Sunday, May 18, 2014

how come they're all living in places with too much snow or too much sand?

The Funny Puppet Fair opened May 11th, and I missed a great deal of it, but once I remembered, I had to go see what it was like. The first thing I noticed--and really, really liked--was that outside of the individual stores, everything's the same set of textures. I'd even take it one farther and say that everything on the parcel is the same texture, just retinted, so even though practically everything's mesh, it loads quite speedily. I had more problems getting individual vendors to load inside the stores than I had loading in the ground, the walls, the roofs, and the swooping fences. It also gave the entire grounds a charmingly cartoonish feel, without being overly precious or cute to the point of toxicity.

So, a few things about this fair. First, there's a free set of little mesh sorta-puppet avatars at the beam-in point--one's ostensibly "male" (as in, plain, no details, nice texturing, simple construction), and the other's ostensibly "female" (same body shape, but the torso's tinted pink and there's blushing on the cheeks). I'm not sure why they felt the girl version had to be blushing, but hey, their call.

The entire fair's separated into four swooping sections, with separate half-circles scattered throughout for small cart stands, and gacha stations (while some stores have their own gachas, most of the makers put their gacha machines in one central area per section). There's a L$1 hunt through the grounds, too, but the main problem I had with that is I've come to expect (for events and mall hunts, both) signs notifying which stores have prizes, and which don't. The problem with this hunt is that half the stores didn't have the sign up, and had prizes anyway. Plus, some of the carts had prizes, too. Probably the gacha areas have prizes.

I ended up (after today's trip through) with forty of the prizes; I'm fairly sure there are more. So take that under advisement. (Also keep in mind that many of the teeny stars really are teeny--like, the size of my avatar's thumb teensy. Not even kidding, some designers really sized them down. It's not Twisted hunt-hard--nothing is--but it's not easy.)

(from the events album; the crop tops from Spoiled/Rotten at the Funny Puppet Fair.)

Also, there's some disparity on what qualifies items for the "funny puppet" aspect. SL being SL, there seems to be a pretty even split between quasi-legitimately young girls' concerns (Lolita shoes, frills, lace, cutesy furniture items, holdable plushies) and adult women playing fetishized little girls. (Y'know, this versus this, say. And don't worry, both pictures are SFW.) In that case, there's a lot of pastel pink or teal or pale peach fabrics imprinted with cute foodstuffs, dessert items, or adorable baby animals, but everything's either cleavage to the waist or a miniskirt that hits the upper thighs.

The crop tops shown above are from Spoiled/Rotten, and they're found in section A. These retail for L$100 each, and come in four varieties: Panda (pink), Lamb (grey), Friendly Sushi (Teal), and Kitty (Tan Leopard on White).
(from the events album; the shorts from NS at the Funny Puppet Fair.)

Case in point, these are the shorts being sold on the left, and the full-body "modeled" shot featuring the shorts, and a top that is likely found in the main store, but not available in the event store, on the right. And for me, it's the top that pushes this outfit over the edge.

While they're a little lower than hip-huggers--okay, a staggering lot lower than hip-huggers--that's not exactly my issue. The mesh template is good, the texturing looks sound and well-shaded. As far as it goes, even the top looks well-made, but....well, let's just say the design does not exactly suggest melting ice cream to me, y'unnerstan? Especially as it's equipped with Lolas Tango appliers.

The "Cool Summer Shorts" from NS, found in section B. They retail for L$100 individually, or you can buy the HUD version which packs in all seven patterns in one pair of shorts for L$250.

(from the events album; the Dolly Doll avatars from Duck or Swan at the Funny Puppet Fair.)

Changing directions in a whip-snapping way, how about these anime-inspired Dolly Doll avatars? From head and hair to boots, with the mesh body in between, this is one of the better avatar deals you're going to find. It comes in four different variations (I think the boots are also sold separately, but I'm not entirely sure they'll fit anything other than this avatar), these are sweet and cute and largely innocent compared to half of everything they're surrounded by. I'm extremely tempted, not just because they actually do look like young girls, without looking like the wet-dream pouty-teenager version of 'young' we've grown accustomed to seeing on the grid--but because they look so much like adorable little dolls we can walk around in.

The Dolly Doll avatars from Duck or Swan can be found in section C. These retail for $350 per avatar (boots, hair, hairbow, dress, body and head included).

(from the events album; the Kawaii Candy t-shirt dress from RD Style at the Funny Puppet Fair.)

And we whiplash back for the last one I wanted to show off--the "Kawaii Candy" t-shirt mesh dress from RD Style. This is more of what I meant by the Fair splitting into two pretty clear camps: this is an outfit that plainly couldn't exist off the grid. There is zero way, zero way that dress would be held up at all with that plunging a neckline. But of course it's festooned with cutesy little candy motifs, because it's that fetishized little-girl thing again. Which would be sort of understandable, ish, save for the 19th-century-style gartered stockings. The hair (which is gorgeous--is it from Ploom or somewhere else?) can be worn by a young girl or an adult woman; the stockings might be able to be worn by an upper-ages teenager or an adult woman; but that dress can only be worn by an adult woman, because young girls just do not have that cleavage, and, frankly, shouldn't.

The Kawaii Candy outfit from RD Style in section D. This retails for L$120 and includes low-cut t-shirt dress, stockings with garters (including SLink appliers) and two "kawaii" tattoos. (Some outfits also include shoes for an equivalent price; this one does not.)

Overall, I liked the Funny Puppet Fair; I'd like to go back before it closes on the 25th and buy some things, because I like most of the offerings, too. It's pretty well organized and efficiently laid out, and I was able to cover everything at a nice, even stroll in about ninety minutes--and that included backtracking and picture-taking time. I just think we need to be careful that we don't oversexualize events that are supposed to have children in attendance (even if those children are only ones by SL standards).

You can find out more about the Funny Puppet Fair (including much better pictures than mine) on these blogs:
...and, goodness, that's now page 8 on Google search, I think that's plenty! You get the idea, anyway.

There's also a Youtube video on the fair, but...again, it's predominantly pitched to children, I think. Someone's missing the point...or ignoring it.

Still, that's hardly new to the doll community at large, is it? We have always been a widely diverse group of individuals. Young dolls, rag dolls, wooden dolls, cyborgs, gynoids, sexbots, porcelain dolls, littles, fetish dolls...and somehow, some way, we all manage to keep staggering together in a semi-united fashion. It takes a village...well, maybe if our village contains Bedlam. Still, it all works out.

In its own way, this does too. Check it out.

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