HOW BABY FACE WAS BORN...
16. The Alberts

The Alberts were at that time the Reigning Royalty of Doll Makers. They had been working in the toy industry for many years, but had capped their reputation and made a fortune to boot, by being responsible for translating the original soft Cabbage Patch Kids into manufacturable toy product. Now Saul was offering them a royalty, to perform the same service for Baby Face. I have a pretty good idea how much the royalty was, but I don't know for sure, and It's not my place to say here, even if I did. Suffice it to say that the doll would have to be a huge success in order for it to be worth their while!

So the fact that The Alberts agreed to undertake the project, and invest Their time and reputation on it, was not only the ultimate compliment, but also, the ultimate proof that Baby Face had won them over, and they believed in her, or perhaps, at least, what they felt she could become in their hands! And the fact that Galoob was willing to pile an additional royalty on top of the generous one they were giving us, was further proof of their commitment to, and faith in, the project!

What did Galoob See in Baby Face? In an industry (or world for that matter) where you only have to mention, that you are "introducing" or "working on" a new doll, and the response is invariably: "What Does It DO?", Why would any modern toy company undertake to produce a doll that was "just a doll", and Didn't DO ANYTHING??

 

The reasons are, I believe:

  1. First, because, they fell in love with the way she looked! So much so, in fact, that They Wanted to Duplicate My Dolls EXACTLY* And this became a problem, as it turned out, later on, especially, for the Alberts Who would have, given free reign, transformed the dolls into "their own".
  2. Secondly, They fell in love with the facial expressions, and saw them as something "NEW"! New enough to be the "Raison d'etre" for a whole line of dolls, each with a different expression and personality!
  3. Last of all, The Guys at Galoob, from their limited perspective, thought the fully articulated joints, were something "New"! Of course, I knew that for well over a century, nearly every doll had joints like that. And I'd seen many antique dolls with expressions, in fact the cabbage patch dolls even had a couple of slightly different faces, perhaps, more to keep the dolls from all looking identical, than to convey any emotion.

Saul and David were so taken by Exactly What they "First Saw" That they were Determined to Either, Achieve IT, Or Drop the Project, if it couldn't be achieved! And Saul can be a real Tiger, when it comes to Fighting for his vision of "Perfection"! Like the World War II anecdote about the Japanese, who in attempting to replicate a captured US sub, supposedly, punched holes in the side and put patches over them, exactly like the original......... They were determined to duplicate my Doll!

And one of the things they were determined to duplicate was the size! Forget about our Vision of 11"! They insisted that the finished doll had to be exactly the same size as my originals! This meant "someone" had to re-sculpt the doll to make it about 20% larger, so when it shrank in production it would end up, like mine, around 14" tall.

"NO PROBLEM!" Judy knew, and had worked with, all the leading doll sculptors in the industry! To make sure she found the very Best one for the job, she would hire, not one but Both of the "Two Top People" and start them off by giving each of them one of my Sculpy heads to enlarge! Then she would choose the Best and give that person the job of sculpting the entire line, which was now expanded to include several dolls, each with a different expression. It sounded Great to me!

The thought that I might ever get involved with sculpting any heads never, ever, even entered my head, Fumbling around with three Sculpy heads, that, through "Luck", had come out pretty good, didn't make me a doll sculptor. and I did know that making real doll heads, somehow, involved working in wax, and lots of other stuff, that I knew nothing about, stuff that would, probably, take a life time to master! My sculpting the heads was, not only "out of the question," It's a question that no one, including myself would even dream of asking!

Meanwhile, I understand that, Judy gave the body, which, I guess, she considered less demanding to yet a third sculptor, to get started on.. About six weeks passed, and Andy, Adam, and I, were invited to the Albert's Long Island Mansion, to see what she had done so far!

 

 



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