Well guys, I’ve been a bad girl. I bought another doll. Yeah, I know, I said I was done for a while. But she’s not just any doll. This doll really caught my eye and she was exactly what I had been wanting. I just didn’t expect to find one so soon.
Let me explain. I love all of my dolls. A lot of thought goes in to which dolls I buy and I have to feel a certain way about a doll before I will buy it. If you’ve been reading since the beginning, you know that I gave a doll away that I didn’t connect with. I call myself a doll lover, not a doll collector. But one face mold in particular really made an impact on me. In September I bought a MAG 40 in an Ebay auction and I was totally smitten with this face mold. I don’t know what it is about the Jess mold, but it makes a very pretty doll in various combinations. That’s the problem though-AG only currently sells this mold in three versions, ALL with brown hair and brown eyes. One with bangs, one with shoulder length and one with longer hair. Only one doll that they have made that wasn’t this combination for this mold was Kanani, with hazel eyes and light brown hair. That’s it. I wanted another doll with this mold, but I have a problem with my dolls looking too much alike. And Kanani just didn’t do it for me. The only way I was going to get what I wanted was to go the customization route. Hmmm…
I did a lot of research, debated on doing my own eye swap, but after it was all over, I decided that wasn’t the way I wanted to go. For me there were just too many negatives in trying to do it myself. I love doing DIY stuff, but I also don’t mind paying someone to do something that is out of my comfort zone or expertise. I had been looking at some custom dolls done by a particular person for several months. I hadn’t seen anything that I wanted. Until last week.
There she was, the prettiest doll I’ve seen in ages, at least to me. A MAG #30 she had done an eye swap on using Caroline’s eyes. I couldn’t stop looking at her. This started the whole “could I/couldn’t I” do an eye swap myself debate again, but finally I just decided the heck with that and I bought her.
So, with further ado, here’s Alya!!!
Her backstory: Alya Rose Norton is Cassandra’s cousin. Cassandra’s dad and Alya’s mom are brother and sister, making Alya ½ Chinese. Her dad is part Indian and part English and grew up in England, her parents met at college. Alya is coming to stay with the girls because her dad’s job promotion has him bouncing all over the globe and her parents wanted her to have some stability and a private education since she’s approaching her high school years. For the past year her mom has been homeschooling her as they traveled with her dad, but she needed something more structured and was missing out on activities and friends. She and Cassandra have always been very close and Cassandra is very excited about her coming here to live!
Another thing that influenced me in buying this particular doll was the hair. I’ve seen several different dolls with this wig and they don’t all look the same. I know that it probably depends on who was putting the wigs on the dolls on a particular day and where they position them. I realized that if I were to buy a different doll, it would be a bit of a crap shoot as to whether or not I would get another doll with the wig positioned the same way. Even the wigs can vary from doll to doll as far as thickness too, and the way her hair looked in the photos that were in the listing, it looked so nice, the seller even commented on the wig quality. I wasn’t sure I wanted to take a chance on getting a doll with different hair.
Bonus-she came dressed in the Sparkly Camp Outfit! I had considered buying this outfit a couple of times and didn’t. Good thing, I didn’t need two of them. When I took her out of the box, I wasn’t disappointed at all, she was every bit as pretty as she looked in the photos the seller provided. What is interesting is I stood her and Cassandra side by side and they look similar, but it is amazing how just changing the eye color on a doll can change its whole appearance. I think they are both so pretty!
I love the fact that she is sort of a one of a kind doll. I say sort of because I do realize that someone else could do this swap as well. But I know that she isn’t being mass produced, so there definitely wouldn’t be as many of her as a standard AG doll. I can’t help but thinking though that AG is missing out on a potential goldmine in making this (and several other) face mold available in different options. I think the classic mold is cute, it is what drew me in to this line of dolls to begin with, but why is it the only doll to have a full line of options? The Jess mold, the Sonali mold and the Addy mold have very few options, not that many more for the Josefina mold. And the Marie-Grace mold has disappeared off the face of the earth for some reason which is a shame, especially after seeing some of the custom dolls made with this mold. Kaya has been terribly shortchanged as well. The potential is there for some truly stunning dolls but we are still seeing the same thing, year after year. Grace Thomas isn’t even all that original as she strongly resembles a previous GOTY. The only new addition in the past year in the MAG line was #61 who has (you guessed it!) the original face mold. BORING. These other combinations would sell too, the person that I purchased Alya from has sold a lot of dolls, and she isn’t the only person out there doing this. I don’t get it. She and other custom sellers get higher prices for these dolls too, so even if AG made this a special service with an upcharge, I think they would be surprised at the amount of people who are interested in it. Just the sheer number of videos and tutorials showing how to do eye swaps should be proof enough! In the meantime, more power to the folks who are doing this and making some money as well as filling a niche in the market. I’m know I’m thrilled!
At the moment I’m not going to tell you who exactly did this doll. I have been in communication with her and she is currently in the process of figuring out the best way to promote and manage her business, she has been overwhelmed with requests! Once she gets things the way she wants them and gives me the okay, I will be more than happy to give her a plug here on my blog, but out of respect and knowing myself how overwhelming it can be when a business grows faster than you expect, I am going to have to decline giving out that info. Sorry!
So, now you’ve met Alya and you know the whole story. And now I really really really have to be good. Seriously. I’m also running out of room, so until I get rid of some other stuff in this house, we are at maximum doll capacity. Now I hope AG doesn’t come out with anything new! (just kidding!) I guess I’d better get started on that box bed I had in mind. Alya’s bed will be the tutorial. 🙂 I’m also making progress on the doll house, I’m getting very excited and hope to be sharing that with you soon too. Too many ideas and too few hours in the day!
Several people have asked me how I pronounce her name, so I thought I would add it here: Al-ya. I’ve heard it said Isle-ya too, but I prefer the first.