I ordered the Brava Bambi tan Ellen fullset from Bambicrony, a ball jointed doll company, back in August. It took them four months and nine days to get her shipped out to me, despite the listed processing time of forty working days. Overall, the buying experience was awful, and there are some quality issues with the doll, but hey... Take a look at that face! She's adorable.
If you're interested in seeing more of her and hearing about my most nightmarish misadventure in BJD buying, then hit the jump and let's go!
Here we have my Ellen, who I've named Jenine, wearing one of the outfits I bought for her. It's fiendishly difficult to get her to stand on her own, but when she does, she naturally takes on a rather charming, innocent pose.
I quickly gave up on trying to keep her upright and plopped her down in a cute sitting pose. I'm going to have to hot glue suede her joints, or wire her body, before I can get anywhere with posing her. Make sure you read up carefully on these methods of improving doll posing before trying them. I just wanted to mention that there are ways to improve posability.
The tan Ellen fullset came with a very sweet limited lolita outfit. This picture shows off her blouse, bloomers, and petticoat. I can't help but fawn over her cuteness!
The Brava Bambi girls have two chest options, and I selected the large one for Jenine. It fills out the blouse admirably.
I added the outer skirt, ribbon belt, and cute dove necklace for this picture. There is a lot of nice detailing on the skirt, with lace, ruffles, and ribbons galore. And boy, is it poofy!
Did I mention that there's a bonnet with an attachable bow, too? Well, here it is! Man, this outfit is enough to make Little Bo Peep turn green with envy. I just wish the fullset boots were included...
I guess that leads me to my ordering story. The Ellen fullset was supposed to come with a pair of white boots. Unfortunately for me, Bambicrony offered these boots for sale separately, and instead of setting aside enough pairs for the fullsets, they sold their entire stock of them. Bambicrony held on to my doll for months while they waited for the boots to be restocked. I sent them several messages asking when the doll would ship, and they kept giving me dates that passed with no shipping notice. Then I offered to accept a refund for the boots so the doll could be shipped right away, but they said no. They kept putting me off until I threatened to seek mediation from the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board, at which point they shipped the order without the boots and promised to send them when they arrive (at no additional cost to me). Of course, the promised shipping date for the boots passed nearly a week ago. It was stressful and awful, and who knows when I will finally get the boots, but at least they sent me a different pair as an apology for the wait and the chain of missed shipping dates.
Now, about the quality of the doll... You're looking at a bald Jenine because I want to emphasize the area above her ear. I'm not a good photographer, so you can't see it that well, but there are a bunch of white spots there. When you put the facial makeup, or faceup, on a doll, you must spray the head with sealant before and after you paint it. The first coat prevents the paint and pastels from permanently staining the resin, and the other coats keep your work from rubbing off. If you spray the sealant in unfavorable conditions, such as cold weather, these white spots appear. This is poor form on Bambicrony's part, but at least the spots are hidden by her wig. Otherwise, the faceup is truly beautiful.
You guys are probably familiar with seam lines, which occur in the areas where there is excess resin from the casting. Most companies do not smooth out the seams on their dolls, but it looks like Bambicrony tried to do so here. The problem is that colored resin is not uniformly dyed. The surface has most of the pigment, so if you sand it, you get areas that are jarringly lighter than the rest of the doll. Unfortunately, Bambicrony sanded down part of the leg near my thumb, and the results are very unflattering, especially in person. There are a few spots like this on my doll.
Tan dolls are also subject to "marbling," or uneven color distribution on the surface of the doll. Sadly, this happened in vertical lines on Jenine's chest, and it's rather visible in any outfits without high necklines. This is considered a normal hazard of purchasing a tan doll, so keep that in mind if you are interested in them.
Brava Bambis have a very interesting knee joint. You have to sort of pop the lower leg forward before you can bend the knee. This is extremely unusual, and I keep forgetting about it and wondering why I can't manage to bend her legs! I guess I just have to adjust, although I do wonder what the rationale behind this joint mechanism is.
In case you haven't seen this before, BJDs have an internal "skeleton" of elastic that runs through their hollow bodies so they can pose. Check it out!
There was a lot of anxiety with her ordering process, and she is flawed compared to my other dolls, but I'm really happy to have her here now. She fits right in with the other girls, and she is really incredibly cute.
Speaking of them, I ordered a bunch of clothes with my order. You can order these clothes from Bambicrony, or directly from their clothing supplier, Nine9 Style. I would recommend going through Nine9 Style. They have a much greater selection, and, well, I hesitate to plug Bambicrony because of the trouble I had with them.
Why am I showing these outfits on my other dolls? Well, some companies like to make their clothing more realistic by not placing snaps and velcro on them. The problem here is that you have to remove your doll's head from her body to get the darn dress on.
This is a terrible, finger aching thing because, for most dolls, it means pulling on the tight elastic so you can twist the S hook and get the head off. Sometimes it's easier to take her feet off so the elastic loosens, but you have to make sure the elastic doesn't snap back up into the legs. Basically, it's really annoying!
Oh, and in case you've never seen a BJD without a faceup, take a good look... I haven't gotten around to painting my Fairyland MiniFee Shushu yet. Creepy much?
Well, that's about all for today. Thanks for looking at my new doll! See you next time!
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