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MetaFilter For Her: Like MetaFilter, but pink!

Collectors Weekly, a resource for vintage and antique collectors, examines the gender politics of the Easy-Bake Oven, the toy industry’s gender divide, and why ordinary things go pink. (Don't miss the Dumbest Products Made 'For Her' slideshow at the bottom of the "pink" article.)
posted by Room 641-A on May 9, 2014 - 38 comments

Hold me tight

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.

posted by infini on May 3, 2014 - 13 comments

"It's black, like me.": Black dolls and politics

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?
posted by infini on Jan 29, 2014 - 19 comments

"The prettiest people are the blandest."

Greer Lankton, 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]
posted by Juliet Banana on Jan 23, 2014 - 2 comments

"You are never alone at the mannequin factory."

Inside the Proportion>London factory in Walthamstow. - Not an invasion force, honest.
posted by Artw on Nov 4, 2013 - 14 comments

Papercraft project blog Paper Matrix

Paper Matrix is a blog that gives instructions for cool papercraft objects, "reinterpreting the Danish tradition of woven paper hearts and ornaments." Cut paper in the prescribed ways and weave it together carefully to make a mobile of colorful hot air balloons, gorgeous and complex boxes; simple but satisfying pennants and much more... including a full theater for performances by paper dolls.
posted by LobsterMitten on Sep 23, 2013 - 18 comments

Sylvain Sylvain's "Rampage of Songs"

Most Friday nights at 10 PM EST, the guitarist of the New York Dolls hosts a "Rampage of Songs" on the band's Facebook page [more inside]
posted by ChuckRamone on Aug 23, 2013 - 7 comments

Hello, Lanie the organic gardener

The Atlantic reports on the 2008 removal/"archiving" of the original three American Girl dolls, dolls whose arrival on the market in 1986 represented a "sensibility about teaching girls to understand thorny historical controversies and build political consciousness." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Apr 26, 2013 - 34 comments

"somebody took the time to make a doll in your likeness"

Black Is Beautiful: Why Black Dolls Matter discusses the history and importance of black dolls. Resources referenced in the article include the Black Doll Collecting blog, The National Black Doll Museum of History and Culture, The Philadelphia Doll Museum, and the trailer for the documentary film "Why Do You Have Black Dolls?"
posted by lalex on Mar 28, 2013 - 21 comments

All dolled up, Nigerian style

Barbie and Ken's Traditional Nigerian Wedding
posted by infini on Aug 8, 2012 - 21 comments

Todd Haynes' "Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story"

One of the more famous suppressed films of recent years is Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, an early work by writer/director Todd Haynes (Safe, Velvet Goldmine, Far from Heaven). Filmed in 1987, the short film -- which relates the rise and fall of Karen Carpenter with a cast of Barbie dolls -- barely got a year's worth of festival time in 1989 before the twin iron boots of A&M Records and Richard Carpenter came down on Haynes.* [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Dec 31, 2011 - 29 comments

Iconic souvenir, Kokeshi dolls from Japan

Kokeshi Dolls originated in North-East Japan as wooden toys for children. They began being produced towards the end of the Edo period (1603~1868) by woodwork artisans, called Kiji-shi, who normally made bowls, trays and other tableware by using a lathe. They began to make small dolls in the winter to sell to visitors who came to bathe in the many hot springs near their villages, which was believed to be a cure for the demands of a strenuous agricultural lifestyle. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Dec 19, 2011 - 20 comments

Bright Lights for Christmas

Holiday Shopping Guide: All Gizmo Everything
posted by rollick on Dec 9, 2011 - 11 comments

We have dolls that pee, don't we?

Meet Bebe Gloton, the Breastfeeding Doll who's coming to America. The NY Times opines, Facebook users can't agree on whether it's good or bad, but what does God think?
posted by swingbraid on Jul 29, 2011 - 47 comments

Potter Babies

Baby Voldemort toy is the most horrifying thing to come out of the Harry Potter world: Tracy Ann Lister creates realistic dolls of characters from Harry Potter as infants.
posted by Lutoslawski on Jul 19, 2011 - 52 comments

This fine-art project is definitely going to give you cancer (or has already given you cancer).

The Hairpin shows us how to how to make a doll into a wine glass in 23 quick steps.
posted by item on May 16, 2011 - 35 comments

Ten Dreams Fine Art Galleries

And here is Ten Dreams, your Symbolist, Magical Realist, and Metarealist brain/eye candy art source, featuring, among scores of many other artists and subjects, Alma Tadema, Bouguereau, Ernst, Hundertwasser, Klimt, and Maxfield Parrish, too. And then there is the Ten Dreams of Ten Dreams, and not an exemplar known to me included. [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Mar 31, 2011 - 7 comments

Toy Stories

Creep, a devastating (and oddly seasonal) animated short by Alex Heller. [more inside]
posted by hermitosis on Dec 19, 2010 - 53 comments

Karakuri ningyō

Karakuri ningyō (からくり人形?) are mechanized puppets or automata from Japan from the 17th century to 19th century. There are many beautiful examples: Arrow shooting, serving tea, the geisha, acrobatics, making magic. [more inside]
posted by twoleftfeet on Jul 27, 2010 - 25 comments

Itsy-bitsy teeny-weenie tiny everything

Look at This Little Thing! A tumblr collection of the perfectly tiny and miniature. [via mefi projects]
posted by The Whelk on Jun 2, 2010 - 14 comments

Marwencol is a fantasy world created by Mark Hogancamp.

After being beaten into a brain-damaging coma by five men outside a bar, Mark Hogancamp built a 1/6th scale World War II-era town in his backyard. Mark populated the town he dubbed "Marwencol" with dolls representing his friends and family and created life-like photographs detailing the town's many relationships and dramas. Playing in the town and photographing the action helped Mark to recover his hand-eye coordination and deal with the psychic wounds from the attack. [more inside]
posted by dobbs on Mar 16, 2010 - 40 comments

'Favorite dolls may fade with time - our love for them never will.'

Doll Kind :: Dolls of the 20th Century - A Celebration in Pictures and Histories
posted by anastasiav on Nov 16, 2009 - 20 comments

Plastic surgery

Barbie has cankles? So says designer Christian Louboutin. (via)
posted by mrgrimm on Oct 15, 2009 - 68 comments

Magazines as Fabric

Artist/Designer Ilisha Helfman makes clothes for her custom made paper dolls every week from the cover of the New York Times Magazine.
posted by ocherdraco on Sep 16, 2009 - 9 comments

Аста ла виста, беби

Stalin's Secret Weapon - a Russian hobbyist's terminator-esque diorama painstakingly constructed from military action figures. (Via buzz
posted by madamjujujive on Jul 19, 2009 - 22 comments

Verminology

Verminology is a specimen garden of monsters and beasts of the most pestiferous and meddlesome sort, drawn by fingertip on iPhone, using Brushes app. New additions daily. Also be sure to check out Toadbriar for dolls, paintings, sculpture, and Faerie fun! From MeFi's own Lou Stuells. [via mefi projects].
posted by cjorgensen on Mar 15, 2009 - 8 comments

Cuddle 'n Coo 'n Proselytize

The Mattel toy company insists that their Little Mommy Cuddle 'n Coo dolls do not utter the phrase "Islam is the light." You be the judge.
posted by Knappster on Oct 24, 2008 - 75 comments

Dafne and Ofelia

Dafne and Ofelia - Dafne at the Prado, Dafne in Almeria, the pair outside. I believe their clothing to be largely handmade. The whole photostream is quite the labor of love.
posted by frecklefaerie on Sep 8, 2008 - 4 comments

Girl fight

Barbie vs Bratz: Mattel sues MGA, claiming the Bratz designs were created by a Mattel employee and smuggled to its rival.
posted by Artw on May 5, 2008 - 40 comments

Ich bin im Tod erblüht

What happens in the shadow, in the grey regions, also interests us – all that is elusive and fugitive, all that can be said in those beautiful half tones, or in whispers, in deep shade.
Here are some short films by Stephen and Timothy, the Brothers Quay. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Feb 3, 2008 - 13 comments

Life Readings the Barbie Way

Barbie Tarot.
posted by Orb on Jan 29, 2008 - 22 comments

"My Fake Baby"

"My Fake Baby" is a Channel 4 documentary exploring "the lives of women who spend hundreds of pounds on life-like baby dolls. Loved like real babies, they're taken for walks, cuddled and even have their nappies changed." Parts 2, 3, 4, 5.
posted by Avenger50 on Jan 6, 2008 - 68 comments

Guys and Dolls - uncanny love

Real Dolls and the men who love them - this 46 minute documentary explores the lives of four men and the relationships they have established with alternative partners in life. NSFW - doll nudity alert.
posted by madamjujujive on Jul 8, 2007 - 110 comments

Free to Be... You and Me

Free to Be... You and Me
posted by thirteenkiller on May 22, 2007 - 56 comments

Sunday fun

Sunday sillibiz: Snackimals, really fancy fashions for dogs, RubikCubism, hairstyle names from 1970s Ebony ad, burquas for men, fetish dollies [nsfw], Art Car Museum, the hideaway cosy, baby tiger cub sleeps and plays. [via]
posted by nickyskye on Feb 11, 2007 - 14 comments

all dolled up

Surreal Barbie and Ken jewelry art by Margaux Lange. Previously (but her work and site have evolved since then). While in China, voodoo dolls have been banned and immediately became a jewelry/accessory craze.
posted by nickyskye on Feb 6, 2007 - 20 comments

Hey Boys And Girls!

Gobler Toys: The Fun We Can't Remember. A fictional toy company with an online collection of toys, dolls and games that only exist in the inventors' imaginations. Don't miss the hilarious Star Wars Toys That Never Were. (flash animation)
posted by amyms on Jan 14, 2007 - 9 comments

An official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle, with a compass in the stock and 'this thing', which tells time"

The most dangerous toys of all time. Lawn darts? Check. Cabbage Patch Dolls that chewed off your fingers? Check. Working radioactive U-238 Atomic Energy Lab? Check. To spark more memories of holidays past, peruse the 10 weirdest toy ads of all time, and don't forget the Cheap Toy Roundup if you don't have enough cash. Or you could always get a Talking Jesus from Toys for Tots.
posted by blahblahblah on Dec 13, 2006 - 62 comments

Amamanta Family Dolls

Amamanta Family Dolls offers you a variety of multicultural and educational doll sets that are anatomically correct.
posted by Arcaz Ino on Dec 13, 2006 - 18 comments

Pynchon Paper Dolls

Thomas Pynchon Paper Dolls Something light because, yes, it's the run-up to the November 21st release of Against the Day, the new 1000 page doorstop from Thomas Pynchon. The Modern Word is using the time to update their already vast Pynchon site. Good luck. (A whole lot of other paper dolls previously.)
posted by OmieWise on Oct 27, 2006 - 37 comments

Just like me!

The Uncanny Valley of the Portrait Dolls Wouldn't your daughter like a doll that looks just like her? Wouldn't your son love to pal around with his very own clone? You can get it done in paper, felt, cloth, plastic, bobblehead, porcelain or magnets! For schoolgirls, toddlers, babies (preemies too!) and even fetuses. Don't worry Mom and Dad, you can get them too!
posted by Biblio on Apr 5, 2006 - 35 comments

Apparently there is an uncanny valley in Japan, too.

The tradition of making Japanese dolls, called ningyo—meaning human figure—goes back as far as 10,000 years to clay figures made during the Jomon period. The more recent rise in popularity, though, is most often traced to Hina Matsuri--Girls' Day, or the Doll Festival, celebrated on March 3--originating during the Edo period. These antique ningyo are highly sought after by collectors, such as the American expert Alan Pate, who has written a number of articles on the subject. The modern Japanese doll culture, however, is anything but traditional. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the ningyo tradition was exported to make toys for the West (previously featured on MeFi), and has culminated in popular Barbie-type dolls such as Superdollfie and others. Contemporary artists have transformed the Japanese doll tradition into something else entirely: Simon Yotsuya, Ryo Yoshida, Koitsukihime, Yoko Ueno, Mario A., Etsuko Miura, and Kai Akemi. A number of these artists were featured in the Dolls of Innocence exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. Of course, notable artists outside Japan have worked with dolls before, including Hans Bellmer, who inspired much of the artwork in Innocence, the follow-up to Ghost in the Shell. Explore more: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]. [Several links are nsfw.]
posted by monju_bosatsu on Mar 24, 2006 - 11 comments

Japanese Dolls in the West (1850-1940)

The "Jap Doll" -- Ningyô on the Western Toyshelf 1850-1940
posted by matteo on Feb 10, 2006 - 10 comments

Collect em' all...

"I would get a doll that cried or peed when you pressed its stomach, and think it was pretty lame. I'd be like, 'Mom, I don't want this. Can I return it for a camping set?'" With NSFW accessories? I guess a plain, old creepy doll is now out of the question as a gift?
posted by Rothko on Dec 1, 2005 - 37 comments

Sinister Dolls

Sinister Dolls: "They lived. They died. They were raised from the grave. Sinister Dolls were once ordinary dolls". More creepy art by the same artist. Happy Hallowe'en!
posted by biscotti on Oct 28, 2005 - 13 comments

Three Dimensional Messengers of Faith

Mary was just an ordinary girl, living an ordinary life - the type of life just about any girl of that time would lead. She had a normal family, and was engaged to be married to a humble carpenter named Joseph. And then she got a visit from the angel Gabriel and was transformed into a scripture-quoting action figure. (Don't forget to learn how to use).
posted by nobody on Oct 4, 2005 - 37 comments

angels with tude'

Is your child an angel with attitude? Time to win yourself some Angel Dollars. "Entries will be judged on facial beauty, expression & fashion, and overall appeal of photo. These should be professional pictures, but should not be extremely or overly retouched. (We are judging the child - not the retoucher!) Divisional Winners will receive 25.00 Angel Dollars, and 1 Overall Winner will receive 50.00 Angel Dollars."
posted by sharksandwich on Jul 9, 2005 - 66 comments

Barbie Deconstructed

Breast brooches and butt bracelets: Barbie bits as jewelry. More here.
posted by Orb on Jun 20, 2005 - 22 comments

The changing-clothes figure skating of new feeling

Pinky:st is VANCE PROJECT and BABYsue's series of cute girl figurines with interchangeable parts. This series has quite a large following, both in Japan (where they originate from) and overseas. In addition to the regular line-- and various limited editions-- there's Pinky:cos (cosplay Pinkies) and P:Chara (characters from video games and anime). Of course, if the look you want (or your favorite character) is unavailable, many hobbyists mod and repaint their Pinkies. And then there's the cool photoblogs...
posted by May Kasahara on Jun 19, 2005 - 3 comments

Down at the Dinghy

No sir! I didn't see you playing with your dolls, sir! [NSFW]
posted by kenko on Apr 19, 2005 - 22 comments

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