Monday, October 2, 2017

Boy George (LJN)



Boy George
LJN
1984

Culture Club blasted onto the synth pop scene in 1982 with their debut album Kissing to Be Clever. The record (or cassette) featured two notable hits; Do You Really Want To Hurt Me, and I'll Tumble 4 Ya which put the band on track for success and fame. Later pressings of the album would also include a third hit, Time (Clock of the Heart).

What came next was a rocket straight into the stratosphere for the band - 1983's Colour By Numbers. It's leading track, Karma Chameleon became the band's most popular song, and made Boy George a household name among teens across the globe. Other tracks followed Karma straight up the charts; It's A Miracle, Church of the Poison Mind and Miss Me Blind. Since its release, the album has sold sixteen million copies.

Unfortunately lightning typically doesn't strike twice, and the highly anticipated third album from the band, Waking Up with the House on Fire (1984) didn't reach the level of success expected. It's real only hit was The War Song. That's not to say it was a bad album. It just didn't seem to have many more radio worthy tracks to help push it up the charts.

Things only got worse from there. George became increasingly dependent on drugs, with heroin being one of his most often abused / used. This lead to delayed recordings of the band's fourth album, From Luxury to Heartache in 1986. Though it too had a couple hits, the album did the worst out of all the band's releases to this point.

The band broke up shortly afterwards, and George proceeded with a solo career which found him mild success as compared to his early days of Culture Club. The band would later reunite for the 1999 album Don't Mind If I Do, but the record was unfortunately a commercial failure.

Let's rewind a bit here back to 1984. Despite the lackluster reception of their third album, Boy George was still a hot commodity in the world of 80's pop. As such, LJN jumped at the opportunity to produce a doll based on him.

Colour By Numbers was hot, hot, hot, and so was the iconic outfit that the singer wore to promote the album. This is what LJN based the look of the doll on. If you think you've seen the microphone accessory from the doll before, you probably have. It's the same (though painted a different color) use in the LJN Michael Jackson line produced and released that same year.

Much like the Jackson doll, the George doll is fairly spot on in terms of likeness. Especially considering that this comes from the 80's where exact likeness sculpting wasn't necessarily a common practice.

LJN followed up the twelve inch doll with a more cuddly, and may we also say, frightening version of Boy George. Just saying - We would not cuddle with this thing.

Boy George; The Huggable Cute Cuddly Doll! (Brown Hair Version)

This particular version was released with both brown and red hair - The latter being the more rarer of the two these days.

Both boxes were decked out in yellow, and showcased a nice close up photo of Boy George on the back, as well as four smaller ones somewhat in each of the corners of the larger one. The front of the box isn't shy of photos either, but they are the same ones as displayed on the back.

The use of bright neon borders screams 80's club scene, and only helps to scream out to you from toy shelves in conjunction with the massive amounts of yellow that make up the majority of the package. This is definitely a toy of the 80's.

Though we're honestly not big fans of the "cuddly" Boy George dolls, the twelve inch version definitely belongs in the collection of any 80's music fan. With how great LJN's line of music related dolls were, we would have loved to have seen tons more from the era. Just think of how awesome it would have been to have a lineup of other dolls like; Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Duran Duran - Heck, even Weird Al!

To get the twelve inch Boy George these days you're going to spend anywhere from $50.00 to $100.00 for it - Depending on condition (with the box). The cuddly George will set you back even more - About $120.00 for the brown hair version, and $150.00 for the red hair one.

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