The Story of the PlayAlong Club Dolls
~ by Mel Birnkrant

Page 1
~ FRIENDZ N' FAMILY ~

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A Friendz doll is a doll that does "nothing", and at the same time, can do "everything", everything a doll is meant to do, animated by a child’s imagination, no batteries required. Her “Look” is both stylized and realistic, hopefully implying a kind of inner “life”.

She also has a unique feature, her Pose-ability. To the best of my knowledge, she is the first and only doll to have limbs that are both jointed and bendable. Thus, she can pose and do anything a child would want her to. Beyond that, she is intended through the combination of flocked vinyl and velour to have the look and feel of a soft rag doll …

And, at the same time, the stand-up pose-ability of a dress-up fashion doll. The long flock used on the prototypes made the transition between vinyl and velour almost imperceptible

These dolls may look a bit old fashioned, for they have old fashioned values. Bright eyed children, radiating innocence, they speak of fun and friendship and the kind of happy childhood many of us once knew, or wish we did.

Can such pure spirit survive in a toy department that is going to Hell in a shopping basket? If it can, there may be hope, not just for the dolls, but for our world as well. For after all, the Play Along Club dolls, once known as Friendz n’ Family, are, in fact, the "Anti-Bratz."

Creating Friendz n’ Family

"Friendz n’ Family" began with this clay model.

 

Plaster casts were made from it, and liquid latex poured into the molds.

The resulting body parts were rough, and needed lots of trimming.

Here they are, awaiting flocking.

Flocking hides a multitude of imperfections.

Meanwhile, arms and legs were fabricated,

Hair was rooted.

The shoes were cast in latex and painted. The shoelaces were sculpted, only the bows are real.

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Prototype Photos and Story Text copyright (c) 2007 Mel Birnkrant and the Obb
PlayAlong Stock Photos (c) PlayAlong Toys Inc.
Trollz photo (c) Hasbro Inc.
Web Page Design Copyright 2007 (c) PrillyCharmin's Dolls