Sunday, July 26, 2015

Introducing My First Dollmore Dolls

Admit it.  You had me pegged for a diehard Iplehouse and FairyLand fanatic.  And you'd be right, up to a point.   The fact is I do occasionally dip a toe into other waters, such as Aileen Doll, Alchemic Labo, ArtBimong, Doll Chateau, Luts and Soom, to name those currently in my collection.  Those that have come and gone over the years include Bambicrony, Batchix, Blue Fairy, Dream of Doll, Elfdoll, Kaye Wiggs, Limhwa, Oasis Doll, Only Doll, Planetdoll, Rosette, SoulDoll, Supia, UniDoll and a few others.  That said, it should surprise no one that I have ventured into another doll company:  Dollmore.  Because sometimes a collection needs to be spiced up with something new.

I have admired Dollmore dolls for years without buying one.  This year after re-homing several dolls I ordered three:  a Ballerina Kid Pirouette Zinna, a Judith Girl Bitter Biscuit Zinna, and a Judith Girl Maxima Suntan Zinna (Black).  Why three?  It has everything to do with how Dollmore markets these doll lines.  Pirouette Zinna is a limited edition of 15 dolls, Bitter Biscuit Zinna is a limited edition of 20 dolls and Maxima Suntan Zinna (Black) is a limited edition of 10 dolls.  All three have the same Zinna head sculpt.  What's different is makeup, eye color, wig, costume and in one case resin color.  This marketing strategy induces panic buying.  You think: Oh my gosh, there are only 10 of this doll in the entire world!  If I don't buy it now I'll never get another chance.  Actually, there is a slim chance you might eventually find one on the secondary market, but do you really want to risk it?  Panic!  Panic!  Buy!  Buy!

This week the first two dolls shipped.  Talk about Christmas in July!  Pirouette was the first to arrive.  The box included a second outfit I had ordered, with a pair of black ballet shoes as an alternative to the red included in her default outfit, panties (because I didn't realize she would arrive wearing some), and a pair of flat feet for when I don't want her standing on pointe.  I did not order flat shoes, assuming that something in my collection of doll shoes would fit.  Dollmore added free gifts:  postcards, a sticker, two key chains and a short white dress with lace sleeves.

Dollmore's resin is lovely and quite pale.  It is probably closest to Iplehouse's normal resin, although a bit whiter and pinker.  Pirouette's eye makeup is bolder than it appears on either her sales page or my photos.  With green eye shadow shading to yellow under the eyes, it looks like she is recovering from a pair of shiners.  I hope some of it will fade over time.  If not, I'm tempted to tinker with her faceup a bit to minimize the color.

Pirouette's body is the basic Kid with special ballet feet and expressive hands.  She has a special ball joint that allows her to extend her legs straight out both front and back.  I've been looking for years for a doll that can do that!  The joint is a little fiddly to work with, so I'll need to practice easing her into different positions.  She cannot stand on her own and so Dollmore included a stand.  Of course I received the one doll stand in a million whose top piece won't fit into the bottom piece.  The bottom piece is simply too narrow at the neck.  None of the tops from my other doll stands fit into it either.  For now she is using another stand until I find one I like better.

Her default wig needs to be styled, so for the time being she is wearing a wig from my collection.  Not being a hair stylist, I have only a vague idea how to go about it.  Dollmore's wig has two long braids.  They need to be curled or twisted into two buns on either side of her head.  It sounds easy, but the hair is slippery and I don't have doll-sized hair pins.  No matter which way I turn the braids, I still see the black rubber bands holding them together, along with the tufts at the ends.  I may have to sew it together.

Bitter Biscuit Zinna arrived two days after Pirouette Zinna.  Like Pirouette she came bearing gifts:  the black and white carrier bag visible in the bottom of the above photo, as well as a pair of jeans and a faux sheepskin jacket with matching mittens.  There were postcards, a sticker and two more key chains.  I didn't buy her any additional clothing, figuring that with her shape there would be clothes in my stash that would fit.  It doesn't help that Dollmore sells only one additional outfit sized for Judith Girls.  I'll try Pirouette's dress on her to see if Kid clothing is a possibility.  I wouldn't think so, given her cleavage, but you never know.

Unlike companies such as FairyLand and Iplehouse that package their dolls into a big block of foam with the doll's shape cut out of it, Dollmore packages dolls between two pillows.  The doll comes very well protected, wrapped in two layers of bubble wrap, with the joints additionally wrapped in pieces of thin foam.  Lots and lots of tape binds all those layers together.  And as if the wrappings and the pillows were not enough padding, the costume (with layers and layers of tulle) was also laid in the box.

Bitter Biscuit Zinna surpassed expectations.  I couldn't be more pleased with her glamorous faceup, particularly the smoky eyes.  I rarely like a doll's default eyes enough to keep them.  These two are keepers.  It's interesting that the Kid has smaller irises than the Judith.  Normally, large irises appear more childlike and small irises more adult.  The larger irises here give Bitter Biscuit a languid look totally in keeping with her outfit.

Judging by the photos on her sales page I knew the costume would be voluminous.  It takes up so much space that she occupies more than half the American Girl sofa that usually seats three U-noa girls.  Even so, she may end up sitting more often than standing.  The way her skirts are gathered at the bottom makes it awkward getting a hand underneath to fit her to a doll stand. But who am I to complain, when she sits so gracefully?  Her shoes are good quality.  Whereas some doll shoes are made of imitation leather, these are the real thing.  It's such a soft leather, however, that I had difficulty putting the straps through the buckles. 

The Judith Girl body is both slimmer and more voluptuous than the Kid body.  I haven't tried other clothes on her yet--I want to enjoy this outfit for a while--but I'm hoping she will fit into things styled for slim minis like Narae and U-noa.  It would have been convenient if both Dollmore girls could wear Iplehouse JID clothing, but the items I tried on Pirouette were all too big.

I have named Pirouette Raissa and Bitter Biscuit Oksana.  They are sisters.  Oksana, who is the eldest, is putting younger sister Raissa through ballet school.  I haven't decided for sure, but Oksana may be an actress.  Because without making this a period piece, how else would I explain those fashions!

Still to come is Judith Girl Maxima Suntan Zinna (Black).  I ordered her a full month after the others, so I don't expect to see her much before the end of August.  As far as I can tell, the only difference between Suntan Zinna (Black) and Suntan Zinna (Silver) is the color and style of the wig. I liked them both.  I figure I can always buy the other wig by itself later.


  1. How exciting! I'd love to know where your love of dolls came from.

    1. It probably comes from a combination of things. I had dolls as a child, as most girls do, and I was always drawn to art. Today's resin dolls, with their limitless opportunities for customization, offer artistic people a 3-dimensional canvas to work on. I'm just itching to "fix" Pirouette's makeup. I've been thinking about and planning it out since last night. If the weather stays nice today, I'll do it.

  2. She's lovely. It's interesting, but I think that your photos of your Judith (and some of the other owner photos I've seen) are easily 100x more appealing than Dollmore's own!

    1. Dollmore, like some other companies, puts too much extraneous stuff in their doll photos. Sometimes you can't tell where the doll's costume ends and the overwrought background begins. Huge flowers, overturned chairs, extra fabric, unidentifiable bits and pieces--I couldn't stage a doll photo that way if I wanted to, The less stuff you pile onto a doll set, the better you can see the doll itself.