Children of Japan

Children of Japan
Courtesy, R. John Wright

The Jumeau 201

The Jumeau 201
Courtesy Theriault's and Antique Doll Collector Magazine

Hinges and Hearts

Hinges and Hearts
An Exhibit of our Metal Dolls

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Tuxedo and Bangles

Tuxedo and Bangles

A History of Metal Dolls

A History of Metal Dolls
Now on Alibris.com and In Print! The First Book of its Kind

Alice, Commemorative Edition

Alice, Commemorative Edition
Courtesy, R. John Wright

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Emma, aka, La Contessa Bathory

Emma, aka, La Contessa Bathory
Her Grace wishes us all a Merry Christmas!

Annabelle

Annabelle

Emma Emmeline

Emma Emmeline
Our New Addition/fond of stuffed toys

Cloth Clown

Cloth Clown

Native American Art

Native American Art

the triplets

the triplets

c. 1969 Greek Plastic Mini Baby

c. 1969 Greek Plastic Mini Baby
Bought Athens on the street

Iron Maiden; Middle Ages

Iron Maiden; Middle Ages

Sand Baby Swirls!

Sand Baby Swirls!
By Glenda Rolle, courtesy, the Artist

Glenda's Logo

Glenda's Logo
Also, a link to her site

Sand Baby Castaway

Sand Baby Castaway
By Glenda Rolle, Courtesy the Artist

A French Friend

A French Friend

Mickey

Mickey
From our friends at The Fennimore Museum

2000+ year old Roman Rag Doll

2000+ year old Roman Rag Doll
British Museum, Child's Tomb

Ancient Egypt Paddle Doll

Ancient Egypt Paddle Doll
Among first "Toys?"

ushabti

ushabti
Egyptian Tomb Doll 18th Dynasty

Ann Parker Doll of Anne Boleyn

Ann Parker Doll of Anne Boleyn

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Tin Head Brother and Sister, a Recent Purchase

Tin Head Brother and Sister, a Recent Purchase
Courtesy, Antique Daughter

Judge Peep

Judge Peep

Hakata Doll Artist at Work

Hakata Doll Artist at Work
From the Museum Collection

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Japanese Costume Barbies

Japanese Costume Barbies
Samurai Ken

Etienne

Etienne
A Little Girl

Happy Heart Day

Happy Heart Day

From "Dolls"

From "Dolls"
A Favorite Doll Book

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Jenny Wren

Jenny Wren
Ultimate Doll Restorer

Our Friends at The Fennimore Doll and Toy Museum

Our Friends at The Fennimore Doll and Toy Museum

Baby Boo 1960s

Baby Boo 1960s
Reclaimed and Restored as a childhood Sabrina the Witch with Meow Meow

Dr. E's on Display with sign

Dr. E's on Display with sign

Dolls Restored ad New to the Museum

Dolls Restored ad New to the Museum
L to R: K*R /celluloid head, all bisque Artist Googly, 14 in. vinyl inuit sixties, early celluloid Skookum type.

Two More Rescued Dolls

Two More Rescued Dolls
Late Sixties Vinyl: L to R: Probably Horseman, all vinyl, jointed. New wig. R: Effanbee, probably Muffy, mid sixties. New wig and new clothing on both. About 12 inches high.

Restored Italian Baby Doll

Restored Italian Baby Doll
One of Dr. E's Rescued Residents

Dolls on Display

Dolls on Display
L to R: Nutcrackers, Danish Troll, HItty and her book, Patent Washable, Mechanical Minstrel, Creche figure, M. Alexander Swiss. Center is a German mechanical bear on the piano. Background is a bisque German costume doll.

A Few Friends

A Few Friends
These dolls are Old German and Nutcrackers from Dr. E's Museum. They are on loan to another local museum for the holidays.

Vintage Collage

Vintage Collage
Public Domain Art

The Merry Wanderer

The Merry Wanderer
Courtesy R. John Wright, The Hummel Collection

The Fennimore Doll Museum

The Fennimore Doll Museum

Robert

Robert
A Haunted Doll with a Story

Halloween Dolls Displayed in a Local Library

Halloween Dolls Displayed in a Local Library

The Cody Jumeau

The Cody Jumeau
Long-faced or Jumeau Triste

German Princesses

German Princesses
GAHC 2005

A Little PowerRanger

A Little PowerRanger
Halloween 2004

The Island of the Dolls

The Island of the Dolls
Shrine to Dolls in Mexico

Based on the Nutshell Series of Death

Based on the Nutshell Series of Death
Doll House murder

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A lovely dress

A lovely dress

Raggedy Ann

Raggedy Ann
A few friends in cloth!

Fennimore Doll and Toy Museum, WI

Fennimore Doll and Toy Museum, WI
Pixar Animator's Collection

Little PM sisters

Little PM sisters
Recent eBay finds

Dressed Mexican Fleas

Dressed Mexican Fleas

Really old Dolls!

Really old Dolls!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Action Figures, Boy Dolls, and Manly Men

When I can get to a computer with an A drive, I'll download some excerpts from my book on metal dolls that deal with toy soldiers. We don't seem to have anything like that around here that's handy. Meanwhile, I want to just touch on the idea of men and dolls. I firmly believe that toy soldiers, robots, and action figures belong under the title, "Doll." I've caused many traumas with this view; one of my male students at my old school insisted G.I. Joe could never be a doll, until I showed him the chapter in The Ultimate Doll Book devoted to that brave lad. Why should it be an insult? Long before William's Doll was written, there was The Velvateen Rabbit, and Johl's chapters on boy dolls and dolls owned by boys and men. Eugene Field had his collection, discussed before on this blog. John Wayne, Senator Barry Goldwater, and my favorite law professor collected Kachina Dolls, and it was men who wrote the first important texts on these types of dolls, whether they are that accurate or not by today's standards. Peter the Great liked them, and many famous men owned or created automatons including Charlemagne. There were dolls, Ushabti, and toys in Tut's Tomb [love how that sounds!], and Samuel Pryor amassed a fantastic collection. Malcolm Forbes and Rod Stewart are known for their toy soldier collections, and the great Freud collected ancient figurines, dolls, and shulptures. And, let's not forget our authors, John Noble, Carl Fox, and Max von Boehn. My little boy had his share of action figures and robots; when he saw my display of German Dolls at a local cultural center, he was only two, but blurted out as he stared into the glass entranced, "Can we take them out!?" My baby boy cousin loved stuffed animals, and had a couple of my baby dolls to play with [when he grew up, I reclaimed them]. Other brothers and friends had their soldiers and Major Matt Masons, their Big Jims and Stretch Armstrongs. And, of course, there is Teddy, in all his manifestations and with all his famous owners, real and fictional, from Prince Charles, Peter Bull, and Thurston Howell III to Radar O'Riley. Well, why not?

I love "boy dolls." All types of them, from Santa Clauses, to scary vampires, to Ken and G.I. Joe and their wonderful knockoffs, to my lead soldiers and plastic soldiers, my Mego action figures, my antique parian and china men. You name it. I have hand carved Zulu warriors, the afore mentioned Little Drummer Boy, my bears and Sponge Bobs, my Southpark Figures, my McFarlane action figures, the most fantastic of all action figures, my robtos and my Star Wars and other intergalactic family members. They all have a place in the collection and upcoming museum. Even my daintier female students love my little Jack the Ripper and Attilla the Hun McFarlane figures, and everyone loves my Teddy Bears and Gollies. Fonzie, who could flip his thumbs, was a huge favorite with my second graders in the 80s, and my little Crypt Keeper and Mechanical "Frankie" are huge hits at Halloween. One of the men who lives next door, husband of a friend of mine, asks for my screaming vampire Count Dracula every Halloween. I hang him outside the door, but only when I'm there to guard him, and he flies, flashes red eyes, and screams Banshee-like greetings to all the little kids who Trick or Treat. They adore him, too. Let's not forget the May 5th Boy's Festival in Japan, either. I would love to be there, and to add more Samurai, maybe a Bunraku or another Karakuri to my collection!

So, enjoy the coming article on Toy Soldiers. That excerpt used to get me interviews in law firms where legal documents didn't, maybe because I proved I could publish something, or maybe because the hiring attorneys loved toy soldiers and toys, too. And men, remember and be proud, whether you call them action figures, soldiers, effigies, or figurines, a doll by any other name is still a doll, or to paraphrase Dr. Stein, who is herself immortalized in several doll forms, "A doll is a doll, is a doll, is a doll!" Till next time, keep in mind, I never met a doll I didn't like.

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