I had planned to write a review of the new Ellowyne—and the Virtual Doll Convention–weeks ago. First off, never ever update all of your computers or software at the same time. I’m practically on a first name basis with Microsoft customer service over Office for Mac. Additionally, I’ve had some lingering health issues post-COVID and some particularly nasty fibromyalgia flares. When I haven’t been curled in a ball, covered with an afghan and at least one cat, I’ve been playing. There’s one Ellowyne who has the lioness’ share of my time and I seriously can’t stop dressing her or putting on new wigs.
First of all, kudos to Rachel Hoffman for getting this convention together. She had a ton of work to do and handled it with aplomb. Thank you so much, Rachel! You are appreciated!
This was my first—but NOT last–experience with the VDC. It’s been going on for a couple of years now but I didn’t pay attention until I heard that a new Ellowyne was going to debut. I loved the format—exciting yet casual–and I appreciated how I could watch events live or see the videos I missed online. I can even access those videos today! The events/videos I liked the most were teddy bears and dolls that I don’t collect. There’s something to be said about admiring a collectible without having to actually own it.
That’s not all. There were paper dolls to print and dress, a coloring page, patterns, and sewing videos—all for Ellowyne and other dolls. Convention camaraderie was possible via the VDC’s Facebook pages. Attendees are still posting pictures of the dolls they bought or dolls that they just want to share. The only thing missing was a glass of wine to be sipped on while watching the videos. Next time I will be prepared!
Now, about those new Ellowynes! I was beyond thrilled when I saw pictures of them on Facebook. Okay, it was love at first sight. The process of acquiring the dolls, however, seemed as daunting as trying to schedule a COVID vaccine. Thoughts of sniping on eBay and having to hit refresh, refresh, refresh, and refresh constantly nervously danced in the background of my mind. When the dolls were up for sale, I didn’t get a notice. It turned out that I was looking on the wrong FB page! Adrenaline surging, I messaged my dear friend Jeanne Grandchamp, who virtually held my hand, I was able to get two Ellowynes—Pedal Pusher and Taking Shape—and the Face Time outfit. The process turned out to be easy peasy, and far less painful than the COVID shot. Next time, I’ll know what I’m doing! I missed out on Baby Doll and Puff Piece but I figured I didn’t need them. Yeah, right!
The dolls were not going to be sent for several weeks after the convention ended. Tom Petty was right: The waiting is the hardest part! But the dolls were worth the wait. I thought it was impossible to improve on perfection but the new Ellowynes prove just that. The face is thinner, with an angular chin, and I think she looks more mature than previous Ellowynes. The bodies seem slightly heavier. So far, the dolls’ hips are tight and there’s no loose left leg, a problem that plagues most earlier Ellowynes.
The dolls did not disappoint. However, there was a hiccup in that the mass-produced Taking Shape doll had different hair than the prototype, which had sleek red hair. The production doll had a gorgeous mess of curly red hair that took her from a ten to a fourteen! I’ve been collecting fashion dolls for thirty years, and I have seen changes from prototype to production in Barbie, Gene, Tyler, Ellowyne, and others.
Something else that I like about the new Ellowynes is that they look so good with other Wilde dolls. With her smaller face, she looks perfect with her painted-eye friends Rufus, Lizette, and Amber. Unfortunately, she doesn’t look quite as good with pumpkin-headed Pru. I would love to see Pru come back with a smaller head. Her face sculpt is so beautiful and it would be nice to see her updated. (Robert Tonner DOES listen to his collectors!) And of course I’d like to see a new Rufus, preferably with some facial hair and a man-bun. Who knows what Mr. Tonner will do in the future?
Anyway, I ended up getting Puff Piece and Baby Doll Brunette on the secondary market. They were both worth what I paid. Baby Doll is quickly becoming my favorite play doll. I amassed a bunch of wigs for her, and have dressed her in everything from handmade streetpunk wear to official Ellowyne outfits to jeans to hard-to-find gowns. Puff Piece looks like she could be fun to redress.
Once again, a huge shout-out to Robert Tonner and Rachel Hoffman and who brought our girl Ellowyne back. Thank you!!
Well, no more words. Time to look at pictures! (Is it obvious that I have a favorite?) As always, thank you for reading!