|Fantastic Plastic Power|
For years now it’s been a struggle to get Jane to commit to caring and tending for her vast harem of baby dolls. Since I’m a known doll devotee—a collector who has never met a doll she didn’t like and covet—friends and family have all assumed that Jane would be following in my footsteps. Unfortunately, even though she has received enough dolls to populate a valley, Jane has remained aloof toward her bounty. She much prefers romping with her stuffed tigers, wrestling with her sleek panda bears and spinning around her woolly lamb. What’s a mother to do?
Aside from turning to hypnosis and forcing Jane to fall under a Bratz spell (“You are getting sleepy, and Bratz dolls are cool”), I didn’t know what to do. Night after night, I’d be standing at the stove, stirring pasta, and I’d glance at Jane barreling full-force with her brother’s Iron Man action figure. Or I’d be balancing my checking book and would catch Jane tumbling across the kitchen floor, cradling a Spider-Man in one hand and a Batman in the other. Again, she was raiding her brother’s treasure chest.
I finally sat Jane down and asked her, point-blank, why she was so cold toward her own dolls. The answer was revealing: Batman can fight crime, Superman can fly, Spider-Man hangs from a thread and scales skyscrapers. What could her dolls do besides cry and wail and wriggle, or just lie there and look pretty?
Good question, and then a response dawned on me. I brought Jane into her room and we began to take her dolls off their shelves, out of their boxes and from their forgotten lairs. I lined up about a dozen of them. I pointed to a fashion doll that came with a puppy and a dog-grooming set. “You see this doll? Being a dog groomer is her day job. At night, she fights all the evil people who try to hurt harmless little animals. She is the Stray Saver.” Jane looked at me skeptically.
“And this one, Jane,” I continued. “She might look like a chubby toddler, but she has magical powers, like Harry Potter, but better. And this one. She’s dressed in an evening gown, but that’s because she is getting a prize for being the smartest scientist in the world!”
Together, we went through her dolls, ascribing super powers to each and every character, no matter how cherubic or angelic they may have seemed. Each of her dolls had a hidden and potent talent, a power that you never would have suspected lurked inside.
And you know what? That simple lesson in make-believe has resonated beyond that bedroom encounter. When I look at Jane—so tiny and sweet, so small but solid—I wonder what latent talents and abilities nestle inside of her. And, likewise, all the other pre-K girls that toddle through her school.
More to the point, what powers linger inside all of us? Just like the plastic pixies and the vinyl vixens who were scattered about my daughter’s bedroom, dismissed because they seemed ordinary and not special, how many of us have abilities and talents that we’ve let go untapped?
Would you believe these three Bratz dolls (top) represent a scientist, an explorer and a nuclear physicist? Well, they do to my daughter and me!
In her schoolhouse in Paris, Madeline (bottom right) is studying alchemy and sorcery. She's more potent than Harry Potter, in Jane's humble opinion.
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The 2015 DOLLS Awards of Excellence Industry’s Choice winners (DAEs, also called the Diamond Awards) were announced at the International Doll & Teddy Bear Show in Asheville, N.C., June 6. The Industry's Choice winners will go on to become the nominee's in the Public's Choice voting, set to begin in late June.
Without further ado, here are the winners of this year's Industry's Choice Diamond Awards!
The Jones Publishing Lifetime Achievement Award is bestowed upon one recipient per year. This award was created in 2002 in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the introduction of the teddy bear, with the first recipient being Steiff, a German-based plush toy company known for its high quality and prices.
The Lifetime Achievement recipient must be or have been involved in some aspect of the doll and/or teddy bear field for a minimum of 25 years. The recipient may be an individual, partnership, corporation, company, author, artist, marketer, historian or any other industry professional. Lifetime Achievement Award nominations may be made by previous recipients or members of the LAA committee.
To qualify as a nominee, entrants must meet the following criteria:
The Lifetime Achievement Award has been presented to the following individuals and companies since its inception:
2003 Hildegard Gunzel
2004 Alexander Doll Company
2005 R. John Wright
2006 Wendy Lawton
2007 Virginia Turner
2008 Toy Shoppe
2010 Helen Kish
2012 Maggie Iacono
2013 Heidi Plusczok
2014 Jack Johnston
2015 Kaye Wiggs
August 8, 2014 - Blackall Associates Inc. is proud to announce the winner of its Summer Heat Photo Contest. The contest drew entries from around the world. Masterpiece Doll collectors sent in a special photo showing how their Masterpiece Dolls were enjoying the summer heat.
You haven’t seen a toy show until you’ve seen this one. Six buildings! Over six hundred exhibitors! Exclusively toys and dolls and children’s playthings on display everywhere! This is the show everyone always says they intend to visit, and now is the time to do just that. Collectors say the Chicago Toy Show really is the largest in the entire world. They are correct. Collectors say they find toys at this show that are never seen anywhere else. Correct again.
19 April 2014 – 5 October 2014
A special exhibition will take place at the Toy Worlds Museum Basle to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Japanese-Swiss diplomacy and friendship.