the straps and put the shoes on, sometimes they just slide in so well you don’t even need to actually open the straps… But with these simple innocent looking boots I needed 40 minutes and three different tools to actually manage… And not really manage at all.
Her toes are on the right place. You can see by the raised leather. I’ve tried to put her boots on with my hands, tweezers, and two different scissors. The curved one did the trick, but not completely. There simply isn’t enough leather on the shoe to make it go over her heel and to her ankle – where it should be. As I tried and tried, the leather became dented, which means it probably won’t last the summer. And the most I could achieve was making it go halfway through. Then the leather all but burst open at the seams, which made me stop trying. Now, this is something to write home about. Especially taking into consideration that, once I stopped trying and got her other boot, it slid right in without even opening the straps. It just went where it was supposed to go. No fuss, no effort. which gave her a “wonky foot” look. One boot in, the other halfway in. Lovely.
The more I photographed it and had to hide the problem, the more I got sad and dissatisfied. I try my best to do things as perfectly as I can. Joane and I know that I can be implacable when it comes to quality control. So I felt so frustrated for trying my best to hide somebody else’s mistakes when I don’t really hide my own. I hadn’t decided on a review yet. I just wanted to show my cousin some lovely pictures, and I wanted something I could be proud of. But try as I might, I could still see the “wonky foot” right there and it bugged me enough to decide to write. What is going on? I love Integrity Toys since I’ve discovered them. If I didn’t love their dolls, I wouldn’t bother writing about it in the first place. I moved away from the Barbies I grew up with to spend most of my doll budget on them, and sometimes, more than I should spend as well. But considering Vanessa’s unfortunate surprise and Imogen’s issues… It really made me think it all over. I hope from the bottom of my heart they won’t follow on this budget cutting pattern, because that’s not gonna achieve what they hope to achieve. It’s the kind of change I won’t support. It pains me to say so, but it’s the truth. There’s still time to come back to what was before, so I’m not gonna say any more. I’ll wait and see, and hope. And I’ll move on with the review.
My first goal was reproducing my cousin’s look, but as the impulse to write grew on me, I decided to take more pictures with the other parts of her outfit. Her jacket came first, and since all the times I tried to photograph it closed I couldn’t bear to look at the results, i just threw it open. It works better. Credits on the subtitles.
It doesn’t have enough cloth to go evenly over the shoulders. Gah. Let’s try again.
It looks nice thrown open over the dress. That way it looks even and not wonky. I’m sorry about the foggy picture. There was a bit of dust on the lens, but it took me a while to notice. It’s nice and clean now.
Her pants fit her very well. I like the fit. I just had to be Tongue-in-Cheek about the color. It’s stronger than me sometimes. So I got my customized Barbie shirt out of the box to pair it up with them. I really couldn’t help being a brat this once, and at my first review, no less… I wonder what might happen if I get a taste for reviews… Now, let’s take a moment to look at those gorgeous accessories…
I LOVE her accessories, especially her shades and the ring. Following the order from the top left:
Bracelet: Love it to bits. I just don’t get why there are no crystals on the skull’s eyes to match the rest of the jewelry.
Shades: I love them as I said, and my cousin has the adult scale version. Perfect.
Calling Card: Nice touch… But wasn’t it supposed to be “Maverick”, with a C as well?
Belt: Love it and needed one like it. Problem is: The skull easily turns to the sides during photoshoots. And if you get easily distracted as I do, you won’t notice it until you’re ready to post the pictures. Since I don’t trust myself to stay sharply focussed on where the skull is looking now, I might just cut it off the belt and thus get an extra skull ring. IT might consider doing it differently next time. Wouldn’t hurt to get a skull belt that you don’t need to worry about.
Last but not least, the ring: A Skull ring was in my doll wishlist right at the top! Thanks for that, IT!
I’ve chosen our black shirtdress to show off the accessories better. All in all, I am happy with her. And that’s due to the fact that she looks like my cousin, like I hoped. I’m also happy her eyes are painted. But that’s another story, for another review, if I get to do it. I would really love to hear your opinion on this review. Was it good? Not so much? Entertaining? Boring? Please, let me know. Just flame it nicely if you don’t mind. I’m all for constructive criticism.
Just to close the post, here’s my favorite picture of the bunch I took. It was a rainy day, but the sun shone through time enough to click this one!