Let's see what the creators say about their dolls:
These 17 inch resin, ball jointed dolls are for the adult collector who wants a true haute-couture, contemporary, fashion doll with an exquisite up to the second wardrobe and plenty of attitude. They are not intended as toys for children.
The name "SYBARITE" means "a person devoted to luxury and pleasure" . The creators of THE SYBARITES are Charles Fegen and Desmond Lingard who began SUPERFROCK LTD. in London about ten years ago. At first the artists created beautiful one of a kind couture for Barbie, Tonner and Gene yet they longed for their own fashion doll to reflect their own aesthetics. Their dream became a reality in 2005 with the release of the first Sybarites.
So you start getting the doll out of her trappings: wraps, stitches, rubber bands etc. The box included her lingerie (we are talking basic doll after all, so no elaborate gown the way a Sybarite usually is dressed), a box with her high heeled Sybarite logo-ed slippers and her stand and wig (excellent quality fiber and a lovely "dirty" blond colour, also has an elastic band to help keep it in place, at is is removable). Sybarites are all wigged dolls. Some of the Sybarites are designed so that their wigs may be removed. Others have more elaborate hairstyles and those wigs will be firmly glued on.
First impressions: Quality overall. Attention to detail. Even on this basic doll. And the doll? Her figure is gorgeous and very womanly . The dolls are anatomically suggestive (very suggestive, trust me). The hip joints are not meant to be on view and all Sybarites originally came with hose, but not Venus. The truth is those joints look very strange, but you get used to them. I really liked the feel of the resin when I touched it. It feels warm and soft, unlike vinyl. But, like fine porcelain, the resin can be breakable and some ordinary sensible care should be used when handling a Sybarite, such as dressing her on a padded surface and preventing falls.
There are three body types: the handmade early dolls made in England (such as Tattoo, Cosma and the Chalk Whites), marked on the small of the back SDMDR © 2004/5, the original factory body in a lighter resin, made in Asia, marked SYBARITE ©2004/5, and the revised factory made dolls which debuted in 2006 marked THE SYBARITES ©2006/7 . The later dolls are slightly larger in the bust and hip, but the difference is not very great. The body has articulation on the neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, chest (under the breasts), waist (below the belly button), hips (those strange ball joints) knees and ankles. Since mid-2007 all Sybarites have felted joints: i.e. the joints are lined with a material which provides an improved handling quality and helps with posing. Her hands and feet are very nicely sculpted, with beautiful fingers that look very realistic (for a fashion model at least). Her breasts are amazingly sculpted too, looking very natural and feminine, unlike most fashion dolls in the market these days.
The doll's face is a dream: she has an airbrushed make up, in tones of pink, with matte painted eyeshadow over those gorgeous electric blue eyes and attached eyelashes (the eyes are painted). Her lips are a warm glossy pink, with matching hand and toe nails. Her sculpt is amazing and very photogenic, with high cheekbones, a nice clear jawline, a long small nose and beautifully arched brows. Venus has a make up that is not as extreme as Sybarites usually have: that results in a very versatile doll, that can have many incarnations in a variety of styles. And that is the definition of a basic doll, isn't it? Unfortunately, due to the material's nature, Sybarites do not have ear holes for earrings. Some collectors have corrected that with miniature drills but I know that most of the people that own one of these dolls would squirm in the thought of a drill coming anywhere near their resin goddess.
What about her clothing - ahem, lingerie? A basic set of bra and panties, in vibrant pink satin with black ribbon details and yes, lined in white. Exquisitely made and perfectly fitting, with the dainty high heeled slippers being the icing on the cake, they match her face paint. Unfortunately no hosiery is included, which makes posing Venus in her underwear a bit uncomfortable, as the big hip joints show in all their garishness. Her stand is well made but I would prefer the saddle to have a better grip on the doll, for stabilizing her through poses and also give the owner a sense of security - these are not vinyl dolls and will be damaged with a fall.
Her poseability is not easy to manage. Being a heavy doll, she need to either stand on her stand or sit on a chair. The stand thing is a bit tricky: new strung dolls are notoriously difficult to handle, as the strings are not loose enough and can be difficult to pose, especially in more demanding poses. The sitting options always works better, as the weight issue is eliminated, and the doll can take very sultry poses. Her face helps a lot - her overall face paint and style help give to photos an ethereal almost life like quality, so missing from most vinyl dolls. And of course, one has to be careful posing this doll - the nature of the material means always having clean hands (wash wash wash) and taking extra care handling her to avoid any cracks. Of course, after posing Venus in her lingerie, I decided it was time she stepped into some other clothing, to see how versatile she is as a model - and believe me, she's a regular clothes horse. But more about that in the next post.
Information about the dolls and their makers taken from the very helpful Idiot's Guide To The Sybarites by Lauri Guardi.