Gustav Klimt Barbie ~ Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer

Klimt's Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer
Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I is a painting by Gustav Klimt completed in 1907. According to press reports it was sold for US$135 million to Ronald Lauder for his Neue Galerie in New York City in June 2006, which made it at that time the most expensive painting ever sold.[1] It has been on display at the gallery since July 2006. Update on ownership of painting-click here.
There is no question that I will buy this doll. She is much more than a representation of a famous painting.  A must read:  the story behind the painting is very interesting and an important part of history. 

This homage to Klimt's Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer is part of The Museum Collection which is one of three Barbie Collector series inspired by some of the world's most iconic masterpieces.

They are the Barbie Art Van Gogh Doll:

Barbie Art Van Gogh Doll
Van Gogh would cut off his other ear if he saw this doll who looks like she came straight from the set of Jersey Girls.
Not all doll collectors studied art history so it won't seem such a sacrilege to have used the wonderful, emotive brushwork and colors of Van Gogh on a flirty blonde Barbie dress. I do like the dress and the way the black organic motif winds up and over her shoulder.

Starry Night (June, 1889) by Vincent Van Gogh;  Museum of Modern Art NYC
and the Barbie Art Leonardo Da Vinci Doll:

Barbie Art Leonardo Da Vinci Doll
This doll looks very little like the portrait in every way imaginable but the colors are similarly muddy and subdued.  Restored - not so muddy.
Mona Lisa or La Gioconda (1503-1505/07) by Leonardo Da Vinci; Louvre, Paris, France

Dolls are due July, 2011. MSRP $39.99 each


Designer Ties One On or An Ungapotchked Outfit

"Exquisite"~ A New Monogram Doll ~ An MFD LE300 Exclusive ~ $175.00

In the new design tradition (don't ask)  of Tricks of the Trade Eugenia, Regal Solstice Anja, Out of the Blue Kyori and Fire Within Jordan, Integrity Toys has released a new Monogram doll called Exquisite. Sigh. 
 On Wednesday, April 20, a lottery was announced to generate excitement and sales of this doll.

Integrity Promotional Photo
 MFD  has had gorgeous exclusives from the very start of the Fashion Royalty line:

Soir De Paris LE 200 $35.00

Paradise Veronique LE 750 $35.00

Girl of the Moment Veronique LE 1000 $72.00
Overachiever Eugenia LE 450 $139.99

Marg Matsui, the owner of My Favourite Doll aka MFD has hosted several Wu conventions and is an established and important dealer.

To my knowledge, with an exclusive, the dealer arranges for the creation of and pays for the item up front. I wonder how much of the design process is shared. I think perhaps only the concept is discussed.

For the sake of Marg Matsui, I hope the dolls sell out quickly. From the comments on the W Club board, the chances of that happening quickly appear slim. But only a very small percentage of the membership actually posts so one doesn't really know what most of the W Club thinks. The rest of the dolls will be available to the collecting public after the lottery winners take theirs.

I didn't want to post large pictures of the following because one can get lost in the details. In every case below the doll fashion is either overly designed or overwhelms the doll itself. In the last case, the draping is exceedingly poor.  Dolls aren't human and can't move on a runway. The clothes have to look good on the doll with zero motion. A real model can prance and walk down a runway in such a way as to make an outrageous fashion look amazing. Dolls can't.

Several years ago I was going crazy because every Tonner Tyler Boutique item coming out had bows and ribbons. Good grief. Now they're ruffle crazy.

A Day of Ennui with Ellowyne: The Sequel

I am happy to report that Wilde Imagination is going to hold another Day of Ennui with Ellowyne. I had such a great time last year and the dolls were delightful. Robert Tonner did a bit in which he played Ello's therapist. He cracks me up every time.
It was like a mini convention complete with raffles, door prizes and competition dolls.
Last year there was a gorgeous Ellowyne and a lovely companion doll, Amber, available as well.  I'm not sure if Prudence was a centerpiece.
2010 A Day of Ennui Souvenir Doll
2010 A Day of Ennui Companion Doll
2010 A Day of Ennui
If you cannot attend but would like to pre-purchase the doll and any other table favors we might get, contact me as I will be dragging my husband along and he doesn't want the doll. ;-)  I can't imagine why.


The info for this event follows.

Ellowyne Disenchantment  (Click here to Register)

DATE: Saturday, August 13, 2011
TIME: 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
LOCATION: Wiltwyck Country Club, Kingston, NY
COST: $225

Limited to 150 Guests

Includes an exclusive Ellowyne, a fabulous lunch, a smile (possibly), poetry, brooding, whipped cream, therapist visit, tea and possibly a bit of Ennui.

On the Friday night prior to the luncheon there will be a wine, cheese and scone event with Evangeline Ghastly at the Tonner Company Store. The details for that portion haven't been figured out yet but you can be sure it will be worth spending the weekend in the area to attend both.


Did I mention that each table got a trough of whipped cream to go along with dessert? Well it wasn't actually a trough but it was a very large, trough-shaped serving piece.

BIC Co. Ltd. - Update

Denise Travers posted this information on the doll blogs.

I'm so sorry, This should have been posted here last night.
I want to share this news without rumor or speculation.
BIC has shut down & stopped business but most important of all is that
this is to confirm that Kazue went missing as of April 11 & not even her family
or friends know her whereabouts. She has not been heard from.
All that is happening is a tragedy. Please don't assume the worst about her
business practices. Remember this is a very DEAR woman many of us have known &
loved(& TRUSTED) for the last 9 years.
I will give details tomorrow after I speak to her family.

It is extremely disturbing to hear that Kazue is missing. She was OK after the tsunami and earthquake. She opened a Facebook account and was friending people. I'm stunned.


A Kentourage for Ken by Pat Henry, Editor of Fashion Doll Quarterly

Article reprinted by permission of the author, Pat Henry. I have added the pictures below.

A Kentourage for Ken
 As we continue to celebrate Ken’s birthday as well as his reunion with Barbie in 2011, it is fun to look back at Ken through the years and his many styles of dress. Certainly, his place as Barbie’s consort meant a lot of coordinating looks. “Dreamboat” by itself is just a few pieces of sportswear, but putting Barbie and Ken in the roadster while Babs is in “Open Road” becomes an entire narrative.

Certainly, the matching cheerleader/football player is a classic, as is the costume party pairing of “Pierrot” and “Pierrette”, along with the fantasy driven costumes for the Little Theatre, like “Cinderella” and “The Prince”. But to me, the realistic and well made details of “The Yachtsman” or “Rally Day” reminds me of my own father’s wardrobe. The smell of after shave and soap, along with the classic lines of a striped tee shirt, or a driving cap and a Macintosh raincoat, combine to form a tiny time capsule of early sixties high style, when men (and women) still dressed for work and play with a certain sensibility.

Of course, Ken continued to stay abreast of the fashion times. After disappearing for a while during the sixties, Ken made the first of many comebacks with a brand new look. Now, he was “buff” and fit, ready to hit the beaches of Malibu as a blond, or take up extreme grooming with newly rooted hair and sideburns. His clothes stayed apace with Barbie’s; the prints became louder, the pant legs wider. Ken sported turtlenecks more often than ties, and left best bud Allan behind for Brad, a much hipper dude of color. Ken embraced rock and disco, sports cars and guitars.

At this time, I remember more of my male friends actually being allowed their own Ken dolls. Whether they wore their mothers down, or they just swiped their sister’s dolls, it didn’t seem like such a big deal to play “Barbies” with the neighborhood girls. (That may have been due to our stealing their G.I. Joes, but that’s another story for another time.) These dolls were no longer just Barbie and Ken, they were secret agents, astronauts, and rock stars, reflecting our growing interest in pop culture and the adult world around us.

Depending on your age, you probably have your favorite Ken. Mine was the first “Talking” Ken. I thought he was just dreamy. His dazzling smile and his groovy short-sleeved Nehru jacket was just fabulous! But there are so many other Kens for different times and different generations that must be represented, so I recently flew to Los Angeles and headed to El Segundo for a special photo shoot featuring the entire “Kentourage”.

Not only was it a thrill to work in Mattel’s photo studios, but also everyone had a favorite Ken and a story to go with it. Paul Jordan shot an amazing group photo that will become a centerfold spread in our special issue of FDQ, and the soundstage set looked like something from the MGM lot. Mary Jordan did the styling, placing each Ken perfectly on set, looking as though they were talking and interacting with each other. Lars Auvinen is the secret star of these shoots. He designs the sets, and molds and paints tiny pieces of wood and foam into the astounding miniature world that Ken resides in.

In an era where everyone assumes “it’s Photoshoppped”, it is truly a treat to see a full scale set with tiny phones, working doors and a boom camera hanging over the dolls’ heads as if they are actors ready to go on set. Make sure you get to see this amazing photograph in FDQ and on the Barbie Collector site. It’s part of Ken’s history and something to cherish.

Pat Henry is the publisher and editor of Fashion Doll Quarterly. She is a former fashion stylist and Adjunct Assistant Professor at New York City's Fashion Institute of Technology in the Photography Department. Pat lives in NYC with her husband Hal and their fox terrier, Bo, and a large assortment of fashion dolls and action figures.


Barbie as Grace Kelly

I love the gown; the doll, not so much. She's probably sewn into it. But I would buy it for the fashion anyway.  SRP $39.99

Grace Kelly is a global icon—a famous princess, bride and an Academy Award-winning actress who starred in the 1955 romantic thriller, To Catch a Thief. Grace Kelly looks stunning in her blue gown inspired by the opening scene of To Catch a Thief, set in the French Riveria. This dress truly captures Grace's elegant style.

I would love to see a real-life image of this doll.  MSRP $179.99  Holy Crap

One place to pre-order with a 30% deposit is Angelic Dreamz.

In doing a thorough (?) search for the trousseau prices last night I came across a low pre-order price of $129. As always, do your research. Lower prices can mean higher shipping in some cases.
Ridiculously over-priced IMO.

Not Your Ordinary Easter Bonnet and Passover Chatchkas

The current issue of FDQ has a piece I wrote on Cisca Durieux's handmade hats. You will enjoy the pictures and story.  I also recommend buying the magazine as this issue is very interesting and has lots of eye candy. There is a broad range of dolls written about and photographed by a terrific assortment of writers. 
These are some of the hats being featured.

PETA's on the way.

The next picture is a cute one that I put together several years ago when I found that I had loads of red and black accessories. Hats are mostly Fashion Royalty with a La Boutique, a Mattel and a Tonner.

Then there's always the tiniest hat.
Definitely not an Easter Bonnet

There's no way to compare Passover to the overwhelming pastel-ness of Easter and the supplies available.  I love Peeps and I love the colors in the supermarket aisle prior to Easter. The foil wrapped eggs, crinkly grass, giant chocolate rabbits, baskets filled with Easter joy...hippity, hoppity...and all that. It's quite the distraction from the origin of the celebration.

For Passover one sees paper covered shelves in the markets, sliced fruit jellies, matzo meal or potato flour based pastries (blech) and mountains of matzoh boxes. 

Here are three items being offered by Amazon.Com. This item comes up in 90% of the results of a Google search for Passover dolls.  This is a doll?

 I do like the bag of frogs , the Ten Plague finger puppets and the plague masks.  That's irreverent and funny. I'm picturing a photo shoot right now with frogs overrunning a group of dolls.
My favorite of all is the Passover bag of ten plagues. I wonder if these can be considered Jewish VooDoo dolls.
You can even get your plagues in a reusable mesh bag! Yay.

An essential Passover toy with which you can display Matzah Man is the Deluxe Soft Seder Set. It contains all your Passover needs. Visit friends. Travel. Have plush seders year round.
Contains: plush kiddush cup, 3 matzahs, ke'arah (passover plate), zro'ah (shank), beitzah (egg), karpas (vegetable), charoset (mixture of crushed fruit represented here as an apple), maror (bitter herb), and chazeret (another bitter herb represented here as lettuce) all in a handy plastic carrying case.

 Don't make me call you chametz.

Not Doll Related: A Passover Reflection on Middle Eastern Freedom


Shimmering Touch Cissy AA on Sale

It's rare to see a NRFB Cissy go on sale for less than $199. Today the Doll Market is offering their last Shimmering Touch Cissy AA doll for $179.97. She's an LE of 150 and they have only one.

Just for fun, do a search of the web and see the wildly varied prices for this one doll.  The Doll Market is the low price. Katherine's Cottage is one of the highest at $399.99.

Remember, Cissy dolls usually carry a higher shipping price.

There is one one on eBay right now for $199.95 with free shipping.  That's a great deal, too.

Tonner Convention in One Month

It's one month away and there are only 6 spots left.  Click on the logo above to go to the information page for the Tonner convention.


Accidental Shopping? The Tin Man and Heart on My Sleeve

A few weeks ago, another collector and I made plans to have a dolly day at my house. That day was Saturday. She had never been to the Tonner store which is only 11 miles from me. Coincidentally, they were having a tent sale at the store. Seriously. It wasn't planned at all. So what were we supposed to do? Not go? Not shop? Get real.

Under the tent were the 50% off items. There was some of everything. We didn't get there until about noon. We heard that the line had been long prior to the opening and it was crowded. When we arrived, it was fairly empty but there was a ton of merchandise.  I was good; I left some stuff there and only purchased three dolls and three fashions.
One of the three dolls I purchased was a re-imagined Tin Man character called "Heart on My Sleeve." When I originally saw the Ladies of Oz, I thought they were so creative.

Tonner Image
My favorite was The Tin Man but I didn't love the ultra-white skin. Guess what? The production doll has plain ordinary Caucasian skin color.  Yay.  I did not see any of the others at the sale. Inside the store was a long, long table area piled high with bagged dolls that were more than 50% off. That's where I found her.

Reminder:  You can click on the small pictures to see them full sized.

The costume is adorable. Look at these boots.
The platform is clear acrylic. They zip up the back. I love them!
 Even so, I'm looking forward to redressing her. She has a gorgeous face (Duchess sculpt) and beautiful red/orange hair. The body type is Antoinette.
She has my heart!
Lest anyone say that my posts are too short...here are more Tin Man dolls.
My favorite is this 8 inch one from Madame Alexander. So cute!

 Can you identify the rest?