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Thursday, January 3, 2013

"Lucy Does a TV Commercial" dolly review

Well, I certainly have been dragging my feet with reviews.  Here it is February, Winter Storm Q is upon us, and I'm only now getting around to completing these.  I got both the doll highlighted in this review and the one in the next review on Christmas Day.  Talk about being lazy!  Sloth is definitely my deadly sin.  Anyway, this is "Lucy Does a TV Commercial," from Mattel's Barbie Loves Lucy line.  WARNING:  some dolly nudity will be present.
The Barbie Loves Lucy line grew to be quite large; I was in high school when I saw the last one in collector catalogs.  "Lucy Does a TV Commercial" was the very first one, released in early 1998.  I was ten years old.  I took one look at Lucy, remembered my mother's hysterical laughter at the Vitameatavegamin episode that the doll is based on, and said "I want her!"  My intention was to share her with my mother, but my father said no.  "She's too expensive," he said (she was $39).  I was upset but soon got over my disappointment.  Life went on, and new dolls came and went, some of which I got and some of which I didn't.  Now, fifteen years later...I finally have my Lucy!  My mother found her on Ebay for what must've been a good price (I haven't asked what she paid).

That being said, let's look at my lovely Lucy.  First of note is the face.  When it comes to celebrity faces, Mattel is very hit-and-miss.  Sometimes the celebrity dolls Mattel makes look like the people they are supposed to emulate; Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor are good examples.  Sometimes they don't; this Marilyn Monroe comes to mind, though subsequent Marilyn dolls were much better.  So...where does Lucy fall?  You tell me.
You may think differently, but I personally think the doll is a spitting image of Lucille Ball.  So let's start at the top:  Lucy's hair.  Lucy's gorgeous red hair.  I love redheads, and I partially credit Lucille Ball with my affection with the color.
Lucy's hair is curly and tied up in a simple ponytail.  The style looks like a bun since the hair is so curly, but it's just a ponytail, fastened by your standard clear rubber band.

Sewn to Lucy's head is this cute little hat.
It is made of fuzzy black material (not velvet, but still fuzzy), and black lace.  The front part has a veil hanging down over Lucy's bangs.  It feels substantial, but I'm always a little leery of netting.  Sometimes it rots with time.  This, however, looks like it should hold up.

Now let's look closer at Lucy's face.  The doll, not the real person, haha.  Lucy has large, round, blue eyes.
It's hard to tell from that image, but Lucy has rooted upper eyelashes; she's only the third doll I've owned with that feature (my Swan Lake ballerina and my Stardoll are the first two).  In addition to the rooted lashes Lucy has painted upper and lower lashes; these are quite long.  Her eyebrows are dark reddish-brown; they match her hair color better than some of the other dolls I've got.

Lucy's lips are painted bright red.  It's not a garish red (unlike the crap I wore during high school), but it is eye-catching.
This is my favorite part of Lucy's facial sculpt, by the way.  Mattel went to great lengths to make it look like Lucille's mouth, and the results are stunning.  My particular Lucy wears no other makeup besides this lipstick, by the way.  Her eyes and cheeks are completely natural.  There are no paint flaws.

Regarding clothes, Lucy is wearing an asymetrical black-and-white houndstooth suit.  This whole outfit is seamed and hemmed nicely, and the skirt is lined inside, but it's too narrow to get a good picture of the interior.
The dress is one piece, with a line of black "buttons" down the front.
It has a belt:
White cuffs at the sleeves:
And a matching white collar.
The left half of the skirt has a peplum that is sewn in place.
The back opens and closes with snaps, which is a huge relief.
Snaps on a Mattel product suggest to me a higher quality product.  In the case of this doll they are also a vast improvement over the alternative (Velcro), because Lucy has these under her dress!
Seamed stockings!!!  I absolutely LOVE this touch.  I won't be removing them, though; part of the hose appear to have melted to Lucy's hip.  Bummer.

Simple black high heeled pumps complete the look.
These don't stay on very well, by the way.  They were held on with clear rubber bands, but Miss Genius took them off.

Topping off the look are "pearl" earrings and a matching necklace.
Regarding the body, Lucy has the pre-redesign Barbie body, the one with the huge breasts and the hourglass waist.  I'm not sure whether the body is the old TNT or the Shani body, which is slightly slimmer.  Either way, it's an older model with a twisty waist, a body which I took for granted during my childhood, but have since grown to miss.  The arms are bent at the elbow and have the shoulder joint typical of 99% of the Barbies in the world.  One hand has a hole for a ring, but there is no ring.
The legs are jointed at the hip (back and forth motion only) and have the click knee joints.  The narrow skirt restricts hip movement.
It's a relief to see this old body on a doll, because it reminds me of the dolls I had when I was a kid...back when folks had some common sense and building up a child's self esteem was the job of Mom and Dad, and not TV or toys (Barbie's body measurements were scaled back a bit because they were "too unrealistic").  I could go off on a tangent about how I feel about the size of the new bodies and about dolly realism in general, but that's not the point of this blog post.

Back on topic, Lucy has three accessories:  a spoon, a bottle of Vitameatavegamin, and a two-piece stand.  The stand is your basic stand.  It's made of black plastic and has the episode name on the front.
It doesn't fit Lucy too well.  Her feet can't rest on the platform.

The medicine bottle has a tiny label on it with "information" about the contents.  ;-)
The bottle also has a peg on the back; this fits into the hole in Lucy's right hand, enabling her to hold it on her own.
The spoon is silver plastic.  It has grippy bits on the handle that fit on Lucy's left hand, but this connection is not solid.  The spoon is best left rubberbanded to Lucy's hand.
So, does Lucy deliver?  Well...I waited fifteen years to get my hands on this doll, and yes, she delivers!  She looks like the person she is supposed to portray, and her outfit and accessories are authentic to the episode in question.  I really don't have much negative to say about her; besides the melting hose the only real gripe I might have about my Lucy would be the fact that she's one of the plainer Lucy dolls.  Later additions like "Be a Pal" and "Lucy Gets In Pictures" are very elaborate and colorful, and I like them.  But those two weren't the ones that got away.  And it wasn't those two episodes that left my mother in stitches.  When it comes to Lucy dolls, only this one would've done...and she does do!  LOL

The roads are slick, the trees are icy, and I'm not going to be going anywhere, so stick around for my other Christmas doll!

Yours truly,

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