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Mario Paglino and Gianni Grossi started creating (one-of-a-kind) dolls for fun on warm sunny day, but their passion quickly brought them to the next level; through the years, Magia 2000 have been creating celebrity dolls with a special focus on the ones dedicated to Madonna and Cher, transforming the Icon's glamour and allure into miniatures, and combining those with the unrivaled Italian handwork ability.
Today, Magia 2000 collaborates on a regular basis with companies such as Mattel, and their creations are often commissioned by show business celebrities and tv stars. This month, Magia 2000's high-quality background will bring Mario and Gianni to London, where they have been chosen to create a set of one-of-a-kind dolls to be shown at the Simply Madonna exhibit at the Old Truman Brewery.
Always at home at MadonnaTribe, our friends talk about their work, their passion, and what fans should expect from this interesting event.


MadonnaTribe: Hi Mario and Gianni and welcome to MadonnaTribe. Would you like to tell our readers how did you create your first one-of-a-kind doll?

Magia 2000: Everything started by chance as adults. Both us played with Barbie dolls when we were little but then you tend to forget about children's games when you enter your teen years. But one day, while were on a holiday twelve years ago we purchased one of those summer magazines that had a bonus Barbie-like doll coming with it. So we started playing with it discovering again our passion for dolls. We then became collectors and after a while we read on the internet an article about one of a kind dolls (OOAK) and we tried to produce the first one, using every kind of material we had in the house. Using bits and pieces of tende and tovaglioli we created our first, humble dolls.

Then we started attending doll fairs in Italy and then abroad and it all led to big projects and collaborations with the likes of Mattel for the Film Noir Barbie and other collaborations.

Creating OOAK dolls gives us the chance to fullfil our dreams as fashion designers that probably couldn't come true with real models, while Barbies can become perfect models that can wear the most extravagant and elegant creations.

MT: Madonna has always been one of your favourite inspirations for your OOAK dolls.
When did you put together for the first time your passion for Madonna and your passion for dolls?

Magia 2000: Madonna is the true reason we started creating OOAK dolls. My first complete OOAK doll was a reproduction of her look and outfit from the Erotica opening number from the Girlie Show.

That's one of the few dolls that we keep in our vaults and jealously preserve in our private collection even though it's a very humble doll and not such a perfection, but we're fond of it.
As a huge Madonna fan I've always been enchated by her image transformations and I wanted to a have a personal doll collection that reflected that. So went on creating my second Madonna OOAK doll inspired by her look in the Music video.

MT: This month you will be taking part to Simply Madonna - Materials of the Girl, a huge event held in London between February and March 2009, which is a great celebration of Madonna's career done through the display of some of some of the most popular stage and film costumes and other stunning memorabilia items. How were you contacted by Marquee Capital?

Magia 2000: Everything happened last summer, but the real contact came after the publication on MadonnaTribe of the first bits of news about this exhibit. At that same time we had just presented our Hard Candy Promo Tour OOAK Doll. After a series of emails and phone call with the organizers we agreed to be a part of this project that is really prestigious but also very demanding for us.
We understand it's the first time that this sort of event is happening and we would like to give a homage to the iconic Madonna, even if in "limited dimensions".

MT: What are you preparing for this event?

Magia 2000: We're still in the process of finishing reproductions of some of the outfits shown in the exhibit, about five of them. And then we will celebrate Madonna with miniature versions of some of the outfits and looks she created over the years for her live concerts, starting from the Virgin Tour to the Sticky & Sweet Tour.

MT: Can you tell us how will your creations be displayed?

Magia 2000:
We can tell you that our dolls will indeed have a great exposure and have their nice place within the exhibit.
We want the visitors to be touched and suprised by both the original outfits and their tiny reproductions. We are also preparing a special display for our doll but that's supposed to be a surprise!

MT: Some of the OOAK dolls from the event will also go up on auction for a charity cause at the end of the exhibit in March. Can you tell us more about that?

Magia 2000: Yes, we are happy to donate two of our creations for a charity auction. This is not the first time we take part to such charity projects because we think that donating our work and contributing to raise money for people who need it can give a bigger sense to our creations.

That way our dolls not only will give moments of joy to the fans who like them or desire them but also to the people who have bigger problems and must be helped.

MT: The OOAK dolls world is such a fascinating universe and Madonna seems to be one of the favourite subjects of a lot of OOAK creators.

What do you think is the element that makes Madonna so unique, singling her out from the other big divas of all times who are also often reproduced in OOAK form?


Magia 2000: I'd say Madonna is the only true and real Diva of our times and that's why she's always at the center of the collective imaginary. She has also build up he career not only on music but using so many different looks and this is very importart to a OOAK artist who can create and reinterpret again and again hundreds of looks always different and interesting. Many OOAK artists are attracted by this factor not to mention that most of them are also big fans.

: Among all your OOAK dolls which is the one you think came out best? and which is the one you're most fond of?

Magia 2000:
I think an artist can't have a favourite, because everything evolves and tends to get better. Anyway I have more than a favourite doll but one is definitely the "Madonna Hard Candy Promo Tour" and we also have a predilection for the Madonna Gypsie Style, from the S&S tour, that will also be on dislay in London.

MT: Of all the iconic images of Madonna, which one do you prefer and would like to reproduce as a OOAK? In a few words if you should represent Madonna with just one doll what would that be?

Magia 2000: We think that the most iconic image of Madonna is the one from the Blond Ambition. That was probably the first look that entered collective imagery with the famous cone bustiers by Jean Paul Gaultier. We still didn't create replicas of those outfits yet because preferred giving exposure to less known costumes. We did that with the dolls we're making for this exhibit as well.
We want to surprise people with the choice of outfits by often choosing something which is hard to reproduce so that we put ourselves to the test and we like that.


MT: Is there an element that makes the creation of a Madonna OOAK different from one inspired by another artist? Is it more difficult to re-create the make up and hair compared to other celebrities?

Magia 2000:
Yes Madonna is definitely more difficult. Fans are cruel and each of us perceives her image in a very emotion way, which is something that is quite hard to bring on a doll. Dolls have changed through the years becoming similar the worked up body that Madonna has. And the accessories are intricate.

Let's also take into consideration that the dolls we work on are items that are what the market offers and not dolls that are especially created on Madonna's face, so great time is spent on the the re-paint, working on the right make up and face proportions so that people can indentify her right away. This entire process is manual and homemade so it can change a lot from doll to doll.

: Is it necessary to be a true fan to recreate the look of a celebrity in a OOAK doll? In other words how important is putting emotion and soul in what you do besides technical abilities?

Magia 2000: Absolutely! I think that only a fan can get some characteristics some celebrities have on their faces, these are the details that make these dolls look more real. Especially when you do a re-paint, this passion comes out and even if the technical aspects are important, your heart helps you paint better their faces.

MT: Is there an era in Madonna's career that you're most fond of? And which is according to you the highest point in her career, the moment that made history in popular music and art?

Magia 2000: With each album, with each tour she changes her look, and it often looks like the best one, the one that strikes you the most. Then a new album, a new cover comes and everything changes again.
Madonna is all that and you can't really define one era as the best one.

As all the fans we have grown up with her, evolving together and trying to understand better and deeper this great artist of our times.
As she said herself in her Sticky & Sweet Tour in She's Not Me, we believe that every era represents her but she is what she is now, herself in the present.

MT: Are there other divas that you still haven't turned into an OOAK doll and that is right up next on your list?

Magia 2000: Definitely Kylie Minogue. We have been already working for a couple of months on a very theatrical OOAK based on her latest tour. And we still miss lots of actresses that shine on us with their Hollywood glamour.

MT: You have many interests and many passions, is there a dream you wish it might come true in the future?

Magia 2000
: A lot of dreams. Having a dream is everything to an OOAK doll artist, because you mix playing with passion. Meeting Madonna would be of course one of our dreams and getting a chance to dress her with our creations would be the next one. To make a dream come true you have to have many dreams.

: Thanks for being with us guys, we wish you luck and see you in next week in London!

Magia 2000: Thank you. We hope we succed to celebrate Madonna the best way with our small tribute and that the fans will enjoy our dolls at the exhibit. Please don't be too cruel and fierce about our dolls! And let us know what you think about it.


Ma.gia 2000
di Mario Paglino
Via dell’ Archivio, 9 28100 Novara (NO), Italy

For further information please visit


The world’s largest private collection of Madonna’s film outfits, stage costumes and artefacts

Old Truman Brewery, London
February 21st - March 22nd 2009

For further information please visit

Tickets on sale at

Photos courtesy of Magia 2000.
All images are copyright of their respective owner. This interview © 2009 Madonna Tribe.


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