Valley of Dolls
Eleven years ago, Ayano Tsukimi returned to her home in Nagoro. Confronted with constant departures, she has populated the village with dolls, each representing a former villager. Around 350 of the giant dolls now reside in and around Nagoro, replacing those that died or abandoned the village years ago.
In a recent documentary titled The Valley Of Dolls, Fritz Schumann explores Tsukimi's world, highlighting the time and artistry that goes into making the figures, and explaining her motivations. In it we're shown around a local school, once filled with children and teachers, that now houses dozens of dolls, sitting statically, waiting for class to begin.
Every so often, ethnic dolls make the news, like this recent piece on
Nigeria's Taofick Okoya who started his own line of Nigerian dolls after giving up his search in frustration. Okoya sells between 6,000 and 9,000 of his "Queens of Africa" and "Naija Princesses" a month, and reckons he has 10-15 percent of a small but fast-growing market
. But the history
of dolls outside
of 'mainstream culture' exemplified by blonde blue eyed Barbie has been rife with prejudice and stereotypes
. As the African middle classes emerge, is this an opportunity that gives rise
to domestic toy industries?
, darling of the 1980s East Village art scene, made glamorous and grotesque dolls
that reflected her struggles with anorexia and drug addiction as well as her fascination with sexuality and gender in all their mutable permutations
. She died of an overdose only a month after completing her final masterpiece
, a recreation of her Chicago apartment inside Pittsburgh's Mattress Factory
. [more inside]
Lady Gaga satirizes the objectification of celebrity while cashing in on it with a series of creepily lifelike gagadolls
. You can even rent one for an event. Several models to choose from.
How to make a doll lamp (video, maybe not safe for children) Philofix
is a popular tv series for kids age 7-13
on Swedish TV network SVT
In a recent episode, shown this Monday at 7:30 PM, host Rakel Wärmländer
showed viewers how to make a lamp out of a doll. Viewers
were not happy. [more inside]
Amongst the canals of Lake Xochimilco, south of Mexico City, there are artificial islands called chinampas
were invented by the Aztecs as a way to increase agricultural production, and while most have been converted for residential or commercial use, there is one that stands apart: Isla de las Munecas (The Island of the Dolls)
. Home to hundreds of terrifying, mutilated dolls
, their severed limbs
, decapitated heads
, and blank eyes
, and nearly every available surface
. [more inside]
A Daruma doll
will always remind you of your goal. First read it here
then watched it here
. Nana korobi yaoki!
When artist Troy Gua wanted a new project to cheer himself up with, he hit on the idea of making a tribute to his favorite musician. Le Petit Prince
, a 1/6 scale doll of The Purple One, was born.
In the 1980s, American Girl
dolls became an obsession for many young girls. The early options were limited, but the "family" of dolls has expanded to have Native American
, New Mexican
, and Jewish
girls represented. Reaching across to a new un-tapped demographic: American Girl has released a homeless
doll. Gwen Thompson
, the homeless girl
, retails for $95.
On a Friday in the waning months of the 20th century, a Macromedia employee was getting ready to meet with the creator of Beavis & Butthead
the next Monday to demonstrate Flash v.4's new feature, synchronized audio tracks – a feature he needed to learn over the weekend. So he put together the simplest model he could: a floating skull sans
lips, tongue or physique. The meeting was postponed, so the employee continued to spitshine the animation and put it on his website. His friends e-mailed their friends, and soon, everyone met a heavy-metal animated floating skull demon and his adorable little devil pal. Sparks had created Radiskull, who will kill you one by one
. (Atom) [more inside]
(I recommend you listen to this
while viewing the link.)
In 1961 Albert Bandura
published a study titled "Transmission of Aggression through Imitation
of Aggresive Models
," better known as the Bobo Doll Experiment
, in which young children were shown video of a woman beating up on an inflatable Bobo doll in various ways, the video of the woman and the results
is quite interesting/shocking and sums up the general experiment quite nicely if you don't want to do too much reading.
Build your wild self
using a flash game from the New York zoos and aquarium and the wildlife conservation society. [more inside]
Originally made by Native American tribes, applehead dolls
are now considered a form of downhome Appalachian folk art.
The late Mary Winsheimer
won numerous awards for hers, which can still be purchased online
from her son
You can easily learn to make them yourself
; apparently one can even earn a living
Illustrator Rob Nance
presents: The Do-It-Yourself Posable Paper David Hasselhoff
and Pope Benedict
Home Made Sex Doll.
Enough said, really. NSFW.
More companion robots! Another in a series (see PARO
, previously) of healing toys for Japan's rapidly greying population
, Yumel the Healing Partner
from Tomy. Like some kind of unholy cross between a Cabbage Patch Kid and Teddy Ruxpin, you can see a promotional clip of the doll here
, or read a list of translated stock phrases
(thank you Harper's). Also, an interesting article from the Economist about WHY
the Japanese love robots so. (Hint: it's Shinto)
Teddy Babes love dolls
are available in a number of sexy characters. (NSFW)
Obviously, it's never too soon to start thinking about ideas for next year's Christmas gifts. How about your own
Barbarism begins with Barbie —
the doll, that is. Research done at the University of Bath (UK) posits that prepubescents' pre-eminent plasticine plaything provokes disproportionate punishment. According to the study, which originally focused on the effects of branding on young consumers, the statuesque Mattel mini-miss seems to attract undue savagery. "The researchers had not intended to focus on Barbie, but they were taken aback by the rejection, hatred and violence she provoked when they asked the children about their feelings for the doll. Violence and torture against Barbie were repeatedly reported across age, school and gender. No other toy or brand name provoked such a negative response."
Dr Who - The Second Key.
Original Dr Who strips made with photographed dolls and speech balloons.
The one-of-a-kind doll created to look like the special child in your life.™
When boys play with dolls, the results can be a bit startling. Some terrorists/insurgents are GI Joe fans
. and here is an extensive collection of Little Nazi Dolls. my little nazi dolls via Mofi
NSFW: Realdoll vs. Superbabe.
A side by side comparison of top of the line ($5000.00 plus) pleasure dolls. Realdoll has a removable tongue but Superbabe has no tongue at all.
Elite Force Aviator: George W. Bush - U.S. President and Naval Aviator
"This fully poseable figure features a realistic head sculpt, fully detailed cloth flight suit, helmet with oxygen mask, survival vest, g-pants, parachute harness and much more. The realism and exacting attention to detail demanded by today's 12-inch action figure enthusiast are met and exceeded with this action figure. " (via Tom Tomorrow
Doll for auction on Ebay? It's haunted too?
Don't even leave its pictures on my hard drive, you say? Well then...Firewalls at full-throttle, crew!
Mamiko picked up a cork that had rolled on the floor at the restaurant where she worked. From it she made her first tiny cork doll
. She is often asked where she gets all of her corks. "I don't drink so much, but all of my friends who can drink quite a lot keep many corks for me." The pacifist is my favorite.
The Dubya Doll
is making its way through commercial America. With 17 slogans and phrases, such as "We will continue putting food on your family." what red-blooded American wouldn't want one?
"My Daddy was President you know." not included.
Cop a corpse for a couple of C-notes
Spring is in the air, and the cadavers are in bloom; one of the more charming cottage internet industries is the production of life - er, deathlike rubber deadguys
. Have a stroll through these charming storefronts
, and pick a necrophiliac lovedoll of your very own.
Someone dispatched a Ninja to kill you? No problem. You can retalliate with voodoo from pinstruck