An artist SHOULD, of course, be able to just sell to whomever they wish, whenever they wish, and that would be ideal.
This seems to be a really emotional, hot-button issue. It is not a new issue. Eva Helland and her fans dealt with that when her dolls were THE dolls to have. The artist can save herself the grief by just staying away from doll shows and from the computer
. Maybe if they don't see all the controversy, they will not be affected by it. This seems to be how Eva deals with it. I don't know her personally, so I am only surmising this from what I see from the outside. So, you could choose to deal with it in that way. Just sell to whomever you wish, whenever you wish, for as much as you wish.
You could put them all on Ebay as you finish them and let people pay what they are willing to pay. This gives everyone (who can afford it) a fair chance at the doll and is good for the artist. It raises the price of these dolls to whatever the market is willing to pay. It may be more fair, but it does raise the price of the dolls, so those who want "fair" have to be willing to pay the price for it.
I don't think I would even give an edition number. It would be so disappointing to be in line for one and then not get it because the mold broke on the first or second doll. Right now, the mold issues are so common that everyone knows these editions are not going to be in the hundreds. Somehow Andrea was able to get 50 (at least that was the plan) dolls out of her Summer mold and no one seemed to mind that the number was that big. They were just thrilled to be able to get the doll that they loved.
You could do a lottery. Anyone who wants one could put their name in and you could draw out a name one at a time and do their doll for them before drawing the next name. That way if the mold broke, no one would be left without the doll promised.
As an artist, I have to say that I am more inclined to want to sell a doll to the person who has the money upfront. I do not particularly like layaways. I think that, as a customer, if you know you are wanting an expensive doll, it is your responsibility to start socking your money away, saving it up until you have enough to pay outright for it, or put it on your own credit card. It is the same as layaway - just layaway the money in your own account until you have enough. If you put your name in the lottery for one of the dolls, just start saving your money so you have it by the time your name (hopefully) gets called. I do not think it is fair to the artist to hold a doll for months. Just my opinion....please don't shoot me
Enough rambling...I should be sculpting!!