International Dolls: Around the World
Madame Alexander has done a series of International themed dolls, using their classic 8" Wendy doll, since the 1950s. This year, the International Collection has a bit of something for everyone, although the collection is weighed a bit towards the long time collector with many countries in their collection. For instance, Antigua, Vietnam, Finland and Ethiopia are some of the new dolls, and they aren't ones generally chosen by new collectors. That said, there are a few holdovers from last year including Russia and Poland. However, some of the most commonly requested countries including Italy, Mexico, France and England are nowhere to be seen this year. There is an April in Paris, but she is not part of the traditional series of International dolls which showcase a regional or ethnic costume (bit of trivia--the pants on April in Paris have a nearly identical fabric to the Tyler Wentworth boutique Flower Power pants). In any event, the dolls are nicely presented and are well costumed (I love the serious Viking look of the Finland doll and the traditional Vietnam and Turkey costumes.
Licensed Dolls--Curious George, Hello Kitty, Red Hat Society
Madame Alexander doll continues to present licensed dolls from such well known companies as Disney. New to the line up this year are Wendy Loves Curious George as part of the Hollywood collection (a new live action movie will be released this February), Charlotte's Web (a new holiday movie for 2006), and two Asian themed Hello Kitty dolls, dressed in kimono-style outfits and carrying a sweet Hello Kitty miniature plush Kitty. Also new is a collection in conjunction with the American ballet Theater. Returning licenses include the wonderful Wizard of Oz line, Gone With the Wind, and the Red Hat Society.
Fashion Dolls: Alexandra Fairchild Ford, Coquette Cissy
Finally, there are the Coquette Cissy (10" Cissy) and 16" Alexander Fairchild Ford lines of fashion dolls. The Coquette Cissy dolls are a fun hand-held size, and they sport a new bent elbow body this year. Editions are generally 500 to 750 piece each. My favorites are the Rose Shimmer Coquette dome in a lavish pink gown and some of the cute separate fashions including the Caual Cool and the blue Summer Breeze evening dress. As for the Alex line, there is a new Sienna Evans doll (reminds me a bit of Sieena Miller). The oufits are a bit of a disappointment this year after last year's stunning gowns. The line is very limited this year with most dolls linited to only 300 pieces.