By Jennifer Kohn Murtha
Dollmore released 105cm tall Trinity Jude on September 10, 2012. A new Trinity sculpt Elysia was released in March of this year.
Some people have an inborn sense of scale and what sizes seem right and more importantly, comfortable to them. I’m a portrait painter, so I have an innate sense of proportion and a sense of scale that gravitates toward large. I paint portraits that are life-sized or a bit smaller and I like my dolls similarly scaled-big to bigger to biggest.
So it was that when I found out that Dollmore was going to produce a 120 cm BJD, I was thrilled to bits! Then began the waiting game and a very long one it was. Every year, Dollmore would say, maybe this year and then, we seek your understanding…but we waited and waited and waited-no dice, no doll.
Dolls Magazine had a small article on Dollmore, with a picture of their CEO, standing up, holding to her side a very large doll in gray. Was this Miss 120 cm?! All the online boards exploded with joy and curiosity. Was our five year wait over at last?
It was! Only, wait a minute, where had 15 cm gone? This doll, named Trinity Jude, was only 105 cm tall…too many problems arose with the extra 15 cm, so they were scrapped and finally, this doll was produced.
Pictures of her came in on a Monday and my own Yahoo group for BJDs went wild. We loved her, we didn’t love her, we couldn’t stop talking about her-how she compared in size to Lusions (more about that later), how much more she weighed, how pointed her chin was, which some liked and some didn’t and who was going to order her, if anyone?
My friend Sandé was the first to succumb to this doll’s blandishments (it’s a fallacy that dolls don’t speak-Sandé could hear her hollering “take me home!” loud and clear). She ordered her and then after a few short months, Trinity Jude arrived, Golden Jude, for Dollmore offered two models: Black Jude and the aforementioned Golden. Sandé had bought her to be an older sister to her Dahlia, her most beloved doll….but when Jude arrived, Sandé wasn’t sure that it would work.
Even though this doll is a full foot taller than Lusion Dahlia, and she’s, if one must be truthful, better-proportioned, her head, hands and feet are basically the same size. This was clever of Dollmore, as it means that they can share wigs and shoes, at least, although Lusion shoes are too childish for Jude. (Please note-their feet are very differently shaped, so Lusions and Trinity dolls cannot share shoes, after all.) And it must be said, that even though Jude has better proportions, she’s less artistic than the captivating Lusions, whose proportions are all their own, with a tiny nod of homage to Japanese art dolls.
It also meant that Sandé felt that they didn’t go together well as sisters. This was kind of disappointing for her, and for those of us who wanted this doll to be the big sister she was advertised as being.
After some thought, I decided that as the dolls weren’t limited, I’d wait until later in the year to order one, as I still wasn’t sure that this was a doll that I “needed”. That, of course, was the kicker – as soon as I was quite sure that Trinity Jude was one I could do without, at least for the time being, Dollmore released the first limited edition of her, white skin Snow Flower…to say that I was immediately doomed was an understatement.
I emailed Iris at Fabric Friends and Dolls in Laytonsville Maryland and asked her to order Snow Flower, post haste, as there were only ten of them and by then, my want had slid over to my need urgently column. You know, the one where you can’t sleep at night and have to keep Dollmore’s site open all the time, so you can look and look at “your” doll.
I went through it all, but at last, she arrived and we went for the traditional box opening. What you all don’t know is that one of my favorite Lusions is Red Riding Hood, white skin and gorgeous. She was my seventh one (color me addicted) and the only limited white skin doll. All the others had a sister, but not RRH, who looked, if possible, lonelier and more wistful than her friends. I just knew that she and Trinity Jude were meant to be sisters. So of course, who waited patiently for me to open the box and was so happy to see her sister, but RRH Dorothea. The two bonded instantly!
This is all well and good and very touching, but what next? Here we were with this ginormous doll in house and we weren’t really prepared for her. For, I must admit, this doll is astonishingly heavy, twenty two pounds of solid resin and quite awkward to play with. She can’t be slung onto my lap to be dressed as can a Lusion; instead, she has to sit or lie on my bed, as I figure out how best to get multi-part outfits on her. Dollmore has been very good about supplying this largest of their dolls with a rather nice wardrobe, at least for starters, so I ordered all of it, plus I had her nifty default outfit, which is quite sumptuous indeed. As with most dolls, if you mess up and put pantalets on first, for example, you’re going to have a dreadful time getting the skirt up or the bustier, etc…That I already knew, so that wasn’t the problem. True confessions – she terrified me!
I do love big dolls, never was unnerved by a Lusion- but Trinity Jude?! So big, so expensive, so heavy, so awkward and those hands…! Just one wrong move and I was sure that her delicate fingers would shatter into a million pieces. I put her in my split-willow rocking chair, where all good dollies go and thought about her some more…pretty sure that I was going to sell her.
But things have a way of taking one by the hand, there there-ing one and telling one to woman-up, so I did. I really, really liked her face and her face-up…and since when had I let a doll get the better of me? I changed her kimono for Dollmore’s Madalyn Moh dress and her wig for one that I had in my collection-and she was transformed. No longer quite so formal and diamond-hard, she had a charming softness that I just loved! We, just as she had with her sister Dorothea, bonded at last.
There was no stopping us-and I couldn’t stop taking pictures of her, so beautifully did she photograph, although with her dark gray eyes and white skin, she was challenging as a subject, to say the least. She’s poseable within gravitational limits, which means that without wiring or stuffing or sueding, she can lift her arms only so high, but her legs will cross nicely and she can assume languid positions with ease. I was concerned about standing this heavy a doll on a conventional doll stand; took the plunge and went for Dollmore’s expensive but worth every penny of it doll stand. It’s not too intrusive, meaning that it can be worn under a dress or shirt. Some people like to dress her in human clothes; I’m not there yet, but it’s coming. Other venturesome souls like to make clothes for her, and can use Just My Size Barbie as a good substitute fitting model, for while she is a bit shorter, Barbie’s torso is almost identical in shape and size.
So, of course, just as I was falling madly in love with Tatiana and planning all sorts of new outfits and more photo shoots, Dollmore came out with another Trinity model, this time the beautiful Elysia…and I guess you want to know whether I ordered her.
Photos above from top: Lusion Dahlia Red Riding Hood meeting her new “sister”, detail of Jude’s hands with painted nails.
Jennifer’s previous article on Lusion Dahlia may be found HERE.