Olmsted County, Minnesota's History Center are sharing portraits of the creepiest dolls in their antiques collection. Folks can vote online for their favorite and the winner will be on display next week for Halloween. From MPR News:
"The doll I disdain handling is the one with human hair,” said curator Dan Nowakowski as he holds up a doll from the 1800s with an impressive braid and a dead-eye stare...
One creepshow contender was made with cloth for the head and limbs. "And then it was painted with a facial tone color, but the paint has chipped away,” Nowakowski said. “And now, unfortunately with the paint chipping, it looks like a mummy."
Nowakowski said that for a lot of the collection's dolls, the unsettling freakiness is all in the eyes.
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Mattel, makers of Barbie and many other toys, has launched "Creatable World," a line of $30 customizable dolls with "extensive wardrobe options, accessories and wigs allow kids to style the doll with short or long hair, or in a skirt, pants, or both."
“Toys are a reflection of culture and as the world continues to celebrate the positive impact of inclusivity, we felt it was time to create a doll line free of labels,” Kim Culmone, Senior Vice President of Mattel Fashion Doll Design, said in a statement. “Through research, we heard that kids don’t want their toys dictated by gender norms. This line allows all kids to express themselves freely which is why it resonates so strongly with them. We’re hopeful Creatable World will encourage people to think more broadly about how all kids can benefit from doll play.”
Creatable World dolls (Amazon)
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In celebration of the 50th anniversary of David Bowie's "Space Oddity," Mattel has announced a "David Bowie" Barbie doll. On Amazon, it's priced at $50
. From the New York Times
It’s a notably androgynous look for a doll that epitomized the stereotypes of feminine appearance in its earlier iterations. In more recent years, however, male celebrity depictions have not just been reserved for Ken. Over the past decade, Barbie has dressed like Andy Warhol, Elvis and Frank Sinatra.
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Rev. Keith Ogden of Hill Street Baptist Church in Asheville, NC is afraid of a new boy doll announced by American Girl.
"This is nothing more than a trick of the enemy to emasculate little boys and confuse their role to become men," he wrote in an e-mail to his congregation. It was titled, "KILLING THE MINDS OF MALE BABIES."
"There are those in this world who want to alter God's creation of the male and female," he wrote. "The devil wants to kill, steal and destroy the minds of our children and grandchildren by perverting, distorting and twisting (the) truth of who God created them to be."
I suspect Rev. Ogden described American Girl as an "enemy" because he's secretly telling his followers to obey the Lord's command to "love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back." Read the rest
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Star Trek original TV series, Mattel is releasing a new Barbie collection of Kirk, Spock, and Uhura dolls. These figures would play well with the Star Trek Barbie and Ken released in 1996, during the 30th anniversary of Star Trek.
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Toy inventor Bob Knetzger alerted me to the new officially licensed Misty Copeland doll from Mattel, makers of Barbie. It has a "new 'ballerina body' sculpt, which in this case means large calves," says Bob. "This adds another body type to the new line of Barbie bodies." Read the rest
Our friends at Bigshot Toyworks are kickstarting a new line of dolls called Dream BIG Friends. I saw the prototypes at DCon in Pasadena a couple of weeks and they are beautiful.
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After watching their own kids play, David Horvath and Sun Min (Award Winning Designers of Uglydoll) began a discussion with Klim Kozinevich (Creative Director of Bigshot Toyworks) and wondered; what if there was more? The worlds of princesses and pixies, fashion models and super heroes are all fantastic, but something was missing. The trio set out to create a unique personality in a small plastic body, focusing on aspirational, inspirational and imaginative play. Something that would encourage kids around the world to embrace what makes them who and what they are, inside and out. With all that in mind, Yuna was born!
Yuna is the very first doll in an all new line called Dream BIG Friends. She's also the first Asian American girl to be the center of a doll line! She loves science, travel, rockets, art, design, and Korean food. Her BIG dream is to run a company designing rockets that will one day take her to Mars. She'll be the first one to stand on the planet's surface, naturally. With your help, she’s sure to get there.
Today heralds the launch of a Kickstarter campaign for Dream BIG Friends, where you can invite Yuna and her cat Kamata into your home.
There have been many discussions about body types and unrealistic proportions and attitudes imposed through children's toys these days.
Jenny Nightfall handcrafts BDSM dollhouse furniture and other macabre and goth decor miniatures, all available in her Etsy shop. Read the rest
The new line of Barbie dolls include eight skin tones, 14 faces, 22 hairstyles, 23 hair colors and 18 eye colors. As stephen_schenck points out on the BB BBS, they are available in any body type as long as it's very thin. Read the rest
They're made by Argentinian artists Marianela Perelli and Pool Paolini, who've made 33 dolls representing figures from Islam, Judaism, Christianity and Hinduism that they're exhibiting next month in a Buenos Aires gallery show called "Barbie, The Plastic Religion." Read the rest
The already-tiny village of Nagoro in eastern Iya on Shikoku, Japan is shrinking. Only a few dozen people still live there. The others have died or moved away. Ayano Tsukimi, 64, makes life-sized rag dolls to replace them and positions them in places that were important in their lives in Nagoro. Director Fritz Schumann made a mini-documentary about this "Valley of Dolls." Read the rest
Legend Toys of Japan is taking pre-orders for the Young Steve Jobs Action Figure.
I like the 1/6th scale Apple I they are selling, too. Read the rest
Photo by Harry W. Frees. Read the rest
Elven Aesthetics makes stunning David Bowie dolls, but they are, alas, not for sale. Tara McGinley spotted that some are modeled on iconic Mick Rock portraits. [Deviant Art & Dangerous Minds] Read the rest
Spooky says: "Reborn baby dolls have been around for a few years now, and while some people love them so much they actually treat them like real babies, their ultra-realistic look creep a lot of people out. But one artist has managed to make these thing even creepier by making vampire reborn babies."
You Thought Reborn Babies Were Creepy? How About Vampire Reborn Babies? Read the rest