4/15/2011

Madame Alexander Does Tony Curtis in Drag

Tony Curtis as Joe AKA Shell Oil Junior by Madame Alexander
21 Inch Tall fully articulated Mr. Alexander Doll
Retail $749.95

Madame Alexander boldly goes where Mattel fears to tread. In this case it's not a male figure wearing a patterned sport jacket and pink shirt,
Sugar's Daddy Ken Mattel Image

 it's a dressed male figure who can be transformed into a woman:

MA Promotional Photos

As for his second look, the one where he dresses like a woman... all the components for his transformation are contained in his black suitcase that has a pink handle and Some Like It Hot logo.
MA Promotional Photo
 Included are: a short sleeved, black georgette 'flapper' dress that's trimmed with black sequin insets, black fringe at the hips and hem and a beige net inset at the neck. Black stretch mesh, elbow length, fingerless mitts, black thigh-high stockings, an auburn bob wig that features bangs and fits over the pompadour and a black velveteen headband trimmed with silver beads and a rhinestone star applique. In addition, Joe comes with black rimmed glasses, silver and rhinestone earrings, a silver and rhinestone choker with front looped detailing and of course, a gold saxophone.

In the 1959 Oscar winning movie, Some Like It Hot, Tony Curtis plays Joe and Josephine. The movie's background information is very interesting and lends importance to the fact that the MA company is forward-thinking in producing this doll. Remember, they produce many dolls for young children.
 It was released at the end of the repressive 1950s at a time when the studio system was weakening, the advent of television was threatening, and during a time of the declining influence of the Production Code and its censorship restrictions. Director-producer Wilder challenged the system with this gender-bending and risqué comedy, filled with sly and witty sexual innuendo (the "sweet" and "fuzzy end of the lollipop" represented oral sex), unembarrassed vulgarity, free love, spoofs of sexual stereotypes (bisexuality, transvestism, androgyny, homosexuality, transsexuality, lesbianism, and impotence), sexy costuming for the well-endowed, bosomy Marilyn Monroe, an outrageous and steamy seduction scene aboard a yacht, and a mix of serious themes including abuse, alcoholism, unemployment, and murder, among others. 
Marilyn Monroe As Sugar Kane Kowalczyk 
21 Inch Tall Fully Articulated Cissy
Retail $499.95
MA Promotional Photo

This is the character Monroe played in the same movie. What an outfit! If you have never seen MA Cissy outfits in person, you are missing a treat. Here is the description of this fashion:

She's wearing a smokin' hot 20's dress of off-white crinkle chiffon which dips to the waist in back. The nude mesh bodice of the sexy dress is enhanced with embroidered beads, sequins and metallic silver lace while the body of the dress is rich with metallic silver 'cracked ice' and silver bugle beads. A metallic silver applique on the left shoulder features strands of silver bugle beads that hang off the front and back of the shoulder. Off-white stretch lace panties, a luxurious, white 'fur' stole lined in white satin, a silver bracelet, silver and rhinestone earrings and, white satin pumps, with a silver metallic mesh overlay plus silver beads, completes the hot look for Sugar who comes with a ukulele.
Lots of collectors that I know just can't get past the baby-faced Cissy look. I was one of those. But after a few years of looking at pictures, I relented and got my first.  I have five Cissy dolls now. They can be very pricey and they take up lots of vertical space. If there is room in your collection for just one big doll, you might consider a Cissy. 

As with many dolls, prices can vary wildly, even on new issues or pre-orders. Do your research and happy hunting.

7 comments:

  1. Hi, I was wondering. Do you have any recommendations for a good place to buy MA dolls?

    Ariss

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  2. i believe the original costume had a nude heart cutout on her left buttock. i doubt they reproduce that. the "i'm through with love" costume was a black version of the same dress

    i love this set. very tempting.

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  3. Mattel tries, it's just whenever they do there's a huge outcry from people who fail to realize not everything that has the Barbie name on it is for Children.
    And while MA does make children's toys, they are not as seeped in popular culture as barbie, the average person wouldn't list off their company name when naming toy companies, so this allows them to be a bit more "mature" in their lines.
    But weighing on the dolls, Marilyn looks cute, the childlike face works for her. He on the other hand looks odd. Like a character from of those 60's marionette TV shows.

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  4. Uriah - You are correct about the location of the heart. Great post Terri - what an amazing set!

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  5. Hope this set sells well, and Mattel pays attention! Not only for the risque theme, but for quality outfits that can be taken off!

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  6. Not a big Cissy fan as I don't like the babyish face, but in the case of Sugar Kane it works so well!!

    Tony Curtis/ Gerladine looks like one of the Thunderbirds in drag. Still, a cute idea.

    If I remember correctly, the original MM dresses were made from a material manufactured in France and is no longer made- nude souffle. Same material as the Happy Birthday, Mr. President dress, and one of the most sheerest of silk gauzes. Created beautiful effects in Hollywood costuming, but so thin, it had to be layered.

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  7. Can't believe someone mentioned Thunderbird. I was thinking the same thing. I think they are cute though and I agree about the Barbie comparison. The sad thing is that society links dolls with children, yet if you mentioned figurine or Star Wars collectible it is looked at in a different light.

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