Dollectable 2008 took place in San Francisco on July 18 - 20. The event was held at the Holiday Inn on Van Ness. A Bart trip to Powell and up the Muni 38 will take you there. This year's guest of honor included Ms. Cholong (Elfdoll), Rain Man, Donn (Bishounen House), and Pasu Lau (Doll Heart). Dollectable attracted "Asian ball joint doll" collectors of all ages. The hotel lobby even had a miniature Holiday Inn set up.

Friday, July 18, 2008

A nice aspect of the Dollectable location is that it was close to plenty of San Francisco destinations. To start off the weekend, Tom and I went to Fabric Outlet in the Mission District. Tom picked up a 2 for 1 doll deal he was looking for before the con (hint: it transforms). One bus trip took us to Japan Town where we had a Japanese-Italian fusion meal at a place called On the Bridge. One more simple bus trip took us to the Holiday Inn.

Friday night was the cocktail party for pre-registered attendees. We weren't pre-regged, but those of us that weren't spent time catching up and posing our dolls in the lobby.

Who did Traveling Valentine bring to Dollectable? Yo-Joe (Yo SD Kuuta), Sherry (Custom House Choa), Cosette (MSD Mika), and Eponine (Kid Delf Nara).

Otherwise, Friday was really slow. Nothing official was going on other than the cocktail party. To wind down the night, we saw The Dark Knight at the AMC a few blocks down.


Saturday, July 19, 2008

We had issues finding parking within the Holiday Inn. Luckily, Dollectable validates parking at the Holiday Inn. With validation, it was $18 for hotel guest parking. Compare that at $39 for the regular price! I would suggest for future doll events to really work out a sweeter deal with the hotel, or announce such a deal to commuting attendees BEFORE they start complaining about the high prices. While the doll hobby is expensive, I do not think Traveling Valentine has ever been to a convention where we paid more than $12 for guest parking.

The Dealers Room had many things to offer - dolls, shoes, jewelry, clothes, wigs galore! Prices varied from bargain bin discounts to the pricier haute couture. I picked up a wig from Doll Heart and an evening gown. Tom picked up a set of binoculars for Yo-Joe. The dolly shopping center had something for everyone. My favorite was Doll Heart. I wanted to get the Blue Fer, but unfortunately, it was only sized for slimmer, maturely built mini girls (Unoa, MiniFee, etc).

Dollectable was small enough to be considered a con where friends can chill and catch up on life. Of course, there were a few impromptu gatherings and set ups. We talked to Mr. Postman who told his late night escapade which involved a hotel neighbor shouting, "Oh Wayne! Wayne!" The Holiday Inn's basement floor was a great place to hang out and set up our dolls. The only downside was the lighting. This was also an issue at Anime Overdose 2005 when it was held there years ago.

There were a few places you could go to grab a bite to eat. Mel's is a popular spot for Bay Area convention regulars. The Mel's on Van Ness was used to our type of crowd.

Dollectable also had a show room. Ms. Cholong's Elf Dolls were featured. You could also buy raffle tickets for a chance to win doll clothes and a new doll. The ticket sales were for charity benefiting Avon, Orchid Mania, and the Oakland Children's Hospital.

In addition, the show room also displayed the entrants for the Steam Punk Costume Contest. Dollectable had a Steam Punk theme for 2008. It was decided by 11 votes on Den of Angels. Attendees voted for their favorite entries.

Other things to do at Dollectable was the video contest. There were only four entrants this year: a montage of "O Fortuna," Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, a music video poking fun at the masculinity (or lack thereof) at guy dolls, and Traveling Valentine's own, "Cosette and Eponine: And Sherry and Scarlett." It was a new addition to thus year's Dollectable.

Another event that I stopped by at was the Pattern Drafting panel hosted by AJ and Judy of HCC Cosplay. It was crash course how to do flat pattern drafting on dolls. Of course, the same can be applied for real people too. We learned how to draft a basic sun dress and a simple set of pants. It was very educational and informative.

The swap meet started at 6PM. It was $15 to sell. Like the Dealers Room, there were plenty of odds and ends to find. I didn't find anything really, but a few of my friends like Claudine, Cass, and Cynthia were selling. Tom picked up a gun that would work for a large doll or a gun freak like himself.

The Doll Spa opened at 9PM. Claudine did not want to hit the Yaoi Event because she finds yaoi to be overrated. For those curious, the Yaoi Event was pretty much genital comparisons and dressing up the live Yaoi Con bishies. Katie hosted the Doll Spa. Basically, it had everything you needed to give your doll a sponge bath, restringing, sanding down seams, reapplying eyes, etc. Tom restrung Eponine. Katie restrung Cosette after Tom had trouble restringing her. Claudine did not realize how dirty her dolls were until she gave them a sponge wipe down. I took this chance to sand down Sherry's seams. Katie and Nando also did doll trivia with prizes! Tom and Claudine both won doll necklaces!


Sunday, July 20, 2008

There were a few more things to do on Sunday. We did not stay too long because I had a flight from San Jose to Los Angeles. Tom had to take care of a few things at home so he was out most of the day. For the most part, I just looked around the Dealers Room one last time before the Elegant and Gothic Lolita Tea Party.

The Elegant and Gothic Lolita tea party started at 1PM in the main events room. The hotel served their standard tea and a few treats. Attendees and their dolls dressed in their Lolita Sunday best. Katie and Kelly hosted an EGL trivia contest. If you got a question right, you would get a doll hair accessory. Whomever had the most hair accessories would be getting the grand prize. Questions were centered around designers, Lolita in popular culture, and the different pieces of clothing. "What is shearing?" I answered, "It's the stretchy thing in the back of a dress or jumper skirt (JSK) so your boobs can fit."

Well, I won the trivia contest. What did I win? I won a maid dress set from Doll Heart. It wasn't in Sherry's style, bit I could think of another doll that it could be of use for.

At 4PM, it was closing ceremonies. Kelly pointed out this was the most jam packed event of Dollectable. It was time to announce the winners of the Photography, Video, and Costume Contests. We received a consolation prize for participating in the Video Contest. Sherry now has a designer bag from Doll Heart and Yo-Joe and Nightbird have shoes. As mentioned earlier, we didn't have much time to stay around, quick goodbyes, no hugs. Had to catch my flight!

Overall, Dollectable was a good doll event for what it was. I don't go to doll events as much as Tom does up North, but it was great to see familiar faces - Katie, Nando, Kelly, Postman, Astro, Tog, Rowena, Yvonne, Cynthia, Darci, Parker, Katie, and others. It was also great to see unsuspecting faces - Ace, Ralph, and Tony. Thanks for doing security! Of course, many thanks to Tom for making the weekend possible and for letting me use most of his pictures. Hope the Nightbird enjoys her new head! For a slide show of the rest of Tom's photos of Dollectable, click on the bolded links below:

Costume Contest Entries: The Steam Punk entries for the costume contest.

Display Room: The Elfdolls and other dolls of the display room that had nothing to do with the Costume Contest.

Attendees/Staff: The humans carrying the dolls.

Traveling Valentine Dolls: The dolls of Traveling Valentine.

Dealers Room: The wares of the Dealers Room.

Various Dolls: A lot of dolls on display. Split into five parts.
Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V

We look forward to the next Northern Californian based doll event. It is still a mystery if Volks wants to do Dolpa in Los Angeles later this year. Claudine has heard rumors about a Dolpa in Austin, but that's only in the mill. Hope to see all you doll people (and your resin kids) sometime soon!

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