One Family’s Barbie Collection

When John Strojek purchased the first Barbie doll for his little girl as a collector’s item in 1988 he had no idea what he was starting. Now, 200 Barbie dolls later (and most likely still collecting) the family has been contacted to show their dolls at the Historic Arkansas Museum in Little Rock. The exhibit’s name is

“Barbie: The 11 1/2-inch American Icon” is the latest exhibit in the museum’s series, The 11th annual Eclectic Collector.”

The exhibit will run through January 3, 2013. Admission is free unless you want to tour the grounds.

The Strojek collection consists of many different Barbies as well as some of her friends. It has

“nearly 200 dolls, 15 completed series and vintage dolls including a 1963 Midge, a 1964 Skipper, a 1967 Twist N Turn Barbie and a 1968 Talking Barbie, a 1965 Francie doll house and a 1968 Barbie doll house.”

Mr. Strojek has a theory concerning several of the Barbie dolls. The collectors’ dolls are geared more toward adults,” Strojek says.

“So while some feel that certain Barbies should not be geared for children, they are not actually for children but for the adult collectors.”

That is an interesting theory. Would the New Moon Vampire series fit that bill or are they actually for the young girls to play vampire with?

See the full story at ArkansasOnline by Linda Caillouet complete with collection pictures and a video.

Toys and Dolls can enhance Mental Sharpness

Everyone knows that dolls and toys can be developmentally beneficially for children, but what about older adults – can they keep their minds sharp?

According to an article in by Greg Hatala, Virginia Aris will be conducting a presentation at the Hillsborough Senior Center where she will explain how:

collecting and enjoying various toys and dolls can be relaxing and help maintain mental sharpness.

If you are in the area this may be a fascinating program to attend, but if you can’t make that, then perhaps you can go to the Princeton Doll and Toy Museum in Hopewell, NJ to see the exhibits they have of dolls from the 1600s to present. It is worth the time to visit their site just to see the photos of the antique wooden dolls, the vintage bears, French fashion and paper-mache dolls.

What is your thoughts? Can collecting toys or dolls help enhance and keep you mentally sharp?

Paper Dolls on Display

If you are into Paper Dolls and the Golden Age of Cinema, the Edmonds Historical Museum has just the exhibit for you!

This exhibit, which is co-curated by Nan C. Moorehead, will feature more than 200 sets of paper dolls, as well as historical items from the museum’s collection.

See the age when cinema stars were glamorized and idolized. The gift shop will have a limited-edition paper doll available as well.

Go and pick out your favorite movie star from days gone by. But be sure to check out the exhibit website where you can download free .pdf files of Hollywood paper dolls. Grace your playroom or collection with Colleen Moore, Douglas Mac Lean, Mae Murray, Norma Shearer, Norma Talmadge, Reginald Denny, Rudolph Valentino, and Tom Mix. Which one will become your favorite?

Read more on the Mukilteo Beacon. Have you ever printed your own paper dolls?

Michelle Obama Doll renews interest in First Lady Doll exhibit

The Michelle Obama doll is the first replica First Lady doll in 7 presidential terms to be added to the Carol Pierson Collection at the Sloan Museum today.

An “early and active supporter” of the Flint Cultural Center, according to Sloan’s site, she donated the figures to Sloan Museum in 1966. The pieces were on continuous exhibit until 1991, when museum administrators found that light, heat and dust were damaging them, but the entire collection will be exhibited with its new addition on Tuesday.

Hopefully there will be more dolls added to catch up with the First Ladies who were left out. This porcelain doll was created by Bev Gelfland.

See the story by William E. Ketchum III on mlive.

Olympic Atheletes as Peg Dolls

Just in time for the London 2012 Olympic Games, the Qube Gallery in Oswestry will be making and dressing up to 5,000 peg dolls. This is a unique exhibit and allows for locals to have a hand in making the displays as well.

“Qube volunteers are now calling for residents of all ages to visit the gallery to help dress the pegs. They have created peg dolly packs with two pegs, two pipecleaners, hair, a choice of fabric and a set of instructions for schools, groups and individuals to use. The Peg Dollies 2012 Exhibition will run from August 2 until September 8 and is to celebrate the Olympics.”

Time to get your peg on! What exactly is a Peg Doll? Peg Dolls are easy to make, as shown here in these simple directions available from the Qube. You can make your very own Peg Doll and even submit it to this exhibition. How historic would that be? :) You probably have the materials around your home, or can find them easily at any local store or through online sources like Amazon.

See the complete story with photos in the Shropshire Star!

Harry Potter’s Castle took 2 years to build

Hogwarts Castle is now complete and on display at the Dolls, Doll House and Teddy Show in NZ this April 7th and 8th. It is a doll-size castle but that didn’t deter the pair who made it, one evening a week and with a glass of wine in hand.

“The attention to detail is extraordinary, with many items hand-crafted from scratch. Porcelain plates line the tables in The Great Hall, books lay on classroom tables, and Dobby, the house elf, works in the kitchen – behind him is a full table of tiny food.”

This is one castle you have to see for yourself! Francis Gillett and Jean Blanc, the miniaturists who created this replica, will be at the show with a workshop on building a display cabinet for your doll house.

Catch the full story in the Fairfax NZ News. Have you ever been so much a fan of something like Harry Potter that you just had to be creative and design or model part of it, do something creative like this?

American Girl Ronald McDonald Fundraiser

Local girls in Camden, NJ will be hosting a fashion show to benefit the Ronald McDonald House. This is the show’s 15th year so it is quite a stir right now.

“The American Girl Doll Fashion Show will showcase more than one hundred local models, ages 5-12, walking the runway in historical clothing that resembles the styles of popular American Girl characters including Kaya, Josefina, Addy, Rebecca and others. Older girls will be modeling contemporary looks to “Dress Like Your Doll” and the darling Bitty Baby fashions for younger guests will complete the program.”

Tickets are only $35 so stop by and cheer for your favorite model or your favorite American Girl’s doll!

Read more on in this story by Jessica Beym.

Woo-hoo! Look at Wu!

Watch out Barbie! There is a new fashion doll on the scene. A lot of the dolls wear Wu’s runway fashions.

“Each outfit is meticulously crafted, lined, with working zippers. Highly collectable, the dolls sell for anything from $125 up to $2000 for a special edition Poesie Sans Couleur bridal doll.

Tremblay, who escorted his dolls from Montreal, has installed them at Chadstone where they will strut a mini-catwalk on public display for the next month.”

The dolls have their own “bodyguard” as well as traveling in high style, down to the liquor cabinet with miniature liquor bottles and glasses.

Find out more and check out the 25 fabulously smashing photos in Melissa Kent’s article at the Sydney Morning Herald. The photos have to be seen, especially to see the comparison to the doll dress and the humanly modeledone. Sadly there is no Obama dresses in the article.

Some of the inside scoop you can discover is some behind-the-scenes dirt about Barbie – say for instance, does she drink, and if so how much? Not naming names here….


Michigan State University to house traveling Japanese Doll Exhibit

Straight from The Dominican Republic comes “The Dolls of Japan: Shapes of Prayer, Embodiments of Love” to be on display at Michigan State University until the end of March.

“In Japan, dolls have been a part of everyday life since ancient times, development and programming coordinator in the Asian Studies Center Leslie Jablonski said.

“The dolls reflect the culture of Japan and show regional attributes of all over the country,” Jablonski said. “There is a lot of history there.”

Each doll demonstrates a different aspect of Japanese culture, such as traditional clothing, games or textiles, program director for JCMU Kate Simon said.”

The exhibit is part of a celebration of Japanese life and culture and has many other events as well as the traveling display.

Find out more in Isabella Shaya’s article at The State News. The official press release by the university can be found here.

Loved through the years: Three Centuries of Black Dolls

Delta Fine Arts Center hosted the opening to “Three Centuries of Black Dolls” with many folk art type dolls. Some of the dolls were actually made and owned by slaves and many were made using eclectic material that was available to the makers.

Wendy L. Barber makes dolls and uses older styles for inspiration. She will help others learn the craft March 31 during a small workshop.

Just when you thought segregation was over … you have another chance to see, now through March 31st. The gallery is open Tuesday – Friday 10-5, and Saturday 11-3. You can find the gallery here at 2611 New Walkertown Rd, Winston Salem, NC 27105.

Take a look at the Delta Fine Arts Center to see some photos from the exhibition? Do you live nearby – it may be worth a trip! Free parking! :)

You can read Cindy Hodnett’s article in the Winston-Salem Journal and find the Delta Fine Arts Center on Facebook.