HOW BABY FACE WAS BORN...
27. More Heads & BF Babies

 

 

 

 

 

I'll mention a few more heads and then move on. Perhaps you would find it interesting to know, that No one ever Mentioned doing a Boy's head to me, Nor did I ever consciously, sculpt one! All the heads I sculpted were, in my mind, Girls!

I was genuinely Surprised to see Recycled girls, dressed as Boys in the showroom the next year! With the first Toy Fair over and Baby Face a Success, Judy Albert began to get a little more directly involved with what I was doing, and sent me a selection of photos as suggestions for other heads.

 

 

 

One "expression" she seemed to really favor, as there were several shots of kids doing it, was a kid with her mouth open, but covering her upper teeth with her upper lip. Don't ask me what this was all about, but I was repeatedly requested to "do it", so I went ahead and did it! That's the doll that was called "Karen."

Click on the photo at left to see a picture of the finished doll.   

I had some reservations about, and trouble rationalizing, another head, that I was absolutely, "Ordered" to Do, the one that became "So Silly Sally"! Which I understand is now, considered "rare", and quite sought after by BF collectors!

Click on the photo at left to see a picture of the finished doll.

To be absolutely honest, I was never quite sure how old Baby Face was supposed to be! I did feel she was a "baby", certainly, not newborn, but a baby, nonetheless! Its also clear that Judy thought she was a Baby too! After all didn't she base the Outfits on DIAPERS? But, as time went on her age seemed to "Creep Up"! 

Kiscom and I both felt strongly, that the main reason for this was: Judy's Hair styles! The way I frequently put it was as follows: My mother was, at the time, living in Miami Beach, She had a Gang of girlfriends, who were all widows, like herself. And although they were all in their mid-eighties, they referred to themselves as the "Girls"and Each and every one was a "Platinum Blond", and they all had the same hair style, a "Bubble Cut"! I was often known to remark, "Baby Face Goes to my Mother's Beauty Parlor"!

Now, having been instructed to "Do" a Baby Who has "Lost One of Her top Front Teeth!" I, once more, found my self wondering "How old is Baby Face, Anyway?" And asking "At what Age does a kid begin to lose her baby teeth?". Six? Seven? Eight? "What Is this, A Six year old, Wearing A Diaper?", or "A Two year old Victim of Child Abuse?"

I guess, I was being too Logical. I did It, a baby with one front tooth missing, and "everyone" thought, it was Adorable!
  

Cathy and I, thought it would be fun to do a doll who would be sort of naughty looking doll, one who looked a little mischievous, We referred to her among ourselves, as, "So Naughty Nancy". You can see me working on her head, in the photo from the Collector's Showcase article. Galoob was a little uneasy about her, But she did appear in the showroom, though not in the catalogue in 1992.

Cathy, on the other hand, Adored her! And, later, when the whole Baby Face world began to fall apart, Cathy asked me if she could have the only sample. And I, of course, replied, "Of Course!"
 

 I've often thought back to that moment, as in retrospect, It was as if she thought the samples and the permission, were mine to give! Cathy herself, sent me a generous selection of Baby Face product, But although I asked Gary Niles [more about him later] for the showroom samples several times, and also put Andy up to asking him for me, I never saw them again. Gary did send Kiscom a Baby Face logo, from the showroom, to pass on to me, saying that, "He thought I would like to have it". But the Full sized, First Generation Prototypes, along with my favorite "So Shy Sherri" are Gone, Forever, I know not where! And gone with them may be the only remaining means by which Baby Face could ever Be Done Again.

Around the same time, that I was working on the other heads, Judy and I, felt that I should do a younger "Baby" Baby Face. This strategy had worked well for Cabbage Patch, with the introduction of "Preemies"! And Galoob agreed!

I was really enthusiastic about this project! It would be my chance to do a body the way I thought it should have been done, in the first place, only Better! And at the same time atone for, and correct, all the shortcomings, in the first Baby Face dolls!

Click on the photo at left to see more pictures of Oh Baby! in Mel's Photo Album.

I began from "scratch" with a Plastilina sculpture of the whole doll! This time I worked slightly larger, to anticipate the shrinkage. Then I duplicated and perfected her in Super Sculpy. I was so, uncharacteristically, pleased with the results of my efforts, that I actually took the time to photograph her, before sending her off to, as it turned out, be destroyed by Galoob!

Her body was fully jointed. And her hands were posed in such a way, that she could appear to do many things from play peek-a-boo to suck her thumb. And she had a "bottom" so she could "sit", And, even though, she had fully sculpted feet, she could "stand" a little too, at least as good as any very young baby can! But she was intended to look best lying down or sitting up!

I also went beyond my first doll and added subtle touches of realism, soft creases in her upper arms, etc., to give her a cute and chubby look! This time I sculpted the master head, with her mouth slightly open, in a natural position, so I could either close it or open it wider for other expressions, without as much need for extensive reworking each time. Then, I made several other heads that more or less paralleled the "best" expressions of the other dolls, happy, sad, surprised, etc., and sent it all to Cathy.

Several weeks later the body pieces came back to me not only cast in wax, But Extensively Re-Sculpted! The hands and feet although amateurishly finished off, remained essentially the same, But the body had become a smooth lump devoid of any hint or suggestion of anatomy, like a stone worn smooth by the sea, and the limbs I had tried to study and perfect had been transformed into cylindrical links of sausage!

Cathy, as usual, trying not to endanger her job, by letting her true feelings be known, "explained" without disclosing any emotion, that whoever was in charge of "BF" that week and the other "executives" at Galoob, thought my doll was "too sexy"! So they sent it to their favorite [no talent] local Sculptor to have it "Fixed"! It seems He had Fixed it "So Good", that even they, could see that "something" (besides all hint of human anatomy) was "lost" in the process, and now they were sending it back to me, to Un-Fix it "a little". But I had to Be Sure Not to Un-Fix it So Much that it, once more "aroused" the Purulent Interests of Baby Face's Dirty Minded foster Fathers at Galoob! Never was there a better example of the expression, " Honni soit, qui mal y pense!" And just at a time when, I thought, Baby Face was running out of new "expressions"!
 

Now I had to rework the whole thing, begging and arguing for every crease and fold. I won a few, like the "hint" of a (I hope you won't object if I use the word) "navel". And I had to give up a few, like a little horizontal crease at the bottom of her tummy, and of course they all eagerly waited to make sure I didn't defy them, and suggest the hint of a vertical crease in her (gasp) "behind'!

Well, Cyndy, as I intend to send you photos in a few days, you and your friends will be able to judge for yourselves, whether the doll was pornographic or not!

I no sooner finished re-sculpting the body than the wax heads arrived for me to refinish. They were fine, but I was disappointed to see that Galoob had eliminated the "master" head, which was my "Favorite". I assumed they might have decided it was too much like the surprised expression, which was similar, but with the mouth open wider. Anyway, I was glad to be finished with "Baby" Baby Face at last, Little suspecting that she was Not "out of the woods" yet! And that Galoob had just begun to do their Worst...


Next Page: 28. Success for Baby Face but Not Galoob

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