Thursday, July 17, 2014

Living Dolls Week:Doll-A-Day 182: The Pillsbury Doughboy's Uncle Rollie

  This week we're looking at 'living dolls',characters in movies, TV, and other media, 'portrayed' by 'living dolls' like The Pillsbury Doughboy.(His real name is actually Poppin Fresh.)

These days Doughboy is created using CGI, (computer generated imagery), but back in his early days he was portrayed by  a puppet, using stop motion animation.

Doughboy in his first commercial,back in 1965. He has since appeared in over 600 commercials for 50 different Pillsbury products.

This original Doughboy stop motion figure sold online for $600. Not really that expensive for an American advertising icon. He looks like he must have been the puppet used for getting the belly poke.The original clay Doughboy figure for stop motion commercials cost $16 to make.
 The Pillsbury Doughboy ad campaign was conceived by Rudy Perz, and the original drawing was by Martin Nodell, the creator of the Green Lantern.Pretty weird, huh? The original voice of the Doughboy was by Paul Frees, who was also the voice of many cartoon characters, including Boris Badenov in the Bullwinkle cartoons.He was also the Little Green Sprout in the Green Giant commercials, and the Ghost Host at Disneyland's Haunted Mansion attraction. He also dubbed in a lot of Tony Curtis's 'female' voice in "Some Like it Hot"...
You don't say?

...and Humphrey Bogart's voice (which was weak from his esophageal cancer and could barely be heard in many scenes) in Bogart's last movie, "The Harder They fall". Pretty versatile guy.
   I always wanted a live Doughboy. Alas, the closest I could come was the rubber toy, which I found available in bins at the grocery store when I was a kid. I begged my mom to get me one. She refused. I don't know. Maybe they were only available if you bought Pillsbury biscuits. In our house we only ever had homemade biscuits. (When we went to my Dad's stepmother's house they were so exotic: They ate canned biscuits, which in the 60's were tiny little things that you could peel and eat layer by paper thin layer. I loved them. I loved Mom's too, but the canned ones were something special since we never got them any other time. These days I prefer homemade biscuits, and we bake them in the same pan my Mom always made biscuits in.)
   Doughboy is so well known he's been parodied and even had other characters based on him. (Who didn't realize that the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from "Ghostbusters" was a take off on the Doughboy? "Something from my childhood that could never hurt us.")
Maybe crossed with The Michelin man.
   I still love the Doughboy though, and I have made up for that childhood loss. My first Doughboy was one of the originals that I saw a bin full of when I was a kid. I found him at a porch sale years ago.

Like this guy.

  After that I added the more recent Doughboy. (And remember, I'm old, so when I say 'recent' I mean sometime in the last 20 years...)

You can tell the old from the new by the eyes and Pillsbury symbol on the hat. Old Doughboy has much lighter blue eyes and symbol than New Doughboy.
  Then came a keychain, a fridge magnet,a cookie jar, a giggling Doughboy doll,a beanie, a tiny beanie...Well, you get the idea. I didn't remember him having a family, but apparently in 1974 they made loads of characters, including his... sister? wife?... Poppie Fresh (It's up for debate, but I think she's his sister.)...

Poppie. Got her doll too.
 ...his little brother Popper, his little sister Bun Bun,and his grandparents, (Or are they his parents?), Grand Popper and Grand Mommer. They even had a dog(Flapjack) and a cat,(Biscuit),who were also dough blobs, of course.There was also the extremely rare Uncle Rollie, who is our doll today.

I found him at the bottom of a box at a yard sale. I hadn't ever heard of him, but he was obviously a Doughboy relative. I didn't realize how rare he was since I had never heard of him. I also didn't know Uncle Rollie came with a blue car, so I wasn't even looking for his car.Afterward I went home and looked him up to see who he was, and found out about the car. So  I went back to see if they had the car. No such luck.The car had a rumble seat you could put one of the other finger puppet dolls in.(Doughboy, the little brother and  sister, etc.)

He's not in the best shape, but as rare as he is, who's going to complain?

He's pretty small, at only 3 3/4" tall.

So, with all that, I still haven't gotten a live Doughboy.

 He's not even real anymore, let alone alive. He's all CGI and it's just not the same.

However, that pig from the Geico commercials...

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