Friday, October 31, 2014

Doll-A-Day 279: Happy Halloween! It's The Bride of Frankenstein

  Happy Halloween! This is the first Halloween in 22 years that I haven't taken kids out Trick or Treating. Ivy will be 15 next week, and actually debated going one more time this year, since she has friends a year younger who are going this year. In the end she decided not to, partially because she was so unsure if she was going to Trick or Treat or just hand out candy, and has been so busy with play practice, (In ordinary places they would refer to it as 'rehearsal'.), for Les Miserables, that we didn't get a costume made. It also didn't encourage her to go, with rain falling and the temperature a cold 41 degrees.So I've got a droopy almost 15 year old who won't come out from under a blanket to even talk.
  Today's doll is a character from a great movie to snuggle down and watch tonight,The Bride of Frankenstein.

She's a soft doll that was sold a few years ago by CVS.She's an official Universal Studios Bride of Frankenstein, made by Stuffins.

She's ok, but she doesn't look a thing like Elsa Lanchester, who played The Bride in the 1935 movie.

They always make The Bride with black hair with white streaks, when actually, I'm pretty sure that was Elsa Lanchester's own hair with an applied white streak. Her hair was red.

Donald Crisp and Elsa Lanchester as the original 'Lassie' parents,in the first Lassie film, "Lassie Come Home", in 1943. Later in her career Elsa specialized in playing somebody's mom, or wacky old ladies, sometimes at the same time,as in "Willard" in 1971. Her son,(In the movie, that is!), secretly owned a basement full of rats he ended up using to kill his boss. Now there's another movie that would be good on Halloween...
 Actually, 'Frankenstein' was the name of the doctor who created The Monster, so technically,she is The Bride of Frankenstein's Monster. I guess even Universal got tired of the length of The Monster's name, because even they started just calling him 'Frankenstein'.
  The novel "Frankenstein" was written by Mary Shelley, at the time mistress, and later wife, of poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, It was published when she was only 21 years old, in 1818.

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
The book came about when the Shelleys were house guests of poet Lord Byron at his house in Switzerland in 1816. After reading from Fantasmagoria, a French collection of German horror stories, Lord Byron proposed that they should all attempt to write horror stories of their own. Mary's creation was "Frankenstein: or A Modern Prometheus". Another guest that night who published his own story of horror was Lord Byron's doctor,John Polidori, who penned the short story The Vampyre, considered the first modern vampire story.Rumours were that the story was actually written by Lord Byron because it used a character from an abandoned story that was Byron's attempt at the challenge from that night, and Byron wrote the introduction to Polidori's book. Both Byron and Polidori claimed the book was Polidori's own work. 
  There have been many intellectual articles written on the subject of 'Why Do We Enjoy Being Scared?' I think the answer is simple really. The fun of being scared derives from the thrill, the adrenaline rush that accompanies fear. It's fun to be scared, especially from the comfort of our own homes or a familiar movie theatre, where we know it's all pretend. As kids, my sister and I would watch scary movies on tv, old classics like the Bela Lugosi version of "Dracula" or "The Wolfman", with Lon Chaney Jr.'s tippy toed werewolf. We watched the even more scary Hammer "Dracula" movies, starring Christopher Lee, and got a daily fix of fright from the Gothic soap opera "Dark Shadows", where 'Chris Jennings' transformation into a werewolf as he sat handcuffed to a radiator sent me hiding behind the recliner. I always found vampires the most frightening of monsters, and spent many sweltering summer nights with the covers pulled up to my chin so my neck wasn't readily available.And yet, I did it all over again the next time a 'scary movie' was on. (We watched "Shock Theatre", hosted by Doctor Creep, every Friday night!)
   I do think recent movies have gone beyond 'scary' to truly disgusting. There's a difference between tantalizingly scary and the actually possible, horrifying situations presented in modern 'horror' movies. What can't be seen can be far more terrifying than watching somebody be chain sawed. I also think movies with such realistic violence desensitize people to real violence.And that's really scary.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween Photostories

  Just to remind everyone to check out the photostories I did for last Halloween HERE and HERE. I wanted to do one for this Halloween, but as usual I ran out of time. Happy Halloween!

Doll-A-Day 278: Little Church Lady by June Goodnow

  Today's doll is one I got in an auction lot recently. She's the Little Church Lady.

She's by doll artist June Goodnow.

'Artist' is the appropriate word here. This doll has an amazing face.

Every little wrinkle is perfectly sculpted.

I love the expression on her face.

Her little mouth is perfect.

Her white hair is whispy and soft.
She has a little bible and a hanky.
In some ways she reminds me very much of my Mammaw...

She's about 11" tall.

As realistic as she is in many ways, her feet are a bit cartoonish.(I guess that chest is too, but it's also realistic!)

June Goodnow was a Niada doll artist who began making dolls in 1972. She passed away in 2010.

Tomorrow we'll look at another doll,(of course.) See you then.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Doll-A-Day 277: Mystery Girls: This one's for you Night Owl!

  I recently mentioned a doll I was trying to identify, and promised one of our followers, Night Owl, that I would post some pictures. I decided to use the mystery doll as the doll for today. Night Owl, if you recognize her, let me know. Anybody else is welcome to give us some information too, of course! I have also thrown in another mystery doll I've had laying around. She's another that I don't recognize,and maybe someone else will know who she is.Here they are.

Here's the first girl.

She has non bending arms and legs, and she's about 13" tall.
She was made by Kenner in 1990.

She has empty plug holes in her head.

BIG holes.

 I have an extra head from the exact same doll, so we can see what the actual plugs looks like.

Once the plugs are in place the hair looks very full, in spite of  them being so far apart.

It's doing that sideways thing again.

It looks like the plugs would be removable so I could switch the plugs from bodyless girl to girl with a body. They are really tight in her head though, and don't seem like they will pull out.
Maybe I could just switch the heads?
 She has painted on shoes with a molded in detail. The same molded in design is on her undies.

I don't really want this doll, but I hate to just throw her away. I have a really hard time doing that. I always feel like someone somewhere would want anything if it's still usable at all,and I hate to be wasteful.If I could switch the hair, there would at least be one doll who could find a new home.
 Here's the other girl.

She was made by Hasbro in 1982.

She reminds me of Morgan Fairchild.

Ahh! Big 80's hair!

She has weird slits in her torso, arms, and legs that seem to be for tucking fabric into so you can design outfits for her with fabric bits.
Her body has slits down the sides and that pink fabric is tucked into them.

What the heck?! Now we're doing UP SIDE DOWN TOO?!

Poor girl has a broken arm.And I think her dress is on backwards. Maybe she tried to put it on BY COMPUTER!!

She's slightly taller than the first girl, and she's kind of curved. I don't want her either, and she's broken, but I'm curious. Also, it would be good to know for future reference.
  Tomorrow's another doll. See you then.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Doll-A-Day 276: Meygana Broomstix

  Here it is nearly Halloween, and I haven't done anything even remotely spooky or creepy. Today's doll isn't exactly either of those, but she is a witch, so she fits the Halloween mood. She's Meygana Broomstix.

Meygana Broomstix is part of the Bratzillaz line, an offshoot of Bratz, which, I think, was meant to compete with Monster High.

This is her box...

...and the back of her box, showing the whole line.

I have to say, I never liked Bratz dolls, and my kids were never allowed to have any because I think they look too sleazy.I like the Bratzillaz Meygana though. Since she's not quite as realistic looking she doesn't come off quite as sleazy as a regular Bratz.

Her skirt is still a bit short though!
She comes with a furry purse, hat,dress, capelet,footless thigh high stockings, a brush that looks like a broom,glasses, and high heeled witchy shoes.

Very Hogwarts inspired.

She has some of the traits that I've mentioned before that I like in a doll,like teeth...


...and red hair.
There's a black streak in her left braid...

and down the back of her head.

Plus she's articulated, which means she can be posed in lots of cool ways, so that's fun.

She has joints at the neck,waist, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips,and knees.

Her hat has some mud and water droplets because she fell in the rain.

She holds a pose pretty well.

Amazingly enough, it was possible to get her balanced well enough on those huge heels to stand on her own.

She did fall in the wind though, so in some of these pictures she has wet spots on her hat and hair.

The Bratzillaz line mostly have inset eyes, which are beautiful.

Her glasses are a little cloudy because they are made of one solid piece of hard plastic with painted frames. The plastic is a bit thick, so her glasses come off like she's just come in from the cold.

Which is really a shame since she has such amazing eyes.

They're sparkly.

This one has painted eyes... does the only one neither Ivy nor I have, and that's the Basic Meygana doll.
I think I have all of the Meygana's except for two, and Ivy has one of those.

It's the only Bratz type doll she has except for a red haired Genie. She's the Midnight Beach Meygana, and she glows in the dark! I want one too. Of course Ivy can't find her right now. Figures.

See you tomorrow for another doll.