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The Strongwaters Are In!


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#61 ribbitdenver

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Posted 17 July 2004 - 11:44 PM

Thanks so much for the pictures and the great feedback. I was looking forward to these this year, but when I saw the pre-release drawings I backed off - they looks to slick, over painted and just well.... ugly. I have Prince Charming and the Acorn and all of last year's except the butterfly. They are almost dainty, the stones are wonderful and they are so well done. I had no intention of buying these just ona gut feeling and you sure helped me out.

What a shame.

#62 Michele

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 08:06 AM

Good morning all...

A few "last words" on the solids I'm sending back. Had a great night's sleep but woke up even angrier...and not at Strongwater or Estee Lauder. Jack - I'm mad at you. You designed this site so people can vent and try to get answers, and we were going along just fine, and I was calming down thanks to Ann and the others, when you jump in with words to freeze the topic. Well, I can't end it on that.

QUOTE
Everything he has ever produced that I have seen has been impeccable down to the last detail. His work is expensive, and well worth it in my opinion.


Let me tell you what I imagine would be happening in your house if Lisa opened up her new "collection" and found what I did.

First of all, you'd still be peeling her off the ceiling...and that's after you repaired the windows that were broken when the little solids flew through them. Then, you'd have been on the phone to Lauder, Strongwater, Saks and anyone else who had anything to do with this. So please do not preach to me about my reaction. I came to where I felt I could get some answers...not be slapped on the wrist.

And Ann...I don't know if you've noticed the new prices over the last 2 years, but they're a tiny bit high to buy strictly for resale and expect any kind of a return. The one's being resold have either been:

Stolen...Repaired....Bought at Warehouse Sales Really Cheap.

As far as the perfume damaging the solids when it's poured in, spare me. The fact is these pieces are fired at such high temperatures that you could dunk them in boiling water and nothing would happen.

The damage is occurring either when they're taken out of their molds and not yet cooled off or when they're being put in to be fired. Period. When they are removed from either process and found to be damaged, they should immediately be destroyed...not thrown out - DESTROYED. As in a trash compactor or something that would reduce them to dust. In other words, that's where "Quality Control" should enter into the picture. Where is Quality Control? That's what I'm asking, ok?

And as far as Jay not being responsible because he only loaned his name and design to Lauder, wrong! He outsourced his company's name and I'm sure he did it under strict stipulations (and a tight contract) that anything produced would be up to his standards. Now it's up to him to get in there and check out what's going on to protect that name. That's where his responsibility begins and ends. He cannot control what they're doing, but he can control the end result.

That's it, folks. I feel better now. Am going to pack up my large box and get them ready for their trip!

Have a great day....

#63 Ron

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 08:39 AM

Michele
I agree with you on the issue of quality control and that since Jay Strongwater is loaning his name that the end product should be up to the same standards. I dont think that you would find a bent flower vase in his shop in Las Vegas.

#64 Lori B

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 09:01 AM

First time I've checked the board in a few days, and I could not believe the pictures of these horrific solids! Michelle, I fully agree with you on this matter (with the exception of being angry at Jack). With the prices charged for the solids, there is absolutely no excuse why this should happen. None. Period.

It doesn't matter if we have the ability to send them back for replacements. WE are performing their quality control for them, something THEY should be doing. Even if it costs to us is $0 to replace them, that is an inconvenience to us to have to repack them and send them back. And we all know that these will then end up on ebay as EL does not have controls over where such solids go.

We shouldn't not speak up for the fear that EL might get fed up and stop producing them. These are high end collectibles with the price tag to prove it. A $30 collectible, maybe, but $300, absolutely not.

Michelle spent over $1,500, and I am sure she is not the only one receiving them in this condition - don't know what else to say besides this is simply unacceptable. I expect more than this.

Lori

#65 Michele

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 09:27 AM

Thank you, Ron. I'm glad someone has some reasoning powers left! smile.gif And Lori, you're absolutely right...We Are Quality Control! I never looked at it like that before...brilliant observation!

Lisa - I'm not criticizing or mocking you, believe me. Know what I did when I lined them all up on the dining room table? First, I put my head in my hands and just sobbed...my thought was "...not again." Then the anger hit and I really was tempted to toss them out the window! Peter had to calm me down, really.

Ann - Just because someone buys 2 of a particular solid does not necessarily mean they're going to sell them on eBay. Do the math...you pay $300 for a solid and about $70,000 to list it on eBay and then get $195 - maybe - for the solid. Doesn't quite compute. Plus, I always get the feeling you're targeting me and a few others for selling...like it's horrible to sell an older (but perfect) solid or compact one no longer wants? So please, don't make it sound like you're directing it towards a specific person, ok? And get that darn warehouse cleaned up...today!

Jack - What can I say...I hold a lot in, I know. I'll try to be more vocal next time. laugh.gif

Now, I vote that we end this topic now and go on to other things. And there ARE other things....like power washing patio's...dressing up kitten solids...finding little pieces to make a "set" to display them on...whatever. It's raining, but let's pretend the sun is out...isn't it glorious! smile.gif

#66 Martha C

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 09:28 AM

If Jay Strongwater signed the Lily Bouquet in its present condition, I find this very disturbing; however, here is an observation and a couple of questions for Michele.

Last year, when I received the Sunflower, the flower itself was detached from the base. It was very hot here, and I wrote it off to the heat and simply reattached it. I revisited your photos of the Lily Bouquet and Birdbath. The Lily Bouquet is tipping (and almost appears to be sliding) off its base. The Bird Bath (the bath itself) appears to be also tipping off its base. Michele, can you tell whether or not these solids are actually in two pieces? If so, this might explain the leaning and that the top, heavy piece is pulling away from the glue compound. Just a thought.


#67 Karin

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 09:38 AM

Have you seen the eBay lot with Strongwater parts? It was mentioned under the trash solid topic. From what I can see from them it seems Martha C is right. They appear to be produced in separate parts and then glued together.
Karin

#68 Michele

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 09:50 AM

Martha -

Great timing...had to open the packed box to get the answer. And the answer is...YES...the Vase base is a separate piece at the point it's bending. However, it's not broken off or loose...it seems to have been placed or slipped into that position prior to being fired, or immediately after but before it cooled off. And the Vase is super heavy, so that might be a problem with many more of them. It will be interesting to find out next week!

Same with the top of the Birdbath...a separate piece. It almost looks like the vine is pushing the "bowl" over. But again, it's tight as a drum, which tells me it came out of the firing process in that condition.

As far as you repairing your own Sunflower, wow! I won't even go there.... sad.gif

So yes to Karin, too...it does explain all the extra "parts" on eBay. I don't know what the answer is...other than, again, Quality Control. Or, they could just send them to us in pieces and we could assemble them ourselves. I can see the boxes....Estee Lauder..."Some Assembly Required"...$450.00. Like little Lego's. laugh.gif

#69 Petals

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 09:57 AM

Just a thought Michele. Do you recall the Harrods Teddy (Giles) who was produced with a funny nose? Then everyone was sending them back. Well, in the end, you could not find them for love nor money as they became collectables.

Maybe this will happen with your cat?

smile.gif



P.S/ I have the signed Strongwater Sunflower.....It is perfect!

#70 Ann and Ken

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 10:00 AM



I shall bow to the majority and keep my opinions to myself.
I was just trying to have a calm voice in the mist of ranting and raving.

I shall log out so I am not tempted.

Ann



#71 Michele

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 10:01 AM

You could very well be right, Jacky. However, I have the other "perfect" little guy to compare it to so I'd rather have him. smile.gif If by chance you see the one with the snotty nose on eBay worth $4,000, please don't tell me, ok? And check out the coloring around his eyes....looks like he had a really hard night...needs a little Re-Nutriv! laugh.gif

#72 Michele

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 10:02 AM

Come on, Ann. I look forward to your ranting and raving...it gives me a chance to do it back at you! laugh.gif In other words, that's what we have you for! tongue.gif

ps...One (1) is not a majority...no one else is complaining, are they? Noooooo...

Edited by Michele, 18 July 2004 - 10:04 AM.


#73 loveperfume

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 10:44 AM

On to a lighter note - After looking at Michelle's picture, pictures from the convention and checking the crayola web page I believe the color of the base of the Bird in Bloom is crayola's burnt sienna. wink.gif I could be wrong. laugh.gif

#74 Jack

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 12:02 PM

huh.gif

The point of my post was this part:

Let's not string the man up over a few solids that may not even be representative of the production run. OK, there is a problem with a few pieces and it has been documented here. Now let's see if there are many others with the same issues. If there are, then let's see how it all is handled.

Sounded reasonable to me when I posted it and I still say the same.

Jay Strongwater is taking quite a bashing over what is so far an isolated problem. Your words about him so far when I posted were:
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"his lack of caring"
"Perhaps it's time he stopped flitting around the world, signing everything that is not nailed down, and got back to business."
"this is inexcuseable behaviour on Mr. Strongwater's part"
"we, the lowly collectors who have supported him forever, are merely speed bumps in his life of luxury."


You're not bashing Jay? Wow, sounds like a bit of a bashing to me.

...and about your reaction:
QUOTE
"I actually got sick to my stomach."
"I'm steamed."
"heartbroken"
"I put my head in my hands and just sobbed"


Seriously, do you think maybe there's a slight chance you are overreacting just a tad? I can see being disappointed, but all this? You are absolutely entitled to your opinion and are more than welcome to post it here as you have done 23 times so far on this thread. I don't see my single post as a "slap on the wrist" or "words to freeze the topic", just as my opinion.

With everything going on with Estee Lauder solids, I think Jay Strongwater brings us the best chance for an increase in the originality of design, overall quality and long-term value of products. Casting him as an uncaring money hungry publicity hound is, in my view, far-fetched and inaccurate.

I guess I'm up to $0.04 now.

#75 2cute4u2

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Posted 18 July 2004 - 02:04 PM

Hi Everyone:

I have been reading all the posts about the Jay Strongwater perfume solids. I am going to be in Las Vegas July 22-25. Am staying at the Mirage and so will be close to the EL store in the Forum Shops. I will stop by the store and check out the Strongwater solids...if they have them in stock. If anyone would like for me to ask some questions about the EL solids or to look for specifics...please either email me or post your needs here by Wednesday, July 21.

I only own 1 Strongwater solid--the bird's nest. It will probably be the only Strongwater piece in my collection. I really wanted the fox, but price dictated that I buy the bird's nest instead. I have learned a lot about the EL solids from this site and with my acquired knowledge have decided to buy the solids that I really like. However, the ones that I really like, and gravitate toward, are the older pieces. I just find them to be the most creative due to the attention to detail and the moveable parts.
I have purchased a few of the newer pieces and have been fortunate to receive ones that are of collectible quality. I do agree that when one spends the $$$$$ to buy a collectible, quality is an issue and a high priority. As a collector of other types of collectibles---I have vintage Barbies and Steiff teddy bears---I pay close attention to the "MINT" quality of these items as well as to the original packaging or as close to MIB that one can get with older items. So, I am not surprised that a person would expect nothing less than MINT from a new EL piece or one that is as close to original condition when paying top dollar for older pieces.

It also upsets me when I see solids that this group has identified as being defective, etc. selling on ebay. It would be nice if such solids were destroyed at the production site so as to avoid what has been happening. I would also think that the EL company would want to do this to protect their name, etc.

The Steiff company started something a few years ago with lower quality items---they put a "blank button" in the ear of all the items the production warehouse deemed as "seconds." The "firsts" are packaged and have certificates and the "Steiff" logo button attached to the ear, while the seconds do not. That way, buyers can identify the seconds. The price also reflects that the item is a "second." Not sure if I like this idea or not. I think that money was the motivator for this, not the collector. I also know that Steiff, like Barbie, killed its own collectible's market by over producing. IMHO---the marketing of the seconds just adds to this problem for Steiff. I just hope that EL won't go the route of seconds with solids.

I respectfully submit my opinion just as another voice on the topic of quality of collectibles that cost big $$$$$$$.

OK...I think that I put in about $1.00 worth. laugh.gif




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