Reading Part Five (c) – Gene

1 Jul

As I think I may have mentioned before, I didn’t start collecting because I was interested in collector dolls. At the time, I wouldn’t have known where to look for them (no internet!) and actually, I couldn’t have afforded them anyway. I started collecting because of my fascination with playline dolls, usually Barbies and Sindys. This means that when it comes to collector dolls, I don’t really know my onions the way you might expect and thus far, I have made very little effort to change this. So when I came across Gene in a Dollreader magazine from 1997, it was all new to me.

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I was immediately wowed. Among oceans of frilly-knickered, thumb-sucking porcelain child dolls and stiff, porcelain statues in eveningwear, Gene stood out like an elegant sore thumb. The clean, minimal painting of her features is obviously inspired by Lempicka, in keeping with her general pre-war style. And her electric blue eyes are deliciously spooky, in a George R R Martin kind of way.

I did a bit of reading up. It seems that around about the time that my Dollreader magazine was produced, Gene was a phenomenon that was taking the Dollyverse by storm. I also found (its hard to tell from pictures) that Gene is bigger than my usual kind of doll, standing 15.5 inches as opposed to Barbie’s 11.5. Not only was she bigger, she was one of the first collector dolls of this size ever produced, and collectors loved it. The adverts in the back of Dollreader backed this up, as they were overwhelmingly Gene related:

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I was not quite so convinced. My Moxie Teenz are probably the biggest dolls I own, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to encourage a branch of my collection that would be so demanding in terms of space. Also, I just didn’t know how I would react to a bigger doll. I like the fit-in-your-hand size of Barbies and Sindys, its comfortable and familiar. However, I found myself “just looking” at Genes more and more, and eventually, of course, I ended up buying one. When she arrived, I am sad to say that I did find her hard to bond with, for a number of reasons I will probably discuss tomorrow when I post about her. At the moment, she’s tucked away in her box and I haven’t got her out since the day she arrived. I have done this on purpose, so that I could give liking her another try … to be continued.

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5 Responses to “Reading Part Five (c) – Gene”

  1. Maria July 1, 2012 at 10:31 pm #

    I dont have a Gene but I DO have a good few of her outfits and I think they are some of the best made clothes on the market…if you like perfect replica scale oufits she really is the one to go for I have to say and now is a good time to collect her since her prices are low..HOWEVER Im just not sure about her..I have toyed with the idea of a repaint version but I dont know..I’ll just stick with her fab costumes for now!

    • barbielea July 2, 2012 at 10:51 am #

      Hi Maria. I’m with you on the ambivalence, I will see how I feel tomorrow! Agree – her clothes and her style are fantastic and she does seem relatively cheap, compared to other dolls of her size and type … I also love the props you can get for these dolls, there’s really a lot going for this line. I’m just not sure yet whether she’s for me … Thanks for popping by ๐Ÿ™‚

    • barbielea July 2, 2012 at 11:06 am #

      Duh! Today, not tomorrow, I meant! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. tagidoll July 2, 2012 at 10:07 am #

    15.5 inches = roughly 40cm? I have one doll in this size range, most of my dolls being below 30 cm and I have 3 dolls 65 cm+ and I have to say his size just does feel…awkward to me and I’ve never felt compelled to add any other doll in that size range to accompany him. It’s a shame to hear you’re having difficulties with your doll though, she seems like such striking doll form the pictures you’ve posted. I really like the Gene dolls marked as 8, 17 and 29!

    • barbielea July 2, 2012 at 11:05 am #

      Hi Tagi. Yes, I have just measured her and she is indeed 40cm, compared to my next biggest dolls, the Moxies, who are 35cm. I think when I got her, I was quite cavalier about the size issue and thought it wouldn’t make any difference, as the Moxie’s size didn’t bother me. But Gene was a bit of a shock to the system! I think in my heart of hearts I expected her to be like a Barbie, and of course she really isn’t. Yes, there’s some great dolls on those pictures … I would have picked out 8 too, but I also like the pre-war dressed-down dolls like 18 and 24. Thanks for commenting.

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