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Mommie Dearests: The Mother of all Doll Collections

Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and I know what I want. It’s not a charm bracelet with my children’s heads duplicated in gold (I have amom_tattoo1 lovely necklace that approximates that); it’s not a mug; it’s not a frame; it’s not breakfast in bed and a bouquet of balloons. No, it’s not a late-night jaunt down to the local tattoo parlor as I pay the ultimate homage to myself, with my husband immortalizing it all with his flip phone. No, what I want for Mother’s Day is the new Mattel release: Ghoulia Yelps, a gal with an anemic complexion that only a mom could love.

ghouliayelps1Pale-skinned, blue-haired, and garbed with exquisite retro cat’s-eye glasses, Ghoulia is a zombie, and aren’t we all a little bit “zombie” deep down? I know that I certainly am inarticulate and slow-moving in the mornings, and even after my third cup of coffee (served in the World’s Best Mom mug), I still kind of plod and putter along rather than race and leap.

Over the past year I’ve watched all the press that the Monster High dolls have garnered and it’s clear to me that their appeal has really hit home with women, aged 35 to 44. I’ve looked at feedback on different Internet buying sites, and the REAL real-life housewives of your major city, artists, teachers, nurses, and all other grown women have left high ratings about these high-school outcasts.

Why would Monster High become such a triumph for us older gals? Well, I think it’s because Mother Hood is sometimes a very, very scary place to dwell. One moment you’re living life for your own enjoyment, your own benefit, your own advancement (and your husband’s, too, don’t want to forget dear dad here)—and then bump . . . wow! Suddenly you’re a mom, and your thoughts are never yours alone again. You have morphed into a different person: a transformation that might have made you better, more selfless, more caring, but you are never your old self again. Enter the popularity of the MH dolls: they are fashion dolls with a quirky, comedic twist. Recognizable yet unusual. Bizarre but welcoming. They have touched a spark with women who have seen themselves cast and re-cast in many roles throughout life—some expected and some right out of left field!

joancrawfordinred1I imagine Mother’s Day is a big day for the gifting of dolls to the collectors among us. I am sure the vignette sets that feature “adoring mothers and children” are popular as presents on this big day. My tastes are a bit more off-beat. I think if Ghoulia hadn’t caught my eye (and she came a-calling via an Amazon.com suggestion in my in-box), I probably would want one of the Joan Crawford dolls from Robert Tonner. One of my favorite movies is “Mommie Dearest,” and I got the DVD—so appropriately—for my Mother’s Day gift last year! To me, it is so bad, it approaches pure genius, and Faye Dunaway does such an over-the-top job as Joan, that I am sometimes confused as to who was the real screen legend. Tonner’s Joan Crawford dolls are monuments to her more gentle and genteel screen peronas. However, all it would take is a handful of dolljoancrawfordhangers1 hangers (NOT wire, of course) to turn her into the campy creation. Slather on some eye and chin cream, and the Joan doll can pass as a doppelganger for that cult favorite’s “heroine.”

Recently, I subscribed to HBO specifically to watch the miniseries of “Mildred Pierce.” What a total disappointment. Yes, I concur that it was very true to the book, and Kate Winslet gave a studied and egoless performance. But THAT was the problem with the whole show. It was so relentlessly dreary, so accurately melancholy and downtrodden—there was no star turn. Joan Crawford’s 1945 vehicle was so much more passionate, emotional, and memorable. Long-suffering Joan and saintly Mildred are a motherhood combo that can’t be beat.

joancrawforddressup1In one of my earlier blogs, I wondered if there should be a “doll day” here in America. Other countries have national holidays that honor the art of the doll; the USA votes absent on that. I’m now thinking it could be Mother’s Day.

Perhaps this year, we could all do that. We still have a few days before our holiday, and maybe we can ask our kids, our godchildren, our grandchildren, and our hubbies to become a part of our hobby for that day. It doesn’t have to be an ironic choice; it doesn’t have to be a hip or avant-garde selection; it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg; it just has to be a doll.

I look forward to hearing from you if you follow through on this request. Doll collecting needs a shot in the arm, and I would love to think we could all come together to help keep this passion healthy and thriving.

prideandprejcalendar1Yeah, it’s ironic that I’m betting on a zombie to keep the doll world alive and well, but zombies are this year’s hot new thing. Don’t take my word for it: just google “zombie literature.” From Jane Austen to Ben Franklin, they’ve all been zombie-fied, I rest my case.

Happy Mother’s Day, everyone, everywhere!

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I, too, have thought and thought, approached others (including congressional folks), and decided dolls are worthy of having a day of their own!

After a year, I took it upon myself and created "National Doll Day" for the 1st Sunday in August (which is also "Friendship Day")! Celebrating everyday the value and worth dolls have brought to our lives throughout the generations and various cultures, dolls now have their own day!

I hope everyone joins in the celebration! The National Doll Day blog is available at: http://nationaldollday.blogspot.com/
Lanetta J. Sprott , June 09, 2011 | url
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Mothering Sunday has been and gone some weeks ago here in the UK. My daughter is well-brainwashed enough to know that dollies are my first choice (there's that zombie motif again...)
Holly , May 09, 2011 | url
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Happy Mother's Day to you, too! You're one sick little puppy. smilies/wink.gif
Beth , May 08, 2011
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Joan and Faye both rule. I think Joan's son controls the Crawford estate. He'd never let an unflattering sculpt be made of his mom. We have to customize her as Mommie Dearest.
Linda , May 06, 2011
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Joan Crawford was the best actress ever, and Faye Dunaway captured her professionalism and drive. I don't believe all the gossip about her being a bad mother. I think that was all lies and rumors spread after her death. Tonner should make a Mildred Pierce doll of Joan. She won the Oscar for that, and it is the epitome of a devoted mother. I'd buy one.
Sharon , May 05, 2011
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Great idea! getting mom a doll for mother's day!
Billie , May 04, 2011

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Latest Articles from News & Notes

One World Doll Project, Tonner Doll Company merge to become Tonner One World

One World Holdings, Inc. and Tonner Doll Company, Inc., announced Dec. 3, 2015, that their Boards of Directors have approved a definitive agreement for One World Holdings' subsidiary, The One World Doll Project, to merge with Tonner Doll. The agreement was entered into Dec. 2. Following the closing of the merger, the combined business will change its name to Tonner One World.

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Very informative article. I am happy for Tonner Doll and hope that their new venture enables them to continue creating beautiful dolls.
Terri Gold , December 05, 2015 | url

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2015 DOLLS Awards Industry's Choice winners announced

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!

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Jones Publishing Lifetime Achievement Award Winners

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:

  • Been active in the doll or bear field a minimum of 25 years.
  • Maintained or increased the quality of reputation and product or service provided since inception.
  • Served the industry with integrity, honesty, reliability
  • Received a majority of the votes from previous recipients.

The Lifetime Achievement Award has been presented to the following individuals and companies since its inception:

2002 Steiff
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

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BLACKALL ASSOCIATES INC. 
ANNOUNCING Winner of the Summer Heat Photo Contest

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. 

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i have very old magazines need to sell them before something happens to them
margie , December 20, 2014
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i really like all the barbie balack dress, can i ask question can i buy this, because its all out in the market now here in the philippines, can you help me please im a big fan of thiss dolls
mark christian paul l. carigma , December 16, 2014 | url

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The Chicago Toy Show

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.

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