ASM Toy Fair 2005
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Integrity Toys - Fashion Royalty Report

Amy Lipkowitz, General Reporter
02.28.2005

Integrity Toys' Fashion Royalty (www.fashionroyalty.com) line of collectible fashion dolls has been picking up steam over the last few years, with every new release being eagerly awaited by fans. These high-quality fashion dolls put as much emphasis on "fashion" as on doll, with meticulous attention to detail and genuine haute couture touches. In addition, each doll comes with a story card telling her piece of the Fashion Royalty story, a tale of intrigue and drama in the world of cosmetics and fashion.

This year, the showroom was lit with artificial light rather than a window... but it was still quite the sight. Showcased directly opposite the door was Isha, a brand-new character introduced in the Exotic Fusion Collection. This collection is inspired by Isha's East Indian heritage, with gorgeous colors and silks. Two versions of Isha will be produced; both versions will have a bindi mark, but only the Age of Opulence Isha (LE 1000, $119.99) will have the "pierced" nose with applied nosering stud.

The dolls in the regular Fashion Royalty line normally come in either white boxes (for the protagonists, who work for W Cosmetics) or black boxes (for the rivals, who work for M Cosmetics). Isha, interestingly enough, comes in a red box, hinting at her status as a third faction.

One important thing of note: all of the dolls featured in the Integrity Fashion Royalty showroom come on the ultra-poseable Expressive body. This includes the Regular Basic Close-Up line, a series of four articulated dolls in swimsuits (both two-piece and one-piece suits). They come complete with beautiful beaded handbags and sandals. There are two dolls from each "faction"; Veronique Perrin and Adele Makeda will be in white boxes, while Natalia Fatale and Kyori Sato will be in black boxes. Although Kyori was a raven-haired brown-eyed Asian beauty when she first debuted, this new Kyori sports red hair and green eyes for the first time. Is this a hint that Kyori has a mixed heritage background?

Not so, according to designer Jason Wu. Kyori is completely Asian; however, her different hair colors and eye colors represent the diversity to be found in the Asian people. Jason has had blue eyes and blonde hair at various points in his life; so why can't Kyori?

The Close-up line will have a wider release and lower price point of 49.99. Adele will be released in an edition of 850, whilst the other three dolls will be in an edition of 1400. Unfortunately, dolls of African heritage don't always sell as well as the other ethnicities, and Adele's reduced edition sizes reflect this sad reality.

Natalia will get a bit of a make-over in the Behind Velvet Ropes Natalia Fatale doll. This version features beautiful dark hair and a "closed mouth" make-up job that hides the glint of teeth that her previous edition featured.

Vanessa Perrin, younger sibling of Veronique Perrin, will get her second release as a limited edition doll. Although Runway Right Away Vanessa has a new face-paint, she still sports the slightly parted lips and faint hint of teeth of the previous edition.

Isha will also feature a second version, called Riveting Premiere Isha (LE 1000, $89.99). This version features a daringly cut dress that puts all of her assets on display. The Exotic Fusion collection definitely doesn't shy from showing off cleavage (tastefully done, of course).

With as many basic dolls as there are dressed dolls, there's bound to be some catfights over who wears what. Fortunately, there are separately sold fashions and accessory packs. The accessory pack, aptly named Hello Bolly!, features embroidered boots, beaded mule sandals, and a beaded sweater dress. Sorry, rattan chair not included!

The second fashion is called Hot Topic and features such details as a beaded top, and real silk lining.

The Voyages Collection is a sort of sub-series within the Fashion Royalty world. The dolls and fashions in this collection feature matching boxes and a bit of a retro sensibility, as well as the theme of travel and new locations. Each year, the Voyages Collection adds something new to the world of Fashion Royalty; in 2004, it was articulated bodies. In early 2005, they added hand-applied (not rooted!) eyelashes. This time around, the dolls add even more to the mix; the Voyages Collection dolls feature new "runway hands", molded into an expressive pose that allows them to hold their own accessories such as cigarette holders and gloves.

For those concerned about the eyelashes, Jason confirmed that they will be standard for the Voyages line. Although they may look delicate, they are made to exacting standards and should bounce back from a touch instead of bending or breaking.

The theme for the 2005 Voyages Collection is "New York", specifically a 1940's New York. Outfits include garter belts and silk dressing gowns, and various other retro touches. The line is called Agent Provocateur, and the two basic dolls are called Flirtatious Veronique (LE 1000) and Bodacious Adele Makeda (LE 850). Each is available for $79.99.

There will also be a new dressed doll called She Means Business Veronique (LE 1000, $99.99), with a never-before seen deep red color for her hair.

While there won't be any luggage included in this particular Voyages Collection, there will be an accessory pack called Fashion Spectacular (LE 1000, $49.99). This includes two hand bags, a fur stole, boots, shoes with laces, and of course, matching gloves.

Finally, the line will also include a series of three sheath dresses, each sold separately. These "Match, Set, Go" complementary sheaths feature contrasting lining, as well as matching shoes and gloves (not shown in our Toy Fair photos). These will be priced at 29.99 each.

The world of Fashion Royalty keeps unfolding with the release of their new Loft Collection. This features a beautifully constructed solid wood and metal queen-sized bed (LE 500), complete with mattress, sheets, and pillows. The quality is amazing, and so is the price... the Modern Dreamer bed has a retail price of $129.99. There will also be a separately sold change of sheets called Surreal Comfort (LE 500), including a voluminous fur duvet with silk lining. The retail price for this? $59.99.

The bedroom set also includes an expanding rack with a set of five hangers. The rack is spring-loaded to accomodate various items, and fans who've been scratching their heads over where to hang their doll-sized garment bags can now rest easy. This is an open edition item, with an MSRP of $29.99.

In addition, there is a modern-looking couch or chaise called The High Life (LE 1000, $89.99), with matching metal accents. This comes in a basic cream color; however, there will be a separately sold slipcover set called Decadent Lounger (LE 500, $49.99) with real working zippers, and exotic beaded pillows to change the mood of the chaise.

Rounding out the living room scene is Central Focus (LE 1000, $59.99), a coffee table that comes complete with all the accessories shown here, including a realistic martini shaker. Sold separately is the Cocktail Connection (LE 500, $99.99) liquor cabinet filled with (plastic) wine and liquor bottles and glasses.

Finally, there will be a convertible dress form that can be reconfigured to display a dress, or to display a pants suit. The dress form features working castor wheels as well. The dress form is patterned after the expressive body, as all items in this selection feature that body; however, that doesn't mean the regular body will be abandoned in the future. As Jason points out, the expressive body can share clothing with the regular body... although the added bulk of the expressive body may mean that some designs may be a bit of a tight squeeze.

You can see many of these items in our Gallery.

Other topics covered in our Q&A:

First things first: despite the inclusion of a bed in the furniture line, there are currently no plans for male characters in the line.

Both the poseable body and the regular body will be used in future lines, depending on the situation. However, the Voyages line will always feature the articulated Expressive body. Integrity Toys did not make a profit on the first release of the Voyages line, as the manufacturer's recommended price was set before they had gotten a clear idea of factory costs. Since Integrity Toys did not want to upset fans by raising prices, the first Voyages Collection was sold at its advertised introductory price.

In terms of skintones: the new doll, Isha, will have a completely new skin tone. Kyori, despite being Asian (see above) has the same skin tone as Veronique and Vanessa.

When I mentioned that some dealers were rumored to be doing a random drawing to determine who would be able to purchase the dolls, Jason seemed to agree that that would be the fairest way of distributing the dolls.

It looks like 2005 will be an exciting year for Fashion Royalty fans!

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