Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Pullip Elisabeth: a Critical Review with Photos

(Originally Posted on PullipStyle forum by NectarineFire on: � Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:25 am)

A little introduction:

When I first discovered Pullips, I went into a research craze. My senses were bombarded for days with everything and anything related to Pullips. It seemed to me like there was a never-ending variety, but I suddenly felt the need to get my hands on one, and SOON! How to decide from among such a wide array of choices?

Well, Pullip Elisabeth became the first Pullip I ever ordered. And that is because, among all the other Pullips I had seen, she had struck a chord that rang clear and true. What I mean by that is, many Pullips struck the "pretty" chord, or the "lolita" chord, or the "simply beautiful" chord, or the "funky" chord and so forth. But all those chords got lost in the cacophony of similar notes. Only Elisabeth's image continued to haunt me clearly and strongly no matter how many others I had seen. In this review I will go over some of the unique features of this doll, to better explain her special appeal.

But first, some NRFB pics:

1) Condition and defects
-Although her forearms came wrapped in plastic, there was slight staining on at least one of her upper arms.

-As you can see in the fist pic on the right, she arrived with her right forearm detached, but that's not uncommon for Pullips, and their limbs just pop right back in. Other than that, she was perfect.

2) Style Notes on Face-Up and Wig
-Elisabeth's face-up is a study in subtlety and restraint. As a monster (vampire to be precise) her looks could have easily been overdone to the point of caricature. However, her designer had a vision that was at once intense and yet tasteful and discreet. Observe how her eyelashes fan out in thin, sharp, spidery lines around her eyes. Notice also the shading around her eyes the color of faint bruises. Don't they hint at the eternally sleepless nights that such a creature of the dark must endure? In addition, no touch of blush grace these cold cheeks, nor is there any color to those lifeless lips. Merely the faintest darkening of the center. Could it be the remnants of her last macabre meal? The glossy finish on the lips reveals that despite everything this is a creature still very much energized and always with whetted appetite...

-So far everything has been "a touch of this and a pinch of that". All of this restraint serves a purpose which is to balance out where the real drama resides. That would be in the blood-red orbs of her eyes, coupled with the menacingly inhuman shape of her pupils. Be-careful not to gaze too long into those eyes! They will haunt you.
-It is amazing how Pullips can have different expressions simply from varying the eyebrows and lips. Elisabeth has fine, slightly arched eyebrows coupled with casually parted lips that form a supremely confident smile. A sinister smile. To me, it looks like they are expressing a look of disdained amusement. It is a look that speaks of the secret anticipation of her unsuspecting victims' impending doom....

-On another note, a pleasant detail in Elisabeth is that she has dark red lacquer on her fingernails.

-Regarding her hair. At first I was perplexed about the choice of color. Why such a garish, golden hue for an undead character? But when I had her in hand, it all made perfect sense. It is to contrast with and thereby emphasize the deathly pallor of her face and skin! Almost any other color that would seem better suited such as black or gray or white would have not made you appreciate the waxy paleness and the lack of color of that skin, which is unlike any other Pullip before or since.

-Speaking of which, Elisabeth's hair is luxuriously thick, soft and silky. It is styled intricately with a middle part and two thin overlapping braids coiled over her head. In the back, half of her hair is gathered up with a bouffant at the crown.

As you can see, it is extremely long and hangs way past her feet. You can imagine it trailing regally behind her over the train of her dress as she slinks down the gloomy corridors of her castle...

-As for the color of her eyelids, they are a magenta-tinged red with a dark black stripe along her lash line. (See stock photo below)

3) Elisabeth's Stock

Elisabeth's stock includes:

-Black knee-length bloomers
-Black puffy underskirt
-Organza gown with a black bodice adorned with gold braiding and a cameo at the chest. Has off-the-shoulder black sleeves gathered at intervals with gold braiding. The ends of the sleeves trail low and have unfinished hems. The dress has a maroon skirt with black lace trim and panels of pale pink also covered with black lace.
-Pale pink sash adorned with black lace and a floral decoration
-Black high-heeled slippers decorated with spots of gold paint
-Long black beaded necklace
-Black veil
-Hair clip with head ornament
-Selection of fangs, in red and white. The note that comes with the fangs reads: "You may use double-faced adhesive tape (included) to put the fangs on. Please be careful not to make scars or marks on doll's face when you put them on. If you leave those on too long, there is a possibility to leave marks on the doll's face."
-Collector's card
-Maroon doll stand

-the gown might not tolerate too much rough handling as the lace on the skirt and bodice has a "woolly" texture that snags very easily.

-the sleeves have unfinished hems, and some of the elastic on the gathered parts were a bit loose meaning that you might have difficulty keeping the sleeves tightly bunched higher up on her arms if that is what you prefer.

-the dress is much longer than Elisabeth is tall, even if she wore her high heels.

-the hair clip with head ornament is very flimsy. Handle with care.

-the note that comes with the fangs reads: "You may use double-faced adhesive tape (included) to put the fangs on. Please be careful not to make scars or marks on doll's face when you put them on. If you leave those on too long, there is a possibility to leave marks on the doll's face."

-the sash is for wrapping around her waist, and has a velcro attachment under the part that has the flower on top.

-the shoes appear large on Elisabeth's feet, and very easily fall off with the slightest provocation. Only safe to keep on if you plan on leaving Elisabeth purely for display, behind glass!

-All in all her stock, though elaborate, is not flexible. It made me so afraid to handle her, that I promptly put her back in her box after oohing and aahing and taking her first photos! (which is why I can't check all the things I need to update this review with right now)

Final Verdict:
-With Elisabeth, I truly feel like I have purchased a work of art. As such, I feel certain that once she stops being readily available, she will be the one people will regret not getting while she was still priced as she is now! Also, I used to be baffled as to why people would buy "twins" of the same doll. With Elisabeth, I am sorely tempted to do just that. So much about her is fragile, like her hair-do, that I feel the need to keep one safely NRFB "just in case", and also because if something happens to her body, no obitsu will ever come in the same color as her skin tone!

In conclusion, she is very much what she is. What I mean by that is, everything about her screams Vampire. And if you don't like that, then she is definitely not recommended because even if you change her stylized wig, you have to deal with her eyes. And if you change her eye-chips, you still have to deal with her unnaturally pale skin tone. This is ultimately a doll that challenges you to accept her on her own unequivocal terms. The question is, can you handle her? ;)

Pullip Sala: A Critical Review with Photos

(Originally Posted on PullipStyle Forum by NectarineFire on: � Fri May 28, 2010 9:16 pm)

A little introduction:
First of all I should confess that for me, Sala was an impulse buy. I didn’t even know she existed, but I had been on the look-out for Lala (her close look-alike whose photos I had seen in the Pictionary forum*) and I really wanted Lala because, not only did owner pictures of her depict her in a very pretty way, but also to maybe turn her into a custom Fantastic Alice, due to their similar eye-color and make-up)

Anyway, when I found Lala for sale, chance would have it that I found Sala too, and since I can’t resist completing what looked like a set of two, I clicked on the purchase button for Sala also!

With that background in mind, I will now delve into my personal review of Sala, starting with the condition she arrived in. Please keep in mind that these notes are based on the Sala I received and may or may not be the case for other Salas.

But first, some NRFB pics:

1) Condition and Defects


-my Sala has mis-matching knee joints. I am considering her LEFT knee to be the "busted" one. I've marked it with a red X in the photo to make it clearer. Anyway, due to this defect, one leg is slightly longer than the other. Another interesting result is that the red X knee over-extends considerably, (see picture on left). Also, notice how the hinge showing on the inner knee marked with a red arrow is more visible than the hinge of the right knee marked with the blue arrow.

-Another issue with Sala is her hands. As you probably know, Pullip hands are supposed to be capable of
a)bending backwards and forwards (imagine the motion you do when fanning your mouth after eating something spicy)
b)rotating or swiveling at the wrist (imagine the motion the Queen of England does when waving to the commoners, or the motion you would make when you want to say that something is just “so-so”...
Well, my Sala’s right hand will NOT swivel :( This problem is compounded by the fact that her right hand was affixed in the wrong position in relation to the rest of her arm. As you can see in the following photo, when trying to pose her with her hands on her hips, it cannot be done due to this defect >:(

-Also, as you can see from the previous photo, Sala's scalp/wig-cap is easily visible which unattractively shows it's "wig-ness".

-Last but NOT least, the lashes on her left eye are not the same as her right. It looks like a couple of the lash-clusters in the inner corner of her left eye have been cut off :( (sorry don't have a photo showing that clearly)

2) Style Notes on Eyes, Make-up (also called Face-up), and Wig
-Sala’s eye-lids are a lilac/lavender color to match her eyes-chips, and have thick line of brown along her lash line. A pretty and striking touch is the dark-purple winged eye-liner located on the outer edge of her eye lid. This provides nice definition to the shape of her eyes when her eyes are open. I think Sala would have looked better if the color of her eye-lids matched the color of that dark purple eye-liner.
-One of the best and most unique features of Sala are her lilac colored eyes.To add to their luster a tasteful amount of glitter in her eye-chips provide an extra little sparkly touch!

-Sala’s lipgloss is in a cheerfully bright coral hue shaped in a way to give Sala full, wide lips in comparison to other lipstick styles I've seen.

-As for Sala’s wig, it's style is very basic: it is shin-length, feathered at the ends, with shorter strands framing her face and a center part. It has its pros and cons. Besides the fact that her scalp can be seen easily as demonstrated previously, it shed profusely with even the lightest comb-through using fingers only. The edges of Sala’s hair are course and unevenly cut- even for a feathered style. Last but not least, it looked very, very “greasy” and even with combing, it remained looking stringy and limp, perhaps the only good thing I can say about her wig is its beautiful iced-mint color which adds a chilly and refreshing coolness to Sala’s look :) (unfortunately my camera wasn't picking up the minty-pastel-green tone to her hair very well)

3)Sala’s stock

-Lavender hair ribbon. It is gathered in at two points off center.
-Patterned, slightly see-through tunic with stretchy bottom panel. (Contrary to my assumptions when I first saw her, Sala’s garment is NOT a separate top with skirt)
-White underwear
-lavender thigh-high fishnet stockings
-Purple high-heeled Mary Janes with pink detailing

I must confess that, to me, Sala’s stock is uninspired and “commercial” (a euphemism for cheap hehe) But i’ll try to be as objective as possible in sharing the following notes on her stock:

-regarding her hair ribbon: It’s just a strip of cloth basically.. What’s there to say about it really?

-Tunic has some versatility- it can be worn off (one or both) the shoulders or can be used as a top and paired with pants. Other than that... Not very exciting.

-Stockings stood up OK. Just pull them on gently, so that Sala’s toes don’t poke out of one of the holes thereby possibly causing a rip.

-Shoes. To be honest... Style-wise it’s looks like something a mass-produced Barbie would wear!! :P
**UPDATE: A BIG plus about these shoes is that they actually stay on her feet very well and will not fall off! (I only just appreciated this after receiving Pullip Elisabeth whose shoes won't stay on at all :P)
However, forget about Sala being able to stand up unaided in these shoes. Speaking of which, I’ve found that EVEN when using her doll-stand Sala was very unstable and likely to tip over. Oh and she even had a tendency to flop backwards or forwards when held by her shins. I guess her body can be considered to be floppy to an extent.

-Many body defects
-Many wig defects
-Stock's style doesn't really make sense. Thigh-high fishnets with that matronly pattern on her tunic?

-Rare and unique color of eyes
-Rare and unique color of hair.

My Verdict:
A "novelty" Pullip made for a convention and limited to 300...but that's not necessarily a bad thing! :lol:

Now, if you’ve found yourself being swayed by my opinion of Sala... and would like to consider another opinion, just click on the following link and check out the FANTASTIC pictures taken of her by talented owners, and be amazed by how pretty she can be despite everything I’ve said!


*just wanted to give a shout-out to the very talented members Hera and SuperQT again for their breath-taking photographs of Lala and/or Sala. Groove should contact you girls for promotional pics! Your pictures make me feel that my purchase of Sala doesn't have to be a complete loss :D

Pullip Kaela: A Critical Review with Photos

A little introduction:

When I first discovered Pullips I spent about a week reading and looking at everything I could get my hands on concerning them. Then, suddenly I lost my head and ordered several Pullips all at once from all across the globe, all within a 24 hour time period! Consequently, I had no idea which one I was going to receive first, but I had some predictions. To my surprise, it was Kaela who beat them all and arrived lightning fast, didn't get held up in customs, OR accrue any fees whatsoever on arrival! Thereby not only proving herself to be quite lucky but she also won the title of "First Pullip I Ever Own" 8)

So in her honor I am submitting this Review in order to let other potential Kaela owners learn a little bit more about this precious girl ^_^

First of all, some photos of her NRFB (Never Removed From Box to any newbies out there :) )


And some of her deboxed but still in her "chains".


See the back of the box? It looks all neat and tidy now but even if you try to keep everything as pristine as possible while removing her, after the first quarter of an hour passes by and your Pullip is still far from being removed those sticky circles will start being torn off and those twist thingies yanked out fast!

Ok now for the nitty-gritty!

1)Her Face and Body:

-Her body came with her lower legs and fore-arms wrapped in plastic (you can see this in the last picture).

-Kaela arrived with two scratches on her face; one on her chin and the other below and to the side of her mouth. They were not deep but they were obvious against the powdery matte veneer of her face because they looked shinier by comparison.

-Immediately upon removing her from the packaging, her right hand fell off, and did so several times as I started to undress her. The same thing happened with her left arm at the shoulder socket. Since she was my first Pullip these things alarmed me at first but I have come to understand that she is designed that way in order to make it easier to dress and undress her. So don't worry if this happens to you!

-Her hands, as you can see in the following picture, come in two different positions. Her LEFT one is with the fingers straight out, her RIGHT one with the fingers curled slightly.


This might make it look like one is smaller than the other, but the curled hand is fun for posing where you can have her use that hand to hold the brim of her hat :wink: . Also, whereas the LEFT hand rotates/swivels as well as bends, the RIGHT hand on my Pullip rotates/swivels only, and will not bend backwards and forwards under normal pressure. I am afraid to put extra pressure for fear of breaking her wrists. (To understand what I mean by rotate/swivel imagine the Queen of England as she waves to the commoners... or if you're gesturing that something is "just so-so", whereas the bending movement is what you would do if you were fanning your mouth after eating something extra spicy :P )

2) Her Eye-lids, Make-up (sometimes also called face-up) and Wig

-Kaela has soft gray eye-shadow. On my Kaela it seems sometimes like the eyeshadow over her left eye is a little more intense than her eye-shadow over her right eye.

-Her lipstick is a peachy-beige color with the wispiest line of darker lip-liner outlining her lips. On my Kaela this lip-liner isn't as even all around her lips. The lip-liner on one side of her cupid's bow is fainter than the other. Her lips are drawn in a pouty/goldfishy shape compared to other, more wider-mouthed lipstick styles I've seen <3

-Her face is a lovely matte peaches & cream color and her blush is a soft rosy peach.

-When Kaela closes her eyes you can see that the color of her eye-lids matches her eye-shadow and are a matching dove-gray with a thick black stripe of eye-liner.



-Now for Kaela's hair! Her wig is one of Kaela's best features in my opinion, although very soon after de-packaging her I noticed it was shedding some hairs. The good news is that soon after first handling her it seems to stop shedding further. One of the nice thing about Kaela's hair is that it's silky soft, light and hassle-free. Oh and it's colors are glorious! Her hair consists of wine colored hairs (a deep cranberry hue), purple highlights (doesn't show up very clearly in my photos, but they're there!), and, if you look closely you will also notice some chocolaty brown low-lights. This makes her wig a very fun one as it seems to keep changing moods and looking different depending on the light source she's in. Cool!

-Style-wise her wig though short is cut into layers. She has a short strand on her forehead, medium length tresses frame her face, and longer locks of hair that taper down to a point down her back, giving it a little extra length to play with and possibly tie into pigtails. Though she is a tomboy Kaela can have her girly side too! ^_^

3) Kaela's Stock


-pinstripe hat with faux leather detailing on the sides
-white oxford shirt
-plaid tie
-pinstripe jacket with faux leather lapels, front pockets, and crystal-inset buttons
-pinstripe short trousers with faux leather back pockets and cuffs
-faux leather removable belt with ridged oval buckle
-shin length socks
-platform chunky-heeled lace-up boots
-faux leather bag with hinged opening

I for one consider a Pullip's stock as one of the main factors in winning me over therefore you should know that I love everything about it but for the sake of objective disclosure here are some notes on her stock:

-At first there were a lot of loose threads here and there that made her stock look messy but nothing a quick trim with a sharp little pair of scissors can't handle!

-The hat, the jacket and the short trousers were a great fit and the material seemed really good quality to me. Oh and without the twisty things wrapped around her arm when she was packaged, the sleeves of the jacket can seem a little too long when her arms are hanging straight down, as they cover most of her hands.

-My first impression of the white shirt was that it was made from a cheap quality coarse material but I then changed my mind thinking that my expectations were probably too high for a doll! Another note about the shirt is I would have liked it more if its velcro fastener extended all the way down her front because as it is now, only the area over her chest can be fastened and this can sometimes leave her tummy exposed.

-The neck-tie that came with my Kaela was worn and faded on one side but it didn't really bother me because that part is covered by the lapel of her white shirt. Another nice touch about the tie is that you don't need to worry about unfastening it and needing to know how to tie it back on because it is actually fastened at the back with a bit of velcro.

-I was pleased to not that her belt really worked as a belt and could be opened just like a real belt.

-Her socks are ok. A little loose but it suits her style.

-Her shoes are AWESOME. The only problem with them is that their fit is quite loose. Make sure to flex Kaela's feet when inside them to give the boots something to hold on to, cuz even when you do that they tend to slip down her feet. A plus about these boots is that when wearing them Kaela can stand unaided! And altogether I just adore their design- they were one of the reasons I had to have Kaela. I mean you gotta love the scuffed detailing on the toe-box. That little touch gives it so much personality and really suits Kaela's tomboyish air- this is no Sfoglia afraid to step in a little dirt!

-Now, a tomboy she may be, but that doesn't mean Kaela can't match her shoes to her bag like the best of 'em! And her bag is really substantial and pleasant to handle and opens like a real hinged-opening bag. It's spacious too! You could fit both Kaela's boots with socks in there if you ever wanted to redress her and wanted to store her stuff away :)

And here's a close-up!


In conclusion: Kaela rocks! She is unassuming yet full of personality and very, very unique! And don't you just love her idiosyncratic eyes? Half gray and half brown, it's like they are telling you there's so much more beneath the surface of this girl ;)

Showing Some Attitude/and In the Nude***
( <3 have you noticed how sometimes her hair looks purple, sometimes red, sometimes burgundy?? <3 )

Well, thanks for reading! I know this post is a bit long but I tried to be comprehensive cuz I know when I become obsessed about something it's like I can't read enough about it :lol:

Please let me know if you'd like me to write up more of these kinds of reviews and if you have any further questions for me, I'd love to hear from you :)

***The awesome photo of Kaela on my computer screen is taken by member SuperQT and is available in the forum's Pictionary. Please check out her other cool photos!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What to do with your Pullip collection?

That question bugs me, it really does. It needs an answer. And it has to be a good answer*, in order to justify the costs this hobby incurs.

So, here's what I personally will do:

1)Catalog them. I know that's completely weird, and not even artistic or creative per-se. I just feel compelled to do it. So, I aim to post at least 3 initial photos of every doll I buy. NRFB photos, Stock & Accessory photos, and Face-Up photos.

2)Review them. Yes, yes, another nerdy one. But I feel compelled to put into writing descriptive details of the Pullips I buy and to document my opinions of each one.

3)Draw them. Finally something artistic. I used to draw a lot but sadly I've stopped and my skills are very, very rusty. Happily, Pullips give me something I'm motivated to practice drawing again.

4)Practice photography on them. It's amazing what a state of flow I can get into when I try photographing these dolls! I love that feeling of losing one's sense of time plus I've never been so motivated to improve my photography, and look forward to getting better and better at it.

5)Create Pic-Fics. This one sort of stresses me out. It's really challenging to me because I have a hard time "editing things down", which is a must with Pic-Fics because it takes so long to pose them and photograph them well and then upload those photos and as a good friend told me, Pic-Fics aren't meant to be novels!

6)Customize. I'll keep the characters I plan to eventually make a secret for now XD

7)Sew! I'm excited about eventually trying my hand at sewing outfits for Pullips. It seems like it could be a lot of fun.

I do hope for once I follow through on the things I want to do... Putting everything out there on this blog is a way of "making it official".

*what's good for one person doesn't have to be the same for another. Maybe putting them on a shelf is a good enough reason for someone else, and that's fine if it's what makes them happy. It's just that for me, I need to do something "productive" with them.

If I don't, I'll probably eventually lose interest and sell them all! D:

Monday, September 6, 2010

My New Hobby

I'm starting this blog in an attempt to make something out of my new obsession: Pullips.

Just buying them and putting them on display seems futile. Instead, I'm going to use them- and this blog- as a creative outlet. Something about them triggers my imagination, as well as eases my need to create "Art" with a capital A (something I've always been driven to attempt, yet have essentially been unable to create, due to my own fear of failure). Also, because I can't quite take Pullips (or this collecting hobby) seriously, and because they necessitate to some extent a certain sense of humor in order to allow myself to even indulge in them, they have dashed all the self-imposed grand aspirations I always held dear. I'm starting to see that as a good thing, because as long as I had those aspirations, I always felt unfit to achieve them. Now, I don't have to. So maybe at long last, I can finally get something creative done.

Yes, Pullips are trivial, frivolous, maybe even silly...!

And in spite of that... or for that... I love them.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم