Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Doll-A-Day 2019 # 15: Mary Poppins Week: Jane and Michael Banks

  We continue our series on Mary Poppins dolls this week with the youngest characters from the original Mary Poppins movie,Jane and Michael Banks.

The boxed dolls are mine, and the loose dolls are Emma's. This means that we get to see them both ways.

Jane and Michael were sold in 2007,in the same series with the amazing Dick Van Dyke 'Bert' doll,and the Julie Andrews sculpt Mary Poppins.

Although the Bert and Mary dolls were sculpted to look like stars Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews, Jane and Michael did not get new sculpts of the actors who played the characters in the film.

And unlike 'Bert' and 'Mary',who are labelled on the box just that way,even though the dolls were sculpted in the likenesses of real people,'Jane' and 'Michael' are labelled as 'Jane and Michael Stacie doll and Todd Doll',and described on the back of the box as 'Stacie Doll and Todd Doll celebrate a favorite classic film,dressed in recreations of ensembles worn in the iconic carousel scene'.

In spite of the box saying they are 'Stacie' and 'Todd', Todd actually had a his own head sculpt.


Jane and Michael were both made from the Stacie sculpt.


  Stacie is Barbie's sister. She's still being made, but is now taller and uses a different head sculpt. Jane and Michael use the Stacie sculpt that was used from 1992 to about 2008.

  They have the same articulation as Stacie too. They are jointed at the shoulders,hips,and neck. Their heads can tilt sideways and up and down a bit.

Their arms can move out to the sides as well as up and down.

Their legs,however,can only move back and forth. They do have click bend knees though.

All the dolls in the series were depictions of the characters from the part of the movie where they jump into one of 'Bert's' chalk drawings and end up in an animated world,where they race on carousel horses. The dolls were all packaged riding cartoon carousel horses.

It would have been great if they had come on three dimensional horses, but alas,these are only thin cardboard.
It looks a little different from the side!
Jane and Michael are about 8" tall.

Their costumes are fairy movie accurate.

  As we saw yesterday, these dolls weren't the first depictions of Jane and Michael in doll form. In the 1960's Horsman produced dolls of Jane and Michael.


In the original "Mary Poppins" movie 'Jane' was played by Karen Dotrice.


Karen was born into an acting family. Her father was Roy Dotrice,a well known actor whose last appearance was in 'Game of Thrones'.


Her mother was Kay Dotrice,an actress known for her stage work,as well as TV and movies. Even Karen's siblings are actors. Her sister Michele Dotrice is a busy working actor today,and her sister Yvette was active mainly in the 70's and 80's.
  Karen herself appeared in three Disney films. The year before 'Mary Poppins' she appeared in The Three Lives of Thomesina. In 1967 she appeared in The Gnome-Mobile. She also appeared on "Upstairs Downstairs". Since 1982 she has only appeared on a few episodes of "Young Blades",and in a cameo role in the new movie, "Mary Poppins Returns".

Karen with Lin Manuel Miranda on the set of "Mary Poppins Returns".
  The character of Jane Banks is played by Emily Mortimer in the new film. 
  Michael Banks was played by Mathew Garber. Michael only made three movies,all of them for Disney,and all three with Karen Dotrice, and two of them as her brother.


Sadly,Matthew died from pancreatitis at the age of 21 after reportedly catching hepatitis in India,which spread to his pancreas. 

   Come back tomorrow for another 'Mary Poppins' doll.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Doll-A-Day 2019 #14: Mary Poppins Week: 8" Mary

  A little news before I start on today's doll: Some of you may have heard by now that Emily at The Toybox Philosopher, has retired from blogging. Her last post, announcing this, was put up a couple of days ago. It was a bit sudden,and all comments are disabled,so we can't send her our goodbyes or wish her well. I'm not sure why she quit or why her departure was so sudden. It doesn't seem there was anything wrong,just that she is 'moving on'. It's still a little confusing. I'm going to miss Emily's sense of humour,beautiful photographs and super detailed reviews. Hers was one of the first few blogs I followed. In fact, in the last two or three years three of the first blogs I followed have ended. One was because of a death,(Vanessa at Van's Doll treasures passed away in 2017.),and in addition to Emily,Hannah at Never Grow Up closed up shop at her blog last year. Nothing lasts forever I guess.
  Now on to today's doll.
  This week we're going to celebrate the recent release of the movie "Mary Poppins Returns" with a week of Mary Poppins themed dolls. Today we're going to look at Mary herself.

There have been quite a few Mary Poppins dolls made,including several 60's dolls based on the original movie,dolls from the 2000's that were also based on the original movie,and the doll based on the new Mary Poppins movie.  Like this 16" doll...

...and this 12" one.

Today's doll was made by Horsman.

She was produced in 1964,around the time of the original "Mary Poppins" movie.

There were at least four versions of Mary Poppins dolls made by Horsman. There was a 12" and a 36 inch doll dressed like this doll...

All three have different face sculpts though.

There was a gift set too,which included the 12" doll,along with the Jolly Holiday dress,and the striped dress with apron,(which said 'Mary Poppins' across the chest).

There were two sets that also contained the Banks kids,one with the extra clothing and one without.

Jane looks like Ideal's Pepper,only stumpier.
This doll is 8 inches tall.

She has a short sleeved dress on under her coat.

She has black net tights and black boots.

The boots have high heels.

In spite of the high heeled boots, I managed to get Mary to stand on her own.

And of course she has her hat.

This hat has seen better days.

The hat is made of paper-like felt and it hasn't fared well over the years.


All her clothes are removable.

Her hat is still hooked to her head though.

I might eventually take it off, since it's in such bad shape anyway. But for now,I haven't. If I do, then I can fix her hair, which is in need of some touch up.

Her hair is quite long. I don't think Mary Poppins ever wore her hair down in the movie,but this girl basically has a long ponytail.

She would have originally come with Mary's famous carpet bag too,but she's missing hers.
She has the standard jointing at the neck, shoulders,and hips.

I think this doll has the prettiest face of the original three dolls. Since she's short,she'd make a good child doll to go with larger bodied fashion dolls like Tammy's family.
The character 'Mary Poppins' originated in a book of the same name by P.L. Travers,published in 1934. Travers wrote a total of eight Mary Poppins novels,the last being first published in 1988. All the books tell the adventures of Mary and the Banks children,Jane and Michael. In the books, Jane and Michael aren't the only Banks children though. In the first book there is also a set of twins,and in a later book there is a new baby girl as well.

The new movie, "Mary Poppins Returns" isn't based on any of the books, but takes at least one idea from a later book: the way Mary arrives.

 This particular doll belonged to a friend of mine. There's a story behind that,which we'll hear about later this year.

  Tomorrow we'll see another Mary Poppins themed doll...or dolls.