Monday, December 22, 2014

Best of 2014 - Number 9

If Victoire Roux fans left the collecting table feeling more than satisfied, Poppy Parker collectors were absolutely stuffed!   I was very worried about 2014 because I've had a "love/hate" relationship with Poppy Parker.   I started collecting Poppy with her very first releases in 2009.   Unfortunately Poppy Parker causes quite a frenzy with collectors and individuals can get quite mean when it comes to their favorite girl.  The secondary market values on some Poppy dolls made it impossible for me to enjoy mine, so they found new homes.

I swore that I wouldn't add any Poppy girls to my collection in 2013 but fell completely in love with the World's Fair theme.  I purchased every single doll from that collection!  Since this was the fifth anniversary of Poppy Parker, I was afraid I was done for.

That didn't happen.

(This blog uses many images that are the property of Integrity Toys since only one Poppy came to live with me this year.)  The mainline theme for Poppy Parker this year was spy related - not my cup of tea (or should I say not my "shaker of martini").   The year started with the W Club upgrade Poppy, The Girl from I.N.T.E.G.R.I.T.Y.  Although I passed on this version of Poppy, I think she was probably the best of theme.
When the mainline was released, it turned out there were three Poppy Parkers, three friends, and two hommes in the collection.  It was almost overwhelming.  All three of the Poppys were released in an edition size of 800 and cost $120 each. The first of the Poppy girls, was Agent Lotta Danger.  The catsuit was cute and the doll, itself, was surprisingly sweet.

Next up was Spy A-Go-Go.
The third doll was Mayhem in Monte Carlo.
Unfortunately, this doll reminds me a great deal of Corie Bratter Poppy from 2013.
The fourth Poppy in this collection was just a head that was included with another doll, Sebina Havoc Mistress of Mayhem.  I had hoped to purchase this later, but, as it turns out, this was the most popular doll from the collection.
Collectors were beginning to feel like there wasn't enough fanfare for their favorite doll's anniversary, until the first W Club Exclusive Poppy was revealed.  It truly represented what collectors were waiting for.  It was Joyous Celebration Poppy Parker.  This doll had the vintage look of earlier Poppy dolls, even the screening of Fashion Night Out.  The dress was very reminiscent of a Japanese exclusive Francie dress from the 1960's.
It turned out Joyous Celebration was just getting the ball rolling.   For the first time, three different Poppy Parker dolls showed up at the IFDC.  There was a red haired version, IT Girl, in an edition size of 300 and a price point of $150.
Then there was a blonde, Evening Ingenue, also an edition size of 300 and a price of $150.
Finally there was a brunette, Glamorous Darling.  She was released in an edition size of 300 and cost $175.

These three dolls were instant successes and demand high prices on the secondary market.  With such beautiful Poppy dolls being released, collectors couldn't wait until the Convention to see what was offered.  Some of them may have been a little surprised that the theme turned to 1970's disco.

The luncheon centerpiece was Angel in Blue.  300 attendees got the opportunity to purchase this doll.
While all 500 attendees received Starlight Poppy as a gift.
Two other versions showed up at the convention.   There was Dark Moon.
And Wild Thing.   (I actually liked the kookiness of the Jodi Foster "Taxi" ensemble.)
And if that wasn't enough Poppy Parker for one year, the W Club had one last lottery for an exclusive, Holiday Feeling.   With over 800 dolls and a price tag of $120, there still weren't enough to go around.
With 14 Poppy Parker releases in 2014, it was near impossible to choose one for my countdown.  My personal favorite was Joyous Celebration.  I believe this version stayed true to the original story and character of Poppy Parker.  This is my photo of Joyous Celebration in her box.

Number 9
Best of 2014
Joyous Celebration
Poppy Parker

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Best of 2014 - Number 10

I can't believe we are already at the end of 2014.   If you collect Integrity Toys, you had a bountiful 12 months!  I didn't even know where to start.  No matter your taste, there were more than enough dolls to put under that Christmas tree this year!

When considering my countdown, I decided to limit the number of times any character got included.  For the first time, I don't even know where I am going to wind up!  But, after much consideration, I found a place to start.

Number 10 - Victoire Roux

Unless noted, all photos are the property of Integrity Toys.

If you are a fan of Victoire Roux, you had a great deal to choose from in 2014.   I fell in love with Victoire with her first release at the 2011 Integrity Convention, Faubourg Saint Honore, and added all the 2012 and 2013 releases.  I have multiples of some of the earlier dolls because they represent my favorite screening.   By the end of 2013, I was beginning to believe the dolls started becoming redundant.

The first Victoire released in 2014 is a current favorite of mine, Evening in Montreal.  This doll has never been redressed in my collection.  (I did change her gloves to those originally worn by Traveler by Nature Veronique.)  She was an IT Direct purchase, was released in an edition size of 600 and cost $99.   Such a great price for such a beautiful doll.
She was my third doll of 2014 and highlighted in a blog entry on March 19.  Here is the link:  Review of Evening in Montreal Victoire  I do think this doll is quite phenomenal.  This is my closeup photo of her:
The next released Victoire was La Grande Seduction.  She was a W Club Exclusive.  Personally, I am neither a fan of this doll's ensemble or her face up.  There are many collectors who truly love her, but I had decided by this point in the line to limit my purchases.  She cost $115.
Somehow I missed the next doll completely.  She was also a W Club Exclusive.   (I think I passed on her because, at the time of her release, I was aggravated by quality problems I was having with dolls I had purchased this year.)  I actually like this doll very much and may have to break down and buy her on secondary market.  She is Pret A Partir.  She was also released in an edition size of 600 and cost $99.
The last W Club/IT Direct Victoire of 2014 was Sous Les Tropiques.  She cost $80 and was released in an edition size of 600.  She is the least favorite among collectors, being able to be picked up for $60 in the Integrity Website store.  I passed on her, believing the Victoires were becoming "too generic".

Having already presented four Victoires, collectors were finally pacified with a friend for Victoire at the 2014 Gloss Convention.  La Ville Lumiere Simonetta Bertorelli was part of the Gloss Convention Collection that conventioneers could purchase.  It seems IT may have over-estimated her popularity with a production of 600 dolls.  She, too, can be purchased online.  Her price is $135.  Although I believe she is a very good stylistic fit to Victoire, she almost resembles Victoire too much for my personal taste.
In addition to Simonetta, collectors had the opportunity to purchase Dial V for Victoire Roux at the convention store.  Even though there were only 500 in the edition, she hasn't sold out.  She is available in the online store for $110.
Just when collectors thought they had seen the last of Victoire for 2014, we get an announcement of two final releases.   One of the dolls was called À La Maison.  This doll's edition size is 500 and she cost $99.  Although collectors thought the second doll in the announcement would be the obvious hit, this Victoire became an instant success with collectors.  She is the first Victoire released with flowing locks.
Although I really like this doll, she reminds me a great deal of the 2013 Premier Convention Monogram, Interlude, which I prefer of the two.
The final Victoire of 2014 is Départ Pour L'Orient.  I knew this doll was joining my collection.  I am usually not a fan of red-haired Victoire dolls.  (They must have gotten a good deal on red hair at the factory since this is the third Victoire with red hair this year.)
This is my picture of Depart Pour L'Orient still in the box.
I love the widow's peak.  The hairstyle is reminiscent of the dolls from the 2013 Premiere Convention.  It is very intricate and lovely.  (My photo)
And I am so excited to see the return to the original eyebrow screening.  As much as I loved the first Victoire of 2014, Evening in Montreal, I think I love this one even more.  I give Depart Pour L'Orient Victoire Roux the Number 10 slot on my "Best of 2014" list.