There is no greater female icon in the world of comedy than Lucille Ball and her legacy will continue to inspire others for many years to come. In celebration of the star’s 110th birthday (Ball was born August 6th, 1911) and the upcoming 70th anniversary of her sitcom I Love Lucy, Mattel is launching its new Tribute Collection with a Barbie doll modeled after the legendary actress.
The special edition figure recreates the beloved redheaded comedy queen in a cobalt blue 1950s era dress complete with a white lace bolero, silver heels, pearl drop earrings, and her aquamarine engagement ring from her first husband Desi Arnez. As the doll commemorates the 70th anniversary of I Love Lucy, a Desilu Studios script of the first episode is held in her hands.
The doll is has a price of $40 and is available for preorder purchase at several retailers and the Barbie site.
Barbie Launches Lucille Ball In Their Tribute Collection
Ball and Arnaz’s daughter, Lucie Arnaz, worked directly with Mattel and doll designer Bill Greening to get her mother’s details and likeness just right. In its official statement announcing the special edition, Mattel called Ball 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.”"
This is not the first time that Lucy has been recreated in Barbie doll form. From 1997 to 2011, Mattel released a collection of dolls honoring memorable I Love Lucy episodes as well as a special edition doll series under their Pink Label Line.
I Love Lucy was created and produced by Lucille and Desi Arnaz, but CBS was initially hesitant due in part to Arnaz being Cuban, fearing the marriage wouldn’t fit well with audiences. To prove them wrong, the couple created a vaudeville routine to spark hype for the project. Their act was an instant success and Ball and Arnaz opened Desilu Studios before launching the iconic show on CBS.
The comedy pioneered several firsts in the entertainment industry, including one of the first female writers, Madelyn Davis, who created several of Ball’s onscreen antics. Other developments included three-way camera filming, and shooting in film, instead of Kinescope.
I Love Lucy ran for a total of six seasons, snagging several Emmy nominations and wins. Following the show’s ending in 1957, thirteen one-hour specials starring the original cast and celebrity guest stars aired over the next three years. To this day, I Love Lucy is a cultural staple.
What do you think of the Lucille Ball doll and what episode of I Love Lucy is your favorite?