Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Temple Tuesday: 1972 Vinyl Shirley



I still remember the first time I saw Ideal’s 1972 vinyl doll. It was sitting high on top of the shelf in the local hardware store's Toy Shop. The display was a cardboard stage that was a promotional item by Ideal. I thought it looked just like Shirley. Shiny sandy blonde curls, the dimples, the smile, the instantly recognizable polka dot dress from “Stand Up and Cheer”…it was Shirley come to life in 17 inches of peach-colored vinyl.



I even thought the box was cool; LOTS of photos of Shirley all around it!



There was also an alternate dress that was a modern riff on the “Stand Up and Cheer” outfit. Screw that...I wanted it to look just like the one in the 1934 movie!



After the 1972/73 doll was released, Ideal also produced four outfits (sold separately of course!) that were “inspired” by some of Shirley’s most famous movie roles.



“Inspired” is somewhat accurate, as these outfits not only strayed far from the original designs but they looked pretty cheap, too. The best of the bunch was probably “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm”:



“Captain January” wasn’t too bad, but it didn’t have the arm patch (can you hear the pennies saved on that one?). “Heidi” wasn’t awful from the front:



…but it sure was a mess in the back. BTW: this doll has been “enhanced” with a petticoat and hose, unlike the original outfit which only had short socks. Shoes weren’t included either. All outfits were expected to share the same pair of red vinyl shoes that came with the “Stand Up and Cheer” doll.



The hair on these dolls was the equivalent of a mullet. Business in front…



party in the back. No Shirley-style curls and bare hair plugs...this poor thing needs some rogaine and a curling iron.



The amount of hair on the back of the head varied. Some were close to bald, some had a bigger afro. I actually had one of mine restyled by Kathy Johnson, who magically turned the messy mass into Shirley curls!



The prize for the worst outfit of the quartet goes to “The Little Colonel.” Missing at least two ruffles and made out of the cheapest polyester possible, you can almost smell the steam coming off of this one.



When Ideal closed shop, Dollspart Supply started selling parts for the 1972 doll. You could buy a whole set and make your own 1972 Shirley Temple Ideal vinyl doll. Sort of…

No eyelashes, cheaply painted (no blushing), and even less hair on the head (could that be?!?), you would have to be pretty desperate to buy one of these nude dolls and go to the hassle of putting it together.



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Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Temple Tuesday: Evolution of a Duck



In the 1935 Shirley Temple classic, “Curly Top,” Shirley leaves the orphanage and moves into high society wearing this outfit known as the Duck Dress. Why? Because of the beautifully embroidered detail on the bodice:



How the dress looks today; not bad for over 80 years!



With their Shirley Temple composition dolls of the 1930s, the Ideal Toy Company re-created this cute little number, including the velvet hat with ribbon detail:



I'm still eating saltines after acquiring that one! There were two versions that Ideal sold; one had a flower at center for the embroidery, and the other (which is not in my collection!) was like the one in the movie with ducks:



When the Danbury Mint sold their Shirley Dress-Up doll in the 1990s, they sold it wearing the Duck Dress. I'm not sure who measured the prototype for the hat and the skirt, but I think they were nipping at the sherry, as the scale is way too big for the 17" doll.



Putting the outfit on an 18" doll is much better! Who says size doesn’t matter?



The Danbury Mint also sold the outfit separately. However, in doing so, they went on the cheap with the embroidery and used a garish iron-on patch instead.



Watch out for those little rosettes; they're glued on, too. They could be on the carpet right now.

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Thursday, February 28, 2019

Sandra Stillwell: Have It Your Way



At last year’s Sophisticated Lady Convention in Cleveland, Sandra Stillwell did not disappoint with her latest line of fashions for Gene Marshall and Friends. One of my favorites was this creation titled “Good Golly.” I wanted to order it, but I thought it would look even better if the dress was lengthened. Sandra always says, “If you want something in a different fabric, let me know and I might be able to do that.” I told her my request, and wrote it on the order sheet as well...and probably drove her crazy with written reminders each time she sent me order updates. Last week though, lo and behold...I received my “Good Golly,” which is exactly what I exclaimed when I saw the finished product.



To say I was pleased would be an understatement. Sandra’s magic tailors did exactly what I requested and the outfit looks FANTASTIC on Gene.



See more Sandra Stillwell convention photos at my website. You can order these Sandra Stillwell outfits at her website...while they last!

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Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Temple Tuesday: Shirley Rings the Bell



For Christmas 1938, Shirley Temple’s publicity machine posed her as a Salvation Army Bell Ringer. Over 60 years later, the Danbury Mint recreated this vintage shot fairly faithfully for doll collectors. While the dress underneath the cape doesn’t match, they did a darn good job with the sign and bucket. But that face...yikes. Shirley deserved better than that!



More about the dress that Shirley wore underneath the cape in the original photo: it was also worn by Shirley in the 1938 film “Just Around the Corner.” It was sold in the Love, Shirley Temple auction back in 1938 and then sold again through the Nate Sanders Auction House. Here’s how it looked in the movie:



...and how it looked when Sanders was selling it:



Here’s the auction description:

Shirley Temple screen-worn heart dress, worn as ''Penny'' in the 1938 film ''Just Around the Corner''. Designed by Gwen Wakeling, the blue wool dress is pleated and has three hearts on the chest. Attached is a matching short sleeve silk blouse with a leaf and heart design and two prominent red hearts on the collar. Dress has two straps per shoulder and an adjustable belt in back. Measures 12'' across the shoulders with 4'' sleeves and 26'' overall length. Comes with two vintage photographs of Shirley wearing the dress. Near fine condition. With a COA signed by the Shirley Temple estate.

For those that celebrate Christmas, I hope that today is a day full of holiday cheer and loved ones!

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Saturday, September 1, 2018

Sandra Stillwell Sophisticated Lady, Pt. 6



It’s time to bring it on home with the final installment of Sandra Stillwell Sophisticated Lady. As you can see, guests were having a great time. Was there booze involved? Only Wayne & Darin know for sure.

For dinner on Saturday night, Pink Clover was the centerpiece.



Gorgeous hand-embroidery and beading made this one a standout!



Cindy had to get liquored up when she saw it. “How am I going to get this purchase by my husband?!?” Keep on drinking, Cindy! You'll figure it out!



Jackie brought this beautiful doll to showcase at her table, wearing an outfit she created herself:



Table 8. What a great group! I always have the best time with every single one of them.



Linda & Ryan: you never know what these two are up to. So glad I got to meet both of them.



Optional purchase favorites included Opus. What a beauty!



Millionaires was based on a Katharine Hepburn gown from the stage version of “The Philadelphia Story”. It was out of this world; the detailing blew me away.



A presentation on Elizabeth Parke Firestone (the one with her own bank!) was enjoyed by all.



Virtuoso was the big reveal for guests.



Somehow, Sandra managed to capture the intricate pleating and beadwork PERFECTLY, matching the original outfit worn by Firestone herself. Every year, Sandra outdoes herself.



Early on Sunday, a sleepy-eyed group gathered for the final breakfast celebration. The very trendy Reprise outfit was the big reveal.



Violet looked runway-ready in this faux fur ensemble.



One of my favorite parts of the convention is seeing the Inspirations presentation at the end, where guests can see what inspired Sandra’s latest creations.













For those that stayed after breakfast, there was even MORE!! Optional tours included a visit to the house used for exterior shots in the holiday classic “A Christmas Story.”



Can you say “FRAGILE”?



And so another amazing Sandra Stillwell Convention closes. Sandra and Mike (and the slew of volunteers behind the scenes) I cannot thank you enough for this wonderful opportunity to share our hobby every year!

See more Sandra Stillwell convention photos at my website. You can order these Sandra Stillwell outfits at her website...while they last!

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