Tuesday, December 13, 2011

All Dolled Up - Famous Barbie Faces

All Dolled Up - Famous Barbie Faces®

Mattel's world-famous fashion doll has been a cultural icon since her creation in 1959, with her blonde locks and glamorous outfits. Perhaps less well-known are the limited edition Barbie® collectibles that take the form of famous celebrities, from Grace Kelly to Barbara Streisand - some for young Barbie enthusiasts, others purely for avid collectors. We take a closer look at some of the pop culture figures that have been honoured in Malibu plastic in more recent times.

Heidi Klum
Part of the Blonde Ambition™ Collection, which featured iconic blondes from the fashion world and the big screen, supermodel and Project Runway hostess Heidi's likeness comes wearing a glittering mini-dress, pendulous gold earrings and sandal stilettos. Designed by doll couturier and previous Project Runway contestant Robert Best (with help from the model herself) the doll comes with personal touches like painted-on lingerie and a replica of her real-life engagement ring from husband Seal. Heidi was among celebrities selected to visit the real-life Malibu Dream House, a reconstruction of Barbie's home built specially for the celebration of the doll's 50th birthday in 2009.


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Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson
Based on the characters of Bella Swan and Edward Cullen from the Twilight movies, this broodingly handsome couple (both on and off the silver screen) were immortalised by Mattel in 2009 in time for release of the movie 'New Moon'. Brought to life from the best-selling book series by Stephanie Meyer, the movies follow the story of the tempestuous romance between a mortal teenage girl and an emotionally-sensitive vampire. True to their cinematic personas, the 'Edward' doll has the strong jaw and pale, shimmering complexion, while Bella has her trademark casual outfit from the movies.


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Beyonce Knowles
The American R&B music sensation was recreated in miniature by Mattel alongside her fellow Destiny's Child band-mates as part of their 'Famous Friends' range in 2005, sadly just after the band had split. The doll wears a long pink feathery dress and matching earrings, a recreation of a concert outfit put together with guidance from Beyonce's mother Tina Knowles. The collector's item comes complete with a silver-plated charm bracelet and poster of the artist.


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Lord of the Rings cast
Created in 2003 as a tribute to the Lord of the Rings movies, Mattel reproduced the memorable Middle Earth characters of Arwen, Aragorn, Legolas and Galadriel (Liv Tyler, Vigo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom and Cate Blanchett) in honour of the third installment in the epic Peter Jackson trilogy, 'Return of the King'. These dolls are decked out in such incredibly painstaking detail that they seem to be designed more with die-hard Tolkein fans and collectors in mind, rather than children.


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Janet Jackson
This one-off limited edition Barbie rendition of the pop princess was produced to raise funds for Project Angel Food, an LA-based goodwill initiative. The outfit worn is based on her 2010 American Idol performance - a figure-hugging black and red catsuit-gown sprinkled with Swarovski crystals. The doll, which is an extraordinary likeness, also has the singer's cropped hairstyle and comes complete with microphone. Auctioned online, the doll was originally valued at $15,000.


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Elvis Presley
The American legend, singer and actor has been reincarnated in Barbie-form numerous times. In 1996, the 'Barbie loves Elvis' doll-set featured The King resplendent in his famous gold lamé jacket. The set also came with a standard Barbie made up to be an Elvis super-fan, complete with a picture of her idol. In 2010 'Blue Hawaii' Elvis Barbie, based on his 1961 film of the same name, was dressed in Hawaiian shirt with floral lei necklace, and played his very own ukelele. Perhaps the most impressive of them all is the 2008 Elvis and Priscilla wedding Barbie set, made to commemorate the 31st anniversary of the rock and roll idol's death. The figures came in replica outfits of their nuptial attire from their 1967 Vegas wedding - a black, paisley-printed jacquard tuxedo for the groom, and a satin gown, tiara and veil for the blushing bride.


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Mad Men cast
In 2010, as a tie-in with the launch of the fourth season, Mattel produced dolls of four central characters from the smash Lionsgate TV series, set in a male-driven, chain-smoking Sixties advertising agency. Part of the Barbie Fashion Model Collection, these premium-priced dolls are highly collectible, with less than 10,000 copies made of each character. Designed with scrupulous attention to detail, the figures each come with their own retro outfit and accessories.


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Debbie Harry
Part of 'Ladies of the 80s' range, which also includes music icons Cyndi Lauper and Joan Jett, the platinum blonde new-wave superstar was personified in plastic in 2009. Known for her cool, ultra-femme style, the punk legend's doll wears a short pink dress and matching stilettos, an outfit that featured on the cover of the 1978 album 'Plastic Letters'. The Blondie front-woman's doll also has two-tone hair, dramatic eye make-up and her very own microphone.


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