|"Rini" Steeped in the Past with a Nod to the Present|
|Written by Vicki Steensman|
|Monday, 01 September 2008 00:00|
In 2006 Horsman Ltd. looked to the past for a new doll line that would offer a retro look, which created a “buzz” among adult collectors and the play world of younger doll lovers. Dorinda Balanecki, a self-made doll and fashion designer, brought the style and appeal of beloved 1950s dolls back to life in her stunning “Rini©” and friends doll line. Rini reminds longtime collectors of “Dollikin,” a popular, highly poseable fashion doll of the mid-1950s. Rini dolls were soon in doll shops and flying off shelves to the delight of the designer/creator and the collectors who fell in love with the updated look incorporating the old-fashioned charm of dolls produced 50 years ago. Rini now has 19 points of articulation, an outfit for any occasion and wigs to make the possibilities of play and display endless. She is beyond poseable; she is feminine, fun and fashionable. She charms you the minute you lay eyes on her and beckons you to come play with her and her two new friends, “Rene,” an African-American doll, and “Yiu Mei,” an Asian doll. Every day offers a chance to take a journey into a world of fashion and fun. Dorinda took time from her mid-season debut deadlines to tell us more about her new sensation that keeps her busy every waking hour.
DOLLS: Rini is gorgeous, nostalgic and modern—all in one fell swoop! What led you to create a doll such as Rini?
I had worked with Horsman on many projects in the past and was in partnership with them for a Halloween decoration I had created. One day I mentioned the doll parts and my attempts at making an entire doll. Next thing I knew I was sculpting and designing my own doll!
DOLLS: You worked on other doll-related projects and doll fashion designs, but Rini became your first complete doll?
DOLLS: As you worked on the sculpt and design of Rini, were there certain features that you knew Rini had to have?
DOLLS: And you design and create her wardrobe, accessories, makeup and hairstyles, too?
I create Rini from head to toe. I hand-paint all the samples and create every hairstyle. I have mixed and created special dyes so her eyes are unique. I have final approval on her hairstyle, color and face paint. I am so very lucky to have a manufacturer that allows me to be so fussy. I have final say on all matters relating to design.
DOLLS: Rini and her friends have sought-after features that have both collector and play doll value. What new ideas and plans do you have for them in the coming months?
Due to their humanlike posing, Rini and her friends have amazing and endless design possibilities! I have more ideas than the time to create them! At the 2008 Doll & Teddy Bear EXPO in Washington, D.C., we will introduce our latest creation, a 16-inch, high fashion, MBJD line—The Urban. Though they will have the same precisely engineered joints as Rini, they will be model-like in stature. Another addition to our line, created by designer Melissa Windham, is a new, exciting and glamorous Rini, named “Rini-Elegance.” Plus we plan on introducing other head sculpts to bring a more contemporary line of dolls to collectors.
DOLLS: Rini is a world traveler, shopper, ballerina and now she can be found as Tinker Bell too! Is there anything that Rini cannot do?
I have not had formal training in design, but I have always been very creative. I never dreamed of making dolls or making it a career, but when something as wonderful, fun and fulfilling as Rini appears in your mind’s eye, you just can’t pass that up! I am grateful to the owner and president of Horsman, Kenneth Young, for giving me this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It is so rewarding to turn my love of dolls into the creative passion I have today.
For more information visit, www.rinidoll.com.
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