Barbie turned 60 this year and Star Wars turned 40 recently, which is why it's so hard to believe that it took all this time for the two globally recognized brands to collaborate. That all changes with the first wave of Barbie Signature Gold Label dolls styled after characters from the original film, Star Wars: A New Hope.
Darth Vader, Princess Leia, and R2-D2 become sources of inspiration for three high fashion looks for Barbie. Each doll retails for $100 with a maximum worldwide edition cap on the number of dolls Mattel will produce, each around 20,000 units. The diamond packaging opens up to allow multi-angle views of each doll in addition to concept art of the character and doll side-by-side. In this review, we’ll go into the level of detail for each doll with large photo galleries to highlight the features of each one. All of the dolls come with a themed base and a certificate of authenticity.
At first glance, Barbie’s Princess Leia look isn’t a huge departure from the character as portrayed on film by Carrie Fisher. But when you start to look at the details, the modifications are hard to miss. Starting with the signature buns, they are tied together by fine braiding rather than hair ties. A metallic necklace, cuffs, and belt call to mind the style of the incredible ships from the saga and add a little glamour to her signature white dress. Her clutch features the Rebel Alliance starbird symbol. The dress itself has been enhanced with floor-length sleeves with a satin interior and a mermaid cut, fanning out at the base. A slit in the dress reveals white heels with straps that go all the way up to her shins. The Princess Leia Barbie is limited to no more than 20,000 dolls produced.
Inspired by the look of Darth Vader, Barbie’s short black haircut, big sunglasses, and deep red lips make her look menacing before you even look at her outfit. A plastic black collar looks like the connection points for Darth Vader’s helmet, while a reflective bodice calls to mind the Vader’s chestplate and belt. If you’re looking for the plate of buttons, you’ll find them on her clutch. A hip-hugging skirt contains a dramatic pleather in the center and muted black on the sides. Black leggings lead into knee-high boots with a red stripe on the sides. The entire look is pulled together with an oversized cape that calls back to Lord Vader’s iconic silhouette. Darth Vader is limited to no more than 21,200 units produced.
Barbie pays homage to the look of everyone’s favorite droid from the original trilogy. Her hair has gone a deep shade of blue with a bouffant that leads into a side pony. Her eye makeup features a blue square patch similar to the droid’s dome. This multi-layered look starts with a dress with a rounded translucent skirt with white tile patterns. A plastic belt features the designs of R2’s arm slits and a sheer top completes the look with more R2 iconography. Silver leggings lead into thigh-high boots with bolds on the ankles and gold bottoms. A puffy hooded vest features even more silvery accents and with the hood on, the silhouette looks like R2-D2 from the bottom of the skirt to the top of her head. The clutch is styled after R2’s closest confidant, C-3PO. This doll is limited to no more than 20,000 worldwide.
I was blown away by the level of detail and creativity that went into each of these Star Wars Barbie dolls, all of them designed by Robert Best. The collection is sure to please collectors of both brands and may even serve as an entry point for casual fans of both who can’t resist the immediate appeal of this collection. There’s lots of potential for future waves and my “New hope” is that an Empire Strikes Back wave isn’t “Far, far away.”
Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.