5/11/2013

Integrity Toys' "Mommie Dearest" Gift Set Debuts

Well, I wasn't going to do a review of this item for a variety of reasons but reading the interesting comments on the doll boards and reproducing them here was just irresistible. Heads may roll.

"Mommie Dearest" Gift Set is being produced in a surprisingly large edition of 800.  The price is $150.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Mommie Dearest is a memoir and exposé written by Christina Crawford, the adopted daughter of actress Joan Crawford. The book, which depicts Christina's childhood and her relationship with her mother, was published in 1978.
In the book, Christina Crawford claims that she was a victim of child abuse during her mother's battle with alcoholism and that her mother was more concerned about her motion picture career than the well-being of her four children, suggesting she may have adopted them for publicity purposes. She also suggests that Joan had a long list of affairs with men whom Christina was required to call "Uncle" and rarely "Daddy", and claims Joan also had many affairs with women.
Christina recounts several evenings where Joan's behavior was unbalanced, and at least one encounter with her mother where Crawford attempted to strangle her. In another, Joan reportedly discovered Christina's clothes hanging in a closet on wire hangers, instead of higher-quality padded hangers, and launched into a violent tirade on the subject.
Movie Clip
 No Wire Hangers  (Warning: this is a very disturbing scene.)

Rodeo Queen ("Don't fuck with me fellas.")

Above, in the clips I have embedded from the movie Mommie Dearest, Faye Dunaway plays a chilling role as Joan Crawford. I can barely watch the hanger scene without cringing. It's terrifying.  The outfits are the outfits that are reproduced in the gift set. 



The woman portrayed in the movie was a raging, obsessive-compulsive, alcoholic, abusive, egocentric person. The doll is a sweet, pleasant faced thing. 

With this doll, IT introduces their "Quick Switch" system:
...a new, ultra-convenient neck post that will allow collectors to switch between head sculpts without the need to pre-heat the vinyl first! Simply pull, switch and click on a new head for a dramatic new look!
 They note, however: 
The QUICK SWITCH system will work best at room temperature or slightly higher. If you live in a colder climate, please wait until your doll has reached room temperature or slightly higher before attempting to switch heads.
How do you make something higher than room temperature without heating it?
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Here are a bunch of positive and negative comments made by collectors. The negative outweighs the positive by far but some of the remarks are hilarious. (I highlighted my favorites in purple.) 
-the doll doesn't really look like Joan Crawford, either with blond hair or darker hair. She doesn't look like Faye Dunaway playing her either.

-the doll just doesn't seem right, its a bit off and I cant put my finger on it, perhaps its the face

-the extra head and the hanger is a riot.

-Not one single thing about her thrilled me - can't believe I'm saying it - but I'm going to pass as well. I didn't like her clothes, her shoes, her hair, the additional crazy head...nothing.

-I will pass on her too. Not buying any old movie thingies any more. I don't relate at all and worse, don't want to.  

-love the new neck system


-wish it came with the can of Ajax and a Brillo pad

-I have no interest in the extra head, (the whole "Mommie Dearest" thing does nothing for me)

-LOVE Joan Crawford! Both the real actress and the character Faye Dunaway played.

-the whited faced face is actually the prettiest of the two

-Recently we got footspeak, we now have Headspeak!

-I guess as great as this series is I also want to recognize the characters. I want to see Joan with her iconic lips, why are they not there?

-I  like the headless swap idea

-I am amused by the two heads, and actually prefer the head with the beauty mask, but still not buying her. I was surprised at the edition size of 800 dolls.

-if only her second face wasn't this white.  

-I think I like her...but then the dolls don't capture the drama of the character.

-Interesting doll, but not my taste. Don't think she looks anything like Joan or Faye.  

-it was Bon Ami powder...I will only clean my bathroom with it!! 

-I will have to be with the "this doll is not for me at this time" camp. I was so excited about Sunset Boulevard and was completely let down. Although I can't wait to get my hands on the new "neck knob" mechanism in a body, the BOD/Victoire body is my least favorite and I have enough black suits already. The one thing about IT is that something else is "right around the corner".  

-I am THRILLED with this set!  It's a dream come true!  I'm hoping the production doll doesn't disappoint me like the Sunset Blvd doll did... I ordered 2 sets so I can fully display both outfits and heads...

-I LOVE this doll! I love the movie Mommy Dearest -- unfortunately, I was raised by a woman just like this character. 

-All I really want are the nude doll and yes, the white face head! Maybe she's recreating an Al Jolson movie -- Mammy Dearest?  

-I'm waiting for a 'Mrs. Bates' gift set (dead and alive heads, a butcher knife, a little blood stained shower curtain and a gray wig) with a skinny Homme as 'NORMANNNN'...

-Love the Quick Switch head - yabadabadoo!!

-this doll should have been older OR in a scene from a younger years.

-I like the idea of interchangeable heads, though I have to say, the promo pic with the two of them looks creepy.LOL

-Went to You tube and watched some clips from the film... Gosh! It's awful, these wire hangers... Sorry, but this doll is a definite pass for me. 


-NO MORE HEATING PADS!!!

-... So long as the new neck fits the previous/current heads. Plus I'd like to know what's up inside the new heads that can clip on. Will there be a new obstruction that will make rerooting a problem?
As to the doll. I love this head sculpt, but there are better choices this year for her. Plus I'm not into black outfits anymore. I have too many already, and I no longer display them. They look like shadows in my doll collection.
I'd prefer that IT committed to the Joan Crawford makeup on this face.
I'll be passing on her too.   


- While I enjoy the movie as a camp classic, I don't have any interest in this doll not even for the head swap feature (Yes I'm going against the grain). I don't rebody my dolls unless it's a necessity...

-I´m a big fan of Faye, and believe me this doll is neither Joan nor Faye. If she would be I would buy her twice!
-She is pretty and I have to thank Integrity to realize a doll with character and a story which is not the typically "Doris Day" -Mr clean Image!

-I´m a big fan of Faye, and belive me this doll is neither Joan nor Faye. If she would be I would buy her twice!
She is pretty and I have to thank integrity to realize a doll with character and a story which is not the typically "Doris Day" - Mr. Clean Image! I think some dolls are, like eating to much sugary cake. Too much of Barbie-ish smile can cause sickness...I think this Joan doll will be like half bitter chocolate! 


-What will we see next? I'm hoping for "boobswap." I can't keep track of all the bodies and I'd love an adjustable bust so ALL fashions fit. Something inflatable/deflatable. Come to think about it, I'd like that for me, too! 

- Great to have on display as a conversation piece, but that's not really what my doll collecting is about. 

-It might be a little funny but it is uber-tacky in my opinion.

-I think it is inappropriate and done in poor taste.

-She doesn't look anything like Crawford; more like Vera Miles... Tonner's Joan was spot on.

-Sorry to be negative, but she looks just like any other Integrity doll.

-So campy! I don't think it is meant to be taken seriously, it's fabulous!    

-The movie was bad enough...the doll is even worse. The fact that they chose...where she beats the heck out of Christina is just plain wrong. 
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The 'hardcore" Integrity Toy's fans usually praise every product that is introduced.  They went beserk over the Jem doll and now pretty much every single other doll in that line is languishing in the dealers' stock.  Who is going to buy 800 of these unusual gift sets now that it appears that the reception is rather cool? If you are among the fans of this gift set and wish to order one, click here here for the list of IT dealers who may be selling it.



 

42 comments:

  1. I think this is worst doll ever. It celebrates Child Abuse. It also celebrates it in the worst way: A toy.

    I have just read the 30th Anniversary Edition of "Mommie Dearest". In it, Christina talks about the way in which the book was written and why. Paramount bought the story, did the movie and marketed the movie and it's horrible story as an adventure into camp. Christina said there was nothing that could be done, then. The story got away from her. She sold the story, they did what they did.

    The new anniversary edition has the original manuscript and all of the stuff taken out for shock value. It's awful. They also have real life celebrities who have come forward and said that they knew this was going on the Joan's house. They felt powerless to do anything, then. It was the time. Joan was a famous movie star.

    As someone who has suffered some child abuse I just find this absolutely gross. This is worst doll event ever. Making a mockery of child abuse with a doll that comes with wire hangers, that the living star doll beat her kids with, has gone to far for me.

    Sorry for the rant Terri (you can edit me down or delete my comment if need be).. I feel pretty passionate about it.

    As always, I love your Blog!
    J

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    1. Thank you for your comments, James. I appreciate your taking the time to share your personal experience and the history of the actual character that Dunaway played so well.

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  2. Well, if you're going to go camp, then GO CAMP!!!! Bigger lips, fiercer eyebrows.

    Sort of wished the white head was flesh colored with a removable mud-pack for the face. She's very pretty, despite the kabuki makeup.

    I'll pass. Mommy Dearest really has done nothing to enhance Joan Crawford's or Faye Dunaway's image.

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  3. Oh lord, that is hysterical. My friend took photos of my daughter and I playing "Mommie Dearest" years ago. I might have to get this one.
    Deb in Atlanta

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  4. I have to agree whole heartedly with James.
    After seeing this 'wire hanger' scene again - the doll strikes me as nothing short of ludicrous.

    I wasn't sold on the concept because it is not depicting a fictional movie character...it's actually representational of
    a very disturbed and abusive Hollywood icon. It's fine to watch the movie (for me it's disturbing tho), but to pay tribute via a doll (with one of the most physically abuse scenes included in the giftset) to the character/actress/horrible person - just strikes me as absurd.

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    1. The more I read the commentary of collectors on the boards and here (since posting this piece) the more I wonder what they were thinking or if.
      T

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  5. I'm actually astounded that IT would include that hanger as an accessory, they know what she did with it, how could they include it in a doll set? In fact, I don't even see how they could possibly make a Mommie Dearest gift set, they are basically celebrating her abusing her children. It shows a real lack of awareness on their part, who's the next doll set going to be, Ariel Castro? They could include chains & plastic kiddie pool. What idiots.

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    1. Maybe they will halt production when they become aware of the feedback. However, I don't think they have the humility.

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  6. Interesting responses! My immediate take was "they're going for the "CAMP" market". Not a bad idea....but really what does this doll have to offer that makes it special? A new head system...that could have been introduced with any set. This one is just mediocre in every way. Increasingly it seems to me that IT, and its "club" are just a marketing exercise with a very so-so product.
    As always love the blog.

    Will C.

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    1. Hey Will...Bob and I were discussing the many roles Joan Crawford played as an actress in her lifetime that could have been celebrated other than this one which isn't even Joan Crawford. The more I think about it, the stranger it gets.

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    2. I think the idea wasn't so much "Joan Crawford" or even Faye Dunaway as sensationalism and putting out a "Camp" cross over doll that would appeal to a lot people who aren't interested in Dolls at all. Just a funny, sad, or creepy depending upon ones interpretation, piece of kitsch.

      Maybe next year they can roll out the Lana Turner doll again for a Johnny Stompanato gift set.....

      Will C.




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    3. They would have to include Lana's daughter and a bloody knife.

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  7. If we remove the veracity of the alleged event and the portrayal of a "real" figure, then as pointed out it makes a mockery of child abuse which is unfortunately due to the OTT nature of the film. If there is truth it has reduced a traumatic event to a punchline. I can only wonder what queen dreamt up this concept and thought it would be good.
    Also as you point out here and have mentioned before about the "hardcore" fans who love everything, why should someone apologise for making a "negative" statement? If someone doesn't like something they should still feel free to express their opinion. If someone doesn't agree they can express THEIR opinion. But don't apologise for yours, and don't tell anyone theirs is wrong simply because you don't agree.

    Colin

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    1. Thank you, Colin, for the time you took to post a comment. I agree with you all you have said.
      Terri

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  8. Terri I truly respect you. But IT makes dolls, from a marketing standpoint not to feed collectors ego. Looking at their previous line this doll fits in perfectly with previous Iconic Hollywood scenes. It’s THE scene from the movie, along with the “Don’t Fuck With Me Fella. I Made Pepsi Cola” (Note where is the fur stole and hat??? that’s missing)

    Obviously since the movie depicts Joan Crawford poorly and Faye Dunaway has disavowed this movie licensing their likeness wont happen.

    It’s a scene in a movie, that has been parodied over and over. There is no proof that this “scene” ever happened. While I respect Miss Crawford’s trauma history, she published a scintillating tell all book after the death of her mother who wrote her out of millions in her will alleging mass abuse, then sold the rights to MGM and now years later is crying victim again. Note Miss Crawford also recently told the Village Voice her mother killed her husband…the head of Pepsi Cola. So um, yeah.

    It’s a doll. If you don’t like it, simply don’t buy it. But there are people who love camp, love the movie like a cult phenom who will by it just for fun, and don’t collect dolls.

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    1. Eric, thank you for your comments. I always appreciate the time you take to post your thoughts. When someone says, "if you don't like it, don't buy it," I wonder if they are saying that I shouldn't post a review. Is that what you are implying?
      Terri

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    2. No, Terri. "You" as in plural for population, not the person. There just seems a lot of personalization here on this doll and not a lot about the doll itself: eg same boring mold, poor costuming, scale of the hanger, missing accessories (where's the Bon Ami?) The mask is greenish, not white. If we are going to review Terri, I'd rather see people comment on the Integrity of the doll as a product, not the morals of a company. That's me. Once again, IT failed to capture as they did with Sunset. Your reviews are for me the cornerstone for much of my collecting. You opened my collecting to resin, and much of what I buy because of you. If IT and other companies were wise, they would hire you as a consultant because you would have seen this in development and said, "think twice" because you know the market of higher end collectors.

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    3. Thanks for clearing that up. ;-)

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  9. Still like Tonner's Joan Crawford. I have three. He nailed her glamourous image.

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  10. How about a Jayne Mansfield doll with a pop-off head and bottle of JD and chihuahua.But seriously having had a Mommie Dearest in RL I dont care either way about the theme of this doll.Its a doll for adult collectors.

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    1. All of IT's dolls are for adult collectors. Your Jayne Mansfield concept is a hoot!

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  11. I'm with the "celebrates child abuse" crowd. This is totally inappropriate. Yes, the movie was made into a camp fest and some people consider it a classic, but it's also really disturbing and real for a lot of people.

    I've held off on getting any IT dolls so far, but every Poppy Parker line and a few FR make me a little bit more interested. Plus, the smaller sizes appeal to my lack of space, but this really turns me off wanting anything from the company, in the same way that the Josephine Baker doll made me interested in them in the first place, even though she wasn't my specific cup of tea.

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  12. This doll is in such poor taste. I can't believe people use the excuse that this is the height of "gay campiness" and therefore it's acceptable! I also can't believe Integrity Toys would create such a tasteless doll but I guess it shouldn't be that surprising given some of the characters running the show there. I'm disgusted and horrified by that scene in the movie, and to see them make a gift set out of it is disturbing. I didn't realize child abuse was "in". What's next? How about a dead Marilyn Monroe doll, face down and naked in bed, complete with a variety of pill bottle accessories?

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    1. Please sign your next post. Pick an alias if you don't want to use your real name.

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  13. One doll board completely erased the thread about not liking the Mommie Dearest doll. I guess only happy thoughts are allowed.


    -dollzrfun

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  14. Initially when the doll was presented I wrote this on the Forum:

    I love the doll, and ordered her. Let's face it, Joan Crawford was a huge star in her day, mysterious and complex. Loved and probably hated equally. She was an enigma. The movie though it frightened me and brought up alot of pain from my own childhood was brave for Hollywood. It showed that child abuse/mental disorders/alcoholism could and did happen regardless of money or fame, or whether you lived in the tony hills of Hollywood or the projects in the Bronx. I applauded the message of the film whether or not it was the exact truth of Crawford's private life.

    I'm sorry that the producers felt they had to tout it as a comedy because of Dunaway's extreme portrayal but that's EXACTLY how it looks and feels from a child's viewpoint. The film scares me to this day but still does not deem Crawford in my eyes as all evil or all saintly. We are humans and we sometimes exhibit a little, or alot, of said humanness. The doll extols not only the prowess as actors of Crawford & Dunaway but of also of our human frailties. Who doesn't love a villain to hate? Come home to Mama Mommie Dearest.

    Then:
    I can see how this doll may bring out strong feelings against the movie portrayal of a horrible mother, but what about those that buy Marilyn Monroe or Liz Taylor dolls? They were the epitome of reckless drug abusers. The blonde slept with 2 (married) brothers so no morals there and the other regaled a child molester (uh Michael Jackson) yet they (including MJ) are some of the most sought after celebrity dolls in creation. I think it hypocritical to buy some immoral celebrity dolls and not others. I myself, would never own one of those gory, dripping blood child dolls that simulate gross and heinous acts against children but I understand that these are toys that "express" our collective fascination with horror and not a "validation or endorsement" of those acts.

    Today:
    After seeing that Integrity ERASED the CON thread and left the PRO doll thread, my feelings have now changed. Are we not adults? Are we not "allowed" to post whatever criticisms we may or may not have? Did INTEGRITY really think for a minute that this doll would not garner controversy? Bad move on their part or brilliant marketing strategy? The jury is out on that call until the doll hits the general public.
    After their last move, I now think I will rescind my order and let my Mommie Dearest sit on a shelf where she belongs.

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    1. We know who is in charge of the board this week, don't we? What was so bad that it had to be censored? I don't find it hard to believe but it was a poor decision because the general public can't read what's on the board. I guess the IT cheerleaders can't get this doll going.

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  15. tangent: faye was amazingly uniquely beautiful in her prime and even if they didn't do a licensed likeness, a new sculpt similar to her would have made a stunning addition to their sculpt library

    also, the scene where shes' luxuriating over her shoes would be pure doll heaven

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    1. Yes, shoes, shoes and more shoes.

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  16. Of note, it's been a while since a doll has sparked 30 plus comments!!! Nice to see all these posts and active exchanges.

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  17. It's refreshing that the comments aren't censored here so it seems like people are more honest than on the W Club. I find it interesting that comments keep getting deleted from threads over there too yet the regular crew of die-hard fans are praising IT for being so "courageous" and "edgy".

    ~ Jay

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    1. Jay:
      The posts I censor are unsigned, mean-spirited posts from trolls, anonymous irrelevant posts and spam advertisement posts.
      The point you make is quite interesting. I thought it was just one entire thread that was deleted. Are you saying individual posts are now being deleted, too?
      T

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  18. I think that this doll will probably sell well because of the cult from the movie but I think it's repellent. I disliked the FB page and am now wondering what to do about all the other FR dolls I have. They seem to be declining in quality from when they first released and increasing in price. Sad. A strange choice, especially at a time when Jason Wu's fashion designer career has reached such heights (not 1 but 2 inaugurations? unbelievable!) but I sense it was a deliberate move on their part to create controversy and sell the doll. However, we expect this kind of thing from Mattel not Integrity. Thumbs down on this one.

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    1. Please sign your comments in the future.
      BTW Jason has nothing to do with the designing of the dolls and hasn't for a long time.

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  19. I love the W Club thread that starts, "Who loves dolls?" It seemed like it was a replacement to the Mommie Dearest bashing thread. So awesome. I sideswiped a car the other day. I got out of the car and said, "Who loves driving?" Classic. don

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    1. LOL
      (Hope the accident didn't cause too much damage.)

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  20. I am tired of the same two or three assholes on the W club bullying their opinion onto others and tearing into anyone who says anything critical of IT or a doll. It is very frustrating. I have decided to severely limit my posts onto the W club in the future as i am just not interested in being exposed to people like that. The Mods don't do anything about it either. They say they do, but they really don't. The bullying behavior there is way out of line and I find it amazing that IT doesn't take an issue with that, but then send out emails with gag orders. Shit..

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  21. I realize this doll is not everyone's cup of tea. I, however, am a huge Joan Crawford fan and a fan of the film. So much so in fact, that I had customized several Joan Crawford Tonner dolls into Mommie Dearest dolls. What I find disconcerting is that this is the second doll I have that I personally customized or purchased commissioned, that Integrity has subsequently released as a doll. I have posted pictures of my customized dolls on various sites, and I was even mentioned in Tonner's Doll Duels Blog long before Integrity began doing cult classics. When Integrity released a Sunset Boulevard doll, I was ecstatic, until I saw it, and then realized my customized Tonner Norma Desmond doll was more fully realized than their doll. I feel the same way with this new Mommie Dearest doll. If Integrity releases dolls of the characters from Absolutely Fabulous or a doll to look like Bette Davis in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, then I think my feelings of being copied will not just be paranoia but actually substantiated.

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    1. I certainly hope this feeling you have is unfounded.
      Thank you for your post.
      Terri

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