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Hits and Misses: Which doll would you like to see on the big screen?
battleship1The other day while watching the Super Bowl—no, not watching it, rejoicing in it—I had to do a double take. During one of the many advertisements that bookend the pigskin plays, I thought I saw a line of text scrawl across the screen about “Hasbro, the company that gave you the Transformers.” And then, lo and behold, there came a series of scenes that depicted fleets, and vessels, and men in uniform, and women with headsets on, and finally Liam Neeson. Most of the action seemed to be taking place on a battleship.

Oh, no, I thought, my mind scrambling to the finish line like an excited kid playing Parcheesi. It can’t be. Is this a movie based on the board game Battleship? And, in fact, yes, it is.

Battleship—the classic game of strategy and persistence—has been revamped into a big-screen film. I imagine the folks at Hasbro are cashing in on the winning streak they’ve had with Transformers. After all, weren’t they toys before they became summer franchises?

That got me to thinking about all the possibilities that exist in our toy boxes for celluloid blockbusters. G.I. Joe is coming back to the cineplexes once more—this time, the all-American hero and his buddies will be embodied by onetime wrestler “the Rock” and onetime husband to Demi Moore, Bruce Willis.

If the fuzzy-haired Joe doll could find his way to Hollywood twice now—a couple years back, Dennis Quaid co-starred in one of these vehicles—then why not some of our beloved dolls?

Ryan-Reynolds-and-Scarlett1We have to start off with the most well-known doll of all: Barbie. Sun-kissed skin, bouncy hair, andwitherspoonsplit1 a gravity-defying silhouette, who could translate Miss Barbie to the big screen? Perhaps Scarlett Johansson—she has the requisite physique and glossy blond tresses. And Ryan Reynolds, her former main squeeze, would be the ideal Ken. However, their rather nasty split might make their screen reunion a no-go. Reese Witherspoon could be a nice Barbie, too: she’s perky and sunny and blond. And her ex-hubby, Ryan Phillippe, would make a rather good-looking Ken, too. But just like Ms. Johansson, Witherspoon has not stayed on the best of terms with her separated mate. What is it about male co-stars named Ryan? Apparently, it’s not such a lucky marital moniker. (Too bad these Hollywood stars don’t unite for life, or at least until all their chemistry has been harnessed and photogenically explored!)

Barbie, and her many occupations, outfits, and subtle facial shaping and re-shaping, make her an exciting candidate for a panoramic espionage saga. Perhaps Scarlett and Reese are too tame for the popcorn-selling Barbie. Get Angelina Jolie—in a blond wig, of course—on the phone.

genetierney1It’s not Barbie alone who would pack filmgoers into movie theaters and their stadium seats. What about Gene Marshall? What a role of a lifetime: the chance to play a movie star who was on equal footing with Davis, Crawford, Turner, and Tierney. The wardrobe for Gene was so lavish and so meticulous that the costume designer just has to make the ensembles a tad bigger. (Let’s face it, most movie stars—even when they are nearly 5’ 11—can squeeze into a size 2 or 4.)

Who do you see as Gene? She never looked the same in any of her Ashton-Drake or IntegrityAshley Judd incarnations. To me, Cate Blanchett could assume that role easily. She’s a veritable chameleon. (Plus, she’s been made into a doll by Robert Tonner, and has been immortalized as an action figure, too, for her work in the last Indiana Jones flick.)

And though she often looks the same, Gwyneth Paltrow has a trunkload of accents that she can pull out at a moment’s notice. And Ashley Judd would also be yummy in a 1940s siren part. Oh, it would be exciting to cast someone as Gene!

tyler_wentworth1Robert Tonner is always fashioning likenesses of this year’s big hits. His “Twilight,” “Lord of the Rings,” and “Harry Potter” dolls are legendary. Isn’t it about time that one of his original creations gets her own life upon the big screen? Which of his many misses would you want to see romping across your local cinema? All of his characters are so fascinatingly made with complete bios and histories, why, any of them would be the perfect Oscar-worthy package.

Truthfully, if a board game like Battleship can launch a big-screen epic, why the hesitation about raiding the doll aisles for the next bigantoinettetonner1 dollop of escapism? Before I plunk down my ten bucks for two hours browsing in Candyland, or a trip down Chutes & Ladders, or an afternoon witnessing high-rollers waging Monopoly—though that’s pretty much the six o’clock news these days—I want to see a good-looking guy and a better-looking doll. Call me an old romantic, but I think there’s plenty of toe-curling sizzle to be found in our modern plastic and vinyl collectibles.

Barbie, get ready for your next close-up. It’s just a matter of time.

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There could be a Team America version of a doll story using the actual dolls in the film. A director wouldn't have to worry about a temperamental actress. He could just use Tyler Wentworth for her part or Barbie for Barbie.
Hilary , February 20, 2012
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Any one of those actresses would make a great Barbie Doll.I think Mia Wasikowska from the Alice in Wonderland movie would make a great Barbie as well. Many people would likely go to see a Barbie and Ken comedy, especially ladies.
Laura Prier , February 15, 2012 | url
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Gene TIerney and Ashley Judd really do look a like. Never realized that before. Thanks for showing this example!
Pat Crosby , February 15, 2012
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Wow! I would pay to see a Barbie movie, but I think Reese Witherspoon in Legally BLonde already was a Barbie: Lawyer Barbie. She's be great in the role.
Mara Kaye , February 14, 2012

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Latest Articles from News & Notes

2015 DOLLS Awards Industry's Choice winners announced

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!

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Jones Publishing Lifetime Achievement Award Winners

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:

  • Been active in the doll or bear field a minimum of 25 years.
  • Maintained or increased the quality of reputation and product or service provided since inception.
  • Served the industry with integrity, honesty, reliability
  • Received a majority of the votes from previous recipients.

The Lifetime Achievement Award has been presented to the following individuals and companies since its inception:

2002 Steiff
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

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BLACKALL ASSOCIATES INC. 
ANNOUNCING Winner of the Summer Heat Photo Contest

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. 

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i have very old magazines need to sell them before something happens to them
margie , December 20, 2014
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i really like all the barbie balack dress, can i ask question can i buy this, because its all out in the market now here in the philippines, can you help me please im a big fan of thiss dolls
mark christian paul l. carigma , December 16, 2014 | url

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The Chicago Toy Show

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.

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Konnichiwa and Grüezi - 150 years of Japan and Switzerland

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.

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