Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Creepy Collectible Doll of the Week
In which Paradise Galleries would seem to display an appalling lack of social conscience.

Last week's technical difficulties prevented me from posting a creepy doll. I think I can make it up to you this week by showing you something that is wrong on so many levels.

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet the Soul Kidz. Imagine being a fly on the wall at that brainstorming session.

Internationally Renowned Doll Artist #1: But, what will we CALL our new line of non-caucasian dolls?

Internationally Renowned Doll Artist #2: Hey, I know. Black people like "soul", right?

Sigh. And the z at the end of "kidz" is supposed to indicate what? That the dolls are zany? That's the only thing I can think of.

But wait, it gets worse. Here is Nathan. Let's see what Paradise Galleries has to say about "Nathan":
Journey back in time…to the simpler life of the Soul Kidz…and meet winsome “Nathan.” Inspired by the treasured Soul Kidz library of sepia photographs with hand-tinted color, this dapper young fellow comes to life in vivid color.

WHAT THE FUCK? 'Journey back in time to the simpler life of the Soul Kidz??!?' What?? Because life without BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS was so much simpler. Nathan is happy because he gets to drink from his very own water fountain. And really, who needs the social pressure of going to school with white kidz? And that whole lynch mob thing, well, that's pretty simple, right? Everybody wins, it's great.

Way to just gloss over a very grim period in our country's history, Paradise Galleries. Bravo. Bra freaking vo. Way to marginalize the civil rights movement.

And the sad thing is, I don't think the Paradise Galleries people actually mean for this to sound racist. I don't think they're that smart. They probably think, yeah, back in the day, those were the simple times. People didn't lock their doors. But there's no such thing as "simple times" are there? One needs only read To Kill A Mockingbird to see the harsh subtext that lurks under those "simple times".

But I digress. I'm supposed to be smack-talking poorly made dolls, not launching a sociopolitical diatribe about equality.

What else can we say about "Nathan"?
Handcrafted in our revolutionary GentleTouch™ vinyl, “Nathan” is so real you expect him to extend a gentlemanly hand to shake. “Nathan” is a real charmer, nattily dressed in a navy jacket and fawn trousers. His bowtie is impeccable as he offers a big bouquet of roses to his companion issue, “Shirley.” Whether displayed individually or in a sweetly romantic tableau with his first love, this Soul Kid will give you years of delight.

1. Well of course he's handcrafted in GentleTouch™ vinyl. What else is there?

2. I actually DO expect him to extend a hand, but not in a gentlemanly "let's be friends" sort of way. More like this.

3. "Nathan" is FIVE at best. Isn't it a bit creepy to display him in a romantic tableau with his first love? He's FIVE. Tops. His first love should be, like, a fire truck or a baseball or something.

Speaking of "Nathan's" first love, here she is. Unlike "Nathan", "Shirley" actually looks about 40 years old. And she's taken on a rather bizarre pose. It's almost as if she's pleading, "please, release my soul from this horrible shell of GentleTouch™ vinyl."

I'll leave y'all with one last horror. Have a look at James.

I don't actually need to say anything about James. James speaks for himself. Don't look at him for too long, it's a hazard to your sanity.