Gene doll debuted at Toy Fair in February of 1995. The immediate
response by collectors was a positive one, with many rejoicing
at a new doll finally breaking a decades-old monopoly on the fashion
doll world. Rabid on-line attention to Gene convinced Ashton-Drake,
the original manufacturers, to continue and expand the line.
Gene’s philosophy of hands-on play and ‘out-of-the-box’,
personalized collecting and became the incentive for countless doll
lovers. A vast cottage industry of private designers, at every level
of accomplishment, made and traded in, among other things,
meticulously sewn, miniature, twentieth century dress.
The story-driven dolls and separate fashions became a standard
within the doll world with numerous like-sized fashion dolls from
other companies following. At the same time, new dolls within the
Gene line were being introduced, first as characters in the 2000
book “Gene Marshall, Girl Star”, and then as dolls from
Ashton-Drake. Over a period of ten years more than a million dolls
and an equal number of costumes have been sold worldwide.
Now, following the announcement at Toy Fair 2006 that Jason Wu and
his team would produce Mel Odom’s Gene, the future looks brighter
than ever for this most beloved character. Under the tutelage of
Jason Wu, a new dawn is upon Gene Marshall, girl star.
Miss Marshall occasionally resides in New York, although her heart
will always remain in Hollywood.
“Change is proof of life, without it, we’re fossils. Even dolls are
subject to this law, even movie stars. Even movie star dolls. This
of the new Gene®, or as we like to call her, Gene® DeLuxe, is a
celebration of the good fortune and happenstance that brought two
creative men together, to conspire and rethink what has become a
classic in American fashion dolls, Gene® Marshall.”