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In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

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
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

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!
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

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
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

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
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

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
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

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
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

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
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

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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