Why did I choose this toy?
Last Saturday was International Tea Day. Whenever I think of tea, I think of tea parties. When I think of tea parties, I think of Alice in Wonderland. Interesting fact about tea: the small sandwiches and cakes typically associated with the royals and nobility is actually called ”low tea” because it is served at a low table. High tea, is served at a high table with heartier fare, such as meat pies and is more like what we would consider supper.
Alice has special significance to me because when I was a college senior, one of the required courses for my degree in English was what my college called the Senior Seminar. The theme of the Senior Seminar was different every semester and while I was taking it, the course centered on Lewis Carroll’s original text of Alice in Wonderland.
Last year was the 70th anniversary of Disney’s animated feature film version. I received a lot of awesome Alice based gifts for both my birthday and Christmas from my brother and sister-in-law last year, including this beautiful jacket I received for Christmas. The print on the jacket is based on the scene where Alice talks to the flowers in the flower garden.
This travel mug was also inspired by the flower garden scene:
Then there are these enamel pins:
I also received this cup for cold beverages:
And these Cheshire Cat mugs were Christmas gifts on two separate Christmases several years apart:
When was this toy line produced?
Mattel produced the My Favorite Fairytale Collection in 1998, which also included Snow White and Cinderella dolls. If you look at her face sculpt and her body mold, Alice is a late 1990’s Skipper doll with the iconic blue dress and white pinafore of Disney’s version of the character.
Was there a Cartoon?
There have been a number of animated and live-action productions of Alice in Wonderland. This particular doll is unmistakably from Disney’s 1951 animated Alice in Wonderland film. There are also little cardboard cutouts of other characters for children to act out the story. The White Rabbit and Cheshire Cat cutouts are visible from the front of the box, but the back of the box indicates cutouts of Alice’s cat Dinah and The Dormouse are also inside.
Who was the villain in the cartoon?
The villain in Wonderland is the Queen of Hearts, who loved three things: white roses painted red, croquet, and decapitation.
Where/when did I acquire this toy?
For the senior seminar I mentioned above, in addition to the thesis paper, I had to do a visual presentation in front of my class. The topic of my paper was a comparison of Alice in Wonderland to other fairy tales, most notably Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Peter Pan.
For the presentation, my mother and I went to Toys ‘R’ Us and bought dolls based on various fairy tale characters. We also took one of my many Strawberry Shortcake dolls and dressed her as Little Red Riding Hood. Since I have so many Strawberry Shortcake dolls, I left the Red Riding Hood outfit on her after the presentation. She’s still wearing it now.
I got to keep a few of the dolls after completing the presentation. The Alice doll featured in this article and a Barbie as Cinderella. Unfortunately, they’ve just been stacked in my closet with my other collectible dolls. We had to take the other dolls back to Toys ‘R’Us, which was difficult because there were so many beautiful dolls.
Do I still have this toy or any of its accessories?
Yes, as I said, this is one that I got to keep. This doll, my copy of Annotated Alice, and the manuscript of my thesis paper, complete with my grade are my “souvenirs” from the course.
Did I have any other toys from this line?
No, I used Barbie dolls for both Cinderella and Snow White and the aforementioned Strawberry Shortcake doll in the presentation. We did buy a Wendy, a Peter Pan, a Sleeping Beauty, and a Tinker Bell for the presentation, but those were the ones that we took back to Toys ‘R’ Us.
Normally, if we went to Toys ’R’ Us, it was to buy a birthday present for someone else.
Did anything surprise me while researching this toy?
No, when it comes to Disney and Mattel, quality is a fairly standard thing. The Alice/Skipper face sculpt is very sweet. The sheen on the blue and white fabrics for the dress and pinafore suggest a satin fabric. The cardboard cutouts look like the ones that would have been found on the back of a coloring or activity book.
I do remember the first time I figured out the Cheshire Cat had the same voice as Winnie The Pooh. That was weird. I was reading the credits and noticed the name Sterling Holloway. Also, Alice had the same voice as Wendy from Peter Pan. An actress named Kathryn Beaumont provided the voices of both characters.
What was your favorite animated Disney feature film? Did you have any toys or memorabilia from the movie?
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