By Lori Perkins
Toy manufacturer Mattel has been doing some innovative things to diversify the brand in the past few years, such as introducing Barbies of diffident body types, as well as creating multiple lines of women who have been influential in 20th century life (such as Maya Angelou and Frieda Kahlo, to name a few). This month they announced the release of a doll modeled on Lucille Ball, most famous for her role as the ditzy wife in popular sit-com I Love Lucy which she produced and starred in with her husband, Desi Arnaz in the 1950s and 60s.
Mattel released the doll in their Icon Collection, “a new brand line to honor women who have shaped, influenced and impacted culture in a powerful way.”
The Lucy doll was created in collaboration with Lucille Ball’s daughter, Lucie Arnaz, and doll designer Bill Greening. “To hear her talk about her mom was surreal,” Bill says. “We worked with her on details like Lucille’s ring. She also wanted the doll to have silver heels, because she said that was something her mom would have worn going out.”
“We used a PR photo of Lucille Ball as our inspiration,” says Greening. “I did not want to pick a fashion too iconic to I Love Lucy, but something Lucille may have worn in that era.”
The doll holds a yellow DesiLu Studios folder to indicate Lucy’s role as both the actress and businesswoman behind DesiLu Studios, which not only brought us this iconic show, but also Star Trek!
The $40 doll wears a navy blue dress with a white lace half jacket and 1950s-style silver heels, pearl drop earrings, and her signature aquamarine engagement ring, a true-to-life detail.
The description of the doll reads: “The Barbie Tribute Collection celebrates visionaries whose incredible contributions have helped shape and impact culture. Lucille Ball was an American TV actress whose comedic genius and incredible business acumen cemented her as a television icon and a trailblazer for women in entertainment. After producing and starring in I Love Lucy in 1951, she went on to become the first woman to own a major studio after obtaining ownership of DesiLu Productions in 1962. Ball was a certified legend after being inducted into the TV Hall of Fame in 1984, and the world would love Lucy for years to come.”