I hate science fiction. I know that may make me unpopular with a lot of fashion doll collectors, as I know there’s a lot of crossover between these two groups. There are also a good number of science fiction dolls that use fashion doll bodies. The Robert Tonner Doll Company has produced dolls from Dr. Who, Firefly, Tron, The Hunger Games, and more. I don’t own any of these dolls, as I’ve seen about two science fiction movies in my life–and that was under protest.
I mention this because I just purchased my first science fiction-inspired doll. (That’s doll, not “character figure.” Changing the name does not change that fact that it is a doll, although it may make it more palatable for geeky male collectors.) The doll is “Jupiter Ascending,” which shares the same name as a science fiction movie currently in theatres. The movie apparently stars an actress named Mila Kunis. I have no idea who this woman is, which, according to my friends, makes me a pop culture imbecile. So be it.
Anyway, since I had no previous knowledge of what the actress looks like (I have since Googled her), I had no expectations of what her sculpt should look it. I am told that it bears only passing resemblance to Mila. You be the judge of that. I just think she’s a pretty doll, and, as a fashion doll collector, that’s all I care about.
I mention this because sci-fi fans/doll collectors may have some disappointed expectations in this doll due to the alleged fact that the doll bears little resemblance to the actress it is supposed to portray. I urge those who fall into that category to look beyond that factor–if you do, you are missing one gorgeous doll.
I have mentioned before in this blog that I very, very rarely purchase a doll soon after it is released. This rule especially applies to Tonner dolls, as the company holds frequent and generous sales, in some cases not that long after the dolls first appear on the market. That said, there is the occasional doll that strikes my fancy so much I do purchase her out of the gate. The last time this happened was last year soon after the Tonner Convention, when 15th Anniversary Tyler was offered for sale. I could not push that “buy” button soon enough, and I was rewarded with a truly stunning, quality doll.
I felt the same way when I saw pre-production photos of Jupiter Ascending. She is so different from the many fashion dolls in my collection, and her outfit to me looked like haute couture at its finest. I could totally see a human-sized version of this dress worn by a model strutting the catwalk during New York Fashion Week. I decided to break my “wait for a sale” rule and purchase her from a retailer. Although the doll’s MSRP is $240, she can generally be had for $200 or a bit less from most retailers, who typically discount their dolls 15%-20% when they are first released.
I received Jupiter in the post yesterday, and I was impressed as soon as I opened the box. Let me say at the start that this doll’s complex getup–a reproduction of a gown worn in the film–could very easily have been executed in a very chintzy, gaudy manner. Its excess of sequins, embroidery, and attached flowers of different sizes could have spelled disaster in the hands of a less practiced dollmaker. But Robert Tonner did this costume justice in its recreation. The gown is high-quality and tasteful. Yes, it’s way over the top, but that’s what haute couture (and, I suppose, the latest fashion in science fiction films) is supposed to be.
The gown’s fit is perfect, and it drapes beautifully from her waist.
The design continues on the sides and back. No cutting corners here.
Sequins, embroidery, and flowers are tastefully arranged on the gown.
Her headpiece is a marvel. It is huge, and, again, in less practiced hands, it could have been gaudy as hell. But somehow it works. It is attached to the head with a loop that fits over the back of the doll’s updo, making it very sturdy. No chance of this thing falling off.
The shoes are simple, white pumps. An appropriate choice, as any more frippery at this point would be a bit much.
There are two items that I would have done differently. The dress is lined in white only from the waist down, which makes those areas above the waist not covered in sequins or embroidery a bit sheer. And Jupiter’s right boob is lacking in this frippery. (Can you tell I like that word?)
I personally don’t care to see my doll’s boobs in a full-length gown. (I’m no Sybarite fan.) I have no idea why Tonner chose not to line the top of the dress. It seems like an odd choice, given the attention to detail of the rest of the dress.
Jupiter also came with wrist cuffs, which I believe were recreated from the film. On the doll, they are flimsy and cheap-looking, and they attach with a large snap, which makes them lay awkwardly on the doll’s wrists. I took them off as soon as I finished photographing the doll. They add nothing to the outfit. The earrings were lovely, though. Small silver rhinestone flowers. A nice change from the studs Tonner usually gives his girls.
As far as the sculpt goes, I just love it. It would be terrific to see this face again in a fashion doll line (although, since it was produced under license, that’s not likely). Jupiter has a lovely, serene face with just a hint of a smile. Her face is fuller than most of Tonner’s fashion dolls, which, IMHO, makes her a refreshing change from the vast majority of angular faces in my collection.
So that’s all I have to say about that. Your thoughts?