Sunday, January 31, 2010

"Why Doll Nation?"

We have our first follower! Hooray! And welcome to Smidge Girl, whose wonderful blog I follow. Welcome to the craziness that is life in the Doll Nation!

"Why Doll Nation?" you may be asking yourself. A friend of mine once asked how many dolls I had. I replied, "I stopped counting when I hit 200 dolls. That's Barbies, Kellys, Tommys, Kens and babies." I elaborated on the fact that I didn't just collect Mattel dolls, but other types such as G.I. Joes, World Peacekeepers, Bratz Boys, and even cute plastic dollar store dolls that were 1/6th scale. I then explained that I had several Barbie houses (13 at last count; one of them is actually a Real Friends House from TRU, and one is a Best Friends House - not the same thing- also from TRU). I then told her about the different dioramas I'd made in the past for them - a library, several clothing stores, a hotel, a coffee shop, a tea shop, an Asian resturant (the only store still standing), and a burger joint. My friend exclaimed, "Wow! You have a doll city!" And I laughed and said, "No, I have a DOLL NATION!" And so the name stuck.

It's pretty apt actually. Over the last few years I've come up with several cities for my dolls - Mountainview (up in the mountains, of course), Palmdale (down by the beach), Barbieville (for an doll magazine I created), Metropolis (my version of the show "Smallville") - and since I don't collect just Mattel dolls, it's also apt to describe all the dolls that reside with me. Especially since they are always coming from (or traveling to) places like Washington, DC, Chicago, Los Angeles, even "England." (Yeh, I know - England isn't in the United States.) I even have dolls that travel through space and time, courtesy of my Doctor Who dolls. I've made up my own Harry Potter dolls that reside somewhere in the Doll Nation (probably "England") I have dolls that live back in the past like my Victorian dolls and my Steampunk dolls; the dolls that reside in That 70s House and The Mad Men House (mostly 60s vintage and repro dolls); and the medieval dolls that live in Emseralda's tent. I have the Tonner house, where my 16 inch dolls live, and then there are the baby dolls and one of the large BFCInk girls.

But mostly, the Doll Nation refers to the 1/6th scale dolls. Why? Because they are so much fun to play with and build dioramas for and to come up with stories for!

I've been making up stories for my dolls since I was ten and got Malibu Christie and the (blue) Barbie Country camper and pretended that she was an astronaut and the camper was either the Starship Enterprise or one of the Eagles from "Space:1999" - or that she was a pioneer, and the camper was a wagon, like on "Little House on the Prarie" or "How the West was Won". The stories only got more elaborate when I got the original Happy Family. The B-movie "Queen of Outer Space" made a really big impression on me, as did "Forbidden Planet". Westerns such as "How the West Was Won" and musicals like "Meet me in St. Louis" and "Easter Parade" and oldies like "Little Women" fueled my Victorian/Western fantasies.

I suppose things haven't changed much, except now I include more modern things like college life for my dolls (some of them are simply too young looking to be adults) and the aforementioned stores, coffee shops, etc. And I'm a lot more snarky than my younger self when it comes to just accepting everything that comes via TV and movies.

There have been purges - Bratz girls, Fashion Royalty dolls (except Something Hot Kyori), don't exist in my universe. Even Mattel's My Scene kids didn't make the final cut. Nothing personal (sometimes) against them but they just didn't play well with the others. A lot of Barbies were just not what I wanted. I hope they found good homes from the thrift store.

But like a real nation, the Doll Nation has its immigrations and migrations; its births, marriages, break-ups, even divorces. It's not perfect, but like the real world Constitution says, "in order to form a more perfect union" - or in my case, a more perfect doll nation - you have to play around.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Melabelo! I'm proud (and shocked!) to be your first follower. I absolutely love this blog, and can't believe I was missing out on it! (I'm all caught up now, I gorged myself on your back posts.)

    Okay, so 13 houses?!?! I'm so jealous! I don't even have room for one, lol! Looking forward to more pictures and entries:)