Author: DOLLS Magazine Contributor

It Pays to Advertise

Barbie, America’s best-selling doll, is also the nation’s best-selling adver­tising doll as well, selling and promoting everything from Avon to Wal-Mart. The Barbie advertising army is on the march, and it’s not just the endearing March of Dimes. It also extends from shoppers at Bloomingdale’s department store to the athletes of the Women’s National Basketball Association. Barbie, of course, started out as a mere fashion doll for little girls in 1959. She did not venture into the world of advertising until she was much older. But it was inevitable that eventually the masterminds at Mattel Inc. would realize that...

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There She Is…Miss America!

In my 25 years of doll collecting, I continue to be inspired and fascinated by the way other collectors focus on different areas and sub areas when building their doll collections. Take, for instance, the Barbie collector whose interest is only Skipper or Midge, or the Shirley Temple lover who will only collect the exceedingly rare compo versions of the dolls. As I delved into my research for our Miss America doll, I was delighted to discover a new (for me) collection, full of nuance and the “thrill of the chase”–the Miss America doll. The Miss America Organization was...

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Living the Life of Riley

Anyone who thinks bigger is better obviously is not familiar with the work of Helen Kish. The doll artist, owner of Kish & Company, is well known for her richly detailed one-of-a-kind pieces, limited editions, and dolls she’s designed for com­panies like Dakin and Pleasant Company. Lately, though, she’s been reaping enormous re­wards from downsizing, both in art and life. Whereas artists often are inspired by adventure and exploration, for Helen, all it took was a return to her roots. A native Denver girl, she launched her doll career and raised her family in the suburbs. However, in 2003...

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R. John Wright, The Art of Toys

The authorized history of R. John Wright Dolls, this new book is the definitive full-color reference to the works produced by the company. Rooted in the tradition of early toy makers such as Steiff, Lenci and Käthe Kruse, R. John Wright Dolls’ playful and exquisitely crafted figures are recognized throughout the world for their unprecedented level of workmanship and technical sophistication. Krystyna Poray Goddu, noted doll expert and founding editor of DOLLS, has written a dual biography of John and Susan Wright, as well as a collection of critical essays that discuss the development and importance of significant creations,...

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Dressed For Summer Fun

The 1950s were nostalgic times of peace and tran­quility in America. World War II and the Korean War were over and millions of Americans married and moved into houses in new suburbia. Rock and roll was infiltrating the teen­age population and clothing, especially for women, became highly fashionable, often mimicking the haute couture of French designers. Whether for school or church, little girls always wore dresses, and like their moms, they add­ed accessories such as white gloves, hats and dress shoes. Stores like Marshall Field’s even sold matching mother-daughter dresses so that little girls could feel as elegantly well-dressed...

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Sitting Pretty With Tiny Kitty

Good things come in small packages. Less is more. We’re all familiar with the clichés that teach us that, well, bigger is not always better! If you need further proof that small is best, here it–rather, here she–is! Tiny Kitty Collier, the latest fashion doll from the Tonner Doll Company, is pretty and poseable, yet small enough to sit in your hand.  Just ten inches tall, the little looker is Robert Tonner’s smallest fashion doll to date. Tiny, yes, but not short on style: Tiny Kitty boasts a wardrobe that any fashion doll would covet. Unlike her larger cousins,...

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