FRODO: Shaken, Not Stirred

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Poppy Parker – Magic Moment

This really isn’t a review, per se…it’s more of a celebration. Hit it, boys

Integrity Toys‘ 16-inch Poppy Parker ‘Magic Moment‘ literally takes my breath away…and does this gal love the camera!

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Just a doll…

Ginger Grant was my generation’s Marilyn Monroe, and I just couldn’t get enough of her and that red hair! C’mon…you know we all would cry out in unison to the TV, “The Moooo-VIE Stah” – yeah, her. Then you have Jill St. John (Tiffany Case) and the ever-fabulous Ann Margret – I remember falling in love with her seeing The Who’s Tommy while we lived in Athens, Greece in the mid-70s – just wow! If there was any doubt in my mind about being gay, it was all purged when I fantasized over sporting a wavy and wild mane of flaming red locks! Oh, the madness…

The Movie Star

The Movie Star

So it would come as no surprise to you as I mentioned here, that one of my first ventures into fashion doll collecting was the relentless redhead. Cissy, Coco, Barbie, Gene, American Models…I wanted my redheads. And damn, did they look fabulous! I had seen Integrity’s Poppy Parker before, and I loved the 12-inch version; beautifully styled and packaged as all Integrity dolls are. But it wasn’t until this 16-inch version that I felt compelled to buy. That compulsion is directly related to the ‘Ginger Grant’ factor of this doll. One look into those smoldering eyes, and I knew I had to have her.

Soul-less Gingers

Soul-less Gingers

I won’t go through the details of opening the box, and unwrapping her…ohyes I will…it does warrant a mention. Integrity, like Mattel and Superdoll, seems to put a great deal of time, effort and thought into its packaging. To me, this is one of the factors that greatly enhances the doll collector’s experience – the deboxing and assembly of a doll. A precursor to ‘play‘, it’s not unlike assembling a fabulous airplane model or Lego set, one accessory at a time.

Yeah, I got those, too...

Yeah. I got those, too…

The ritual is almost always the same: the box is opened, the nostrils are filled to the gills with ‘new doll smell‘. In this case, the aroma is an overwhelming marriage of plastic polymers – but hey, I love the smell of diesel, too – and don’t you dare judge me! I have one of the best olfactory ranges and culinary-level refined palates you’ll find in three counties, Pudding. So don’t dismiss this as just an unpleasant ‘chemical smell‘. There is a hint of nostalgia that comes from notes of mimeograph mixed with the sharp sweetness imparted by high-end polystyrene. If only it got you high, it would be a shaving short of perfection. Because ‘new doll smell’ is a doll collecting reality – and if you’re sensitive to certain odors, then doll collecting probably isn’t for you. But I digress

Not that Diesel

Not that Diesel

Ah…the ritual…nostrils filled…mmmmmm. I hover in the nirvana of sight, scent and rapture. Poppy wants me to untie her. Pretty little satin ribbons have secured my lady to her transportation vessel. She peeks at me through a hair net, inviting me to see more. Some poor Chinese bastard has had his revenge on this American capitalist pig by tying knots inside a couple of the ribbon bows…but I am not discouraged. My sense of obsessive/compulsiveness and attention-deficit disorder wrestle with this notion of deboxing. I am distracted by the dazzling array of accessories neatly secured to the inside of the box with clean little plastic baggies. Colors play all around the doll, begging me to unwrap each one before releasing Poppy from her confines. I hesitate. Alas…mais, non…the release is quick…and the rapture is unequivocally satisfying. A shame I quit smoking, really…

What smell?

What?

In my hand, I behold ‘Magic Moment’ Poppy Parker – all sixteen inches of her…and her fabulous mane of red hair. I instantly decide she is not a ‘Fashion Teen’, as seductively implied by Integrity Toys’ clever marketing lie – she is my flaming, ruby-tressed Queen…Ginger Grant. Her leopard gown is simple in its construction, but nonetheless shockingly gorgeous. The fabric is no couture thrill, but it works in its theme, in its style – and the scale is perfect (which is one of my biggest peeves in doll clothes – lack of attention to scale). The spots could be a little smaller – but this is 60’s fashion, not the Wild Kingdom, so I suspect any real leopard would be overjoyed to sport these spots and their little shots of gold threads sparking the eye here and there.

Where synthetic fur comes from.

Where synthetic fur comes from.

The synthetic fur wrap is made from apparel-quality poly fur, as opposed to craft store quality ‘plush’ fur (used for making plush toys)…so I will delight in the truest of senses in calling it ‘faux’ fur. The shoes are not fierce, but nothing short of a marvel in miniature simply because of the devotion to detail and scale. Hell, I’d wear them if you can find a ladies’ size 12, please. The clutch is unimportant – I am happy that she comes smartly accessorized with a sleek gold baguette – but to me, cocktail clutches are utterly useless for dolls. It’s not like they will actually use them, now will they? That being said, when you do have a fairly iconic reproduction of some fabulous Louis Vuitton pouch, then go to town, sweetie. But in Ginger’s case…it’s just something that will end up lost after some wild night of martinis and magical moments.

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Just the one, Sweetie?

And then there are the gloves. What I found to be so remarkable about my Ginger were the separated fingers in her expressive hands – and for someone like me (who places a great value on a doll’s posing ability), that was a huge deal…if it weren’t for the gloves. There simply isn’t any way in any Elm Street nightmare these things are going on those stunning hands. Yes, yes…I am sure it’s possible, though in what level of Dante’s hell, I’m not quite certain – but not with my sausage fingers – they won’t being going on my Ginger. But cheers for supplying them, Integrity…it was thoughtful, if nothing else. And I don’t even want to think how much it would cost to have some poor factory artisan hand-craft gloves with individual fingers – so that is out of the question, thank you.

Nothing's perfect

Nothing’s perfect

The balance of the box’s contents allow me to complete my assembly of Miss Grant, um-er, Parker – and place her on a finely crafted resin-base doll stand with telescoping pole and saddle stand. She cost me $140.00 – only $140. Now I know a thing or two about how much it costs to make a doll…and this is a deal. Such a deal, in fact…that it leaves me highly questioning other companies’ inability to competitively price dolls which are now largely sold direct anyway – so in cutting out the middle man (its loyal retailers), how is it possible that a doll can cost so freaking much? Well…alot of it has to do with the fabrics, and then there’s the injection plastic molds for the hyper-articulated body, that stand…and the packaging…wait a minute. I ask again…how in the sacred name of Julia Sugarbaker can it cost that much? Again…I digress

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Back to me, please.

So on to our FRODO, and what Ginny was waiting for, and Terri couldn’t care less…

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It’s a gift, I tell you…

Fabulousness – 8 – I only lost about a pint…but lost it, nonetheless. Playing with her and her amazingly articulated body probably squeezed out another 4 ounces or so. This score is almost entirely warranted on the face, hands and body sculpt…and the ability to invoke such goddesses as Ann Margret and Tina Louise, while maintaining her own identity.

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Realization – 9 – From concept to my hand, this doll has TEN written all over it, but it loses that one precious point because of the gloves. I know oven mitt gloves are a fashion doll reality, but I’d omit them or make gauntlets, instead. This doll’s hands are just too beautiful to want to sheath them up in gloves, despite the period of the costume. And besides, she’s not going to go all Gypsy Rose Lee on me, and perform a strip tease…so away with them.

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These old things?

Originality – 8 – Higher marks for the body articulation, and the laborious task of bringing back the 60s…again. But you have to give the designer credit…it’s not easy to make a simple sheath look expensive; and although this fabric offers no apologies for its rich texture being lost in marketing photography, holding it in your hand more than amply makes up for it. It must also be mentioned that, although not very original, the articulation is brilliant. Dolls like my arch enemy, Alex, tried the convertible/bending foot to accommodate both flat and high-heel styles – but Integrity’s really works. True, you do lose a certain amount of aesthetic beauty the more jointing you add to a doll, but whatever – the play value is worth it. And again, there’s that face. She’s no teen, though – that much I will argue ’til blue in the face.

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Durability – 10 – the plastic used in this doll is pretty damn durable. If I can violate it in every posing manner using my man hands on those cleverly articulated joints, and it not give under a crack or pop…then it’s pretty durable. Seriously, I have twisted, turned, contorted and bent this girl all the way to Medusa’s tentacles and back with nary a scratch, and she still looks just as supple and clean as when I removed her from her box. The hooks and eyes on the dress back closure are a pain in the ass, but they are durable in the pulling and stretching my fat fingers could best parlay. Her hair was so gelled, that I could muss and play without the slightest loss in curl or volume – though I do understand some folks don’t like the ‘goo’ used in doll hair, as it can be difficult to wash out. I don’t care, though…I ain’t washin’ no man outta this girl’s hair anytime soon. And then there’s that box. Wow…such amazing packaging. You can say you want about putting your money into your doll and not its package, but then you see this, and ask yourself what’s being done wrong? I mean…Integrity can do it…and well, I might add.

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Optical Sentience™ – 11 – Yes, 11Goddess…Deity. When I look into her eyes, I not only see life, but I can tell you where’s she’s been, how many men she’s kissed, her taste in vodka, and just exactly where she hides her candy, so to speak. Make no mistake – Poppy Parker is 100% woman – one that drag queens would kill each other to look like – and few dolls can actually say that. I will bet you a Diet Coke on it.

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POPPY PARKER – THIS MAGIC MOMENT – INTEGRITY TOYS
FRODO – 9.2

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Now…please enjoy the rest of my luscious photos…inspired by the vintage time and place that’s more Las Vegas, than New York. Nothing ‘Fashion Teen’ about this Queen of Glam…she’s got all that and more in her Ginger Grant/Ann Margret/Thunderbirds-esque ballsy burlesque. Just a note on the photos – sometimes I like to Photoshop the hell out them, sometimes – not so much – it’s OK for a doll to look like a doll, but sometimes, you want to take it an extra inch. And that, my Puddings…is hiding your candy in the doll world.

You go girl

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1960s Vogue

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Smooches

Smooches

6 thoughts on “FRODO: Shaken, Not Stirred

  1. Meh. Not a fan. I don’t know what my problem is with Poppy. From an aesthetic perspective, I love her 12″ incarnation. Such a pretty pout. Such cute, well-tailored clothes. But when I purchase her and hold her in my hand … meh. She just doesn’t “look at me.” (ducking lest you eject me from this blog…) I found the same thing with the 16″ version. I bought the debut doll, but that pouty look just turned me off. She looks dead inside. … Sorry, Tommy, just my humble opinion. But do go on. I just love your FRODO evaluations. Trademark it before someone else does!

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