Barbie for big girls.

2013 IT Convention Thoughts and Reflections

Now that the dust has settled…just a bit…and the bags have been unpacked (still waiting on boxes though), I am sitting back and reflecting with my cup of morning coffee.  What did I think of this year’s convention?  First and foremost, I think I need to say a huge “Thank You!” to the Newsum family and the staff at Integrity Toys for an incredible experience.  Integrity Toys is owned and run by the Percy Newsum but it looks like the entire family comes to help out at these conventions.  The family-owned and run business is a dying breed in our fast-paced eBay-buying, Amazon-downloading world of consumerism.  All of the designers are also present and mingling with people.  IT Marketing Director Alain Tremblay and Carol Roth who are often the voice and face of Integrity — especially during the company webinars — are ever-present emceeing the events and working the crowd.   I can’t even quantify how lovely it is to  interact with the people who actually help bring this wonderful product to our homes.  It is a connection that makes me feel good about buying the product and that is just not something you can buy in this world market.  It is carefully cultivated and, in my opinion, it is smart business.  You leave these conventions feeling like you are a very valued customer and an honored guest.  I have to give a shout out to table 22 here as well.  This lovely group of ladies and one gentleman hosted by the fabulous Hilda made my daughter and I feel like honored guests too.  A big “Thank you” from the bottom of my heart for making my daughter’s first IT convention super special and fun.  Words cannot express how wonderful you were to her {sniff, sniff} and that means more to this Mom than you know.

I also want to thank my readers..many of whom came up to me at convention and gave me a verbal and actual hug when they said  how much they enjoyed the blog, flickr photos and/or youtube videos.  I really appreciated and loved the comments from people as I posted and I will endeavor to be better about responding to blog comments in the future. 

My college degree is in business and finance so the evolution of this business is infinitely fascinating to me.   It is the Disney model of business: bring people in, give them a happy and fun experience and they will open their pocket books.  Give them an exceptional experience and that pocket book opens wider.  This event was extremely well organized.  This convention, in my opinion,  had one of the strongest convention collections I have seen.  There was something for just about everyone.  The looks were elegant, strong, edgy in places and sublimely vintage couture in others.  The accessories…jewelry, shoes etc…were excellent as well.  The shoes in particular were a big bonus because every exquisite pair was another choice of shoe the FR2 body foot could wear.  Collectors of the FR2 line have long lamented the need for more shoes for this body type.  Because there was an extra meal event this year, most conventioneers had the opportunity to purchase at least two centerpieces…some even had the chance to purchase three.  Three out of the four events had an absolutely beautiful gift doll given as a gift.  I realize that this year was special being the 10 year anniversary and this kind of swag is not de rigueur for conventions going forward but WOW was it nice to receive.  The quality of these gifts was really exceptional.  This was not your average convention, folks.  I think we all walked away with that feeling. My only negative comment and it is a minor one, was the discovery that the “Black Orchid” Vanessa’s dress is not easily removable.  This was a centerpiece doll for the final dinner and she was dressed in a Jason Wu runway design.  It works out great if you want to leave her in this dress…not so great for us redressers.  Hilda was able to snip a strap and fashion a fix for me.  The only way to remove the dress without snipping a strap is to take the doll’s head off.  I was just too chicken to do that with this doll (afraid I would mess up the amazing updo). 

So what was the total take away swag you might ask…well…. the doll haul from this event broke down like this.  **Note:  The list below does not include style lab dolls.  I don’t collect these dolls so  I did not attend the style lab.  Sorry 😦 **

The Doll Haul

$ – denotes you had to spend money above what you spent on convention package

25 possible Dolls, two outfits, one shoe pack

Convention collection –$    (dolls that you were able to purchase as an attendee)

October Issue Agnes
Paparazzi Darling Adèle
Bittersweet Eugenia
Breathless Véronique
Brazen Beauty Natalia
Bewitching Véronique
Star in the Making Poppy Parker

 

IT Direct Hard Metal Lilith
IT Direct Anja
IT Direct Tricks up her Sleeve Poppy
IT Direct Tulabelle
IT Shoe Pack

Centerpiece Dolls –$  (dolls you were able to purchase via lottery)

After Tonight Eugenia Perrin-Frost™
Elegant Evening Poppy Parker™
Bellissima Natalia Fatalé
Story Of My Life Victoire Roux™
Black Orchid Vanessa Perrin™

Workshop Dolls –$ (dolls purchased as part of workshop package)

Victorious Glamour Victoire Roux™
Poppy’s Makeup Makeover Poppy Parker™
Shining Star FR: Monogram™
W Cosmetics Hair Care Fashion Royalty®

 

Convention gifts  (dolls that were given as gifts)

Interlude FR: Monogram
Nightfall Agnes Von Weiss™
Especially For You Poppy Parker™
Dangerous To Know Kyori Sato™
Night at Ciro’s Victoire Roux™ ** outfit**
Completist FR: Monogram™ Accessory Pack **outfit**
Midnight Star Elise Jolie Convention Doll

Not a bad haul eh?  About this time, many collectors complain about the steep markup many of these dolls sell for in the secondary market (eBay or doll boards etc.)  Keep in mind that conventioneers paid around $425-450 a ticket to get in.  Many if not most also had hotel and airline/travel cost in addition to this.  There is also the issue of time spent standing in line to get into the sales room for extras and money spent shipping or incurring extra luggage fees getting all this loot home.  I think it is just downright silly to expect conventioneers to sell convention items for the convention purchase price.  The simple price of the centerpiece doll they purchased is not the total out of pocket cost for that doll.  If you think the markup is too high, don’t buy it.  Just sayin’

I also just have to add that when it came time to figure out how to get all of this loot home, Integrity was all over it.  What I could not fit in my luggage, I had to ship.  I flew out later in the afternoon Sunday so I went down to Integrity Toys’ shipping center around mid-morning.  I had three boxes to ship (Hey!…no judging!!) and I was in and out of that shipping room in 10 minutes.  A professional UPS store could not have done any better.  It was fantastic!!

“So which ones are your favorites Rebecca?” {said in a television interviewer voice}…..

…Well…that is a really tough question.  I would have to put Kyori high up on the list as well as the workshop and convention Elises.  I am also a huge fan of the new FR2 body but am NOT a fan of the funky stands they come with.  I am glad I have a large supply of stands from previous years. 

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34 responses

  1. meganism

    Thank you so much for your extensive coverage of the jawdropping Integrity Convention! Getting to attend one is not possible at the moment, so reading your entries was so wonderful:) I fell in love with one of the convention dolls – I just told myself I would have paid much more to attend the Convention and pushed the Pay button!

    I read somewhere that these Convention gifts and exclusives aren’t available anywhere except from the people who were able to attend. Am just curious how many attendees there usually are (okay…actually, I’m curious about how many of each Convention exclusive doll were actually made..)

    November 8, 2013 at 6:55 am

    • Thank you for the lovely comment. I am glad you enjoyed the reports. Integrity Toys convention attendance numbers have been trending up over the past few years. This year, though I need to confirm the numbers, I believe there was somewhere in the 450 range. Which convention doll did you fall in love with?? enquiring minds want to know LOL!

      November 8, 2013 at 7:20 am

      • meganism

        Heehee! Especially for You Poppy Parker:) I have to agree with those who say that the crop of dolls that emerged at this year’s Convention seem to be the best ever, and if I had had an unlimited budget, I would have grabbed much more than one, but Especially for You Poppy was the one I couldn’t stop staring at!

        November 8, 2013 at 2:41 pm

      • She is definitely a beauty. I adore this particular Poppy with her dramatic face paint. Gorgeous! You chose a good one.

        November 16, 2013 at 10:39 pm

  2. Monkeyhaircutter

    You said it all perfectly, I for one loved the way they handled the lines this year, it made for a relaxing and stress free event.
    But I do have to say that you forgot about Adele, poor girl has been forgotten by so many this year, she is a lovely doll but not as popular i see.

    November 8, 2013 at 7:01 am

    • What?!! Thank you for the catch. Will go and correct. I am so sorry Adele….it was an accident..I swear. 🙂

      November 8, 2013 at 7:05 am

  3. LauraLA

    Thanks for your wonderful coverage. When I can’t attend the convention I am glued to the internet like many other collectors, anxious for news. When I am lucky enough to attend I enjoy reading all the blogs so I can see what I missed, LOL. There is so much to do and so many people to catch up with at the FR Conventions than it goes by in a blur!!! I saw way too little of you, your daughter & Hilda, but it’s always a delight to see on-line friends in person no matter how brief. Also a big shout out to your daughter’s new pair of Doc Martins. If she hasn’t already discovered it, they may take a bit of breaking in before being “all-day comfortable”.

    November 8, 2013 at 7:24 am

    • Thank you so much for the lovely comment Laura! I was really happy and touched you took the time to come and chat. I am sooo bad about doing that while at convention and you are encouraging me to do better next year. I will pass on the “shout” to my daughter. As of this posting, the Doc’s have been well broken in LOL! They are her new favorites and they are a particular favorite of mine ( I have a pair of triumphs) because they keep her dancer feet well supported. It was so great to see you and talk with you!

      {{Hugs}}

      November 16, 2013 at 10:56 pm

  4. Thank you for sharing and if not for your insight and info, most of what goes on in the doll world ( FR and Silkstone) would pass me by as the bubble that I live in is not far reaching. LOL. It is easy to see many of us feel a connection through our passion for dolls and life`s little luxuries. hugs

    November 8, 2013 at 7:29 am

    • Exactly! We all do our part to share the fun and joy. I have met so many interesting and creative people ( yourself most definitely included) through this hobby and I am constantly humbled by that. Doll people are some good people. 🙂

      November 16, 2013 at 10:53 pm

  5. An awesome recap!! I love seeing what exactly was available, it’s hard to keep track sometimes when you’re just watching pictures flood in!!

    November 8, 2013 at 7:59 am

    • Glad you liked it Heather. Yes, the flood of information coming in during convention can feel like a tidal wave. 🙂

      November 16, 2013 at 10:51 pm

  6. OSS

    Thank you so much for your commentary. So nice to get the insider’s view. IT takes wonderful care of their convention guests. I thoroughly enjoyed the one convention I was able to attend, and I hope to attend more in the future.

    I might be one of those who complain about the extremely inflated prices on the secondary. I have never begrudged someone the right to attempt to make back their expenses from convention. It’s one of the perks of being there. I am also one of those who choose NOT to purchase at those hugely inflated, secondary market prices because A) they irriate me, and B) I can’t afford them. Maybe it would irritate me less if I had a doll budget that could accommodate the higher prices? LOL

    There is no event or occurrence on the planet that will ever be able to please everyone. That’s just how it is. I’m just thrilled that IT continues to try though. They certainly rank right up there with their efforts! And again…thank you for your beautiful photography and informative blog. I enjoy both very much. – Dawn

    November 8, 2013 at 8:05 am

    • Well stated Dawn! I am glad you enjoyed the reports and the photos. You are right in that there will never be a market that will satisfy absolutely everyone. But…while you can’t always get what you want….you get what you need right 😉 If a collector really wants a particular doll, it usually finds its way into a collectors collection..for the right price…at the right time.

      November 16, 2013 at 10:50 pm

  7. I love your blog! I enjoy reading your posts and the photos are always sublime! Great coverage of the convention–even though I was there, I really appreciate reading your perspective (with which I completely agree, so that’s nice! lol) and it’s great to have the day-by-day summary (complete with photos) that you provide (my own reporting to my family and friends tends to be scattered and somewhat incoherent. lol). Many thanks!

    November 8, 2013 at 8:12 am

    • I am glad you enjoyed the reports and blog Susan! I find that I use my blog to report things back to my family too and I am so glad I do because when I get home after these conventions, I can barely remember my own name LOL…I am sure you can relate. We were sure spoiled this time around…and I am NOT complaining. 🙂

      November 16, 2013 at 10:44 pm

  8. Shuga-Shug

    Great recap! and yes, I meant to mention about those stands! I too have a drawer of older ones so I tossed alot of the new ones out. I also disliked the stand that came with Elise (Midnight Star) with the under the armpit top and not other option. Don’t they normally come with that and the straddle so you can use either or? I thought that was odd because I didn’t want that metal interfering with her gorgeousness. Looking forward to future pics from you!! Get on that!

    November 8, 2013 at 9:05 am

    • Heehee…I am trying to “get on that” but the whole holiday decorating thing rules the house right now. Why do I need to get on that when I can just go over to your gorgeous blog and enjoy the photos there 🙂 I am absolutely loving all the looks coming out of your mind and camera. Absolutely fabulous…just like you. 🙂

      November 16, 2013 at 10:42 pm

  9. Natalie Viteri

    Love your blog, I hope you can put more pics of the dolls soon!! I love the FR2 line and the Fashion Royalty classic line, although I just started my collection and have just 3 dolls and not the most gorgeous ones.This hobby can get very expensive.

    November 8, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    • Yes, this hobby can get very expensive very quickly…especially with such a great convention collection. Congrats on starting a new collection. The FR2 line in the future is sure to be exciting.

      November 16, 2013 at 10:40 pm

  10. lovindollz

    Thank you for sharing these gorgeous pics with us, Rebecca. Wow, the dolls this year were amazing. The BEST ever!

    November 8, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    • I completely agree! The dolls were a whole level above this year. Amazing!

      November 16, 2013 at 10:39 pm

  11. Robyne

    Rebecca – I always enjoy your blog and was especially excited to read your comments about this convention. Your photography is always rich in detail. I missed going this year; meeting you last year was a highlight of the convention for me.

    November 8, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    • Awwww! Thank you Robyne. You were missed this year and I can honestly say meeting you in the previous convention was one my highlights as well. I was hoping my daughter could have met you too. Perhaps at a future convention.

      November 16, 2013 at 10:38 pm

  12. Eric

    Hello Rebecca,

    It was nice meeting you again at the shipping center and I am really happy to hear you got home safely and without any hassle. – after last Friday’s incident at LAX and what I heard from a friend of mine in that morning. Maybe I was too worried. lol

    I wanted to say hi to you, but I wasn’t sure you would remember me from last year’s convention- at the elevator. But you remembered me! lol
    I am sure you had a great time with your table mates and your daughter who just has a first convention! I wonder how she enjoyed this entire event. I hope she had a great time and memory just like I had.

    If we go to next year’s convention, I will definitely say hi and introduce myself better.
    Looking back the way I introduced myself at the shipping center wasn’t really properly done neither polite.- but next year!

    I have been always a fan of your blog, your reviews always have a clear point and consistently wonderful. So, I usually check and read your blog at least once a day. 🙂
    By the way, I missed your rococo style furniture this year!
    I so wanted to check out your room sale. (I missed Hilda’s room sale also, UGH)

    I hope you have a great weekend, enjoy your dolls from LA that shipped from the shipping center. Mine arrived today, I mean the shipping service at the convention was exceptional and so quick! I was so impressed and happy.

    Thanks for your time to read my comment, it’s way too longer than I expected. LoL

    Eric

    November 8, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    • Hi Eric! It was great to see you again and of course I remember you from the previous convention. You have the most stunning dolls with you at convention so it is hard to forget you and your collection 🙂 My daughter and I had the best time at convention and were happy that the trip home was without incident. I am glad you enjoy the blog and don’t worry about missing the furniture. It will be available in the new year on my website :-). Please, please come and see me next convention. Would love to visit with you.

      November 16, 2013 at 10:36 pm

  13. Great commentary Rebecca – glad you had fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 9, 2013 at 6:47 am

    • Thank you Peter! Yes, that is the most important thing isn’t it….go have fun. 🙂

      November 16, 2013 at 10:32 pm

  14. Lori Birkeneder

    Rebecca,

    I so enjoy reading your comments and seeing all the pictures you share. Thank you for being our eyes and ears!!

    Lori Birkeneder

    November 10, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    • You are very welcome Lori! I am glad you enjoyed the reports. It was an amazing convention this year.

      November 16, 2013 at 10:24 pm

  15. Natalie Viteri

    Hi there,
    I’ve been enjoying your blog but specially the pics of your beauties.
    I recently bought one of the color infusion dolls from the convention but her feet are really big, what kind of shoes should I order for her?
    Thanks and I would really appreciate your response.

    November 23, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    • Hi Natalie,

      I am glad you are enjoying the blog. 🙂 Yes, the Color Infusion dolls have gigantic feet. The only shoes that fit them,that I am aware of, are the ones made for that collection or Jem and the Holograms ( I believe they use the same body ). I never understood why the bigger feet on this CI collection. It makes it impossible to share shoes with other dolls. Hope this helps.

      November 24, 2013 at 8:29 am

  16. poetc7

    I’ve just read thru all your convention blogs. It was my first IT convention and I flew from Fort Lauderdale to L.A. to attend. I thought it was spectacular and it’s been fun to read the observations of one who’s done it before. Thanks. I love your photos and your tips and I’m glad I found your blog! Happy St. Patrick ‘ Day!

    March 16, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    • Happy you found the blog too! If you are ever at another IT convention, feel free to walk up and introduce yourself 🙂

      April 2, 2014 at 8:09 pm

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