|Character Clones: Despite some facial slip-ups, the collecting force is strong.|
One of the lessons I learned rather late is that âlife isnât fair.â I hadnât really known that until I was 21 years old and employed at a scientific trade journal. Suddenly I saw how hard work, competency, and smarts didnât always reap rewards. That was eye opening. Another lesson I picked up at that job was life doesnât offer do-overs. That is, unless youâre George Lucas.
On Friday, September 16, Lucasâthe mighty maven behind the Indiana Jones quartet, âAmerican Graffiti,â and countless technical breakthroughsâis going to release his most famous work, yet again, on DVD and Blu-ray. The newly restored âStar Warsâ sagaâall six filmsâis going to be re-released. Or, should that be re-re-released. Or, more accurately, re-re-re-released. Well, you get the point. Mr. Lucas canât seem to leave a good thing alone.
My friend Cam contacted me the other day and mentioned how he has already pre-ordered the release on Amazon. (I have to laugh at that because Cam pre-orders everything. I swear he already signed up for this release a few months back, so I think he has pre-pre-ordered.) We got to talking about the chance to do things again and again, and Cam remarked, âI think the âStar Warsâ doll makers probably wish they had a second crack at those dolls.â
I agreed. Some of the 12-inch versions of Princess Leia, Han, and Luke were really quite unattractive. Iâm not saying they were âStar Wars barâ ugly, but they certainly didnât flatter their celebrity counterparts. (Interestingly, despite some of the less than flattering interpretations, âStar Warsâ dolls and toys were nominated this week, September 13, for inclusion into the National Toy Hall of Fame, headquartered at the Strong Museum. It seems that the first half of September is very Lucas-oriented.)
Knowing that Cam has owned and has sold almost every object ever produced on this planetâas well as in distant galaxies far, far awayâI queried if he currently had any of these sci-fi characters in his treasure trove.
âI have the Hasbro Armadillo,â he confided. And then paused dramatically. âUm, I mean Amidala. Sorryâthese out-of-this-world names get confusing.â
Thatâs very true: when compared to PadmĂŠ Amidala, Jar Jar Binks, and Nautag Dâal Gargan II, the name Luke Skywalker sounds downright down-to-earth.
âDo you think one of the reasons why the Hasbro portrait dolls failed was because of the facial paint job?â I wondered aloud. âThe costuming was beautiful, and the accessories were really great. I thought they were authentic.â
âPaint job? Is that what Kabuki makeup is called these days?â he snorted. âThe queen dolls were way too white-faced and the cheeks were splattered with red paint. It was like Raggedy Ann meets Al Jolson. It was ridiculous to expect little girls to want to play with that! What Jedi mind trick convinced them to make that doll?â
âCam, you are terrible,â I chastised, but I couldnât suppress my laughter.
âIâm holding on to my Hasbro Portrait dolls because I know they had to be ahead of their time,â he declared. âItâs funny, itâs like life imitating art, but going beyond. âStar Warsâ is set in the future, but these dolls canât be appreciated in this time and place. Maybe a century from now theyâll be hot sellers.â
âCam, I think the episodes are set in the past. âA long time ago, in a galaxy far, far way.ââ
âPast? Impossible! It has to be some kind of Einstein version of the past then. Something that is happening in the future and is looped back around into the past. Iâve been alive for a half-century now, and Iâve never seen a Wookie walking into a bar.â
Despite the chance to embarrass the heck out of Cam with that priceless opening for a joke, I held my tongue.
And thatâs when Cam shared his greatest pearl of wisdom. âI guess we canât blame the companies for getting the faces wrong. I mean the Kenner version of Leia looks more like Mary Hart than Carrie Fisher. But then again, Carrie Fisher doesnât look like Carrie Fisher anymore. Maybe thatâs the secret. Make a doll that captures the spirit of the character, not the actress who plays the part. This way, you donât have to worry if a different actor steps in and plays the role. Think about how confusing it would be if you had a âDarrenâ doll from âBewitched.â Her husband changed right in the middle of an episode, for Peteâs sake!â
In Camâs world, almost everything leads back to Barbara Eden and Elizabeth Montgomeryâthe two most beautiful actresses to ever flit across the TV, in his estimation.
âI think the Mattel versions of âSamantha Stephensâ are to die for. It doesnât matter whether itâs the portrait one of gorgeous Liz, or Barbie as âBewitched.â Both types of that doll are perfect!â
I humor Cam, but heâs once again on a Montgomery Mission. Heâs vocally enamored with his favorite celebrity.
âHands down, if Jabba the Hutt had a choice between Leia and Samantha, I know who heâd choose to put into that metal bikini,â he theorizes.
And I happily listened while the âBewitchedâ theme song was hummed loudly in my ear.
Oh, Cam, may the doll collecting force be with you!
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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.