In March of 2019, I attended a fun event-thing called the Barbie 60th Anniversary Pop-Up Experience, which was just insane. Imagine being wedged into a crowded labyrinth of bright lights, neon colors, and every type of Barbie-branded doll in the universe, including Gender-Nonconforming Barbie and Dad-Bod Ken. Now, add little kids with their parents, and millennial Instagram-whores, and you’re got an idea of the scenario that I consider myself lucky to have survived with my sanity intact. Still: super fun!
While I saw literally hundreds of Barbies that day, the one that I will surely never forget is this Pink Mink Stole-draped plastic goddess known as the Andy Warhol Barbie. Here’s why: this Barbie (the third such doll produced in collaboration with The Andy Warhol Foundation) is the definitive celebration of Warhol, drawing inspiration from the original Warhol Barbie portrait created by the artist in 1986. Barbie’s strapless gown features a sweetheart neckline and an overall print of the Warhol Barbie Portrait (you can see a few details of Barbie’s face on the dress if you look closely at the above photo). Beyond the fabulous Pink faux fur stole with blue lining, the doll’s accessories also include blue pumps accented with glitter inspired by Warhol’s technique of “diamond dust” crushed glass on canvas, earrings, necklace, ring and doll stand. Rad.
Sadly I could not capture details of the glittery shoes, as Andy Warhol Barbie was encased in a vitrine, to protect her from molestation. The statement to the left of Barbie’s face in the above photo reads as follows:
Andy Warhol made his mark by creating images of American icons. Barbie was added to the list when Warhol painted her in 1986. The first Barbie portrait was reportedly inspired by Warhol’s muse, Billy Boy, a jewelry designer and member of new York downtown scene in the 1980s, who owned a vast collection of Barbie dolls.
Being old enough to have watched the TV sitcom, I Dream of Jeannie in its first run, I certainly would have been overjoyed to have owned a Barbie Doll as cool as this one, based on the character played by the lovely Barbara Eden. Designed by Robert Best and release in November of 2010 (on Mattel’s Pink Label®!) the doll originally sold for $34.95. Not surprisingly, it is no longer available from Mattel, so good luck finding this great doll on eBay or collector’s sites.
The Joan Jett Barbie Doll was released in December of 2009 as part of Mattel’s Ladies of The ’80s Barbie Doll collection (which also included dolls created in the likeness of Debbie Harry and Cindy Lauper). While the doll is no longer being manufactured, a quick Google search reveals that the fashionable and highly collectible Ms. Jett can be purchased at various locales on the Interwebs for between $44 and $56 — quite reasonable for such a find! Happy hunting!
I stopped paying attention to my MySpace page about six months ago (Face Book, baby!) but occasionally I still get the odd “friend request” from a shitty band or porn webcam. So, every few weeks I make a pit stop by the page just to check out who wants to be my “friend.” Today while I was quickly deleting a dozen or so earnest requests from guys with Yahoo instant messenger who claim to love me, aforementioned shitty bands and product salesbots masquerading as humanoids, I accidentally clicked on the page for a website called Headless Historicals, which sells “Commemorative Dolls of the Executed.” So I must say that MySpace is still good for something, because this site is fucked up.
According to their website, “Headless Historicals ™ are reworked dolls that were inspired by people throughout history who died in rather horrible ways. Each doll is dressed according to how they might have appeared during the peak of their success, while their bodies display the manner in which they died.” I wish I was making this up. And from their MySpace page: “Using forensic photographs, written historical accounts, and techniques used for creating horror effects in film, special attention is given to the details of the injuries sustained during the final moments of each character’s life. All of the eyes are glazed over to produce the lack-luster stare of the dead. Torn flesh and deep gashes are shown in all their gory details and for decapitations the severed muscle tissue and bone is visible in the wound.
These dolls are for display purposes only and are certainly not intended for children. Because these dolls were originally obtained from second-hand sources, slight imperfections are normal and often add to the doll’s character considering the nature of these reworkings. We are not affiliated with any doll manufacturer. Headless Historicals are created by artists Garith Pettibone and Shiva Rodriguez.” Awesome.
Lady Jane Grey, Severed Head Included, Sells for $169.99