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Monday, November 12, 2018

New Additions, Murder, she Wrote and More

I read last week that Jessica Fletcher in Angela Lansbury's Murder she Wrote was inspired by Frances Glessner Lee's miniature boxes from The Nutshell Series of Unexplained Death.  You may know the film Of Dolls and Murder; I wrote about Lee on    Here is the article, "The Rise of the Creepy Doll House."

Today, a far less creepy event took place.  My friend and fellow book group member (AAUW), Marie T., gifted me a fine collection of dolls and toys that were hers, her others, and her family's.  Our museum is extremely grateful for these edition, especially since they came from a good friend.  Included were many G.I.Joe dolls, accessories, foot locker, Abominable Snowman and his box, Jeep, Mego Star Trek Enterprise with Spock, McCoy and Kirk., Tonka Trucks, Lincoln Logs, Marx Best of the West figures and horse, green army men with their original box, Original Finance game [precedes monopoly] and other vintage board games, a box of vintage paper dolls including Katy Keene, a wax over doll with glass eyes, original dress and wig, and extra clothes, several wonderful antique baby garments with scalloped edges and lacy detail, a leather doll body with compo baby head attached; very old and interesting albeit hybrid, cowboys and Indians plastic figures, marbles, a glass lamp filled with marbles, child's tables and chairs, doll crib with bedding, little wooden ironing board, mini sad irons, and much more.

It has been a hard few days with the anniversary of my Dad's death, and my beloved Uncle Jim hospitalized out of state, but he is getting better and we are surviving the week.  Today, Marie's gift was a blessing, all the more important because it was given in kindness and friendship.

Thank you.

Wax Over Doll in her Black Wool Dres

Compo Head on Leather Body seating in her Crib with Elaborate Dress

Vintage Lincoln Logs

Some of the Green Army Men

Thursday, November 8, 2018

The Ghost Army, Androids on the Original StarTrek; The Doll Motif is Everywhere

By morning, we shall inherit the earth,
Our foot's in the door.

Sylvia Plath, "Mushrooms."

Dolls, and allusions to dolls, described as The Doll Motif by Lea Baten, are everywhere. Tonight, I caught the end of an original Star Trek episode that dealt with androids.  Later, in The Next Generation Series, Data, an android, is one of the main characters.

The Ghost Army, Public domain via

Then, my husband turned on The Ghost Army on PBS; that was the camouflage unit that created real life "fake" battle and decoys to foil and confuse the enemy.  Among the artists, sculptors, designers and architects that made up this unit was Bill Blass.  Robert Tonner, who makes his own dolls and also owns Effanbee, once worked for Bill Blass.

Public Domain

One of the goals of the doll museum I am planning is to make people "doll aware."  Dolls are a teaching tool that enrich people's lives, and they are accessible to everyone. 

We are starting a Kickstarter campaign for a new display case; look for it soon.  There will be goody bags for donors and other prizes, too. Spread the word. 😸😇😇😇✋❤👱👰😻

Dolls at Terror at Skellington Manor

Life-sized Doll Halloween Decoration

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Dark Paradise and Toy Collecting

I recently picked up another Tami Hoag thriller; love her books when I want to immerse myself in escapist horror and mystery!  She is a friend of my friend, Kim Ostrum Bush, also a romance writer.  Kim was my mom’s student, and a doll collector.  I ran into her one time at the old Masonic Temple Women’s Club Antique Show where Ralph’s Antique Dolls used to set up.  Now, the MT is Terror at Skellington Manor, my favorite haunt, with great animatronics and an extensive doll collection.


The novel I’m reading is Dark Paradise, and it takes place in New Eden, Montana.  There is an attorney who is also a collector of many things, including toys.  His name is Miller Daggrepont.  Here are his thoughts on collecting:


This is where I keep my collections . .. I collect everything  Signs, toys, farm equipment you name it.  Never know when the next big rage will hit.  I made a killing on Indian artifacts when all the Hollywood types started moving in.  They think they’re going native when they hang an old horse blanket on the wall.  Damned fools, I say—not because of the collecting.  Nothing wrong with collecting.  They’re just damned fools in general!(95)



Here are some more links if you enjoy large toy collections.  Don’t forget the Strong National Museum of Play.


Jerry Greene world’ largest toy collection.







Monday, November 5, 2018

National Doll Hall of Fame

National Doll Hall of Fame

How wonderful would it be if doll collectors could have their own hall of fame!  Sure, dolls are inducted into the national toy hall of fame, but we need something just for dolls.   After all, dolls are everywhere; I see them on old Tonight Shows with Johnny Carson, on Will and Grace, The Nanny, Roseanne, Blackish, The Goldbergs, in the news in literature, the list is virtually endless.  In the broadest definition of “dolls”, any representation of the human figure, or any figural animal design, can be a doll of sorts.  According to this definition, every one could be a doll collector or miniaturist and not realize it.  People who like Hummels, Lladro, Precious Moments, Kewpies, Snow Babies, Art Deco Statues, Remington bronzes, paper dolls and paper sculpture, bric-a-brac, tiny charms of people, railroad figures, scarecrows, stuffed animals, taxidermy, puppets, anatomical figures, mascot collectors, bobbleheads, plush, automata, robots, etc, are, well, doll collectors.

Gigantic statues and flickering images on the silver screen, TV, and computer monitor are doll cousins, albeit distant ones.  Don’t believe me; read all about it.  Start with Edison’s Eve and other books by Gaby Wood.  Then, look up early doll authors Janet Pagter Johl, Mary Hillier, Leslie Gordon and Gwen White.



Here are some dolls and categories for our doll hall of fame.  I’d like to read yours in comments to those post.  Or, feel free to email me.  I also posted in my page Doll Universe. .



You may reply and comment there. 



Here are the dolls and categories:



  1. Neanderthal Venus figures excavated in Israel, prehistoric Venuses including the Venus of Willendorf; these are what is left of the first dolls.  They date to the dawn of time. If dolls tell the story of humanity, then their stories need to be told.  Also, see the Lion Man figures and the story of the Nampa figurine.  To read more see Dolls and Puppets by Max von Boehn.
  2. Gingerbread figures and molds from The Middle Ages. 
  3. Nativity figures and early crèche dolls and santos.
  4. Wax works and anatomical venuses, including those by Mme Tussaud. Dolls by Pierotti, Vargas, Montanari Lucy Peck and Marsh, as well as other wax doll makers.
  5. Barbie; hands down the most popular doll I the world.
  6. Cabbage Patch Kids and friends with nods to Beanie Babies and Furby.  These are the doll that spawned madness in the toy aisles.
  7. Jumeau
  8. Bru
  9. The French Fashion Doll
  10. German Bisques with special nods to Armand Marseilles and Simon & Halbig
  11. The German toy trade, dating to The Middle Ages and earlier.
  12. Ancient Greek and Roman Dolls.
  13. Ushabti, idols, paddle dolls, mannikins and soldiers from Ancient Egypt
  14. Madame Alexander
  15. The Shirley Temple Doll
  16. Raggedy Ann and Andy
  17. Ginny and friends
  18. Patty Playpal and Family
  19. Terri Lee
  20. The fashion doll in general
  21. Kiddles
  22. Robbie the Robot
  23. Transformers
  24. Mego Action Figures
  25. Lenci
  26. Kathe Kruse
  27. K*R and German Characters
  28. Metal heads and metal dolls
  29. Lambchop
  30. Howdy Doody and friends
  31. Charlie McCarthy and the ventriloquist dummy.
  32. Wayland and Madame
  33. The Muppets, especially Miss Piggy
  34. Gumby and Pokey
  35. Davey and Goliath
  36. NIADA artists
  37. Paper Dolls History of Little Fanny and Little Henry
  38. Pantins
  39. Door of Hope dolls
  40. Bernard Ravca dolls
  41. Bunraku puppets
  42. Hina Matsuri Doll Day and other Japanese dolls
  43. Voodoo Dolls
  44. The Frozen Charlotte and Penny Doll
  45. Darrow
  46. Joel Ellis and friends
  47. Schoenhut
  48. Automatons of all types
  49. Puppets of all types
  50. Jenny Wren of Our Mutual Friend
  51. Letitia Penn
  52. The Bartholomew Baby
  53. Tomb figures
  54. Statues, including the largest statue in the world, which is of Buddha
  55. Dressed fleas.
  56. Kokeshi painted on rice
  57. Figures carved from a human hair including those in Mr. Wechsler’s Cabinet of Wonders.
  58. Favorite novels about dolls.
  59. Favorite novels that mention dolls.
  60. Favorite music about dolls.
  61. Favorite puppet play.
  62. Favorite poems about dolls.
  63. Best nonfiction books on dolls.
  64. Macy Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloons cf. Tony Sarg and Bil Baird.
  65. Kachinas
  66. Native American dolls
  67. Ashanti Dolls Ghana, and African dolls
  68. Iron dolls of Benin
  69. Cornhusk and folk dolls
  70. Leo Moss
  71. Black Doll history
  72. Best games about dolls.
  73. Best virtual paper dolls online
  74. Best software, computer games digital media about dolls.
  75. Best doll utensils, including Nutcrackers, Beehives, corkscrews, wooden spoons mugs, glasses, goblets, egg cups, etc.
  76. Edible dolls, including candy and bread, carved fruit, molded chocolate and ice cream.
  77. Best Christmas and Halloween figures.
  78. Scarecrows
  79. Best songs about dolls, e.g., The Ballad of Frozen Charlotte
  80. Sex Dolls and naughty dolls. 
  81. Best doll houses
  82. Best models
  83. Space men
  84. Toy soldiers
  85. G.I. Joe
  86. Teddy bears
  87. Plush
  88. Baby alligator dolls and taxidermy
  89. Spooky dolls, e.g., The Shelter for Misfit Dolls.
  90. Best antique doll company.
  91. Best vintage doll company.
  92. Best modern doll companies
  93. Reborn babies.
  94. Tamagotchi.
  95. Celluloid dolls
  96. Chalk carnival dolls.
  97. Composition
  98. Cloth, including Walker and Chase
  99. Grodnertal

100.                      China heads and Parian


Here are some categories to get you started.  Think outside the doll box; what do you come up with to fit these categories that can create a national doll hall of fame.