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Beyond the Valley of the (FABULOUS) Dolls: Babs, Bewitched, Boosh, Jerri, Janis, Little Edie & more!
10:09 am

Pop Culture


Edith “Little Edie” Bouvier Beale

I’m totally smitten with these handmade dolls by artist Dennis Beltran. They’re lovingly handcrafted works of art, in my opinion. Just amazing. The dolls’ approximate height is 15”. As for the price of each doll, depending on how intricate the beading is for the costumes or how elaborate the hair is, the average price for one is $500. Beltran also does work on commission. I noticed some fantastic The Mighty Boosh dolls on his Instagram page (which you MUST follow, btw). 

I think I need to own the Louise Lasser doll, in her signature role as Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. It’s truly adorable.

I picked my personal favorite dolls for this post on Dangerous Minds, but there are sooooooooo many others! Visit Dennis Beltran’s Facebook and Instagram to see more of his work.

If you’re interested in purchasing one of these fabulous dolls or have any questions, you can contact Dennis Beltran at

Jerri Blank

Barbra Streisand in ‘Funny Girl’

Leigh Bowery

Truman Capote

‘Clash of the Titans’
More after the jump…

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Surreal dolls reveal the dark fantasy worlds that live under their ‘skin’
09:41 am


Mari Shimizu

‘Forbidden Fruit,’ by doll artist Mari Shimizu.
Fantasy doll maker Mari Shimizu hails from Amakusa, Kumamoto Japan where after graduating from Tama Art University, she dedicated herself to creating and photographing her intricate ball-joint dolls. Shimizu is deeply inspired by the Surrealist movement, especially Nazi-hating Dadaist, photographer Hans Bellmer whose scandalous work often incorporated dolls. Here are a few words from Bellmer on his artistic approach that appear to directly align to Shimizu’s ethos:

The body resembles a sentence that seems to invite us to dismantle it into its component letters, so that its true meaning may be revealed ever anew through an endless stream of anagrams.

Shimizu carves openings in her dead-eyed dolls in order to provide the viewer insight into the inner-workings of her inanimate creations. Themes that run through her work include mythology, religion, death and nature in which rabbits are common themes. Rabbits are symbolic for a myriad of reasons and perhaps as it pertains to Shimizu’s work is how the rabbit is regarded as an “Earth” symbol—as it is the earthly aspect of its existence that allows the animal to retain its composure in the midst of chaos. Rabbits are also categorized as being “tricksters” in various mythological tales and folklore from around the world including Japan. Shimizu’s utilization of the dolls as unconventional artistic vehicles is about as tricky as it gets.

I’ve included a large selection of images of Shimizu’s ethereal dolls below. Some are NSFW. 

‘Music of the Summit.’

More after the jump…

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The heart-wrenching ‘teary-eyed’ dolls of Leo Moss
07:18 am


Leo Moss

A trio of dolls made by Leo Moss, early 1900s.
An article published in The New York Times on January 9th, 1978 about avid doll collector and author Myla J. Perkins provided some background on Leo Moss, a doll maker from Macon, Georgia. As the article alleges, many doll collectors—even those who primarily collected dolls with black “skin” had never heard of Moss or his incredibly poignant dolls until the 1970s.

According to this vintage piece from the Times, Moss would make “white” dolls in the image of the white children who lived in his neighborhood, and would then trade them for whatever he needed to create his black dolls and food for his family. The vast majority of Moss’ dolls were based on members of his own family, including his children. A jack-of-all-trades, Moss started making his paper maché dolls back in the late 1800s through the early part of the 1900s. In order to make his black dolls, Moss used discarded doll parts and soot from chimneys as well as boot dye to color their skin, and his wife Lee Ann made the delicate doll clothing. Moss also bought rejected or defective doll parts from a white man who worked for a New York toy supply company. And according to the folklore associated with Leo Moss, the helpful salesman was apparently the reason as to why many of Moss’ dolls faces are filled with sadness and authentic looking tears. Because at some point Lee Ann ran off with the New York doll parts dealer, taking the couple’s youngest child Mina along with her.

While this is about the most depressing thing I’ve read in awhile, author and historian Debbie Behan Garrett noted an equally sad explanation for Moss’ unhappy dolls in her 2008 book Black Dolls: A Comprehensive Guide to Celebrating, Collecting, and Experiencing the Passion. According to Garrett if one of Moss’ young models was unhappy or crying while he was trying to capture their image, he added the tears. Moss’ dolls are extremely rare and perhaps only 100 of them still exist today. Highly sought after by collectors the dolls sell for thousands of dollars, with one selling in 2010 for $10,350.

More photos of Moss’ dolls can be seen below.


More after the jump…

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Behold the ‘New Romantic’ Barbie: A vintage ‘Boy George’ doll straight from 1984

A 12-inch version of Boy George made by toy company, LJN in 1984.
Back in the magical year of 1984 toy company LJN put out a 12-inch version of a prominent member of the New Romantic movement, George Alan O’Dowd—otherwise known as Boy George—which came ready to party dressed in a “Color By Numbers” themed outfit.

A print ad for the Boy George doll by LJN.
Billed on the box as “The Original Outrageous Boy of Rock!” the toy Boy was fully poseable and his long hair came styled in one of his signature looks—braids tied with colorful ribbons to match the makeup on his face. Little Boy George also came with a microphone, hat and “posing stand.” Noted as an appropriate plaything for ages four and up, had I received a Boy George doll when I was a kid I would have promptly burned all of my Barbies in the backyard while Boy and I twirled around the fire to the sounds of “Karma Chameleon” playing on my boom box. Good times.

If you’re like me and had no idea that this delightfully dolled-up version of Boy George even existed and now must have one of your very own, you’re in luck as I found a few for sale on eBay. During my very important “research” for this post I also came across footage from a UK television show doing a feature on a Boy George doll (that came in two sizes—one rather alarmingly large) put out by a UK Culture Club fan club during which the gorgeous looking Mr. O’Dowd is presented with one of his very own—which he holds while singing a version of Cliff Richard and The Drifters song “Living Doll.” You can see that surreal event below along with a few images from die-hard CC fan, Flickr user KAZZ who went the extra mile and created custom outfits for her Boy George doll. All of this proves once again that the 80s were indeed much cooler (and a lot weirder) than most of our collective memories give it credit for. Enjoy!

Continues after the jump…

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Disturbingly beautiful sculptures created with discarded doll parts
11:30 am


Freya Jobbins

An up-close look at a sculpture made from discarded doll parts by Freya Jobbins.
Referring to herself as a “plastic surgeon” of sorts, Australia-based artist and sculptor Freya Jobbins uses pieces of dolls and other toys to create eerie human looking faces, busts and figures that appear to be holding themselves together with their own inanimate plastic parts.

Unlike many of her artistically inclined peers Jobbins didn’t start out as an artist and after figuring out that being a policewoman wasn’t as much fun as Angie Dickinson made it look, she decided to go back to school and graduated with a major in both printmaking and sculpture in 2004. Jobbins collects her materials from second-hand sources and her thought-provoking works conjure up a full range of responses from fascination to fear.

Here’s Jobbins’ own take on her compelling sculptures:

I am interested in generating a range of responses to existing cultural objects, which have been placed out of context. The irony of my plastic works is that I take a material that was created to be touched, and I make it untouchable as an artwork.

Jobbins’ choice of materials help reinforce the importance of reuse and recycling—something the artist takes very seriously not only when it comes to her line of work but also in her life. Jobbins even donates her unused doll hair to a friend—a weaver who uses the materials for her own creative pursuits.


More of Jobbins’ dazzling and disturbing works follow after the jump…

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Sexy M*therf*cker: Amazing lifelike Prince doll with custom-made clothing from ‘Purple Rain’ & more!
09:58 am


Troy Gua

Le Petit Prince at
Le Petit Prince at ‘Lake Minnetonka’ with his customized Honda CB400A.
Tuesday, May 3rd marked the sadly poignant moment when it became “seven hours and thirteen days” since Prince left this world. And I for one have still not (and probably never will) come to terms with his passing. His loss is a truly immeasurable one that has left his fans (including myself and my colleagues here at DM), dumbfounded. 
Let Petite Prince in his
Le Petit Prince in his ‘Dirty Mind’ outfit.
If you’re a Prince fan (and I wouldn’t trust anyone who said they weren’t, it’s one of my rules), you know that he was an incredibly private person—and was quick to put the kibosh on video footage of his mind-bogglingly epic live performances that somehow made their way to the Internet. In the past when DM has posted footage of Prince blowing-minds live, it’s always come with a warning to watch it before it gets taken down. Such was the case with Prince and his request to Seattle artist Troy Gua, who created a lifelike figure of Prince called “Le Petit Prince” (or “LPP”) sometime in 2012, and was swiftly served with a “cease and desist” notice by The Purple One himself. Gua, a huge Prince fan, was devastated. Figuring out a way around the order, he continued to take photos of his “LPP,” only now it had a sculpted head in Gua’s own image. In 2015, Gua started to once again publish images of Le Petit Prince and one of his most recent posts on his Instagram featured the realistic looking figure beginning his ascent to heaven by way of a ladder. Sigh.

Gua (who also makes all of Le Petit Prince’s painstakingly detailed clothes) says he doesn’t want to profit from Prince’s death, so you can’t actually purchase a small version of Prince dressed in era-specific attire (although Gua didn’t rule out this possibility in the future or selling prints of Le Petit Prince in action). When I say that the images in this post are almost as beguiling as Prince himself (almost), I’m not exaggerating. From Le Petit Prince riding a tiny replica of his customized 1981 Honda CB400A from the film Purple Rain, to the open trenchcoat and tiny black thong Prince wore on the cover of his 1980 album, Dirty Mind, Gua (who might be the greatest person ever) has created so many perfect Princes that I couldn’t possibly post them all here.

Prince as seen in the video for ‘Automatic’ from the 1982 album, ‘1999.’
More after the jump…

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Doll parts: A terrifying glimpse inside doll-making factories from around the world
09:49 am

Pop Culture

Doll factory

Talking dolls waiting around in a doll factory in France, 1930
Dolls waiting around in a doll factory in France, 1930.
When I came across these photos I immediately drew the conclusion that they could have been shot by Alfred Hitchcock during his downtime, as most of them are (and I’m pretty sure it’s intentional), as terrifying as fuck.

Taken over the course of two decades from 1931 - 1955, the images were culled from photos of doll factories in the United States, England, Germany, France and Italy. And I’m not kidding when I say these photos will give you the creeps -  because the photos, such as the one of a group of disembodied, freshly cast doll heads impaled on iron stakes, or say dangling doll legs that are hanging up to dry (pictured below), look like they belong at a gourmet cannibal meat market run by Hannibal Lecter. You can thank me later for not sleeping tonight after checking out the rest of the photos. If you need me, I’ll be under the bed.
Dangling doll legs in a factory in England, 1951
Dangling doll legs in a factory in England, 1951.
Drying doll heads, 1947
Drying doll heads, 1947.
Trimming doll eyelashes, 1949
Trimming doll eyelashes, 1949.
Various, not terrifying at all dolls being painted in a doll factory in Italy, 1950
Various rather terrifying looking dolls being painted inside a doll factory in Italy, 1950.
More scary dolls after the jump…

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Artist creates freakishly realistic doll faces
09:08 am


Michael Zajkov

Out of polymer clay, Russian artist Michael Zajkov creates doll faces and moveable doll body parts that are unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. The detail within his work is utterly exquisite. The handpainted glass eyes are from Germany and the dolls’ hair is fashioned from French mohair. The end result, to me, is quite spooky. The longer I stare at them, the more lifelike they seem. The quality of the expressions is haunting, like they’re lost souls or have tortured pasts.

All images via Michael Zajkov’s Instagram.



More after the jump…

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High-end plush dolls of Frank Zappa, Robert Smith, Kraftwerk, Jim Jarmusch & more, that you NEED!

Kraftwerk plush dolls by Uriel Valentin
Kraftwerk plush dolls by Uriel Valentin

Uriel Valentin is the talented Argentinian-based doll maker and artist behind a massive line of plush, hand-painted dolls that are about to send you running for your credit card. I often blog about these kinds of collectibles here on Dangerous Minds but didn’t know until today how much I needed a plush Robert Smith doll clad in look-alike pajamas like the ones that he wore in the 1989 video for “Lullaby.” Did you?
Robert Smith of The Cure in his Lullabye pajamas
Robert Smith of The Cure in his “Lullaby” PJs
Frank Zappa plush doll by Uriel Valentin
Frank Zappa in his iconic “PIPCO” shirt.
Among the illustrious and eclectic inhabitants of Valentin’s cool world are plush versions of everyone from famous punks like Elvis Costello, director Jim Jarmusch, Charlotte Gainsbourg (covered in blood clutching the disemboweled fox from Antichrist), Andy Warhol and Jean Basquiat (wearing boxing gloves and attire no less, as in the poster for their 1985 collaboration), Iron Maiden’s “Eddie” (as well as Maiden bassist Steve Harris, squeee!), two delightful versions of Robert Smith of The Cure and every member of fucking KRAFTWERK.

Valentin’s figures stand about fourteen inches tall, are hand-painted and sealed with a transparent acrylic varnish, and have wire inside of them so they are able to be put into posed positions. I’ve included over 40 (!) images of Valentin’s dolls for you to digest after the jump that will run you around $100 (including international shipping). The talented Argentinian also does custom orders (which are $115) - contact him via his Flickr page for more information.
Jim Jarmusch
Jim Jarmusch
Bette Davis and Joan Crawford from the 1962 film, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
Bette Davis and Joan Crawford from the 1962 film, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
Hedwig (played by actor James Cameron Mitchell in the film and play Hedwig and the Angry Inch)
Hedwig as played by actor James Cameron Mitchell from Hedwig and the Angry Inch)
Way more of these amazing handmade dolls after the jump…

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I wanna be your DOLL: Plush toys of Iggy, Bowie, DEVO, Blondie, Lemmy, Bjork, Siouxsie and MORE!
12:02 pm

Pop Culture

plush toys

Iggy Pop plush toy
Plush Iggy Pop toy

The plush renditions you are about to see of some of the most influential cultural icons in history were created by Sao Paulo, Brazil based illustrator and toy designer, Josmar Madureira. His work was recently featured in a fantastic looking book, Toy Land by Louis Bou which boasts more than a half of a million examples of toy art from around the world created in various mediums such as vinyl, metal, fabric and of course, plush.
Ian Curtis of Joy Division plush toy
Ian Curtis
A a self-described addict of artifacts such as old cartoons, 60’s psychedelia and pop art among other cool pursuits, Madureira (who operates under the moniker “Katkiller”), has put out an extensive line of plush toys in the images of cultural movers and shakers such as Iggy Pop, Bjork (in her infamous “swan dress” that she wore to the Academy Awards in 2001 no less) and Ian Curtis of Joy Division, as well as artists and famous couture designers like Salvador Dali and Vivienne Westwood. There’s even a few cinematic characters thrown into Madureira’s massive mix of toys from the film A Clockwork Orange and everyone’s favorite taxi driver, Travis Bickle.
Debbie Harry of Blondie plush toy
Debbie Harry
Joey Ramone plush toy
Joey Ramone
After the jump, more than 30 images of Josmar Madureira’s posh plush collection for you to peruse!

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Barbie doll created with average US woman’s measurements is repulsive hag
10:17 am



I, for one, am baffled that anyone has sex with women at all.

Just kidding! She’s totally cute!

Artist Nickolay Lamm, who previously created “clean-faced” Barbies intended to look makeup-free, has gotton even more ambitious with his most recent conceptual Barbie project. Using the Center for Disease Control & Prevention’s measurements of an average 19-year-old woman, he has created a Barbie shaped like an actual person. Declaring, “we should at least be open to the possibility that Barbie may negatively influence young girls,” Lamm taps into a can of worms that’s been debated in parenting and feminist circles forever—when children use play to learn, is there really such thing as “just a doll?”

On some level, hyper-realistic dolls are a bit silly anyways, since anyone who’s ever been around kids will admit you can draw a smiley face on a jar of pickles and they’ll play with it like a doll. In many parts of the world, dolls don’t attempt the detail of Barbie, and people don’t have to think about dolls’ “bodies.” On the other hand, when a doll is produced with such an uncanny attention to detail, especially when it’s a hyper-stylized depiction of the sort of bodies ubiquitously heralded as “hot,” (and oh so rarely achieved via nature alone) you have to wonder if kids are internalizing the Barbie “body” as something attainable.

Regardless, it’s an interesting concept, and it says something about how deeply ingrained Barbie has become as an American icon that a realistic body makeover looks jarring and surreal.
Barbie’s got back.

Via Bust

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You talkin’ to me? Or this Travis Bickle doll?
06:28 pm


Taxi Driver
Robert De Niro

Or the “Cab Driver” doll, to be more precise, which is part of the Brother Production company’s “Crazy Killers Collection”.

The 12” doll comes with two heads, replica army jacket, sunglasses, four different kinds of gun and even a miniature recreation of Travis’ infamous arm brace/gun rig. It’s actually pretty neat!

And it can be yours, via Ebay, for only $350.

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Uneek Doll Designs

Oscar Wilde
Handmade miniature character dolls of famous artists, authors, historical figures and actors by Etsy seller Uneek Doll Designs. Each doll measures around 4 1/2 inches tall; all the clothes and costumes are handmade and they retail for $30.00 - $36.00. I never thought in my life I’d stumble across a Noel Coward doll or Harper Lee doll!

Pablo Picasso

Edith Head
More dolls after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Devil with the blue dress on doll

Here’s a cute and delightful devil doll in a little blue dress. The one-of-a-kind handmade doll is designed by CrateBeforeTheHorse and can be purchased on Ebay.
(via Super Punch)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment