|We Love Lucy: A special anniversary gives doll collectors a chance to be in the show.|
America’s sweetheart was born Lucille Désirée Ball, and that fancy-schmancy–sounding name is out of character for the comedienne who earned her reputation by taking pies in the face, executing pirouette-worthy pratfalls, and donning disguises that made her look like a wicked, cackling witch to a stylish bearded Southern gentleman. Lucy was never one to let her actual model-worthy looks stand in the way of a big laugh. (Can you imagine Heidi Klum purposely taking a nose-dive off her “Project Runway” stage or Claudia Schiffer executing a perfect spit-take? Just not gonna happen.)
Lucy is figuring big in my house this month because my children just discovered her—Scout’s honor, this is true. My kids, aged 6 and 8, have just found out about Lucy and we’re taping her “I Love Lucy” half-hour sitcoms from the Hallmark Channel each morning. At night, before they go to bed, we watch two back-to-back episodes, and the giggling is intense.
After watching her for two weeks now, my first-grade daughter already knows enough to shake her head and declare, “What trouble is she going to get into this time?!”
It’s funny watching someone react to Lucy’s physical manipulations for the first time. I know that when I saw “Pretty Woman,” starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, I couldn’t believe the Roberts character was guffawing so loudly at an old Lucy rerun. I wondered if perhaps there was a secret twist to this date-night flick: maybe Julia wasn’t just a novice streetwalker but also a visitor from another planet who had never heard of or seen Lucy before? But then I realized, that scenario would be absolutely impossible. “I Love Lucy” reruns (well, their TV signals, at any rate) have been emanating out into the solar system for decades now. So if aliens have a sense of humor, they are currently watching and ROTFLing from the mishaps Lucy and Ethel are embroiled in.
At times like this, I am so happy to have little children, because they allow me to see something that is so familiar with a pair of bright, brand-new eyes.
This evening we are going to watch the classic “Harpo Marx mirror” episode—they just discovered “Duck Soup” and “Animal Crackers” this year too—and I am already feeling my mood lighten as I anticipate their gales of laughter.
When I pick out my Lucy dolls, I’ll do so with a nod toward my children. Ideally, I’ll be able to locate a set that features Lucy and Ricky, so the kids can actually act out the scenes of her begging to be allowed into the show. And immovable, unyielding Ricky always stood firm—denying her the chance to be solo in the spotlight—and always she managed to find a way to crash through the walls and turn the Club Babalu upside down.
And I imagine that’s really the secret for Lucy’s longevity as a performer and for her legacy as an American treasure. Lucy always looked to become a part of the show—she always wanted to take that one step out of the shadows, putting herself front and center, and letting the audience instantly tell her what they thought. There was no cowering, no polling, no spin doctoring, no Q ratings feedbacks.
Lucy taped the shows live; instantly heard the roars of laughter and the outbursts of applause; and knew in her heart that she had done well.
We should all be like Lucy: always looking to get into the show and trying our best—even if we’re not certain our best is good enough. What’s the worst that can happen? You set your wax nose on fire while trying to impress William Holden? The Club Babalu or the Tropicana might get a bit messy when Lucy seizes center-stage, but the delight she leaves behind has transcended seven decades.
My kids love Lucy. And you know what?
I do too.What about you? Do you have a favorite Lucy episode? If so, please share with us which one.What about a side-splitting moment? Is there a particular scrape that you’d like to see immortalized as a doll? Please share your thoughts: we Lucy fans truly have a lot of ’splaining to do!
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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
2009 no award presented
2010 Helen Kish
2011 no award presented
2012 Maggie Iacono
2013 Heidi Plusczok
2014 Jack Johnston
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.