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October 9, 2015

Press Kits Unwrapped: Dollhouse

by Brad Trechak, posted Jan 26th 2009 11:05AM
DollhouseIt is going to be an uphill battle to success for Joss Whedon's Dollhouse. One defining factor in the quality of support that a network gives its programs is the impressiveness of the press kit it releases for the show. If this is the case, Dollhouse is in trouble.

For the sake of full disclosure, let me mention that our editor-in-chief Joel had the package first because he desperately needed to watch the premiere the moment he got it (as someone who is anticipating the series, I understand completely). The package was opened and re-packaged by the time it got to me. That being said, it still didn't look anywhere near as cool as the 24 press kit that Jonathan reviewed. It did have one or two saving graces, though.

Dollhouse press kitDollhouse imageDollhouse press kit
The packaging for the kit was attractive. I give Fox props for the imagery. I even like the font that the show uses in its logo.

Sadly, when I received the kit, Eliza Duskhu's face had a big crack in it. Assuming Joel didn't create the hole (why would Joel put a hole in Eliza Dushku's face?) then it was mailed with the hole in it by Fox. This is either a clever marketing ploy with regards to Echo's lack of identity or Fox showing its true intentions for the series.

Even the envelope for the DVD which contained the premiere seemed plain and unassuming. Is it a subliminal attempt to emulate the themes of the show or a way to save money? By contrast, 24 had a cool plastic cover for the DVD.

Then we get to the pièce de résistance of the kit, also known as the extra goodies. In this case, it was an Echo action figure.

The box for the action figure is superb. I would keep this piece based on the box alone. The images of Eliza Dushku as Echo are poetry around this box. Then, within the packaging, we get to the doll itself.

Dollhouse imageDollhouse image
Dollhouse imageIt's a plain wooden doll. The sort used by artists to draw body poses.

The featureless marionette was a little disappointing. It was like getting a Hershey bar wrapper and finding Wheat Thins inside. Even worse, as a result of having taken an art class, I own such a figure already.

Don't get me wrong. I understand the ironic, thematic statement with regards to Dollhouse of taking a doll with no features and putting it in a really impressive box. But I really, really wanted a cool Echo action figure to put on my office shelf like the one Jonathan received of Jack Bauer for 24. Of course, if the series is canceled after one season, there will unlikely be an Echo action figure at all, so I suppose I should be grateful for what I have.

So there you have it: a somewhat plain press kit to possibly hide a jewel of a show. I very much want this show to succeed, and not just because I'm covering it for TV Squad. I think Joss Whedon produces some of the best stuff on television and deserves more than the fringe, cult status he receives.

On the other hand, in the event Dollhouse fails within its first year, how much do you think I'd get for auctioning the figure on eBay?

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I don't have high expectations for the show's longevity, but I bet there'll be a real Echo action figure. That said, I think the artists' mannikin is kinda cool.

January 27 2009 at 3:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wheat thins? More like rice cakes!

January 27 2009 at 11:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I guess this proves how much Fox wants to spend on the show.

January 26 2009 at 1:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's a glory hole.

January 26 2009 at 1:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"Assuming Joel didn't create the hole (why would Joel put a hole in Eliza Dushku's face?) then it was mailed with the hole in it by Fox."

This supposition is of course because our shipping companies are top notch, no damage types. LOL That actually made me laugh out loud. That, and that you already have an Echo doll. HA!

I have absolutely no hope for Dollhouse. My only hope is that I can enjoy Eliza flapping around the screen a bit longer than the second season of Tru Calling. I'd watch her watching paint dry.

January 26 2009 at 12:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It just looks like it was damaged in shipping... happens all the time.

January 26 2009 at 12:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The rest of us care not for the packaging flaws and the lame toy. We're just jealous you have a sneak peek to the coveted show.

January 26 2009 at 11:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The hole seems to be a little too well placed to be coincidence!

January 26 2009 at 11:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I want this show to succeed so much. Joss is a genius and to this day i can't figure out why he doesn't have more fans. It's not like he's artistically inaccessible or anything. i realize it's a niche show and not everyone likes sci-fi or complex show mythology, but i can't go through another Firefly.

January 26 2009 at 11:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brad Trechak

Bastards! Vengeance shall be ours!

January 07 2009 at 6:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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