Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Little Darling Doll Fun At MDCC 2017


I recently attended MDCC in Danvers, Massachusetts, and boy, I was not prepared for the level of excitement and fun that I was going to have there. Seriously. I've been to doll shows before, but never a convention. This event was absolutely incredible. With that being said, I encourage all of my readers to seriously consider going to MDCC if you ever have a chance. You won't regret it (not even all the money you've spent, LOL)!

At MDCC, there were two Little Darling events I attended: there was a dinner event (cost of $245), and the next day, a forum (free with registration) with the Little Darling artists. I want to talk about both of those here, to give you an idea of what they were like.

The Little Darling Doll dinner had a theme of "Cinderella." When you first walk into the banquet room (which is what I'll call it from here on out), you have to find a table. I was traveling with a friend, so we had to make sure to find a table with two empty seats, which wasn't difficult. Table hostesses would stand with fingers in the air, indicating how many empty seats they had left. Once we took our seats, we had a look at the table favor. From every event we attended, there small gifts/favors at each place when we sat down. The favor from the Cinderella dinner was a small, pewter colored carriage box, with a tiny glass (plastic) slipper inside. Very cute!

A few opening remarks were given by the master of ceremonies, Billie (not sure if that's her actual title, but she does a great job), and then dinner is served.

The first course was a delicious tomato soup and bread with butter.
The tomato soup, with a delicious piece of buttered toast (and I think I remember a hint of garlic)

The main course was a stuffed chicken with fresh veggies and potatoes:

Stuffed chicken with potatoes, carrots, and broccoli. 

The dessert looked so good I almost forgot to get a picture, but remembered before it was too late:
Cheesecake with raspberry sauce

As if all of that food wasn't exciting enough, the MAIN event began as everyone finished up their dessert. Out came Dianna Effner, dressed as the Fairy Godmother, to tell us more about the creation of the centerpiece dolls that were in the middle of our tables.
The centerpiece Cinderella, which retailed for $1,500

The dress that Center Cindy was wearing was a collaboration between Nelly and her sister Maritza. Cindy was painted by Dianna, and her "glass" slippers were made out of fabric from tea bags, glue, glitter, and beads. Dianna told an interesting story about how one day she was making tea with some pyramid-shaped tea bags by Lipton, and she noticed how the fabric of the teabag would be perfect for making glass slippers. She also that Lipton discontinued the tea line, but she was able to find something similar elsewhere. It reminded me of Harney and Sons tea, which I drink every morning. They come in a pyramid-shaped tea bag and are made of a shimmery, translucent fabric. The workmanship on the dress and the shoes was absolutely incredible. To think of the time that went into creating each doll is just incredible. 

You may be asking, how does one purchase a centerpiece doll if there aren't enough to go around to all of the attendees? In order to have a chance at purchasing the centerpiece, you write your name on a slip of paper and give it to the table hostess. She will then turn it in, and names are drawn lottery-style in order to purchase the doll. In this case, there were 4 dolls left over after the lottery, so everyone who entered was able to purchase. The lottery takes place at the end of the event, but I wanted to mention it here while discussing the centerpiece.

After Dianna's presentation, we received our event dolls and were able to open them. And the oooh's and aaah's followed.

                     Face Detail                                                                            Full Shot

Dress Detail

She is absolutely incredible. I have all 4 of the factory painted dolls from past events, and she is, in my opinion, the best. I believe all 4 were painted by Leannie at the factory in China, based on Dianna's model. I think Leannie's skills are improving, and the artists also said during the forum that they went back and touched up eyebrows and eyelashes because they weren't quite satisfied with them. The result is stunning! They also said that her apron was "soiled" -- their words not mine lol -- by using different colored stamps and inks and hand stamping each of the aprons. You can see how wonderful the result is for yourself. All in all, this event is WELL worth the $245. The food was incredible, and the doll herself is so beautiful. You won't find a better Little Darling for a better price.

During the forum, called "The Little Darling Doll Chat" the next afternoon, I learned lots of interesting things. Each artist addressed the fact that they are all behind, but they are also human, with grandchildren and families to spend time with. Life happens and each doll takes a long time to finish -- we've all seen the work and how beautiful it is -- and they just request that we be patient with them as we are waiting on our waiting lists.

They also addressed the issue of eBay auctions. They recognize that they happen and that there really isn't much they can do about it. Mainly, they feel bad for the real collectors out there who want a doll and are unable to get one, or are so desperate to get one quickly they pay the inflated price. They did say that they have blocked over 52 users on eBay who were obviously flipping dolls, and they also realized they were painting a lot of dolls that were being sent to Russia. They then found out that there was a Russian site where all of these dolls were being placed for sale for very inflated prices, so they were able to put a stop to that. They understand that some folks just want to buy a doll and they want to do it quickly, and because of supply and demand, the prices can get out of hand sometimes. They also understand that real collectors do have to sell their dolls sometimes, too. It was an interesting conversation because none of them seemed particularly upset about it, just that they felt bad for collectors who wanted to get dolls and maybe weren't getting them as quickly because of prospectors, or that they were having to spend so much money to get a doll.

I really have a new appreciation for these ladies and what they do. They are rock stars to all of us doll collectors, but they are just like us -- with families, other interests, and typical day to day things going on in their lives.

I hope you've enjoyed this post about the Little Darling activities at Modern Doll, and I hope I've convinced you to attend in the future :)

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