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American Horror Story: Should a John Wilkes Booth doll light a powder keg of controversy?
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Tuesday, 20 March 2012 16:47

For consistent readers of my blog, you know that I often discover issues concerning dolls in the most unlikely places. This week, I initiallyLincoln-Assassin-Bobble1 came across a story on “The O’Reilly Factor” that had host, Mr. Bill O’Reilly, seeing more red than usual. The FOX News Channel—with its “fair and balanced” tagline—could easily change it to “fairly ball-jointed” because their news anchors do spend hours of airtime covering doll concerns. It is always highly entertaining to watch the FOX “foxes,” the very good-looking women who populate the station, reporting on the latest Barbie ballyhoo or breast-feeding brouhaha.

 

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Lady Luck: RuPaul may be a walking-talking doll, but what happened to the fashion figure?
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Wednesday, 14 March 2012 18:07

Is it possible to be ahead of one’s time, and then behind one’s moment to shine, followed by the exact moment when the rest of the worldrupauldragrace1 has caught up and all constellations align for perfect acceptance? If that sounds all sort of “touchy/feely” or New Age nonsensical, I apologize. I just don’t know how else to explain the career of RuPaul and his/her emergence as a charismatic and enjoyable television commodity.

 

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China Doll: The forbidden doll photography of Liu Xia strikes a blow for freedom and democracy.
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Tuesday, 06 March 2012 14:23

A rose is a rose is a rose, but a doll is not always a doll. At least, that’s the guiding force behind the photos of Chinese poet and artist Liudollinculture_NEW Xia. In a society like ours, where every person with a keyboard and a camera phone can become an Internet gadfly—I’m looking in the mirror here—it’s difficult to imagine a culture where access to television, radio, the Web, and public discourse is denied daily. In fact, it’s beyond being denied—it’s squelched, squashed, and declared “a crime against the state.”

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Oscar Opus: A cyber awards show made for collectors to feel like a red-carpet winner!
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Tuesday, 28 February 2012 18:31

The fantasy of million-dollar fashions and age-defying figures that is Hollywood’s most breathtaking night has ended, and the awardsoscarstatues1 season has come to a Technicolor end. Or has it? I think host Billy Crystal was right when he joked about the TV audience watching “a bunch of millionaires giving golden statues to one another.” Admittedly, there is something odd about seeing highly paid people, who already receive accolades and applause, garnering more trophies and prestige. Still, the night is festive, glamorous, and allows movie lovers a chance to revel in the spectacle and place some wagers on the side. It is the Super Bowl for cinephiles! (I did very, very well with my Academy Award picks.)

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Toy Fair 2012: My fair ladies, lambs, long lines, and laughter.
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Monday, 20 February 2012 20:57

Toy Fair is a unique and magical place. And what makes the February staple at New York City’s Javits Center even more unusual is thetoyfaircutoutkids1 total absence of real children. Yes, a huge cut-out of curly-haired, smiling moppets greet you as you slog in from the frigidly cold Manhattan streets, but the real deal is nowhere to be seen. Kids are an exotic rare creature at Toy Fair—seeing one or two (the offspring of some determined dealers or manufacturers) is like spotting a unicorn or an original swirl-ponytail Barbie #1, Mint in Box, at a local garage sale.

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Hits and Misses: Which doll would you like to see on the big screen?
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Monday, 13 February 2012 15:03

The 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 manybattleship1 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.

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Too Hot to Handle? Computer geeks, Middle East hierarchies & public demand combust.
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Monday, 06 February 2012 16:00

Writing a doll blog makes me supersensitive to what is selling and what is percolating in the toy industry. Hoping to brew a finely tunedstevejobsdoll1 sense for what is going on, I’m also called upon to meditate and ruminate on all these developments and how they impact our daily lives. So, blending the practical (doll sales) with the philosophical (my blog ramblings), if a doll DOESN’T sell in the forest of toy stores and websites, does it still make a sound? In the case of this week’s blog, it makes an even bigger sound than you could ever imagine.

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Toying Around the TV Set.
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Monday, 30 January 2012 16:10

It’s no secret that I LOVE TV. People often denigrate it by calling it the “boob tube” or the “idiot box,” but, to me, those are justtina-fey-and-doll1 instances of “sticks and stones.” As long as you don’t hurl pebbles at my flat-screen Vizio, it’s all good.

One of the things I like best about just chilling out and watching a program—comedies and zombie shows are my favorites, go figure—is when a doll makes an unexpected guest appearance. So far, the new year is only a few weeks old, and already dolls are popping up everywhere on the pop culture front.

 

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Dollars and Dolls: Making dolls and a living is the American dream, and beyond.
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Monday, 23 January 2012 16:21

Every so often, I’ll meet someone who will be tickled pink that I work with dolls. After answering the obligatory North Pole and Santa’smarthastewart_new Workshop questions—I telecommute, I explain, so I don’t need to check in with the reindeer on a daily basis, and yes, Rudolph’s nose IS that shiny—I explain how the world of dolls is actually quite huge, innovative, constantly re-inventing itself, and can be quite profitable.

When the issue of capital is raised, so are the eyebrows.

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Barbie Beating Cancer: Is Mattel bound to make a connection?
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Monday, 16 January 2012 14:35

Oh, my goodness! Barbie, why are you such an attention hog? Well, “hog” isn’t the right word when you are dealing with the physically fitbarbiebaldfacebook_NEW vinyl one. Neither is “glory hound,” because Barbie is many things, but a dog is not one of them.

In typical polarizing fashion, Barbie has managed to kick off the new year with enormous Yahoo and Google searches, coverage in all forms of mass media, and a petition asking her to be a role model—yet again—but this time for a very unexpected, very meaningful, and surprisingly controversial cause.

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