I ordered my 143-71 last Thursday morning. Standard Kiara config, but I also ordered the "short orange" and "short brown" wigs and a set of dark blue eyes. The order was confirmed by email within a few hours. The order was also invoiced by email, with the vendor listed as Roxy Display. Aside from MLD, Roxy Display is a distributor of store mannequins, fixtures, etc. You've probably seen their products in a dept store or mall and never knew it. Their shipping address is the same warehouse in NJ as MLD, and you can see it on Google Street View. So YES, they really ARE a legitimate company and they really do ship from NJ! This was the primary factor in my choosing MLD. No customs issues, and no questions asked.
I received notice of shipping on Monday morning. By that time, Katie was already at my regional UPS hub. Per UPS tracking, she had shipped Friday morning! Processing and shipping took less time than the paperwork did! Katie was delivered on Tuesday afternoon by UPS. No issues, no drama, no questions. I was a bit disturbed to see that the end of the box was printed with check-boxes for "Style", "Head", Bust", "Color", and "Meas". But, all of these were filled out in grease pencil in Chinese, LOL! So, if you need a cover story to explain why you're receiving a person-sized box with the word "Bust" on it, I suggest explaining that it's 1. A statue <or> 2. A store mannequin <or> 3. A Frikkin' sex-doll. What? Mind ur own business, a-hole!
Unboxing: the box arrived in great shape. Very well sealed and taped. Inside, no drama. Pretty much the same as everyone else's photos.
Attaching her head: Find the metal "threaded insert" in one of the bags. Screw it about half-way into her neck, finger tight. Then, screw her head onto this. Easier than becoming a Marine, boo-yah!
Eyes: her eyes are made of hard plastic (maybe it's glass?). They fit into socket-holes in her head and are held in by her eyelids. CAUTION: Her eyelashes are not well attached. One was OK, the other came off and had to be reinserted just under her upper eyelid. Behind the eyes are wads of polyester fiber about the size of a cotton ball. These are essential for correct eye positioning!
Hair: The standard 143-71 Kiara shipped with dark brown eyes and black bobbed wig. Both the "orange" (ginger), and brown wigs were cute on her. But my preference is dark blue eyes/short black hair, and that's what Katie has now. WARNING: she sheds hair like an angora goat! I hope that stops soon. My new hobby is picking stray hairs off of her.
Bath time: If you're going to take her in the bath/shower, get a non-slip bath mat. Her standing feet will leave black marks and probably scratches on tubs and tile floors (and painted walls). I used an old towel, but that wasn't ideal. I'll probably just use a spray bottle for her next bath instead of showering her.
Bed time: she WILL stain your sheets! But not in "that" way. TPE is oily. She will leave a girl-shaped oil stain anywhere you lay her. Ditto the bathroom rug. There are "feet" stains where she stood for a few hours. Use caution.
Body size/shape/proportions: Like EVERY doll I've ever seen, her proportions are not those of an actual person. Most dolls have exaggerated busts and waist/hip ratios. Katie is 4'8" and weighs 57 lbs. Her waist is about 20" and her hips are about 30", so that's fairly normal human-scale. From the waist down, she has the proportions of a petite 20-something woman. XS size Juniors/women's undies hit her well. From the waist up however, she's much smaller. Her bust measures 25" and her rib cage measures 24". So she's an a-cup. But her "band size" is so small, even a 32aa bra was gigantic on her. I ordered some 30a's. That was the smallest cup-bra I could find in normal stores. Hopefully those will fit. Otherwise, I'll have to order something expensive from a specialty-website.
So that's my experience. If anyone has suggestions regarding the wig shedding and "hair sticking" issues. Please let me know.
Following a "powder treatment", the hair-sticking issue went away. So did the stickiness. Though she currently leaves my hands coated with "cake mix" (oil+corn starch powder). I'm waiting for that to wear off. Just like a real woman... so much maintenance.
Katie tried the red wig yesterday. It sheds less than the black one, and it's even cuter! She's got the skin tone and coloring of a natural ginger, so it really works on her.
I impulse-bought a t-shirt and skirt for her as well. Both US Girls' size 10-12. Both were a little too big. She probably could have used an 8-10. The t-shirt may shrink though. And the skirt had a hidden adjustable waistband. So everything looks good on her. Still waiting for delivery on the bras. That will be the acid test.
@Katie's Guy The size on clothes is pretty annoying. Take care no matter what you get. Stains on your TPE are for real. Washed some pink lingerie before dressing up my 158 and left it on for about 2 days and now appears that I have what looks like permanent pink bruises on her hips!
Thanks for sharing your experience and congratulations on your new ownership
Congratulations on getting your Katie! I know I really enjoy my 143cm Doll. A lot of the oily feeling, of the TPE will go away, with a good rub down, with Talcum Powder... and, the Talcum powder helps, some, with the Hairs sticking to the TPE Skin. I usually lay my Dolls on the Fleece Blanket, not directly on the Sheets...
The shedding of the new Wigs will stop, once you Comb out her hair, a few times...
Her Eyelashes can be glued back on, with Superglue Gel...works for Fingernails, too.