I managed to bring home Dollfie Icon Serra from the Dolpa! :D
Like the other Icon dolls from the event, she came as a fullset with some variation- in this case with the grey wig and gold eyes. Faceups were pretty similar by skintone, for example all of the Lilac dolls had the same dark lipstick color. Romantic Glance style heads had a different eye makeup design but otherwise were similar. Faceup designs for Icon were a collaboration between Volks USA staff and the Japan team, with Volks USA staffer Chiyo in the lead doing styling research and creating the prototype production design for faceups. The faceups are all handpainted and sealed like Super Dollfie, and she has eyelashes and piercings already installed.
More good news – if you’re interested in owning Icon, they appear to be set for release soon. What form that takes is still unknown, since Volks has stated that they have increased production difficulties due to the pearlescent skin tones and hand-painted faceup designs. Apparently Volks staffers had trouble with painting on vinyl as it’s harder to remove acrylic paint mistakes on Icon heads. But in their Dolpa panel Volks staff promised a few option hand parts at least, which makes me think the four colors released so far will be fairly standard. I could see Icon releases following a DearSD model where they are released as coordinate models for special events.
Serra’s ‘Petal’ skin tone is a bit lighter and pinker than semi-white, represented by my SWS DDP girl here. The Icon joints look like they may be semi-white since they’re not exactly matched to the petal color. Her wrist joint is the matte upgraded mobility model for DD3. In this photo you can also see some thin streaks on the lower arm which could be an artifact of the pearl effect – I haven’t tried to clean or polish them yet, I’ll test out an inconspicuous spot first. From normal viewing distance they’re not visible though so I’m not super stressed about it. Some folks may find this sort of flaw, similar to marbling in tan resin, an unacceptable trade off for pearl shine. It’s also possible the ‘Tawny’ tan Icon doesn’t have this issue since they’re not imbued with pearl powder, but that’d take a closer inspection with better lighting conditions than at the Dolpa venue.
The color difference is a bit more visible in this photo. Note the wrist joint tone as well.
Next I decided to restyle her a bit and remove the default eyes. They’re 18mm and look to be acrylic with Volks branding. These replacements are urethane eyes from Momo which I picked up at a Volks shop during my Japan trip. She’s wearing a Volks wig in DD size which fits really nicely.
I’m looking forward to testing out more styles!
Overall, my impression is that Icon has a nice blend of Dollfie Dream and Super Dollfie aesthetics, with styling more toward the fashion doll market. Volks started developing them shortly after the release of SD16 so it appears they’re targeting a similar market- namely Western doll collectors. The Icon’s styling and fantasy skin tones seem like a good approach for the American market and I’m curious to see if they attract any new collectors. And if they do attract new collectors, will those folks be able to navigate Volks’s complex sales systems and websites? I’m also wondering if Volks can overcome the production difficulties of the pearl effect and hand painted faceups on vinyl in order to make them a regular item, which they still haven’t done for the SDGr Girl body.