skywalkersaga wrote:Very interesting, MarkEl. My dream is to see more figures with just such 'crossover' appeal -- if for no other reason than aesthetic preferences, and because I think the fashion and art doll communities do female figures a million times better than the action figure industry, with its insistence on pandering almost solely to the 'male gaze'. As a female collector and customizer, my goal from the start has been to blend the best of both the 'doll' and 'action figure' worlds.
Yes skywalkersaga, exactly, it's funny because I'm a very eclectic collector with a foot in several places (modern 1/6, vintage action figure, modern seamless, vintage fashion doll and modern fashion doll). It's surreal sometimes because they all should have crossover but often don't. It's like an archipelago of similar but isolated ideas in the same sea! I agree that the difference on this doll is the way Elizabeth I is presented. It seems more focused on the historical aspect rather than trying to make it a bombshell. The materials seem well crafted and the sculpt is well done and has rooted hair. All that was noticed by collectors. This may all be by default because of the armour, but the results are great.
There's big money in fashion dolls. The assumption in 1/6 is that it's about playline cheap stuff, but for instance, Integrity Toys had a convention earlier this month where almost a thousand people attended with most dropping at least $5K each on dolls. Sybarite just had a theirs in London last weekend. With other OOAK and customisers, it's not unusual for have $1K+ on a doll. If 1/6 manufacturers could plug into the ability to produce better clothes and accessories and looks that had the 'crossover appeal', it would be really interesting to see the results. I can't tell you how many times I hear people's wish list of things they want that already exist on the 'other side of the fence' one way or the other. Many fashion doll collectors lament over the lack of articulation for example when they could easily body swap a 1/6 figure into mix for the results they want. It's a mental barrier for many due to marketing.
That's great that you're trying to bridge the ideas. There needs to be more of that.
It's refreshing to encounter another 1/6 person who is ALSO aware of and interested in the high-end doll side of things. Your description of it as an 'archipelago' is very apt, and it can be frustrating at times. There is indeed a mental barrier, on both sides... for a lot of 1/6 collectors, 'dolls' are something that tend to be viewed as 'lesser' since they do not prioritize realism in the same way (
I personally do not have a problem with that as I like both realistic and stylized figures, but the 1/6 world seems to currently be experiencing a hyper-realism trend which makes that more of a focus for both collectors and creators). While the doll collectors no doubt rightly see that 1/6 scale is often lacking in certain areas, especially when it comes to the level of high-quality garments and materials they are used to. Because let's face it, the range of clothing available for 1/6 female figures -- whether it be loose or with a boxed figure -- tends to be either lacking in quality, OR limited to very specific types of 'looks'. It's no wonder that Elizabeth I figure has stood out, as even though it may not be historically accurate, it has an archaic elegance to it, almost Pre-Raphaelite quality. This is completely different than many of the usual 'armoured' female figures, in which the armour is there mainly to showcase the hyper-sexualized seamless body and thus appeal to a very particular demographic. ; ) For that reason alone, it's really exciting to me that it's caught the notice of other collecting communities. : )
As you noted, it's a shame that these communities are often so separated and lacking in knowledge of one another, as I feel there is a great deal that both hobbies have to offer each another. Affordable and highly articulated bodies from the 1/6 side, and fashion and other aesthetic qualities from the doll side. I've already noticed, for instance, that the dollhouse collectors' interest have been piqued by tbleague's recent line of 1/12 scale seamless bodies. Until these became available, 'realistic' bodies at that scale could be extremely pricey, and were usually something that had to be custom-made or commissioned. There is suddenly now many doll-clothing makers on Etsy catering to those specific little figures. These have a completely difference aesthetic than what is normally available from the sellers catering more to the tbleague collector crowd, and it is very interesting to see.
On the topic of articulation, it's funny that you mention that -- I came to 1/6 figures in a roundabout way, after first becoming interested in the whole high-end doll repainting side of things. I acquired a couple of OOAK repainted SW dolls, which I really liked, but felt rather frustrated by the lack of articulation. So I decided to look into creating my own dolls, as there were many characters I wanted to have examples of that had not yet had official versions of them made. At this point I was already an avid Star Wars collector, but other than the HT Anakin, I had been focusing on the smaller scale action figures at the time. I hadn't considered 1/6 figures all that much because at that point my conception of them was that they were either like some of the older and rather ugly Sideshow figures, OR that they were limited to the newer ready-made (
and really expensive) mass-produced figures like Hot Toys. At that stage, I had NO idea that one could essentially build a figure 'from scratch' so to speak. But in my quest to find a suitable 1/6 scale 'doll body', I encountered a variety of action figure bodies and it was like I'd tripped and fallen through a wardrobe/mirror/wormhole and entered a whole new dimension. The possibilities suddenly opened up before me! My quest to create 'dolls' evolved and morphed into a quest to create 1/6 scale action figures that would incorporate some of the aesthetics that had attracted me to custom dolls in the first place. I do wonder, however, if I hadn't already been at least somewhat aware of the action figure world through my SW collecting, if I would have so easily discovered that side of things.
And thanks for the encouragement -- my WIPs have stagnated as of late due to RL getting in the way, but I'm starting to feel that itch to resume working on them once more. I'm still learning and feeling my through all this and still have a long way to go, but I'm doing my best with my limited time/materials/skills. :')