Friday, November 11, 2011

French Article on Earring Magic Ken

Yes, I know A Philly Collector of Playscale Dolls and Action Figures is written in English. English is my native language. I LOVE English. But a journalist wrote to me last week about using my Flickr photo of Earring Magic Ken to illustrate an article about marketing flops. Alas, my photo was not used - a clearer one was found. Still I found the article, "read" it using my rusty French reading skills, and then used Babelfish to translate the article for a cough "more accurate" read. I am providing the link here for the Ken page of that article; you can read the original French Lacutalite article OR the Babelfish version for an eyebrow raising translation you won't soon forget.

By the way, do you think that Earring Ken was a marketing flop?


miladyblue said...

I don't think this particular doll was a marketing flop - what may have caused poor sales was the kefuffle over whether or not this particular Ken was "gay" because he was associated with earrings.

Odd, because most of the time, these "controversies" cause sales to skyrocket, as witnessed by the recent Tokidoki flap.

I don't suppose anyone could have stopped to think, "Gee, maybe Ken bought those earrings as a gift for Barbie." Of course, most of the folks leading the hue and cry in the controversies surrounding the various Barbies don't "think" on a regular basis anyway, near as I can tell.

And you're right - that Babelfish translation is hysterical! XD

Vanessa said...

Wow, I missed out on this controversy. I had never seen him before. I really think I need to fly up to Philly to see your collection in person. I'll bring an empty suitcase.

limbe dolls said...

Thanks for the link. I enjoyed reading the story. I remember the original commentary in the press. I think I also remember seeing earring Ken in the stores. I wasn't interested in buying him -- not because he looked "gay" but because I was focused on collecting dolls of color.

In the late 90s I came close to buying Carlos, gay Billy's boyfriend, but when I learned that these dolls are anatomically correct and saw the size of his "package," I backed off. I could just imagine my friends who would visit with their young children taking him down from my display shelf and following the inevitable line of curiosity that seems to compel people to look up a doll's dress.

D7ana said...

LOL, yes, Miladyblue, the "controversies" do cause the sales to soar. They might not soar in the intended audience, but somewhere, someone will hoard the doll or figure.

No, no one would ever suspect that Ken bought the earrings for Barbie. Ken's reputation suffered from the start by him being the secondary character, the "accessory" to dominant Barbie.

Knee jerk reactions as usual ;-P

Vanessa, Joe will welcome you with open arms if you come to Philly. He's got some music for you ("Stand by Your Man") and of course, he looks forward to all the treats you will bring him. In his words, "No woman can fix her mouth or her heart against me. I am the Joe."

So you would be welcome from the two of us. We'll help fill your empty suitcases with cheesesteaks and soft pretzels and scrapple. Hmm good ;-D

Oh and I'd love to show you the East Philly folks (i.e., the collection).

D7ana said...

Oh and Miladyblue, glad you enjoyed the Babelfish "translation."

Scary to think what some of my posts get "translated" into, lol.

Black Doll Enthusiast said...

Sorry they didn't use your image of Earring Magic Ken, but it was so nice and most appropriate for them to ask first.

An image from my blog appeared in a publication without my permission. The URL to the blog was included, but nothing more. I called them out on it and an apology and proper credit were issued in their next issue.

I recently read an article in another major doll publication that suspiciously included information about a little known black doll manufacturer from the 1940-1950s that I blogged about. The mag's text was not verbatim and none of my images were used but I am certain my blog was their source, yet a courtesy credit was not issued.

Oh well... "it" happens to the best of us, but I'm glad it did not happen to you. Where is common courtesy and decency these days in the world of publishing?

Thanks for the Babelfish translation. While not quite accurate (merry culture?), it helps the reader get the gist of what the original article conveys.


MJ said...

LOL, note to self: Don't drink soda and read the Babelfish translated version. That is all. LOL.

Too funny!

D7ana said...

Hi DBG! I agree. I was surprised to be asked. Pleased, too. I've seen one of my Smartees photos used elsewhere, but I think the person gave me credit.

As a doll researcher, you probably find a lot of "borrowing" of your work. I can figure out how you could check on plagiarized text, but how do you find out about unofficially "borrowed" photos?

Hi MJ! Niel reminded me about the humor in translated texts. When I ran that post through Babelfish, the results were too juicy to NOT share. (Wonder how that past sentence would "translate," lol.) I'm glad you enjoyed the "translation."

Black Doll Enthusiast said...

A photographer knows their images: the subject matter and background combinations are usually unique rendering no two pictures alike. More importantly, when the subject is dolls, a collector knows his/her dolls and most definitely knows their pictures. It's knowing what's yours that makes you atuned to when use without permission has taken place.

Being a victim of photo theft is the reason I include a copyright on all my blog images now. Of course someone clever enough can figure out how to alter an image, but it would take additional time to do it. The copyright serves as a deterrent.


D7ana said...

Thanks for your answer, DBG. I appreciate your throughness. Makes me think that I should "protect" my work as well.