2014 – The Year That Was In Dolls

 

JAMIEshow Ginnie wearing OOAK gown 'Capricio' by Tommydoll - Photo: George Gonzalez - in the Jan/Feb 2015 Haute Doll Magazine

JAMIEshow Ginnie wearing OOAK gown ‘Capricio’ by Tommydoll – Photo: George Gonzalez – in the Jan/Feb 2015 Haute Doll Magazine

2014 was an interesting year for dolls, no? You had true magnificence and devastating disappointments, as we always do in the doll world. There is no question we are much more impassioned about our hobby than say…stamp collectors. Be that as it may, we cheer along with the grandest, and repress conniptions when we feel that age-old turn of the marketing machine’s thinking we’re some kind of idiots or something (‘or something’, is the operative phrase).

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Let’s take a walk down memory lane – I am certain I have missed some, so please feel free to correct me in the comments section – but this is a pretty thorough highlight of the dolls that made headlines in our community, and at times a wee bit caustic – so fair warning has been issued – I make no apologies for things of which you are already thinking anyway – you may not have seen these stories in print – but believe me, they are what people were talking about in 2014…

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Glossary of Terms Note: If you are unfamiliar with the fashion doll terminology of Goddess, Mona, Grande Dame, etc…then this link is for you

Just the one, Dear?

Just the one, Dear?

Debut Dolls-

There have been plenty; rounding up the year with Integrity Toys’ onslaught of a million offerings starting with their highly successful convention, and pushing it all right up to the end of the year. For those that were fortunate enough to win the lottery for those coveted dolls in such a selection process – kudos for you – and despite Integrity’s occasional manufacturing moments, they really did pull it out this year – only a fool would think otherwise…but we’ll kick this off by giving them the Wait, We’ve Got Just One More Doll Award…

Emperis Escada

Emperis Escada

Best Performance By A New Fashion Diva: Among the Goddesses, you had Emperis and Kingdom Doll entering the ring with stunning dolls bordering on Monas – they both brought exceptional artistry and styling to their ladies, but it was Kingdom Doll that brought a fully expanded vision of fashion, beauty and razor-sharp wit with their debut Novantae sculpt in highly sought-after and quick-selling editions. Their clothing was beautiful and well-conceived – but after finally seeing one in person, I can see what the fuss is all about – if this is what these folks show coming out the gates, you can expect nothing but greatness in their near future. Brunel was a standing ovation, closing out the Novantae sculpt. Since they are new however, I do recommend beginning an archive.

Kingdom Doll Brunel

Kingdom Doll Brunel

I’m still not certain why Modsdoll isn’t getting more attention among the Goddesses, they are beautifully sculpted and styled, and although pricey like most of the genre, they can still be found via retailers such as Doll Peddlar. Ylang by Yian is truly stunning.

Modsdoll Ylang by Yian

Modsdoll Ylang by Yian

While the 16-inchers continued to dominate the scene – two Most Deserving of Mention Awards must be given to MicroDiva and JAMIEshow Demi Couture – they are smaller in scale – but make no mistake, their similarity with each other ends there.

MicroDiva

MicroDiva

MicroDivas hail from the Russian greats at DollChic – the exaggerated form and ethereal styling seen in Russian fashion dolls is exemplified in the DollChic collection (in fact, their Cristal Precious Collection was sheer mastery in execution). Cristal Precious elevates DollChic to Mona status in the same way Chalk White brings to the Sybarites. And as we have seen from this brave doll magic, MicroDiva comes along to shatter proportions of smaller than 1:6 scale – yet retaining the detail, style and complexity of a well-realized fashion doll. These dolls are an achievement, and I can only be excited about where they take this size.

Demi Couture

Demi Couture

And as I already gushed about here, the accessibility of JAMIEshow’s debut 1:6 scale Demi Couture collection pushes the Goddesses closer to the hands of the everyday fashion doll collector. Expect a boom in these dolls as JAMIEshow pushes the envelope to bring a resin art doll into the wildly popular 12-inch arena.

Zeenie Dollz

Zeenie Dollz

Playline Dolls got some new entries this year with interesting, but not entirely unique Zeenie Dollz and Prettie Girls. Prettie Girls does bring a variety to a sea of dolls somewhat devoid of ethnic origins rather than just dolls with varying skin color. However, both newcomers are nicely conceived and worthy of love as all dolls are – but could use a spelling lesson (or two) to distinguish them from Bratz and others of the genre. With that being said, we were also introduced to the ‘normal Barbie’ – a term that is nothing short of criminal by tagging onto Barbie’s brand as a media interest item – Lammily. Read all about my thoughts on Lammily here. Color me shocked that the doll actually shipped, and contrary to the obviously staged video of second graders gushing over the thing, Lammily won’t last. The doll is just unappealing in terms of imagination from a child’s perspective, dressed like an unfairly stereotypical hipster lesbian, and has all the charm and appeal of festering cow paddies on a hot summer day. What child would want to play with that? So Lammily earns my Charming & Festering Bullshit Award for 2014.

Prettie Dolls

Prettie Dolls

With the exception of the talented child doll artists in our community (which few fashion doll collectors pay attention to anyway), nothing of significance occurred with child dolls in 2014, save possibly Tonner’s wide-eyed exophthalmos Patsy-redux and/or Patience and/or Maudlynne Macabre – all of which seem more like off-spring from Evangeline Ghastly than a Tonner Doll – and to those of you that bought them, congratulations for paying some attention to the children. Therefore, my Best Avoidance of Pediophilia in a Non-Artistic Fashion goes to no one. Ehhh…what do I know? Tim Burton’s Big Eyes will smash the Academy Award list of importants, and we’re back to square one with bulging-eyed dolls…again.

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We still don’t know what in the name of Betsy McCall Hell TonnerToys is doing – promising updates and a outdated blog that shows absolutely nothing since January 2014. Another blog indicates a line of play dolls tied in with the Top Model license, but images there show a possibly re-purposed Ellowyne Wilde head, more or less – so maybe that bitch is finally getting her exit queue. Whatever – it’s plainly embarrassing to not update that blog, or their website. “Their aim is to bring high-end collector quality to the child, the young enthusiast and the mass market toy world” – but when, exactly?

Just be it...

Just be it…

In the manufactured arena, Integrity Toys walked away with the most in dolly dollars this year, recording hit after hit with FR16, The Girl From I.N.T.E.G.R.I.T.Y. (Poppy Parker), and the 16inch version of Poppy Parker as she commands Paris. Other notables in their offerings were Fashion Royalty, Tulabelle and Victoire Roux lines, but these seemed to take a back seat to Poppy’s 5th Anniversary by showing lovely demure ensembles, earning IT with the Most Significant Observance of a Confirmed Business Builder’s Anniversary Award.

The Girl From I.N.T.E.G.R.I.T.Y.

The Girl From I.N.T.E.G.R.I.T.Y.

Among the Goddesses, strong showings by Superdoll (Sunburnt, Pompeii and Enclosure Royale were tops from the London house) and Numina (the Haute Doll Exclusive Alma is poetry in doll form) suggest these resin beauties are here to stay – even such a Goddess as RDG Mannequin shows promise, earning it the We’re Really Not Superdoll Award. But it’s JAMIEshow that stole the hearts of vintage fans everywhere with its return of two Gene Marshall Character Favorites, Madra Lord and Violet Waters – bestowing them with the I’m Not Dead, Yet Award. We can’t wait for Trent in 2015…

Superdoll Pompeii

Superdoll Pompeii

The Monas had incredible releases this year, and with that being said, I can only stare in awe for all that Popovy Sis creates. I am a huge Marina Bychkova fan, and with recent entries from Popovy, DollChic and Irina Smolnikova, I can only wonder what impact the Russian Fashion Doll Artists will have on the rest of our market – bringing all of the Russians the Best Aggressive Takeover in a Non-Political Arena Not Sanctioned by Putin Award.

Popovy Sis

Popovy Sis

Fans of Joey Versaw’s Mary Magpie were treated with a surprise this year as the artist unveiled his gay-themed male doll line First Love – these exciting and fun new boys have every whim and wish as Mary Magpie, and I want to bestow the Best Artist You Haven’t Been Following Award to Versaw.

Joey Versaw - First Love

Joey Versaw – First Love

And finally, those familiar with the doll artist community know Joshua David McKenney’s Pidgin Doll quite well…and his musings with Brooke Candy and his open studio showing drew out many of the NYC doll artist followers – his style mirrors influence seen in the Russian artists with a spark of Asian-influence – but Pidgin (like Mary Magpie) comes from a unique perspective of beauty and panache, earning McKenney the Best Titillating American Mona Artist for 2014.

Pidgin as Brooke Candy

Pidgin as Brooke Candy

Anniversaries

Anniversaries are things that are not unlike a hoop skirt – the bigger it is, the more you have to manage, but it will be nothing less than spectacular – or it should be, anyway. 2014 marked two huge anniversaries in pop culture, The Wizard of Oz and Gone With The Wind – both at 75 stunning, Technicolor years. There were dolls, celebrations, and what-not – mostly what-not for such a grand anniversary, sugar…

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Tonner gets top honors for bringing the most attention to the icons as translated into dolls, and even though the events were somewhat self-serving, they brought it – need I remind anyone that they are a business? Barbie and Madame Alexander also join the manufacturers contributing to anniversary dolls, but both company offerings fell short of the milestone’s magnitude. And even though I was unhappy with Tonner’s choice of GWTW design decisions, it is his company, and at least he did something while still holding onto these licenses, earning him the Best Whoring of an Anniversary License Award.

Oops. Shame, shame...

Oops. Shame, shame…

R. John Wright did Oz dolls, too – but if ever I had seen a year for a bubble to drop Glinda, this would have been it…nevertheless, a pretty spectacular collection of Monas there, John…you not only have the noive, but you’ve made the Best Wizard of Oz Dollsever. But Tonner made the Best Affordable Wizard of Oz Dolls…yes, yes…doll collecting is a luxury…I know, I know

What a witch...

What a witch…

Doll Anniversaries rang in proud and true this year, and Integrity Toys gets the Best Whoring of a Anniversary Doll for its beautiful and well-thought Poppy Parker 5th Anniversary releases – collectors really clawed their way through a gaggle of IT dolls offered in the latter half of the year, and that is the truest testament to a brand fandom. Tonner offered up one (yes, one) doll to mark the 15th Anniversary of a doll that not only changed his company, but one that built a reputation for Tonner as a top fashion doll maker. Tyler Wentworth was a game-changer across the industry – and much like fashion itself, she has been largely forgotten – Gene Marshall must be laughing her ass off. But not to worry – that bitch, Ellowyne Wilde will be nextDéjà Vu‘s ticking time clock is pretty certain of that.

...and I'll cry if I want to.

…and I’ll cry if I want to.

Superdoll celebrated Venus’ Birthday this year with a truly jaw-dropping group that had her fans frothing at the mouth – read Dutch Barbie World’s Coverage here – it was a modest (if The Sybarites even know such a term), but an important observance of a doll that built their fandom – good show, Puddings – this earned you the Best Way to Pay Homage to Your Money-Maker Award…don’t read into that

Entrez-vous ou pas?

Entrez-vous ou pas?

Musée de la Poupée celebrated its 20th Anniversary this year, and as host for such past exhibits as 2010’s Superdoll’s Retrospective and this year’s Barbie Retro exhibit by the Magia 2000 team – we can only hope that this little jewel tucked back in the Impasse Berthraud remains for years to come.

We'll always have Paris...

We’ll always have Paris…

It was also the 20th Anniversary of the Paris Fashion Doll Festival, but more on that in Events, below…

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Oh yes, it was Barbie’s 55th Anniversary – so back off bitches, the world’s most famous fashion doll sneers at your paltry anniversary occasions. Which brings me to:

Doll Events

Artist Creations at Barbie National Convention

Artist Creations at Barbie National Convention

Technically not an official ‘anniversary’, but nevertheless duly noted, Barbie’s 55th Anniversary brought about honorable showings from Grant-A-Wish, Barbie Fashion Luncheon in Japan, Paris Fashion Doll Festival, Italian Doll Convention, Madrid Fashion Doll Show Convention, Kenvention, dozens of clubs and gatherings, and the mother convention of them all, the Barbie National Convention which was held in Nashville, TN this year. I feel everyone should go to a Barbie Convention to get to know the fans, the history, and to just have loads of dolly fun with Barbie, Ken, Skipper and Midge – it’s one of the most organized and best run events out there, but be sure to make some notes about how to attend such an event.

Ninimomo

Ninimomo Pageant Contestant Sardinia

Artist Creations brought magic to the BarbieCon souvenir dolls – and as with such artists as Ninimomo, Magia 2000 and Matt Sutton, Our Princess of Pink helped to build significant side-events such as BarbieCon’s One-of-A-Kind Charity Auction, Ninimomo’s Pageant and Magia’s Retro Chic Exhibit in Paris (see above).

Inamorata at Paris 2014

Inamorata at Paris 2014

Paris seemed to be a pivotal event in 2014 bringing Superdoll, Mattel, Tonner, and a host of bright and shining European, Russian and Asian artists to its Sunday show and sale. It’s not every day you get to see Mattel, Tonner, Superdoll, DollChic, Inamorata and Fashion Doll Agency on hand to personally meet collectors and exhibit their work. Superdoll shared in the festival anniversary by hosting a cocktail exhibition of its Paris doll exclusives over the years – reminding everyone that fashion doll design is progressive and innovative. And newcomer dollbid, including yours truly, presented a video honoring the passion of our community – you can see the video at Vimeo here. Bringing all those manufacturers and artists together is no skip in the park, and for that, Paris Fashion Doll Festival is awarded with Most Stupendous Assembly of Doll Maker Egos in One Room award. This could have gone to United Federation of Doll Clubs‘ National Convention – but Superdoll wasn’t there…because

The Sybarites SPELLBOUND at FIDM Los Angeles

The Sybarites SPELLBOUND at FIDM Los Angeles

Two words: Chalk. White. And all the finery that comes with them, of course…making such a splash at the American Debut of Chalk White in America at FIDM, drawing from the fashion world glitterati to see the splendor that is Superdoll (see pics from The Doll Observer here and here). If you were fortunate enough to see these in person (I was not), then count yourself among the lucky individuals who can only dare to dream of their beauty, drama and elusiveness. Photos captured by the media and visitors shared across social media brought us all a little bit of Superdoll over the summer – but seeing them in person must have been truly sublime, and worthy of the We’re Not Goddesses, We’re Superdoll Award.

Well, it's true...

Well, it’s true

Of all the events this year brought, perhaps the most successful and broadly watched was Integrity Toys’ Gloss Convention. I’m very sorry for those that pre-ordered the collection as proxies had to wait weeks to get your dolls – but I paid a vulgar amount of money to be there, stay in the hotel, and endure all the horrors of Orlando in late October (said while giggling like a school girl). This was the event of 2014 as some 500 people will gladly tell you – pay attention, they’re in Long Beach, CA next year…and you can see why they have deservedly taken the Bitch, THIS Is How You Throw a Party for Your Fans Award.

Doll Blogs

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You’ve learned all about the Top Ten Doll Blogs here – but that list will change in 2015 as we see the departure of fan-favorite Shuga-Shug from the dolly blogoverse – she’ll still be participating in occasional dolly play, but being a mother will take a priority over doll blogging – Congratulations, Shug! You’ve earned the Best REAL Doll of The Year Award, and no, not one of these.

'Aurora' OOAK gown by Tommydoll on Integrity's Poppy Parker 'Love Letters'

‘Aurora’ OOAK gown by Tommydoll on Integrity’s Poppy Parker ‘Love Letters’

Well, and then you have some guy who used to work for a doll company opening his blog almost a year ago to a fast and furious readership, because no one else writes about doll industry shit like he does – of course it’s Tommydoll, and I award myself with the Don’t Candy Coat Your Feelings Award for 2014. With the top blog post of What Not to Say to a Doll Collector going just about as viral as blog posts can within our community (thank you, by the way) – Tommydoll has marked his territory quite well, thank you very much. Oh yes, and I sew, too…you may have seen one or two things about that

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Auctions

Charity Dolls were certainly present in this year with top nods going to Designer Dolls for UNICEF’s les Frimousses de Créateurs project, Italian and Madrid Doll Conventions, BarbieCon and Grant-A-Wish – but Tonner gets the Click Your Heels For Charity Award for his coordination of famous film and fashion designers to benefit the There’s No Place Like Home Tonner American Model OOAK dolls – in a sea of charity auctions where dolls can go for thousands, these dolls ended up being rather affordable to the everyday collector – picking up cash for Habitat for Humanity, and a little mainstream coverage for Tonner – all in the Wonderful Name of Oz.

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Glinda by Carmen Marc Valvo OOAK Tonner American Model

Glinda by Carmen Marc Valvo OOAK Tonner American Model

Magia 2000 gets the Sewing ‘Til Our Fingers Bleed Award for significant contributions by an independent design house to charity auctions. Man, do you guys ever let up? Seriously though…lovely work bringing their brand some truly charitable realness.

Magia 2000 OOAK at Barbie National Convention 2014

Magia 2000 OOAK at Barbie National Convention 2014

But outside the charitable arena, Robert Tonner auctioned his vintage fashion doll favorites, beautifully restored and pristine versions of Miss Revlon, Toni, Sweet Sue – and a gamut of the Grande Dames – and with the relocation of his Company Store to his headquarters building, it can only tell us one thing – he’s running out of storage space, earning Robert Tonner with the No Really, I Can Shove Just One More on That Shelf Award. Well, now he can…

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Celebrities-

Magia 2000 with Sophia Loren

Magia 2000 with Sophia Loren

We saw many celebrities in doll form this year, some manufactured and some one-of-a-kind, but the most notable in fashion doll circles were cameos by Karl Lagerfeld Barbie (not really a ‘celebrity’ doll, but nonetheless one of the year’s most anticipated offerings), Magia 2000’s OOAK Sophia Loren and Sarah Jessica Parker dolls, Artist Creations’ OOAK Franca Sozzani, Tonner’s Big Bang Theory Sheldon Leonard, Sports Illustrated Barbie, and Red from Fraggle Rock by Gregg Ortiz (yes, but is it a doll, or is it plush – eh, knowing Gregg’s work, I’d call it a Mona) – but the glory and honor for celebrity is captured by Robert Tonner’s Carmen Dell-Orefice. Not only was it quite the coup to secure the legendary fashion icon’s likeness, but to have her actually at his convention this year was nothing short of wondrous. Some didn’t care for the sculpt, but plenty did – and that’s what’s most important, fetching Tonner the Most Gracious Remembrance of Glamour Award. Which brings us to:

Paris Vogue

Paris Vogue

The Fashion World-

Bottega Veneta Blythe

Bottega Veneta Blythe

 

2014 was a year that saw the fashion world grandly embrace the concept of dolls into their fold. Though it hasn’t been the first time, few can deny there does seem to be a sarcastic attraction to dolls among the fashion enclave Illuminati. Moschino hit it big with an entire collection devoted to Barbie, producing a very limited gift for its attendees – one that has Barbie collectors scrambling to find. Blythe was featured prominently in Bottega Veneta fashion ads, McQueen’s Kate Moss possessed doll parallels, and the eerily fabulous ‘Designer Dolls’ featured in Vogue Paris. Roberto Cavalli tapped Magia 2000 for its Wall of Dolls project. We were all reminded of the American mastery Charles James’ legacy brought to our dolls through the most auspicious exhibit at the Met. Artist Creations sprinkled their miniature couture amongst the attendees of Rome’s Fashion Night Out. But the master house of Christian Dior reminded everyone why they perpetually earn the We Don’t Have to Explain, We’re Christian Dior Award for its hypnotic videos, showing the making of miniature versions of the house’s haute couture in Le Petit Théâtre Dior.

Le Petit Théâtre Dior

Le Petit Théâtre Dior

Scratching Our Heads

Barbie Dolls in "Wave 1" -  created by Belgian-born Australian artist, Annette Thas

Barbie Dolls in “Wave 1” – created by Belgian-born Australian artist, Annette Thas

Just as fashion can often leave us wondering just what in the hell they were thinking, so can dolls – namely fashion dolls. Mattel showed an oddly inconsistent year, headlining the Silkstone Collection with a strange and beautiful Italian Wedding theme – most agree the dolls looked better in person, but it seemed somewhat off in terms of excess embroidery, face make-up and frippery. Robert Best may have been thrown off by a little shade from Bob Mackie, who introduced his final Barbie doll (that is, for now – he is friends with Cher, after all). And although Mattel had nothing to do with the Barbie Sculpture Wall, they might have latched onto this artistry wave (pun intended), or at least kept their Disney license.

"She wouldn't like anything you did..."

“She wouldn’t like anything you did…”

Tonner left us scratching our heads on a couple of occasions such as re-purposing Tyler 2.0 into an action figure with Lady Action & Wonder Woman (Diana Prince) – and even promises for a 2015 version of grown-up Marley Wentworth in big gowns (pretty much Tyler 2.0 on Antoinette’s body). Yes, yes, I know Marley 2.0 uses a new head and the ‘Chic’ body – but really, is it that appreciable? Some of my readers tell me yes, it is. I hope people like the new Marley for the sake of Tonner’s standing as a fashion doll maker – it was nice to see Tonner caring about their photography again, too…the images in Haute Doll were lovely.

Oh, all right...

Oh, all right…

I’m certain there was a rationale for the re-release of vintage Sindy, though it escapes me. Sindy? Aren’t there plenty of vintage Sindy dolls out there for the nostalgic collector? I kept hearing from people voicing why she wasn’t articulated (because that would have cost alot of cash, people) or even updated in some way such as Jem was updated by Integrity. I can only hope plenty of folks who wanted her, got her – she was a well-made tribute to a vintage gal, and she earns Robert Tonner with the Never Can Say Goodbye, Love Award. (Wait…wasn’t Sindy’s 50th Anniversary last year?). But I won’t even start on 1966 Batman or Catwoman…ouch

Kitty, Kitty?

Kitty, Kitty?

Madame Alexander seems to have virtually disappeared in terms of media and community – I get that they are trying to morph into a toy brand contender, but vomiting out American Girl knock-offs only to place them in Tuesday Morning isn’t the way to do it – it’s really time for something new over there if they are to ever salvage an iconic doll brand. Few will forgive them for the excretious use of Alex in those sadly bright and chromatic Isaac Mizrahi after-births they so proudly pushed out as a coup d’état in the fashion and doll worlds. Do you not have eyes? There’s a reason I didn’t include these dolls in the fashion block, above – and it’s the reason Alexander earns the I Thought You Invented the Modern Fashion Doll Award.

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And on a final note – I understand the appeal of Tim Burton’s successful film Big Eyes – but to doll artists and manufacturers everywhere: ENOUGH WITH THE BIG EYES IN DOLLS! Really – is that all you can do to garnish interest in facial sculpture? It was an annoying trend from the start, and now the only way to make them uniquely interesting anymore is to exaggerate these orbs to insane proportions. You can’t all be Blythe – so focus on something new for fuck’s sake. Japanese anime may not be able to let it go, but the rest of us certainly can…there’s nothing wrong with eye lids, people.

Media-

The Enchanted Doll by Marina Bychkova

The Enchanted Doll Book by Marina Bychkova

This year, we saw exciting showings in print media to add to our libraries, and you should have bought each and every one of them. Magia 2000’s Dreaming of Dolls is a lovely look into Barbie from a one-of-a-kind artist perspective. Gene Foote adds to the Barbie legacy by his beautifully shot and eloquently detailed stories of Barbie in For the Love of a Doll. Mona-creator Marina Bychkova bends our visual imagination with her extraordinary doll art from her The Enchanted Doll Book. And Robert Tonner continued his writing aspirations by co-authoring the novella Love, Death and So On for his latest muse, the Déjà Vu Girls. But Thierault’s Auction Book for Tonner’s Vintage Collection Auction is a reference material must, with lovely images and relevant information regarding fashion dolls’ golden years, earning it the Misty Water-Colored Memories Award.

The Facebook Pink Lounge Page

The Facebook Pink Lounge Page

Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram exploded with dolls in 2014, and one major conversation forum, The Pink Lounge, transitioned away from its bulletin board style format into a fully social-media-charged Facebook Page, bringing them Cutting Edge of Bitch Award for the year.

Haute...

Haute…

But perhaps the most widely noticed and visually arresting 2014 entry came from the folks at Jones Publishing and its Haute Doll Magazine label. Unofficially re-launched into a high-end glossy fashion magazine full of eye candy and wonder, you can give much credit to its new Editor, Sharon Wright, for infusing Condé Nast-ambience and her own sublime visions through a ubiquitous photography lens. Sharon captured motion and expression unlike any photographer I’ve seen, bringing a unique point-of-view to mood and visual story-telling. Even Tommydoll got the Sharon Wright touch. Her sense of style has brought new life to Haute Doll – and for that, I offer the Serving Realness With Sass and Style Award. I had a great pic of her I took at ITCon to use here – but I’ll refrain (you’re welcome).

As Time Goes By

J. Michael Augustyniak

J. Michael Augustyniak

Before we announce the final awards, let us take a moment to remember two we lost from our world – there were many we lost this year, but J. Michael Augustyniak and Tom Tierney are remembered for what they brought to our fashion doll community. Bless you, Gentlemen

Tom Tierney

Tom Tierney

Winners’ Selection – The nomination and winners for this awards presentation were selected by two blond toddlers chortling over the puff and pretty they saw in the images I showed them – they are distinguished members of the firm, I. Maekpuup Inmyponts & Sister, LLC.

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And now…for the Science and Technical Awards– a separate ceremony held way, way off the studio lot…

Funniest Moment Award-

Superdoll – Where R my People? Nothing else to say, it was just brilliant

Well?

Well?

Best Explanation of How Desiccants Work-

Integrity Toys

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Most Original Performance by a Halloween Diva

Haunted Beauty Mistress of the Manor Barbie

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Best Retro Design in a Command Performance

Couture Illustrated by Ayal Armon

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Most Gay Fantasy-Inspiring Performance by a Hunky Doll-

Manny Taur – Monster High

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Mannytaur

Best Event Associated with a Company Down-Sizing

Tonner Doll Company Store Re-location

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Most Over-Done Concept-

Maleficent Repaints. Lots of stunning work, but a lot of Mrs. Pitt in horns out there…

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Most Unnoticed Doll in a Headliner Performance

Fifteen Years Tyler Wentworth

...and I'll cry if I want to.

Most Uninspired Marketing Name for a Doll Product

Fifteen Years Tyler Wentworth

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Greatest Following of Collectors Who Don’t Realize Any Other Fashion Dolls are Out There-

Barbie

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Best Censoring of Online Critical Comments by Fans Boys You are Trying to Impress

TonnerDirect – Batman 1966

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Best Use of Someone Else’s Work-

Noel Cruz

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Best Use of Graphic Beading in a One-of-A-Kind Performance

OOTB Dolls

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Best OOAK Collection in a Colorfully Dramatic Performance

Cho:lo Doll Couture

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Best Use of Marbles as an Anatomic Feature in Dolls

Tonner/Effanbee’s 2014 Patsy

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Best Cover Doll That’s Still Available (as of this writing)-

Numina Alma by Paul Pham for Haute Doll

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Best Fashion Doll Performance in a Magazine Cover Shot

Brighton by Kingdom Doll on the cover of FDQ Spring 2014 Issue

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Best Boy-

First Love by Joey Versaw

Photo: Ernesto Padró-Campos

Photo: Ernesto Padró-Campos

Best Auld Lang Syne Way to End 2014 Visually

Dolldom by Ernesto Padró-Campos

Photo: Ernesto Padró-Campos

Photo: Ernesto Padró-Campos

Most Exciting 2015 Preview Without Showing an Image-

Integrity Toys’ American Horror Story – Coven – sent a collective BALENCIAGA!!! Glass-shattering squeal into the flames and panties of pop culture lovers, world-wide.

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DOLL OF THE YEAR

Much like Time’s Person of the Year, the Doll of the Year Award represents a single doll that garnished the year’s notoriety..but it’s not always an award. And I can’t think of any among 2014’s offerings that did this in such a prostituted way than Lammily.

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Lammily is not a good doll, it’s not an original doll – it’s not even an interesting doll. But the mainstream media attached onto this toy much in the same way they did with other similarly ‘normal’ dolls before her – by attacking Barbie. If Barbie had never been mentioned or used as a comparison, no one would have noticed this pathetic plaything. It stands as a testament to our society when mainstream media can only find a single doll story they find of interest in latching its hooks on an anti-Barbie – it clearly shows that they don’t care about dolls in general (not to mention the lack of respect they have for a child’s imagination), but they don’t even know a good doll when they see one.

Sensationalist stories create interest, and there seems to be such an absence in creative journalistic endeavors to capture such interest in its viewers when all you find worthy in doll news is a moronic face on a simple body who wears clothes that look like they’ve been picked up at Walmart. Worse yet, they don’t even care that the stories were inaccurate and sensationalized by ‘good moms’ everywhere wanting their daughters to grow up with a healthy body image – because boys don’t have that problem, right? Or children watching their parents partake in fast food and social media addiction – while endlessly tapping their damned cell phones – that’s a good thing – when all they want to do is to play and spend time with mommy and/or daddy. What messages do you send them – and are you perhaps sending too many messages to a child who just wants to be free with creativity and play, like all children should enjoy (and not a mindset that encompasses your set of adult themes and rules, of which they are oblivious until you tell them otherwise)? “You can’t teach creativity; all you can do is let it blossom” – Peter Gray.

Creating such false definitions for children to observe in their play dismisses the very nature of a child’s need for play – what messages do you think these children receive?

They say no publicity is bad publicity – so chalk up this entry as one that names Lammily as the 2014 Doll of the Year – thanks for nothing. Now begone before someone drops a house on you, too…

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HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM TOMMYDOLL – THANK YOU FOR READING!!!

16 thoughts on “2014 – The Year That Was In Dolls

  1. Tommy, as always, that was a great read! I think you summed up dolls in 2014 perfectly. This is a crazy business, and I can’t wait to see what happens in 2015. I still think Lamily is one of Dr. Littlechap’s not-so-secret love child 😉

  2. All in all, I’ve learned quite a bit about the history and production of dolls from reading your blog. Thanks for the work and especially for the research, not to mention all those photos. It’s good that you don’t take yourself, or the whole of Dollyworld, too seriously, makes it much more enjoyable. I do feel bad that your experience with Madame Alexander Doll Club was so awful, because things are much mellower now, but that ship has sailed. Happy and healthy New Year to you and yours. Keep the faith, Tommy!

  3. This comment is indeed proof that I read every single “I hold nothing back” word of your blog. If I read an entry following a vertigo episode anything I say, do, or forget cannot be held against me. I love ya to bits, Tommydoll, and you — hands down — get the best personality and best looking /most photogenic award (captured in all 900+ selfies this year.) Happy New Year, you wonderful, crazy living doll – you!

My blog is satire, but your thoughts are welcome!

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