So, the 2017 GOTY.
Yes, the collection is underwhelming. Am I happy that they finally made a GOTY of color? Yes. But there is background information in Gabby’s development that I feel is important to keep in mind. Everything I am going to discuss from this point on is from information I have read from doll boards and other trusted sources.
So AG makes the decision to torch the GOTY line to poor sales after they train customers to get used to fire sales and deep discounts (thanks Jean, this is why we can’t have nice things). It is time to move on. Gabby and Tenney are in development, Tenney as the GOTY and Gabby as the start of a new contemporary character line with smaller collections. They can’t axe GOTY with absolutely no doll of color. The bad PR would be unreal. So at the eleventh hour they switch the two and crown Gabby the 2017 GOTY. There’s simply no time to flesh out a large collection with showstopper pieces that we’ve come to expect from the traditional GOTY release, and that is why Gabby’s collection is starting out so small. I was a little disappointed that the GOTY release this year didn’t really warrant my traditional journey to Kansas City to purchase her and what I want from her collection on Release Day, but it makes more sense for me to wait until after Tenney’s release (I’ll get to that in a second). Four hours each way is a long drive, even with the lure of Jack Stacks.
Why another dancer? Because that’s what sells. No one would be happier than I (a speech language pathologist to be) if she came with a tiny little fluency kit with the same worksheets I use with my kids in clinic. But who else would buy that besides me? That’s what DIY is for, friends.
I get that people are annoyed because Gabby is a redressed Truly Me and they want some special, unique appearance to her character. I can also understand and sympathize with people who dearly want to support a GOTY doll of color, and feel like Gabby’s collection was halfassed by AG and missing that special something.
For me the biggest obstacle regarding Gabby has been the “redressed Truly Me” problem, but the more I look at pictures of Gabby the more I find myself warming up to her. I am going to sit back and reserve judgment until I see what AG releases for her over the summer with all the items they didn’t have time to get ready by 1 January. Also, with AG’s announcement that Gabby will be available into 2018 and beyond, I really don’t feel the urgency to get her right away.
So now, on to Tenney:
Oh my gosh. I am more excited for Tenney’s release than I have been in a long time. I love everything about her, from the hair to the eyes to the beauty mark and guitar that is the most twee instrument I’ve ever laid eyes on and the few outfits I’ve seen. Yes. Yes. This is what I want. With reports of her hands being modified to hold musical instruments, I would not be surprised if a herd of Tenneys (Tenni?) showed up here and used as, er…donors. I still have a vision for an 18 inch marching band. Music was a big part of my identity for a long time, so there is a personal connection to Tenney’s collection and story that other the characters don’t have.
The lace shorts are something I’d never wear myself but I’ve seen on a wide range of ages from the target market to undergrad students. My absolute favorite outfit is the pink skirt/white top/boots combo and I will bet it will backorder immediately. I can’t wait to see Tenney’s hands up close and in person.
This, this is worth a trip to Kansas City.
And how could anyone turn down a pink toilet?
I have to say, I am really glad that this thing folds up. A friend also pointed out that if you repaint the orange the pink bathroom essentials could work for Maryellen and Melody as well as Julie. I have to wonder if the toilet and sink can be pried off or unscrewed in some way and papered over. This is something else I am going to check out on the February trip. I am also dying to check out the 70s themed accessories with this set.
Now, on to Integrity Toys…
I have decided that I’m going to step back from the fashion doll world. I went way overboard buying last year’s Poppy Parker collection and I’ve been trying to get rid of my buyer’s remorse on ebay. I tell myself that I can justify indulging in high end collectibles because if my interest ever wanes I can sell them fairly easily but this has been absolutely ridiculous. The company is so small and it’s such a niche product that there isn’t a large audience for it (certainly not as big as AG) and it seems like every time I try to sell a doll the auction ends up being won by a person who 1) has a US address on the shipping label but their eBay profile has them located in some Soviet satellite state 2) doesn’t pay and is complete radio silence 3) waits until auction’s end and then tries to haggle on the final price and refuses to pay if you don’t give in 5) asks multiple times for free shipping and refuses to proceed with the transaction if they don’t get it 6) a combination of two or more of these things. It is something I have never had to deal with for any other collectible but it happens almost every single time when I list an Integrity Toys item (Poppy Parker, Fashion Royalty, Jem and the Holograms). It is a pain that I really don’t want to deal with so I have decided to shut that part of my hobby down and try and figure out how I’m going to sell the dolls that need to move on. I have sold clothes and accessories on Poshmark with great success but I’m not sure people looking for fashion dolls think to look at Poshmark, Mercari, or Etsy. If you have input I’d love to hear it.
Maplelea: I have been glad to see that their items are selling on Amazon US almost as fast as they put them up. However, beware: I have seen secondary sources listing certain Maplelea items for 2-3x the price when they are still available on Amazon from the genuine Maplelea seller account, so be sure to look carefully before you buy and make sure you’re getting it from the source.