HOW BABY FACE WAS BORN...
14. Hair, Lashes, Clothing

Dear PrillyCharmin,

Now I had to get hair for my other two dolls. I figured I could use the little blond wig on the "first" doll. So I went to my "Secret" Supply place: Toys-R-Us! Where I quickly learned something that I hadn't fully realized up till then: that the doll I was creating was a very unusual size. It seemed that most dolls were either bigger or smaller. That was Good news, from a merchandising angle, but at that moment, for a grown man who was loitering in the doll isle for hours trying to find the right size dolls to "scalp", it was Bad news! On the plus side, at least, I was able to do this during week days, when there were few people there, to notice.

On the other hand, If one really wants to raise eyebrows, try hanging around the make-up department of the drug store, examining and handling all the false eyelashes. Not once, but time and again, and not just one drug store, but every one in Dutchess County. It got so, I could hear the sales girls whisper "He's Back!", whenever I appeared. And I wasn't just looking, I was Buying lots and lots of false eyelashes, which to the aforementioned young ladies, made my behavior all the more interesting!

I found the black ones too dark, and the blond ones too light, but the brown ones were Just Right, but also, too few There would only be a few brown ones in each store, and some brands seemed better than others, so over the course of a year, working on all the heads, I must have bought every pair of brown eyelashes shipped to our area.

 

 

Getting back to the hair: I bought a lot of dolls of various sizes, whatever grabbed my interest as potential hair transplant donors. Back home, I carefully cut the tops of their vinyl heads off, just along the hair line. And My three dolls auditioned a variety of wigs and "scalps". After a lot of "debate" the dolls and I decided, who would get what. As I mentioned before the "first" got the little blond "wig". Then, I cut the Sculpy away from each of the other two dolls, along the hairline, so the new scalps would fit flush and flawlessly", and glued them in place.Now I painted the mouths and tongues and teeth, and airbrushed the pink cheeks.

Then I "set" the eyes, after moving them around for a long time until they looked and "felt" Right, and glued on the eyelashes with, whet else?, Eyelash adhesive. Last of all I strung the dolls with elastic, in the manner of vintage dolls, and they were Done, But not completed, for they still needed Clothes!

 

 

 

 

Even now, with three different facial expressions to look at, I was still taking that aspect for granted and thinking of "Oh Baby" as a Fashion doll, and in terms of a little girl wanting and collecting more outfits, rather than more "expressions"! So I went Shopping, and faced with the problem of her odd size, shopping and More Shopping! To use a phrase that, I'm sure, has been uttered since clothing was first invented: "There was Nothing to fit her!"

I wanted the video tape to suggest lots of different styles and fashions, from traditional to "modern", But I ended up having to make do with what little I could find and just "Fake out" the rest! Among the things I did find was a line of large soft teen age dolls by Mattel called: "Hot Looks" I bought them all and altered their outfits to more of less "fit". I bought other dolls too just to get their clothes, which again I had to "alter". As I said before "Anything Hands Can Do Mine Can Do.......ALSO!" Notice I didn't say "Better" So I can "sew" too, If you can call having to rethread the sewing machine every two minutes "sewing" It's Sheer Pain and Anguish, But, when all else, (like Glue, for instance) Fails ..I "sew"!

 

Then I took photos and had some color copy enlargements made to mount on illustration board. And shot the Video tape, right here on my work bench, using the same, makeshift "turntable" she was created on, to pose and rotate the dolls for the tape!

I had heard a tune called "Oh Baby" on TV in a news broadcast some time earlier. Now Andy and I both tried, without success, to track it down! But we did manage to find a recording of the tune "Baby Face" Which, after numerous phone conversations, was, by now, our first choice for a name for the dolls. But, the recording sounded dated. And was hardly what we had hoped for.

While I can answer just about, all the music related questions on Jeopardy, and transforming our house into a "concert hall" one of my favorite pastimes, (That big pedestal that Mickey and Minnie are standing on in the
photo I sent is actually a 800 LB Sub-Woofer), I know absolutely Nothing about "popular" music.

Fortunately, Andy can relate to contemporary music, and has a Knack for finding just the Right Stuff! He sent up a couple of CDs, either of which, would have been fine, "Take Good Care of My Baby" and "Be My Little Baby" I added the latter to the tape. Then, I built a special carrying case with a place to hold everything... And the Presentation was COMPLETE!

Andy drove up to my house to pick It up and See Baby Face for the First Time! He wasn't disappointed! The very Next Day, which was the first day of "Toy Fair" in New York, Kiscom showed Baby Face To Galoob!

Phew! and Best Regards, Mel



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