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The Delilah Dilemma: Can You Be Too Sexy for Your Hair?
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

I’m writing this DOLLS blog as news of the devastation in Japan continues to pour forth from the television, radio, and Web sites. If Japan_Barbie_lgryou’re like me, the notion of being here one moment, and then swept away the next, is terrifying. It seems surreal, and the images I’ve seen so far appear like outtakes from an old disaster movie. How could so much horror be unleashed so rapidly? It doesn’t seem possible; yet it happened.

Doll collectors, artists, industry personnel have made their generosity known over the decades, and I hope this latest tragedy will also receive the attention and outpouring of necessary funds from the doll community. (There is an abundance of legitimate organizations listed on the Web. I’m giving to the Red Cross.)

 

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A Date with Destiny: Groundhogs get more respect than dolls—what gives?
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

Over the last three weeks, I’ve caught snippets of international doll celebrations. In Egypt, amid the rioting and the chaos that streamed across the cable news, there was a smattering of reporting about the traditional Al-Moulid birthday celebration. In honor of the prophetSugarDollbride1 Mohamed’s birthday, sugar dolls are made for little girls (and sugar horses for boys). Made traditionally from handmade molds, these holiday dolls (Aroussa al-Moulid) have lately been created in China and then exported over to Egypt. So much for the time-honored tradition of craftsmanship passed down from generation to generation! At least, here is a photo of the doll being made the old-fashioned way, courtesy of Debra’s Dolls, Mullica Hill, NJ.

 

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Kiss Me, Kate: A Marriage Made in Media Heaven
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

If playing with dolls is the equivalent of wish fulfillment, then marrying a prince must be a wishkatemiddletonfame1 come true. I, for one, never dreamed of marriage to anyone—neither prince, pauper, nor Indian chief (or should I say, Native American chief)—I always imagined I’d go it alone. When I did marry, I wore a simple white suit (jacket and skirt), and my one indulgence was a pair of really pretty sling-back shoes. As I exchanged my vows at the makeshift trailer in between traffic court hours (yes, the real courthouse was under construction and we were shuttled into a mobile home of sorts), I was embodying the notion of a no-frills union.

 

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Fair-Well, My Lovely: Thoughts on the 108th Annual Toy Fair
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

As I strolled through Toy Fair this year, the annual orgy of too many toys, games, and video diversions assembled under one roof, I felt my head throb and my toes pinch. Several hours of trekking beneath the bright, blinding lights and hearing the constant hum of electronics can become noticeably grating, and I admit I did fear a Manchurian Candidate sort of hypnotic/synaptic blitz. disneyprincesses1(“The next time you see a Disney Princess, you will lash out. You will lash out. Disney Princess. Next time. See it. Lash.”) Luckily for my mental well-being, and for the safety of our world leaders, no such subconscious intrusion occurred, but I did have an irritable edge to me by the time I emerged into the sunlight 7 hours later.

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Fly Boy: Broadway’s Spider-Man needs to be toyed with.
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

If you’re going to be in Manhattan, and have a few thousand to spend, may I suggest an spiderman-musicalevening at “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark”? Okay, I’m kidding about the thousands (but just barely), but I do recommend this big, gigantic mess of a show for two reasons: 1) if you have children who are over the age of 8, it’s akin to taking them to a circus of nonstop tumbling and 2) while you’re sitting there surrounded by all the aerial stunts, you can do a lot of soul-searching. When I calculated how much I had spent on seats, dinner, parking, and bridge/tunnel costs, I figured it was the equivalent of maybe 40 Pink Box Barbies or two really well-made artist BJDs. Was it worth it? I’m going to blog it out.

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Face Value: Are you ready to face the truth about doll bigotry?
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

There’s a lot of bigotry in this world. I’m sure you don’t need to read a doll blog to figure thatBessie-ColemanAlexander_small out, but I am shocked to realize that I, too, am a bigot—and in a completely indefensible way. I’m not a racist or a homophobe or a political ideologue. No, my prejudice is something more insidious, and ingrained really deep inside. I just realized I judge a doll by her appearance, and—this pains me to admit—I favor pretty faces over plain, ordinary ones. I am a doll-mold monster!

 

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East of Eden: A friend struggles with an uncontrollable urge to own a Jeannie doll or two.
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

A few days ago, I received an e-mail from a friend, who wishes to remain anonymous, becausenelsonandjeannieinhandThumb of an impulsive purchase that he felt only I would understand. (Yes, it was a male pal, and that’s the only identifiable info I’ll divulge.) He was extremely distraught because he was looking to purchase one thing—just one simple NECESSARY household thing—on eBay, and instead he ended up buying a trio of “I Dream of Jeannie” dolls. As he wrote to me, “I think this could end up becoming a nightmare!”

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Bratty Behavior: Two Major Players Clash in a Courtroom over Bratz Dolls’ Beginnings.
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

For those of us who collect dolls, they are more often than not sources of joy, pride, and wish fulfillment. In some cases, they cause extreme exasperation (when you miss out on a limited barbieaslegallyblondeSMALLedition, for example) or financial consternation (did I really just spend $300 on a BJD . . . again?). When people play with their dolls, I imagine it’s a sense of revisiting happier days of yore—really coming home again emotionally and spiritually. So with all of these good vibrations and happy feelings floating around, why can’t Mattel and MGA Entertainment get along? Is it too much to expect them and their company lawyers to play nice?

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