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In the Spotlight
Cuckoo for Kewpies: The adorable love messengers are turning 100 years old.
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Wednesday, 12 September 2012 14:20

September is the anniversary of some personal milestones for me—my birthday, my first-ever post-college full-time job, deaths of my parents, the Word Trade Center attack—but it’s also the month that honors the arrival of a doll that is often dismissed and overlooked. I’m chatting about the Kewpie doll. We all know them, and, most likely, if you’ve ever attended a carnival or a state fair, you might have won one or two during your windmill pitching attempts at knocking over a row of milk bottles.

The Kewpie (as a doll) emerged in September 1912—one hundred years ago. In all of the decades that have followed, it has managed to attain its wide-eyed, small-nosed, smirking-lipped appeal.

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Empty Nest Syndrome: From the Obamas to the Simpsons, Spice Girls to Star Trek, matryoshkas are madcap!
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Monday, 27 August 2012 14:42

I have a confession to make: when I was a young girl, I LOVED Russia. Yes, I “hearted” the Soviet Union big-time. Now, I’m not speaking about their political system, or their less-than-freely-held elections. Nope, I wasn’t crazy about the Kremlin and its policies, but I was awestruck by the onion-domed cathedrals, storybook spires, and the whole landscape that always seemed dipped in lacy snowflakes and glistening icicles. For me, Russia looked like a Hans Christian Andersen opus sprung to life. I adored it, and as a kid I imagined it would be the chance of a lifetime to visit Moscow or St. Petersburg in person and marvel at the out-of-this-world architecture.

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Wild for Steampunk: Wilde Imagination’s Imperium Park swings open the visionary floodgates.
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Monday, 20 August 2012 14:42

If you’re like me, you’re always looking for something fun (and economical) to do with your kids. Going to the movies used to be a weekly or monthly excursion for families, but now in the Northeast, when admission for 2 adults and 2 kids can easily escalate to $45 and beyond, movie-going is a four-times-a-year affair, if at all.

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A Touch of Evil: Disney debuts a lineup of designer villains that are gorgeous and ghastly!
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Monday, 13 August 2012 20:41

I think Mae West was onto something when she drawled, “When I’m good, I’m very, very good. But when I’m bad, I’m better.” There’s something very compelling about watching a bad person having a real good time—when it’s safely being projected on a movie screen or a Broadway stage, of course. Witnessing a “Goody Two-shoes” always putting her best foot forward can grow dull and repetitive for a grown-up sensibility. Sure, many little girls want to dress like and act like Cinderella, Aurora, Snow White, and Ariel. However, for the adult viewer, give us Maleficent or the Evil Queen any day of the week! The villains who squirm and shimmer and shine and shout their way through many Hollywood vehicles are the characters with the wittiest lines and the most complex motivations. In the world of Disney cartoons, it’s the bad guys and gals who have the spoken lines and the animated lines that make “evil” both alluring and disturbing.

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Go for the Gold: Does your doll collection reflect a winning attitude?
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Monday, 06 August 2012 14:59

So far, so good. That’s my assessment of the summer Olympics, and I make that judgment as a couch potato par excellence. If a person could achieve Gold Medal status for resting on her gluteus maximus, I’d be the Michelle Phelps of the sitting arena. (By the way, wasn’t “Gluteus Maximus” the name of the Russell Crowe character in “Gladiator”? It was something like that.)

 

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Record-breaking Dolls: 2012 Olympics invites elite sports figures to become literal figures.
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Wednesday, 01 August 2012 20:35

I can’t predict the future; I’m sometimes able to comment accurately on the present; but I sure as heck know how to remark on the past. In this case, I’m pretty sure that most of you were watching the Olympics last night, and the night before, and the night before, and the night before (and the night before, not to be too redundant)!

 

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Dolls for the Defense: Both Lady Gaga and Candy Spelling are ensnared in “playful” lawsuits.
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Thursday, 26 July 2012 15:26

For those of us who love and adore dolls, we’re filled with happy thoughts and heady emotions when we ponder a past favorite or a future purchase. If you’re a doll artist or a super doll collector, then the reference to a doll unleashes a steady, healthy stream of endorphins. It’s sort of like weightlifters and bodybuilders who are getting flooded with natural highs as they squat and thrust! We’re also getting those bio benefits when we sculpt and tweak.

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Exclusively Exotic: Two fabulous new dolls go in one era and out another!
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Wednesday, 18 July 2012 13:52

This past weekend, we all packed up and scrambled into the old minivan to make a 4-hour drive to visit my niece’s new home. Now, 4 hours is not 40 hours or 4,000 miles, but it did try our patience because of unexpected thunderstorms (traffic slowed down), bumper-to-bumper gridlock (we got caught in the start of rush hour, due to the rain delays), and the presence of Cam in the backseat.

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Days of Thunder: What do Suri Cruise, a future queen, a North Korean dictator, and a wannabe star have in common? More than you think!
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Tuesday, 10 July 2012 15:21

There are some days when the “end of days” really do seem to be upon us. Today I discovered such a bizarre confluence of events that I think an army of Apocalyptic horsemen might be right around the corner. There is really no rational explanation for some of the items that have popped up on my radar screen this week:

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Looks to Diet for: Would you rather be a Barbie booster or a Princess Di diehard clone?
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Tuesday, 03 July 2012 20:19

Last weekend was an eye-opening experience for me. I was visiting a friend’s home, which is filled with knickknacks, figurines, assorted porcelain trinket boxes, and a myriad of mohair Teddies. My friend, Lynda, loves to acquire items that she perceives as having “value.” For Lynda, the value can be sentimental or aspirational. For her husband, Steve, it should be financial, not inspirational.

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