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Home Dolls Blogs
DOLLS Blog
Taylor-Made: Elizabeth Taylor’s captivating looks fated her to be a star and a doll.
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

This week, I received offers to immortalize and commemorate the life of Elizabeth Taylor. The screen legend was most likely the last ofpeoplemagazine1 the Hollywood royalty who seemed to have been groomed from infancy to be a film queen, who thrived on drama both on and off the set, and who became a blockbuster, international titan despite negative reviews and critics’ sniping. People magazine, Entertainment Weekly, and Barnes & Noble flooded my e-mail in-box with offers to buy books, posters, and tribute one-shot publications that feted “La Liz.” I also got a couple of e-mails from Cameron, my never-too-tired or broke-to-bid eBay pal. (If you remember, Cameron blew his yearly doll budget on one purchase of “I Dream of Jeannie” dolls.) Cameron was a great admirer of Taylor, and he wrote to me abashedly and apologetically: “Stephanie, would you consider me a ghoul,” his letter began, “if my first thought was—Do you think my Elizabeth dolls have gone up in value?”

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Hocus Pocus: A focus on Harry Potter and raising two little sorcerer’s apprentices
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

One of the most miraculous things about sharing your life with a child is that doors open up, and windows slide down, to reveal worldsPotterdollrobe1 that you never would have noticed—let alone have dwelled in. With my own kids, it’s a constant introduction to new phrases, new dance moves, new fads, but very old riddles (knock-knock jokes and corny puns still score big with six- and eight-year-olds). Amid all the hype over Silly Bandz (my two had to answer history and geography questions to amass any) and desiring a Nintendo DS (I refuse to budge and buy one for them to share), Tommy and Jane have learned that I’m not a total pushover when it comes to pocketing treats and toys. They have to work for a special surprise, or I have to see something as having value and significance before I purchase it for them. Over the past month, a captivating, commercial creation has charged into my home, taking me for a spin. He has elbowed his way into their playtime; he has them drawing comic books and playing dress-up. Their dolls are now named Hermione and Ron and Draco. The ringleader’s name is: Harry Potter.

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Radio Ga Ga: Callers vent about vampires & vamps, sexpots and pots-n-pans, armies vs. mommies
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

Last Friday, I was working at home and had my handy-dandy radio on, as usual. Because my job is pretty solitary, I like having the humradio_small of conversation in the background. Lately, the talk-radio shows have been abuzz with negative insights, and there’s a sense of gloom and doom shrouding the conversations. So, imagine my surprise, when I suddenly heard the program host begin to debate the virtues and vices of Monster High and dolls in general. Not only did this topic perk up my ears, but it also mobilized my fingers to start dialing into the show. And, lucky for me, I made it on the air and took part in a very interesting look at dolls and their roles in a non-doll-collector venue.

 

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The Delilah Dilemma: Can You Be Too Sexy for Your Hair?
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

I’m writing this DOLLS blog as news of the devastation in Japan continues to pour forth from the television, radio, and Web sites. If Japan_Barbie_lgryou’re like me, the notion of being here one moment, and then swept away the next, is terrifying. It seems surreal, and the images I’ve seen so far appear like outtakes from an old disaster movie. How could so much horror be unleashed so rapidly? It doesn’t seem possible; yet it happened.

Doll collectors, artists, industry personnel have made their generosity known over the decades, and I hope this latest tragedy will also receive the attention and outpouring of necessary funds from the doll community. (There is an abundance of legitimate organizations listed on the Web. I’m giving to the Red Cross.)

 

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A Date with Destiny: Groundhogs get more respect than dolls—what gives?
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

Over the last three weeks, I’ve caught snippets of international doll celebrations. In Egypt, amid the rioting and the chaos that streamed across the cable news, there was a smattering of reporting about the traditional Al-Moulid birthday celebration. In honor of the prophetSugarDollbride1 Mohamed’s birthday, sugar dolls are made for little girls (and sugar horses for boys). Made traditionally from handmade molds, these holiday dolls (Aroussa al-Moulid) have lately been created in China and then exported over to Egypt. So much for the time-honored tradition of craftsmanship passed down from generation to generation! At least, here is a photo of the doll being made the old-fashioned way, courtesy of Debra’s Dolls, Mullica Hill, NJ.

 

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Kiss Me, Kate: A Marriage Made in Media Heaven
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

If playing with dolls is the equivalent of wish fulfillment, then marrying a prince must be a wishkatemiddletonfame1 come true. I, for one, never dreamed of marriage to anyone—neither prince, pauper, nor Indian chief (or should I say, Native American chief)—I always imagined I’d go it alone. When I did marry, I wore a simple white suit (jacket and skirt), and my one indulgence was a pair of really pretty sling-back shoes. As I exchanged my vows at the makeshift trailer in between traffic court hours (yes, the real courthouse was under construction and we were shuttled into a mobile home of sorts), I was embodying the notion of a no-frills union.

 

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Fair-Well, My Lovely: Thoughts on the 108th Annual Toy Fair
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

As I strolled through Toy Fair this year, the annual orgy of too many toys, games, and video diversions assembled under one roof, I felt my head throb and my toes pinch. Several hours of trekking beneath the bright, blinding lights and hearing the constant hum of electronics can become noticeably grating, and I admit I did fear a Manchurian Candidate sort of hypnotic/synaptic blitz. disneyprincesses1(“The next time you see a Disney Princess, you will lash out. You will lash out. Disney Princess. Next time. See it. Lash.”) Luckily for my mental well-being, and for the safety of our world leaders, no such subconscious intrusion occurred, but I did have an irritable edge to me by the time I emerged into the sunlight 7 hours later.

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Fly Boy: Broadway’s Spider-Man needs to be toyed with.
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

If you’re going to be in Manhattan, and have a few thousand to spend, may I suggest an spiderman-musicalevening at “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark”? Okay, I’m kidding about the thousands (but just barely), but I do recommend this big, gigantic mess of a show for two reasons: 1) if you have children who are over the age of 8, it’s akin to taking them to a circus of nonstop tumbling and 2) while you’re sitting there surrounded by all the aerial stunts, you can do a lot of soul-searching. When I calculated how much I had spent on seats, dinner, parking, and bridge/tunnel costs, I figured it was the equivalent of maybe 40 Pink Box Barbies or two really well-made artist BJDs. Was it worth it? I’m going to blog it out.

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