The Doll Quest…..

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Twiggy! © Mattel

Some dolls just seem so perfect. Perfectly covetable. The perfect justification for collector madness. A perfect reason to travel to New York in search of a doll. Twiggy was that doll for me…

I briefly had a fascination with the Mego Farah Fawcett doll that coincided, at the time, with my obsession with the TV show Charlie’s Angels. Farah Fawcett in all her flicked hair glory. I knew there was only one place I could possibly find her, ‘Love Saves The Day’ in New York City. So I set off in search. I was right. She was there. And I bought her on my first trip to the Big Apple. Mint in Box.

But Farah paled in comparison when I chanced upon Twiggy.

Lee Hornby AKA Twiggy. The face of 60’s Swingin’ London. Doe eyed, boyish and unconventional. Everything I loved in one little doll. In 1967 Twiggy became Barbie’s first ever celebrity friend. The advertisement stated:

“Here she is! London’s Top Teen Model Twiggy ᵗᵐ”

“Twist ’n Turn Waist”

“Bendable Legs!”

“Real Eyelashes!”

The genius of the Twiggy doll was that she perfectly re-used the Casey face mold. Heavily accented, painted on lashes perfectly complimenting her “Real Eyelashes!” Combine this with Francie’s lithe body, a beautiful white blond asymmetric bob and top it all off with a big toothy grin. Like I said, perfect!

Twiggy came with four G-Roovy outfits; Twiggy Gear, Twigster, Twiggy-Do’s and Twiggy Turn Outs. Each one a little piece of carefree 60’s perfection.

Just like Farah, I knew there was only one place I would find her. Once again I returned to New York, with a new quest.

It wasn’t hard to find Twiggy. The East Village. 40’s50’s60’s, a little off beat collectible and toy shop. Twiggy cost the princely sum of US $229. She was still wearing her original striped dress and yellow mod boots. At the time the Australian dollar was worth just over half the US dollar. You do the math. She was, however, in great nick.

I carried my precious little cargo back to Sydney in my hand luggage, wrapped her in tissue and put her away in a box.

Over time Twiggy’s arms paled a little. So did the tip of her nose. A common problem with these dolls.

When I unexpectedly ‘left’ my job I decided to sell Twiggy. I immediately regretted the decision, but consoled myself with the thought that one day I would find her again. Mint in Box. No paling.

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The Doll Bargain….

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Barbie by Bill Blass © Mattel

As a collector you can pretty much justify paying any amount for any doll…

“Its really rare, another one may not come up…!”

“I’ll just eat at home every night this week / month / year….”

“Its MIB (Mint in Box)”

“I’ve seen them go for way more…”

But what is really exciting is when you find a doll at a price that just can’t be ignored. Don’t ever let anyone tell you when something seems too good to be true it is too good to be true….  That’s just not true!

I love the Mattel Designer collaborations and there have been so many good ones. Givenchy, Dior (twice), Versace (twice), Vera Wang, (numerous times!), Anna Sui, Burberry (twice), Herve Leger (yet to be released), Coach (just released), Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, The Gap… I could go on and on. At one point I focused solely on collecting the designer dolls (see excuses in The Doll that I always come back to…). The beauty of these dolls is in the detail (I’ve said it before!). Recreation in miniature…

Barbie by Bill Blass.

In true Bill Blass style, this Doll is W.O.W. Yellow satin dress, crimson satin lining,  signature Bill Blass B & W stripe, giant rose floral motif.

I’m not sure which face sculpt is used on this doll, but she smirks beguilingly and her make-up suits her outfit beautifully. Her hair is a perfect sculpted red, reminiscent of Linda Evangelista at the height if her Supermodel fame.

When this Doll came out she was expensive. I think if you tried to find her online today she would still be expensive. I found her BNIB (brand new in box) for the handsome sum of $35 Canadian dollars. Her original price of $112 Canadian dollars was still on the box.  It cost more to ship!

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