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Doll bondage ought to be a punishable offense. And truly, collectors and little children really ought to be able to sue for damages…mental anguish and such…not to mention medical expenses for injuries acquired while trying to release certain dolls from captivity. I can’t tell you the times I’ve nearly sliced off a finger or skewered the end of my nose as I wrangled the trapped doll and liner up close with my left hand while operating scissors with the right hand. I’m actually pretty amazed my daughter hasn’t secretly taped me and posted the video on YouTube. I’m sure I’d have a huge following. Who among you has wounded themselves while trying to debox a Barbie doll? Raise your hand. Uh-huh. I thought so. And while I’m struggling with Mattel’s idea of doll security, I am usually pondering what it must be like to be a child who has received a doll for Christmas or a birthday. Some of us can remember when you opened the box and lifted out the doll. Wow! What a concept!!! Nowadays, it takes scissors, needle nose pliers, a pry bar, and tnt. Deboxing dolls in this house is akin to ironing clothes. I do it twice a year, and there better be chocolate mousse waiting for me when I’m finished!

In all fairness, there are companies who produce dolls with slightly less offensive forms of box bondage. I love how the Fashion Royalty dolls from Integrity Toys are, for the most part, gently tied to their liners with soft white ribbon. I can almost hear doves cooing as I am releasing a new doll from Integrity. Almost. Removing the plastic and tape from around ankles and elbows and wrists silences the doves. But at least these beautiful dolls don’t have plastic price tag thingamabobbers shot into their heads to pin them to the cardboard liner! I recently purchased and deboxed two white Harumika mannequins from Bandai. I loved how these “dolls” were affixed to their liners…clear elastic bands similar to what girls use in their hair were looped around an appendage, slipped behind the liner and back out again, and then looped over another appendage. To free them, I could either stretch the band and slip it off or I could make one easy snip. Voila! And the bands are flat and smooth and soft. They are not the typical rubber band nor are they thread like, so they do not cut into or press into the vinyl so that unsightly creases are left on the hapless doll’s legs and ankles.

I don’t believe that it’s necessary to affix a doll to a box in such a way that it almost requires destroying the doll in order to remove it. I’m sure certain companies have heard the complaints. I’m sure they have their own justifications for continuing the cruel and unusual bondage. But I’m asking for a kinder, gentler world of doll entrapment. All those in favor, say “Aye!”

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