I remember giddily asking for paper dolls as a kid, and being denied at every turn. There was just something exciting about putting paper copies of clothes onto a paper copy of a doll that made for hours of entertainment (and I’m only 24 so please no jokes about playing with an abacus). Thankfully, Paper Studio Press has a series of paper dolls that will intrigue the paper doll collector who loves classic film. Of course, I had to get the Veronica Lake dolls, and what a wise decision that was. I can’t say this will provide today’s young lady with endless hours of fun, but for the girl at heart who dreams of dressing up Lake or Marilyn Monroe…don’t be afraid to make a purchase.
While the book is light on reading material (it is meant to be cut into, after all), the gang at Paper Studio Press do include background information for those who might not have any knowledge of the star in question. On the backpage of the Veronica Lake set, writer Richard Fellows does a good job of detailing Lake’s life in a few paragraphs. There isn’t anything die-hard fans haven’t read before, but for those who don’t know anything about it, it provides a good crash course. Paper doll designer David Wolfe also includes a sweet write-up about himself and his desire to bring back paper dolls.
The actual dolls are printed on sturdy paper, which is a must for well-done paper dolls. Flimsy paper can make the dolls easy to rip altogether. If you play with them a lot the clothing tabs can easily tear on cheap paper. Thankfully, there’s some heavy-duty cardstock employed here that allows for endless hours of replaying. The actual design of the dolls is well-done.
The clothes are detailed, but not glossy photocopies. It’s apparent that designer David Wolfe designed these himself as you can see coloring strokes in every piece. It feels as if it’s handcrafted for the individual consumer. Each piece of clothing is labeled with the movie it’s from and the year the film was released. In the Lake book you get clothes from all her popular films including I Married a Witch, The Blue Dahlia and This Gun for Hire. There’s also a diverse assortment of clothing Lake wore in promotional appearances and advertisements. My personal favorite pieces included here are the blue dresses from I Wanted Wings. The dolls come with a variety heads that you can mix and match depending on whether you want Lake wearing a hat, or just a different pose. In the corners of several pages are actual stills of Lake wearing the costumes in the book. Again, it helps create the real actress in the minds of the kids (or adults) playing with the dolls.
Honestly, there’s definitely a niche market for fans of these dolls. I’m sure adults won’t spend hours playing with these, but these are top-quality creations and the folks at Paper Studio Press cater to every great star from the classic era. I easily spent an hour looking through their catalog, and they have dolls based on Marilyn Monroe (several) to Debbie Reynolds. If you’re looking for something non-electronic to give your daughter, I recommend spending the time to buy from Paper Studio Press. Hey, it just might inspire your kids to get into classic films as well. You can buy the Veronica Lake Paper dolls, or other dolls from Paper Studio Press at their website.
A freelance film critic whose work fuels the Rotten Tomatoes meter. I've been published on The Hollywood Reporter, Remezcla, and The Daily Beast. I've been featured in the L.A. Times. I currently run two podcasts, Citizen Dame and Ticklish Business.