Living Barbie Doll

I was hung over — really really hung over — thumping headache, horrible dry mouth, clear evidence of a full-frontal flop onto the bed the night before as clothes mostly still on, shoes off which is good, why is that phone ringing? Where am I?…

Living Barbie Doll

“Your 7am wake-up call, sir”
“Ah thanks”

New York, Warwick Hotel — that’s pronounced “War-Wick Hotel” sir, no such place called “Warrick hotel” in this city, sir.

It’s the 1994 New York Toy Fair, and oh god, the Gaffney bus is leaving the Righa Royal Hotel in half an hour, it’s ok, you can make it, 5-minute shower, 10 minutes to get dressed, down the lift, out the door, run up 54th Street one block, and there they are, the Gaff girls, outside the front of the Righa, in the freezing cold, loading up the Gaffney van.

The Gaff girls are getting ready for another big day in New York, fighting their way to get into the lifts at the Toy Buildings to visit the showrooms, pounding the streets buying all the licensed product samples they can find and this morning, it’s off to the Mattel offices for the Gaffney Licensing official Mattel Toy Fair showroom visit.
…and why am I here, all I want to do is to be sick and to curl up in a corner, but no. I’m on the Gaffney tour heading for the Mattel building, the home of Barbie.

…and then, once we get to Mattel, “I’m sorry Mr Gaffney, your guest is not on the list, so he cannot come in and take the tour of the showrooms.”

Ah bullshit, I’m Fred Gaffney, I’ll get Stan Clutton from Fisher-Price down here, he’ll sort this out…

…“That’s all right Mr Gaffney, that will not be necessary – I’ve just been told by my manager to let your group through – have a nice day”.

…and just like that we were in – the magical persuasive powers of Fred Gaffney had triumphed once more.

Room after room, toy after toy, on and on, toy after toy, room after room, no end in sight, I’m going to throw up, head spinning and then accidently knocking into a life-size Barbie doll… what the hell… it moved… it bloody moved…

“What’s wrong Grazza? You look like you’ve seen a ghost?”

Fred, that Barbie doll moved — I promise you, that Barbie just moved.

“I’m sorry young lady — he’s from Australia” — “Come-on Grazza — Let’s get you out of here before they have you up for assault.”

Hallelujah! The Mattel tour is over, and yes let’s get out of here, I need a drink.

This article originally appeared in Edition 7 of The Toy Universe Magazine




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