|Barbie, Bling and Bleeps|
I like the bold new world of social media. I really do enjoy âtalkingâ to people Iâve never met, and most likely will never meet. Itâs liberating to strike up conversational threads with people who live across the country and even on the other side of the world.
One thing I really like about both Twitter and Facebook is how these sites try to play matchmaker. Like an overly concerned grandma who just canât keep quiet, or a big sister who fancies herself a shrewd judge of character, both these cyber spheres are always trying to introduce me to new friends and followers.
Whatâs most eye-opening isnât how wrong they frequently are with their suggestions, but rather how much Iâve learned from their acquaintanceship offers. For instance, after the word âdollâ has popped up a lot in my profiles, status updates, and tweets, Iâve been matched with doll artists, collectors, groups and organizations. Perfectly sensible, and perfectly fine by me.
My next introductions based on âdollâ is what got me chuckling and investigating. It was suggested that I should get to know Nicki Minaj. Well, if youâre like me, you could most likely go your whole life without ever crossing paths with Ms. Minaj. But I like to find out new things, and so I visited her sites and her different networking accounts. Hereâs what Iâve learned, and let me warn you: Miss Nicki is definitely not your motherâs "Barbie" doll. She comes with a Parental Advisory warning.
Born either in Queens, New York or in Trinidad (thereâs a lot of mythology around this young lady), Nicki Minaj is a rapper and a hip-hop entrepreneur. Sheâs small, sassy, very sexy and extremely candid (despite all her fables and fabrications). Sheâs graphic in her lyrics, cusses up a storm like the big boys and is one of the most requested performers in clubs, on urban radio stations and at college campuses.
Itâs always bizarreâisnât it?âwhen you realize thereâs a whole world and culture circling your own little, safe bubble. Now, what does this Indian-Trinidadian rapper have to do with a doll? She is the face and body of the âblack Barbie movement.â
Yes, this does exist, and itâs actually caused a rivalry and a rift in the rap music scene. It hasnât elevated to the level of drive-by shootings and gangster throw-downs, but harsh words have been bandied about! Nicki proclaims to be the poster girl of all things sensual, petite and too-too glamorous. However, Lilâ Kim begs to differ. And thatâs where the catfight begins.
This is a strange concept seeing two women who brag about acts of gang violence, indiscriminate hooking-up, material consumerism to the nth degree, all worked up over Barbie. But when you both want to be the superstar, there is no happy medium. No one will gracefully bow out and accept the second prize of being "Midge" or the booby prize of being "Skooter."
Since I donât have a kitten in this fight, Iâm going to go out on a limb and say that Nicki Minaj is the Barbiest of the battling Barbies. I read about her and she tells plaintive tales of being a young girl in a home filled with domestic tension and turmoil. She used to escape from the noise and the violence by writing poetry, drawing pictures and pretending to be other people. One of these alter egos was called âHarajuku Barbie.â
The music that is making this 25-year-old into a multimillionaire canât be played on family-friendly radio, and any televised appearance is going to feature lots of beeps and bleeps. But when you read any quotes from her in magazine articlesâin between the four-letter expletivesâthere is a real sense that she emerged from a damaged place and willed herself into this flashy, bodacious, alternately coy and domineering character.
Is Nicki a black Barbie? Will Mattel ever make a Barbie out of her? (I donât want to hold my breath waiting.) One of the Tweets I read from a Minaj admirer warned her to âdrop this Barbie BS be4 Mattel slaps yo ass with an injunction.â Wiser words might never have been tweeted.
Who knows what awaits this woman in her future life? All I know is that a Barbie doll kept her safe and sane in her past. And for that, she and her millions of followers are extremely grateful.
Called in to add some âstreet credâ to the âUp Out My Faceâ lyric, Nicki Minaj (top right) supposedly stole the limelight away from the older, more mainstream Mariah Carey (top left). In the video shot for their collaboration, the two divasâboth known for their doll-collecting real-life waysâplayed the role of haute couture fashion dolls.
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The 2015 DOLLS Awards of Excellence Industryâs 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 havenât seen a toy show until youâve seen this one. Six buildings! Over six hundred exhibitors! Exclusively toys and dolls and childrenâs 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 â 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.