Two news stories for you today. One about the progress of my eBay consulting auction, the other a bit I heard on the radio related to the 50th anniversary of the Barbie Doll.
eBay For Dummies Authors
First, the eBay auction. (If you haven’t heard, I announced via this newsletter last week an experiment. I auctioned 45 minutes of phone consulting on eBay for a starting bid of $3.95, no reserve. The auction expires on Thursday, March 5, at 1:24pm EST (less than 24 hours from now).
UPDATE: The final bid was $255, well below my going rate. I’ll be discussing these results and running another experiment next week. Also, I’m planning a fundraiser for a New Orleans rebuilding project, so I have to get creative about the best way to leverage my time and intellectual property to send maximum moolah down to NOLA. More updates soon.
I know that auctions tend to have a flurry of bidding near the end, so I’m not drawing any conclusions at this point. But I did want to update everyone (and maybe generate more bids in the process ;).
So right now, the highest bid is $109.50. There have been 24 bids so far, a few from repeat bidders, but most unique.
Let me put that in perspective.
It’s about $4 less than a vintage football player bobblehead/nodder "Touch Down" bank (6" high, 4.5" wide and 3" deep). The player is wearing a black and gold uniform with the number 00. The football itself is the bank. Some flaking and missing paint.
Oh, and here’s another one:
My highest bid is slightly less than the top bid for Little Miss Myra, a handmade teddy bear. I quote from the auction:
"Presenting Little Miss Myra a beautiful, unique & adorable OOAK bear. Myra is fully jointed, a beautiful pink colored mohair on a darker background, antique shoe button eyes, waxed a sealed thread nose, thread mouth & claws, wears a wonderful hair bow and has antique crazy quilt paw pads. Her head & limbs are stuffed hard & her belly/body is smushy & so very wonderful."
Currently, Little Miss Myra can be yours for $111.
Please know I mean no disrespect for the artists and fans of these particular items or genres. I’m just amusing myself by considering the opportunity cost of an AdWords consultation.
So if you think that the current high bid of $109.50 for 45 minutes on the phone with me is a bargain, you can go to eBay and put your money where your mouth is.
When Barbie was a German Sexpot
The daughter of Barbie creator Ruth Handler was interviewed on the radio last week, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the best use of plastic since nose plugs. She told the story of how Barbie came to be.
Up until Barbie, all commercially produced dolls were babies, and the girls (and occasional secretive boy) who played with them had to be content with feeding, changing, burping, and cooing. Ruth saw a need for a doll who could embody aspirations beyond motherhood, a grown-up doll who could be the main character, rather than just a crying, gurgling lump (my words, not hers).
But no toy manufacturer would consider making a doll with – gasp – breasts.
And apparently there were tooling challenges with making a plastic doll to Barbie-esque dimensions.
So while Ruth Handler tried to imagine what her Barbie would look like and how it would be manufactured, meanwhile in Germany a naughty, suggestive cartoon character named Lilli had been created in plastic as a kind of gag-sex gift for men.