Author: Stephanie Finnegan

Scarlet Seduction: Tonner’s new ‘Outlander’ doll is the ultimate Lady in Red

Robert Tonner’s dolls are synonymous with fantastical realism or realistic fantasy. Now, on first glance, that appraisal seems like an oxymoron. How can something be both real and fantastical? If you’re a fan of Tonner’s, you definitely know how. His dolls have always embodied lifelike silhouettes, natural complexions, and real-life attitudes. Yes, granted, his dolls represent the best-looking among us (you’re not going to see a salute to a one-toothed, grizzled dowager), but even with their high beauty standards, they are not impossible beauty standards. Since many of his creations fall under the category of portrait dolls, these are...

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The quirky connection between Vivien Leigh, Billiken dolls

Vivien Leigh passed away 50 years ago, and during the ensuing decades, her personal life has been mined by both celebrity biographers and mental-health advocates. Leigh lived as a woman with bipolar disorder, and many clinicians now feel that misinterpreted diagnosis played a very strong part in her oft-rumored mercurial and misunderstood behavior. Slammed by some producers and co-stars as “tempestuous, unpredictable, and erratic,” Leigh was fighting to carve out a career for herself, one that allowed her to shine independently of her famous and adored husband, Sir Laurence Olivier. It’s not a simple case of “poor little rich...

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Dolls tackle life’s crippling sameness in ‘Anomalisa’

Photos Courtesy of Paramount Pictures The 2016 winner for Best Animated Movie was Pixar’s look at the internal turmoil that befalls a tween girl. “Inside Out,” distributed by Walt Disney Pictures, showed the joy, the angst, the anger, and the sadness that wage war inside a child’s mind. Going up against the PG-rated juggernaut was an R-rated stop-motion film called “Anomalisa.” It was the first “adult” animated movie ever nominated for an Oscar, and it made history for that impressive feat. The film lost the statuette, but it garnered incredible reviews from professional critics, IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes reviewers,...

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Blast Off in 2018! American Girl astronaut doll debuts this week

Photos courtesy of American Girl It’s definitely true that playing with dolls expands a child’s imagination. There are no limits to what a young girl can dream up when she’s left alone with her favorite toy and the expanses of her mind. The American Girl doll company has long shone a light on what has made young American girls tick yesterday, today, and, perhaps most important, tomorrow. New American Girl doll Luciana Vega aspires to travel to Mars.With their brand-new release for 2018, Luciana Vega boldly goes where no American Girl has gone before. The design team has created...

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2017 in Review: Diverse dolls kick down barriers, redefine heroism

Looking back on many of the blogs I posted throughout 2017, I have to announce this was definitely the year of the superheroine. This year moved the measurement of what constitutes a hero: transforming it from muscle-bound he-men to courageous women; from medal-winning supermen to Olympic-decorated “sheroes,” and from teenage beauty queens to teenage activists. Superheroes have long been a part of the national landscape. Superman was fighting evil forces way back in 1938, so next year will be his 80th anniversary. For many decades, moviegoers only saw actors in the role of crusading, battling crime-fighters. Women could be...

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Christmas Star: Karolyn Grimes co-starred in Hollywood’s finest holiday films

Film stills and lobby cards from Movie Star News The notion of being grateful is something that we are taught at a very young age. Saying please and thank you are among the first niceties that children are encouraged to say. However, as we grow older, and we have parroted polite words for multiple decades — some more than others — how often do you really feel what you are saying? How many times do you say thank you and honestly grasp that emotion of gratitude and appreciation? Christmas is a great time to think about gratitude because it...

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