Recently I purchased a ball-jointed doll from Rosette Doll, a subsidiary of SOOM. Although I have known about ball-jointed dolls for years, I never wanted one for myself. It was enough to admire their detailed sculpts and interestingly engineered bodies from afar. I would poke around the Peakswoods website from time to time, ensnared by Yeru‘s sweet, lovely face ever since spotting her a long time ago on the Luts website. Sometimes I would spot a particularly beautiful photo that someone had taken of their ball-jointed doll, and think about the kinds of creative things I could do if I owned one.
However, in December I happened to come across the Rosette Doll website. I have always loved Victoriana, which spurned my love for Japanese lolita fashion, so I found myself immediately drawn to the intended era of the dolls. Moreover, the boarding school theme attracted me due to a childhood fascination with Frances Hodgson Burnett’s A Little Princess. Unlike most ball-jointed doll websites, the Rosette Doll website tells a story. It is full of information that presents a background, including details such as a proposed school schedule.
The proportions really caught my attention. The dolls are an interesting height, taller than the average “mini” 45cm doll by 2.5cm, but on a different scale. Instead of looking like children, both the “girl” and “lady” bodies for the dolls are slender and tapered–a very stylized version of a young woman. They also have smaller heads, although it is still larger relative to the rest of the body than a typical fashion doll.
When fortune smiled my way, I ordered the doll that had caught my eye, Violet, and nervously awaited her arrival. During the two months stated on the website I thought about what I would do with her, and sharpened the impression I had gotten of the doll when I saw the initial photographs. I spent a lot of time on Den of Angels, hoping to talk to other future Rosette Doll owners during the wait.
However, the dolls were delayed an additional month. I eventually emailed the company, who sent an email back to me that was also distributed among other inquirers, to ask about the delay. They promised a shipping date of Friday, March 20, 2009. I was extremely envious when another member of the forum received her dolls on March 10~ However, I didn’t have too long to wait, as I received an email on March 13 that my doll had shipped!
She arrived at her destination on Monday, March 16…but no-one was home to sign for her that morning~ I didn’t realize this at first, and hurried to my mother’s house from the city even though it was a school day and it is not a short train trip back to the suburbs. The tracking on the website had stated that the doll was delivered, so I worried that the doll had been just left on the front step–my several-hundred-dollar package unsigned for!! I was actually relieved to find the green “attempted delivery” slip, even though I was also disappointed. When I took the slip to the post office, they said I could not pick it up that day because the package was at a different distribution center, and it was too late in the day to head to the other location.
My family wanted me to wait until the upcoming weekend, but my patience was worn away. I left the slip with my brother, and authorized him to sign as my agent. He agreed to meet me at one of the train lines and give me my package, so I wouldn’t have to come all the way home on another school day. My classes were cancelled for that evening, so I didn’t have the normal schedule keeping me in class until nearly 7pm. If the two things hadn’t coincided, I couldn’t have made a second attempt to get my package.
However, my brother went to the wrong post office! I waited several hours while he waited several hours in the post office line only to learn that he was at the wrong place! He finally arrived at the train depot, and I collected the mysterious cardboard box that housed my doll. The package was extremely large, so I had a hard time carrying it, but it didn’t weigh very much so it wasn’t terribly hard. There were several stamps and stickers on the box, detailing that the contents were “ceramic doll,” although she is made of resin.
On the train I clutched the box tightly and couldn’t help humming happily to myself. It was so exciting to know that the package that I was carrying contained the doll that I had been waiting so long for.
I couldn’t go straight home, though–I met up with a friend at the halfway mark, as we had planned to have dinner together. She accompanied me with the box, which we dropped off at the apartment before trying to find somewhere to eat. The entire time we were out, I couldn’t help thinking about what could await me inside of the package~ Would my doll be perfect and lovely? Would she be damaged beyond repair? Would she be disappointing and not as she seemed in the pictures?
After dinner we headed back, and finally I was able to open the box. I took many, many pictures to share with my person, who I have tormented relentlessly with excited talk of dolls.
Everything in the box was individually sealed in small plastic packages with a gold-foil sticker of the Rosette School crest. The school uniform, which I had received as a promotional item for ordering a limited-edition doll during the Christmas season, was marked as a special gift by another sticker. Another plastic pouch held a few extra items–a tiny notebook decorated with pictures of the Rosette Doll collection, a cellphone charm screen cleaner with a picture of Violet, and a postcard with a lovely image.
The school theme was followed through everything. She came with an acceptance letter in an envelope sealed with wax and stamped with the Rosette School crest. I couldn’t bear to break the seal, so I carefully slit the end of the envelope to extract the adorable acceptance letter. The doll’s manual was labeled as a student handbook, and she was also accompanied by a student passbook intended to be filled out with the doll’s name and information.
All of her clothes, her wig, the interesting “kneepan” parts for camoflaging the knee joint when the legs are fully bent, and the secondary pair of hands were amazingly detailed and such lovely quality.
The doll herself was beneath all of the extra items, carefully swathed in bubble wrap and foam. However, her faceplate had come off at some point during shipping, and I feared her faceup had been damaged. I was relieved to find it was perfectly fine. Everything about her absolutely amazed me.
My friend, who was not a doll person, was fascinated. We spent hours admiring the engineering, dressing the doll, and admiring the way everything had been included. It was so much fun!