Home Culture • Download Life Like Dolls: The Collector Doll Phenomenon and the Lives by A. F. Robertson PDF

Download Life Like Dolls: The Collector Doll Phenomenon and the Lives by A. F. Robertson PDF

By A. F. Robertson

Because the Nineteen Eighties there was a becoming billion buck company generating porcelain collectible dolls. Avertised in Sunday newspapers and mailbox fliers, even Marie Osmond, an avid collector herself, is now selling her personal line of dolls at the domestic procuring community and revenues are hovering. With normal expense tags of $100 -- and $500 or extra for a hand made or constrained version doll -- those dolls ring a bell within the hearts of middle-aged and older ladies, their middle purchasers, a few of whom create "nurseries" dedicated to collections that quantity within the hundreds.

Each doll has its personal identify, id and "adoption certificate," like Shawna, "who has simply discovered to stack blocks all by way of herself," and Bobby, whose "brown, handset eyes shine with mischief and little-boy plans." Exploring the nexus of feelings, intake and commodification they characterize, A. F. Robertson tracks the increase of the porcelain collectible industry; interviews the ladies themselves; and visits their golf equipment, festivals and houses to appreciate what makes the dolls so irresistible.

Lifelike yet freakish; novelties that profess to be antiques; dear kitsch: those dolls are the made of robust feelings and large enterprise. practical Dolls pursues why middle-class, expert ladies obsessively gather those dolls and what this phenomenon says approximately our tradition.

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Additional resources for Life Like Dolls: The Collector Doll Phenomenon and the Lives of the Women Who Love Them

Sample text

Patents and trademarks are the means by which a new product can be claimed and presented to the market. Occasionally such a proprietary name may identify the commodity more generally (Scotch Tape and Post-its are favorite examples). By the time sales peaked around 1995, the phrase “porcelain collector doll” was generally established as the key indicator of the new product we are concerned with here. It appeared in advertisements, packaging, trade journals, and other places (shops, TV programs, toy fairs) where the goods were transacted.

Gazing at the finished product, we can be duped into thinking that it is a lot sweeter and nicer than the real relationships among the people who produced it would imply. To the worker in Thailand who paints the lips and eyelashes for $3 a day, or for the man in Illinois shifting boxes with a forklift truck, the com modity might as well be a block of steel. It seems unlikely that either has any interest in the “use values” of the doll as they are intended by the manufacturer or perceived by the collector.

Things don’t become commodities simply by sitting in a shop window or a closet at home. ” It is made in the active relationship between producer and consumer: they recognize it and give it value, mainly in the repeated act of selling and buying, as an object distinct from other kinds of object. If enough people like the special spoon I invented to deal with ice cream, we have a new commodity: the ice cream scoop. Pretty much anything, from concrete objects like houses and oranges to abstract things like work (farm or factory labor) and information (legal advice) can become a commodity.

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