Several weeks ago I was scanning the online Integrity Toys Direct store and came across, amongst other things, the Gene Marshall Calendar Shot doll on sale at a very reasonable price. Now I have had my eye on this doll for some time (well she was originally released in 2007!) but have never got round to an actual purchase… until now. So with great excitement, I added her to my shopping basket and sat back awaiting her arrival. Which, coming all the way to the UK at anything near a reasonable price from the USA, is a fair amount of time!
After a couple of weeks the first surprise was a little note in the post from Parcel Force informing me of ‘custom charges’ pus an £8 fee for the pleasure of ‘handling’ all this on my humble behalf! Now I have bought a fair few things from the US both via private individuals and companies and never have I had to pay charges before. Hmm, perhaps it is something to do with our failing economy and every government agency grabbing money were it can? Even from poor unsuspecting doll lovers!
Well after getting over the shock of yet paying out more money my parcel finally arrived a couple of days later. Amongst the items were the Corkscrew Ally Diorama (now at a very reasonable price) and Jasper, my first Dynamite Girl (another snip at $20!). However when I got to the final item, my precious Gene, the box seemed a little… well… a little light. The tape on the outer shipper had also been tampered with and when I dove into the doll box proper… dun, dun, dah … Gene was missing! Nada, gone, nowhere at all to be seen! When I say missing, actually her shoes were there, her bathing suit was there, her towel was there, even her hairnet and paperwork were there. Just NO Gene Marshall! Poor Gene had been stripped naked and stolen away.
The packaging for the entire consignment was intact when I took possession so I couldn’t even blame this outrage on the evil border control or some disgruntled Parcel Force guy. With that in mind, I emailed Integrity right away and they got back to me right away too and couldn’t have been nicer. A new doll was promised and to be sent as a gift in order keep the border guys off the scent. Honestly, I cannot praise their customer service enough.
So today was the day I finally got my hands on Gene Marshall Calendar Shot!
P.S. I still had to pay more Custom charges even though she was sent as a gift. Darn those border guys!