Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sophie in Wonderland...Out of Her Box

This post is for Pippa and Abby, who convinced me that my Liv in Wonderland Sophie should come out of her box.  You might remember from my older Liv in Wonderland post that I refused to take Sophie out of her box. This is for a strange reason--I wanted to own all of the Liv Sophie dolls (greedy) and keep them all in their boxes (strange).  Call it a way to preserve the evolution of the Liv doll if you want, but I think it was just a weird collecting obsession.  Anyway, this dream was crushed when Girls Getaway Sophie never made it to this country...or at least never made it to Maine, and so I couldn't get all of the Sophies.  Major bummer.

The other reason to take Sophie (who portrays Alice in this series) out of her box is that Alison from The Fashion Doll Review just published a new book which is called Alice Out of the Box.  So, you see, it had to be done--if only so that I could write this caption:

Alice out of her box with Alice Out of the Box.
Alison's book is a collection of stylized photographs of an impressive and diverse Alice in Wonderland doll collection.  Not only are there factory Alice dolls to drool over in this book, but also several Alice interpretations that Alison has assembled herself.


The dolls in this book range in style from a Moxie Girlz Avery to a SOOM resin BJD.  The back cover gives you an idea for how creative the Alice dolls are--this one has blue hair:


Alison has dedicated this book to the readers of her blog.  I read her blog, so I'm pretty sure that means she dedicated her book to me!  I have always wanted to have a book dedicated to me!  

It's probably dedicated to many of you, too.
There will apparently be a whole series of Out of the Box books, and I love this title and this idea.  The books might be dangerous, though, because this particular volume makes me want to assemble my own Alice in Wonderland collection, and there are so many Alice dolls out there, it would be way too easy to get in over my head.  For example, I'd start with this Alice (who I've coveted for a while), and then I'd have to get a cute one like Dianna Effner's Alice, and of course a Dal Lunatic Alice to round out the diversity...and I'd need another play doll Alice like this one...you get the idea.  Very dangerous.

What has this Alice got over me?
Sophie was a little disappointed that she didn't make an appearance in the book.  Not only that, she thought there should have been a completely different cover...

Sorry Sophie, but I prefer the original cover.
You can find Alison's book on Amazon for $16.00 or buy it directly from Alison here.  It's a little pricey, but it is self-published and I like to support that kind of enterprise.  At Amazon, you can also still find Liv Sophie as Alice, although she's getting expensive, too.  Last I saw, the price was just over $26.

I'm way ahead of myself, since Sophie is clearly already out of her box, but let me go back and show you a bit about the de-boxing.  I love the appearance of the Liv in Wonderland boxes:


There are several pictures on the back of the box, but look at that top one, in particular:


Doesn't Sophie (left) look like she's just been caught doing something bad?  And doesn't Daniela (right) look really upset?  I mean, there's a story here!  Did Sophie just screw up Daniela's makeup?  Did she just admit that she likes Jake and maybe Jake and Daniela are going out?  Did she step on Daniela's foot?  With her sparkly skin, is Daniela really a vampire and Sophie was about to go all Buffy on her??


I think Sophie is looking guilty because she's wearing Alexis' red dress from the unattainable Girl's Getaway wave and Daniela told her not to wear that dress because she knew how much it would upset me.  It's pretty upsetting.

The box has a cardboard flap on the front that lifts up to reveal the doll. The flap has several pictures from the Alice in Wonderland story, including a scene where Alice is playing croquet with a flamingo...


...and a scene where she meets the Cheshire Cat.  Pippa and I agree that Jake should have been cast as the Cheshire Cat.


Here's Sophie in the box with the front flap lifted up:


It's been a while since I've de-boxed a Liv doll with this older style of packaging.  The plastic insert that holds the doll and all of her accessories comes out really easily and you can get a good look at the doll:


She has some minor eye wonkiness, but it isn't too bad:


She comes with a cute little plastic rabbit, a pair of glasses and a hair brush.  I forgot that the Liv dolls don't come with stands.  


Getting these four items detached from the plastic is a pretty big pain.  I forgot my Liv doll extraction techniques and approached this box like a Monster High package.  It's trickier than that.  I do love the decorative cardboard portion of the packaging on these dolls, though, and that makes up for the minor frustrations with the plastic and all of the fiddly attachments.


Here's Sophie's bunny against a non-white background:


The picture on the box is misleading because the rabbit looks soft and flocked.  I guess since you can open that front flap and examine exactly what the real rabbit looks like, it's ok to exaggerate a little in the picture.  I remember that all of the dogs in the second Liv wave looked fluffy on the boxes, but aren't at all fluffy in person.  Plastic dogs aside, that second wave was incredible.  I think that might be the best Sophie doll ever made (I can say that since there won't be any more Sophie dolls made at this point).


Here's Sophie up close:


I've never been crazy about the Liv wigs with bangs.  The bangs are often too severe or poorly cut and uneven.  This wig is ok, but it has some distracting imperfections.  Look at the side of her head:


The painted hair shows around her ears, right where that twisted portion of the wig is pulled back.  You can also see quite a lot of the plastic wig cap in that area.  The tiny white bow earrings are adorable and a nice diversion, but I'm still not crazy about the styling of the wig.

There's a plastic headband sewn into the hair on either side of her head:


Sophie wears glasses that look a little bit like my own glasses.  In general, Sophie looks great in her glasses, but this particular pair is askew:


I can handle the excessive plastic packaging on these dolls if it actually protects the items incased within.  However, if accessories come out looking like these glasses, what, exactly, is the point of all of that packaging?

Must have been quite a fall down that rabbit hole.
Perhaps these glasses are candidates for the hot water bath cure-all?  I'm not sure if hot water will work with hard plastic like this, but it certainly can't make the glasses any worse....

The silver lining: no one will notice my wonky eyes behind these glasses...
I love Sophie's dress.  It is a fun, modern rendition of the classic Alice outfit:


She has these little white ruffled wrist cuffs--they're like handless gloves.  I really like the effect, and they're super easy to get on and off.


The top of the dress has a white cotton collared blouse with elasticized puff sleeves.  The shirt is attached to a shiny baby blue pinafore dress.  The dress has a layered tulle skirt and is gathered at the waist with a tuxedo-striped dark corset:

Topped off with a shiny blue ribbon bow.
The detail in this dress is wonderful.  It does have several loose threads here and there, and the elastic on the sleeves can easily get turned inside-out, but everything is well made and appropriately hemmed and finished.


A couple of loose threads that need to be tidied up.
The dress closes in back with a long strip of velcro:


The velcro is stitched with light blue thread, which makes any asymmetry in the closure very noticeable.  This is how she came:


The dress, particularly the tulle skirt, has a stiff texture and can stand on its own:


More little threads everywhere.
The skirt has a light application of glitter throughout the tiers of tulle (nothing like Rapunzel's copious glitter):


The stockings and shoes add just the right touches to make this outfit fantastic:


The stockings are sheer with peach and white stripes:


They tend to get caught up in the torso and hip joints, which inhibits the flexibility of those areas slightly:


The shoes remind me of Marry Poppins.  The blue and black color combination looks old fashioned, as does the heeled style with lace-up details in front:


The shoes match the dress perfectly.


Here's a picture of Sophie without her clothes so that you can remember how awesome the old Liv bodies are.  They can do almost anything:


Here's Sophie's face up close, without the wig:

She has nice, natural makeup.
Right out of the box, I am thrilled with everything about this doll except for maybe her wig.  It was not love at first sight with this wig:


In anticipation of actually de-boxing Sophie some day, I purchased this separate Liv wig that has the same blonde and blue color mix, but doesn't have bangs:


Sophie browsed Alice Out of the Box to double-check that it would be acceptable for Alice to have a hairstyle without bangs...


It seems that there's a whole range of possible hairstyles for the Alice character, so Sophie gave the new wig a try:



I'm actually not crazy about this wig, either.  It makes her head look kind of flattened from side to side, and it reveals way too much of the painted hair on the back of her head.  I tried letting out the side ponytail:

Better...
This is better, but I still don't like the little threads holding the chunks of hair at the side of her face.  I know that the hair is styled like this to conceal the plastic wig cap, but I think the threads look too obvious:


Without thinking it through too carefully, I took the whole hairstyle down...

Way to go, Emily.
This is not so good, either, because now the wig cap shows, and those short pieces of hair around her face stick out awkwardly:


You can brush and flatten this wig into a semi-decent arrangement, or tie it into a ponytail that evokes Belle from Beauty and the Beast...

There must be more than this provincial life.
...but mostly this wig served to make me appreciate the original wig a lot more.  The original wig actually looks much better if you take the side twists down and brush it out a bit:


Here are some shots of Sophie as she gets ready for the school play:






Having (almost) all of the Liv in Wonderland dolls makes me want to re-enact the best scenes from the story...if only I knew the story.  Reading the original Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is on my list of things to do, but I haven't done it yet.  In the meantime, I have to just piece together what I know from popular culture, and from what many of you have shared with me.  For example, I know that at the beginning of the story, Alice falls down a rabbit hole and into Wonderland.  So, here is Alice after her fall:

Hey, where'd my glasses go?
Also, I know that Alice falls into the rabbit hole because she is chasing after a clothed White Rabbit:

Um, hi.  I like your clothes.
The White Rabbit carries a pocket watch and is obsessed with being late.  At this point during Sophie and Hayden's rehearsal, though, there was an unannounced guest...the often vexing and always grinning Cheshire Cat:

Wha..?
Ah!  Oh my gosh...is that you Jake?
Sophie was not too thrilled with Jake for showing up without warning...and without an audition.

Bad kitty.
Jake, of course, didn't see the harm in coming to help with the play.  He just wanted to be the only guy in a group of pretty girls be a part of reinventing classic literature.

Aw, c'mon Soph! I just wanted to be a part of reinventing classic literature!
Sophie had to explain, patiently, that they already had a lineup of interested actors hoping to play the Cheshire Cat.  There was Little Pullip...

What?  Her?  No offense, my friend, but you look about two years old.
I'm mature for my age.
And Meowlody, who argued that because she's part cat, she should automatically get the role...

Oh, okay, I have to admit that she's pretty cute, ah, I mean pretty convincing. 
But when Sophie looked at all of her choices in a row...she noted that Pullip probably was too young and Meowlody might be a little too interested in Jake...

Mrow.
So, she and Jake made up and it was decided that Jake was just the right mix of amusing and irritating to earn the role of the Cheshire Cat.



As for the rest of the story, I know that there's a scene where Alice has to play croquet with the Queen of Hearts...using flamingos as mallets:

Sophie: Did you know, Your Majesty, that flamingos get their pink color
from eating brine shrimp?
And there must be some scenes where the White Rabbit is worried about time...


And the White Queen is involved somehow, although I have to admit that I didn't even know that there was a White Queen character in this story.  Is she like the fairy godmother?  Helping Alice feel better when she's down?



I know that the Queen of Hearts is mean, so there must be some sort of confrontation scene with her...

Don't you dare start lecturing me about brine shrimp!!
And through the entire play, I imagine that Sophie is a pretty amazing actress, and has the audience riveted by her range of emotions:




After the play, the girls had a fun time gathering for some cast pictures:



Liv in Wonderland

Once Jake joined in, though, there was some difficulty in staying focused for the final picture...



But they finally snapped this shot for the yearbook:


Bottom line?  I am so glad Alice is out of her box.  

42 comments:

  1. Aahahaha, I loved the pictures with those wonky classes. I dead here!! :''D

    I love your blog and I'm so happy that I found this. :)

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    1. LOL! Linda, now (because this is how my brain works) I have Cutting Crew "Died in Your Arms" going through my head--and that song doesn't go away easily!

      Thank you for liking the blog. :)

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    2. Haha, I'm so sorry. I have a bad habbit to put songs in people's minds. xD In Finland here is one song especially known for older people (and youngsters too, it's kind a "meme"... All Finnish know the song), the song is about a girl named Linda. And the chorus goes something like this: "Linda Linda, oh Linda, Linda Linda I remember you", and HOW PEOPLE ALWAYS SING THAT WHEN THEY HEAR MY NAME.

      And now it's stuck in my head. So you did the same to me what I did to you.

      Oh, and related to this, you want the song go away? Try this site. I know I'm going to xD:
      http://unhearit.com/

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    3. That site is great! The "reverse-auditory-melodic-unstickification technology" works, because now I have "Robot Unicorn Attack" in my head...which I didn't even know was a song. ;)

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  2. Hi Emily,

    An excellent review as usual! I am laughing so much over the other candidates for the Cheshire Cat role. Now, I've read the other (Liv doll) reviews, so I think remember something about you not getting Katie as the Mad Hatter, but, that was an important role in the story, particularly at the tea party. It will all make sense when you read the book (I would NOT recommend watching the Johnny Depp version of the movie as it seems to combine both Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass; you'll end up more confused).

    Anyway, in a copy of the book that I have from college, the engraving shows Alice's hair loose, nothing pulled away from her face, so letting out the side twists adds a bit of authenticity. Unfortunately, I don't remember if she had bangs in the drawing...I'll have to check.

    As for Jake, it was my understanding that he and Katie were an item (at least that's what the journals on Liv World say - yes, I've read them ALL. Just trying to get a little of the background details about these girls (!)). But, he's young...he'll learn.

    Thanks again for the entertaining review!

    Joette

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    1. I'm glad you warned me away from the Johnny Depp movie, because I was just thinking that it might be a great way to get quickly up to speed with the Alice story. And I like Johnny Depp. But the story seems complex enough that I don't want to add any confusion! Now I can just focus on reading the book.

      I really want Katie as the Mad Hatter, but she's hard to find! I have no idea what kind of temporary insanity prevented me from buying her when she was easy to find at Target. On the other hand...if Katie and Jake were an item, maybe it's best that she wasn't around! There was definitely a back stage romance brewing between Jake and Sophie around here...

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  3. Just a heads up, hot water on the glasses might not be such a good idea. The plastic might shrink or shrivel or it might not. But one thing it WILL do for sure is go completely CLOUDY. As in milky white lenses and not at all transparent. That's just about the only thing that'd make them worse, no? ;) Maybe try heating them up only slightly with something like a heating pad and bend them gently into shape.
    Anyway, as much as I adore Jake's mask, little Pullip looks surprisingly amazing as the Cheshire cat. She just fits right in, even if she does seem to be 2 years old. Like somebody's baby sister almost. :D

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    1. Oooh. Good point. I don't really want the glasses to go cloudy! That would surely make them worse. Who would have thought it was possible? ;) Fortunately, I have a few pairs of Sophie glasses, so I might just trash these. Then again, I could do a few harmless experiments first...

      Pullip will be thrilled to hear that you think she fits in--fitting in with the Livs is every doll's wish around here!

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  4. Emily, that wasn't such a smart action :) That wig would've looked great if the wig cap wasn't showing xD
    The pictures of Jake with the Cheshire Cat mask on were hilarious!
    I really liked this review, even though you might not be the best in thinking through, you sure have a great sense of humor! :D

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    1. I know! Ack! It *was* a very cute wig. I am waaay too impulsive. You should see the haircut I just gave Jake. Gulp. Talk about not thinking things through... ;)

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  5. hahah! I love this blog! I think this gal is the best of the bunch. I love that outfit!

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  6. OMGosh I started giggling when Jake showed up. Brava! Great pictures as usual. :)

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  7. Jake as the cat was too funny! Loved the review!! :)

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  8. I'm not a fan of Liv dolls(but very impressed of their movement ability), but her bow-earrings and little toybunny are so adoreable!
    I hope there will be cuter outfits like these for Monster high sometime...

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  9. So cute! This definitely makes me want to get some Alice dolls... and miss the old Livs

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  10. Do you know anything about the Girls Getaway dolls? I'm going crazy, I want them so badly now!

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    1. Oh, Carissa...I feel your pain. I have tried everything to get these dolls. I kick myself regularly because for a brief moment, they were available on eBay. Now they have vanished. Just keep an eye out, I guess. There have to be some left somewhere. *Fingers crossed.*

      I'll let you know if I find a source!

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    2. Darn! Well, at least we're both looking! I'll let you know if I find anything either.

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  11. Just wanted to say I love your reviews, a friend of mine kept linking to your blog and I finally gave in and started reading it. It's wonderful, especially your Liv reviews. I love Liv to bits and seeing all of your pictures is great :)

    I also just wanted to explain the white queen thing: in the first book, Alice in Wonderland, there's a deck of cards theme, so the queen is Queen of Hearts. Then in the second book, Alice Through the Looking Glass, there's a chess theme, so there's a White Queen and a Red Queen. But doll companies like to have two queens so White Queen gets marketed like she fits in with the Mad Hatter and Cheshire Cat and others, even though they're not in the same book. Which is unfortunately really confusing for people who haven't read the books.

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  12. Thank you so much for explaining that, Tae! I was trying to figure it out but it wasn't making any sense! I have learned so much today about these stories. I didn't really even know that Alice Through the Looking Glass was a whole separate book! So...the White Queen is a chess reference--that makes her even more special. Very cool.

    Also, thank you for reading--I just wish there were going to be more Liv dolls for me to review! I'll simply have to try and gather up more of the old ones. ;)

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  13. Didn't expect Jake showing as the Cheshire cat! The mask looks great lol
    A fun review once again ^^

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  14. Great review once again. I would definitely recommend reading the books as they are great fun and, if you can, a copy with the original illustrations which were really charming.The only Liv dolls that made it to Australia were the very first ones so I have only seen this series on the net - they look beautiful.

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  15. I found two sites that appear to be selling Girls Getaway dolls. :D
    http://www.simonovi-bgshop.com/tsetska/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/25018
    http://www.jugueteslasurtida.com/tienda/Catalog/show/liv-munecas-getaway-modelos-surtidas-3774

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    1. Oh! Yesss! You're amazing!! The first store won't let me check out with a US address, and the second store doesn't seem to have a cart system...but I'll see what I can do! I found another store in the Philippines, but they won't return my emails. :(

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    2. Thanks! I just about died when I found them earlier. The second store has carts, click "Comprar" or "Buy" if you translated it. I did have time to do much research or mess with the sites before I went to the movies. Let me know if any allow you to order! And shipping cost, so I can save up. xD

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    3. Still waiting to hear back from these stores...fingers crossed. ;)

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  16. Emily,
    Any change you know someone who has the monster high CAM skeleton girl with the missing parts that Mattel is selling on their website for a decent price including shipping to the Netherlands without paypal or creditcard? :c

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    1. Hm...no, I don't know of anyone off hand. So you want the skeleton girl pack and the extra parts? I can look around, but I haven't seen that skeleton doll anywhere for a while.

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    2. I think I found something for you, Dailey--send me an email! :)

      toyboxphilosopher@gmail.com

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    3. Really? Yay :D
      I'll send you an email right away!

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  17. Omg look at this Emily:
    http://www.etsy.com/listing/104691789/custom-repaint-monster-high-sweet-1600?ref=sr_gallery_35&ga_search_query=monster+high+custom+dolls&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=ZZ&ga_min=0&ga_max=0&ga_search_type=all&ga_facet=monster+high+custom+dolls

    A beautiful custom MH centaur!
    When I saw this doll, I immediately thought of you!

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    1. Ah! Oh, my goodness! How incredible is that?? What gorgeous work. Absolutely amazing. Thank you for the link! :)

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  18. AHHHHHH!!!!!!! She's gorgeous! Thank you so much for taking her out of her box!! :) I also love the Cheshire Cat mask Jake has. :D It's brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.
    -Pippa

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  19. I think this is my favorite post by you - and there are lots that fit that bill. But Jake wearing a handmade Cheshire Cat mask and his catlike poses - zonks, there goes your rating way, way off the charts. Thanks for this charming and delightful view cum play. I enjoyed it from start to finish. Guess I will need to check on my Alice books (know I got one in French from Dover Publishing; not so sure if I have in English. Darn.)

    Congratulations on your 100+ subscribers. More will come as word gets out. Your blog rocks!

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  20. My wallet very upset with you. As soon as I read this review, I had to run out and buy my own Sophie from Amazon. She's awesome and now I need more Livs.

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  21. I love her! I really want Alice, The rabbit, and the queen of hearts, but then I will want The White Queen, and then I would want the Mad Hatter, which is a LOT of money.

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  22. The white Queen is a character in through the looking glass, where she is a chess piece. Unfortunately for her, she can only remember things hat haven't happened yet.

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  23. Loved your review Emily! I have always been a fan of the Alice in Wonderland series and had intentionally stayed away from this particular line because they were too expensive. Now after reading your review on them I am killing myself for not buying them up when I had the chance! Also, did you ever find a Katie as Mad-Hatter? If you did I would love for you to post a review on her!
    On a side-note, I would love if you could make a series of reviews doing one review on each wave of the LIV series. Even if you don't own every one from every series, I would love to read your review on them! I'm afraid I'm still stuck in the past and can't move on from LIV dolls (no other play-line doll interests me). I would love for you to review your old dolls and maybe also do a separate review of your Sophie Collection (the one you have in and out of boxes)
    Well, bye for now!
    -Pabu

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  24. The dolls are amazing! Yowza, on a completely unrelated note I just found out on the Liv website that Katie is actually Jake's girlfriend!! Huh, at first I thought Sophie was. :-)

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