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Cradling Memories, One Doll at a Time
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

Christmas 2011 has come and gone, and I am left with an acre’s worth of wrapping-paper scraps and scads of mangled ribbons andGift_Tags1 bows. The debris that is left behind after the annual orgy of gift-exchanging is truly amazing. That’s one of the key miracles of Christmas: so much gift wrapping, package decorating, home ornamentation, and front-lawn festooning—hours and hours, days and days, weeks and weeks of preparation, and it’s over in the jingle of a bell. And still we do it all again next year!

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Talk of the Town: Famous folks dish about dolls, designs, dirty secrets, and more dolls!
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

The beauty behind a blog is that opinions matter. Not just my opinion, but yours too. It’s a give-and-take—a chance to have a cybercleopatrapaperdoll1 conversation with newfound friends and some semi-scary detractors too! (It’s always amazing how heated people can become when they misread or misconstrue a blog posting.)

For this, my final posting of 2011, I thought I’d share with you some viewpoints about dolls from some very unexpected and well-known figures. I’ve been on a soapbox for nearly 80 columns now. Here is a chance to hand the invisible megaphone over to some other folks—authors, actresses, people in the public eye who have been touched by—and in some cases, sadly not touched by—dolls.

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Teen Teams: Should tomboys and varsity letters have a place in the fashion-doll universe?
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

The other day, I was talking with a friend of mine, who asked quite simply, “Why are there no tomboy dolls?”campussweetshop_new

That question immediately prompted me to recite a litany of dolls that displayed so-called tomboy traits. “Well, there’s Skooter,” I said, referencing the flaxen-haired, freckle-faced friend of Skipper. “And there’s Midge,” I rattled off, mentioning the red-haired, rosy-cheeked, freckle-faced pal of Barbie. “Why, there’s also Tammy,” I stated, thinking she used to come with a tennis ensemble and a one-piece exercising unitard, “and, of course, there is . . . well, some kind of cowgirl doll from Alexander, I’m sure. You know, a ‘Wendy Loves to Rustle and Rope’—something like that.”

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Seasoned Greetings: Toys and dolls and bears can brighten a lonely senior citizen’s day.
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

There are some indisputable truths about Christmas in New York. The first is, traffic multiplies in a way that would defy StephenchristmasinNY1 Hawking’s ability to calculate. The second is, tourists descend from all over the globe with digital cameras and Flip video recorders en masse, and I am always the “kind stranger” selected to shoot the group for posterity. And third, my friend Cam is bound to telephone and ask me to accompany him to some “new and magical” wonderland.

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Bounty of Baby Dolls: A Thanksgiving Tradition Continues
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

katharineheiglcabbagepatch--1436179659358148271Thanksgiving is certainly ushers in my happiest, cheeriest, most sustained moods. A few times throughout the year, my spirits will spike (my children’s birthdays, their good report cards, family trips, a “Walking Dead” episode with lots of zombie attacks and subterfuge), but usually I am on a pretty even keel: a little tired, a tiny bit tense, a tad anxious, and a bit goofy. Come the third week of November, though, I am suddenly on a month-long sugar high. I love the kick-off of the holiday season, and Thanksgiving makes me grateful for what I have, who I know, and where I live. And, as usual, the world of dolls teaches a valuable lesson about thinking of others and reaching out from your own heart.

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Keepin’ It Real: Kim Kardashian answers the booty call of brides, books, and Barbies.
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

On August 20, 2011, reality star Kim Kardashian proudly proclaimed “I do,” and skeptics everywhere snickered. Now, less than threewedding_invitati123 months later, Ms. Kardashian has revealed that her made-in-media-heaven marriage has gone kaput. Despite telling correspondents how the nuptials were the moment for her and her rent-a-groom, Kris, to shine, the ceremony has only ended up being the punch line for a thousand late-night comedy monologues. Not since Barbie and Ken parted ways has the breakup of two such plastic people been reported!

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Mackie Monsters Meet Maximum-sized Mini Men: Happy Halloween!
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

Halloween is the second most celebrated holiday in the country—only Christmas trumps it. So, naturally, dolls of a ghoulish silhouetteCountess Dracula levitate and mummy-step down the runways in October. Bob Mackie—the genius stylist behind Cher and Carol Burnett, two contrasting personalities and personas—has a “Countess Dracula” doll available for adult Barbie collectors. It’s a rather unusual vision of what Dracula’s wife would look like—or maybe it’s Drac’s mom? In that case, it’s one spicy and sexy mama.

 

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Tattoo You: Barbie puts her stamp on the fuss over “how far is too far.”
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

Oh, Barbie! Whereas most other ladies your age are figuring out how to cope with empty-nest syndrome, you keep filling newspaperstokidoki-barbieface1 and magazines with gossip, outrage, cries of “the end is near,” and sociological lamentations. When other 50-plus-year-old women are being issued their AARP card and ushered into a more gentle, leisurely lifestyle, you are showing it’s never too late to be a “hard body” with a “badass” attitude. This week’s cyber universe was abuzz with Barbie blasts—complaints and condemnations that once again tried to tie the “Plastic One” with the demise of civilization as we know it.

This time, the link was due largely to ink.

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