|Itty Bitty Toy Co. Merges Magic & Nature|
Stephanie Blythe’s and Linda Mason’s pet project, Itty Bitty Toy Co., is the result of plenty of persistence and hard work. “It’s been a five-year labor of love,” Blythe says. Every time a door closed and they began to question whether they should continue, another opened.
Although Blythe and Mason enjoy making dolls for adults, they’d always wanted to try their hands at play dolls for children. “Designing and working on them together became a fun adventure where the two of us had an excuse ‘to play together,’” Blythe says.
The fruits of Blythe’s and Mason’s labors have finally paid off with the debut of “Madi, the Magical Fairy” dolls and “Sneakaboo, the Mischievous Elf.”
Blythe and Mason clad their 12-inch vinyl darlings in nature-inspired clothes; their decision to do so was based on more than aesthetics. “We felt there was a lack of understanding and appreciation for nature in today’s children. We want learning about nature through our dolls to be fun and to raise children’s awareness about the workings of our fragile planet.”
Madi is dressed in four different ways, representing the forest, ocean, garden and sky. Sneakaboo, made specifically to appeal to boys, is dressed as a bee. Their costumes are designed for easy interchangeability among costumes, wig hats and wings. Additional outfits are also available to deck each doll in.
Included with the dolls are five Activity & Knowledge Collector Cards with facts, games, riddles, puzzles, art projects and recipes that teach about nature and relate to a specific costume.
Fairies instantly captivate children with their shimmer and shine, Blythe says, and children will further engage because of the variety of play the dolls offer to capture the imagination. “Children magically change the dolls’ personalities with costumes and wig hats that are easy to play with while learning about the natural inspiration for the costume through activity and knowledge cards,” she says.
Not only do their dolls serve to educate and entertain children, they also please parents. “Our products catch the wholesome, educational eye of the parent and the imaginative eye of the child,” Blythe says. “Fairies have an air of fantasy without any perceived threat to childhood innocence that many of the play dolls on the market today seem to possess.”
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The 2015 DOLLS Awards of Excellence Industry’s Choice winners (DAEs, also called the Diamond Awards) were announced at the International Doll & Teddy Bear Show in Asheville, N.C., June 6. The Industry's Choice winners will go on to become the nominee's in the Public's Choice voting, set to begin in late June.
Without further ado, here are the winners of this year's Industry's Choice Diamond Awards!
The Jones Publishing Lifetime Achievement Award is bestowed upon one recipient per year. This award was created in 2002 in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the introduction of the teddy bear, with the first recipient being Steiff, a German-based plush toy company known for its high quality and prices.
The Lifetime Achievement recipient must be or have been involved in some aspect of the doll and/or teddy bear field for a minimum of 25 years. The recipient may be an individual, partnership, corporation, company, author, artist, marketer, historian or any other industry professional. Lifetime Achievement Award nominations may be made by previous recipients or members of the LAA committee.
To qualify as a nominee, entrants must meet the following criteria:
The Lifetime Achievement Award has been presented to the following individuals and companies since its inception:
2003 Hildegard Gunzel
2004 Alexander Doll Company
2005 R. John Wright
2006 Wendy Lawton
2007 Virginia Turner
2008 Toy Shoppe
2010 Helen Kish
2012 Maggie Iacono
2013 Heidi Plusczok
2014 Jack Johnston
2015 Kaye Wiggs
August 8, 2014 - Blackall Associates Inc. is proud to announce the winner of its Summer Heat Photo Contest. The contest drew entries from around the world. Masterpiece Doll collectors sent in a special photo showing how their Masterpiece Dolls were enjoying the summer heat.
You haven’t seen a toy show until you’ve seen this one. Six buildings! Over six hundred exhibitors! Exclusively toys and dolls and children’s playthings on display everywhere! This is the show everyone always says they intend to visit, and now is the time to do just that. Collectors say the Chicago Toy Show really is the largest in the entire world. They are correct. Collectors say they find toys at this show that are never seen anywhere else. Correct again.
19 April 2014 – 5 October 2014
A special exhibition will take place at the Toy Worlds Museum Basle to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Japanese-Swiss diplomacy and friendship.