After an extended stay in customs, my Little Monica Little Enrill has arrived, and there are no words to express how beautiful he is -- and how sad too. I don't know if it just wasn't noticeable on the promo faceups or if it's just mine, but he looks on the verge of tears. I think it just made me fall in love with him more.
I was absolutely paranoid that the extended stay meant he'd arrive damaged (or not at all, given how much of my post has vanished into the 'ether' -- i.e. someone's pockets) and as the box he arrived in was so light, I was almost worried someone had had the bottom of the box open and spirited him away, but he is actually just that light.
His packing was quite odd -- he feels like he was held in place by the other things I ordered him with, but he was wrapped so securely in bubble-wrap that I don't think he was in any danger.
He also came with pretty promo pictures of other Little Monica dolls, little leaflets about where to find them on the internet and their photo competitions, his CoA, a set of eyes and some nicely pink eye putty, and, very sweetly, two Korean candies (plum and orange flavour).
I ordered him with two wigs, one long blond (since his promo images had a short blond wig I knew the colour suited him) and one short bright red one. He's pretty much claimed the blond one for himself -- although he does also look good in a mid-length brown wig I bought for someone else and it didn't suit, so I think he might just enjoy changing his hair a lot.
The eyes were a surprise. I was expecting the usual generic hazel-ish kind (I have about three pairs of those) but instead they're a very pretty shade of purple and suit him immensely. I'd anticipated putting the eyes into the spares drawer and ordering a set from Candy Kittens Emporium, but now I'm in two minds. Still, there's another one still to come, so I'll still probably need to pay her a visit for pretty eyes...!
As far as his structure goes, he's nicely made. His arms and legs are quite thick, and some seams have been sanded, while others haven't. I suspect it's the seams most likely to see the light of day that've been removed entirely: on his arms, for example, and the outside of his lower legs. Ones that get covered by his clothes have been sanded so they're not sharp, but not eradicated. His white resin (I'm so glad I asked them to change it, and that they were kind enough to agree!) is slightly pinkish, as opposed to the slight yellowish of Subject's Dollzone body. He poses quite nicely too: his elbows are double-jointed, though superficially they don't look it. His knees are single-jointed, but he does have a thigh joint that lets him pull his thighs up fairly high and has a two-part torso that bends quite naturally forwards.
I did, however, suddenly realise a couple of awkward things: one, I still have no idea who he is, and two, that... I don't actually have that many MSD-sized clothes, and I couldn't find any to hand. I scrabbled around a bit and managed to find a cream shirt with an oversized collar I don't tend to use (the collar is very disproportionate, it really gives away a doll's scale) and a pair of pleather pants I bought for Maxim and Milos only Milos is in an undecorated pair and Maxim has in his galaxy jeans so neither have used them.
We've made inroads on both points though. Point two has been partially rectified by a visit to Alice's Collections for some more clothes and boots (and there are some coming with Doll Leaves Berg) so hopefully the shorter kiddos won't be left out of the excessive amounts of clothing loop the bigger boys are in for long.
Point one... well. When he shipped (before I realised he'd shipped) I suddenly had a little voice in my head announcing that he was a prince, thank you very much. Which was a bit weird, but given the whole writing thing I'm fairly used to it. Beyond that, though, I was at a loss. When he arrived, I was still at a loss.
And then, when playing with his joints (which sounds so wrong) I sat him with his knees up and his arms around them, and with how sad he looked in just his shirt and nothing else, I suddenly started to understand him a little. Because for all the world he looked like he'd just been chucked out of someone's house half-dressed, and was sitting outside the front door, pants in a heap beside him, going "that could have gone better..."
So it seems he's the youngest prince of several in a faintly steampunk-fantasy world, who likes to wander around the city pretending not to be a prince and picking up guys for no-strings casual sex. Except it seems they usually find out (I wonder why?) and either try to extort money from him (so he leaves, probably laughing because I suspect he's broke) or they kick him out rather than run into trouble.
Hence the sitting there, naked but for an open shirt and a faintly depressed expression. And as he's sitting there, looking for all the world like he's fighting back tears, a hand reaches down and he follows its arm up to a smiling face and the question, "are you alright?"
And as an aside... Doll Leaves Berg shipped today! So hopefully this little princeling won't be alone for too long.
Not a typo or a stray auto-filled header! His name really is Subject.
I've been writing about Subject (along with two other characters) ever since I had a crack at Camp NaNoWriMo and generated characters by drawing cards from my Storymatic deck. Oddly, Subject was the character I saw most clearly from some pretty unlikely card pulls. (In order, that's Subject, Adama the part-time gravedigger and accidental summoner of ghost, and Pete the architect who almost ran Subject over.)
He's a test subject (whose full name is Subject Forty-Seven) for a large pharmaceutical company, and he's spent his entire life as such. But after a large-scale experiment went wrong he was the only survivor and left the facility, although he had no idea where he's going. He ends up embroiled in a weird haunting in a graveyard, mostly by accident... He's also psychic with a particular knack for seeing ghosts, and sets up a YouTube ghost-hunting channel with Adama and Pete. He's a shy, sweet young man who's always determined to do the right thing, particularly if it means he can ease the passing of the restless dead, of which he was very almost one.
He's also the originator of some really, really depressing storylines, which is always fun!
So knowing what kind of character he was and how I wanted him to look, much like several other of my dolls I didn't think I'd ever really find a sculpt that seemed right. I'd come sort of close with some IoS dolls, but also sort of not...
And then Kana re-released her Adrian sculpt, and I couldn't resist.
So Subject arrived home today! I was a little daunted, because when I ordered her Eden he turned out to not be Alex, as I'd hoped he would be, but instead is Ais... and is still waiting for a body. So when I opened up this package, I was so worried that he wouldn't be Subject at all.
And indeed, once I unpacked him, I did have a little wobble...
And then I saw his head angled downwards, and how pretty and shy he looked, and I fell in love all over again.
Now I just have to wait for his body to arrive...! I'd hoped to order it before now, but he arrived so much faster than expected (no customs fee! fastest pass through customs ever!) because Kana is always such a delight to deal with. So now I have to wait before I can do his faceup, in case I need to try to match a little between this and the Dollzone white resin body I've ordered him; he'll be on their 62cm body.
Gives me time to shop for his eyes and clothes I guess!
I've been on the lookout for a shorter-sized doll to shell my grumpy little assassin Lirio for a while, and when I found Doll Family H Lingfeng I fell in love. His sulky little pout is absolutely perfect, and at 62cm or so he's pretty much the right height as well.
Yes, Lirio is very twitchy about his height; it's best not to mention it...
Since it doesn't seem possible to do an overseas order from DFH I had to do it through an official distributor, so I chose Jeeryama on eBay. I paid in full, confirmed the skin tone and asked whether a promotion for a free wig was still ongoing (it was), so chose one of those and confirmed I knew it wouldn't fit (I chose it for smaller dolls).
Annnnnd that was the last I heard from her! Somehow, between paying on the 6th January and the back-and-forth between Christina and myself that only started on the 12th, I was never sure exactly what the order date was... and after I saw someone else on the Den of Angels waiting room who had ordered around the same time had received their shipping notification on the 13th April, I waited a little and then emailed her on the 24th April — just jokily, asking if she'd heard anything and saying I was looking forward to meeting him.
Nothing. I still don't know if Virgin Media has eaten it, although usually when it does try that it tends to spit them out a few days later, so I'd expect to have it by now. Owing to certain mental health issues I didn't think it was really worth emailing again, but when I got home from a NaNo / local writing group meetup on Saturday 6th May I found a Customs notice from Parcelforce; I'd never received a shipping notification or tracking number.
So l'il Lirio arrived on the 9th May and for a moment, as I was unboxing him, I had that always awesome moment when you look at your new doll and go "have I made a mistake...?"
'Cause after everything else, what I really needed was to make a very expensive mistake...
But then I sat him up and even without eyes or hair, that little pout just made me realise yes, that's Lirio.
The eyes I put in him — that I ordered specially for him, damnit! — don't really fit so well so I've ordered some new ones, but he's completely cast aside the wig I'd ordered for him in favour of one of Gabrys' spares (a short version of Gabrys' current one), so I guess not only is he a talented l'il assassin, he's quite an accomplished thief too...
No pictures of him wearing them (yet), but he's currently naked but for a red ribbon and is sitting on my kitchen table with the most displeased expression I've ever seen.
I absolutely love him.
When Kana of Kana by KaNa / Rosen Lied announced the preorder of one of her stand-alone doll heads I pounced on it. Her sculpts are so pretty! And, after ordering and waiting very patiently (honest), he arrived home, wrapped so securely that all my quiet worrying turned out to be for nothing.
When I ordered him I hoped he'd make a good Alex, which is why Milos is helping — albeit reluctantly — with the box opening. But now I'm not sure... in part because he looks surprisingly good with some blue eyes I had around. Much better, actually, than their actual owner.
So while I figure out which company's body will go nicely with him, I'll have a think. He may yet surprise me further.
He arrived several days ago (and turned up at my door without warning, to my great surprise!) but I've not been feeling great so it's taken me quite a while to get around to posting his unboxing pics.
There aren't many, I got a bit distracted by playing with him, but he's my little project doll.
I intend to widen the bridge of his nose a little and sand down the tip. His stringing needs a little loosening, and I'll also suede and wire him. Then I'll work on his faceup and hopefully will find the frighteningly pink yarn I seem to have misplaced, to turn it into a wig. (His frighteningly pink hair is all natural, the joys of designing your own body!) And after that... well, he needs some clothes too, right?
It's exciting and a little daunting to buy a doll I intend to do so much work on, and so hopefully it won't all go horribly wrong...!
My new Azrael doll from Souldoll, ordered via Dandy Highwayman Dolls in the UK, arrived about a week ago (I can't make my Tumblr blog spit up the actual date he arrived, which is a pain in the arse). I normally have a character planned out when I order a doll -- that character is, in fact, usually the reason I order the doll -- but in Caeso's case I fell so heavily in love with his design... and when a new UK doll dealer opened up I concluded it was fate and promptly ordered him.
(I was their first customer; they are such a lovely company that to say thank you they gave me free shipping from them to me!)
After I ordered him I had a small panic. I mean, I've never ordered a doll without a character before, and at that point I had four, all of which were ordered with characters in mind! Chatting it through with a friend helped, and when she said he had a certain classical Roman or Greek look to him he suddenly gave me his character: a young Roman who fell in love with a fellow soldier while he was on campaign, a soldier who, after they returned to Rome, was killed in the street. Caeso, grief-stricken, swore to the gods that he would never forgive them, little expecting a smiling Mars to appear before him in the street, cursing him with eternal life so he could have forever to literally never forgive them.
Honestly, with that simple comment she's caused me so many plotlines...!
His journey to me, however, was not without its... well, several hiccups, absolutely none of which were the fault of Dandy Highwayman Dolls. First Souldoll told them that they were about to ship out Caeso, which they relayed to me with great excitement... and then Souldoll didn't actually ship him out when they said. (For a moment I had visions of April Story's "next week" excuse: some people were waiting for "next week" for months.) Then they shipped him out and he spent time in Customs, which honestly is always the worst part of any doll's journey. Every doll I've had spent time at Coventry, although time is variable -- Tay was there for all of five minutes, which was horrifying, while I've had dolls spend over a week there and been waiting on the edge of my seat for tracking to update.
And then... Virgin Media decided to be Virgin Media. This... probably doesn't make sense if you're not a VM customer, but they're not exactly known for their reliability. They used to be great, but over the last six weeks or so I've had so many ridiculous internet problems, including my connection dropping out up to ten, fifteen times a day. This was mostly considered to be issues with my house, resulting in a new hub and a fantastic two-hour conversation with a really nice engineer, but ultimately, after maybe a month or so, they decided it was an area fault. And the minute it was fixed, it went wrong again, and then as soon as it was fixed? My emails decided they didn't really want to arrive.
So even though Dandy Highwayman Dolls had emailed me to let me know they'd received him and were waiting for me to confirm the address I wanted him shipped to?
Virgin didn't bother to send that email along until several days later. And I know when they sent it because the correct date was still on it. It was a pretty long way up my email list.
Soooooo we moved communication to Gmail instead, and this is where they really came into their own. I don't like using my birth name, but as it's the name my bank account is in (since I set it up when I was 16) and the name my PayPal is in (as it's tied to my bank account), I use an email address with that name to avoid confusion, particularly as some companies go peculiar if you have one name on your email and another on your payment details. Once they found out I don't use my name, they changed both the shipping label and how they addressed me to the way I prefer as well, which honestly is fantastic.
And then Hermes happened. Hermes are a UK courier and my experience of them is our aged, aged delivery driver who, despite the doorknocker on the front door right in front of his face, insists on feebly flapping the letterbox to announce his presence. And he does this even though -- or in spite of -- my mother showing him exactly where the knocker is and how to use it. (She does not like his letterbox-flapping.) So... given that that's just one of their couriers... it's perhaps more understandable that despite Dandy Highwayman Dolls arranging for them to pick up Caeso for delivery twice, they failed to turn up both times. (And I know this is the case: they were kind enough to share the collection requests with me.) In the end they actually took the box to the Hermes depot themselves rather than rely on them, and he arrived here very promptly afterwards.
And he is gorgeous.
Okay, perhaps 'gorgeous' is subjective, but given that I usually dislike things with half a skull for a head, he really is absolutely beautiful.
So I guess... that's my unboxing of my lovely l'il immortal psychopomp Caeso and a review of the very awesome Dandy Highwayman Dolls, who I'll have no hesitation in ordering from again. And from the way I keep scouring Souldoll's site for a Lucius to go with Caeso, it may not be too long before I do...
Sort of, anyway.
I can't really do a box opening because I got both a little distracted halfway through via home-related stuff, and enjoyed fishing him out a little too much as well.
He does have a head -- two actually -- but they're... not available to see right now, while I murder them with my awful painting. He came with extra fist hands (unexpected!), eyelashes (more unexpected!) and even a pair of very beautiful eyes (even more unexpected!), as well as my free gifts and the unpainted Easter bunny, who I really ought to work out a design for. I also bought a set of beautifully-made clothes for him, including a jacket that my mother took one look at and immediately wished Ringdoll made it in human sizes too.
He also comes with an elasticated penis which shouldn't be as amusing as it is (no photos... yet?) and poses absolutely fantastically, which is a very pleasant surprise after the noodoll that is Scott.
In fact, there's only one problem...
Now I have RQ, I desperately want a Fayth to go with him!
A noodler with a doll obsession.