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Revolutionary Road: Created to save humanity, a hero emerges . . . from the toy box.
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Thursday, 04 August 2011 16:45

Over the last year we’ve been building a new, home-based ritual: the family movie night. With the invention of the DVD and the arrival of9posterfinal1 its sleek, sophisticated cousin, the Blu-ray player, it really does feel like “Hollywood on the Hudson” in my house. The images are crisp; the choice of movies is enormous; the amount of fun is immeasurable. All it takes is a trip to the library (films are free), a visit to Redbox (rentals for a mere buck each), or crafty buying on eBay, and the gamut of family entertainment is rich and rewarding. My kids love it! We all get to sit together, munch on popcorn, talk at appropriate pauses, and enjoy a movie night-out, without having to leave our living room. And best of all, we can create our own theme events: like a doll double-bill.

 

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Farewell, Mr. Mattel: Toy tycoon Elliot Handler passes away at age 95.
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 12:55

It’s an unavoidable fact of life: we all are going to die one day. Yes, that’s a “downer” way to begin this week’s blog, but it’s the truth,Mattel-founder_new and perhaps we all need to remind ourselves of that. On Thursday night, July 21, Elliot Handler, the co-founder of Mattel, passed away. He was 95 years old. His age shows that he had a long life; and the way that his family and friends have praised him in quotes to the press reveals that he had a happy life. That’s what we all want in the end, isn’t it? A long and happy life.

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Pottering through Potterville: A place where Harry, Hermione & Ron will forever prevail.
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Friday, 15 July 2011 18:58

Recently, Kate Beckinsale talked to reporters about life as an action figure. The actress, who was once heralded as an heir apparent toannavaleriousdoll1 the likes of Maggie Smith, Vanessa Redgrave, and Judi Dench, karate-chopped those comparisons when she became the leading lady in a string of big-budget horror movies and martial arts flicks. The seemingly well-groomed hothouse flower was, in reality, an angry, aggressive Venus flytrap. Beckinsale laughingly said, “There used to be an aroma of tea and crumpets around me when I entered a room. That’s not there anymore.”

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Hoarding Around: Do we see a bit of ourselves buried amongst the TV show’s exploitative camerawork?
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Monday, 11 July 2011 19:34

My friend Cam and I have a weekly ritual. For us, it holds the same allure as a Victoria’s Secret runway show has for Charlie Sheen andhoardersseasonone1 Drew Carey. (Yup, the eyeglass-wearing comic is notorious for his model-chasing ways! Go figure.) It’s the equivalent of Monday-night football for “Cheeseheads” and “Gang Green” fans, “Big Blue” diehards and feisty folks who have sworn allegiance to the “Patriot Nation.” I’m talking about “Hoarders” on A&E, an absolute swamp for the senses, but somehow it functions like a siren call for collectors who always fear they are simply one purchase away from being pulled into this pull-no-punches documentary. (By the way, it’s the king of these gawking-at-garbage programs, outjunking “Buried Alive,” “Clean Sweep,” and even “Clean House,” despite the effusive Niecy Nash on board.)

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Mother of Invention: Are reborn/real dolls lifelike or life-sapping?
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Thursday, 30 June 2011 13:14

This morning my phone rang and the voice of my pal Cameron shouted into the earpiece, “It’s happening again! We are being declareda-dbabydoll mentally unfit and incompetent.”

For those of you who have been following my blogs, you are familiar with Cameron—a loud, proud, and totally devoted doll collector of the male persuasion. Despite constant promises NOT to buy another doll, the poor fellow just can’t help himself. He has never met a fashion doll, celebrity likeness, pop culture icon, or impulse purchase that he can resist.

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Liv and Let Liv: A Happy Meal reveals some “heavy” food for thought.
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Thursday, 23 June 2011 14:28

Zodiac signs are always a great pastime—on so many diner placemats, and on Chinese takeout menus, too, there are often charts thatlivedollstogether_web detail what birth year or birth month corresponds with what animal or mythological icon. Teenage girls love to uncover which emblem they are, and I suppose it is reassuring, and also quite rewarding, to think our fates are somehow recorded in the stars. It’s enlightening to see our lives as somehow full of universal significance, heavenly brilliance, and a hint of mysticism and magic.

 

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Heroes or Antiheroes? Today’s newsmakers include wretched rascals, reality stars, and a real Weiner.
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Friday, 17 June 2011 13:35

After weeks of “will he or won’t he,” Congressman Anthony Weiner has decided to withdraw from Congress. Pull out from Congress?Censored1 Vacate the legislative body? I can’t conceive of a non-smutty term, but what else is new concerning the whole Weiner debacle?

To be perfectly frank, Weiner brought scorn to himself due to his “sexting” AND his lying. He’s become the poster boy for narcissism, ruling-class privilege, and what happens when a guy has learned to type and has too much time on his hands.

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Green Day: Barbie’s money making vs. Greenpeace’s fist shaking
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Thursday, 09 June 2011 13:41

Some weeks it’s not my decision what to blog about, because the Big Twitter Universe is pushing a column and a conclusion in mykenposter1 direction. THIS is one of those moments.

On Tuesday, June 7, protesters scaled the Mattel Corporate Headquarters in El Segundo, California, and unfurled a huge poster slamming the toy giant for its unfriendly eco ways. The main allegation: Mattel is buying paper from APP, which Greenpeace charges is a company hell-bent on profit at the expense of rampant destruction in Indonesia. The pink-and-blue sign showed a frowning Ken, who declares, “Barbie, it’s over. I don’t date girls that are into deforestation.”

 

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Ken-Do Attitude: Is it brave, foolhardy, or enlightened to buy a doll for your son?
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Thursday, 02 June 2011 18:41

The other day I purchased a doll. There’s nothing new about that statement. Certainly, it doesn’t rise to the level of blog-worthiness.kenfashionistas1 Except: the doll was a Ken Fashionista (brunet) and it was for my son.

All right, I already know there are a bunch of readers who are rolling their eyes. Half of you are thinking, “Is she crazy? Why would she encourage her son to play with dolls?” The other segment is wondering, “What’s the big deal? A doll is just a more stylish action figure.” And then, of course, there is the group that reacts with a solid “Whatever . . .” But that group would mean I’d have to rewrite everything as thirds, not halves, and my math is just not that good. (I’m sort of like arithmetic-challenged talking Barbie that way: “Math is hard.”)

 

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Homeland Security: Hug a doll and thank a soldier this weekend.
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Thursday, 26 May 2011 14:05

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Oh, Memorial Day Weekend, how you beckon me! I can’t wait to fire up the grill, buy some replacement summer cushions (squirrels discovered my old seat cushions and nested within them—yuck!), and have a warm and relaxing 48-hour retreat. Memorial Day Weekend is when we remember to have fun, to spend time with friends, to get our “party on,” isn’t it?

Well, actually, no. Memorial Day is the complete opposite of hedonistic Coppertone pursuits. Memorial Day is when we’re supposed to take time to honor our fallen military heroes—a time to pay respect to the men and women who have sacrificed their lives so we can get on with our own. It makes the hunt for the perfect tan line seem pretty superficial, doesn’t it? What is most amazing is that a doll company is keeping the true reason for Memorial Day alive and well. A child’s plaything, often dismissed as frivolous and a mere slice of frippery, is reminding us that we have our freedoms to swim and surf and sizzle because of the brave military.

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