Thursday, May 5, 2011

Meet Poppy Parker

If it’s not modeled after a real person (AND a good likeness), then I’m not really very interested in dolls. A few years ago, Gene Marshall changed that. And then recently, I finally gave in to Poppy Parker. I loved her face sculpt; it seemed so genuinely retro. And, unlike most of the Integrity dolls that are released, she didn't look like an angry anorexic woman with eyes that were barely opened.

Here’s the story line created for her:

The story of Poppy Parker is set in New York in the late 50's / early 60's era, the time when glamour was all about the hair, simple elegance and having the perfect little "kit" for every occasion! You can take a girl out of the Midwest, but you can't take the Midwest out of the girl. Under her fashionable hair, perfect makeup and fancy couture clothes, Poppy is just a simple girl. Will she be able to dazzle the city that never sleeps? So far, the answer is "yes"!

Poppy has landed in New York. She nervously takes a seat in her first taxicab. During the long drive into the city, she wonders what life as a teen fashion model will be like. There are so many new things to discover about the city in which she now lives. The magic of New York, from its wonderful shopping districts, art galleries, landmarks and parks to its bohemian downtown, is unparalleled and Poppy wants to experience it all. Get ready New York, she's arrived! Will the city that never sleeps ever be the same again?

It's now 1964 and so many things have changed for Poppy Parker since she arrived in New York. She is now one of the most popular teenage models in New York. She has been on the cover of five fashion and teen magazines and recently scored a new gig as the face of McCalpin's Department Store for their Juniors' department.

Another new development is the arrival of Poppy's best friend, Darla Daley. They met in a record shop and now, they are inseparable. Darla is an upcoming young singer who just made her television debut on the Ted Mullivan show. Thanks to her appearance on the show, she now has her first hit single!

BTW: This story line was pieced together from a few pages on the Integrity/Poppy Parker website. The dolls themselves do not come with story cards. Instead, you have an assortment of warnings: how to avoid staining from the clothes, how to remove her hands so that her clothes can be removed (I wasn't about to try this...I had a feeling that the plastic would break as the hands DO NOT come off easily).

The one Poppy Parker I allowed myself to get is a gift set titled "I Love How You Love Me." The outfits were cool and her styling was perfect. The story for this particular outfit is limited:

She starts the day in a smart red jumper with white blouse and patterned tights, which is followed by her lovely white satin party dress and brocade coat evening ensemble. Finally, she crawls into bed wearing her adorable pink gingham nightie, matching bloomers and fuzzy slippers.

My take on Poppy once she arrived? Yes, the outfits looked as adorable in person as they did in the photos. The shoes are a bit of a pain and difficult to stay put on her feet. Gene and the other 16" dolls are truly just the right size for playing, posing, and being able to handle the clothes without difficulty. I have come to the conclusion that 12" dolls are not for me. It was extremely hard to get Poppy's beautifully sculpted hands in and out of her outfits. Even though she has plenty of articulation, at her small size and with clothes on, I found her poses became limited as the fabric constrained her limbs. The hooks on her clothes are also difficult to work with; the threads on a few already began to unravel, meaning at some point I will have to attempt to sew them back on. And the hair...a few stray clumps had come apart from the shellacked curls and required a ton of photoshop work. At some point, I will need to send her to Kathy in Oregon for a redo. The 3 curls in back are also odd; I believe Terri Gold (the one who enabled me on this one!) called them "three rolls and no butter." Had a great laugh out of that one. Instead of using the white bow that came with the set (which I had difficulty pinning into her clumped hair), I took one of the white bows from the packaging and tied it directly into her hair.

I'm all for creativity, but for the prices that Integrity charges for these sets, I don't feel I should have to get out the needle and thread or redo a doll's hair because of poor craftsmanship.

At this point, I'd say my association with the 12"-sized market are finito.

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 Poppy Parker photos at my regular website.

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