Author: Carie Ferg

Dolls Are Misunderstood

When people ask me what I do for a living and I explain DOLLS magazine, non-collectors don’t get it. Their immediate assumption is either the magazine is about the type of playthings seen at big box stores … or at most, they imagine cheap and trinket-y porcelain dolls that can be found at dollar stores across the country. But they don’t realize that dolls are art. In my mind, dollmakers are the most talented artists in the world. As I took in all the three-dimensional masterpieces at a show I recently attended, I was once again reminded of this sentiment. Think about it. Their talent is multi-faceted. Many doll artists not only sculpt, but also paint, costume, engineer and more. To be an artist who can successfully sing so many notes, is no small feat. So it is ironic to me that beyond the niche doll-collecting audience, dolls aren’t really recognized as art by mainstream audiences. And I feel that art connoisseurs— patrons of paintings, glasswork, sculpture and more—are missing out on the greatest art of all … doll art. Perhaps as doll lovers, it is our responsibility to educate every chance we get to share the joy of what we all love to a larger audience, and in so doing, keep doll collecting alive and...

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The Dark Side of Dolls

One of my doll-from-the-dark-side favorites … Barbie by Christian Louboutin Zombies, vampires and ghouls … oh my! It seems everywhere I turn another doll from the dark side is making its entrance into the doll scene. Why are dolls trending dark? Must be some magical mix in society that has opened the door to the frightfully paranormal and unusual, which has then translated into doll company offerings. From Tonner Doll Co.’s Fashion Zombies and Sinister Circus creations to The Ashton-Drake Galleries’ “Delilah Noir” and “Emily the Strange” and the work of countless one-of-a-kind dollmakers, there is definitely something mysterious...

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What’s an Anthro?

Ball-jointed doll (BJD) designers (and collectors) are famous for pushing boundaries and redefining norms in the doll world. One example of that is the facet of BJDs growing in popularity which are anthropomorphic in nature. By definition “anthropomorphic” means “ascribing human form or attributes to a being or thing not human …” ( In BJD-land that’s manifesting itself in creatures that are not quite human-like, but also not entirely animal renderings either. They’re called “anthros” for short and more and more doll companies are offering their take on the whimsical “dolls” to collectors. Do you like them? Do you hate them? I wonder what in our social-economic climate right now has precipitated these interesting, evocative works? Check out Pipos’ anthros and see what you...

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The Jason Wu Event VI: Iconic

The place is Schaumburg, Ill. The dates are Oct. 1-3, 2009. The sold-out occasion is The Jason Wu Event VI: Iconic. The theme is Celebrating a Decade of Style! And the fashion phenomenon in attendance will be Jason Wu. Yes, the Jason Wu who has accomplished in a decade what most people only dream of achieving in a lifetime and whose already-bright star skyrocketed through the hemisphere when First Lady Michelle Obama sported the 26-year-old designer’s gown to the inaugural ball in January 2009. And now the design tour de force of both human and doll fashion has created...

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The Affects of Pop Culture on Doll Collecting

Some folks are of the school of thought that doll collecting is going away. I happen to believe it’s just changing in a big way. One factor I believe has changed the timbre of doll collecting is pop culture. So a person may not be a doll collector per se but he or she may buy dolls that play into his/her pop culture interests, i.e., someone collects everything related to say Marilyn Monroe and so s/he purchases several likenesses on the market. Or Super Woman, or Gene Simmons, or the Twilight characters (by the way, New Moon launches Nov. 20 … I’ve already purchased my tickets!). You get the idea. Many doll companies like Tonner Doll Co., Alexander Doll Co., Mattel, etc., already play to this market. I imagine many of these occasional collectors stay just that … once and awhile doll buyers. But when you look at the power pop culture has over the masses and the sheer numbers there, it’s clear there’s a market even if the purchases aren’t as frequent as those of “real doll collectors.” And who knows? Maybe these “occasional buyers” will realize they actually dig doll collecting itself and transition into a doll...

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Odom Retires Gene

Mel Odom has announced that as of June 2010 his iconic “Gene Marshall” doll will be officially retired. “Gene and I are pulling a Garbo, and retiring,” Odom wrote in a letter he sent to Gene fans explaining his decision. “I’ve been given much because of Gene; acclaim, financial security and the best bunch of friends and collectors anyone could ever expect from their profession. … I just think it’s always better going out a winner, while you are on top,” he penned. Odom, age 59, would like to spend his future cultivating a career as a painter and...

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