Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Temple Tuesday: This Fabulous Century



Anybody out there remember Time-Life and their plethora of book series? Every month, you'd get a new volume and before you knew it, your library was full. The Civil War, The Old West, World War II, and my very favorite titled This Fabulous Century. I specifically remember the volume that covered the 1930s-1940s and its 4-page spread on Shirley Temple, who I had discovered every Sunday on TV. The first photo in today's post shows two of those pages. I poured over each one countless times and wondered if I would one day have an original Shirley Temple doll...or maybe even a trunk!?!



It took many years before it happened, but yes...dreams do come true. Here's one of my original composition dolls, a creamy 18" model sporting the Music Note dress from the 1935 film "Our Little Girl."



Wearing an original pin, she really is a beauty. Did I ever get a trunk? Stay tuned...

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Franken-dolly Shirley



Years ago, The Danbury Mint released this Shirley Temple doll called "Shirley Takes Five," featuring a head sculpt by Jeanne Singer. Although it's a very cute Shirley, it just does not capture the famous tot as well as the many sculpts by Elke Hutchens. Not being content to leave well enough alone, I did a little work on this one. Most porcelain dolls are meant to be on display, and thus come with very little articulation. This particular Shirley, dressed in an outfit from "Our Little Girl," was given a body that perfectly sits in her chair, whereas most Danbury Mint Shirley dolls stand. I couldn't just take off the outfit and put it on another Shirley doll and still utilize the chair. Nope...I would have to perform a Franken-dolly and switch out the heads. I also switched out the awful synthetic wig and gave her a golden mohair one. Here's the result:



I was pleased with the result, but I do caution that this is not an easy process. Finding the right sized doll to do a head swap takes a little time.



In attaching the right head to the cloth body also takes some patience with a needle and thread.



See more Shirley Temple doll photos at my main website.

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Friday, May 19, 2017

Green Eyes



Released in 2007, Green Eyes was inspired by a 1951 design from Hollywood costume designer William Travilla. Known simply as Travilla, he was the mastermind behind the Subway Dress worn by Marilyn Monroe in "The Seven Year Itch." Gene Tierney was the actress who wore the original inspiration in a film titled "On the Riviera."



This limited edition of 500 came with the following description:

There must be some place – some time – some occasion – beautiful enough to wear this gown: perhaps in a garden with the moonlight reflecting in Green Eyes. A fitted bodice of silver satin is spangled with translucent sequins beneath a sweetheart neckline ringed with matching silver ribbon and tied with a sumptuous bow in the back. The full layered-tulle skirt is a rainbow of pastel hues, combined to resemble nothing so much as the fragile surface of a child’s soap bubble. Long silver blue gloves and embroidered shoes are the details of this ensemble, as “diamonds” at the ears and a “diamond” bracelet are the jewelry. This dream of a dress brings the spotlight with you and makes the moon your balloon wherever you go. Green eyes, silver moon, perfection.



This is one of my favorite Integrity dolls; not so much for the outfit, but for the face paint and hair.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Temple Tuesday: Captain January Compo



The years are not always kind to 1930s Shirley Temple composition dolls. Most get cracks, worn/broken toes and fingers, messy mohair wigs, and crazed eyes. There are many who feel an original composition Shirley Temple doll should be left untouched in its original condition. There are also some who go to great lengths to repaint, re-wig, and replace those cloudy cracked eyes. When I saw this restored 18" Captain January compo up for sale, it just jumped out at me.



The restoration work is very good; sometimes the repainting is overdone and makes Shirley look like she belongs in the Red Light District. This one seemed just right. The eyes looked natural without being too pristine and bright. The restyled wig would probably be my one complaint; it's a bit big and poofy, but I can live with it.



Sporting her original outfit, shoes, and socks, this one is a gem who looks like she just got hand-picked from the toy store shelf.



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Sunday, May 7, 2017

Who Wears it Better?



Cleo was a character in the film "The Big Broadcast of 1938" portrayed by Shirley Ross. Although most today have probably never heard of the film, dollmaker Robert Tonner created a porcelain doll honoring Cleo as part of his Edith Head collection.



I thought Gene Marshall would look darn good in this outfit, too, so I decided to let her try it on including the wig.



As you can see, it fits just right! The earring posts are a bit big for a resin Gene, so they would need to be filed down. I let Photoshop fix it for now!



One thing from the movie that many people DO remember is the song "Thanks for the Memory" which became Bob Hope's theme song.

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Monday, May 1, 2017

Coral Deluxe



This variation of the Deluxe doll was made for the Lone Star Soiree Convention in 2006 and titled Coral Deluxe.



I would have to say that I prefer this peach colored concoction over the original! Kiss, kiss!



Even a girl as pretty as Gene gets pensive at times.



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Friday, April 28, 2017

Madra: Silhouette of the 1920s



Released in 2009, Silhouette of the 1920s is modeled by Madra Lord.



Looking like the quintessential flapper, Madra is dressed to kill. Knowing her, probably literally.



Not sure she really would approve of this pose, but I made her do it anyway.



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Friday, April 21, 2017

Tornado



Based on a 1939 design by Jeanne Lanvin, Tornado was released by Integrity in 2009.



Whether it is a slightly different sculpt or the face paint, I am not crazy about this Gene doll, but the outfit is pretty incredible with its intricate detailing.



Lanvin was a French haute couture fashion designer who founded the Lanvin fashion house and the beauty and perfume company Lanvin Perfumes. Oh, and have you seen the shoes on this one?!?



Gene, rubbing her hands in glee as she thinks about her next shoe purchase!



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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Shirley Temple 75th Anniversary Doll



To commemorate Shirley Temple's 75th Birthday in 2003, the Danbury Mint released this limited edition doll. The outfit was based on the first ensemble Shirley wears in the 1939 classic "The Little Princess." Faithful to the original, she carries her treasured doll.



Even the dress under her coat is an excellent replica of Shirley's original costume.



Rather than the cruddy synthetic wigs that they typically used, the Danbury Mint gave this doll a mohair wig (like the vintage Ideal composition dolls) AND glass eyes of hazel to match Shirley's real eye color.



Hands down this is my favorite Shirley Temple doll that the Danbury Mint released. Hoping that R. John Wright's upcoming Shirley doll surpasses this!

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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Temple Tuesday: Shirley Holds Her Head



Here is a vintage shot of Shirley Temple at the Ideal Doll factory with Dr. Albert Miller, head chemist for Ideal Toy Company. I have to admit, this photo is just a tiny bit creepy with adult Shirley taking a look at vinyl childhood Shirley...without any hair. Still, I can't avoid zooming in for a closeup.



And a shot of the final product, once painted, dressed, and given a golden curly rooted synthetic hairdo.





NOTE: It was just brought to my attention that the doll head belongs to a baby doll; not the Shirley Temple 1950's vinyl doll I have posted photos of here. That's somewhat of a relief, as I couldn't quite see how that big creepy head could become a Shirley doll.

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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Temple Tuesday: Shirley and Abe



In the 1935 Shirley Temple film "The Littlest Rebel," there is a memorable scene where Shirley's character asks no less than President Abraham Lincoln to pardon her father. It is an extremely moving sequence, and the actor who portrayed Abe could not have done a better job. From the December 17, 1935 publicity blurb:

"SWEET AND SINCERE, ALWAYS" - Frank McGlynn, in his first appearance on the set of "The Littlest Rebel" at 20th Century-Fox, was received by Shirley Temple, who requested his signature in her famous autograph book. In character as Abraham Lincoln, which he is playing in Darryl F. Zanuck's production of Civil War romance, McGlynn returned the little star's greeting and wrote in her book: "To Shirley Temple, sweet and sincere, always." McGlynn appeared with her before in "Little Miss Marker."




The Danbury Mint released a tiny doll, only 8" high, wearing the same outfit Shirley wore in the movie.



I'd say they did a pretty good job in the accuracy department, wouldn't you?



See more Shirley Temple doll photos at my main website.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Treasured Composition



When it comes to collecting vintage dolls, few are coveted or treasured as much as the original Ideal composition Shirley Temple dolls. Even more difficult is finding one still in good shape; typically the eyes have clouded, the composition crazes/cracks, and the outfits are moth-eaten and faded. Somehow I lucked out in acquiring this rare gem. I am guessing that the hair and waist ribbons have been replaced, but the rest is in its glorious original condition.



How about that tag?



Just for comparison, here is a Danbury Mint porcelain reproduction of the Ideal original. I replaced the horrid synthetic wig with a mohair one. Still cute, but lacks the charm of the original.



See more Shirley Temple doll photos at my main website.

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