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In the Spotlight
Who Rules the World? Beyoncé is right. It’s “Girls.”
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Tuesday, 26 June 2012 19:46

About a year ago, I wondered why there weren’t any “Sex and the City” dolls. The highly fashionable and powerfully libidinal ladies would appear to be ideal candidates for a vinyl or resin set. Super sultry and incredibly flexible character Samantha Jones (played by Kim Cattrall) would be especially great to see as a BJD. (Keep your minds out of the gutter, readers. I’m talking jointing and construction here—nothing else.) However, the fact that the women were so much about the “facts of life” most likely prevented them from being licensed and manufactured. They were too hot to handle.

 

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The Monroe Doctrine: Gentlemen prefer blondes, but what about collectors?
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 21:30

It’s been a sort of Marilyn Monroe month for me, so far. I’ve seen Miss Monroe’s countenance and quotations cropping up on the DOLLS Facebook site, honoring the Tonner Monroe doll release. I also attended a back-to-back showing of the flicks “My Week with Marilyn,” starring Michelle Williams in an Oscar-nominated performance of the perennial sex goddess, and “The Prince and the Showgirl,” the light comedy that the Williams film dissects and exposes. (The behind-the-scenes conflicts between Monroe and her director/costar Laurence Olivier were a battleground for a classically trained, respected actor who wanted to be a movie star, and a movie star who wanted to be a respected, classically trained actress. Neither one would achieve his or her desire in this period-costume piece of fluff.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJygETCXpR8

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In the Nick of Time: Stevie Nicks’s vulnerability may be the seed of her doll collecting.
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Tuesday, 12 June 2012 20:34

Last week, the onetime supergroup Fleetwood Mac was all over the news again. It wasn’t for a jubilant reason: induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for treasured pop icons. No, the musicians were popping up all over the Internet Web searches because of the suicide of one of their past bandmates, Bob Welch. Sadly, self-inflicted deaths seem to be an offshoot of the performers’ lifestyle: allowing yourself to be so visible and vulnerable in a public manner can often lead to depression and nihilism. So, what does this have to do with dolls? Well, an awful lot, in fact.
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Seeing Green: Could a Cee Lo Green doll be a potential money-maker?
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Tuesday, 05 June 2012 16:06

Of course, there have been male dolls: Barbie has been tormenting poor Ken with her on-again/off-again coquettish ways for more thanCee-Lo Green 50 years now, and Midge—the devoted second fiddle and vinyl president of BFFs—has been the happily married spouse of Alan since 1991. But none of these guys were ever anything more than plastic human-sized accessories to their more popular and powerful gal pals. Think of them as the vinyl equivalents of Oprah’s Stedman. (And, interestingly, Ken, Alan, and Stedman are all bona fide single-namers. You know instantly who they are!) With 2012, almost halfway over—I know, it doesn’t seem possible—I am proposing a boy doll. Not just any boy doll, but a doll to be the solo sensation of his own clothing line, accessory outlets, and circle of friends. I am nominating the exciting, scintillating Cee Lo Green be made as a full-fledged fashion doll.

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Glowing Through the Decades: “The Dark Crystal” celebrates sculpting, dreaming, and 30 years of design brilliance.
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Tuesday, 29 May 2012 18:18

It’s difficult to believe, but puppeteer Jim Henson has been gone now for more than 20 years. The versatile visionary died of organ failuredarkcrystalposter1 back in 1990, and departed the world before the onset of CGIs and motion-capture animation ruled the movie screens. Back in Henson’s heyday, snippets of felt and cleverly positioned Ping-Pong balls created quirky and endearing characters. Plus, there were the very talented men and women who manipulated the puppets, lending them movements, voices, and personalities.

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Collectible Carell: Steve Carell is the go-to guy for embodying the highs & lows of collecting
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Tuesday, 22 May 2012 21:04

dinnerforschmucksWell, I don’t know the proper protocol, but when I set out to blog this morning, I learned that it is World Goth Day. Are you supposed to wish someone a “Happy Goth Day,” or is that counterintuitive? If a whole movement has sprung up around dark-colored garb, fascination with the dark side, and an interest in the dark arts, can the phrase “happy day” be freely given? I certainly don’t want to wish anyone a “Sucky Goth Day” or a “Miserable Goth Day.” Maybe, it should be a “Dark and Stormy Night … World Goth Day”? It is a dilemma.

 

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Go-Go Girls: Why do star athletes look more like pole dancers than pole vaulters?
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Thursday, 17 May 2012 14:01

While watching “30 Rock” this week, I chuckled when the always droll Tina Fey trumpeted what feminism had promised: (1) womenWallis Simpson and Edward could go into whatever career they desired, and (2) fatter dolls.

Well, the so-called more solid dolls—representations that are more realistic than idealized—have come to pass, but they certainly haven’t eclipsed the popularity of the more slender, more stylized, more stylish counterparts. And in a way, this makes perfect sense. If play—and, by extension, collecting—is an extension of wish fulfillment, how many young girls and women wish to be bigger and thicker? Not many. Why is it that most men secretly desire to get as bulky and muscled as possible, and women to become as tiny and as petite as calorically allowable? (Keep in mind the old saying from Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor: “A woman can never be too rich or too thin.”)

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Freeze Frame: Toys, tots, and creativity close up
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Tuesday, 08 May 2012 18:46

 

nightmarebeforeChristmas

This weekend was a cause for celebration in my household. Saturday, May 5, was a once-a-year outpouring of love, lettering, and loot: it was Free Comic Book Day, aka “FCBD.” As the name suggests, if you visited a participating comic book store, you were given a free comic book. Having two children who are partial to reading—coupled with striking art panels—and a husband and myself, who are admitted geeks/nerds/fans (we actually played Dungeon & Dragons in our youth, and beyond), FCBD was marked on my household calendar. We were definitely going to hit up one store, maybe two, or if the greed became uncontrollable, we’d drop in on three. (The greed did spin feverishly, and we did go to three stores, met the nicest people, took business cards, and pledged to return as paying customers. I’m a former Girl Scout—my word is my bond.)

 

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Princess Phone: A chat about why some girls, like Kate Middleton, have all the luck!
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Wednesday, 02 May 2012 14:43

It was no surprise when my phone rang early this weekend. On the other end of the line was my partner in crime, my brother from anotherPrince William and Dutchess Kate mother, my doll enabler—through and through—otherwise known as Cam. For years now, I have been “Ethel” to his “Lucy.” (Or the other way around, we’ve both been known to make fools of ourselves.)

 

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Imagine That: Are dolls our friends, our possessions, or something entirely else?
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Tuesday, 24 April 2012 17:17

Did you have an imaginary friend? I suspect that most of us had that special invisible pal who accompanied us on bike rides, strolls to thejunie_b_jones_big1 park, and kept us occupied during endless family car trips (“Are we there YET? It’s been 30 minutes!”). My daughter has purported to have several incarnations of a make-believe pal, but her roster of fictional friends changes and no one seems to stick around for more than a season or two. However, she’s recently begun to read chapter books on her own—she’s in first grade—and now she has developed a hankering for a new kind of wishful friendship. She’d love for her favorite heroine—Junie B. Jones—to be a real-live girl. She said to me the other day, “Mommy, I wish that Junie and her family could live next door to us, and then I’d be able to know her for real. I know we’d be best friends.”

 

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