|Monster Mash-up: Dolls and an impending storm create a “FrankenFest” of thrills and chills!|
Madame Alexander’s sunny creation takes a dark turn in the delightfully daring “FrankenWendy.”
Once you get to be over the age of 10 or 11, Halloween stops being all that scary. Sure, you might continue to dress up and do ghoulish makeup—or even, more frightening for us moms, the sexy, slutty nurse or kitty cosmetics for kids—but the actual trembling-in-your-boots, afraid-to-stroll-through-a-cemetery anxiety normally fades away and is replaced by a healthy appreciation of the holiday and its macabre festivities. Things might get spooky, but it’s all in good, clean fun! Or is it?
This year, my October 31, 2012, is measuring up to be pure evil, with an avalanche of destruction and terror in its wake. Nope, I’m not opining about a 24-hour Roman Polanski marathon, but rather I’m bracing to square off against the “Storm of the Century,” otherwise known as “FrankenStorm.”
Yes, I live in the Northeast and the TV newscasters and radio announcers are trumpeting a torrential rainstorm, snowstorm, and hurricane all melding together to dump feet of snow and water upon our burbs and burgs this week. Set to touch down on land—please don’t let it be in my backyard—on Monday night, traditional Halloween trick-or-treating might be canceled for Wednesday. It’ll be difficult for the kiddies to climb over mountains of snow and ice. Plus, there is the possibility of electrical blackouts coupled with the whiteout driving conditions. For meteorologist pundits, this is the PERFECT storm. For the rest of us laypeople, this is a perfect horror show.
The only saving grace is the fact that this massive dumping is going to coincide with the season of terror and chills, so the chilly weather will let me and my family stay indoors and share ghost stories, Edgar Allan Poe tales, and the chance to make up our own. Luckily, we have an array of Monster High dolls to help us act out our fierce fantasies. And we also have a couple of Twilight characters and the cast of Harry Potter’s franchise.
As if doll makers could predict the oncoming storm—and the housebound nature of playing at home—a whole slew of amazing dolls have been whooshed into the marketplace. Many of them are on hand to be bought here and now, while a couple are available for pre-order (shipping in January 2013).
To coincide with the FrankenStorm of 2012, I’d like to present a coven of creepy, crawly (yet delightful and dazzling) dolls that I must admit I covet on some real gut level.
For the weather watchers who are excited about the convergence of the three natural elements (wind, rain, snow), there’s a slab’s worth of “Franken” dolls (and these aren’t replicas of Minnesota’s senator, and former “SNL” comic, Al Franken). Mattel has their Frankie Stein teenager/Universal Monster in assorted costumes and scenarios. There’s a fantastic backstory out there that has the monster girls congregating for a “Sweet 1600 Party,” and as you can envision, the ghouls have a fashion sixth sense! (http://shop.mattel.com/home/index.jsp)
Keeping with the theme of stitched together—and with these folks, it’s stitched for a perfect marital union—Mezco Toys is unveiling a couple of crazy kids who were fated to tie the knot. (Dare I say, the hangman’s knot.) Frankenstein and his Bride are ready to be ordered, but they won’t be slowly stomping down the aisle until January 2013. In the meantime, Mezco has another version of the Karloff iconic figure ready for delivery in November: the Universal Monsters Monster-Scale Frankenstein. All three of these Frankenstein figures are ideal for the horror fan in your family or for your own dastardly playtime (http://www.mezcotoyz.com/).
When you conjure up thoughts of dank laboratories, test tubes spewing off noxious chemicals, and mad scientists chortling with wicked abandon, don’t you think of Madame Alexander? I know I do! (http://www.madamealexander.com/) Despite their reputation for fresh-faced, wholesome Americana, every Halloween, the designers at the fabled company unleash their wildest musings. For 2012, they have a whole host of unholy concoctions, but my personal favorite is “FrankenWendy.” Looking a bit SteamPunk, a tad Goth, a mite menacing, this amalgam of sewn-together body parts is like a salute to Wednesday Addams and Katy Perry. The doll is fearsome and fierce, scary but stylish. I think she’s a definite keeper (or, should I say, crypt keeper)!
Also punching the October 31 timeclock—replete with bowls of punch and apple bobbing—are Mattel and Tonner. With the BarbieCollector website, we all have a chance to see the ethereal “Haunted Beauty Ghost Barbie” that has pulled a vanishing act worthy of Houdini. The spirited siren had so much allure that she’s already sold out on the Barbie site. (http://www.barbiecollector.com/) Her fans will have to hunt her down on Internet auction sites or by contacting private dealers . . . going BEYOND the typical purchasing ease.
And, supernaturally, Robert Tonner strikes yet again with fusings of fashion and fear. Tim Burton is very much on his mind (and on mine too, with “FrankenWeenie” and “FrankenStorm” coinciding). His variations on “Beetlejuice” and “The Corpse Bride” are stunning, and possibly sold out on his home court. (http://www.tonnerdoll.com/shop-collections) Again, a haunted hunt has to transpire to get your interested fingers on these terrific, terrifying designs.
So, while much of America is ringing doorbells, knocking on neighbors’ front porches, and wending their way through pumpkin-decorated wonderlands, I’ll be holding down the fort against the new deluge. You’ll all be on my mind, and I wish my kids and I could be taking part in the frolicking shenanigans. For now, though, I have to go and batten down the hatches, and perhaps find a bat in my belfry, too!Happy Halloween, doll devotees! Enjoy these 13 (oooh, 13!) images of spooky good cheer.
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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
2009 no award presented
2010 Helen Kish
2011 no award presented
2012 Maggie Iacono
2013 Heidi Plusczok
2014 Jack Johnston
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.