American Girl to release a Bald Doll for Children with Cancer

American Girl has recently announced that they will begin producing a bald doll to be supportive of child cancer patients who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy.

One girl, Kayla Brooks, of Tennessee, has worked tirelessly to get Barbie, American Girl, Disney and others to produce the bald dolls. See the story of Kayla and her efforts in this story by Lori Mitchell from WKRN tv below.

WKRN, Nashville News, Nashville Weather and Sports

You can special order the American Girl doll by calling 1-800-628-5145, or if you prefer you can send one of your collection back to the factory to have a bald head put on your doll. There are five different skin tones available for $44. You can do this by sending your doll off to American Girl’s “Doll Hospital“.

You can find additional information in the story by Deborah Kotz of the Boston Globe.

Barbie Goes to the Prom!

Two girls went to their high school prom in Britain as Barbie Dolls, arriving to the prom in actual life-sized boxes!

Emily Pounde and Hannah Jagger, from Wadham School in Crewkerne, were delivered to their school prom boxed up on the back of a flat-bed trailer.

The story is of the two girls who have been Barbie fans since they were little, went to their High School Prom as real life Barbies. The girls wanted to do something different, to stand out, and do that they did as they landed on the BBCs television coverage and in this article by Jenny Hill here.

Proms in Britain can be costly affairs as 10% of the parents will spend over £500 on their child’s prom night.

“It was a bit claustrophobic but it was exciting,” said Hannah.

Have you ever gone as a doll to a party before?

Marc Jacobs SouthPark Doll

Marc Jacobs appeared on SouthPark and recently featured the SouthPark quartet in his stores. From the SouthPark episodes came Marc Jacobs’ character Muscle Man, which is now a new doll available exclusively from Marc Jacobs stores. You have to see this to believe it.

And in a very weird case of life imitating art, Marc now sports a tattoo of his cartoon self as well.

Go here to check out the Marc Majobs Special Muscle Man doll!

And if you need to fill up on South Park, well, you can do that too if you want. Read the full story, along with a photo comparison of the two Marc’s on Elle.com in Tommye Fitzpatrick’s article.

Long Lost Roddy Queen Elizabeth Coronation Doll found

You just never know what you might find in the things people are going to toss out. Jean Pritchard was on the prowl for doll parts and she was searching car boot sales (garage sales). She found an old carrier bag full of doll parts but didn’t realize the treasure that lay within.

“When I got it home I emptied it all out in the garden and there was a doll with very small arms and a dress and trail in a real mess.”

The doll was made by Roddy Doll Company in honor of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in 1952. She has not been able to find documentation for the doll.

Jean Pritchard runs Pritchard’s Doll Hospital in Lancashire.

Jamie Bowman’s story, found on the Southport Visiter or Liverpool Echo, has more details about the doll and the circumstances surrounding it’s discovery.

Political Correctness causes surge in overseas doll sales

The Golliwogg doll from the 1890’s books by Florence Upton is all the rage in Australia. Why? Because it has been politically banned in the USA as well as difficult to find in the UK. Enid Blyton took up the story and made the Golliwogg to be more of a troll by being rude and untrustworthy, evil and nasty. No one is certain how the Golliwogg got the name.

“Florence had a toy named Golliwogg which provided the inspiration for her book The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls and a Golliwogg so that’s one story,” Ms Richards said.

“Then there is the belief that the wog part of Golliwogg came from the Africans, Indians and Egyptians who worked for the UK on their rail projects under the name of Workers of the Government Service.”

Needless to say that political correctness today is causing a surge of sales and of profits for Australian doll shops.

Be sure to check out the complete spirited article by Emma Swain in The Maitland Mercury.

If you are interested in reading Bertha Upton’s The Adventure of Two Dutch Dolls and a ‘Golliwogg’ you can get a free copy here for your Kindle.

Paper Dolls on display

The Maple Ridge doll museum is now showing their extensive paper doll collection. They also have dolls from ceramic to vinyl, displaying dolls from many decades of collecting and playing. Their paper doll collection is especially good and shows paper dolls up to 80 years old.

“Paper dolls, as we predominately know them today in western culture, were first seen in France during the mid-18th century. They were drawn or painted like people with fashions for each doll.

The biggest North American producer of paper dolls at the start of the 1920s was Milton Bradley, and they grew steadily in popularity during the following decades.”

Drop by the museum to see the extensive collections or to make a donation. The Maple Ridge Museum also has many other fascinating exhibits to keep the attention of others in your group who may not be as keen on dolls. Things such as the miniature Model Railroad Exhibit – were a working model of railroads attempts to showcase how the area looking the 1930s.

FYI, Maple Ridge is in British Columbia, Canada. A lovely place.

Read more in this article on the Maple Ridge News.

Coronation Dress Replicated on Dolls

In the 1950’s doll collector Dicey Williams made a model of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation dress. She also made a replica of the cape Queen Victoria wore at her diamond jubilee.

“Another exhibition, marks the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria with a collection of historic items, such as a delicate silk cape which was donated in 1952.

Very recently, the museum has received confirmation that the cape is, in fact, the one worn by Queen Victoria at the garden party in Buckingham Palace on the occasion of her own diamond jubilee on June 28, 1897.”

The dolls were originally supposed to be cremated with the owner upon her demise but she had a change of heart and donated them to the museum instead. If you are in or near Worthing, take a little time and stop and visit the Worthing Museum and Art Gallery. Part of the museum’s collection is devoted to dolls and they have over 1,000 dolls now – some as old as from the 1800’s. Also on display is doll accessories, doll clothes, and doll houses (like their 1840s dollhouse from Sussex).

Read more and see some great photos of the Queen dolls at the Worthington Herald.

What About Damaged Antique Dolls?

What happens when you find an antique doll that has been damaged? What do you do about it?

That’s just the sort of question that came up on Olde Time Dolls blog by Judi Hunziker. She had an old antique ragdoll, with a broken neck, that was in desperate need of repair. Her choice was to mend the neck and then she realized she didn’t exactly like the colors on the doll’s face so she touched them up some. Now, obviously the important thing here is that this is her doll, and she can do what she’d like to with it. And certainly from the photos, the doll looks great finished. But the interesting part is that she was curious (as are probably most of us) to find out whether and antique doll should have been left alone or attempted repairs?  What do you think about this?

Basically if she enjoys the doll better being repaired, despite what may have happened (good or bad) to the resale value) then that enjoyment of the doll is the best outcome – she’s going to enjoy her work. That’s the main thing – don’t intend to destroy value, as she said, but make it into what you’d like.

She also notices and mentions that if the doll was a truly valuable and rare specimen she would have probably made different choices. So – enjoyment vs. value vs. rarity. Find out where you fit when you are faced with these choices? There are professional places that can do repairs, if you want them and don’t feel competent enough to do them yourself.  If you don’t feel you can, then don’t pressure yourself to have to.

One interesting comment is that on a lot of older antique dolls there could have been a previous owner who attempted to restore or alter the doll, so what you actually hold in your hands may not be what the doll was like new.

If you do want to work on repairing your own dolls, it is a skill that can be easily learned. Different types of dolls will require different skills to repair – as bisque and cloth both need different methods of care. If you check online you’ll find plenty of resources to help you should you choose to try. Amazon, for instance, lists plenty of books that you can use to learn this skill. There are also plenty of resources on the Internet that can help you learn ways to repair your dolls if you want to.

Remember, the choice is yours, so enjoy yourself, enjoy your collection, and have fun!

Have you ever repaired your own dolls or do you send them off to a doll hospital for repair?