A tall white box standing in the corner of the display, mostly hidden by some Barbie boxes. Entirely unmarked except for that silver, oval-shaped sticker that had “Gene” written on it in an elegant cursive script. My heart began to race. What was in the box? When I opened it, would I see a fabulous costume, like the Queen of the Nile?
I opened it, and at first all I saw was the tissue paper. Pushing that aside, I quickly revealed lacy pink undergarments, and my hopes were dashed. Just a “Simply Gene”. Admittedly, the line being essentially defunct, even that should be seen as something at least vaguely exciting, but the thing is that then you have to find clothes for her. And that’s not easy. What with the doll line being essentially defunct.
I opened the tissue paper further to have a look at her face. I liked all the bright red curls. But something about the face seemed a little off. All the Gene dolls I’d ever seen had had the same face paint, but this one looked totally different.
Still, she didn’t have any clothes, so I put the box back. The only spare Gene dress I have, after all, is currently gracing one of my Moxie Girls Teens dolls, and as that line is also defunct, finding more clothes for her won’t be easy, either. (Though, admittedly, I actually do have spare outfits for those, in that I still have the clothes she came in, and one of the others has been re-dressed, so I have her clothes as well, but…it’s not as classy as Gene’s dress!)
The box was still there the next time I went to the store. I checked the box again at that time, and saw no price sticker. And I re-assured myself that my memory was not mistaken, and that the face-up was totally different from what I was used to in a Gene doll. But I still didn’t buy.
The third time, I kept looking at that face and wondering what the heck was up with it. And I took the box up to the counter and asked how much the doll cost. The owner of the store (a used and collector’s toy store) wasn’t in, so the clerk on duty had to call him and ask, and returned a price of $34.99. I’d told myself I’d get her at $35 or less, so I got her. (I have no idea if that’s the “going rate” for this doll, but I felt it a reasonable price.)
On getting home with her, I was surprised to note that she had a white fur stole (very fake, thankfully) and a card that indicated it came with a very specific Gene; she wasn’t in her own box. In poking around the Internet for a while, I discovered that after the local FAO Schwarz closed (thus ending my easy access to Gene dolls) the line had branched out and introduced new characters. One of them being this one, Madra Lord:
In the intervening years since I got the two Gene dolls in my possession, they added joints at the elbow and knee, which is nice.
Unfortunately, her head doesn’t turn. And she can’t quite sit properly; her legs won’t bend that far up. (Maybe that’s her undergarments interfering?)
Because of the sitting thing, she’s going to have to live on her stand–fortunately, she did have one–once I figure out something for her to wear. If I could sew, I’d just be like “heck with it” and sew her a dress. But I can’t, so that’s not an option. But it seems like the clothes I can find online to buy that would fit her cost almost as much as she did–if not more–which feels a little awkward. So for the moment, she’s just living in her box. (Well, I’d feel really weird displaying a doll in her undergarments!)
(At this point, rather than posting on this doll, I should have posted on the SH Figurarts Sakura, as I pre-ordered her, and she was released on April 29th, so she arrived early in May. But I haven’t actually taken her out of her package yet. Because she deserves just the right set-up for an initial photo shoot, and I don’t have a really good place to do that yet. So Sakura-chan is going to have to be patient.)