Sharing Another Kickstarter – Royelles

Just came across this on Kickstarter, and I wanted to share this with you right away, because they still need a lot more pledges.  (Admittedly, they’ve got 24 days, but the sooner the better, yeah?)

(Not actually a video; screen capture from Kickstarter. Click for source.)

The Kickstarter is to get a new line of dolls called Royelles, to help combat the negative body image that current fashion dolls can contribute to.  (Let’s be honest, though:  Hollywood plays an enormous role in the negative body issues plaguing young girls.  I didn’t need a Barbie to teach me my body wasn’t acceptable to the people around me, because I watched television and went to see movies.  By the time my mother relented and let me have a Barbie, all my issues were already set in stone.)

These are some really great-looking dolls, very different from anything available on the affordable side of the market (some OOAK artist dolls do have a similar aesthetic, though), and I’d love to see these succeed and reach children.  The photos are all of their 3D printed prototypes, and it looks like the prototypes should make a smooth transition to their finished material.  (Some sort of plastic, I’m assuming, but if they said which type, I missed it.)  From the photos of people holding the prototypes, I’d say they’re probably about 18″ tall, rather than the more typical 12″ for playline fashion dolls, but the extra height gives them a lot of room for added personality.

So, please check them out, and support them if you like what you see. 🙂

Revolutionary Girl Utena Pullips teased!!!

Groove has just made my day — maybe my whole year!!!

I’ve been needing a Pullip Utena for, what, two years now?

Pullips and Junk

Groove just announced a very exciting upcoming collaboration series via their blog and I am beyond elated for it as the new collaboration series is with one of my all-time favorite anime/manga series Revolutionary Girl Utena ( Shōjo Kakumei Utena). No photos of the dolls have been revealed yet just a teaser image of Utena Tenjou & Anthy Himemiya on Groove’s blog so far but they did mention that both will dolls will be Pullips. I don’t know if these are the only two characters who will be released or not, I know it’s extremely unlikely but I’m kind of hoping that my personal favorite characters Nanami, Kozue and Shiori get released.

So what is Revolutionary Girl Utena? Revolutionary Girl Utena was originally a manga series by Chiho Saito as well as anime series. The anime series is celebrating it’s 20th anniversary this year and was directed by the same…

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July

After the post-heavy June, July is going to return to the old “low posting volume” formula.  Possibly even more so than usual, because I’ll be taking part in the July CampNaNo session, so I hope to dedicate a lot of my free time to writing.

But I’ll try to have a very important deboxing post sometime in late July (depending on delivery time), because I was one of the 200 people who managed to pre-order Pineapple Princess from Junie Moon. 😀  And yes, that did involve me sitting at my computer for half an hour at Tokyo’s midnight (10 in the morning here), hitting the refresh button and waiting for pre-order to open. 😛  (Of course, since I’d already been over-spending, now I need to lock up my credit card and not buy anything but groceries for the next six months.  Not that that’s going to happen, but it needs to.)

I might also manage to do a post on Cu-Poche Alice, who arrived here at the beginning of this week, after I had to pre-order her second release from AmiAmi because Amazon forgot how many they’d ordered and let me pre-order something they weren’t actually going to get in stock.  (Or whatever it was that happened.  I dunno.  Maybe Kotobukiya didn’t deliver as many as they were supposed to.  The e-mail wasn’t clear, but what was clear was that they waited until the last second to tell me, even though they must have known for weeks that they weren’t going to be able to fulfill my order.  I am, frankly, still really ticked off at them about that, but I had to abandon my plan of “never order from Amazon again.”  That’s a really hard plan to put into effect, y’know?)

So…there you have it.  This blog will be very quiet for the month of July.  But hopefully I’ll find a nice balance after that.

Pet Rainbow “Unity” (Kickstarter)

Something a little different now, but it’s such a timely project (in several ways) that I had to promote it here.  I was just made aware of this Kickstarter last night:

(c) Pet Rainbow Project.
Image source Kickstarter
Click for link

It’s not a Gay Pride rainbow, but I think the core values it’s promoting — particularly “Love” and “Respect” — fit in with the Pride Month theme.  Early on the Kickstarter page, the project’s mission is described as follows:

The goal of The Pet Rainbow Project is to teach core values that inspire positive behaviors so that together we can put an end to racism, bullying, violence and hate crimes.

By associating the rainbow’s colors with core values, Pet Rainbow brings to light a fun and engaging way that not only promotes our positive behaviors today, it helps create the positive leaders of tomorrow.

Promote this uplifting message and share it with the world, and help Pet Rainbow achieve its goal to end division, promote inclusion and create one incredible global unity for all.

One of the goals of the project is also to donate a number of these plushes to children’s hospitals.  (The number presumably being dictated by how much funding they get.)

Please check out the Kickstarter page if you have a moment, and consider backing them.

My June Posting Plans

So, for the last few posts, I’ve mentioned having plans for the blog for the month of June, without ever mentioning what they are.

So now I’m mentioning what they are. 😛

As you may or may not be aware, June is Pride Month.  I’m asexual myself, but I’m very supportive of the LGBT community.  And in today’s political atmosphere, I feel like it’s very important to voice my support.  Or in this case, photograph it.  So my posts this month are going to be either rainbow-themed or same-sex romantic (but always safe for work!) photos.  You’ll be seeing a lot of Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune. 😉  (But also some other anime, Monster High, possibly Vocaloid if I can figure out the right way to handle it, and anything else I can think of that actually seems appropriate.)

Today, I’m just going to recycle some rainbow-themed photos that have been on the blog previously.

New photos will appear next time I post.  (And I’ve already taken several photos of the Uranus and Neptune Figurarts, so I’m almost kinda sorta prepared!)

April and Other Updates

So, for starters, I thought I should admit — as April is almost upon us — that I won’t be doing April A to Z this year.  😦  I’ve enjoyed doing it the past two years, but I have two research projects due this April (in the same class, despite that the “final exam” date is in mid-May) and I’ve been sick all month, so I haven’t been able to get anything done on anything at all.  (In fact, I spent a whole week doing almost nothing but sleeping.)  However, it turns out that there’s a new, less posting-intensive April challenge available, only requiring one post a week (an improvement over my posting here of late), so I’ll be doing that instead.

I’ve found myself going crazy wanting to do doll shopping while I’ve been sick.  Mostly I’ve been able to relegate that to “extensive browsing,” I’m glad to say, but a few orders have been made.  (Of course, what I really wanted was to be able to go doll shopping in person, which probably helped make it easier to resist the online shopping lure to what little extent I was able to do so.)  Alice’s Collections has had a spring promotion going on for some time, wherein you get a massive discount on a tiny little deer BJD (pet-style, not anthropomorphic) if you spend a certain amount of money on accessories, or buy a regular doll over 25 cm.  (And I do mean massive, btw:  $10 instead of $120.  But I also mean tiny, as it’s only 12 cm tall.  But for $10, that’s okay.)  The promotion ends at the end of the month, so I couldn’t wait any longer in the hopes that another sale would kick in to mitigate the cost somewhat.  (And I couldn’t pass it up, ’cause it’s a deer doll!)  Thankfully, I held back from buying a YOSD satyr girl (though I really want one!) and just bought accessories.  I got some new clothes for Arthur (again), some protective garments to protect various dolls from staining, a green wig and green eyelashes for the dark fairy — I mean, dryad — and…uh…I think there was more than that, but I’m having trouble remembering what.  Maybe some clothes for Juliet, too?  Oh, no, that’s right!  Shoes!  I bought some new shoes for Ivy that wouldn’t contrast so badly with her current outfit.  (I still need to get her a different outfit that will match her cute rainbow shoes, though…)  That should be an interesting package when it gets here, but it won’t be for at least a month, because they have to have the deer made.

There have been a few Etsy orders, too.  I ordered some shoes and socks for Betsy, and some white bloomers from Patsy, but they haven’t come yet, because while the shoes and socks were pre-made, the seller has to make the bloomers before the order can ship.  At about the same time I ordered some Mattel dolls from the ’80s and ’90s, mostly because there was one I’ve been wanting for some time now.

(Hint)

And just last night I finally ordered some dresses for the light and dark fairies.  (Well, fairy and dryad.)  It’s been hard to figure any dresses that would work for them, because I want them to be able to wear their wings and their clothes at the same time!  (And most sellers don’t post photos of the backs of the garments to show how low — or not — they are in the back.)  But I think these have low enough backs that they’ll work, and they just look so much like fairy dresses, you know?  My biggest worry is that they may have been made for a slightly more slender doll, and therefore might not fit. 😦  If they don’t, they’ll certainly fit Houston, in which case Ellowyne could wear what Houston is wearing, and one of the fairies might be able to wear Ellowyne’s dress, but…I’m really hoping they’re going to fit, since they’d be so perfect otherwise.

More than anything else, what I’ve really been finding myself drifting towards (almost obsessively) in the past few weeks is the idea of adding a vintage 8″ Betsy McCall to my collection.  I know I looked at some earlier and thought I’d prefer the Tonner version, and it’s not that I’m not happy with the Betsy I have (she’s adorable!) it’s just that somehow the vintage ones have started calling out to me of late.  I’ve found a couple of them that are actually quite affordable (much more so than 8″ Tonner Betsys!) but I’ve been dilly-dallying, not sure which one I wanted to order.  One of them is slightly cheaper and has nicer hair, but the hair is rather similar to my Tonner Betsy.  The other one is slightly more expensive (and has higher shipping) and has less nice hair, but she’s got her shoes.  Both are wearing vintage clothes that don’t particularly appeal to me, but finding them replacement clothes will not be difficult. 😛  (In fact, I’ve found a pair of nice vintage dresses on Etsy, and the seller who made my 14″ Betsy’s dress has some that would look gorgeous on the smaller Betsy, too…though then they’d feel even more like clones than they already would. 😛 )  Before I bought the fairy dresses (about $60, with shipping from Germany), I was thinking I might choose between the two Tiny Betsys and order one soon, but that is not to be after all…

…because this morning I got an e-mail from Ruby Lane about a change to one of the items on my wish list.  I don’t like that they send those e-mails (I keep wish lists so I can find things again, not necessarily to keep abreast of their price fluctuations) but in this case it turned out to my advantage.  The item in question was a 16″ Madame Alexander Princess Elizabeth doll in need of repair work.  Primarily in the form of re-stringing, as she’s in pieces, but her face also needs some re-painting.  The photos aren’t great (or I’d share them), but they seemed good enough to assure me that the doll is actually in pretty good condition other than that she’s unstrung; the crazing seemed minimal, and her eyes are evidently undamaged.  (I think they must be tin, rather than glass.)  Modern Madame Alexander dolls don’t always do much for me, but the old composition ones are lovely, and I’ve been wishing for a long time that they weren’t so deucedly expensive.  So then here’s this girl, reduced down to $25 because of her TLC-needed condition.  I don’t know how much it’s going to cost me to have her fixed up at the doll hospital (if it was just the stringing, I’d try it myself, but I’m not about to try painting her face), but I know the total cost will still be way less than buying one in perfect repair.  Of course, I’ll also have to find her something to wear (she’s only got undies right now), but that won’t be hard to do on Etsy.  Still, her shipping was pretty pricey ($15 shipping feels like a lot on a $25 doll!), and given the doll dresses just last night…8″ Betsy is going to have to wait. 😦  Especially since I’ve so far only worked two days this month, due to my aforementioned sickness.  (Man, my paycheck will be pathetic this month.  Maybe they won’t even bother with it, and they’ll just tack it onto next month’s wages.)  But I’m on my second round of antibiotics now, so hopefully I’ll be back to normal by next week.

Anyway, I thought I should also mention that Bubbly Bliss has arrived, and she is gorgeous. 😀  I’ll do a proper post once I’m not sick and can take proper photos, but I did take a box shot before I freed her from her paperboard prison:

Given all the stars, I’ve decided to name her Stella.  She’s so tiny and cute!  And that translucent skin tone is amazing.  It’s easy to see why the translucent Blythes always sell out so quickly, and then skyrocket in price.  I was a little surprised by the roll wheel in the back to operate her eyes; I guess I was more expecting a little lever like on Pullips.

Once I’m well again — and have gone to the library to research the blasted take-home test (which is configured in such a way that you can’t do your primary research for it over the Internet, because this professor should have retired ten years ago) — I’m hoping to finally do the massive cleaning my place requires, which should let me add more doll shelves (so many more doll shelves!) and finally open some poor lasses (and at least one lad) who have been languishing in their boxes awaiting the day they can be released and join their fellows.  And hopefully I’ll manage to set myself up a nice workspace where I can do face-ups properly.  At this point I’ve got four BJDs (and that little deer on the way) in need of a face-up, and I still want to buy that grape Nano-Rabi from the Junky Spot, though that one probably won’t get any face-up anyway. 😛  (I almost ordered him the other day, actually, but I wanted to add on the DIY eye kit so I could make the perfect new eyes for the dryad, but I realized I didn’t know what size she needed. 😦  I need to take one of her eyes out and measure it, I guess.  Ack, that sounds gross.  I suppose I could also be all pedestrian and contact the artist on Kickstarter and just ask what size the eyes are….)  Anyway, the point of this paragraph is just to say that if things go to plan (like that ever happens), then I’ll probably still be pretty quiet on the posting for a while, but then it should pick up again with a considerable improvement in quality over what there’s been lately.

Frustration and Delay

Ideally, I’d have a real post for you today.  (Ideally, it wouldn’t have been over a month since my last post, either…)

But my place is still a mess, and I’ve had two major events at work — each with massive preparation and post-event clean-up — plus there’s another one this week, so…yeah, there hasn’t been as much time for photography as I’d like.  Especially since I was doing NaNo again this year.

However, I should have been able to at least do a quick photo of my Black Friday Junky Spot order.  (I know, I have no room for things, so why am I still buying them?  Well, I’m trying to cut back as much as possible, but…deals…)  It’s not a huge order, but I’m looking forward to the dolls in it.

If they ever get here.

Okay, so I made the order on Black Friday, yes?  And — as is typical of the efficiency of the Junky Spot — they were also shipped on Black Friday.  And on Monday, when I got home, I found a notice in my mailbox saying that I had a package I needed to sign for.  I go into the post office on Tuesday to pick the package up, and after standing there for 20 minutes while they look around, they still can’t find it, and say they need the tracking number to find it.  The tracking number wasn’t on the notice they left in my mailbox, so I had to go home and find it in my e-mail.

While I was getting the number from the e-mail, I went ahead and used the “Track Package” link, right?  Guess what I saw when I did?

Just guess!

Yup.

The package returned to the post office a little before 11 o’clock Monday night…and then shipped out again a little after midnight.

They didn’t hold onto it for ten days like they’re supposed to:  they started the “return to sender” process before two hours had elapsed!

It gets worse, though.  I’ve called the post office several times to try and get them to stop the return process and send it back to me.

Nothing’s happened.

At all.

As of last night, it’s still in the same place it was on November 30th.  In a limbo called “In transit to destination.”  Without saying what the destination is.  Did they lose it in between the airport facility and my post office?  Did they lose it on the plane back to San Francisco?  Did some creep make off with it?  Did someone run it over with a truck?  No freakin’ clue.

That’s the worst part, y’know?  At least if I knew what had happened, I’d, well, know what happened.

I’m gonna try calling the post office again to see if anything can ever be done.  And I guess if nothing happens after another few days, I’ll e-mail the Junky Spot and see if there’s anything they can do on their end.  (If nothing else, they should be able to get the post office to cough up the insurance money so they can replace my dolls without having to go out of pocket.  Though I think one of them may be out of stock now.)

I’m trying not to blame the post office for this.  I know they’re swamped with work at this time of year.  But I was really looking forward to those dolls (even though they need face-ups that I don’t really have time to give them), and they’re just out there somewhere in the cold, cruel world all alone, instead of here in my cold, cruel house.  (Uh, wait…)

The problem is that, even though I know it’s unreasonable, this is making me start feeling fearful for all my other inbound packages.  Realistically, there’s no reason to worry about other packages on their way.  Most places I order from don’t require signatures for the packages when they arrive, and it was the signature (rather the lack thereof) that caused the problem.  Statistically, the odds of lost packages are very small:  in all the time I’ve lived here, I can only recall three problem packages.  This one, one from Amazon that was lost for a month (though it did eventually arrive…) and one that was coming from England and just plain got lost en route.  So I shouldn’t worry.  But I can’t help myself.

Once I have some time and composure, I’ll try and give some reports on my other Black Friday and Small Business Saturday purchases.  There’s one in particular I want to do a comparison report on, which’ll take a lot longer than just “hey, here’s this doll I got” or “hey, here’s some nifty doll clothes I bought”.

EDIT – This time when I called the post office, they told me that when a package was being returned, they sometimes stop using the tracking number, so the package was already back with the shipper.  I e-mailed the Junky Spot, and the package isn’t back there yet, but they’re going to re-send it when it does get there.  UGH, though.  It’s just such a…okay, right, stop.  Trying not to blame the postal workers.  So I’ll just stop talking now.  I’m still trying to sort through the last month of incoming blog posts, after all.