DOLLS THIS WEEK--JUNE 21, 1999
THE TARZAN DOLL: INNOCENT APE MAN, OR REAL
A real storm of controversy surrounds the "Rad' Repeatin' Tarzan Doll" produced by Mattel, Inc., in a tie-in for the new Disney animated "Tarzan" movie.
In response to widely-held discussions on Internet chat-rooms since the doll was released in stores about 3 weeks ago, Mattel has decided to change the packaging of the Tarzan doll because the doll has a spring-loaded arm that can be pumped up and down quickly from Tarzan's chest to below his loin cloth, while the doll makes a jungle yell. Lets just say that certain adults have pointed out that the doll seems to be making hand gestures that are sexually suggestive (and that, perhaps, Tarzan is a bit lonely for Jane).
Mattel is NOT recalling the doll, and is only changing the packaging, so that the doll cannot be made to make the gesture before purchase. Mattel has not received any complaints about the doll, and in an interview with the Associated Press, Mattel spokeswoman Sara Rosales said that "I think this is where adults look at things through a different set of eyes. Kids have a much more innocent concept."
The doll sells for $19.95, is 12" tall, and it also can record voices and have them played back to the child. The doll comes with several accessories, and is part of a collection of 8 toys including several animals featured in the movie.
Should you give this doll to your child? Honestly, this mom would--I agree with Sara Rosales, and think that a young child would never "see" the meaning the adults have ascribed to the hand action (although if the child is playing with the doll in the same room that the parents are, mom or dad might have to explain to the child why they are laughing uproariously....)
BARBIE: ARE TATTOOS AND NOSE RINGS PART OF HER
In another doll controversy this week, Butterfly Art Barbie will NOT be recalled, or repackaged to lose her tattoos. Several parents have complained about the doll, which comes with stick-on tattoos (so the child can play tattoo-parlor at home...). However, the complaints have convinced Mattel to change the plans for the Generation Girl Barbie dolls which were initially planned to include not only tattoos, but also nose rings.
Don't you long for the days when the biggest Barbie controversy was why Midge couldn't get a date?
UPCOMING DOLL EVENTS
Joe and Marl Fashion Doll Show, Cleveland, Ohio
Featuring Barbie, Gene, etc; both Vintage Barbie and new. Westlake holiday Inn, 10am to 3pm
At the Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys, 1880 Gaylord Street
D.A.G. Oneonta New York Doll Show and
Festival, July 15-17
Yearly convention of the Doll Artisan Guild
DOLL EVENT REVIEWS: Have you recently attended a doll show, class, auction, or other doll event? Have your report or review of the event appear in "Dolls This Week!." Just e-mail your report to me at firstname.lastname@example.org; you will be credited for the report, you will have my undying gratitude (since I can't attend them all!), and your web site link (if you have one) will appear as well.
MILLERS FASHION DOLL: July issue. Tyler Wentworth, and Somers and Field; the new fashion dolls; also well-researched articles on vintage PAK Barbie items and Sindy in the 1960s from England.
DOLL ARTISAN: July issue. Includes articles on increasing the value of your reproduction dolls, how to make Bebe Gourmand, and how to make the JDK 221 Googly
ANTIQUE DOLL COLLECTOR: July issue. An excellent article on English poured waxes, plus part 3 of the Huret series; also an article about an original-owner Bluette from Australia.