They are obviously Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy,otherwise known as Laurel and Hardy.
They were made by Premiere in 1997,and were Target stores exclusives.
The backs of their boxes contain an pretty accurate account of their pairing.
The back of the box has a flap that opens to show photos of the team.
The inside of the flap is a bit less accurate, although not surprisingly so. The actual quote Ollie frequently used on Stan is,"Here's another nice mess you've gotten me into.",in spite of the title of their 1930 short, "Another Fine Mess". For proof,you can watch a compilation of Oliver saying the famous line HERE. As for the rest of the phrases,none of them are quotes Laurel and Hardy are really known for. I would have gone more for, "You make me tired!", "Why don't you do something to help me?!","You can lead a horse to water, but a pencil must be led.", and "Yes, I never did."
The likenesses are pretty good. Oliver has his spit curl bangs and his tiny mustache.
I'm not so sure it isn't a little too tiny though.
Stan has his stretched smile and tiny eyes.
|For films Stan lined his inner eyelids to make his eyes appear smaller. It was all part of his efforts to "look stupider",as was in keeping with the character of 'Stan'.|
Their look is instantly recognizable,even if the faces aren't exactly right.
|This is one of the few REAL colour pictures of Laurel and Hardy taken in their heyday. Taken by New York Daily News photographer Harry Warneke in 1938,during the shooting of "Blockheads", it hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in the Smithsonian.|
That's because 1997 was the 70th anniversary of their first official movie as a team,"Putting Pants on Phillip". They had both appeared in 1921's "Lucky Dog",but not as a team. "Lucky Dog" was a Stan Laurel vehicle, but Oliver Hardy appeared as a thief who robs him. (You can watch "Lucky Dog" HERE.) "Putting Pants on Phillip" starred them both, but their usual characters weren't set yet. Oliver played a man whose nephew,Phillip, arrives from Scotland wearing a kilt,much to his uncle's embarrassment. Stan played Phillip. (You can watch "Putting Pants on Phillip" HERE.)
The dolls come with accessories,including display stands
Both have umbrellas
|Molded ones that don't open.|
Oliver comes with a pie.
The fact that Laurel and Hardy dolls frequently come with pies kind of ticks me off. I realize Laurel and Hardy may be best known to some for their movie "The Battle of the Century",which contains a pie fight that the Guinness Book of World Records says as many as 10,000 pies were used in,(although 3000 is generally considered to be the real amount.). But pie fights were more Mack Sennett comedies and the Three Stooges. Laurel and Hardy weren't known for their pie fights. Just saying. (If you want to read the full story of "The Battle of the Century", you can check out my post on my Stan Laurel figure HERE.) You can watch the reconstructed "Battle of the Century",which was thought to be lost for years, HERE.
They share a hand sculpt.
|"Hold my beer."|
I should note here that they are NOT the exact same hands as the Premiere Ingrid Bergman doll which I posted the other day. Hers are a different sculpt,and not nearly as big as these guys' hands. That puts to rest my theory that Premiere used the same hands for both it's male and female figures. The girls still have 'man hands' though.
The dolls are 9" tall. Their clothes are removable,and have some nice detail.
|Oliver's stand-up collar has disappeared down his jacket,and I'm not sure about that tie fabric either. Polka dots yes, plaid, no.|
|Meanwhile, Stan's collar is swallowing his head.|
The little buttons and pockets are nice, but as with other Premiere dolls, the fabric used for the clothes is too heavy and bulky.
|Definitely too much collar.|
The hats are part of the head,and do not come off.
Stan was known to have very pale blue eyes,and this doll definitely doesn't. In fact,Stan's eyes were so pale that one studio turned him down as an actor because they thought his eyes wouldn't photograph well. (Certain types of early film photographed the light blue eyes as white!) His early films show Stan with huge black circles around his eyes,in an attempt to make his eyes show up!
There was another set of Laurel and Hardy dolls made by Premiere. That set of dolls was dressed in white shirts and overalls,as the team appeared in several shorts,(short subject films,that is.),including "The Finishing Touch"(1928),"Towed in a Hole"(1932),"Busy Bodies"(1933),and their Oscar winning short,"The Music Box"(1932). See? There is an Oscar connection to these dolls.
"The Music Box" concerns Stan and Ollie delivering a piano to a house that sits atop a very tall hill. The short won the first Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film (Comedy). For the whole story on "The Music Box" and biographies of Stan and Oliver,see my Oscar Week post on my Hamilton Laurel and Hardy dolls HERE. You can watch Laurel and Hardy's Oscar winning short HERE. The other Oscar connection to Laurel and Hardy is Stan's Lifetime Achievement Oscar, which was awarded to him in 1961. Unfortunately,Oliver had passed away in 1957.
Tomorrow we'll see another Oscar doll.