Welcome to the very first ‘GlamGal Confessions’, which is the new online version of the ‘Fashion Doll News’ sent out via email to Australian and International collectors with an interest in Fashion and Celebrity dolls since 1999.
The aim is share information and thoughts, with the hope that those who do not abide by the faith, gain insight into the fun of doll collecting and how it encompasses childhood memories, fashion history, art, celebrity, pop culture, fantasy, and so much more.
Feel free to leave comments along with additional links and information in relation to posts. Though please note, my opinions are just that, and while I am always open to differing or opposing thoughts, makes for interesting discussion; keep it polite as “I’m a lady”, and one with swift Ninja moves that knows how to crack a whip when it comes to tongue lashings!
I believe in the power of play regardless of age, that a collection is not about the amount be it number or value, that no dolls should be ever be re-labelled to make them “okay” for boys, and overall, no more segregation of toys for girls or boys! It’s time for all social stigmas surrounding doll and toy collecting to be diminished and that is one of my missions!
So in salute to the immortal countdown and words of Jeff Tracy (father of Scott Tracy, my first true love at six years of age), “5, 4, 3, 2, 1…GlamGal Is GO!”
Mary K. (aka Lady M.)
Events ~ Tonner ~ Jem ~ Sindy ~ Haute Doll ~ Madame Alexander ~ Bild Lilli
Disney & DC Villains ~ Lady Gaga – Bratzillaz ~ Life in the Dreamhouse
First up, dates for your diary: Sales/Meeting on Sunday, August 5th, 2012 at Kew, 12noon till 4pm, and I have included links and information below in the hope you can please share via Facebook, Twitter and online forums to assist with promotion. Including, an early reminder especially for those interstate, about our Halloween event on Sunday, October 21st.
Also, I have organised two Mattel Fundraiser Events on Saturday, 25th August (1.30pm till 3pm) & Friday, 23rd November (4pm till 8pm), at Mattel’s Derrimut warehouse outlet in Melbourne, which is not open to the public, and are exclusive sales that need ticketed entry. Cost is $6 per ticket or two for $10 where you can purchase one for each event or alternatively, one for yourself and a friend to the same event at the reduced price. All are welcome to come along, only age restrictions apply (16+ years), and full details are listed below with ticket payment options.
Next up we have a sneek peek at the Tonner Fall Release of which more will be coming, and while I find Steampunk fascinating as a fashion and design concept for it’s Victorian perspective and styling, Wonder Woman, Steampunk #1 pictured had me staring blankly at the screen wondering why, as well as, what the photographer was going for with that pose?
Granted not with the same hysterics experienced on seeing the the Wicked Witch En Pointe in a tutu years ago, and considering the repetitive rehashing of popular dolls under the guise of innovative ideas, I am even more disappointed with this offering in having the hope that lessons had been learned with feedback from collectors.
I actually bought the ballet Wicked Witch on clearance at less than half price later in the year; having what could be classified as a Wicked Witch obsession but more for the questioning and disbelief factor best defined by the three letters “WTF”, where no one outside the doll collecting community would ever believe it to be truth in years to come. So it was also a purchase for the sake of posterity, even though fellow Oz and doll collector friends questioned my sanity at the time. However, having her in my collection has proved to be one of those gifts to self that keep on giving with the endless laughs from creative play in dressing the Winged Monkey as her dance partner.
The fact my Nijinsky Monkey further inspired one friend to also play by dressing his Tonner Oz Scarecrow in a grass skirt and Tin Man in a tutu made of foil, you can’t put a price on that kind of fun. One day I will get around to a stop motion video featuring them dancing to Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, possibly on ice after just viewing a TV ad for the Tchaikovsky ballet ice-capades currently touring our land of Oz but nothing inspires me in seeing a confused Wonder Woman dancing an Irish jig. The #1 also concerns me with the presumption it means more to come in this particular series? Being a creative soul, I am always open to new ideas but not this concept, not for the fact it barely borders on the steampunk fashion style, and not when there are other Wonder Woman characters and costumes that could be.
Kudos though to Tonner for stretching the boundaries with their SDCC (San Diego Comic Con) exclusive Zombie Boy, in being something totally different, and of pop cultural relevance with art imitating life or decaying life in this case, which upon reflection is even more profound for the irony in being idolised in vinyl. For those that don’t know about artist/model Rick Genest, this YouTube clip ‘Go Beyond The Cover’ is one of the cleverest I have seen for it’s social ideology, and ingenuity in being one of the most brilliant advertising campaigns; proving beyond any marketing hype that the product actually works.
If you scroll through the comments, you will see that many of the viewers assumed the tattoos are the make up when it’s the make up covering up Genest’s tattooed body. Fascinating to watch, so make time to view, and while doing so, think about the question…”How do you judge a book?”
The biggest news doll wise at Comic Con is that Hasbro in collaboration with Integrity Toys, have brought Jem back! A special edition Hollywood Jem with a RRP of $125 will also be made available from Hasbro’s online store, which as expected, does not send internationally. I contacted Hasbro Australia on behalf of collectors here, and their response was to find a dealer overseas and to inform me that Hasbro.com do not service Australian customers. Typical standard spiel, however, I was momentarily optimistic for the fact someone actually called me from my online inquiry asking me to forward further information, so I refrained from replying with my frustrated thoughts on the subject. On top of my recent dealings with Jetstar, the term “Customer Care”, has new definition as “Customer Care NOT!”
Though just as Mattel Australia questioned if Monster High was actually their product from an inquiry back in October 2010, with product now flying off the shelves here, we may well see Jem in Australia next year. Speaking of which, Monster High also featured an SDCC exclusive with Scarah Screams and Pullip added Wonder Woman and Batman to their DC exclusive line with an edition size of 400 each, having released Catwoman and Batgirl at SDCC previously. I was able to order the Wonder Woman from a specialised Pullip retailer, and will post more pics once she arrives.
Interesting to see how many doll companies are now launching exclusive products at SDCC as a part of their marketing strategy in reaching the more broader and avid comic collector market, and curious to see if any other doll companies will be re-branding their dolls as as action or character figures due to the social stigma attached? I’d like to see that barrier busted, and will discuss another time, as I have more than a few lines to say on that subject.
In other doll news, Sindy will is celebrating her 50th birthday this year and seems like she too will making a comeback with Pedigree looking for a doll company to partner with.
Haute Doll Magazine has made a comeback via Dolls Magazine which has taken over Doll Reader and if you go to this link, scroll down the page to where you can subscribe to Haute Doll magazine only, and I have to add that I applaud the fact they offer free digital publications with subscriptions which is a bonus for us in the land down under with any international post delays.
Also, Madame Alexander been sold as a company and not sure what this means for the current doll lines though I am hoping that they continue with the same ingenuity and sense of humour when it comes to concepts for which MA have led the way for years. I adore their Wicked Musical series, and my MA Witches will not be happy until Fiyero joins them by broom or bubble.
In talking dolls, humour and theatre, here is one that combines all three in the show Bild Lilli. While I have mentioned musical and theatre shows in previous mail-outs over the years, this one is actually related to dolls in that artist Elena Knox is reincarnating Bild Lilli. This was more than a surprise in seeing the promo online last month, considering how thorough Mattel are in gagging any reference of Barbie’s inspired muse but more so that someone would create a show in homage.
Highly amused by the Photoshopped images, my curiosity had me typing an email to the publicist before I finished reading in full, and apart from securing a double pass for the Bild Lilli show on Saturday, 21st July as a raffle prize for members, Elena kindly answered a few questions I sent through. I would have liked to of delved further, after receiving her answers, which is why Q&A emails are not always ideal when you have such an interesting personality like Elena.
You can read the interview below, and if you would like to win a double pass to her show, please email me with ‘Bild Lilli’ in the subject line and the answer to the following question: What iconic outfit have Bild Lilli and Barbie shared? The winner will be notified this Sunday, 15th July. To book, click on the dates in this link to purchase tickets. July 18 – August 4, 2012.
Also, if you are interested in Bild Lilli and German fashion dolls of the 50’s and 60’s, I have signed copies of the self published book by the author on their way, and for anyone who would like a copy, please contact me to arrange payment and pick up or can be mailed for those living interstate.
More dolly news is that Disney are continuing with their ‘Designer Collection‘ series, this time focusing on the villains in designer gowns but it’s these little Polly Pocket DC Villains I would dearly love in my collection for their overall cuteness and fun factor.
The Veruka Salt desire of “I WANT IT NOW” is strong but for the moment the rational force within is stronger, and I’m not willing to pay double to triple the price on eBay on top of the excessive postage charged by those that know they can with so called “handling fees”. I refuse to contribute to that kind of hype and greed for what it continues to breed but even as I type I can hear that sweet luring voice inside my head enticing me…“But they’re SOooooo CUUUUUTE!!”
I succumbed in purchasing the She-Ra set of this exclusive last year, justifying the cost by chanting “For the honor of Grayskull”, as I clicked ‘Buy it now’, and I only wish I could call on the justice league to report unfair trade, as it’s beyond rational greed. I fully comprehend the “exclusive” factor but just how exclusive is an item when buyers are able to purchase more than one or two? There needs to be an option for absentee collectors who can’t make an event rather than paying the ridiculous prices charged by on-sellers who attend primarily to make money off desperate collectors.
*claps hands and thinks happy thoughts*
A much anticipated doll for me this year was MGA’s Lady Gaga doll, which according to the wonderful team at Headstart, was to be launched here in Australia during Gaga’s current tour, and unfortunately, may not be seen till next year. A shame for the missed opportunity considering the instant sales as tour merchandise, and what amazing imagery that could have been with Gaga performing amongst a sea of her effigies. Other news from Headstart is that Bratzillaz will be launching their dedicated website this week on Friday 13th, with the dolls being available here in Australia in September, along with a new range Novi Stars of alien dolls which are also due September.
Lastly, I never thought I would ever say this, but it seems Mattel seem to have gained a sense of humour when it comes to Barbie. ‘Life in the Dreamhouse‘ is akin to the virtual shows on TV featuring celebrities in everyday life, and in this case Barbie and friends. Though I’m still trying to wrap my head around why Lara Bingle, which leads to why the Kardashians, and I also never thought I would ever say this but I now long for ‘The Simple Life‘.
That’s it for this confession, and if you would like to comment or share links and pics relating to any of the above, please post below.
Thanks to Robbie R. and Jay B. for links in this issue.
Mary K. 😉
While the events are based in Melbourne, Australia, hoping readers interstate and internationally will also promote, as you never know who might be traveling or can pass on the information to friends (collector or not), who may be interested in attending. You don’t have to be a collector to enjoy these events, and if you can assist, please feel free to use any or all of the following…
Facebook: Post the following Facebook event link with whatever you want to write: https://www.facebook.com/events/390716030977047/
Twitter: Barbie, Fashion & Celebrity Doll Sale: Sun August 5th, 12 ~ 4pm Kew Library, Melbourne. Info + Free Valuations! http://www.glamgal.net/
Email & Doll Forums: Barbie, Fashion & Celebrity Doll Sale: Sunday, August 5th, 12noon – 4pm Phyllis Hore Room (Next to Kew Library), Cnr. Civic Drive & Cotham Road, Kew. Modern & Vintage Barbie, Fashion & Celebrity Dolls for Sale, Doll Display & FREE VALUATIONS (Bring along your old Barbie, dolls or toys for Valuation, Identification or to Sell). Admission: $2 Adult & $ 1 Child. Hosted by the Fashion & Celebrity Doll Collectors www.glamgal.net
Saturday, 25th August from 1.30pm till 3pm
Friday, 23rd November from 4pm till 8pm
30% + OFF Barbie Collector, Barbie Playline, Monster High,
Hot Wheels, Fisher Price, etc, Etc, ETC!
Date and time is strictly as listed with the August 25th date being a 90 minute time slot and the November 23rd date being a marathon four hours and perfect for some early Christmas shopping!
Tickets will be available for sale at the August 5th Doll Sale event, and for the November 23rd sale, tickets will also be available for sale at our October 21st Halloween Event!
If you can’t make it to the events to purchase, please email, and I will send you direct deposit payment details, and mail tickets to you via registered post.
Please note, final numbers need to be in 10 days prior to each date: 15th August and 13th November.
Open to all members, families, friends and ALL! The point is to raise funds, and have a fun time shopping, so get the word out there please!
NOTE: There is strictly NO entry to any persons under 16 years of age. Infants, babies and children will not be permitted into the Toy Club.
And as part of Mattel’s “Play Green” policy, please bring your own shopping bags or you can purchase large reusable Mattel shopping bags for $3 at the registers.
Mattel Toy Club Payment Methods: Cash, Eftpos, Mastercard & Visa Only
Mattel Fundraiser Facebook Link or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Q&A ELENA KNOX ~ BILD LILLI
1. It’s interesting to see someone give Bild Lilli a voice to challenge the injustice of corporate greed, when her existence is primarily known only in Europe and collecting circles, so I am intrigued to know how you first found out about Bild Lilli, and what in particular attracted you to her plight to create a show about her?
In my previous solo show, Lapdog, I created a character I called Australian Barbie. (Throw a shrimp on it at your peril!) An academic at the University of Sydney wrote about Lapdog for a symposium with US feminist theorist J. Jack Halberstam – the paper now appears in a book called Queer and Subjugated Knowledges. Being a professional researcher, she delved right back into the story of Bild Lilli, of whom I hadn’t heard. I was intrigued.
Bild Lilli seemed to me to be a much less limited persona than Barbie in many respects, even though from one perspective it might look as though she ‘lost out’. She is forthright and existed at a time when there was a certain perceived glamour about women speaking their own minds. Her story is both timely and historically revealing. She has a definite and dry sense of humour, whereas in my embodiment of Barbie the humour I found was more slapstick or self-effacing. Importantly, after presenting and making an almost entirely pink performance, Bild Lilli’s clothes and cultural milieu were a big attraction.
2. Channeling your inner Bild Lilli, what do you think she would say to Barbie if they were to meet face to face today? Do you see a Zoolander fashion model “walk off”, a sisterly D&M about Mattel’s business practices over coffees or a glam slap fest at Barbie’s mansion pool, rivaling that of Dynasty’s Alexis and Krystle’s pond scene at the Carrington Estate?
Wow, if only I could write that scene into the show. It depends on when and where they were to meet. In the beginning, the early–mid sixties, they were essentially physically identical. What a shock! Do I have an American twin? Has the mirror come alive? Is it something sinister, a doppelgänger, a horror movie? I hear screams and eerie soundtracks.
A bit later, and Barbie has changed a lot while Bild Lilli is (compulsorily) frozen in time. Lilli’s a trim gal from the swinging 60s, Barbie has 80s hair, accessories, technologies. Maybe this is like having your little sister show up after years abroad with new ideas and, crucially, clothes. Shoes that can come off after a long night in a Berlin bar! Fascinating.
Lilli as I see her is an essentially practical person, who struts like a diva but conceals a hard head for figures. I’m not sure there would be any hysterics from her. Even in 2012, despite all Barbie’s possessions and advances, she certainly wouldn’t envy Barbie’s lifestyle – only a few male suitors and surrounded by little girls? Ergh.
But as for talking over Mattel’s business practices, I’m also not convinced that either woman has sufficient distance from her situation to really analyse it successfully. It’s much easier looking in from the outside. Which of us can really understand our own predicament, the forces that society enacts on us?
3. The media, feminists, and parents have chastised Barbie for her body proportions as a toy for children, overlooking the roleplaying of careers she inspires from fashion model, astronaut, doctor and president, to all round Princess, along with the ethos that girls can be and do anything. With that in mind, what do you think Barbie would have to say in defense of her play factor and cup size?
Barbie’s impressive (and rather schizophrenic) career trajectory does reflect the American ethos of ‘you can do anything’ – but it is in the context of fantasy. She doesn’t really study or stick at anything – in Lapdog she/I also played all these roles and it becomes hilariously confusing. In defense of this…versatility, she might want to emphasise the fact that the contemporary labour market is demanding these ‘portfolio’ skills, and so she’s simply keeping up with the times! In defense of her cup size – well, what I’ve found out is that it runs in her family. Her cartoon origins are obvious once you know about them. “It’s not my fault! I used to be a racy cartoon!”
4. By the same token, Bild Lilli has also been maligned in the media for her lifestyle, so again in channeling your inner Lilli, what would you say to those who label her a mere sex toy?
As a female in an era when women had limited means of self-representation, Lilli was given a strong voice in the Bild, and exhibited a fiery will to self-determination. Lacking other means – money and political power – she no doubt used her sexuality as a means to empowerment.
In my show Bild-Lilli I use some of the original dialogue from Lilli’s cartoons, wherein she defends and defines her situation at every turn. So she was political from the start, very European. Looking back at the recent overwhelming trauma of the war, looking towards relatively peaceful and prosperous America for guidance – careful what you wish for! Sure, she is a sex toy of sorts, and her very knowingness is a male construct in reaction to the stereotype of the nurturing woman. But she is looking out for herself, she is not tied to any one man, she’s determined to have fun, consume, and be energetic in the world. Sex is merely one facet of this drive.
5. Looking forward to seeing Bild Lilli brought to life with the inverted sense of humour that many of us enjoy about collecting dolls. Do you yourself collect, and what was the initial inspiration behind Lapdog in creating your Barbie persona?
My lifestyle and means prohibit me from really engaging in collecting (besides clothes – a vague tax deduction hovers there), yet I can totally understand the fascination that surrounds an intensive involvement with objects of genre and social production. But on a related note, Lapdog grew out of my adult obsession with the colour pink. I became infatuated with pink at about 20 years old, and as an artist I realised that it was coming from somewhere and that I should probably work it out of my system. So in a sense I collected pink, often plastic, often shiny pink items I just gravitated toward. Why do we dress our girls in pink, what does it do to our brains, how enmeshed is this behaviour in commercial imperative and consumption – these were the springboards of Lapdog. And I still have lots of pink stuff.
6. Thank you for your time, and is there anything you would like to add about your upcoming show Bild-Lilli?
I think you’ll discover a life inside this gorgeous doll that’s inspiring and surprising. Like any celebrity rise-to-fame story it’s a wild, quick ride with its ups and downs. I felt strongly that she had a musical sensibility, from all the parties and bars and concerts she attends, so the music is a major part of my playing her and shapes and enlivens the story. She’s irreverent, she’s talkative, and as far as I have been able to make it happen she’s wearing exactly what she wore. So it will be great to meet some folks who already know her! I know she’s looking forward to that.
This is especially for Elena and her “Pink” obsession: