The creative team at Madame Alexander has outdone themselves this year. Since hitting a rough spot in the 1980s and early 1990s, Madame Alexander has been roaring back ever since. Thanks to incredible detail in costuming, relevant themes, and a willingness to listen to their collectors, the 2004 line of dolls is stronger than ever. From fashion dolls to new Wendys, from baby dolls to licensed product, there is something for every collector this year. Here are my top picks from 2004 Toy Fair.
The new Basic Alex, Mod Alex, has so much going for her this year. Alexandra Fairchild Ford now has a smaller head sculpt. This is something the collectors have been asking for, and now Alex is much more beautifully scaled. Her body-suit outfit is perfect to show off her extreme poseability. And, her hair is thick and nicely rooted. Plus a huge bonus--the price of the basic doll is now only $69.99--a $30 decrease from last year's basic Alex. Also look for Mod Paris, Jadde and Sofia.
Total Moves Wendy isn't just one doll in the Madame Alexander line--There are several dolls in the 2004 line that have the new Total Moves body. This is truly revolutionary for Wendy, a doll that celebrated her 50 year anniversary last year, all the time with only bending knees. Now, Wendy also bends at her hips and elbows (plus the usual knees, neck, shoulders and hips). Ten points of articulation for great posing. Argyle Twist, Plie and Figure 8, among others, have the new body.
Its hard to pick out one outstanding Wendy doll this year because there are so many Wendys with great themes and costuming. However, my vote goes to Raining Cats and Dogs. This doll comes dressed in a sweet blue and yellow rain outfit, with a poseable Danger The Dog in a matching outfit (complete with boots!) and Mischief the Cat in a rain hat. The three together are absolutely adorable. Did I mention that Wendy also has freckles?
So many manufacturers have tried and failed to produce a decent Harry Potter figure or doll. I think that the new 10" Harry Potter, Ron, and Hermione dolls have a chance to finally be a doll that people will enjoy and accept. The dolls are made for play and they come in window packaging. They have nice hair, and actually look like the characters (well...maybe Hermione doesn't...). They also have nice quality clothing, including their school robes. A must for Harry Potter fans.
This is the first modern molded felt doll for Madame Alexander. Done in a 12 inch size, the doll is charming (although, I'm not sure it really looks like Wendy!). The doll has a hand-painted face and a mohair wig, giving it a somewhat vintage feel. She comes in the delightful (and sturdy!) Classic Collectible box.
Wooden Wendy was such a hit late year that Madame Alexander has two wooden dolls in the line. Besides a second Wendy Woodkin, Edith the Lonely Doll has been done in wood. A classic character from literature, Edith is done here in her traditional gingham dress and with her bear companion, and she lends herself beautifully to a jointed wood doll. She is limited to 750 pieces and she is available only from Platinum Madame Alexander dealers.
Its hard to beat the melding of two classic collectibles. This set has a Wendy dressed in a bear theme,, with a carry-all and a tiny Muffy bear, plus a full-sized Muffy bear. Doll and bear are dressed in complementary outfits, and the whole effect is sweet fun.
Finally, a true Asian sculpt of Wendy! Setting Sail is actually just one of several dolls in the 2004 line which features this new Wendy face. Other dolls with the new Asian-sculpt include Aloha!
I couldn't resist this doll. Wendy as Santa, plus goodies galore. With our Santa-fied Wendy, you also get a mini-Madame Alexander doll dressed as an elf, a reindeer, a teddy bear, a sack, a mini-Madame Alexander doll and a toy train. All for $129!
10) Mary Poppins Set
OK, I'll admit it--I adore Mary Poppins dolls, ever since I received a Horsman Mary Poppins doll gift set as a child in the 1960s. Its been awhile since there's been a fine Mary Poppins doll on the market, and this doll set fits the bill. You get a 10" Cissette-face Mary Poppins in a perfect Mary Poppins outfit complete with umbrella, scarf and carpet bag. You also get 5" dolls as Jane and Michael Banks! A must-have.