Friday, January 29, 2010

Addendum: Tonner 2010 "What's my lamb gonna wear?"

Thanks to Jenn for referring these to me. They're from Angelic Dreamz -- one of the best places to get your dolls.

Did Mammy drop her jaw?
Is Scarlett finally going to wear it?

You the collectors be the judge.
                    (Left) 16"Scarlett (below is the 8" cutie Tara Scarlett)  
                            (Right) 22" Scarlett with different face mold
 (L-R) My Mother's Portieres,  22" Whats my Lamb gonna wear?, 16" Dressed like Racehorses  
Check out http://www.angelicdreamz.com for more of the Tonner 2010 line. 

Why don't they listen?: Tonner 2010 "What's my lamb gonna wear?"

Image from Tonner Doll Co.

It was a photo that would have made Mammy jiggle with laughter and made her Scarlett, pout with dismay. After the long wait and anticipation that fueled forums and collector's groups, the lamb probably made a poor choice, and Mammy would probably have her way in making Scarlett wear another dress so as not to "sho her bosom befoh three o' clock da afternoon". 

A fixed photo to show less prints, emerald in color and a fixed face sans widow's peak.

Like Lions for Lambs
Tonner's "What's my lamb gonna wear" elicited nothing but sheer disappointment; collectors emailing words like lions tearing the concept with words that validly critiqued the PR photo. I can actually feel my adrenaline rushing down, down, down.
The color of the prints were too light and not aligned with the color of the sash.
The hairstyle of the PR photo was said to be a bad perm day. Reminded me of those 80's gel-filled hair (Desperately seeking Susan, is that you?) But that's fix-able.
The number of prints were so not what you see on film.
Sadly, I could almost hear the guffaws of laughter from Franklin Mint Scarlett loyalists. There are some.

Why are we consoling ourselves?
As I mentioned to one member: a film as great and impactful as Gone with the Wind must be interpreted faithfully, as all great films should be, in merchandise. The barbeque dress is unmistakably Scarlett. Worn in 2 sequences, and 6 scenes in GWTW, why the miss?  Somehow, it is in these dresses, and in the likeness of the doll that a legend perpetuates even 70 years later. Could there have been a copyright with the prints that did not allow Tonner to fully copy them? If you can't make a faithful copy, then be good at making your own interpretation is my answer. Franklin Mint has its own version of the 12 Oaks Dress. It's safer. You don't get compared to, but seen as an interpretation of.  Case in point, Tonner's version of Melanie. There was no room there to compare because it was a beautiful interpretation capturing the mood that Mitchell created. And so, Tonner's Melanie/Ms. Mellie survives by its own merits  and does not suffer because of its failure to live up to the merits of an original. If customer satisfaction is the goal of any manufacturer in the world, why are we consoling ourselves? If one were to blame them of anything at all, perhaps it would be the lack of substantial awareness -- ahh despite the resources from which awareness can be obtained.  However, as collectors we tend to forgive, and forget.

Just a prototype?
Still, because of its reputation of making changes, the GWTW doll customer is hoping that it's just a prototype, it may change (remember how they suddenly switched Scarlett molds?) The Press Release photo is really an AP = Audience Release photo. Oh the Press wouldn't care perhaps, but the collectors  really give a damn! A company as big as FM or Tonner has the power to listen, to survey, to research. So why didn't they? This is the most perplexing point of the entire 2010 Tonner Scarlett reveal!

But like Scarlett, we hold on to our hopes. That the dress may actually be better, that there might be a better release. Why do collectors have to act so silly just to catch a new dress? Well after all, tomorrow is still another dress. Or am I just consoling myself?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tonner Miss Melly Hamilton: The Loving Heart

"She was a tiny, frailly built girl, who gave the appearance of a child masquerading in her mother's enormous hoop skirts--an illusion that was heightened by shy, almost frightened look in her too large brown eyes. She had a cloud of curly black hair which was so sternly repressed beneath its net that no vagrant tendrils escaped, and this dark mass with its long widow's peak, accentuated the hart shape of her face. Too wide across the cheek bones, too pointed at the chin, it was a sweet, timid face but a plain face, and she had no feminine tricks of allure to make observers forget its plainness. She looked--and was--as simple as earth, as good and small of stature, there was a dedate dignity about her movements that was oddly touching and far older than her seventeen years."
 (Margaret Mitchell's description of Melanie Wilkes)

I've always believed that Gone with the Wind presented -- perhaps not intentionally by its author, the spirit of the South as iconized by its 4 principal characters.
If Scarlett was the South's clenched fist raised against the destructions of war ("I shall rise again!), the other spirit is that of honor, grace and silent fortitude. A spirit best emulated by Miss Melanie Hamilton Wilkes.  She would be Scarlett's one true friend who Scarlett sets aside and remains oblivious to, in face of her one true love -- that is, until the end.



Here is Tonner's Miss Melly Hamilton, 2nd in the Melanie Wilkes dolls -- and the way I see it, the best of Tonner's GWTW creations. She wears a nice pale blue (is it organza?) gown that truly complements her peaceful, serene nature. It is a gown/dress worn during the first encounter with her husband's seductress. An encounter that establishes the contrasting natures of these two characters: Scarlett's low neckline dress vs. Melanie's all-covered up sweet ensemble. Of all the Tonner dolls of Gone with the Wind, I believe this one captures the character's mood and tone. The mold is absolutely exquisite: executed with soft features and painted delicately with brown eyes and rose-red lips (something that the actress  never wore and who insisted that she wear less makeup to be more in period). The doll's hairstyle is truly Victorian in design. While I am not  well-versed on how these hairstyle is done done, I really think that Olivia de Havilland had rolls under her hair to create that puffed up look on the sides.
(Image from www.achievement.org)

Miss Melly comes with a very rough tulle that spreads her dress edged with 3 layers of ruffles. Her pink sash is pleated and accented with 2 long sashes on the side. The doll's bonnet is also a charmer; also accented with the pale pink sash color, with a ready ribbon on which hooks are attached to hold keep the ribbon intact (saves the doll collector the tiring task of making the perfect ribbon). The pink sash sash on the skirt and the ribbon on the bonnet have white satin that outlines its shape. Miss Melly Hamilton comes with pale blue pumps, without a buckle similar to the 1st Tonner Melanie (which I think was really more in period).

Her gray organdie dress, with its cherry-colored satin sash, disguised with its  billows and ruffles how childishly underdeveloped her body was,  and the yellow hat with cherry streamers made her creamy skin glow. 
(Margaret Mitchell's description of  Melanie's dress at Twelve Oaks whereupon she meets Scarlett)


Black lace gloves protect Miss Mellie's fragile hands.
Three layers of ruffles adorn the edge of this dress.


It is hard to think that this doll requires anymore repainting as she is beautiful as she is. However, I am still finding time to finally venture into painting an Olivia as Melanie. After doing so many Scarletts, it's hard to get a paradigm shift -- spoiled Southern belle to graceful one.
The doll has many possibilities too aside from being a Melanie, since it isn't done in the likeness of the actress. One could do a Jane Eyre, or a young Queen Victoria with it -- and if you do repaints professionally, the shape of the face could make her a Jackie O -- with the right hairstyle of course. But that is taking the spirit out of this nice Civil War masterpiece.


"...under his smile, a little sparkle had come into Melanie's eyes, so that even Scarlett had to admit that she looked almost pretty. As Melanie looked at Ashley, her plain face lit up as with an inner fire, 
for if ever a loving heart showed itself upon a face, it was showing now in Melanie Hamilton's". 
(Gone with the Wind)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Victorian Reveries


I've been searching the internet during free time to see possible Scarlett dresses. I was looking particularly for this costume for Little Women (1991?) designed by Academy award winner for Costume Design, Colleen Atwood. Materials were gathered from vintage shops. This scene where an adult Amy March is in Paris, shows an elegant and soft day dress which I think would go well with the dolls. Notice the embroidery and the veiled hat which hides her face. The paper parasol is also a nice touch to this costume. Notice too the little combs on the side of the hair and the elaborate hairstyle given to the doll.  It is hard to find the time for detail though. Above, the pink day dress in the parlor is also soft and rich. I surmise this is some kind of China silk. Wish this could be done. But still waiting for the Tonner GWTW  2010 release on the 29th. There still is nothing like having your own OOAK.  And I think these dresses would make an idyllic Victorian portrait.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Let's hear it from the man! Timeless Treasures Clark Gable as Rhett Butler


       Image from worldballoonpodcast.wordpress.com

Story of the Old South "Gone With The Wind" Rhett Butler, as portrayed by Clark Gable, "The Rescue from Atlanta." Incredible sculpting and intricate face paint capture the suave essence of the character Rhett Butler in the legendary film Gone With the Wind. Doll cannot hold hat as shown.

Forever dashing in his famous cream-colored suit with long coat and matching hat, your Rhett Butler doll is realistically rendered in the likeness of handsome actor, Clark Gable, who brought the character of Rhett to life in the movie. A multi-stripe vest, white shirt with decorative collar, and attached bow tie, and black boots add elegant style to his chivalrous demeanor. (photo and description from Entertainment Earth)



How can we forget the man? 
This is just my personal view on it. The sculpt is superb!! Undeniably Gable. Although the gloss on the lips (on extreme close up is something inevitable). Every inch of this 11 1/2 figure is Rhett Butler. I like the balance of salt and pepper color on the hair. 



The suit has wonderful details: collar print,  the tie, the stripes on the vest, and the dress shirt (long sleeves all the way), lined suit, the belt and even "square-toed" boots, pockets on the pants, the striped vest -- all of this make this a Clark Gable collector's dream! 





I think no manufacturer of GWTW dolls has captured this likeness -- not only in features but also in character. There is a smirk there that can be teasing on his Scarlett, there is the broad shoulders too. The doll is articulated at the elbows that allows you to put the Butler "hand-in-pocket" pose. 



Some wishes though. They should made him a little taller than their Scarlett  -- at least one head higher. And the suit should have been a more snug. 


However, Mattel did well on this last in the series of their Timeless Treasures GWTW. Frankly my dear, I did give a damn!

Mattel's Timeless Treasures Vivien Leigh as Scarlett: Barbeque at Twelve Oaks



The 2nd press release photo of Scarlett. I couldn't find the first one which really captured the doll's real likeness. 


This was the first crazy moment I had for a Scarlett doll. Doing overtime in the office, waiting for clearances from the writers and artists, surfing, searching: "Scarlett O' Hara doll". The universe must have heard, for lo and behold appearing on screen was this beautiful picture of Mattel's Timeless Treasures -- finally Vivien Leigh as Scarlett. I wasn't aware of FM's Scarlett at that time and was rather wanting of a Viv as Scarlett, rather than Barbie as Scarlett (which by the way has great hairstyling -- you should see Mattel's version of the white and black honeymoon dress).



I've read somewhere (perhaps still in the internet) that the prints for this dress were actual scans of the textile used on the fabric. If this is true, it adds once again to the great details of this doll.



The factory paint on this is subtler than the "drapery version". Mattel did well by creating the disparity between the woman in the curtains, and the dreamy, deluded girl in an afternoon party.  What I like about this face paint is the Scarlett "pout".  During the premiere of GWTW, it took almost a few minutes of Vivien's interpretation of Scarlett to make Margaret Mitchell say: "She is mah Scawhlett."  And we all know how belligerent the character was, unlike Tonner and FM's version where the doll is seen in a half-smile.  Hairsyle seems to have followed the parting of Hazel Roger's/Guilaroff's style (dunno if I got those names right). The hair color is dark brown -- I think almost chestnut, not stark black -- although that was how Mitchell described Scarlett in the novel.

Amazing jewelry that follows the look of the film.



The doll comes with gloves, shawl and (white?!) ankle boots (which I think was still appropriate for the doll, though not in color). There some things that are hard to capture on this scale specifically those "pinched hankies" (a wonderful term coined by  Nikki of the Scarlett Yahoo Groups) that surround the shoulders. Unlike the Barbie as Scarlett, this dress has more flow and thank heaven, not in "organza".  The hat has a green velvet ribbon -- which is difficult to tie because of its thickness.

The doll you see is the one I display. I was so smitten by this version that I got 2 (one is still mint in the box -- and someday when I'm crazier I will take her out).


In the coming week Tonner will launch its 2010 line, among them the overheard "What's my lamb gonna wear?" For something that has been said to be overdone, the Barbeque dress is still a signature of Scarlett as she wears this in 2 settings on film. It still is a must-have -- at least for me.


































First photo from BarbieCollector.com
Note: Not seen here are the hat, white hand gloves and the lace shawl

Mattel's Timeless Treasures Vivien Leigh as Scarlett: On Peachtree Street.

"Second in a series featuring Scarlett, as portrayed by Vivien Leigh in the epic film, Gone With the Wind. Scarlett looks stunning in an authentic re-creation of this famous green velvet gown taken from the velvet curtains in Scarlett's home. The gown is a dark green velvet and light green velveteen, with a fitted bodice and full skirt. A green and golden cord with tassels is wrapped around the waist. To complete the ensemble, Scarlett wears a green hat with black feathers and carries a dark green purse. Golden drop earrings with green rhinestones add the finishing touches." (Amazon.com)





 (Photos from Barbiecollector.com and  dollsaga.wordpress.com


It is inevitable to go through Scarlett Fever without mentioning the second phase of Mattel's venture into this unforgettable film . When this was first released, I was unaware of the existence of Franklin Mint's Scarlett. Wanting desperately a doll manufacturer to finally make a Vivien Leigh Scarlett (Mattel's first release was it's Barbie as Scarlett), my dream finally came true one night, during overtime in the office. I first saw the Barbeque at Twelve Oaks and was immediately besotted. Thanks to Margo Rana who helped me get the first Scarlett which in my opinion resembled Vivien Leigh.  Never mind that she shared the same sculpt as Mattel's Elizabeth Taylor. Mattel captured the look! 





Screencap from Screencap Heaven.com


Once one has seen or experienced the draping joys  on a larger sized doll, a 11 1/2 inch doll would lose its appeal (unless of course, the draping is in scale ). My opinion again. However, the cut of the drapery dress on this doll seems to still capture  intention of Plunkett. Colors seem to be right, Green velvet all over, of course those tassels on her hat seem too long and the hat more of a cap; feathers -- I think no one ever got that right and on an 11 1/2 scale how else can one find feathers on a rooster's proportionate to the size of a doll?  The eyes of this doll are very emotive of an adult Scarlett whose war-torn spirit is set out to get her $300 money to pay taxes on her beloved Tara.  Curls go all the way to the back. Lips are of red rose -- for how else does one seduce a playboy millionaire but with that. Mattel's Barbeque at Twelve Oaks Vivien Leigh as Scarlett has a lighter lip paint and looks younger like the 16 year old girl that she was supposed to be in the film. 


"I want $300 dollars to pay the taxes on Tara...I can't let it go, while I have breath in my body!"

Those are real dangling details similar to the film.    The tassels on the cord belt are also in scale.



And there is amazing detail on the accessories. The rooster's feet (which I felt was rather scary) on the cap




Those earrings have dangling chairs similar to the ones in the film. Now, if Mattel was able to do that on their 11 1/2 doll, why couldn't it be done on a larger doll (presumptuous as I haven't seen Tonner's drapery versions). But still it is amazing that such minute details were done. The only thing about this doll -- for me -- was the dress was sewn all the way -- no snaps, no buttons. You can't take it off. To redress the doll would mean to remove the head and put it on another Mattel body. No articulation too save for the ones Barbie has. 


So, is it worth getting. Why not? If you're a serious Scarlett collector. 


Hats off to Mattel on this.  Truly a "timeless treasure".


Pardon the photos, as the doll has been kept well in box and  haven't had the time to iron the dress out. The Tropical weather has not been too kind. 
Thank you to my sister who lent me her camera for these close ups.  

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Scarlett Reverie






I was able to augment the name of the blog: Scarlett Reverie. Soultalk777 seemed vague and not sharp on majority of the content here. Reverie? I believe it's appropriate to how a Scarlett doll makes me personally feel, and the portraits that I envision her to be in, also the possibilities of what the doll could be. Shamelessly,  I post pictures which capture those possibilities. A blue gown could turn green and ringlets could multipy on her head. Long after the dolls will have tarnished or I may be old to even see well how to repaint, these portraits live on. They may not be the best in repaints, nor in portraiture, but I certainly hope they can inspire those who stumble on this blog. A doll is just a doll until it brings out imagination. That's my opinion. Personally, shelves are nice places for them to be in, and boxes nice for them to keep, but the true joy of a doll is seeing it come to life in ones creativity: be it OOAK gowns, repainting, photography, etc.

As we wait for the release of  Franklin Mint or Tonner's new collection. And me, personally waiting for the new Scarlett doll outfits, I see great possibilities in the "power of play".

Friday, January 8, 2010

No one is racing: Tonner "Dressed like Racehorses"




Woke up and jumped out to check the new Tonner Racehorses. 
Clicked on site. Hoped they got it right.
Not jumping up and down. Ended up with a frown.
Not a good photo. Not enough seen on the site.
Tonner seems to be rushing. 
And no one seems to be racing. 
Lacking in draping. 
Lacking the skirt fall. 
Lacking in this and that and in over-all
Veil seems to dark. Factory paint is still very stark
Coral Brooch seems not too coral 
Pricing seems good though. That's all.


Pardon the little poem. I'm no poet and tried cracking one for this post. Well, with all that's been said and said in the Scarlett group, all of which are very agreeable, I still feel that I will have this outfit. The Franklin Mint version is sooooo elusive, and its feels like "ducks on a june bug" whenever the Franklin Mint New Orleans Honeymoon dress is posted in eBay.
Last night a series of email exchanges in the group reflected the yearning for re-interpreted versions or new versions of GWTW dresses and so it seems that if it doesn't surpass the existing, or isn't a delightfully new one, then it falls short of expectations.

Thanks to Nikki who enlightened me on what dress supposedly would come out. She can recall lines easily from GWTW. Amazing. "Dressed like Racehorses" was a line that the great Mammy would describe Scarlett and Rhett i.e., that they would be dressed like racehorses but be mules just the same. 
And to Dale Ohl of Lonestar Dolls who tipped me on the soon-to-be-released Tonner GWTW. 



Woman in Red Portrait: Tonner "Return to Tara" Re-interpreted


Saturday morning, 1:22 a.m. It's a weekend and one thing to look forward to aside from a lot of "me" time is the release of Tonner's new Scarlett outfit (only I hope) called "Dressed up Like Racehorses"
Thanks to Dale Ohl of Lonestar dolls (check his site out) and to Nikki who enlightened the Scarlett Vinyl Yahoo Group of what to expect. So, before retiring for the night and pardonne moi for retiring so late. It is a weekend after all, I decided to do one more portrait of Tonner's "Return to Tara" doll. She wears the Franklin Mint's very rare blue portrait gown, photoshop-ed to have a new deep red color. If one spent a lot of time waiting for this outfit and finally paying a reasonable price (than what is usually auctioned off in ebay), it pays to explore the possibilities of this gown. The draping of the gown wonderful and drapes in scale. The material is very soft velvet that flows easily with every pose.

Happy collecting. The journey begins in 2010. But for now, good night everyone!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

What next Mr. Tonner




For a doll collector, a new year means new dolls to look forward to -- with great trepidation and excitement. For one, it will mean a chunk of ones' budget going to the new collection. Second, the thrill and ooh's and ahh's upon seeing new ideas, new creativity. For me, it means a new Scarlett. God knows only a few of the GWTW dresses have been done so the journey is still long and hopefully easy on the pocket (dresses and dolls separate, please Mr. Tonner).  There are rumors of a new Basic Scarlett. A new factory paint? New hair color? New hairstyle? Part of the excitement is being in the dark. In a few weeks time, we will all be led out of darkness -- the internet will be ablaze with press releases of these dolls,  forums will be adding pages with the discussion on what collectors like, don't like, and savings will be withdrawn. I don't want to be overwhelmed but I know I will, after all dolls are our escape,  our meditation our little joys that make the everyday headlines bearable. So, Mr. Tonner what's next?