One thing hasn't changed at all--Marie's delight and enthusiasm for dolls. Her motto this year is "Expect The Unexpected," and indeed, that is what Marie told me that collectors could expect from her dolls and her company this year!
For instance, Marie was very excited abut her QVC special in March, which showcased very limited edition dolls. In this show, the dolls were in extremely small editions, all under 500 dolls each, and in some cases, editions of 100 or less. The most limited doll was " Marie at 3", limited to only 10 dolls worldwide! This doll was "costumed and named after my very first television appearance, when Andy Williams introduced me as the "youngest Osmond brother" on his national show. I sat on his lap and wore my first designer gown, created by Ret Turner." Each doll in this edition was hand-painted and crafted by renowned doll artist Emily Garthright (one of my favorites). This show was quite a departure for Marie, and very successful. I wouldn't be surprised to see more ultra-limited edition shows on QVC in the future.
Marie was also of course, very excited about her dolls. There really ARE many unexpected pieces in the line, and Marie delighted in pointing these out to me. One of the first groups of dolls she pointed out as being favorites were her new "Material Girls." Each doll is themed around a type of material--Nettie (tulle netting), Chenille (chenille theme, of course) and Lacey (in layers of lace). Material has played quite a big part in inspiring Marie's doll designs. "Fabrics have always inspired me," Marie said, "especially because I grew up surrounded by designers. Besides fabrics, Marie also claims to be inspired by "chocolate and late nights" as well as friendship with close female friend friend and business associate that she enjoys bouncing doll ideas off of during those late nights.
Marie was also thrilled to have her Bitty Beauty Bugs dolls "all in porcelain!" and she loves the Rag-A-Muffins, small Kissy-like dolls adorably displayed in muffin cups.
Other favorites? Emmaline, who Marie admits, as a child was her "imaginary friend" which she crated since "she was the only girl in a family of 9." Emmaline was sculpted by Karen Scott. Marie is pictured holding her namesake doll, Marie a very special doll for Marie since it is the final in her "Coming Up Roses" series. Also sculpted by Emily Garthright, Marie comes complete with her own garden bench. And then, there are the "Babies a Bloom," which Marie loves because of their huggable, touchable skin. The Babies have been reduced in size by 2" this year, which makes them even more huggable, especially for children.
Marie, once again, exhibited her boundless energy during our interview (I just don't know where she gets it from; her son had just returned from being a missionary in Taiwan for two years, and Marie had just gotten into town for Toy Fair when we spoke). I had also just gotten into town, and Marie certainly was running circles around me!
Some of the unexpected things that I was thrilled about from Marie Osmond dolls included the spectacular doll catalog for 2005 (leaps and bounds above prior catalogs, this catalog showcases Marie's dolls beautifully, with information on doll artists included). I was also thrilled to see more sculpts from Emily Garthright in the line. Another surprise was the porcelain, licensed Strawberry Shortcake. Even the Kewpies surprised me--I loved the large, vintage feel Kewpie and Doodledog.
Marie's natural sweetness also shone through the interview--she told me she appreciated all the doll information that we have here at About.com, and she even wanted to give me a "special doll" as a thank you. Of course, I couldn't accept the doll due to my duties here on the site, but such thoughtfulness is surprising, and yes, unexpected, in a celebrity of Marie's stature. I think that collectors and fans can always expect the unexpected from Marie Osmond and Marie Osmond Dolls!