Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Grace Kelly: Royal Honeymoon



Grace Kelly was a stunning beauty who had a brief but glorious career on the silver screen, which she gave up to become the Princess of Monaco. Here is the Franklin Mint portrait doll, wearing a replica of the outfit Grace wore on her Royal Honeymoon. Warning: I retouched the eyes and also shrunk the head a bit to make this doll look more realistic.



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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Scarlett on Peachtree Street



In this scene from "Gone with the Wind," Scarlett (Vivien Leigh) & Rhett (Clark Gable) are pushing their daughter, Bonnie Blue Butler, down Peachtree Street in Atlanta. Rhett is determined to gain respectability for his daughter's sake, even if they have to "crawl on our bellies to every fat old cat."



Tonner's "Don't Look Back" is a great model to wear the Franklin Mint ensemble corresponding to what Vivien Leigh wore for this scene.













In this shot, Scarlett looks as if she's putting her troubles off until tomorrow.



Note: Peachtree is an actual street in Atlanta, and also happens to be the street author Margaret Mitchell lived on when she wrote, "Gone With The Wind." Sadly, it was also the street she was killed on when hit by a speeding car in 1949.

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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Gone With The Wind Bride Wars!



Tonner's Scarlett O'Hara bridal doll, titled "Scarlett's Wedding Day," has recently been released to the masses. Here she is, enjoying her first Daveland photo shoot.



First, I was blown away by the face. Whether the sculpt was changed a bit or the painters have been given more direction, I'd say that Tonner's Vivien Leigh finally gives Franklin Mint's a run for the money. The fact that she has rooted hair is a big plus.



As you can see, the gown is gorgeous. True to the movie, it is a bit oversized for Scarlett. Costumer designer Walter Plunkett took pride in having followed the book, which tells of Scarlett's rushed wedding not even affording her time to have her mother's wedding gown taken in to fit her. The embroidery and lacy leaves are wonderful. Also true to the movie is the necklace, comprised of three stands of faux pearls. And for once - the gloves fit beautifully!



Borrowing from another bride, I decided to give Scarlett a bouquet for her trouble.



The negatives: I can only think of one, and that would be her veil/hat. Why Tonner continues to give his dolls hats with elastic bands instead of hat pins is beyond me. It looks cheap and definitely is not vintage. The hat itself is a bit of a mess; instead of a lacy skull cap like the movie, it is...well, I don't know exactly what to call it. I did my best to hide it in the photos.





The pearls in the necklace could have been a bit smaller as well to make them more in scale, but other than that...this doll is definitely a home run!





Here are a few shots of the Franklin Mint vinyl bridal doll for comparison. Bad wig - check. Cheap looking paper flowers on dress - check. Wedding gown too tailored to match the aforementioned story - check. Garish face paint - check. No articulation - check and done.



Yup - I'd say Tonner wins by a longshot on this one.



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Friday, May 18, 2012

Tonner's Take On Marilyn: UPDATE



For month's, I have been anxiously awaiting photos of Robert Tonner's upcoming Marilyn Monroe doll. I had a few hopes for it:

1. That she would be 16" and that she could wear clothes from The Franklin Mint.

2. That she actually looked like Marilyn!

3. That she was articulated, had rooted hair, and applied eyelashes.

Finally, the photos are out! Well, one or two at least. For me, the jury is still out, but that's mainly because I don't think the photos released are really doing a very good job of capturing the doll (or maybe they are).

After seeing the official publicity photo (above), I thought my wallet was going to be very happy. It neither captured Marilyn's face nor her body shape. The doll is too thin, missing all of the voluptuous curves that were Marilyn's signature. She looked more like Nicole Kidman than Marilyn Monroe.

On top of that, the doll is a whopping 22" high. No sharing of clothes with this gal! But then I saw a second photo on the Tonner Facebook page. This one was of an actual centerpiece doll. Although it's only a cellphone photo and the resolution is not real great, the resemblance on this doll to Marilyn seems much better.



I am still on the fence about this one; the 22" size is a huge buzzkill for me. World Doll's vinyl Marilyn is still the best resemblance, with the Franklin Mint's vinyl coming in at second. As for Tonner's version, I will wait to see additional photos before deciding what to do.

UPDATE:

Tonner has just released photos of a second Marilyn at their convention:





Wearing an outfit from "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," this doll is (happily) the 16" size. There is hope that my Marilyn clothing collection can now be used on an articulated Marilyn! I can't say I'm crazy about the face sculpt (the 22" actually seems closer to Marilyn!), but I am happy at the accuracy of the outfit; much better than Ashton Drake's version that they created for Gene, which went a little crazy with the beads:



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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Scarlett in Drapes



Look at that determination! All dressed up with no place to go, Scarlett O'Hara has just been turned down for the $300 she asked Rhett Butler to give her so that she could save her beloved plantation Tara. Anyone who knows Scarlett knows that our resourceful gal would find another way...even if she has to trod through the muddy streets of Atlanta to do it.

Tonner's version of this iconic dress is absolutely wonderful, with the only real flaw being the outrageous feathers on the hat.



The feathers are so bountiful that they hide the beautiful detail of the golden rooster claw beneath.





In this shot from the movie, Scarlett (Vivien Leigh) is giving Rhett (Clark Gable) the "moonlight and magnolias" before her rough hands reveal the unvarnished truth about the trouble at Tara.



Wouldn't that have been hilarious if Tonner had given a second set of hands for this doll with calluses?







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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Scarlett at the Twelve Oaks BBQ



There are often comparisons between Tonner's Scarlett O'Hara and Franklin Mint's version. In particular, this Franklin Mint sculpt is incredible. I believe that they perfectly captured Vivien Leigh's timeless beauty and cheshire-cat grin.



Dressed for the barbecue at Twelve Oaks, Scarlett is wearing the green sprig muslin dress that she was also supposed to wear in the opening scene of the movie. Here is a publicity still from the deleted version that never reached the screen.



Instead, Producer David Selznick thought Leigh would look younger and more virginal by wearing this frilly all-white dress:



Straying from the book with this change of outfit, the line from the film that Scarlett says to the Tarleton Twins at the BBQ ("You haven't been near me all day and I wore this old dress just because I thought you liked it!") is now lost on audiences because of the costume switch.



The doll and jewelry are from the Franklin Mint; the outfit shown in these photos is by Tonner. I found it to be much truer to the screen worn gown than FM's version.



I need to redo the photos of Scarlett wearing the hat; the bow is quite atrocious the way I have it tied! Follow my Gene Marshall, Madra Lord, Zita Charles, Violet Waters, Trent Osborn, Poppy Parker, and other classic movie star doll updates on Twitter. See more Scarlett O'Hara doll photos on my GWTW doll web page.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Poppy Parker: Baby It's You



The most recent Poppy Parker set has been released, and it seems to be selling off the "shelves" like hotcakes. This time, Poppy has a boyfriend! Chip Farnsworth is a perfectly chiseled hunk, who has a hard time keeping his hair in place.



Nothing that a few glue dots couldn't solve though.



Chip will probably stay in my collection, but Poppy's outfit will most likely go. Just not very excited about it. In addition, her hair will probably see a re-style.



Poppy has excellent articulation, except in the legs. Not sure if it was intentional, but about the only pose her legs will hold make Poppy look pigeon-toed. She'll never be a New York model with that pose!



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Saturday, May 12, 2012

More Mood Music



This circa 1956 Lynne Day design was released at a 1999 Gene Convention during a 50's Flashback event. This doll reminds me of Susan Hayward; I love the simplicity of the hostess outfit.

From the story card:

Hand-written invitations. Hand-delivered by the hostess. If something like that arrived at your doorstep, how could you resist dropping by Gene Marshall's place for an intimate cocktail party? What a perfect opportunity to get away or the hustle and bustle of studio demands — and just spend a little time enjoying friends and listening to the relaxing sounds of your favorite tunes. It was a group that had fallen together naturally, drawn to each other by their love of simple things: marvelous music, fine food, close company, a lively laugh — and by the love of life itself. Throwing this party was like a mini-vacation for Gene. there was hardly anything she liked better than putting together a gathering for her cohorts. what a wonderful way to spend the day. She was happily busy until the very last minute, arranging canapés, setting out mixers, filling ice buckets, rearranging furniture... The ambiance was perfect. The lights were slightly dimmed. The sectional had been arranged to make a conversation pit. the patio speakers were turned on in case any of the stars of Hollywood felt the urge to dance beneath the canopy of Hollywood stars. Now upstairs to freshen-up before her guests arrived. She's chosen her ensemble carefully: dressy enough for a party; relaxed enough to be able to play the perfect hostess; casual enough to be a part of the gang. Ready, she walked downstairs — and the doorbell rang...



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