Monday, June 17, 2013

Poppy Parker Fashion Teen "Spring Morning" by Integrity

First of all, Rebecca is running away with the American Girl poll!  The poll closed and I haven't bought a doll yet, so I'll open up the voting for a few more days in case anyone wanted to weigh in but couldn't.  Thank you for helping me with this decision!  Second, I am on vacation, so I am s-l-o-w.  BUT!  There might be some beach blogging later in the week.

It's been a while since I've reviewed a larger fashion doll.  The 16" Poppy Parker "Fashion Teen" line was announced by Integrity in January of 2012 and the dolls started shipping last summer.  So...I am a little late with this, but I wanted to review this doll now for two reasons.  First, I missed out on the 2013 12" Poppys (I really wanted this one) and I thought de-boxing some older Poppy dolls might make me feel better.  Second, the new Integrity 16" Tulabelle line is shipping (I pre-ordered the redhead, Coated in Glamour) and I want to be able to compare my Tulabelle to the Fashion Teens.

Integrity specializes in 12" fashion dolls, but seems to be trying to find a niche in the 16" market.  So far, we have seen the release of the AvantGuard dolls, the FR16 line, the larger Poppy Parker teens, and now Tulabelle.  Honestly, I am not sure if any of these dolls have been a huge success.  I have noticed that if you miss the Integrity pre-ordering frenzy and show up late to the party (as I often do) the 12" dolls are mostly sold out, but there are usually plenty of 16" girls to choose from.  All but one of the Poppy Parker Fashion Teen dolls can still be found for sale at their retail price of $150.

Large or small, Integrity offers gorgeous clothes and high quality, so I was pretty excited about de-boxing my behemoth Fashion Teen.  Here is Spring Morning:

Poppy Parker
Poppy Parker Fashion Teen
 "Spring Morning"
The Fashion Teen dolls come in large, shiny white cardboard boxes decorated with the Fashion Teen logo and tied closed with two large pink ribbon bows:


I actually bought two Fashion Teens (Spring Morning and Shop Around) but at first I couldn't decide which of them to review.  Let me quickly show you both dolls:

Fashion Teen "Shop Around."
Shop Around comes with bright blue wedge sandals (love these):

I have some just like 'em.
She also comes with a nice canvas bag, sunglasses, and several pieces of jewelry, including an adorable heart pendant necklace:


Shop Around has long platinum hair that is in a high chignon with a cascading double-twisted ponytail:


She is wearing high-waisted blue gingham pants and a two-layered white lace top.  

This doll has large coral-red lips that I think are too bright.  Her side-glancing blue eyes are shaded by thick black applied lashes.  I love her smoky grey eyeshadow:

Fashion Teen Poppy Parker

Shop Around is actually the hardest of the Fashion Teens to find right now.  

In contrast, Spring Morning is probably the easiest of the Fashion Teen dolls to find, and was (from what I can tell) initially the least popular.  She comes with more clothes but fewer small accessories than Shop Around:


She has a simple pair of earrings, white gloves, a purse and yellow shoes:


This doll is wearing a yellow two-piece dress and a long tweedy coat:

Poppy Parker Spring Morning

I love the bright red color of her hair, but the hairstyle is a bit severe.  The hair is side parted and swept low over her eyebrow on one side.  The hair is fairly long, but the ends are curled under to give it a bobbed appearance.  There is a ton of styling product in this hair.  

Spring Morning has lovely green eyes, and I like the natural color of her lips, but the brown eyeshadow gives her a ring-eyed, red panda type of look:

Poppy Parker Fashion Teen

Even after looking at these girls more closely, I couldn't make up my mind which one to review.  I decided to let my 12" Poppy offer her opinion.

I figured that because both of these dolls have platinum hair, they would get along famously...

Poppy Parker Shop Around

In fact, they have a lot of similarities.  Not only is the hair color exactly the same, but the two hairstyles have some parallels as well.  Small Poppy has her hair swept to the left, while Large Poppy has her hair swept to the right.  Both dolls have side-glancing eyes, but they look in opposite directions.  Small Poppy's lip color is much better.

Poppy Parker Shop Around

Looking at the two faces together, it's easier to see the difference in the two Poppy Parker face molds.  Large Poppy's eyes are more lidded and sultry, and the applied lashes add a bit of mystery.  I find Small Poppy's wider eyes more expressive and much easier to photograph.  Also, while Small Poppy's trademark pout is adorable, Large Poppy's lower lip is quite large and has lost some of the subtlety in shape.  I think Small Poppy looks more like a teenager than Large Poppy, who looks at least 25.

Another difference between these two dolls can only be seen in profile.  I find Shop Around's jawline to be very oddly shaped.  It curves up from her chin to her ear without defining much of an actual jaw.  Her oval-shaped face looks almost like a mask that is stuck to the back of her head.  In contrast, the smaller Poppy has a long, flat jaw that curves naturally up towards her ear.



In the end, maybe these two dolls had too many similarities.

Talk to the hand, you big copycat.
Despite her raccoon eyes, Spring Morning ended up being a better fit around here.  She doesn't look any more like a teenager than Shop Around does, but I prefer her lip color, love her red hair, and like that she and my smaller Poppy can look in the same direction:

Poppy Parker Spring Morning

Here are a few more pictures of Shop Around before she hits the road:

Poppy Parker Fashion Teen

Poppy Parker Shop Around

Now, I'll just focus on Spring Morning.  

This doll has a great outfit in terms of style and construction, but let me just say, right from the start, that it has way, waaay too much yellow.  Especially for a redhead.  I didn't think you were supposed to dress redheads in yellow--blue or purple, maybe, but not yellow.  This doll has a two-piece yellow dress, a yellow coat, yellow shoes, a yellow purse and yellow earrings.  Everything is yellow.  I like yellow, in general, but it messes with my camera and is not a good color choice for this doll.  By the way, if you say or write "yellow" a lot, it starts to look really, really strange.  

Yellow, yellow, yellow.
The coat has two rows of decorative yellow plastic buttons, but is actually held closed by metal hooks. The doll comes with the coat unfastened so that the dress is visible:

Ta Da! Yellow!
It took me forever to figure out how to close the coat.  I could see the metal hooks on one side, but it wasn't at all clear where they were supposed to attach--usually there are some obvious thread hoops for those hooks to grab.  The inside of the coat has tied threads at the same spacing interval as the hooks, so I figured that there must be thread loops on the outside of the coat somewhere:


Do you see any loops, though?  Against the tweedy texture of the coat, the loops virtually disappear.  You can play Find the Loop in this picture if you want:


If you're getting frustrated by that first picture, try to find the loops in this close-up version:

There are 2.
It's a bit easier but still hard, right?

Here are the answers:



The coat looks nice closed, so it's worth finding those little loops.  They'll get more visible as they get used more and stretched out.  

There's some thread holding the coat together
at the bottom that had to be snipped.
I'm not sure I think the color of this coat is perfect (it'd be nice a bit darker, maybe?) but the style is wonderful.  It's a gorgeous, fully-lined, perfectly stitched miniature coat.


I don’t like these yellow pumps as much as I like Shop Around’s blue wedge sandals.  First of all, it is difficult to tell which is the left shoe and which is the right.  Also, the cut of the shoes seems sloppy.  They appear to have differently sized toe sections:


There’s a shiny yellow decorative strap that wraps around the back of the shoe and then attaches to the bow on top.  The strap is a good attempt at adding some character to the simple style, but it comes across as a little desperate.  Maybe if the strap had been a color other than yellow?  Maybe if it wasn't so clearly just a cutout strap added to a basic pump?


The shoes are partially lined in stiff white felt, presumably to help them fit better or keep their shape, but these liners make it difficult to get the shoes on, especially if the doll is wearing stockings.


The battle to get this doll into her shoes is not very rewarding.  First of all, the doll’s ankle joints look like funny little therapeutic socks.  Also, the style of the shoes isn’t flattering.  The low heel, pointy toe, side straps, and lopsided bows combine to make the feet look dowdy and inelegant.

Granny feet.
The shoes don’t help the doll stand at all, either.  She stands pretty well right out of the box, but that’s only because she has plastic braces wrapped around her knees:


Once these supports are removed, the doll buckles at the knees very easily.

Underneath the coat, this doll is wearing a beautifully tailored yellow suit:


Poppy Parker Spring Morning


The outfit is actually a dress with a short, matching jacket worn over it.  The jacket is tightly fitted and buttons down the back.  It's a backwards jacket:



The jacket has a high neckline with a cravat-style accent.  I like the buttoned strap part, but the loop of fabric that sticks out on either side is awkward:

And crooked.
The dress is belted at the waist and has two ornamental pockets:


The jacket has three small, decorative buttons but, like the coat, is actually closed with metal hooks and loops of thread.  The loops of thread are easy to see against this yellow fabric--thank goodness.  The metal hooks are disappointingly visible, even when the jacket is closed:


The darts and seams on this dress are impeccably sewn and the fit is perfect:


In order to remove the jacket, the doll’s hands have to be detached.  This is really easy.  In fact, it’s a little too easy and the doll’s hands are constantly falling off or slipping out part of the way.


Underneath the jacket, the dress has a lined silk tank top bodice.  I love the yellow dress without the jacket like this.  It's really, really lovely:

Poppy Parker Spring Morning
Why yes, I'd love a cocktail.

The yellow patent leather belt has a fake metal buckle and attaches at the back with another one of those metal hooks.


Here's the dress without the belt (notice her left hand falling out...):

Hey, where's my cocktail?
The dress has a metal hook attachment at the top and a long, perfectly tailored, nicely scaled zipper.  The only problem with the zipper being in scale is that the zipper pull is very, very small and it is hard to get the dress zipped back up.


The hands don't need to be removed to get the dress on and off, but they fall off most of the time anyway.  These hands probably fell off ten or fifteen times throughout this photo session.

Watch out, this thing's loaded.
Poppy's hard plastic body has sixteen points of articulation and a beautiful shape:


She has great movement in almost all of her joints and is very fun to pose.  Her head can look all around and move up and down.  She has hinged and rotational movement in her knees, shoulders, elbows, ankles and wrists.  She has hinged toe joints.


Her hips have an encapsulated ball joint that allows for a wide range of movement:


This doll, like all Integrity dolls, is very fun to pose:








Here is Poppy next to a traditional Tonner body (left) and a Tonner Cami body (right):

Tonner Cinderella, Poppy, Tonner Cami
Poppy looks more similar in proportion to the regular Tonner body.  Cami's bust is smaller and her waist is not as defined.  Here are the comparisons up close for a better look:


The dolls cannot reliably share clothes.  Both of the Tonner girls are too wide in the chest and hips to wear Poppy's yellow dress.  Because she is slimmer, Poppy can wear some of the Tonner clothes pretty well, although the fit of the traditional Tonner garments I tried was baggy in the chest.  Cami's simple shorts and tee shirt fit well and look good on Poppy: 


Here is Poppy next to an AvantGuard doll (On Edge) and a Madame Alexander Alex:

AvantGuard, Poppy, Madame Alexander Alex.
I assumed that the Fashion Teen body would be very similar to the AvantGuard body, but the two are quite different.  The AvantGuard body is skinnier through the waist and has virtually no hips.  TheAvantGuard doll also has an extra joint at the top of the thigh and no joint at the toes.  The AvantGuard skin tone is sickly pale in comparison to Poppy's healthy pink:  

AvantGuard, Poppy, Alex
The Madame Alexander body is strange.  I have never really looked at an Alex body very closely before now, but while the shape of the body is nice, the hip joints look very unnatural and have an extremely limited range of motion in comparison to the Integrity dolls with their ball jointed hips. 

Here are all of the plastic 16" dolls together:


Of all the 16" fashion dolls I own (including my JAMIEshow and Sybarite dolls) the only one who can share Poppy's yellow dress is the AvantGuard doll.  Despite her skinny waist, this doll is a little bit larger in the chest than Poppy, so it takes some effort to get the zipper closed, but it can be closed.  The belt is too tight. 



I tried to get Poppy's shoes to work on the AvantGuard doll, but her feet don't quite squish into them:

You're no Cinderella, honey.
The effort of my attempt caused the bottom of the heel to fall off, too.


The AvantGuard dress fits Poppy like it was made for her (hand falling out again).  


The AvantGuard shoes are not so great.  They are too big for Poppy and her feet try to slip out of the open toes:

Notice the collapsing knees.

Poppy's collapsing knees were making it hard for me to pose her.  She does come with a nice saddle stand, though, which helps a little bit:


The knees are a pretty big problem, though.  Even with the stand, she ends up like this quite a lot:


I skimmed over the other accessories earlier, so let's take a better look at them now.  This doll comes with gloves, earrings and a purse.  The gloves don't fit at all.  Even if they did fit, I think they'd look like mittens, so I wasn't too sad about this:

I've baked some delicious cookies!
There's just no way those splayed fingers are going to fit in that tiny glove, and even if they did, it would look silly:


The earrings are simple studs with inset yellow stones:


They fit into her ears very easily and look nice:


The purse, like all Integrity purses I have seen, is adorable.  It's not as fancy as World on a String Eugenia's purse, but it is very well made and stylish:

 



I just wish this purse wasn't yellow.  It disappears against the yellow dress.  I wonder why they didn't choose a white or black purse instead...or even something boldly contrasting, like pink, orange or even green?  I think green would have been awesome.  Maybe having everything match perfectly was super-trendy in the 60s (?), but still.  It's a lot of yellow.


The Spring Morning doll has the same face mold as Shop Around, but I find that this doll's neutral lip color softens the inflated look of the Fashion Teen face:


The lower lip still looks pretty large, but the bigger problem with this doll's face, in my opinion, is her eye makeup.  The brown rings around her eyes are not attractive to me.  I wish that at least the dark arches above her eyes were done in a softer shade of brown.


Poppy has dark green eyes peeking out from under heavy lashes.  It's difficult to get a clear shot of her eyes, but I like this feature.  It gives her an air of mystery.


The applied lashes look great on the left eye...


...but the right eyelashes got squashed and look bedraggled:


I adore the color of this doll's hair, but am not crazy about the style.  It looks and feels like she's wearing a helmet.  There's so much styling product plastered on, the hair doesn't move at all and it feels very crispy and hard.  Could someone even make a huge curl like that with real hair?  I guess if people accomplished this and this, Poppy's curl would be small potatoes.  

Poppy Parker Fashion Teen



Sections of hair from above each ear are pulled back and tied with thread.  I suppose that this helps keep her hairstyle above her ear and swept towards the back of her head.



This doll is more fun to pose without her tight clothes holding her back, but even in her fitted dress, she has great flexibility.  I don't love her foot shape in general, but I love that she can point her toes like this:


Her hands are very elegant and expressive, but she can't quite touch her face, which is a small disappointment:


I really wanted to photograph a running pose, where Poppy's hair was flying out behind her and the purse was swinging from one hand.  Poppy's collapsing knees made capturing this picture a bit of an adventure.



I finally grabbed this shot, seconds before the doll toppled over again:

Poppy Parker Spring Morning

In theory, I am not a fan of disturbing original hairstyles, but I seem to do it all of the time, so I guess I am more fond of this habit than I like to admit.  In this case, Poppy's hair was so hard and unflattering, I felt like I had to do something.  Without using a brush, I just loosened the big curl in back with my fingers.  There was a lot of hair curled up in there:



It didn't look great at first, and I was worried that I had (yet again) ruined a doll by messing with her hair, but after playing around with the curls a little bit more and twisting the hair around in different ways, I started to like it a lot better:


Poppy Parker Spring Morning


It gathers up into a nice low ponytail, too:


To me, this doll is at her best when she's relaxing in the short black AvantGuard dress with her flame red hair loose around her face--no yellow in sight.  

As I took these last few pictures, I began to realize what a beautiful doll she is:

Poppy Parker Spring Morning



I think maybe even this Poppy and Small Poppy (also re-dressed in a simple black sheath) might become good friends:

Poppy Parker Spring Morning


Bottom line?  When the Fashion Teen line was first announced, it was met with some criticism, particularly from 12" Poppy Parker fans.  I can see why.  This doll has a face that is reminiscent of Poppy, and she shares Poppy's name and fashion sense, but she's missing something of the subtle, saucy character that makes Poppy so special.  Poppy's trademark features didn't scale up as nicely as I would have hoped.  The lips, in particular, seem almost comically large.  Also, the overall shape of the face is a tad too wide and the contours of the profile seem pieced together.  If you're hoping for a large Poppy Parker replica, you might be disappointed.  It's probably best to think of this doll as a new character who happens to share Poppy's 1960's style--Poppy's older sister, perhaps.

Spring Morning has many of the hallmark high-quality features that make Integrity dolls so desirable.  She doesn't seem as pitch-perfect as other Integrity dolls I have owned, though.  For example--while her outfit and accessories are impeccably made and perfectly fitted, the color palette is monotonous and some of the design details aren't well executed.  Also, while the doll is beautifully articulated, her foot shape is unattractive and her knee joints are loose and cannot easily support her body.  Her hands need to come out for dressing and undressing, but the hands on my doll fall out far, far too often.  While her hair is nicely rooted and has a gorgeous color, the factory hairstyle is very severe and doesn't flatter the doll's wide face.  

The thing about a well-made doll, though, is that there's always hope.  I was dismayed by the shortcomings in this doll.  I wasn't crazy about her face, hated her stiff hair, was getting sick of her yellow outfit and driven nuts by her inability to stand.  But then--then, I changed her hair and put her in a new dress and snap.  Just like that?  I like her.  In fact, I really, really like her.  She's sultry and gorgeous and slinks around here like she owns the place.  The Integrity quality and design control might have hiccuped a tiny bit on this line, but the Integrity attitude is solidly in tact.

Poppy Parker Fashion Teen

23 comments:

  1. Nice review!!! you should try to boilwash her hair, she looks si beautiful out of all that yellow! you are right, I think this line was quite unpopular for It. But hopefully you'll get a chance to buy or review other IT dolls, I heard the new reveal is going to be on July 18th for the W club and some days after the pics will be public and the dolls will be avilable, I think you should review a NU.Face doll! they are like FR dolls but are meant to represent young models, rather than mature women like classic FR. Plus, they have bodies similar to Dynamite girls. Love your blog.
    Luis

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  2. i'm really to see that you'll be reviewing tulabelle! i ordered the "pomp and circumstance" version nude on ebay as i wasn't a huge fan of her outfit and more recently the "j'adore" version nude as well. this is my first foray into the 16" world but i find myself loving them (even though i have zero piecs of clothing to fit them!)

    in regards to poppy, i actually really really love the shop around version much more than the spring version. it could be, as you mentioned, the monochromatic outfit and styling as it comes across a bit too "old fashioned" for my tastes. i like that shop around could pass as a modern take on a classic look (like monster high's operetta!)i enjoy the bold pop of pink on her lip as well as the big twisted ponytail. those white cateye sunglasses are awesome too!

    thanks for the review!!

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  3. You know, I actually like that 16" version of Poppy more than her 12" ... at least from the front lol. I can see what you mean about the jawline, however, but those eyes are gorgeous! The foot "joint" is really an interesting point for me and I wish more dolls had that function!

    And where on earth are you fitting all of these dolls! You've got such an amazing collection! :) Great review.

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  4. Talk to the hand, you big copycat. - LOL
    Fantastic review!

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  5. What do you think about Integrity Tulabelle dolls?

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  6. That plastic around the knees thing makes me so mad. I own 3 integrity dolls and all of them- even the dolls released years ago- came with the knee bracer things. They know DAMN well that their dolls have floppy knees and instead of fixing this fatal flaw they keep repeating it and wrap the knees in plastic. Like what even is this
    Likewise the ugly ugly ankle joint has been a problem since forever- I think it was introduced the Misaki line was first created, Poppy inherited it and since then all the subsequent jointed-ankle IT dolls have those weird, unnatural looking ankles.
    She is an absolutely gorgeous doll, I even like her panda makeup, but ugh I'd be so mad if I bought something with that many flaws for this much money.. The messed up eyelash- you could try fixing it with an eyelash brush and tiny bit of hair gel.

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  7. Hi Emily. She looks so much better with her hair down. I really like these dolls' sour expressions and how well their clothing is made. However, I do think that they are massively overpriced so instead of buying one I will just enjoy your photos instead :D

    Yellow really is a funny/silly word isn't it?

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  8. Thanks, Very interesting read, I’ve been really enjoying checking up your posts from time to time. Looking forward to see your future posts smile

    http://www.apparelnbags.com/hanes/index.htm

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  9. Do her clothes fit a Moxie Teenz doll? I'd love to find out as I have both a custom Moxie and a custom Liv on a Moxie body.

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    Replies
    1. Also, I thought you might want to know that AG is coming out with a science lab set soon.

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  10. I love the name Poppy Parker, what a great name. Maybe my next cat will be called Poppy. I am glad you put the doll next to a twelve incher because I was really struggling with the size for a minute, I guess I am so used to twelve inch fashion dolls this seemed wacky. Love the face mold, the clothes and the hair BUT some of the joints just do not look right.
    Thanks for the review, a treat to read as always, Tina

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  11. I think I like "Find the Maggot" better than "Find the Loop." LOL, another great review.

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  12. I love the 16" dolls and currently have 2 poppy's (shop around and love letters) I love them both! I also have 2 FR:16's (freja and saskia) as well as 2 tulabelle's (j'adore and violet femme) with 2 preordered (trend spotted and coated in glamour) I cannot wait to see your review of the tulabelle doll!
    I have to say I collected 12" dolls for years, but I prefer the 16" and I am kind of glad not many like them, as they don't sell out the second they hit!

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  13. Thanks for this review...I wasn't familiar with this doll line. I love the articulation but I'm not too keen on the "snooty" expressions on the larger dolls (no offense, I hope). I like the 12" Poppy's softer expression. :)It's always fun to discover new dolls. ;)

    I did want to let you know that if you decide to go with Rebecca for your AG doll, please don't judge all AG hair by hers. Rebecca has a thinner wig than many of the other AG dolls and the curly hair can be a bit tough to manage. I've found that the finger curl method works pretty well, but it can be rather tiresome to maintain. Regardless, Rebecca (or Jenna, in my house) ;) is one of my favorite dolls because she's so photogenic and incredibly stunning. ;)

    Have a nice day!

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  14. I would love to see how they compare to an Ellowyne Wilde doll. Thanks again for another great review.

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  15. I love, love really LOVE these dolls. I had seen these on flickr before but I couldn't even figure out from which line they were.
    Do you believe in love at first sight Emily? I think I do, the first time I saw one of these on flickr I immediatly fell in love. I just wish they weren't so expensive but what do you expect from a high-end doll line?
    I think I like Spring Morning the best. I don't even mind all of that yellow (though you were right on that purse). My mom would freak out if she saw her, yellow is her favorite color :3
    I love her mysterious eyes, soft looking lips and I actually quite like the style of her eyeshadow. It's a shame her hands keep falling out but everything else about this doll makes up for that! And finally, you managed to make a doll's hairstyle look better instead of worse after taking the original hairstyle out, hahahahaha.
    Her hair looks beautiful now, not only the loose curls are amazing but also the ponytail look is sophisticated.
    Gosh, I think I might have to start saving up for one of these. That might take about 5 years but hey, who cares? They're worth it.
    Could you tell me which of the 16'' Poppy dolls are least expensive? I might set my goal on one of them and I'll try to avoid looking at the more expensive ones (unless I want to be in some state of doll coma, lol!)
    Thank you for this review Emily, you really opened my eyes for the more high-end dolls through your blog.

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  16. I am so glad you are reviewing more Integrity! I really love them. That Coated in Glamour TallulahBelle is my favorite, I am happy you are reviewing her.

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  17. Actually, I had a bit of a hard time with my FR's hands staying in, but a little ball of poster putty inside the joint works great.

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  18. Nice review! She has a great facial expression. She looks like she's keeping a sexy secret. LOL! She has Marilyn Monroe bedroom eyes. I like her. I'd love to see you review Shop Around the same way you reviewed Spring Morning! I'll eagerly await your Tulabelle review. I'm fascinated by the Tulabelles, but I like the face on the 16" Poppy better than Tulabelle's face.

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    Replies
    1. OK, that is really weird that this web site automatically made the name "Marilyn M___" into a link to a product on Amazon. I swear I didn't do that. Ack!

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  19. God, your reviews are so accurate, detailed and perfect! I feel like if I was holding the very same doll myself. Thank you!

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  20. Thanks to your information I bought "love letters", and she is excellent!! I'd just like to say she CAN touch her face. All her joints are wonderful. I slightly wish she had a waist joint... but I am not complaining. She's great! And so is your blog. ^U^

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  21. When I read your comments on the colours redheads should wear I laughed. I can remember only twenty years ago having many people insist that redheads should NEVER wear purple. And that purple should NEVER go with green. And now both combinations seem to be taken for granted.

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