10 Aug 2017

Monthly.. ish... roundup

I dunno, I lost track.

I haven't been buying as much recently partly because we just don't have much money and I feel guilty about it and partially because i've been saving for bigger things rather than splurging on like 20 playline dolls at a time.
And also because playline is boring the snot out of me, i'm fed up and just kinda... not feeling the dolly vibe so much these days.

I mean don't get me wrong, I still love toys.
I still love dolls. but nothing new is really exciting me.
It's all so... cutesy or so overpriced and inferior in quality that I just can't justify it.
Mattel's churning out crap. Hasbro's churning out the same thing ad nauseum, MGA are just big on this blind bag fad and i'm just not interested in paying £10 for something I can't even see, and the others are just.. gone.
UK toy aisles have shrunk, I mean it's getting hard to even find BARBIE here.
Supermarkets have given up on stocking anything except pocket money junk, even stores like Argos have a really small doll section of their catalogue for the second season running.
It's disappointing and it's uninspiring and it's just hard to get excited when there's nothing to get excited about.

But there is some older stuff.

and Toys R Us had BOGOF on Monster High so I went to see what they had.

it's a really long bus trip, takes about an hour to get there and then another hour back so yeah, it's a trek.

and of course i'm still saving money aside for bigger purchases like bjds and pullips and stuff like that.

but I dunno. I'm in a funk and part of that may be related to the fact that coming home from toys r us I was struck down with a massive headache that lasted SIX DAYS and wouldn't shift.
I can't help but think it's karma for buying Monster High when I said I wouldn't.

Anyway, here's what I bought.

25 Jul 2017

Monster High collector Draculaura

So it was my birthday at the start of this month, whoo yay and all that.

Which means I got STUFF.
Well mostly I got money... and an excuse to spend a little on myself heh.

One of the things i'd been eyeing on Amazon for a while was the leftover stock of the Collector Draculaura from a few years back, she'd never dropped to a price I was quite willing to pay and I couldn't ever decide if I liked her or not.
Sure she came up cheap on amazon US, but postage made it not such a low cost option and I talked myself out of it at the time.

But with cash burning a hole in my pocket I decided I wanted something nice and given how shit Mattel now is and how i'm not buying any of their new crap because it's well, utter crap, having something actually aimed at an adult market would be nice.

I have a bunch of their comic con exclusives sure, but aside from the first couple they've all not really felt like deluxe dolls despite their exclusivity, they always felt like playline dolls.

Draculaura on the other hand was actually marketed AS an adult collector doll and she sure did look deluxe.

Her original price tag in the UK was an eyewatering £70, which is just.. nope.
She'd dropped to £40 which was still a bit but it was my birthday okay? So I bought her.

She arrived totally wrapped in blank newsprint which was... weird.

Her box is a big elaborate coffin and looks awesome.
Man I miss coffin shaped boxes.

I always found there to be something almost... Burton-esk about this Draculaura. I wonder if that was intentional. Certainly her huge doe eyes and elongated proportions remind me very much of things like Nightmare Before Christmas and Beetlejuice and so on.

The bottom of the coffin has her name in silver, a scuffed up version of the MH logo and then "adult collector" written in multiple languages.

Hmm, the multiple languages worries me slightly.
Means this is an international version.
Why the hell would you make an international version of a deluxe doll?

The back of the coffin features a large picture of Draculaura in an old fashioned frame and a load of writing.

None of it's in english... at all.

Hmmm. Very weird.

It is however is at least 5 languages.

The picture is a sort of pencil looking sketch, very fashion portfolio and quite unlike the MH art style or indeed the doll.
It doesn't look old fashioned either, it looks like something out of a modern fashion designer's sketch book.
Hmm, odd choice.
I'd have gone with a vintage portrait myself.

Opening her up was really easy. The coffin box only had two little taped pieces holding it shut.

Inside the coffin is a pink spiderweb/plush coffin interior background onto which the doll is pinned.

She has a real fabric umbrella that looks like it actually opens and closes, an incredibly detailed outfit and a stand that's unlike any stand we've seen before or since.
It has BATS ON IT!

Behind the backdrop lurks her diary.

Well, I say diary.

See the US release came with a diary that detailed Draculaura's history and how she became a vampire.
International fans though? We don't get a story.

We get one page over and over and then a bunch of pictures from the promotional photo shoot.

I don't know what any of this says because none of it's in English and my German is super rusty and rubbish. 

I feared this would be the case when I saw the multiple languages on the back of the box but it's disappointing. A collector item like this you would think they wouldn't screw over the international customers by making a condensed diary. This is supposed to be for adults right? Adults love the diaries, and even if it was just in one language, you could run it through a translator surely? Heck, given the price tag of this set, you'd think they could have just regionalised the damn diaries. Give us one that's totally in french, or german or italian or whatever.
I'd have rather had a complete diary in a foreign language, at least it would be complete you know?

Anyway, the doll wasn't too hard to debox. She didn't have too many staples in her head but she's floppy as all heck.

She's also really big.

This was one of the things I found so strange when this doll first came out, she's taller than any other MH dolls barring Gooliope and that new tree girl, yet her character in the animations and all the artwork was always depicted as being really short.

She has a bust joint presumably to aid her posability but it's SO floppy and weak she can't actually stand up straight as a result. She constantly flops like a ragdoll to one side.

I don't expect this level of shoddiness from a doll that retailed at such a high price Mattel.

Her body looks like an elongated version of the standard body, she has a super long torso.

Also as I stripped her off I realised with annoyance that her arms were stained from her dress.

Seriously Mattel? SERIOUSLY? Are you guys fucking kidding me?

You can see here the elastic band I rigged up to hold her bust upright, it was the only way I could get her to stand and not slump weakly.

The stains? They don't seem to come off. I haven't taken a magic eraser to them yet.
But you would think, you would THINK Mattel would know about bloody colour transfer and have taken steps to line the sleeves to protect her arms!?? Surely?
This is shoddiness I expect from playline, but I have certain standards for collector line. This isn't it.

Without flash you can see the staining better.
It's on both sides of both arms but nowhere else on her.

Her outfit though is gorgeous. It's a fishtail gown with mesh sleeves and a huge amount of lace detailing and several ruffly underskirts.
It's quite awkward to get off because it's so figure hugging but it's beautiful.
My only gripe with it is that this particular one seems to like to slip on one boob and cause a bit of er.. nip slip... if Drac here had actual nipples.
The main gown is made of some sort of lacey stuff, it's quite soft and cotton feeling to touch. The pink under skirts are made of very stiff fabric, it's kinda crinkly/rustly. Taffeta? I don't know fabric. 

She also has a fabric collar, a mesh cobweb capelet, a parasol that opens and closes (well, it opens and almost closes, there's nothing to actually hold it shut) and a pair of rather large heels.

All the garments are fully hemmed and finished, so that's nice.

Her shoes have spike heels and rather sloppy paintwork.

I was curious because the size of her shoes made me think of the big sister MH dolls. Her feet are a slightly different shape with more defined toes and ankles but YES, she fits big sister shoes and vice versa.

So that's good to know.

She looks so regal.

Her outfit feels, I think, rather more Art Nouveau inspired than Victorian, the cobweb mesh and geometric shapes really scream 1920s but the shapes are older than that. Curious.

Her large eyes are indented a little, and super glossy making them look inset when they aren't. They're strangely painted with this severe upward gaze that from some angles makes her look like she's having a seizure.
It's a bizarre choice.

She has rooted eyelashes, least.. i think they're rooted, they might just be really securely glued but certainly tugging them they didn't want to go anywhere.

Her eyebrows are inexplicably grey.
Yeah I don't get that at all.

She has gorgeous soft hair with pale pink streaks and these amazing ringlets.
It's very pretty.

She has a huge plastic tophat which is made of I think 3 pieces. I didn't try to take it off because it's stapled to her head and I can't see any way to make it stay on without those staples.

There's a massive hat pin rammed through the middle, then a sort of base piece that makes up the brim and the cage-like main structure. The hatpin doesn't do much, aside from hold the pieces together as it doesn't go into her hair at all.

I find this hat a bit strange. A fabric one would have made more sense but I suppose then you would have the risk of staining her head. The cage-like hat is cool, but it's also a bit bizarrely impractical and oversized.

Her umbrella she struggles to hold, like all MH dolls she doesn't have a grippy hand or anything so you have to sort of slot the fingers into the slot, elastic band the heck out of it and hope for the best.
It's too heavy for her floppy arms to hold up, so you have to rest it against the wall in order for her to actually hold it up over her head.

The cage hat comes in a little useful here, you can stick the spoke of the umbrella into the hat to hold it in position lol.

As I mentioned earlier, the parasol DOES open and close, but it doesn't really stay closed properly. It lacks that little ribbon piece umbrellas have to keep them shut and the actual structure is too bulky for it to neatly shut in a realistic manner.
I little piece of ribbon might help?

Her capelet is awesome. It's made from a sort of black mesh and quite complicated to get on and off. I assumed it was attached to the collar piece but nope, it's not. It actually has a little loop of elastic that goes over her arms like a sort of backpack but getting it positioned just right so the cape doesn't twist took a bit of trial and error. Maybe that's just my dyspraxia making it extra hard, I don't know, but it wasn't very obvious how the thing was supposed to go back ON after I took it off.

But what makes it cool, aside from the embroidery work on it is the little elastic loops at each end which go around her wrist. Like the Bratzilla capes, it means she can do swishy dramatic poses with it.
I like this.

Her stand is awesome.

The base is sort of star shaped with all these spikes coming off it, I think it's a cobweb...a really pointy cobweb. From that is this organic feeling vine-like stand with little swirls, curls and spiderwebs with little molded bats.

the actual waist piece is shaped almost like a waist cinch with molded cobweb details.

I was a bit nervous about putting it on that dress with all the lace detail but it fits without snagging things and feels nice and snug.
The base is mostly hidden under the skirts of her dress.

This Draculaura really looks nothing like her original doll. The face sculpt has the same chin and rounded cheeks, she has the same little hear but the way her lips are painted and her huge eyes give collector Drac a far more dramatic look.

The softer pink I think I prefer as well, it's really pretty.

Both have lacy collars though. And mesh sleeves and a parasol. So it's nice to see some details carried over.

Collector Drac is very tall. Her stand base is slightly thicker than the other doll's bases, but even so, she's bigger than the standard and big sister bodies (Drac's signature doll here is actually on EAH Bunny's body to make her short)

Casta is the big sister body, and as you can see, Drac still towers over her.

I don't think they've ever used this body again, which is a shame because it's an interesting even taller body shape.

Collector Draculaura has no earrings, but has little indents in the mold for them. Just no holes.

Her stand holds her suprisingly sturdily given the endless problems i've been having with the standard stands toppling off their base.

Drac's hair has a large chunk of pink at the back with the black mostly framing her face.
There's a product in the front of her hair to form those ringlets but it's not overly crunchy feeling, it just feels like styling product rather than the rock hard gel of some dolls.

Back view for completeness sake.

Only way I could get her to hold that parasol was to stick it into the hat.

So, do I actually like her?

Well aside from the QC issues which pissed me off, yes... yes I do.

She has a dramatic face, an incredible outfit and she's so much bigger than most MH dolls that she really stands out.
Her eyes are strange, sometimes I love them, other times I think she looks strange and vacant... so hmm.

She isn't a play doll, she's supposed to just be displayed and you can tell. Her hat doesn't really come off, her outfit is a bit awkward to get off and on again and it's not totally colourfast as evidenced by her arms.
Her parasol also just doesn't look right closed.

But gosh she can manage some cool poses with her stand clipped on and her floppy bust joint secured with elastic.

It annoys me her bust joint is so floppy though. Were they all like that or is mine just a bit iffy?

I also don't quite understand why her eyebrows are grey not black.

Even so, she is beautiful and unique and quite unlike anything MH have done or are likely to ever do again.
their subsequent "adult collector" MH dolls have really not felt any more deluxe than playline, not at all justifying their price. Collector Skelita is nice enough but she just feels like a more expensive playline doll, not an adult collector doll. Same goes for that new Abbey, who pictures seem to suggest is on that awful flawed gappy body Mattel seem unwilling to scrap and determined to ram down everyone's throat.

THIS is what I think of when I think "adult collector", something insanely detailed and special.

I'm glad I convinced myself to buy her, gripes about her engineering and staining aside she is gorgeous.

She's just a bit too tall to fit on my shelf. Oops?

26 Jun 2017

Resinsoul An and Bei - BJDs

Yes, I said there was more...

I was saving up for the last of the D&D party but also lusting after a few other dollies and lamenting the fact that after buying like 5 bjds I still didn't have a damn green one (Green is my favorite colour) and really really wanted one.
But none of the characters I had in mind were green, arghhh.


in the Facebook group it was mentioned that as well as custom colours and transparent parts Resinsoul were willing to do more complex mods. One person got a two headed torso made (wow) and a few others had multiple arms added and I was all "yes yes YES!" because I love multiple arms, they're really interesting to play with.

So ideas started forming and I figured hey, let's design a character who's effectively a "throw everything at the wall and see what sticks" sort of idea.
4 arms, clawed feet, creepy eyes... the works.
All the things I love. I considered giving him horns too but decided they'd be too top heavy in the end.


then I had a dilemma. I had enough money to order the last D&D character but something in me just cringed at the idea of spending so much money on ONE doll, even if she is freaking cool.
I kept talking myself out of it, kept telling myself "wait till they have an event" because impldoll often have money off or free doll events. It would soften the blow and ease my spend guilt.

But as many of you probably know, when you have cash in hand, not pissing it away on multiple small purchases is really hard.
I knew i'd just squander it and the want for this green doll was pretty immense. I kept thinking about him and I eventually decided that the Impldoll could wait till they had another event. I'd managed to save up once, I could do it again.

I also toyed with the idea of a gnome or halfling character to hang with the D&D group because I really like gnomes and halflings but finding a small body that doesn't look like a child is quite tricky.
Resinsoul's YOSD bodies happen to be extremely slender and while they have next to no bust, they DO have hips so they look more like teenagers than 10 year olds.
As Halflings are often described as being "mistaken for children at first glance", a semi mature body with a rather sweet face sounded like, with the right painting, it could work.

So I contacted Resinsoul and asked for a price quote for this crazy green boy.

I even made a little diagram to illustrate what I wanted, to avoid any miscommunication.

I wanted the An head, one of my favorite of the Resinsoul sculpts (I love his nose okay? he has a somewhat broad nose and this really sweet expression), green skin, on the slightly taller and buffer Tang/Sui body because I wanted the Sui feet and Resinsoul claimed they wouldn't quite fit the regular boy body.
I also wanted Sui's beautiful clawed hands because they're pretty and of course four arms.
I wanted him green with light tan/coffee lower limbs to make them more like bird feet or something. I like multicoloured dolls okay? 

They gave me a quote which was very reasonable given how complicated this was (with the mixture of three different dolls parts, two colours and the modification of the torso) and I had just enough of my saved money (I had been selling stuff like crazy. Nothing like new dolls to motivate you right?) to add a YOSD doll to the order too.
I chose Bei because she's adorable. She's a really popular sculpt but I can see why, she has teensy little elf ears and she's adorable.

As always, the company stock photo does little to sell the product.
But trust me, she's adorable.

And so with the order done, I settled in for a looooong wait.
While they quoted "40 days", none of my dolls have only taken that long.
In general, they ship out after about 45-50 days and take a week to arrive. EMS shipping is suprisingly fast.

Still, I hate waiting. After about 2 weeks I got cranky.
after 4 I get impatient.
When I ordered I did an estimate of mid June arrival based on previous orders, and I was right, almost to the day. 

When I finally got a shipping notice I was delighted and realised I hadnt even started preparing things for their arrival. Oops?

 Usually i'd have wigs and at least some basic clothing stuff done but I couldn't find a wig for Bei, despite wanting a pretty basic style the selection of 5-6 sized wigs is really limited unless you want to import from the US and I didn't want to pay like £15 for POSTAGE, that's taking the piss.
Like, postage was more than the wig cost!
but apparently Liv wigs fit so I dug out a few of those I had to act as temporary wigs.

Meanwhile for the boy I knew exactly what wig I wanted, but it had to be special ordered via a UK dealer and it'll be several more weeks before that arrives.

As for clothing, as I didn't own a YOSD resinsoul already I couldn't really sew anything particularly effectively. While apparently she fit Barbie stuff, Barbie's proportions are quite different and I wanted the doll in hand to draft from.

With the boy, I had no idea how I was going to tailor something to those multiple arms, he was going to be such a strange shape, again, I needed to have the doll in hand to start drafting something from.

I'm not a very good seamstress anyway, so I already knew this would be a big challenge.

I ordered end of April, they finally arrived mid/late June.

I was, I admit, concerned the box would be enormous with two dolls in and customs might decide to investigate but thankfully they didn't, they just waved it through. Phew.
Thank you customs.

As it was, turns out the box they used was the exact same size as the boxes my other boys came in. A long, narrow box.

Inside the box they'd managed to fit both the large cream case and the small brown case. I'm impressed they got both into one box tbh.

Look how teeny that brown case is!

The cream cases are a little too big for the dolls inside them, they're a good like 3 or 4 inches longer than the actual doll.

The little brown case on the other hand, is slightly too short meaning little Bei (or Lidara as i've named her) was curled into a sort of fetal position inside. 

She came packaged like the bigger dolls, wrapped in a gold sausage (lol) and inside a plastic bag.
Weirdly inside her bag was a loose S hook (the thing she's holding in this pic)
At first I thought it was from a hand or foot, but nope, her feet were both in place and her hands don't even use S hooks, they're attached via an actual loop of elastic which is a bit odd.

I have to assume the hook fell into the bag when they were parceling her up and they didn't notice. It is pretty tiny.

But hey, spare S hooks are always useful right?

So first impressions of teeny little Bei, she's so cute.
She's a lot smaller and more slender than I anticipated. I thought she'd be short but sorta solid more like a Makie body but she's actually very very willowy.
She shipped with brown eyes which i'm delighted about as I planned brown eyes for her lol.

Resinsoul tend to put eyes in that match the skin tone of the doll, so green dolls  have green eyes, blue dolls get blue eyes, grey get grey and so on. With their "normal skin" dolls it's sort of pot luck. You probably could request a certain colour but most companies they just grab a random set and those are the eyes you get.

I do appreciate that they do seem to try to match the eyes with the fantasy colours though, I think it's sweet. Nhar came with these amazing purply blue eyes that I ended up keeping because they just worked so well.
They seem to have rather a lot of colours. there's at least 2 greys (one is more a hazel), 2 blues, a green, a yellow colour and a lovely deep brown. There might be more, so far all my dolls have come with different default eyes lol.


Her skin is VERY pale. She's not as pink as my other NS coloured doll (Auriel), she's very very fair skinned.
That might change over time. Resin naturally mellows over time so you'll often see a bit more of a creamy yellow colour start to form as the resin settles. (of course putting them into direct sunlight will cause this to happen much faster and they can turn a rather sickly yellow instead)
 So she might not remain so ghostly pale. I don't mind the paleness, but I think a little creaminess would help make her look a little more healthy heh.

Unlike some people in the hobby, I don't tend to consider yellowing a flaw, it's just a natural process that happens with the material. All plastics do it and it's usually most obvious in white dolls who turn a sort of cream colour which personally I find quite attractive. It brings a bit of warmth into a doll that's otherwise paper white and sort of stark. Mellowing/yellowing brings out a sort of inner warmth, of course... in some cases it can look a bit ugly but that's usually a doll who's been left on a windowsill or who's resin wasn't a very stable colour to start with.
Same thing happens with regular fashion dolls, you can get some pretty weird discoloration over time.

Anyhoo, that was a tangent...

Liv wigs it seems fit Bei perfectly, you can't even see the plastic wig cap. I'd argue they actually fit her better than they fit the livs themselves! You just have to cut the plastic prong out which i'd already done years ago to use the wigs on other dolls (like monster high and moxie teenz)
Sadly the Monster High wigs are too small, they don't have much of a wig cap so they just won't fit.
Moxie teen wigs should, but I have to dig out my MT dolls to test that, I don't seem to have any spare wigs.

Clothing-wise, Bei fits Barbie clothing pretty well. Of course, she's got less of a bust so there can be some gapping and i'm talking modern barbie stuff, not pre 99 stuff (which is really bizarrely proportioned with the teeny pinched waist and giant chest/shoulders)

Her feet are too big for any fashion doll shoes. I'll need to buy her some specially.

Her head cap is held on with a little hook and a magnet. The magnet is STRONG. I think it's the same magnets they use for the bigger dolls but on a smaller doll with a smaller cap to hold on it's actually quite difficult to yank the cap off.
Inside is all the elastic from her body, the S hook that holds all that elastic in place and the eyes held in place with white eye putty (I use white tac but the default resinsoul stuff is a bit stickier, I have no idea what it actually is)

There's not much space inside this head.

Her eyes are half round eyes, so they're like a half globe and hollow. You can get full round eyes as well which as the name suggests, are fully rounded but with a head this small they might be a bit tricky to get in there.
She takes 10- 12mm eyes. I think these ones are 12mm but i'm not sure.

Before they arrived I worked up some designs for how I wanted both dolls to look.

 This was my design for Lidara, minus the freckles I had doodled in my pencil sketch because I  forgot lol.

But I wanted purple or blue lips and the plan was to try to get her to look a bit more mature and less child-like.

So she got a faceup. Her eyes aren't symetrical. I kinda screwed up the eyeliner on one side so I just went with it okay?

She's wearing a dress I made for a Makie doll and some Makie leggings. They fit her surprisingly well.

To get an idea of size I put her alongside my Makie and one of my My Scene dolls.

Lidara stands around 10.5 ish... inches tall while the Makie is 10 inches and a barbie doll is 11.5

Lidara's hip width is similar to the Barbie doll but her waist isn't as cinched in. Her torso is about as long as the Barbie torso too (and thus a lot longer than the Makie). Her shoulders are narrower than Barbie though and of course she has next to no boobs, even the Makie has bigger boobs.

She's elastic strung which means her whole body is under tension. While she stands on her own fine, her head seems to like tilted to one side and it's a little tricky to get her to hold it straight, it always pings back into this sort of tilted quizzical look.

She's a single jointed doll which means her joints are just a sort of cup shape in one piece and a ball shaped part that slots into it.
Double jointed dolls have an extra piece in the knee and elbows.

So because she's single jointed and tiny, she can't really hold her arms at 90 degrees without quite a bit of manipulation, but she can still manage to kneel (her weight holds the knees) and slouch pretty realistically.

Her arms like to naturally pull upward with the tension of her strings, which means she almost always will fall in a way to have one arm raised and outstretched.
All my dolls seem to do this, you have to actually position the arms straight if you want them to stay at their sides, the slightest movement and the arm will move into this sort of position.

I thought i'd get some smaller dolls out to see if Bei was closer to their sort of shape.

Star Darlings are a LOT skinnier with a really short torso, but Disney Descendants actually look like their proportions are pretty close. They have a bigger bust but everything else looks quite close.

Descendants are a little smaller than Barbie, more teen skipper sized maybe? I expect MC2 would probably be quite a similar shape as well.
Barbie can fit MC2 stuff but it's often slightly too tight, same with descendants.

As expected, Star Darling stuff is a bit too tight.

It'll go on, but bei is wider around the waist so the elastic won't fully do up at the back there.

On the other hand, Descendants stuff fits perfectly.
Does up fully at the back, fits surprisingly well across the bust and falls to the correct length.
This dress has next to no give in it, it's a very non stretchy sort of fabric but it fits her like it was made for her.

Moxie Girlz stuff might fit too, but it could be a bit tight. I need to get out my big bag o doll clothing to know for sure.

I decided I really liked the orange on her, she stole Lyric's cape (which is actually from a Disney Merida anyway) till I can get around to making her her own one.

She still needs shoes.

Buying shoes for bjds is a bit of a pain because they don't all have the same sized feet and a lot of companies don't bother to actually list the inside measurement of their shoes.
Her feet around around about 4cm long which means I need shoes with an inner measurement of 4.2-4.5cm and SO MANY YOSD shoes seem to be 3.5cm which is way too small. Grrrr
I've found some boots, I just need to order them. *lazy*

But now it's time for the other bag..

He shipped with his hands all detatched, in little baggies.
I assume so  they wouldn't break in transit, but i've never seen this before, all my others arrived fully put together.
It's gotta be to do with the extra arms right?

Both of them had little certificates of authenticity (the yellow card) which lists the date they were cast, their head sculpt and their main resin colour.
So Lidara's says "Bei, NS" while this guy's lists "An, Green"
Which doesn't really explain much. He has an An head sure, but the rest of him sure isn't lol.

Here he is in his baggy.

Now here's the weird thing. He shipped without his hands attached right? but one arm had a giant S hook looped through the elastic, like the size of S hook they use for the heads.

At first I thought it was just securing the elastic but it's only on one arm so one set of arms has nothing keeping the elastic in place by the teeny small hand S hooks, so ... why does he have a giant hook there?
I can only assume they were using it to pull the elastic through or something, to hold it on one side while they pulled the other side through? and then just didn't remove it?

so weird.

I wanted to get his hands on before I did anything else though, so I sat down and carefully attached each one to the little hook in the arm. 

And here he is all together!

Interestingly they cast his lower legs in dark tan not light tan, I can only assume they just forgot or something, it looks really nice but i'm fairly certain they didn't charge me for the dark tan (which is about $30 extra)
I'd need to double check my invoice.

He smelled so strongly of resin. Something i've never had with a doll before, which I have to assume is because of the extra drilling and sanding they did to attach the second set of arms.
The smell (a sort of plasticky smell) goes away after a few hours of airing the doll out, but I was amazed to smell it because i'd read many people talking about "new resin" smell and never smelled it before.

So yes, he has four arms. They seem to cast the body and then drill and sand the sockets afterwards.
The sockets look really professional though, they're smooth and bevelled and not quite as deep as the shoulder sockets due to the thickness of the resin at this point but they look really dang good.

The arms also have a sort of stopper on the shoulders which fits perfectly into the sockets, so he can hold his arms straight out and they lock into that position.

This body is the Tang/Sui body which is more buff and well... veiny than the regular boy body. It has double jointed arms but the joints are totally different to the regular double jointed arms.
Instead of the weird cup system Ming uses, this piece is sort of trapezoid shaped? and the lower arm locks into it quite well, so the joint moves with the lower arm rather than swivelling around and getting in the way.
this means his double joints actually look good and work really really well.

yes one of his eyes was put in wonky lol.

You can see the little locks in his shoulders here (those two little prongy bits in the upper arm) and his double joints in action.
He's very tightly strung and stands like a rock right out the box. His arms hold their pose beautifully and overall i'm actually very impressed by the engineering of this body.
It seems much better thought out than Ming's arms.

His legs on the other hand are quite strange.
His knees are locked, as in, there's no hinge there so he can't bend his knees. In order to bend the knee you need to pull the whole leg out the socket, bend it, then let the elastic relax and he'll hold his leg like that.
There's little prong locks on this piece but they're on the front edge and don't seem to lock into anything so i'm not totally sure I understand them.

Meanwhile he has this extra ankle joint that moves like a single jointed knee and a foot on a ball joint.

I'm not sure I completely understand why or what those joints are supposed to do, but as I seldom move a doll's legs other than to help them sit, arms are way more my priority.
I just want legs that can hold the doll's weight.

Also I love the sculpting on these. They're supposed to be "dragon feet" but I think they look more bird or dinosaur-like.

they even have a little dew claw at the back.

Initially I wasn't sure about this body because I wasn't that keen on all the veins and stuff, but they're not as obvious irl. He has a sculpted 6 pack lol.

His hands are beautiful and expressive with long claw-like nails.

As an MSD doll, he's almost twice the height of Bei. He's about 17 inches tall.
This body is ever so slightly taller than the other boy body, but not actually that much broader despite the definition.

First things first was to get his proper eyes in.

they're actually marbles, blue iridescent marbles. They're really hard to photograph but they look awesome in. They're black in some lights, green in others and then blue and always look a bit spooky.

His arms take a bit of effort to get to pose properly. His lower arms get in the way of the upper arms at the shoulder so it restricts them a bit, but this is completely realistic and just means you have to carefully pose each arm individually or he looks a bit messy hahah.

His wig is not his final wig, his final wig is actually a dark wine colour but i'm waiting for it to arrive.
this is the wig Lyric came with and it's a size too big so it slides off with the slightest movement.

The colour looks quite pretty against the green though.

And boy is he green.

Photographing coloured dolls is always a challenge because of different monitors and lighting and such, but i'm pleased to say that he's exactly the green I expected him to be.

He's closest to Monster High Casta or Venus's green, they're both a little more yellow but it's dang close.

This should give a pretty good idea of the green tone.

The brown of his legs come out a lot redder in photos than it actually is though, it's the same tone as Oisin (my Ming) and is a sort of chocolate milk tone.

I had doodled up my concept for his face while I was waiting for him to arrive but the day he was supposed to be delivered I figured i'd pass the agonising wait time (oo I hate waiting for parcels) by doing a colour test.

I knew I wanted gold because gold looks awesome against green. I also love doing these sorts of face masks because they look cool okay?

I used a photo of the An head and drew over the top of it like I did with the Bei doll's face test and stuck to a pretty simple scheme of green, gold and white.

I also designed a lot of markings for his arms and hands which I haven't gotten to yet.

But his face is done.

I still need to finish his claws.

I ran out of sealant just as I finished his face.

I still have to do his hands, upper arms and neck but I need to buy sealant.

His feet got a bit of gold.

and a temporary outfit for dignity reasons

His shirt is going to be a bit complicated I think, those extra arms make things tricky. My plan is to avoid sleeves completely hah.

I love green dolls.

Only problem is, now I want MORE green dolls <_<