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Electoral Collage: Dolls & figures pay tribute to the first president and his colonial peers.
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Monday, 12 November 2012 14:50

Well, it’s the week after Election Day, and depending upon one’s political slant, it’s either a cause for celebration or a case of consternation. Regardless of how the vote turned out, and your personal reaction to it, people who cast their ballots exercised a constitutional right that separates an enlightened nation from other countries that still toil in darkness. A change in leadership—or in this case, the maintaining of the status quo in the executive and the legislative branches—is accomplished by pulling levers, not by triggers being pulled on rifles and handguns.

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Creature Features: Makies and Mattel provide made-to-order fun.
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Monday, 05 November 2012 16:19

If you’re like me, you’re always astonished when you watch movies that depict family life from 100 or 200 years ago. It seems that every father could whittle a complete dining-room set from a single tree; all mothers could sew outfits that carried their children from baptisms to wedding days; and every child could minuet, play the piano, sing at least one aria, and translate original Latin texts into pristine English. Yep, those were the days!

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Monster Mash-up: Dolls and an impending storm create a “FrankenFest” of thrills and chills!
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Monday, 29 October 2012 13:52

Once you get to be over the age of 10 or 11, Halloween stops being all that scary. Sure, you might continue to dress up and do ghoulish makeup—or even, more frightening for us moms, the sexy, slutty nurse or kitty cosmetics for kids—but the actual trembling-in-your-boots, afraid-to-stroll-through-a-cemetery anxiety normally fades away and is replaced by a healthy appreciation of the holiday and its macabre festivities. Things might get spooky, but it’s all in good, clean fun! Or is it?

 

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Let’s Get Ready to Rumba: NFL or DWTS? Both are physical, ferocious, and fan favorites.
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Tuesday, 23 October 2012 13:55

What makes a dancer? Five years ago, I would have said “rhythm, grace, musicality, and talent.” That was before I took ballroom dance lessons with my friend Cam. Today I say it’s “baubles, beading, a Bedazzler glue gun, and a brilliant smile.” Cam and I may not ever win a national or regional title (or even a hokey-pokey face-off), but we certainly have learned to hold our heads high while remaining in hold. In fact, we swear we just don’t dance but rather fly as we fox trot and quick step across a dance studio’s floor.

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Super Sleuthing in Doll Land: James Bond and his female counterparts make a killing in collectibles.
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Monday, 15 October 2012 13:46

Unless you live in a cave—or have been hiding out in a Bond Villain’s lair—you must know that this is the 50th anniversary of the 007 movie franchise. The current Brit who is inhabiting the tux, tie, and tough-guy demeanor is Daniel Craig, and he’s been popping up on talk shows, magazine covers, and even late-night comedy gigs. (He hosted “SNL” on Saturday, October 6.) Perhaps his most unique cameo was when he skydived out of a plane with Queen Elizabeth of England during the Summer Olympics. He was literally enacting the notion of “skyfalling.”

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Rockin’ Contradiction: Tough and trash-talking, public and private, rock stars dazzle doll artists.
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Monday, 08 October 2012 15:30

Over all the year that I’ve written about dolls, I’ve had my run-ins with the famous and the infamous. In some past blogs, I’ve talked about the “more is less” confrontation with Demi Moore and the very public profanity uttered by Donald Trump to me. And all of this, mind you, was in the pursuit of quotes to sprinkle in the doll magazines.

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Fashion Police: Tim Gunn, Stephen Burrows & the Blonds make arresting ensembles for Barbie!
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Monday, 01 October 2012 13:36

Recently I found myself in the Children’s Place—the fashion outlet for kids, usually aged 14 and under—that inspires exuberance, excitement, and ebullience . . . among adults. Yep, that’s right. The store for dressing up and dressing down our assorted offspring should be more correctly called the Parents’ Place.

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Happy Birthday . . . no, make it birth-week! There are too many dolls for a day.
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Tuesday, 18 September 2012 20:19

Today is my birthday . . . well, not really. It’s my birthday week, but I am a big believer in prolonging everything that is good in life. I like to linger over dinner for hours; read a good book, and then read it again; see a thought-provoking movie and then share it with friends. I like to extend the things that I enjoy, and so that’s why I love my birthday week (and, in some cases, my birthday month).

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Cuckoo for Kewpies: The adorable love messengers are turning 100 years old.
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Wednesday, 12 September 2012 14:20

September is the anniversary of some personal milestones for me—my birthday, my first-ever post-college full-time job, deaths of my parents, the Word Trade Center attack—but it’s also the month that honors the arrival of a doll that is often dismissed and overlooked. I’m chatting about the Kewpie doll. We all know them, and, most likely, if you’ve ever attended a carnival or a state fair, you might have won one or two during your windmill pitching attempts at knocking over a row of milk bottles.

The Kewpie (as a doll) emerged in September 1912—one hundred years ago. In all of the decades that have followed, it has managed to attain its wide-eyed, small-nosed, smirking-lipped appeal.

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Empty Nest Syndrome: From the Obamas to the Simpsons, Spice Girls to Star Trek, matryoshkas are madcap!
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Monday, 27 August 2012 14:42

I have a confession to make: when I was a young girl, I LOVED Russia. Yes, I “hearted” the Soviet Union big-time. Now, I’m not speaking about their political system, or their less-than-freely-held elections. Nope, I wasn’t crazy about the Kremlin and its policies, but I was awestruck by the onion-domed cathedrals, storybook spires, and the whole landscape that always seemed dipped in lacy snowflakes and glistening icicles. For me, Russia looked like a Hans Christian Andersen opus sprung to life. I adored it, and as a kid I imagined it would be the chance of a lifetime to visit Moscow or St. Petersburg in person and marvel at the out-of-this-world architecture.

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