By Leonard Maltin | Leonard Maltin November 2, 2011 at 4:35AM
I wouldn’t have thought there was a market for Grace Kelly dolls, but I’m wrong. She’s been Barbie-ized, and the latest in Mattel’s series of collector dolls features her in a famous Edith Head high-fashion outfit from Alfred Hitchcock’s classic Rear Window!
While some people focus exclusively on young consumers, others in mass media and marketing realize there are healthy so-called niche markets among older folks—you know, the ones who still have money to spend and time to pursue—
—their hobbies and interests. That’s why there are so many catalogs and websites devoted to nostalgic figures, and why one company issued a new line of Little Rascals ceramics earlier this year. You couldn’t begin to count the number of John Wayne items currently available for sale.
I’m not a doll collector, per se, but I broke down and bought the Barbie version of Tippi Hedren from Hitchcock’s The Birds several years ago. I can’t bear to remove it from the box because the packaging is so much a part of the presentation. (She’s being attacked by birds, you see…) Since it was a limited edition, that item is now offered at speculator prices online. But I didn’t purchase it as an investment: I got it because it looks so cool.
My only problem is that I’ve run out of shelf space, and there’s no point in accumulating these goodies if you can’t show them off. That’s why I’m not upset that Mattel’s Grace Kelly doll from To Catch a Thief is officially sold out. Really I’m not.
I’m just trying to figure out what other movies of the 50s could inspire new dolls and collectibles. Hey, how about a doll of Joan Crawford wearing her western outfit from Johnny Guitar?