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Barbie Blockbuster: Toyland’s Golden Girl Goes for Film Stardom—for real!
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

So, I woke up this morning and grabbed a cup of semi-warm coffee from my Keurig. I don’t know how it’s happened, but as time has passed, so has my machine’s heating abilities. What used to jolt me awake—a steaming brew of java—is now a lukewarm cup of brown water. Still, I need caffeine to function well, or even to function somewhat well, so I downed the dredge. I needn’t have worried about café or heating coils, because the news of the day really got me wide-awake and raring to go.

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Dangerous Curves Ahead: Catwoman Makes Her Mark
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

The songwriter Jim Steinman—best known for putting the words right into singer Meat Loaf’s mouth—once observed that “good girls go to Heaven, but bad girls go everywhere else!”

COSMO magazine founder Helen Gurley Brown said something very similar, so if a rock-n-roll titan and a publishing maven agree—well, it’s just gotta be true! When it comes to the ultimate bad girl, very few can hold a candle to the feline charms of Catwoman.

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Big-Screen Goldmine: Jem and the Holograms are next, but the Cabbage Patch Kids/American Hustle mash-up could be really big!
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

We’ve seen how the Transformers toys have transformed themselves into a mega blockbuster franchise. We’ve witnessed the board game favorite Battleship converted into a film thriller. Now we’re preparing to see Hasbro’s latest foray into the Hollywood toy box. The toy manufacturer is teaming up to produce a big-screen version of the adventures of Jem and the Holograms.

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Leaders of the Pack: Dolls are easy riders and easy on the eyes!
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

I love parties. I think it’s because I like getting that unexpected note in the mail—a little promise of future fun held within an entertainment envelope! It’s something I’ve always appreciated—going way back to my active grammar-school party days. Wow, we had a lot of birthday celebrations from first to eighth grade! Those occasions would begin with “Pin the Tail on the Donkey,” offer a chance to be super competitive in “Musical Chairs,” and then put prepubescent courage to the test with “Truth or Dare.” (Personally, I’d rather be the donkey getting pinned than have to blurt out an embarrassing confession or do one of the mean-spirited dares!) These juvenile get-togethers were great because they let our inner party monsters go wild!

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Santa Sanitizer: Is there a clause for germ exemption when you’re handing out dolls and bears?
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

“I knew it was too good to be true!”

The second I heard my friend Cam bellowing that observation, I knew I was in for something bombastic and possibly fantastic. With Cam, he could be reacting to the fact that Greek yogurt does not have a dozen calories (without reading glasses, he misread the 120 calories for 12 on the back of a container and ate six of them in a row) or he could be spinning from a revelation that demotes a planet to a mere gaseous heavenly body. Everything seems to be of equal weight in Cam’s universe.

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The Sound of Tweeting: A Carrie Underwood doll, anyone?
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

Well, I can’t imagine that Twitter is one of Carrie Underwood’s favorite things these days. After (and even during) her musical acting debut in NBC’s presentation of “The Sound of Music,” on December 5, the Internet chat sites were alive with the sound of snarking. People everywhere got into the act of condemning Ms. Underwood’s performance, pointing out that her range was nonexistent and her acting chops were not fine-tuned in the least.

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Thankful and Delightful: A charming and nostalgic doll salute to Thanksgiving, past and present.
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

My Sunday nights used to be peaceful ones. That is, if you consider an hour spent watching zombies chomp on limbs, only to be stopped by a swift blow to the skull, as a restful endeavor. To me, unwinding before “The Walking Dead” was something I looked forward to on Sunday evening: an hour of uninterrupted, unblemished carnage and social commentary.

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Doll Dilemma: What do you do when your celebrity likeness behaves badly?
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

Miley Cyrus has a decent voice. When I hear her singing on the car radio, and my kids join along, I think, “Hmmm, she has talent. She can carry a tune. Why is she so hell-bent on becoming something beyond an entertainer?”

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