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The Coolest Dolls in the World

by Anastasia


Photo by Ro / wererabbit

Barbie

Barbie is a doll that recently celebrated her 50th anniversary. She’s a real fashionista with a lifestyle that became a trend! The first Barbie was made in 1959 and gained enormous popularity ever since. That doll is known all over the word and probably the only doll that has so many different types. The look of Barbie dolls was changed over the years starting with the color of the hair and her skin to the millimeters of her waist and breasts. Until the late 90s Barbie had a super-model-like figure, but numerous complaints about it giving an unrealistic idea to girls of healthy body proportions led to changes to her figure. Her waist got wider and breasts were reduced. But that was not the first (though the most common) and guaranteed not the last complaint. Though Mattel (the toy company that produces Barbie dolls) has also started numerous law suits, the most famous are against Nissan who used Barbie lookalike dolls in one of their commercials and a suit against the Danish pop-group Aqua who released a song called “Barbie girl” in 1997.

The Barbie wardrobe is another topic altogether. Even the world’s top designers were creating clothes for Barbie. In 2009, during Barbie’s 50th birthday celebration a runway show was held in New York for the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Fifty well-known haute couturiers including Diane von Fürstenberg, Vera Wang, Calvin Klein, Bob Mackie, and Christian Louboutin were showcasing their styles for Barbie dolls. That doll still remains one of the most popular one with over a billion copies sold. And young ladies continue to play in a happy pink American dream via a Barbie world.

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Photo by Cade

Bratz

Bratz are the first dolls that were able to compete with the popularity of Barbie. Though Mattel maintained the leading brand by selling dolls and accessories, 2005 figures showed that sales of Barbie dolls had fallen by 30% in the United States, and by18% worldwide. And much of the drop was being attributed to the popularity of Bratz dolls. Of course the Bratz could not appear on the market quietly. Mattel sued MGA Entertainment for $500 million, alleging that the creator of Bratz — Carter Bryant — was working for Mattel at the time he created the look of the Bratz dolls. After several months the courts decided that MGA was to pay Mattel only US $100 million in damages, citing that only the first generation of Bratz had infringed on Mattel property and that MGA had evolved the product significantly enough to be considered a totally different product.

But about the dolls themselv, Bratz are 4 girls – Jade, Yasmin, Sasha and Cloe. According to their story they are the most typical teenagers. The 4 girls/dolls are all about fashion, music and fun at the same with respect to their duties and families. Bratz dolls have a huge collection of clothes and shoes as well. But what makes them stand out is their appearance: bright make up on the doll faces, huge almond-shaped eyes, large heads, and skinny bodies.

Photo by callme_crochet

Photo by callme_crochet

Photo by BratzLuv!®

Photo by callme_crochet

Photo by callme_crochet

Photo by Nina`H

Mooqla dolls

Mooqla dolls are very unusual dolls created by a Russian designer, Polina Voloshina. The dolls are made out of silicone and plastic. The clothes and accessories are also made by Polina’s team. What makes the dolls differ from the rest are their faces: they do not have typical doll faces — they look like ladies with exotic and edgy faces, but at the same time very sexy ones. Each has its unique style and attitude. That is another distinguishing aspect of Mooqlas — each doll has it own story. The only similar part from one to the next is that they are daughters of very rich people, usually politicians, and were sent to study in a very expensive private school. Each story has mystical parts. One girl prefers to stay alone and talk to herself (or not to herself?), one adores guns, another wears only cosmic clothes, and so on.

What also brings attention to Mooqla is how they are presented: for each Mooqla girl there was a professional photo session and they really do not look like dolls there.

These dolls are not made for kids. The customers of Mooqla brand are mostly women from 20 to 35. And to tell you the truth mostly not even middle class ones. The dolls are pretty expensive: $350-$500 per doll. But the price is reasonable for the idea and its fulfillment.

Photos from http://mooqla.com/

Matryoshka

Matryoshka is another Russian handcrafted doll, but with a surprising filling. It is also know as a Babushka doll or Nesting doll, though the name Matryoshka is probably one of the few Russian words that every foreigner understands. That doll is the most popular of all Russian souvenirs.

The Matryoshka is a wooden doll without any concrete parts of its body – it has no hand or legs – the head smoothly turns into the body that only gives an illusion of the body. It’s usually dressed in a brightly colored dress. The more traditional dolls were dressed in a Russian native costume with a scarf on the head. And the secret of the Matryoshka is that if you pull it apart there will be another doll inside with another inside and so on. The number of the dolls inside varies from 5 to 12, but that is not the limit. The traditional Martyoshka dolls are all totally the same inside. But nowadays they are mostly done to be different from the top one. And the design of the dolls is starting to vary. The shape is the same, but it is not only a Russian woman anymore, sometimes not even a human. You can see presidents, dictators, cartoon characters, Star Wars robots, or couture models. As for the last one, the Matryoshka is often used as a print or the idea for couture collections and due to the 10th anniversary of the Russian Vogue Martyoshka had a chance to try on unique clothes from the world’s top designers like Prada, Marc Jacobs, Kenzo, Burberry, Yves Saint Laurent, Sonya Rykiel, and others.

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Ugly Dolls

Ugly dolls is a collection of design plush toys. They were created by 2 designers — David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim. The history of their creation is really romantic. David and Sun-Min were dating and when she had to return to Korea for some time he was sending her short “I miss her letters” signed with his newly created character Wage. Sun-Min decided to make a present for her future husband and sewed a plush version of Wage and sent it to David. He showed it to his friends and it was a hit! So Sun-min sewed several more, and more.

The first Ugly dolls were sold out in one day at the Giant Robot store in Los Angeles. And so the mass production began.

Now there are over 20 characters and not only plush ones. The little cute “uglies” became really popular with kids and the grownups as well, and can bring a lot of true joy even by using them as a small part of your décor.

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Photo by mwboeckmann

Photo by Cayusa

 

Photo by mwboeckmann

Photo by mwboeckmann

Porcelain Dolls

Porcelain dolls are generally dolls for grown ups. No, of course they were made for children and were greatly loved by little girls originally. But nowadays the huge interest in these dolls is mostly from the side of collectors. They truly love the dolls and accept their porcelain dolls as a part of the family.

All dolls created before approximately 1930 are considered antique. There are many factors that affect the value of porcelain dolls. The condition of the porcelain dolls will most certainly determine their value. The porcelain dolls face should be bright, with even coloring on the doll body. The first thing to remember is that they were played with, dressed and redressed, bodies sometimes worn out, patched and replaced. Stained or significantly worn porcelain dolls or dolls not presented in the original costume would be less valuable and generally less desirable.Many books, guides and specialized porcelain doll magazines provide information about manufacturers, trademarks, and model numbers and include size charts to assist in identifying your collectible dolls.

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Photo by Irina Souiki

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Bobblehead Dolls

Bobblehead dolls – also known as nodders or wobblers – are the classic collectibles. They are thought to date back at least 150 years. Its head is often oversized compared to its body. Instead of a solid connection, its head is connected to the body by a spring in such a way that a light tap will cause the head to bobble.

Bobble head dolls were first believed to be referenced in 1842 in the short story “The Overcoat” by writer Nikolai Gogol. The story is also known as “The Cloak” and has been adapted to film and stage. The main character’s neck was described in that story as “like the necks of plaster cats which wag their heads”.
In the 1920s, a New York Knicks basketball player bobblehead was produced, and this created a renewed interest in the collectible. However, by the 1930s, interest had again waned, and from that point until the 1950s they were only produced in very limited numbers as novelty items. The modern bobblehead appeared in the 1950s.You can find cartoon characters, sport or movie stars or just animals. A lot of drivers put a bobblehead doll in the car. And now we can also enjoy the bobbles on solar batteries. Such smiley heads raise your mood every time the sun reaches the figure.

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American Girl Dolls

American Girl dolls are a line of dolls and accessories that represent a special place and time in American history. Each doll has a series of historically accurate books written about them. The Historical Characters were initially the main focus of Pleasant Company that produces the dolls. The dolls are to teach aspects of American history through the book series from the perspective of a nine year old girl living in that time period (the dolls are made to look like a 9-11 yeas old girl). Although the books are written for pre-teen girls, they endeavor to cover significant topics such as child labor, racism, alcoholism, war, and many more social issues. The first 3 dolls were Molly, Kirsten and Samantha. And later about 15 characters were created that differed by skin, eyes, and hair color. Though the dolls are not inexpensive ones, many families save up in order to purchase an American Girl doll and her clothing and accessories, or doting grandmothers often buy a little girl her first doll for a birthday or special holiday such as Christmas. The dolls gained vast popularity; they are collected and played with by little girls and their moms!

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Photo by 2Eklectik

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Voodoo Dolls

Voodoo is a powerful mystical practice that takes its origin from Africa. Voodoo means “Spirit of God.” The use of Voodoo dolls is not done to control others, but to focus one’s energy into positive and constructive ways and for magic. It started spreading from the African continent to other parts of the world during the centuries of slavery and a growing interest in traveling.

Voodoo is not a form of the Black Arts. When a large number of people in Africa contracted an infectious disease, the healers were called upon and had to treat people without touching them. At that time, spells were chanted into the Voodoo dolls which were used to dispel the sickness. The Voodoo doll is used to represent the spirit of a specific person. You can address the doll, requesting a change in attitude, influencing the person to act in accordance with your desires.

Most practitioners of Voodoo typically do not use pins in Voodoo dolls and when pins are used, they are used as focusing tools for healing and other positive purposes. And each color of the pin means a different emotion or a feeling:

• Red | Power
• Yellow | Money
• Green | Tranquility
• Blue | Love
• Purple | Spirituality
• Black | Pain/Relief/Healing/ Repelling negativity
• White | Positive Energy/ Good Karma
• Pink = Death

And nowadays Voodoo dolls are mostly used for fun, to scare your boyfriend or just as a cute key-chain.

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Photo by elasticcamel

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Paper dolls

Paper dolls are dolls that are cut out of paper. The doll itself is just a figure that is dressed in underwear. The clothes are usually held onto the dolls with folding tabs. The doll, with several outfit options, is placed on one sheet of paper and can be easily cut out with scissors. Basically the paper doll has been the most inexpensive toy for over 2 hundred years. In Europe, particularly France, the first paper dolls were made during the mid 1700s. They were intended to entertain adults and spread throughout high society.

In America paper dolls were more valued for fun. Paper was an expensive resource and was rarely wasted on fun. So if a kid could get a paper doll he/she would have treasured it between book pages or in a “safe-box.” Only later when paper became less of a luxury due to the invention of the mechanical grinding machines, were dolls mass produced and available for all kids.

Vintage paper dolls were hand painted. In America, Civil War widows often earned money by embellishing the printed paper dolls.

Paper dolls have regained popularity with young children featuring popular characters and celebrities.

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4 comments

Samantha April 29, 2010 - 8:59 pm

My very first doll was a bobblehead – Dad was expecting a boy. I have had many, many dolls throughout the years, but I have never had a voodoo doll. I have always fantasized about making one:P

Reply
Alex October 11, 2010 - 5:34 pm

Has anyone eard of these paper cut out dolls that flap up and down that have flat in the name? Some friends from australia has heard in them and was wondering if anyone else had heard of them? We are pretty sure they are called flap jacks but are not quite sure.

Reply
Julie Conway October 19, 2012 - 8:10 am

where I am from Flap Jacks are pancakes. isnt it funny how people call things differently, cheers

Reply
Peter June 28, 2011 - 6:34 pm

What about Tonner dolls? I think they are great.

Reply

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