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In the Spotlight
Mommie Dearests: The Mother of all Doll Collections
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Wednesday, 04 May 2011 16:11

Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and I know what I want. It’s not a charm bracelet with my children’s heads duplicated in gold (I have amom_tattoo1 lovely necklace that approximates that); it’s not a mug; it’s not a frame; it’s not breakfast in bed and a bouquet of balloons. No, it’s not a late-night jaunt down to the local tattoo parlor as I pay the ultimate homage to myself, with my husband immortalizing it all with his flip phone. No, what I want for Mother’s Day is the new Mattel release: Ghoulia Yelps, a gal with an anemic complexion that only a mom could love.

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Trump It Up: Donald Trump is still mum about his doll-buying ways.
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 19:49

Unless you’re living under a rock, it shouldn’t be news that uber reality star Donald Trump is toying with the idea of running for president.donaldanddoll Whether the real estate developer will seriously decide to turn his sights and his formidable purse strings toward D.C. is anyone’s guess, but for now he is reveling in the “will he or won’t he” debate.

Trump is one of those guys who is larger than life, and his unique hairstyle, Day-glo hair color, and bronzed skin tone make him ideal for caricaturizing. I think if he decides to run, candidate Trump will spawn a long line of bobble-head dolls, pull-string figures, and all manner of kitschy memorabilia and playthings. Unlike lesser mortals who might be bothered by being lampooned, “the Donald” comes alive when he is being discussed, photographed, and listened to. We all know the maxim “There’s no such thing as bad publicity”; Donald Trump lives that.

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Starved for attention: Weighing in on the life-size Barbie debate.
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Thursday, 21 April 2011 20:33

There’s definitely a mixed message being sent these days about body image and self-esteem. On the heels of all news reports for the pastlifesizebarbiegalia six months that have decried how Americans are getting bigger, fatter, and more sedentary, we are now bombarded with warnings that young people—girls, in particular—are at risk for peer-pressure anorexia. Just who or what is the main culprit for making young women want to silently starve, or covertly binge and purge, or exercise to the point of exhaustion and hospitalization? Is it the relentless drumbeat from the media and the White House that is monitoring our calories and our serving portions? No. Is it the parade of physically fit news anchors who remind us that we watch too much TV and snack too hard? Nope. Well, who, then, is to blame for the rash of girls who seemingly want to fade away into nothingness? Ahem, it’s Barbie, of course.

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Mother Lode: Is a breast-feeding doll too close for comfort?
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Wednesday, 13 April 2011 18:30

When I think of “Bill O’Reilly,” I immediately think “baby dolls.” Now, I’m not making a mockery of the he-man who is the master of thebebegloton1 Fox universe. This is no dismissive or derisive judgment on my part about his macho mannerisms. I am honestly just admitting that when I need to opine for my weekly blog, I can always rely on a good doll story or two to pop up during “The Factor.”

It’s quite interesting that Mr. O, who is no fan of the nanny state or government intrusion, never feels the need to apologize or explain his incessant nattering about social issues. He’s a one-man army poised to wage war against the cultural culprits who are robbing us of our innocence and our integrity. (Mr. O’Reilly, if you ever read this blog, I want to commend you on your “word of the day” feature. As you can see, I’ve taken it to heart!)

 

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Taylor-Made: Elizabeth Taylor’s captivating looks fated her to be a star and a doll.
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Thursday, 07 April 2011 17:45

This week, I received offers to immortalize and commemorate the life of Elizabeth Taylor. The screen legend was most likely the last ofpeoplemagazine1 the Hollywood royalty who seemed to have been groomed from infancy to be a film queen, who thrived on drama both on and off the set, and who became a blockbuster, international titan despite negative reviews and critics’ sniping. People magazine, Entertainment Weekly, and Barnes & Noble flooded my e-mail in-box with offers to buy books, posters, and tribute one-shot publications that feted “La Liz.” I also got a couple of e-mails from Cameron, my never-too-tired or broke-to-bid eBay pal. (If you remember, Cameron blew his yearly doll budget on one purchase of “I Dream of Jeannie” dolls.) Cameron was a great admirer of Taylor, and he wrote to me abashedly and apologetically: “Stephanie, would you consider me a ghoul,” his letter began, “if my first thought was—Do you think my Elizabeth dolls have gone up in value?”

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Hocus Pocus: A focus on Harry Potter and raising two little sorcerer’s apprentices
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Thursday, 31 March 2011 18:21

One of the most miraculous things about sharing your life with a child is that doors open up, and windows slide down, to reveal worldsPotterdollrobe1 that you never would have noticed—let alone have dwelled in. With my own kids, it’s a constant introduction to new phrases, new dance moves, new fads, but very old riddles (knock-knock jokes and corny puns still score big with six- and eight-year-olds). Amid all the hype over Silly Bandz (my two had to answer history and geography questions to amass any) and desiring a Nintendo DS (I refuse to budge and buy one for them to share), Tommy and Jane have learned that I’m not a total pushover when it comes to pocketing treats and toys. They have to work for a special surprise, or I have to see something as having value and significance before I purchase it for them. Over the past month, a captivating, commercial creation has charged into my home, taking me for a spin. He has elbowed his way into their playtime; he has them drawing comic books and playing dress-up. Their dolls are now named Hermione and Ron and Draco. The ringleader’s name is: Harry Potter.

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Radio Ga Ga: Callers vent about vampires & vamps, sexpots and pots-n-pans, armies vs. mommies
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Tuesday, 22 March 2011 14:22

Last Friday, I was working at home and had my handy-dandy radio on, as usual. Because my job is pretty solitary, I like having the humradio_small of conversation in the background. Lately, the talk-radio shows have been abuzz with negative insights, and there’s a sense of gloom and doom shrouding the conversations. So, imagine my surprise, when I suddenly heard the program host begin to debate the virtues and vices of Monster High and dolls in general. Not only did this topic perk up my ears, but it also mobilized my fingers to start dialing into the show. And, lucky for me, I made it on the air and took part in a very interesting look at dolls and their roles in a non-doll-collector venue.

 

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The Delilah Dilemma: Can You Be Too Sexy for Your Hair?
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Tuesday, 15 March 2011 18:33

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?
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Monday, 07 March 2011 20:54

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
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Monday, 28 February 2011 19:08

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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