Author: DOLLS Magazine Contributor

Curious Collector: 1999 Madame Alexander Cherry Twins

Q: I bought this adorable set of matching Madame Alexander 8-inch hard-plastic dolls mint in box at an auction recently. I thought they were older dolls at the time, because they had the bent-knee feature, which I hadn’t seen on the 8-inch dolls in decades. I paid $150 for them and was surprised when I got home to notice the year on the tag was 1999! Did I make a bad mistake?

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Antique Inspiration: Doug James’ 1470 Collection Re-Creates Early Fashion Doll

Somewhere between 1912 and 1925, the Simon & Halbig company produced a 14.5-inch lady doll. She had a small number of head variations but was always on the same body, which was unusual for the period and a small sign of the changing times. This was basically a high-end play doll for children whose dolls usually consisted of babies, toddlers, and young children.

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In the Doll World Podcast Brings Dollmakers into Collectors’ Homes

Imagine a world created especially for doll lovers: a world where you can sip tea and eat cookies while listening to Mel Odom tell the story behind Gene Marshall; Jozef Szekeres explain how his dedication to completing his GlamourOz Dolls led to him staying in China at the onset of COVID-19; and clothing designer Bryon Lars share why he created custom dolls for Mattel. This world exists — ever since my co-host, Georgette Taylor, and I created In the Doll World (ITDW), a doll podcast and YouTube channel where your favorite doll people share stories about their personal and doll journeys in a fun and safe environment.

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Curious Collector: 2004 UFDC Ginny Twins

Q: My mother was an avid doll collector, and so am I. When I inherited her collection, among the mini dolls was this souvenir set of 8-inch hard-plastic Ginny twins. They are absolutely adorable, and each comes with its own wooden rocking horse and a flyer regarding their theme. They use the traditional Ginny molds — I have many of the 1950s Ginny dolls in my collection. Can you tell me more about this special set and perhaps a value? I plan to keep them, but I’m curious.

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Rhonda Ingram Forgoes Factories, Creates Her Own BJDs

In the complex world of doll design, ball-jointed doll (BJD) artist Rhonda Ingram never faced a challenge she couldn’t conquer. Every potential obstacle is an opportunity for professional growth and creative freedom. She’s also not afraid to reinvent herself or pursue a fresh start by figuratively wiping the slate clean and starting over.

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Runway Ready, Set, Glow! Former model Pasha Setrova Creates Bold, Beautiful BJDs

Although she retired from a successful modeling career years ago, Pasha Setrova is still representing on the runway. These days, however, it’s in scaled-down proportions, via the popular PashaPasha line of fashion ball-jointed dolls (BJDs) that the Russian-born artist designs and delivers. With names such as Giddy Heights, Lollipop, Pink Panther, and Glam Rock, each of these highly articulated, fashion-forward catwalkers is imbued with the elusive “it” factor and represents an intriguing dichotomy between fantasy and reality.

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Civil War-era doll inspires award-winning children’s book

One of the projects that resulted from doll research that began over a decade ago came to fruition this year with the publication of my illustrated children’s book, “Sophia’s Gift.” Two months after the book was released, it won Gold in the 2021 Human Relations Indie Book Awards for cultural human relations in children’s books.

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Meet Brielle: Judy Porter Exclusive Limited to 20 Pieces, Available Now

My inspiration for sculpting Brielle was to continue my series of little toddlers with this new African-American friend. Brielle is a 12-inch little resin kid who can share clothes with her BFFs Addy Joy, Maisie, and Maudie. Each can also wear clothes made for American Girl’s Wellie Wishers and Dianna Effner’s Little Darlings.

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Antique Q&A: Simon & Halbig Bisque

Q: I bought this doll at an antique store. The bisque head is marked only “979.” The seller had no information about the doll, and no one in my doll club could help either. Could you tell me what company made it? Is it French or German? Also, the body looks different from those on my other bisque-head dolls. Can you comment on that as well?

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Jazzy Puppets: MacPherson Launches a New Twist on Reborns

A couple of years ago, when my 2-year-old granddaughter Keira was visiting, my daughter said she was really intrigued by puppets and asked if I had any of the nylon puppets left that I sold many years ago. The puppets I made were popular in the 1980s, and I literally made and sold hundreds of them at that time. I knew I had one packed away but couldn’t remember where it was stored.

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Dianna Effner: Prolific creator influenced a generation of doll artists

The doll world lost one of its brightest lights Oct. 14, 2020. At age 75, Dianna Effner lost her battle against cancer and passed away at her daughter’s home in Rolla, Missouri. An undeniable force in the collectible-dolls arena, Effner was a talented artist, successful businesswoman, and valued mentor.

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Antique Q&A: French papier-mâché doll

Q: My neighbor found this doll, which seems to be very old, wrapped in a blanket in a chest in her grandmother’s attic. Knowing that I collect dolls, she asked me about it, but it seems older than any dolls I usually see. Can you tell us about it? Does it have any value? She is downsizing and wants to know if she should sell it, donate it to the thrift shop, or throw it away.

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Curious Collector: Ideal 1957 Shirley Temple doll

My mother, when downsizing, came across a doll she had bought years ago, a 17-inch Ideal Shirley Temple. She was still strapped in the original box, which I believe is the first box with the gold lid and white stars with Shirley Temple’s picture on the end. The doll is flawless — I am amazed at the condition of the vinyl, plus the hair has never been disturbed.

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Virginia Comish adds BJDs to her dollmaking lineup

Doll artist Virginia Comish has spent about a decade making baby dolls, first making vinyl reborn dolls, later switching to working on silicone baby dolls, including sculpting a doll for reproduction in silicone. Most recently, though, her enjoyment of collecting ball-jointed dolls (BJDs) has led her to make her own — not just the sculpts, but making the molds and casting the dolls herself.

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