Sunday, May 20, 2007

Mel Odom & Jason Wu: Calendar Shot Gene

This is one of the 2007 collection of Genes. She is catalogued as dressed doll but with the bathing suit she really is a basic, the brunette one (the other two basics being Rouge, a raven haired lady in red undies, and Swim-Suited To A T, a blond in a bathing suit).
Calendar Shot Gene has a characteristic that separates her not only from the rest of the dolls in 2007's line but also from all other Genes before her: she has a tan! Her skin tone, instead of the creamy porcelain white of all Genes, is now caramel colored! Take a look:

It makes her look like Hedy Lamar, or any of the Hollywood stars with fake tans pretending to be exotic women in far away places. She also looks a bit like the young Joan Collins in the 50s in Hollywood.
Calendar Shot Gene (the name derives from her storyline, supposedly posing for a pin up pic in a calendar for the armed forces), comes dressed in a bubbly gingham bathing suit. This costume is inspired by Claire McCardell's designs. It has a bubble shape when worn without the patent leather corset belt.

Her accessories are more than enough for a basic doll: a lovely monogrammed beach towel, a pair of pearl stud earrings, a pearl bracelet, patent leather wedge mules (to match the patent leather belt), which have fabric insteps, and a black knit snood for her hair, tied with a black satin ribbon. When she arrived, I thought she would look lovely with the Gene director's chair and the Hot Day In Hollywood accessory set. And of course she does:

Here are some close up shots of her shoes and belt:

She has broken new ground in the Gene world and it is only a matter of time to see what Mel Odom and Jason Wu make of her in this new skin color - many possibilities emerge. She is a limited edition of 800 pieces. Mine was a prize from a Gene Club competition and is one of the samples, according to her certificate of authenticity. She's lovely.

Tonner - Women In The Media Awards Layne

The dressed doll release of Layne has a different coloring than her Basic Black counterpart. She has thick black curly hair cascading down her back and a slightly stronger face paint: more intense eyeliner, darker brows and stronger blush. See her in close up here:

She is part of the Haute Couture dress line of the Wentworth dolls - a limited edition of 1000 pieces. While the quality of the fabrics is excellent, and the three layers of the dress are excellently made (silver "Chantilly" lace on top of silvery fabric on top of white satin)the scale of the lace in her dress is too large for a 16" doll - almost human size lace here. The finish of the edges in rough cut organza strewn with beads and pailletes is poorly done - the description of the doll said layered organza, we only get a trim. The beads and paillets are OK but get lost on the hem of the dress, while show better on her off the shoulder "sleeves". And the major faux-pas- the dress is shapeless. It looks like an A line dress but after the hips it looses shape and due to the nature of the material, does not fall gracefully to the floor.

For a dressed Haute Couture doll she has surprisingly few accessories. Supposedly she is a famous anchor, receiving an award in a ceremony. Imagine one such modern woman going to a gala without an evening bag. Or not wearing any jewellery other than a pair of earrings with this dress - a diamond bracelet would have been sufficient. Or not having a chiffon or organza wrap to anchor the dress. She does get an excellent pair of silver leather strap high heels though. She does wear them with tights, which is a bit strange - I do prefer strappy shoes on a nude leg. See her proudly showing them off here:

And a close up shot here:

Her final accessory is the award she is carrying, a badly designed and made clear plastic pyramid on a painted metallic base. I would have preferred a nice silvery leather or lace covered bag instead of this.

Both Laynes together - which one do you prefer? I like both the same- each for different reasons. Hope to see more of her in future releases.

She photographs well - born to be in the media it seems!

Tonner's Layne Reese - Basic Black version

2007 saw a new addition to the basic body in Tonner dolls. The Basic Black dolls had an extra articulation feature: changeable feet. They come with two different sets of feet that can be changed to give a different look and pose ability to the doll, not to mention more outfit options. Fashion feet (aka high heeled arched feet) and flat feet. It is very easy to change them and the articulation is borrowed from action figures. They are an edition of 1500 pieces per character.

Basic Black Layne is part of that line, comprising of four basic dolls. Her face sculpt is the original Mameha sculpt, first used in the Memoirs of A Geisha line. She comes with a black one-piece swimsuit, with a semi-transparent panel on the front, all lined in flesh colored fabric inside. A pair of sunglasses, and two pairs of shoes complete the outfit. One pair is high heeled plastic mules, the other is flat rubber sandals with a fabric strap. Here's Layne in high heels:

And here she is in flat feet:

Her hair is auburn. It could have been a bit more dense, as it can be difficult to change the hairstyle a bit due to the quantity of hair plugs she has on her head. She has an elastic hairband too. Her face screen is nice but a bit bland for a red head. I think she needed stronger eye and brow color. Lips are painted a generic red, which could also have been a bit more adventurous. Here is a close up:

The flat feet articulation is not that good looking or functional. She cannot stretch the foot to become a straight line with the rest of the leg, as she should. She can stand on her own with them though. That makes her stand redundant. It is the worst stand I have ever encountered on a Tonner doll. If she has her arched feet on, the metal circle of the stand cannot reach her waist - she's too tall for it. If she has the flat feet on, she can stand by herself. Plus it is a cheep looking stand, with a clear plastic base that is not the solid one most Tonner dolls usually get, but a hollow one that is not heavy enough to support a doll properly. And of course it cannot be used with full skirts or gowns. Utterly useless. Here is the flat foot detail.

She is versatile enough to provide lots of fun re-dressing and photographs nicely. I like the Mameha sculpt a lot - Asian ladies are so beautiful. They could have made the ethnic characteristics more pronounced though - it would have been so much more interesting to see that in the Geisha line too. But I guess it is all a matter of marketing.

Layne has also been released as a dressed doll, which we will see in the next post. Here is a photo of Layne seated:

And one in her sunglasses-star material for sure!

The earrings on this photo shoot are courtesy of Toni Brown from Bordello Dolls.