Swimsuit Special – Simply Gene

2 Jul

I have a bit of time off work, so I thought now would be a good time to do my summer Swimsuit Special. Unfortunately, the English weather doesn’t agree – its miserable out there. Ho hum, I’ll find a way …

So, as I was saying last night, I recently purchased a Gene doll, which is completely outside of my usual area. Although I have branched out with my collection just recently, all my non-Barbies have tended to be Barbie-like in size, and all of them have been playline. However, Gene is not a doll designed for children and she is bigger than the dolls I like to collect.

At first, I wasn’t sure that I would like the size difference. But then I thought about my Moxie Teenz, which are bigger than Barbies, and decided to give it a go. However, I wasn’t thinking about it in the right way – I believe I still expected a Barbie-like doll to turn up. Of course when my Gene arrived she was nothing like a Barbie, and I just didn’t “get” her.

So I decided to put me and Gene to the “make or break” test. I got her out of the box, where I had left her for a couple of months since she first arrived, and gave some consideration to what it is that I don’t like about this doll. Yes, the size seems strange to me, but when I put my Barbie-based prejudices to one side, its not a deal-breaker. What was it, then? As is so often the case, when I really thought hard about it, it was the hair. It was up in a style that accentuated the roundness and breadth of her forehead, which I didn’t like, and it was also somewhat frizzy. Also, Gene’s head is quite “long” from front to back, compared to the fashion dolls I usually buy. There is a relatively broad space between corner of eye and top of ear, and this looked wrong to me when viewing her side-on. However, I thought more about the Lempicka paintings that she is based on, and it started to make more visual sense to me.

I took her hair down, gave it a brush through, and re-styled it. Better, I think – not perfect, but better. I was also heartened to find that the materials in the box are designed to encourage the owner to do exactly this, for example the inclusion of this hair styling guide:



(my Simply Gene’s hair was styled in the manner of the second picture above when I got her).

I also struggled with how this doll poses when I first got her. Her knees are jointed, which is nice, but her arms are completely rigid with hands sticking out to the sides. What really got me was her head, though. Her head is sat high on her neck so her chin is permanently tipped up, and although she can look slightly up again and from side to side, she can’t look downwards. I suppose this is purposefully rendered to create a series of poses in keeping with her character, which I learned more about through reading the blurb in the enclosed leaflets – pre-war, haughty, aloof screen siren. I’m still not so keen on her posing limits but now that I understand why she is like this, I think that I can live with it.

So, its a tentative “yes” for Gene. I’m not sure I will ever have many, but I might consider another one or two at some point in the future. I would especially like a brunette, as I think this is the best colour on her.







4 Responses to “Swimsuit Special – Simply Gene”

  1. kewpie83 July 2, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

    Cute Gene! You’re right about the brunette ones. While the blondes are cute, the brunettes are even better. I have seven of these girls. They’re the only ‘high fashion’ doll I collect. You have a great one, though. I love the basics because I can pick up cheap outfits and change her without having to agonize over it.

    A few of my Gene’s do have jointed elbows, which don’t add a ton of mobility, but still, it’s better than nothing! 🙂

    • barbielea July 2, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

      Hi Kewpie, thanks for posting. Yes, this is partly why I went for the basic too – I’ve seen so many lovely outfits loose, and I have plans to try her in a few. The other reason is, as I mentioned I didn’t know whether I would want to keep her, and this Simply was available for a rather fantastic £15 (equivalent to about $24 I think) plus another £5 postage – as Maria said in a comment on my last post, the market for these dolls is run the buyer’s favour at the mo, in the UK anyway. If and when I buy again, I might hold out for a jointed arms model – and she will definitely be a brunette. Best wishes 🙂

  2. bat6660 July 3, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

    I am used to seeing dolls scattered around the house and when I read your post about Gene it intrigued me. I asked that you show her to me. I can honestly say I do not like her at all. I find her looks off putting and aloof. Her cold stare does nothing to endear me and I find her size strangely disturbing. This is of course from a non doll collector point of view. I would never assume to know what i am talking about on a collector level. Personally though this doll is a big thumbs down from me. Oh yes and our 3 year old son likes to take her shoes off which are a nightmare in themselves.

    • barbielea July 7, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

      I thought you might like her, given that you usually like deco art and style. O well

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