Keeping calm when a complete disaster doll arrives

May 10, 2019

    1. I'm wondering what people do when a highly anticipated doll arrives to them broken and a complete disaster. I was so looking forward to a particular doll. How do you all calm yourselves down and move on?
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    2. Depends on whether it was bought direct from maker/dealer or is second hand. My first thought would to try and find out the cause of the damage either way. Was it not packaged well enough? A flaw when it was cast? Or simply item not as described. Then I would try to salvage the situation armed with this knowledge. If direct from the manufacturer, and if it is an inherent flaw or packaging issue I would contact them with photo evidence and seek replacement or refund.

      Also look at the area of damage. Is it that super rare part which only comes with the one doll - which would be near impossible to replace. Or could a spare part be found with a bit of looking?

      Of course I would be devastated about the damage, but observing proper mourning for a doll would only mean that I would most likely miss the best time to deal with the fallout.#
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    3. I haven't had any major problems, but I mostly order directly from doll companies or through dealers. My limited order period Granado doll arrived with cracks in one of his hands. The company sent me a free replacement when I sent pictures of his hand.
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    4. Second hand bought my grail.. don't want to give too much info but it didn't work out. It was heartbreaking. Still haven't seen one for sale. I've been able to find some of her fullset items though. So it depends on whether you bought new from dealer or used secondhand. Just know that you'll find another (either that same one, or a different one you'll like more). Try to stay positive!!
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    5. I did purchase a doll secondhand (NOT from DoA) who arrived with her torso cracked. It was a limited edition doll that was produced in very small numbers and the company has since folded, so there was zero way I could replace the broken part.

      It was an awful feeling to have such a wonderful doll arrive in such shoddy condition! But life is unfortunately not always fair, and my only two options were to just send the doll back and get a refund or try to work with what I had. I knew if I sent her back, it might be years before I found another, and I really, really loved that doll. I wasn't ready to give up on her! I figured it was worth the risk to try and have her repaired, and if I still found the damage unacceptable, I'd try to sell at a loss. So I used the community here and found someone who had expertise in doll repair (shoutout to ravendolls, who sadly no longer accepts commissions), and she was able to stabilize, reinforce, and minimize the appearance of the crack.

      Ultimately, I made the right choice for me in that situation. After I gave myself time to process the damage and cool down, I weighed out the pros and cons of sending the doll back and then made a decision. I know it's painful now and that's completely understandable! I do encourage you to give yourself time to be angry and sad, and then move forward with all the options laid out. Is this something you can replace? Receive a full or partial refund? Fix yourself? I don't know the circumstances of the purchase or extent of the damage, but those are factors to take into account.

      As for me, Ms. Broken Torso is still one of my fave dolls. I've had her for 11 years now and the repair has held up tremendously. In that time period, I think I've seen maybe one of her sculpt for sale? So yeah, very glad I decided to keep her despite the obvious initial setback!
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    6. Yes, was yours from a company or secondhand? If it's from a company, you message them and they will usually send you the piece that's broken, even if it takes as long to reach you as the original doll... If it's secondhand, I would let the seller know and ask about it. Sometimes it can happen in the mail, but hopefully they will offer to help you pay or partial refund, or to fix it. I guess just thinking about it as "we are human, we error sometimes, but hopefully it can be fixed". I know it's sad when a doll reaches you in that condition.
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    7. I once bought a minifee event hand that arrived with a broken finger. It came in a bubble mailer but was not wrapped itself, and the finger had poked a hole in the envelope, so I assume it got something heavy dropped on top of it. I sent pictures to the seller and they fully refunded me and let me keep the hand. I glued the finger back on. *shrug*
      I can't honestly think of anything else ever arriving broken.
      I did have an outfit arrive that was horribly sewn and had holes in it. I contacted the seller on ebay and they fully refunded me and let me keep the outfit. So even though I was disappointed, I managed to make the outfit work.
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    8. The doll was bought second hand. It is long discontinued and in a very dark resin color. I don't think you could get replacement parts because they aren't making that resin color anymore and the paperwork they included doesn't have the certificate. Both feet broke off their resin part that hooks into the S hook. Also, the seller sent the doll with long metal earrings in the ears and I think that caused a scratch across her nose and some on her neck and shoulder. You could tell there was a problem the second you opened the box, she didn't look strung. Found one of her foot S hooks up in her head and bits and pieces loose. I have someone hand making a wig for her and everything. So many plans you have to let go. Just so disappointed. I've already sent the seller pictures of all of the damage. I guess a new face up might work for her nose. I'm not sure how deep the scratch goes, and I know some artists won't paint the darker resins. Maybe you could find a bigger pair of S hooks, leave them stuck at the ankle and just leave her body without feet? I'm really not sure what would work for this doll. But, anyway, that's not the complete doll I purchased or the condition I paid for. It does made me feel better to hear everyone's advice and stories. I think there is that huge initial shock when you open up a box and all is not well at all.
    9. If you end up deciding to keep the doll and the part that broke in the feet is the bar inside the ankle ball you can drill a hole all the way through the ball part and insert a thin metal rod for the s-hooks to grab. This is actually the way some dolls are made.
    10. It's a female Iplehouse EID, both feet broke off the little resin loop that is part of the foot. Not sure if there would be a way to drill them?
    11. Mine first one is kind of funny. I bought 2 Male dolls and one arrived a female. I contacted the company/seller and they apologized, let me keep the wrong body, and sent the correct one. I was upset when he arrived, but turned out in the end. Also bonus body was a good excuse to get a new head and make a girl.

      I have one that arrived with a cracked ear and I have no idea what to do about it. I couldn't do anything, and replacing the head it won't be the same.

      I had one arrive home with broken parts, secondhand, but were easily bought and replaced. Was upset/mad at first but glad it was an easy fix.

      Another was bought in bad condition and I had plans that never turned out quite right. I was fully knowledgeable of the condition/parts but thought I could make it work. It developed into a completely different character on it's own rather than a hybrid project.

      Perception changes over time.
      I love them, flaws and all, even if face-ups and things change.
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    12. Ah, they have kind of strange feet so what I was proposing wouldn't work. I believe they're probably still fixable in some fashion. Cut a grove in the remaining post and epoxy in a small washer. Make a new loop on top of the peg from epoxy or thermoplastic. Use an eye screw if the whole peg is gone. Etc. Since the part is hidden the fix can be kind of ugly.

      Or buy new EID feet in the wrong color and blush/dye to match or have the doll always wear shoes/socks/stockings etc. Seem less drastic than just having the doll have big s hooks sticking out her legs.
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    13. Something like that just happened to me. A doll I sent to a seamstress came back with one foot and ankle broken and the bottom of one leg with chipping. It was a limited doll in tan skin. I was quite upset.
      Hopefully the maker provided me new feet and leg parts. :)
    14. I once bought a body second hand and I agreed with the seller to ship it unstrung to save on shipping cost.
      The body arrived in a bubble-wrap envelope...

      Seeing it cost me about ten years of my life
      (and probably a few more in purgatory as I distinctly remember the string of swear words I used xD).
      Luckily, the individual body parts were wrapped in bubble-wrap as well, so in the end most of the body came intact.
      Only a part of inner torso chipped, which I glued back on and reinforced with a layer of hot-glue (I guess epoxy might have been better, but I had none on hand).

      Your case however sounds more complicated, but I'm sure it will work out in the end :)
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    15. Your best bet with this one, as Scripple suggested, is probably just to order a new pair of feet and blush, paint or dye them to match the doll. It stinks that your new minion arrived broken, but don't panic. There's very little that absolutely can't be fixed when it comes to these dolls...

      I've had two "disaster dolls" in this collection. One I went into knowing exactly what to expect. The other? Not so much.

      My Luts Bliss was purchased as a summer project and had extensive damage from a less-than-careful first owner. All of that was disclosed when I bought him, so opening the box and finding broken hands, serious and uneven yellowing, stained resin, a gouge in his head and all the rest wasn't a big shock. Daunting, since he was my first serious restoration attempt, but expected. These days Muninn looks pretty good considering where he started.

      The other one was a different matter. I'd seen a few MIroDoll sculpts done in black resin and thought it might be fun to make a resin version of the shadowperson NPC from our tabletop 13th Age game. When my "black resin" doll arrived, he was gunmetal blue-grey, covered with scrapes and scratches, his legs pieces didn't fit together properly... and so on and so forth. He was a very inexpensive doll, so I couldn't get TOO worked up about how shoddy a job Miro had done with him, but I knew he wasn't going to work for Drua, either. When I contacted Miro about the issues with the doll, they were less than helpful. They pretty much
      blew me off.

      So, I spent the better part of a month fixing, sanding and buffing that doll just to get him into a state where I felt comfortable gifting him to someone who wanted to learn how to do doll mods. I'm not sure what eventually became of him... I hope that budding mod-artist turned him into something amazing... But he holds the record over here as the single most disappointing doll I've ever unboxed.
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    16. I read this a long time ago, and I've followed it ever since. Will it matter 10 days from now? How about 10 weeks? 10 months? 10 years? When I look at it from a long term perspective it helps me think more rationally I guess???

      It's probably not for everyone, but hopefully it helps you out!
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    17. I’ll always take box opening photos even if I rarely post them just to cover myself. I have only had two situations.

      One was a yo-SD I bought from the MP a few years ago. Being in an apartment complex at the time, the front desk office accepted the package. Had they come to my door, I would not have, as half the box appeared that an elephant had stepped on it. Crushed top touching bottom, rips through the package, pieces of packing hanging out. Because it was accepted, nothing I could do to claim it with USPS without serious proof. My eyes must have been watering leaving that office, got my camera and started documenting like crazy. Out of some serious luck and how the seller’d cocooned the doll, I somehow had both the doll and the CoA completely in tact, not a scratch.

      My second story is a Soom free choice event I got in on. I don’t like using “grail” but a she was to be a Soom hybrid of the fantasy parts parts I loved with my favored face from them, and to reshell my first doll. My girl arrived and while everything with this box seemed OK, her shoulder socket had a severe chunk out of it and her arm couldn’t stay attached. I couldn’t find the missing piece in the box or even dust in the pillow, so may have happened while being strung at Soom. Again, had been taking photos and contacted Soom with proof of box condition and the shoulder. They were able to send me a replacement chest piece asap, no charge.
      Since then, she hadn’t been out as much as I’d like. She has the Vesuvia scorpion tail and I switched her feet out with Breccia paws for a manticore effect. Human feet or paws, that tail unbalances her a lot, so standing is hard without support. She can’t sit up, because that girl torso clunks into the legs and forces her to lean back significantly onto the tail, which can’t support her and she falls on her side but won’t hold any pose other than dropped Barbie.
      I’ve gone through several saddle stands, including a custom made stand that was a complete disaster, trying to find one that works and just ordered yet another. I have ideas for her, and hopes this stand works, although she’ll mostly be a display doll if it works.
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    18. I've had several dolls arrive broken, both from the company/dealer and from a secondhand seller. Luckily, everything worked out in the end.

      Of all the broken dolls from companies (it's happened to me...4 times, I think?), the companies/dealers were always very understanding about it and ended up sending me replacement parts.

      In the case of the secondhand doll, he wasn't packed safely and broke some fingers. I contacted the seller and we worked out an agreement that they would refund me the amount of money it would cost me to get new hands.

      If your doll is secondhand and discontinued/limited color, try contacting the company anyway and ask if it's possible to buy new parts from them. If it isn't, or if your doll is from a defunct company, your only option might be to send her to an artist to restore her. Most any damage to a doll can be fixed by someone skilled enough. It won't be like new, but it will be much better and the doll will be usable again. If the seller didn't package the doll safely and that caused the damage, I would request a partial refund in the amount it will cost to get replacement or restoration mods.
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    19. I just wanted to add to this thread. Advice about doing photo documentation is so important. I did that and its a good thing because I am having further issues.
    20. My first doll arrived with few fingers broke off. What I did was first I glue the fingers back. Since the doll was bought second hand using Taobao proxy, I contract the proxy service that I used, because the damage was caused by the mistake in packing. If you bought the doll firsthand, you should contract the company or agent that you bought you doll from, to see what can be done.