Integrity Toys' Norma Desmond as Hollywood Royalty

Giselle as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard? The fashion is drop dead gorgeous. The face? Where is Norma? I doubt that many would buy a doll that looked like this:

 IMO Gloria Swanson wasn't exactly the best looking actress of her day and you can't portray talent in a doll so picking Giselle was as good a decision as any. Just don't expect visitors to your collection to say "Wow, you have a Gloria Swanson doll!"

W Club members were offered the opportunity to pre-order this doll from dealers a few days ago and from many reports, she is nearly or completely sold out.
Item # 14034
Norma Desmond
Sunset Boulevard Commemorative Collectible Doll
Limited Edition of 500 Dolls
Suggested Retail Price: $119.00 USD
Estimated Date of Arrival: Week of November 19, 2012

For me, the beauty in this doll is the fashion. It represents one aspect of the era of the Golden Age of Hollywood. Gloria Swanson is known best for being a great star during the silent movie era. She continued to act into her later years and died at the age of 84 in 1983.

So now you know more than you wanted to about Norma Desmond.

 From Wikipedia:
Sunset Boulevard (also known as Sunset Blvd.) is a 1950 American film noir directed and co-written by Billy Wilder, and produced and co-written by Charles Brackett. It was named after the boulevard that runs through Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, California.
The film stars William Holden as Joe Gillis, an unsuccessful screenwriter, Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond, a faded silent movie star who draws him into her fantasy world where she dreams of making a triumphant return to the screen with Erich von Stroheim as Max Von Mayerling, her butler and ex-husband. Nancy Olson, Fred Clark, Lloyd Gough and Jack Webb play supporting roles. Director Cecil B. DeMille and gossip columnist Hedda Hopper play themselves, and the film includes cameo appearances by leading silent film actors Buster Keaton, H. B. Warner and Anna Q. Nilsson.

Praised by many critics when first released, Sunset Boulevard was nominated for eleven Academy Awards and won three. It is widely accepted as a classic, often cited as one of the greatest films of American cinema. Deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the U.S. Library of Congress in 1989, Sunset Boulevard was included in the first group of films selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. In 1998, it was ranked number twelve on the American Film Institute's list of the 100 best American films of the 20th century, and in 2007 it was 16th on their 10th Anniversary list.

Wasn't there a Sunset Blvd. backdrop produced for one of Integrity Toy's Gene Marshall conventions? 


  1. I was very excited then disappointed when I saw this doll. She is lovely but DOES NOT resemble Gloria. Thank you for posting the Glenn Close piece. I have not been able to see that show but it is on my Bucket List. I applaud IT for their choice but I just wish they would have spent the money for a new scupt.

  2. Thank you for posting this doll Teri. I’m a fan of the film, and love the way this doll is costumed. That said, I must agree that the doll bears little resemblance to wither Gloria Swanson or the character of Norma Desmond. One of Norma’s trademarks was her over-the-top makeup that gave this character a dated look. Norma is someone who remained stuck in her glory days, which in her case was the Silent Film Era. The make-up screening on this doll doesn’t even match the head scupt, specifically around the lips. Seeing this theme being explored now makes me wish it had been done when Gene Marshall was still in production through Integrity. Imagine the possibilities if Gene’s rival and Zita Charles’ “frienemy” Madra Lord had protrayed Norma Desmond instead? As for manufacturer produced back drops for Gene, I only recall two. One was a printed scene in color of a terrace that was available for purchase the first year of IT Genes. The other was a black & white dimensional piece called Corkscrew Alley, that was given out at the Rare Deal Gene Convention...and replicates a set from Marsha Hunt's film "Raw Deal". Anyway, thanks again for posting IT's Norma Desmond. She's a pass for me, but I enjoyed seeing her and reading your blog entry. Juli DC :)