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10 celebrity dolls

10 celebrity dolls that totally missed the mark

By Sarge Anderson

Dolls aren’t inherently creepy. They’re not full of demons, they’re not cursed. Well, some might be. But most of them are miniature works of art, full of love. 

Except celebrity dolls. Their plastic should be melted down to make the high-heeled shoes that bless Barbie’s feet. But sadly, they are inevitable. 

The highest honor bestowed upon a celebrity include a prestigious award somewhere in the EGOT acronym, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and being turned into their very own doll. Today, we’re here to talk about dolldom. 

The craftsmanship of molding a human person’s face is undeniably difficult. Even when you have a lot of material to work with, everyone get it at least a little wrong. Take wax museums or official commemorative statues. But most of the time, toy companies get it very wrong.  

As the resident doll expert, I get it. Tiny canvas plus the limitations of the plastic medium equals demon spawn face. But it’s 2019, and not to get all Million Dollar Man, but we have the technology. There’s no excuse. 

Here are the top 10 worst offenders. To keep the list a reasonable length, we’ll keep it fairly modern (so no John TravoltaFarrah Fawcett, or Cher vintage garbage.) 

10. One Direction 

Their waxy, smug auras mock me.
Their waxy, smug auras mock me.

While Mattel usually reigns supreme in the fashion doll front, Hasbro took a break from designing their 137th G.I. Joe action figure in 2012 and transformed the boy band sensation, One Direction. You can just tell that they were not used to crafting non-beefcake faces. Please note the dead eyes and the waxy, molded hair — you have the glue, you can mold some real hairstyles! Everyone actually looks pretty fine except Harry Styles, whose doll was famously clowned by the boys themselves for looking like Susan Boyle. We’re pretty sure that’s his own barber’s fault, though. 

9. Idris Elba 

Oh, you know it’s bad when everyone is saying that a doll meant to celebrate you being the sexiest man alive also looks like some totally unrelated dude. Despite costing $1,057, specialty doll makers Emeperis could have tried just a little harder to not make it look like Romany Malco. I mean, the doll isn’t even buff! This doll is no zaddy of mine. 

8. Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard (Owen and Claire, Jurassic World)

That jaw is not nearly chiseled enough.
That jaw is not nearly chiseled enough.
Do not look into her eyes.
Do not look into her eyes.

Everyone ran from the shelves faster than the guy fleeing with his double margaritas inJurassic World when they saw these dolls. Not only do these look absolutely nothing like their respective actors, but look at their clothing. Look at those thin, basic approximations of costume design. I’m not saying that the streetwear in Jurassic World was groundbreaking, but those look so cheap a T-Rex could claw through them faster than you could say “life, uh, finds a way.” 

7. Lindsay Lohan 

If fashion ever circles back to '00s trends, I will sleep through them.
If fashion ever circles back to ’00s trends, I will sleep through them.

Back in the early 2000s, Mattel decided that Barbie wasn’t “cool” enough. She didn’t have enough of an “edge.” So they created as special line of dolls called “My Scene,” who were basically the precursor to LA trust fund influencer representation. In 2003, Lindsay Lohan joined their gang. Literally — she was in their direct-to-DVD movie, “My Scene Goes Hollywood.” But this doll looks like they’ve never even seen her before. I can imagine a board room full of old execs going “I saw the Parent Trap once, I think she had freckles, right?” Bad. 

6. BTS 

When you have the entirety of ARMY Twitter saying “maybe you messed up here,” yeah, you messed up. Honestly, fans that aren’t doll-savvy might not realize that for their $20 price-point, Mattel gave us far more detail than others could have. The clothing isn’t screened on (meaning the outfit pieces are separated, as opposed to the details being airbrushed on) and you can pretty much tell who’s who. But although they don’t have molded hair, they really super-glued those hairstyles to hell. ARMYs, I’m sorry that you all had to learn about the horrors of doll glue head the hard way. 

5. Taylor Swift 

🎶"She's cheer captain, and I look dead inside"🎶
🎶”She’s cheer captain, and I look dead inside”🎶
She does not belong with me, nor anyone else.
She does not belong with me, nor anyone else.

There’s nothing about this doll that says Taylor. From the pained, painted-on smile to the judge-y eyes, the only thing these two have in common is that they play the guitar. This was also probably hellish for parents, as it played a short clip of “You Belong With Me” that baby stans probably button-mashed to death. 

4. Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart (Edward and Bella, Twilight

Does the doll sparkle? No? Booooo!
Does the doll sparkle? No? Booooo!
Poor girl.
Poor girl.

Back in the day when everyone was all Team Edward vs. Team Jacob, there was another fight I was much more engaged in: Team Mattel vs. Team My Fists. But the two intersected in my need to defend the Twihards for their right to quality celeb doll representation. Edward’s doll just looks like a constipated Handsome Squidward. Bella, on the other hand is offensive, because they clearly didn’t even try. At all. Instead of attempting a replica of lesbian icon Stewart, they went straight for the most average Barbie face mold of the late ’90s and ’00s: the “Mackie” mold. But Bella’s whole character is about being the most basic, unoriginal girl in town. So maybe Mattel was onto something.

3. Spice Girls

These Spice Girls are bland as hell.
These Spice Girls are bland as hell.

Our good ol’ friend, the uncanny valley, strikes again. There’s a reason why many dolls have smaller smiles, or smile without showing teeth. Every Spice’s smile here looks just a little too crazed. I feel like saying “OK, fine, I’ll be your lover! Just, calm down, alright?” They also suffering from the ’90s doll hair problem that makes it look like they’re all wearing incredibly cheap, bad wigs. 

2. Justin Bieber 

Nope, nope, nope.
Nope, nope, nope.

Baby, baby, baby, woah. Everything about this is so wonderfully awful. The molded combover. The lack of any distinctive fashion. The face that is decidedly not Biebs, but is more akin to a frat boy named Branthony who Venmo requests you for 1/64th of a keg. This doll doesn’t sing “Baby,” it shoots you a limp peace sign and says “suh, dude.” Speaking of the Beibster…

1. Emma Watson (Belle, Beauty and the Beast

A modern day doll tragedy. Everyone from Twitter memelord to Disney fans and doll aficionados came down hard on Disney’s approximation of Watson’s face. Most everyone agreed that it was Justin Bieber-esque, but one tweet was even more savage, saying it looked like “Lord Farquaad with a mix of the Queen of Hearts & a sprinkle of Justin Bieber.” Ouch. They really did Watson dirty with this one, I mean, just look at that hairline.

Let this be a lesson to all you toy companies – check your reference pics twice — and pull the plastic later. 

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