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December 29, 2006

Crazy Horses: DWR Slashes Prices On Rocking Beauty Knock-offs


There may be some justice left in the world. First, DWR knocked off a widely published design classic from the 1950's long attributed to Phillip Johnson, by trying to pass it off as an anonymous piece of modern folk art they'd plucked from obscurity. They even featured it on the cover of their initial DWR Jax kid's catalogue.

But the ensuing attention brought out the truth, and it turned out the design world had been wrong on several fronts. Phillip Johnson wasn't Phillip Johnson the architect, but Phillip Johnson the creative director for Creative Playthings. And he didn't actually design it; a CP toy designer named Gloria Caranica did. In 1965, not 1955.

So while she got the credit long denied her, Ms. Caranica won't be seeing a dime from the reissue of her design; the copyright laws at the time were such that "Rocking Beauty" had slipped into the public domain. [Hey, it happened to the great 1963 Hitchcock thriller Charade, too, kinda, which was actually made by Stanley Donen.]

Long story short, if you've liked the Rocking Beauty, but you've been loathe to reward DWR for their raiding tactics, now may be the time to recalculate your moral position. DWR.com's selling the hobby horse for just $98, almost 60% off their original $220 price. Now you can minimize their profit, while giving them at least some credit for bringing Caranica's role to light. Maybe the next step will be a Caranica-published set of schematics for making our own Rocking Beauties.

Red Ball Rocking Horse, was $220, now $98 [dwr.com via dt reader nelson]
Previously: mea culpa: erroneous speculation that DWR made up Caranica's existence to finesse their knock-offery.

posted December 29, 2006 5:55 AM | add to del.icio.us | digg this

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