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Beware of Deva Dolls

Well, it seems our old nemesis is back doing bad business with unsuspecting collectors. Several years ago, I was ripped off $600 after ordering a doll from DHD, or Deva Dolls. After one email claiming they would refund me HALF of my money, they then changed email addresses and claimed a change of management. This, of course, does not release them of their liability. However, since they are in Thailand, it is near impossible to get any kind of refund or retribution from this shady company.

Now, another dozen collectors have been stiffed. The reps from Deva Dolls claim a flood affected their factory. They speak fluent English when getting your money but suddenly they can't understand requests for refunds or threats about their bad business practices. 

Ironically, when I first shared my bad experience, many collectors blew me off. They said I was too critical, the dolls were great, and it was a one-time thing. There was absolutely no compassion that I was ripped off. So, people went about their business and ordered more dolls. Many people received dolls, and were happy. I remain flabbergasted that anyone would take a chance on this company. I have also noticed that each release of dolls becomes more vulgar and cheap looking even as their prices remain high. Clearly, not all dolls are to everyone's taste. But knowing that they are ripping collectors off makes the dolls even uglier.

We will be covering this more thoroughly in an upcoming issue but I want you all to remember: caveat emptor.  Or, if the crooks at DHD are reading: ระวังผู้ซื้อ

Don't get up...

More and more people these days get their news and entertainment online. They never leave the computer. My students rarely go to the movies; they watch them on Apple TV or some kind of streaming channel like Hulu.

Personally, I like good old fashion movie theatres and magazines, but to each their own. To that end, we have made our magazines downloadable. Today we added our book, IN FOCUS. This should make FDQ particularly easy to read for our International collectors, but it also means you can download it to your laptop or iPad and bring it with you. It also makes archiving easy if you don't have the space for every physical issue of the magazine.

In my personal travels, I find myself getting a little frustrated on airplanes. I can't turn on my "device" while taking off and landing, and that's the best time to kill time and read. With each trip I find myself skipping the digital magazine downloads and lugging the physical magazines with me so I can read them whenever I want.  So far, I find a mix of both seems to be the best bet. Load up the pad, bring a few old school paper pubs and that should keep you busy for most trips. Enjoy!

Big changes coming to our site...

We will be adding digital downloads in the month of April to make it easier for readers to get content, no matter where you are in the world, and no matter how long your mail carrier takes to get to your door. Subscribers will have the option of continuing their standard print subscription, or downloading each new issue directly to their computer. If this is a popular option, we will combine print and online subs so that print subscribers can also download their current issue so they can read the latest FDQ on their desktop or laptop computer. You will be allowed two downloads, but you will not be able to print these digital issues. So if you like to archive, cut up or reuse your FDQ, save your classic issues! There are also IP blockers and bots, to prevent users from sending these copies all over the Internet. We are trying to prevent piracy and protect the copyrights of our advertisers, artists and retailers. Without paid support, the magazine ceases to exist, so please encourage your friends to share the news but not the files with dollbuds on the boards and forums!

FDQ Photo Contest with Gems & Jewels

We have a wonderful selection of talented people who have submitted their work for our contest! We will be sending our readers a gallery of all the talented artists who submitted their work and you can decide who your favorites are!

The challenge was to create a beautiful photograph, incorporating jewelry and dioramas, along the line of our last cover, featuring the window displays of Gems & Jewels in Australia.We were so impressed with everyone's creativity and we know you will be, too!

The info on the gallery will be coming shortly in the form of a special digital Toy Fair issue of FDQ being sent to our subscribers. Be sure to check your mail around the 1st of March!

Deadline for the contest is Feb.14th

So before you run out for sweets for your sweeties, be sure to take a few snaps of your favorite dolls and you can win that sweet charm, furniture, or a book! More surprises to come...

Be a part of our photography contest!

I am reposting Maryann's email to her customer list, as she is a co-sponsor and we think her furniture is fabulous:
Hello Everyone
By now you may have heard, or seen about my collaboration with Gems &  Jewels jewelry store in Australia.
You may also know that this is a feature story in the new issue of FDQ  magazine, where a photo from the jewelry store display was used as the  cover!

But - did you know that Gems & Jewels, Welcome Home and FDQ are  sponsoring a doll display photo contest as well?!

This is your chance to have your diorama photos published ! Not only  that, the FIRST PRIZE is a charm, fashioned as a DOLL SHOE worth  $675.00 !!(Donated by Gems & Jewels!)

Although I cannot compete,it is perfectly acceptable to use Welcome  Home furnishings in your displays.

In light of this, I am hosting a "Clean Out, Get Organized,and Move  On, Prop Sale! So, if you are thinking about entering the contest, you  may want come browse the sale and pick up a few things.

Sale date and time:
THIS THURSDAY, DECEMBER 12TH at 2:00pm EST !

I will be posting to all of you, on my FTK list, prior to posting  elsewhere, but just a reminder that things do go fast around here!

To get all the details about this fun,fabulous opportunity, be sure to  get your copy of FDQ CRAFTS today!!

http://www.fdqmedia.com/


Dollidays continue with a Pop-Up sale

Have you heard of pop-up sales? Groups of small businesses and artists set up a time and place to put out their wares for a limited time and sell their goods. So we decided to have a one-day pop-up sale of our own to get people shopping for the holidays! All orders on our site are 20% off on December 15th, so there is time to order gifts for friends and family. Plus, these orders go into the bin for our Dollidays drawing, so you may not only save but win a free doll or outfit!

By the way, FDQ is published, printed and designed in the good old US of A, so we are job creators! WOOHOO! So every purchase is a way to stimulate the economy. How's that for another reason to buy yourself a book, subscription or exclusive outfit?

Happy Dollidays!

This month we are giving away a doll or outfit every day! So be sure to order a book, single issue, or subscription, and your order will be put into a daily drawing to win. It could be from any manufacturer, it's a surprise every day.

We are cleaning out our photo studio and have so many unopened dolls and costumes that it seemed like the best way to move out old stuff and share with our readers during the holiday season. 

Be sure to log onto our main page and find some holiday gifts for yourself and your dolly friends; you may win something special-
http://www.fdqmedia.com


Saying goodbyes

 “Fear not death for the sooner we die, the longer we shall be immortal."

— Benjamin Franklin 

Why, how, when? We can never know the how and why someone passes on, whether it is an act of nature, or perhaps a moment in which they take death on as a personal choice.

Personally, I have a hate-hate relationship with death­– mostly hate, for obvious reasons.  It is quite difficult to accept the loss of a friend, a sibling, a parent, or any loved one. I particularly find fault with sudden death or suicide. No– I should rephrase that. I am angry at sudden death or suicide. I do not accept it. I do not go gently into the damn night. I am still reeling from the sudden death of my friend Marsh Matulionis, who was an integral part of this magazine. I still mourn the loss of the talented designer Laura Meisner so many years ago. I miss chatting with my friend and co-conspirator, Patricia Cronin, with whom I shared many a convention, joke and cocktail. I feel melancholy over the loss of the tremendous talent and quirky energy of Susan Renee Tomb, who brought Ellowyne Wilde and Evangline Ghastly to life in her extraordinary photography and advertising design.

Now, we say goodbye to another fragile, creative soul. Melissa Windham was a gentle, delightful presence in the doll world, who created fantastic OOAKs and brought an elegance and grace to each event and convention she attended. She and I shared a particular moment of stage fright last year at BarbieCon ’10 when we both signed up to sing Karaoke live in front of one thousand collectors in Cincinnati. I was being cheeky and silly, singing “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”; Melissa sang a torchy rendition of “Cry Me A River”.  Armchair quarterbacks and shrinks, trot out your theories about personalities and transference and foreshadowing. It doesn’t really matter now.

 

What matters is that a wonderful and talented group of people have come through the portals of doll collecting and we are all the better for it. The next time you are at a convention and you are feeling awkward, shy, or left out, just jump in. Don’t be afraid to talk to each other and don’t hold back your joy, your creativity and yes, your fears. Sharing this hobby and enjoying the beauty and creativity of fashion dolls is cathartic and freeing. Let your inner artist thrive among friends. Share your talents with the community and don’t be afraid to show your vulnerability and imperfections. It’s what makes the world go around. No man (or woman) is an island, it takes a village, and you know a million other platitudes and clichés about friendship and community. However, most clichés are founded upon truth and it’s a hard truth that we all need each other. Don’t keep each other at arm’s distance; let ‘em in.

 

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
–Maya Angelou

 

Back from BBCon

If I owe you an email, I will get back to you today. The Internet connection was an issue at the hotel for me and the laptop. I could buy service in my room or sit in the lobby, but I was in the sales room, where you couldn't get online just when I needed to check orders and put through charges. So much for technology; have to do it all today.

Other than that, the hotel was great and the food was quite good! That's not normally the case at most doll conventions so that was a nice surprise. Props to Table 22 and our hostess, Linda Bellaire, who did a great job gifting us and keeping us in line. Linda was also the lucky recipient of the spectacular $24,000 OOAK auction piece by Bill Greening, which (in order to boost the final bid) also included the prototype of "Goddess of the Galaxy" and an unreleased mermaid prototype by Lynda Kyaw. Nicely done! I had to sit out the bidding, though I lusted after Ninimomo's triptych this year of the girls in Dior, Balanciaga and Givenchy. That lovely item went for more than 15 grand, but home repairs and missing Ami Ayases have put a dent in the wallet this quarter.

The vintage examples and designer competition dolls were all lovely, but this year the dioramas were really outstanding. The bar was raised and I saw some exceptional set and costume designs. We will cover more in the October issue of FDQ, but I was really blown away at the talent in that room.

I have come to see that no matter what Mattel has released and whatever your own collecting tastes, vintage still lures more people in than contemporary Barbie. Everyone I spoke to loved their "In The Swim" set but were not as in love with the convention set presented on the gala night. Not that it isn't adorable and well executed by well respected artist Matt Sutton, but it seems like unless it's a ponytail or a Silkie, collectors don't jump up and down for it. The same was true with our current special issue. Before people even opened the page they wanted to know what vintage items were in the issue. And I am not really surprised. Our fastest selling issue EVER was the Vintage issue with two number one Barbie dolls on the cover. You just can't fight the classics.
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