Sunday, August 7, 2016

Freya, First Girl in the SoulDoll Vito Line

I was so thrilled when SoulDoll announced a girl for their Vito line! Jin, my Vito boy, has been keeping company with a Dollmore Zaoll Luv, but they don't quite mesh stylistically. Where he is more like a tall 1:4 size, Luv is more like a short 1:3 size; together, their proportions are off. So in late March when SoulDoll announced a Vito girl, I made plans to order one. I didn't love her sculpt at first. The end of her nose struck me as bulbous. Otherwise she had a fun, sassy vibe. The first day she was available for purchase, I ordered one.
Four months later she has arrived. I'd like to say I'm over the moon, but I'm conflicted. Love her face...the body not so much. The Vito boy body is wonderfully sculpted and engineered. He takes a pose and holds it. If I don't love his grumpy facial sculpt, I put up with it because the body is so marvelous. Enter Freya with her voluptuous body. Some companies give you a choice of breast size; when they do I invariably opt for medium. I find that big is too big, small is too small, while medium is just right. SoulDoll offered no choice. The breast size is what some companies call glamorous, meaning larger than their large size. Her butt is so big you can almost balance things on it. With thunder thighs and small feet, this doll is rock solid when she sits but unbalanced when she stands.
I had to go back to SoulDoll's promo photos to see why I didn't notice the body's exaggerated assets earlier. Let's say she was very artfully photographed. In all honesty, I was probably fixated on her elbows and knees, which didn't meet my aesthetic standards. Ordinarily I would say no to a doll whose elbow and knee joints reveal sharp edges when flexed. I wanted to say yes to Freya because she was the perfect size match to Jin, and so I let myself be blinded to the features I didn't like about her.
Vito girl feet are only 6cm long. Because I wasn't sure how (or whether) she would fit into doll shoes I already own, I ordered her with both the full-set boots for her flat feet and a pair of high heel pumps for her heel feet. In SoulDoll's promo photos, Freya is shown wearing the boots with gray knee socks. Sorry, SoulDoll, but the only way Freya can wear those boots over those socks is to cut the sock feet off and wear the rest as leg warmers. Moreover, she cannot stand in the boots, as she tends to pitch forward, although this may have more to do with tight stringing and small feet than with the boots. Never mind, I thought, I'll simply change to her heel feet and she can wear the pumps.
I've changed feet on nearly every adult female doll I've ever bought. You pull out the foot, slip a hemostat, crochet hook or chopstick through the elastic so it won't shoot back up through the leg, unhook the flat foot and replace it with the heel foot. Carefully remove your hemostat (or other tool) and repeat with the other foot. Occasionally the little S-hook falls out when I'm switching feet. When that happens I find it, re-insert it and continue.

SoulDoll's setup is a little different. The S-hook is embedded in the resin. Brilliant! That means you can't lose the S-hook. On the downside, the space at the open end of the S-hook is smaller than the thickness of the elastic it's hooked onto. (I wonder if this is consistent with every doll or if it's just mine.) I tried to get the hook off the elastic. I tried every which way I could think of for fifteen minutes and then I gave up, afraid to pull too hard in case the hook detached from the resin. I was especially nervous about this because I once broke a resin hook in a Soul Kid girl's foot by pulling too hard on the string. Once burned, twice shy.
I contacted SoulDoll, explained my problem and asked for a stringing manual. They recommended cutting the strings and re-assembling the doll. They included a link to the stringing instructions for their Kid Girl N.L. body, saying the size was different but the stringing method was the same. Cutting? Re-assembling? Just to change feet? Every time I want to change shoes? Sorry. No. That's not happening. I went through my stash of doll shoes and found three pairs that she can wear, all MSD size. For now I'll just put away the heel feet and black pumps until such time as her strings lose some of their elasticity and I can try again.

Speaking of letting strings relax, Freya came tightly strung. Although her torso is jointed under the bust, it might as well be a single piece of resin because I can't move it either forward or backward. In repose her arms want to snap together in front of her. My Soul Kid girls had the same problem. It took a full day before I realized I could pull out her elbow peanuts to pose her arms. If I don't pull them out, her arms don't stay flexed. Vito boy does not have this problem. Hopefully the tightness will lessen as time goes on. I'm not banking on it, however, as my Soul Kids never fully relaxed. Whoever strings the dolls at SoulDoll must have the arm strength of two men!
I'm glad I ordered Freya's full set. It's beautifully tailored, although putting it on meant dealing with lots of buttons with tight buttonholes. At least I can loosen those. Sometime between promo photos and finished product, SoulDoll changed the badge on her vest from a fabric patch to a large red leather pin. (It says New York Style over a stylized skyline and has a metal heart with two doves clipped to it. Bizarre.) I have replaced that with a fancy button for now, until I can find something more appropriate. SoulDoll offered event gifts to celebrate Vito girl's release: a ten percent discount plus a gift outfit consisting of a dress with a flower wreath. The dress is quite elaborate and well made. It comes with a separate, very stiff petticoat (not photographed); I'll use it when I want a fuller skirt. In the photo below she is wearing DollHeart shoes for MSD and a Monique Gold Ginger wig. It may appear that she is standing on her own; that's because her doll stand is concealed by her bent arm and the position of one leg.
It's been difficult finding wigs for Vito Jin because of how far back his ears are set. I was afraid Freya might have a similar problem, so I ordered her full-set wig to be sure of having at least one that fits. My fear proved unnecessary, as she has taken easily to almost every wig I've tried on her. The only caveat I would offer is to buy a silicone wig cap, because most size 6-7 wigs are slightly big on her. A wig with heavy hair will fall right off without a cap.
At 51cm in height, Freya stands firmly between most 1:4 and 1:3 dolls. A fun height, but hard to shop for. She and Jin will probably be my only Vito line dolls.


10 comments:

  1. I know it sound crazy, but put a ribbon through the leg elastic and streeetch it out as far as you can so you can get the hook off (you still might need needle nose pliers). Then put a hook on the hook for the next feets. ;) I had to do that with one doll that had smaller inset hooks than the elastic I wanted to use; as I recall I made my own hooks from brass wire..like 12 gauge, and it was stiff enough to hold but I was able to make a custom loop--one small for the embedded hook, a bigger loop for the elastic. She's a cutie! Maybe you will gradually work the elastic to be looser and then her torso joint will work too.

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    1. Not so crazy at all. Someone on DoA suggested the same thing. I'll need an extra pair of hands, because I don't have the muscle strength to stretch the elastic. Maybe someone at our next doll meet-up can help me.

      Of course, now that I have several pairs of shoes that she can wear with flat feet, I'm not so sure I want to change over. LOL

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  2. She is really pretty, congrats on getting her!!
    I laughed at your description of her butt, but it is so true! I second the ribbon technique, I have used it, but it is good to have somebody to help you hold the doll, to avoid having any part flying accross the room.

    I'm sure the elastic will eventually get looser!

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    1. Thanks Musume! Her butt is astounding, isn't it? I don't know if I've ever seen a real person with those proportions. For now I have her in Luts Kid Delf shoes, which are a perfect fit. I don't think I'll bother to change her feet now. Someday maybe. When I pulled the elastic, I wasn't able to get it out very far. She's very tightly strung and my own arms have lost their elasticity with age.

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  3. Sounds like a problem child to me. i'm not fond of embeded foot hooks, I've had to repace feet after having problems with them myself, so I empathise with you there. She is a pretty doll though and at least you guy has someone of a suitable height now.
    Hugs,
    X

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    1. She certainly is a problem child. She also makes me question whether I want to buy any more SoulDolls. I still have a SoulKid boy on order, but he'll be the last.

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  4. So sorry you weren't pleased with so many things about this girl. She has a very pretty head and I know Souldoll does very high quality clothes, and those look very nice. Hopefully you can fix some of the issues and the others may grow big on you, who knows?

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    1. I am hoping she grows on me because, as you say, she has a pretty head and the clothes are high quality. My fingers are crossed that the SoulKid boy I ordered will have a body that behaves. I sure don't want to deal with another body like this one.

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  5. I am sorry you are not quite happy with her, but your description of her assets made me laugh. I hope she grows on you and the boy will be easier.

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    1. I tried to be kind when describing her. It wasn't easy! I have a doll meet-up this Saturday, where I imagine she will be the butt of many jokes. (Some folks in my group get carried away.) LOL

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