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Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Living Dead Dolls (and Herbie!) Presents ... Leatherface!

Leatherface was bought for me as a Christmas present by my Son when they were released in 2007, as he knew all about my soft spot for the Sawyer / Hewitts family, I have no idea why but I always root for them, they are a weird innocence and are oddly sympathetic characters even though they are right sadistic freaks that you really wouldn't want to meet!

Leatherface especially is childlike, this is further illustrated in the recent prequels where he is shown doing his lessons (spelling) using an electronic toy such as those made by Leapfrog for toddlers and preschoolers.

2008 Christmas pressie from Aaron ... wooot!
This doll is an Exclusive and was produced in a limited run only so they are quite hard to come by in the U.K. - I decided to double check that last line, having not researched him since Aaron bought him for me, so I hop footed it over to Amazon and wow, check out this screenshot...

Amazon.co.uk Screenshot - 2 minutes ago!


I'm shocked how much it would set me back to buy him now, Aaron saved up his pocket money for over a month to buy him for me, if he'd been the price he is now I'd of had buckleys of owing him!

I had to wait for him to arrive from America, he wasn't available for sale in the U.K at the time and after the two weeks of tenderhooks Customs held him to ransom for £10.00!

Even so, with the initial cost, shipping cost and Customs charge combined he's still 
I love this little guy so much, he's just the cutest... He's now £138.10 - £162,42 more than he originally cost in 2008 - almost tripled in value!!

Not that I'd part with the little guy, I adore him, he's just so cute..

                          

He comes in a really cool box which opens like a door at the front to reveal a clear viewing pane, to get at him you have to open the box at the top.
                                                  

The Back of the box reads... "The collectable you are about to purchase is an homage to the tragedy which befell a group of five youths. Had they lived very,very long lives, they could not have expected nor would they have wished to see as much of the macabre as they were to see that day. For them an idyllic Summer afternoon drive became a nightmare. The events of that day were to lead to the discovery of one of the most bizarre crimes in the annuals of American history... The Texas Chainsaw Massacre."


He wears navy blue trousers, an ivory shirt, cowboy boots, a blood splattered apron and stands 12 inches tall and comes with his own little chainsaw (also covered in blood splats) and has the cutest little pot belly!!


He sometimes watches The Texas Chainsaw massacre with us at Halloween, although he always gets angry at the end and waves is chainsaw around!


Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Decisions, Decisions...

I know I promised more Monster High posts and all you've had so far are Pee-wee Herman & Living Dead Dolls, I got a bit sidetracked and started rearranging my blog.

I discovered that I'd mislaid a few Living Dead Doll posts and as I want to make my labels more coherent and and easier to navigate, I've started to go through the vaults to try and find them, what I discovered was a multitude of Living Dead Dolls all in one hot mess of a post with no obvious labels*  and not all of my Living Dead Dolls at that!




*well it was posted quite a few years back, when I was still quite new to the blogging concept (Originally posted on My Site, Multiply under title  My Living Dead Dolls - Yayness!!  Dec 31, '08 11:39 AM), then uploaded to Flickr around the same time, then posted to here too!)

So I decided I'm reposting and reorganizing, so I apologize if you've seen these dolls and photographs before but sadly most of my collection is in storage so I'm not able at present to update many of the older pictures.

Anyhoo, I'll be back on track soon enough - there's hundreds of plastic humans to show off still, hopefully, you'll bear with me and stick around!

Hugs,







P.S That Schitzo close up photograph doesn't belong to me I cropped it from somewhere, sadly it's been so long I don't recall where... If it's your's congratulations on owning such a gorgeous little guy, and please accept my apologies for the photo theft... Come to think of it, I'm not sure the other mini close ups are mine either, my camera was absolutely pants at the time.
So if you recognise your pic's, let me know and I'll credit you, hugs again, Herbie x 

Monday, 3 October 2016

☞ Birthday Prezzies 2015 - Living Dead Dolls: Part 5 - The Creature from The Black Lagoon ☜

Living Dead Dolls Promo' Poster 


As  soon as I saw this promotional poster for the Living Dead Doll Exclusive: The Creature From The Black Lagoon I was smitten. I showed it to Aaron, expecting him to say "Yeah, that's cool" and yay he preordered it immediately as a surprise Birthday prezzie for me!




I'm not sure why, but The Creature has always been my favourite movie monster, like Frankenstein's Monster he is an innocent who, through no fault of his own is introduced into "the world of humans" and as a consequence is misunderstood and falls fail because of it.

If you've read my post about the Universal Studios Monsters Signature Series by Hasbro / Kenner, you'll already know a little about this iconic movie monster's design and my love for this particular beastie, if not and you're interested, you can access that post by clicking the link above.        
       Living Dead Dolls advertising.

While the Hasbro Creature is as close to the iconic designs imagined and drawn up by Millicent Patrick, I can't help loving the unique twist that the Living Dead Doll designers came up with, of course this is due in part to the fact that they couldn't reuse their existing moulds as they often do, but instead had to create a whole new one in order to produce this doll.

 The resulting design has given the Creature a more humanoid appearance, and also a more innocent and childlike look.



I love the attention to detail on this doll, he's perfect, right down to his scaly feet. Like The Creature from the Universal films, he has overly large hands (paws?) in relation to the rest of his limbs. These are covered with tiny bumps (suckers?) and he looks just as good from behind as he does from the front.

Unlike other Living Dead Dolls he is articulated at the wrists and ankles as well as the standard hips, neck and shoulders.



His box is decorated on the front with graphics and writing which resembles the artwork used on the lobby posters from the original Creature from The Black Lagoon film.

The back of the box has a "seal" depicting Frankenstein's Monster and reads "Universal Studios home of the original Monsters".

                                              

The sides of the box also bear this seal as well as a picture of the real Creature, below which is the film title emblazoned in yellow, again resembling the lobby posters from the original film.

                    

                                               As you can see he's a bit of a joker!


☞ Birthday Prezzies 2015 - Living Dead Dolls: Part 4 - Norman Bates & Marian Crane - (Psycho) ☜

When I saw this promo' poster advertising the latest offering from Living Dead Dolls, I just had to have them!

Psycho has long been one of my favourite films, the atmosphere is electric and unrelenting, Hitchcock was truly a master of the genre.

Living Dead Dolls Promo' Poster

 I love that it is in black and white and that the horror is not derived from gore or blood letting everywhere, but from the quiet unassuming way in which Antony Perkins depicts Norman, the idea that the most dangerous people are not always openly scary and can come across as a really nice, friendly person until it is too late and once you find out your mistake it is too late, your life is forfeited because of it...


I really love the packaging on these two dolls, the front of each box is decorated according to each of the character's perspective during "the shower scene" of the original Psycho film.

Marian Crane's box depicts the moment when Norman (dressed as his mother) pulls back the shower curtain and raises the knife to slash her to death, and the doll's expression conveys the shock and fear shown on Janet Leigh's face when she is surprised in the shower. 

While Norman's box shows the same moment from Marian Crane's perspective, her hands are depicted raised in order to try and fend off the blows in an attempt to save her life.



Living Dead Dolls advertising


Marian comes wrapped in a "Bate's Motel" towel, screaming for her life...
Living Dead Dolls advertising
While Norman comes dressed as his mother complete with blonde wig over his dark hair which can clearly be seen and his trousers and men's boots poking out underneath, his face is contorted in a mixture of rage (at that filthy girl!) and a scream which he emits just as he's about to attack!



☞ Birthday Prezzies 2015 - Living Dead Dolls: Part 3 - War ☜


As you probably know by now I have a bit of a thing about gasmasks, and of course you're well aware of my thing about dolls, so a doll in a gasmask? Well, seriously how can I resist?!


Toxic Molly


I'd imagined it to be a weird dream, but then I discovered Toxic Molly... Sadly, by the time I knew she existed she was discontinued and hard as heck to get hold of unless you have a couple of hundred quid to spare, so the release of The Four Horseman of The Apocalypse series with War in his gasmask was of great interest to me and of course he ended up on my wishlist - Lucky for me Aaron, knowing my problem bought him for my Birthday too! 


Apart from the fact this doll comes with a gasmask, the other thing that drew me to him was his Surcoat and mantle which is based on The Knights Templar, The Order of Solomon's Temple. 

While I am not so keen on the periods of history in which they were prominent - The Crusades, I have always had a keen interest in The Order themselves and the rise, decline, associations, legends, secrecy, legacy and connection with The Holy Grail of these fascinating "Holy knights".


I love that his outfit combines both modern and ancient combat garments which oddly don't look out of place on him. I also love that he comes with a little "War Horse", like the others in this series, although his is red to match with the poem written on the front of his coffin shaped box.

The combination of garments used in War's uniform is no accidental grouping. In combining all these iconic uniform components it places War himself as spanning from the Human Race's first known combats right up to the present day - 21 Centuries of Warfare... 

When you think of it in those terms it's revolting, especially when you consider we still haven't learnt.

War's uniform consists of :

Stahlhelm - Worn by the German Army during WW1 & WW2 (first introduced in 1916 and replaced in 1956), this style was also worn by Austrian, Hungarian, Ottoman, Chinese, Polish, British, Bolivian, Swiss, Argentine, Yugoslav, Chilean, Spanish, Irish troops wearing the same style or variations of it at during the same period, United States and El Salvador armies have also worn variations on this helmet design.

Gasmask - Gasmasks have been around in one form or another since their invention in the 9th Century. Originally invented to protect workers from workplace pollutants,  they evolved over the centuries as needed. The gasmask in the form that we recognise today were  invented in 1912 by Garrett Morgan as a smoke protecting safety hood. The design was patented in 1914 and that patent design was adapted for use as protection in WW1. This design was later modified again, with different Countries inventing their own versions, but the basis remains the same and is of course still in use for protection in warfare.

Surcoat - From around 12th Century knights wore a surcoat over their armour, this continued to be the case until the 15th Century when the surcoat became an armoured garment instead of a cloth one.

Mantle / Tunic - The Knights Templar wore a white mantle over their armour to deflect the heat of the sun, white was used to symbolise purity as they were crusading on behalf of The Catholic Church. To further illustrate that they have "taken the cross" they wore the symbol emblazoned on the front in red. This of course made them very recognisable and distinguished them from other knights in battle. This iconic garment was worn by the Templar Knights from 1129 until the order was disbanded in 1312.

www.pinterest.com/dolls4emma/

Tunic Emblem - The Living Dead Dolls "War" wears a mantle which has bears the Cross of Lorraine on top of the symbol for eternity. These combined symbols create a unique symbol the origins of which are unclear. 

It is said to be the Alchemic symbol for Sulphur (Brimstone) and also The Leviathan Cross which is often claimed as an invention of The Knights Templar.

The glyph was later used by Anton LaVey  when it was placed above The Nine Satanic Statements in his book The Satanic Bible written in the 1969, as a consequence it has been linked to Satanism and is often referred to as "Crux Satanus" (Satan's Cross) although there is no other instance of this glyph being symbolic of Satan or Satanism outside of LaVey's usage!

The glyph has been used in recent years on the Living Dead Dolls' packaging and clothing, and also  as a favicon and maker's mark on the official website since Ed Long and Damien Glonek released the first doll for public consumption 16 years ago!!

So it is only fitting that "War" should wear it as his emblem upon his mantle.

Chainmail - The earliest example of this protective clothing has been found dating from around the 4th Century BC. Chainmail is still worn as a protective layer in the 21st Century.

Cargo Trousers - First worn by British Armed Forces as Battle Dress in 1938, later by U.S Army in WW2, Australia, South Africa, India, New Zealand and Canada also adapted this style of trousers into their uniforms. Post WW2 Greece, Belgium, Norway, Argentina and The Netherlands also adopted this style. Variations of these trousers continue to be worn by Military throughout the World in the present day.

Combat Boots - First worn by Roman Soldiers during The Roman Empire ( 31 BC to 395/476 AD). A variation was worn by the New Model Army (1645 - 1660) during The English Civil War (1642 - 1651) In Switzerland combat boots were worn from 1779. 

In The United States it was during the 1812 War that  this type of boot became a staple of military clothing, up until 1820 when it was replaced with a ankle height style. This continued to be worn until 1858 until they were replaced with an improved style in the 1880s.  

Combat Boots as we know them today, and as worn by "War" are worn by armies Worldwide as well as by various groups (Punk, Heavy Metal, Goth etc) as a fashion statement.


☞ Birthday Prezzies 2015 - Living Dead Dolls: Part 2 - The Kiss of Death ☜




I really loved the Death versions of Living Dead Dolls released by Mezco and"Spirit Talking" really couldn't decide if I preferred the Horseman of The Apocalypse series "Death" or the Series 15  versions of this doll. 

The two are pretty similar really, except that series 15's Death comes with a little planchette as well as his scythe and "The Four Horseman of The Apocalypse" Death comes with a little white obby oss.


The Series 15 Death also Glows in the dark, I'm not sure however if the variant version does as well.


Series 15 Variant Death is a red robed version which puts me in mind of "The Masque of The Red Death" by Edgar Allan Poe... All of which came in little coffin shaped boxes.



Each comes with the obligatory "Death Certificate" as well, but the series 15 Deaths differ in that they form part of a Ouija Board, hence the series title "Spirit Talking".




The rest of series 15 each have a section of a Ouija Board, which when pieced together make a full board.


With the planchette in Death's coffin, you can use the Ouija Board if you so wish. This series is unique in that they reward you for collecting the entire series by giving you an extra gift, a part of which is included in each of their coffins.


As far as I can make out the only thing that ties these dolls together as a series is the inclusion of the Ouija Board pieces. In terms of a theme their isn't really a coherent one, and the series title "Spirit Talking" relates only to the enclosed Ouija Board pieces and not the dolls themselves.


The Series 15 variants all come with the Ouija Board parts and were released as limited editions with the entire run being 666 sets Worldwide!
                          
I was still umming and ahhing as to which one I wanted when Mezco released an even cuter version, an adorable little Death with a lipstick mark on his cheek who comes packaged inside a "Kissing Booth" with a sign saying "Kisses 25c Your Soul".


He put me in mind of both Snoopy in his kissing booth and The Discworld's Death. I can just imagine him leaving Binky in the care of Albert and taking time off to "find himself" etc, while pretending to be human he takes a job manning a kissing booth, after reading what he got up to in Mort, Soul MusicReaper Man & Hogfather, I really wouldn't put it past him!



I can imagine him sitting there waiting for customers with The Grim Squeaker perched on his lap.


                                           


In case I've never mentioned it, Sir Terry Pratchett is my favourite author and his Discworld series are my ultimate go to books - I have every one he wrote (all 46 of them!) my only regret is I never made it to a book signing and so was unable to tell  Sir Terry just how much his writing meant to me or that I named my beautiful natured kitten (now sadly also passed) Pratchett and that they had both brought me so much joy in my life and helped pick me up at times when I really needed a lift.

                                                 

Sadly, I will never no have the opportunity to do so, as Sir Terry Pratchett passed away in 2015, the last Discworld book he wrote "The Shepherd's Crown" centred on Tiffany Aching and was as brilliant as the others, it ended on a sad note however, as not only was I very conscious that it was the very last and I would never get to explore any more of the Discworld, which sadly could have continued indefinitely but also because the end of the book had a footnote which stated how Sir Terry passed and his wishes for the Discworld had he have had the time in which to expand on it...

big-al-son86.deviantart.com

I like to think that the Kissing Booth Death is somehow related to the Discworld's very "human" Death and not the "anthropomorphic personification" which he is normally depicted as being.




 The addition of the lipstick mark on his cheek adds to this notion. While I could use a planchette and I loved the idea of The Four Horses of The Apocalypse Death's obby oss being his own little "Binky", I just couldn't get over the cuteness of the Kiss Of Death.


Aaron had already bought me "War" from the "Four Horsemen" series, so I figured little Kissy Death could use his obby oss if he wanted one. So I added The Kiss of Death to my LDD wish list and yay Aaron bought me him too!


He was released just in time for Valentine's Day... And who wouldn't be happy to receive such an adorable gift, he's just too cute!

ø¤ MY PEE-WEES ¤ø


One is my doll group friends, Donna Hilson, last year, fulfilled her dream and opened a toy shop; "Donna's Childhood Memories", in her home town of Canvey Island, Essex.

While looking at the photo's she posted of her shop as she was setting it up getting it ready for it's grand opening, I noticed the huge Pee-Wee Herman on the rocking horse, I also noticed that he has a smaller version of himself in front of him.


I asked her the price and if she'd post them to me - she was more than happy to do so. A few days later they arrived at my home in a huge box - 3 foot square... It seems I had underestimated just how big they both were!

To give you an idea of their sizes - the smaller Pee-Wee is 26 inches (2 foot 2 inches) tall. While the larger Peewee is 40 inches ( 3 foot 4 inches) tall. Go on, go and get a tape measure!

I couldn't find the photo's I took prior to my move so I had to get the pair of them out of storage and shoot off a few more... 


Roxy wouldn't allow me to take any without her in them... in fact she sneaked into the shot just after I'd set up the 40" Pee-Wee!

No matter how many I took and how much I tried to shoo her she always ended up in shot and under each Pee-Wee's arm, I decided to let her have her way, so behold - Roxy and My Pee-Wees!


The 40" Pee-Wee was produced in 1989 as a J.C. Penney Exclusive Limited Edition Doll. He has a soft body with thick wires partway down his arms and legs, has a moulded head, hands and shoes and is wearing his trademark suit complete with pocket handkerchief and bow tie..

www.hakes.com
His box was plain apart from the sticker below on one side and an image of a Carousal Horse  on the other.

www.hakes.com
The back of his neck bears the legend ©1989 Herman Toys Inc. with the name Pee-Wee Herman engraved into the plastic besides it. There is a lighter square in the left of his neck which is numbered out of 2000, in what looks to be pen.


As you can see from the above photograph mine is number 309/2000. While there was supposed to be a run of 2000 of these dolls produced, from my research I've come across information which places the run at only 400 produced, which would make mine one of the last ones produced.


Each one came with a Certificate of Authenticity, numbered and signed, according to Hake Americana & Collectables this certificate is 8 x 10 inches and hand numbered.

I made myself a replica for my doll which is shown in the photograph above, I can't help finding it ironic that while my doll is authentic his Certificate of  Authenticity is not, still I am not planning on selling him, so what does that matter?!.

I found a listing for one of these dolls on Hakes Americana & Collectables the doll was sold in 2013 for $230.00 (£117.73) and have included a screenshot of the listing below...





The 26 inch Ventriloquist doll version was made by Matchbox Toys, also in 1989 and sold under the title "Pee-wee's Playhouse" as it was official merchandise from the show.


As  you can see Roxy wanted in on him too and gave me one of her most pathetic faces when I tried to move her!


He has a drawstring at the back of his neck which allows you to open and close his mouth and so make Pee-wee "talk", a soft body, moulded hands, head, shoes and a sleeping Roxy on his lap.



He is identical in every way to the 40 inch doll and Pee-wee himself, apart from the drawstring and moving mouth that is!

I found a listing for a boxed Ventriloquist Pee-wee on Toyzonkers.com as you can see they have him up for sale at $134.99 (£104.38), of course being boxed, he also comes with his booklet which gives instructions on ventriloquism, which sadly I do not have. 


I decided it would be silly to post about both these dolls and not take a photo' of them both together, that way the size difference between the two would be obvious, of course my furry delinquent got in on that photo too, so here they are 3 best friends! 


While playing with my Pee-wees, I mean photographing them, I was pretty impressed by how little of their original paint has chipped, the only places this has happened is in the black areas on the larger doll, a small amount of his hair and the bottom of his shoes, given that these dolls are now 27 years old and have been out of their boxes for gawd knows how long.

Hugs,