Doll Study Club of Jamestown meets

The Doll Study Club of Jamestown New York met at Alfie’s Restaurant on July 19 for their monthly meeting, lunch, and doll-related program. Susan Mitchell gave the group a bit of history on the story of Alice in Wonderland, from its beginnings as a story told to a bored little girl named Alice Liddell, who was being rowed five miles along the Thames with her sisters and two family friends. One of these was the Reverend Chas. Dodgson, the future author of the publication that is famous to this day. From that day in July 1862, it took three years for the tale to be published; it was immediately a sensation, beloved by children and adults alike, including Queen Victoria and the young Oscar Wilde. The book has never been out of print, and there are now over one hundred editions along with countless adaptations in theatre, film and other media.

Susan also brought some of her collection of Alice dolls and related items, since Alice in Wonderland has been a consistent theme of doll manufacturers for many decades, including Madame Alexander, Effanbee, Robert Tonner, and numerous others. There is even a china/parian hairdo style named the Alice (headband) style, which goes back to the early years of the book’s publication.

Our August meeting was held on the 16th, again at Alfie’s, and the program for this month was presented by Marla Sue Javens, who gave the club a peek into the types of dolls loved by today’s girls, with a review of the Monster High dolls and their background. Monster High is an American fashion doll franchise created by Mattel and launched in July 2010. The characters are inspired by monster movies, sci-fi horror, thriller fiction, and various creatures, thus distinguishing them from most other fashion dolls on the market. The Monster High franchise includes many consumer products such as stationery, bags, key chains, various toys, play sets, video games, TV specials, a web series and direct to DVD movies. Lisi Harrison is the author of the Monster High books. The characters are depicted as being either related to or as offspring of famous monsters such as Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, the Mummy, Medusa, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Phantom of the Opera, Zombies and more. They have clever names such as Clawdeen Wolf, Abby Bominable, Frankie Stein and Ghoulia Yelps. The franchise is distinctive due to its extensive use of humorous horror puns such as referring to female characters as ghouls, rather than girls.

In July 2013, a new spin-off line launched as a companion line to Monster High, called Ever After High. Ever After High is based on the children of Fairytale characters. Monster High’s C. A. Cupid is a main character in the Ever After High webisodes where she is an exchange student there. It was fascinating and so much fun to see some of the dolls and their accessories that our granddaughters are playing with today!

Next month’s meeting will be held on September 20 and will feature a program on Shirley Temple dolls. The club is currently accepting new members. Anyone with questions about the club and its focus on doll collecting may contact Susan Mitchell at 814-726-1843.