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Mad About Alexander: Face-lifts & fashion? Fantasy realism? Tweet it out!
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Wednesday, 15 March 2017 19:43

It's hard to come up with a new idea — I mean, one that has never been seen, heard, spoken about, or imagined before. There are some cultural critics who maintain there are NO new ideas at all. Everything is simply recycled, repurposed, reformatted, and rearranged. If you watch a lot of TV (I plead guilty), you probably subscribe to that worldview. I can often figure out a brain-teasing miniseries before its second episode even concludes. So much for originality!

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Toy Fair 2017: Hello, Hologram Dolly! Barbie wows as an AI beam of light
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Wednesday, 08 March 2017 16:36

I like the notion of artificial intelligence. I have enough confidence in myself that I don't think I'll ever find myself head-over-heels in love with a disembodied voice, like the poor nebbish character that Joaquin Phoenix plays in the movie "Her." In that 2013 film, directed by Spike Jonze, Phoenix plays a guy who is down on his luck and responds enthusiastically and recklessly to the sultry tones of his cyber device (the Her of the title is a futuristic version of Siri or Alexa, and is vocally performed by Scarlett Johansson).

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Toy Fair 2017: Mattel Steps Up with Anime, Gabby Douglas, Yves Saint Laurent & You!
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Thursday, 02 March 2017 22:30

One of the hardest parts of going to Toy Fair, and then filing reports, is figuring out what to chat about, when to display it, and in which particular order. Luckily for me, I have the blog — which is weekly, so keep checking it for more and more reveals — plus DOLLS magazine will publish the printed version of the event. So, for this second outing of what was new at Javits Center, I am going to unveil some of what I saw at Mattel.

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Toy Fair 2017: A Global Gathering
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Friday, 24 February 2017 21:15

Wow! I love Toy Fair. It's not an exaggeration or hyperbole. It is an absolute truth of my life. I adore the opportunity to walk the miles of aisles, browse, and then chat with the folks who make the world play. Sure, as the day drives onward, and my feet start to bark — seven hours and still marching, maybe more like mincing — I can't help but smile at the booths bursting with creativity and surprises.

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Imitation of Life: On-screen and off-screen dolls live out a fabled Hollywood director’s visions
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Tuesday, 21 February 2017 19:51

The Academy Awards are going to be broadcast Feb. 26, 2017, and one can only imagine the level of forward-thinking fashions, political barbs (subtle and not-so-subtle), and cultural surrealism that will be swirling about during the 89th annual orgy of opulence! It's sort of impressive that the Oscars are a year shy of 90. Rather than sliding into the comfort of becoming a precious, revered institution, the award ceremony always struggles to remain relevant, current, and reflective of what's happening on the pop-culture front lines.

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The Sweet Smell of Success: Estée Lauder’s doll devotion
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Tuesday, 14 February 2017 16:56

Two of New York City's most famous, wealthy philanthropists — individuals who loved the nightlife, attending charity balls, and hobnobbing with the "beautiful people" — just happened to be women. Even more fascinating, they both happened to be doll lovers!

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Illustrator Kyle Hilton turns pop-culture icons into real paper dolls
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Wednesday, 08 February 2017 21:03

Photos Courtesy of Kyle Hilton

Among my favorite toys as a child were my paper dolls. I know that in this modern age of interactive devices and virtual-reality glasses, admitting to a penchant for paper dolls makes you a throwback to antiqued, more genteel times. I'm sure there are folks who imagine I must be as old as Methuselah and most likely hitched a ride with Fred Flintstone to the one-room schoolhouse. ("Move over, Pebbles, I've got to squeeze in beside Bamm-Bamm! Today we're going to invent the wheel!")

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Quirky Quotes: 16 celebrities sound off about their doll connections
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Tuesday, 31 January 2017 20:39

As January comes to a close, and a new year of doll discoveries awaits us, let's take a gander at what some well-known people have said about doll creations. With the Oscar nominations hitting this week, and presidential news conferences taking center-stage, it's fun to see which stars have chatted about being collectible, in both a dignified and charming manner, and in a bold and boisterous way.

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Postscript to the Past: Theresa Merritt visualizes hidden figures in history
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Wednesday, 18 January 2017 17:14

Photos courtesy of Lady With a Past

In addition to being a first-rate doll artist and historical researcher, Theresa Merritt is a born conversationalist. Probably because she loves history so much, she is gifted with the ability to share stories of her life, her ambitions, her dreams, and her accomplishments. Theresa doesn't just answer a question; she weaves a tapestry of intrigue and excitement.

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Celebrating a Fresh Start with Gretchen Anthony’s Reborn Creations
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Wednesday, 11 January 2017 16:33

Photos courtesy of Southern Angels Nursery

While the new year is still in its infancy — I have to confess, I am having a hard time writing "2017," it doesn't seem possible — my focus for this week is understandably on babies. Yes, I am highlighting the little faces and wiggly toes that make the world that much sweeter and enjoyable. It makes sense to celebrate baby dolls in January because of the "New Year Baby." Does anyone out there know what I'm talking about, or has this onetime popular icon gone the way of the Discman, the Walkman, and the transistor radio? (Try wearing a Walkman or a Discman while you jog or speed-walk around town. You might as well be dressed in a Paul Revere costume — that's how antiquated the headgear has become!)

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