Mel Odom’s Gene Marshall fashion doll has captivated collectors since her debut in 1995. Originally produced by Ashton-Drake Galleries, Gene stood a glamorous 15.5 inches tall at a time dominated by the 11.5-inch Barbie.
Gene was presented as a doll for adult collectors to redress and play with. She also came with her own back story and an ever-expanding cast of friends and rivals. Gene is a Hollywood star whose career ran from the 1940s until her retirement in 1961.
As such, her wardrobe is replete with outfits inspired by famous designers of the time, including Dior and Valentino, as well as costumes from her movie roles. Each release, whether it was a doll or a separate fashion, expanded the ongoing story of Gene and friends. Gene was so successful that within five years, many other doll manufacturers started their own larger-scale doll lines, launching the era of the 16-inch fashion doll. Ashton-Drake continued to release new Gene dolls and fashions through 2005.
After Odom’s contract with Ashton-Drake ended, Integrity Toys negotiated a new agreement with the artist, and Gene found a new home from 2006 through 2010. After the Integrity years, Gene had a brief retirement, but loyal fans kept her memory alive. Then George Gonzalez of JAMIEshow licensed the rights from Odom and transformed Gene and friends into resin fashion BJDs, with releases from 2013 through 2019.
Author, photographer, and dedicated Gene collector Anne Monday chronicled all the Gene dolls and fashions from all three companies in JP Media’s “Gene: Dolls, Outfits & Accessories, 1995-2017.” Buy the Gene Marshall book here.
We have now created a PDF download with photos of the last six releases in JAMIEshow’s Gene Marshall line, from 2018 and 2019. You can get a free download of Chapter 22 of the book (as we’re calling it) by signing up for our email newsletters. Use the form below.
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