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A tiny doll with a large head.

Mattel made the toys in the 1980s, but I gave them new life in 2003. He's been a cowboy, detective, space explorer, and novelist.

small male doll


Bob shouldn't be the only one having all the fun.

here's the history.

He (and his family) were made by Mattel in the 1980’s. My grandmother gave me several dolls and furniture for a few years. I’ve collected a few pieces off of Ebay as well. I began to pose him in photos in 2003. Then…

In 2004, I participated in the first-ever Blogathon which was open to any blogger. The Blogathon was a 24-hour event in which bloggers selected a charity, and then were to blog every half hour without stopping or setting up their blog to do anything automatic (cheating). For that first event, I drew a little picture for each half-hour posting. It was during that Blogathon that I developed the cartoon character Zombie Cat (before zombies were a popular thing, mind you!) which became somewhat popular with some readers, but was something I never developed much further.

In 2005, I decided to try something a bit more ambitious, and I used the little dolls (.5″ scale, and quite tiny) and doll furniture my grandmother had given me many years ago as a child. I envisioned incorporating a fiction writing challenge along with a kind of photography illustration challenge, using the different doll setups and scenes prompt what I would write next. I set constraints for myself: I could not plan the story out one iota, and had to wing it as I went along. It was quite stressful by the end of the 24 hours — and tiring — but the end result was a kind of quirky (and often poorly) written story about a character I called Bob. That first effort I put into a little book, Of Rats and Men.

In 2006, I decided to participate again, and use the Bob concept with the little dolls. I had gotten some buzz on the blogosphere from the previous year’s efforts, and I rather appreciated the challenge the project presented. For my second round, however, I chose to use a western theme, culling references from well-know western movies and books. This time around, the story was called The Last of the Last. My constraints for this effort were only that I could choose the theme and collect and build possible props, as well as have a list handy of reference material (western movies, books, quotes, etc.). I could not at all plan a story and I had no idea if the props would even be used as the story progressed.

​​In 2007, I once again dusted off the little dolls and went with a Sci-Fi theme with the same kind of constraints from the previous year, borrowing a friend’s extensive Star War toy collection as extras, and telling the story of Bob Rogers and The Final Frontier Final. I gleaned scifi references from Star Trek, Star Wars, Buck Rogers, et. al. to complete the story, making a space ship interior as a set and using a lot of aluminum foil for doll costumes. I created two YouTube videos to give blog readers an idea of how I created these 24-hour fiction-and-doll monstrosities, Blogathon 2007: Backstage Tour and Blogathon 2007: Setting up a Scene (both done after staying up for 24 hours, so I’m a little drowsy in making them).

In 2008 I was set to participate again, and I was going to do a kind of film noir theme. However, the Blogathon didn’t happen that year. The organizers took a year off and in the end, I don’t think it really rebounded like it had. I went ahead and shot the film noir photos anyway, deciding to put that Bob story together for the fun of it.


It wasn't until 2014 and 2015 that I finally used the noir photos for a story in the Lone Prairie Magazine as a serial mystery.

​You won't find great fiction writing in these stories, but you will find some fun photos.

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