|Record-breaking Dolls: 2012 Olympics invites elite sports figures to become literal figures.|
The Olympics absorb the culture and the attitude of their host nations and cities. The London look is appropriately Beatles-esque and British.
I can’t predict the future; I’m sometimes able to comment accurately on the present; but I sure as heck know how to remark on the past. In this case, I’m pretty sure that most of you were watching the Olympics last night, and the night before, and the night before, and the night before (and the night before, not to be too redundant)!
What’s great about this four-year spectacle is that the games seem to absorb the nature and nuances of its host nation. This time around, the setting is London, England, and the usually bikini-clad volleyball girls are playing for their medals in what look like Roaring 1920s bathing suits (“Boardwalk Baby,” anyone?) or skin diver wetsuits converted for land use. Sure, the British have had their fair share of stormy, sexy interludes (real: Henry VIII’s merry-go-round of wives, the 1960s Profumo Scandal, Randy Andy’s Koo Stark, Hugh Grant; imaginary: Lady Chatterley and Bond, James Bond). But, by and large, the Brits are known for their decorum, their elegance, and their stoic determination to keep a stiff upper lip and get on with it. (Did you see how stone-faced Queen Elizabeth was during the opening ceremonies? Even watching the playback of her supposed parachuting from a helicopter, she didn’t crack a royal smile.)
It’s been enjoyable to rubberneck and spot Wills and Kate and Harry in the various stands around the sprawling sports complex (a Royal “Where’s Waldo?”), and it’s been delightful to see that the two young scions of the House of Windsor are still far enough away from the throne to hoot and howl whenever England does better than expected and lands a medal. (And then gets unexpected Silver Medal reduced to a Bronze, courtesy of a bureaucratic protest! The British men’s gymnastics team took the news and the demotion with grace under pressure. They didn’t show any scorn or fury. Queen Elizabeth would be proud.)
The Olympics are a chance for all the citizens of the world—the third in line for succession, as well as the 3,000th—to kick back and ogle as godlike specimens shatter records and receive tribute. Only in the Olympics could a six-foot-one teenage girl be considered an underdog!
For doll lovers, the Olympics can continue to play on long after the torch is extinguished. There are so many dolls that can be bought, costumes that can be found, and eBay auctioned sets that key into everything active and athletic.
While the event seems to be produced as a two-way global competition between the United States and China (as far as the medal count goes), the number of young people who have shown up to represent their countries and who have dedicated themselves to discipline and good sportsmanship raises everyone’s spirits during these sometimes soul-sinking times. If you ever wonder if the world is being left in good, future hands, take a look at most of these athletes and you’ll know that personal sacrifice and improvement still go hand-in-hand.
Will the “Fab Five,” the quintet of American girls who snagged a Gold in team gymnastics, be made into dolls? It’s quite possible that some company or customizer is already hard at work sculpting a Gabby Douglas or a Jordyn Wieber likeness. The United States hasn’t sported a Gold in the team event since 1996.
Dolls of these competitors—as well as past headliners—allow collectors to hold a tiny slice of history in their hands. We may never be able to run a 4-minute mile, but we are able to sneak in and swoop up a “Flo Jo” doll with only 40 seconds left on the “buy” ticker. (And 40 seconds is an eternity compared to how swift Flo Jo was on her feet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6KopglZzEE)Yes, we all have our strengths and our weaknesses. And buying sports hero dolls lets us have a memory of physical prowess that will sparkle and shine, like gold, forever. This year’s celebration is at the midway mark, and the track & field athletes are about to hit the blocks and make their marks. U.S. hopeful Lolo Jones has been racking up pre-Olympics press, and she certainly has the looks and appeal to be this year’s Flo Jo. If she does as well as her agent and manager suggest, we might be looking at world records and a new fashion/sports doll in the making!
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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.