I love parties. I think it’s because I like getting that unexpected note in the mail—a little promise of future fun held within an entertainment envelope! It’s something I’ve always appreciated—going way back to my active grammar-school party days. Wow, we had a lot of birthday celebrations from first to eighth grade! Those occasions would begin with “Pin the Tail on the Donkey,” offer a chance to be super competitive in “Musical Chairs,” and then put prepubescent courage to the test with “Truth or Dare.” (Personally, I’d rather be the donkey getting pinned than have to blurt out an embarrassing confession or do one of the mean-spirited dares!) These juvenile get-togethers were great because they let our inner party monsters go wild!
Nowadays, I still get a thrill when I receive an invite. Though, today, it is more likely to be an e-vite. No colorful envelope or fancy stationery to mark the special occasion, rather it is an outreach sent by the Internet. Just this morning, I received an e-vite to attend a press conference for Mezco Toyz. That’s not so surprising. After all, it is nearly February; and Toy Fair, with all its attendant brand-new releases, will be popping up any week now. The surprise was that the PR maven was proudly and triumphantly trumpeting a pack of Sons of Anarchy dolls. Yes, a line of motorcycle mamas and hard-living daddies will be available as dolls.
It seems sort of shocking that a Hells Angels-inspired TV show will be the subject of a doll line. However, Mezco is known for following an offbeat path—meth labs and dumpsites are two of their popular scenarios. The feisty and fighting characters from the cable show are roaring onto toy store shelves. These rough-and-tumble protagonists are pretty realistic, especially when compared to earlier motorcycle releases. Keep in mind: the Sons of Anarchy riders are a coarse lot. They would show up at a birthday party and break a few chairs and hogtie the poor hostess. They play down and dirty.
Yep, the thrill of the open road has beckoned doll designers over the past decades. Dolls as diverse as beauteous Barbie and comely Cissette, a diapered infant and a cool chimp, have jumped on their hogs and done their best “Easy Rider” impersonation. These dolls weren’t just representing their creators’ deep-down, naughty daydreams; they were lashing out against the typical pink tutus and cardigan sweaters of the well-dressed, respectable fashion doll. What were they rebelling against? Like Marlon Brando slurred in “The Wild One,” “Whaddya got?”
Here’s to the renegades—Dennis Hopper would be revving his engine with pride!