Yesterday I found and unexpected issue with one of my dolls. The vinyl of Mattel’s Bob Mackie Cher doll’s outfit had developed a white powdery bloom all over it. Luckily, there’s not much to the outfit and with a gentle rub with a soft cloth, it cleaned up ok. I’ve never had this problem with an item of clothing before, only dolls (see here), so I was really surprised to see it. I suspect it’s caused by some chemical reaction within the vinyl, so to see it on what is effectively a fabric was a bit of a shock. I’ll need to keep an eye on it from now on.
The vinyl of Cher’s costume was covered with a powdery bloom, but cleaned up with a soft cloth. The difference can be seen with one half having been cleaned in the second photo.
I’m not a huge Cher fan, I like her songs and will happily sing along to them when they’re played on the radio, but I bought the doll because it’s such a great likeness. It was at a time when collector dolls were still easily available here, some in shops and others through dealers. Mattel have done four Cher dolls – one in 2001 wearing a mauve dress and three more in 2007, 1970’s in Native American style fashion, 1980’s and a ringmaster-style outfit – all designed or inspired by Bob Mackie. All the dolls use the same face mould. Mine is described on the Barbie Collector website as being the 1980’s inspired doll, but it’s not described that way on the box. The fashion was worn by Cher in the 1980’s and again for her farewell tour. Some people mistake the costume for that worn in the Turn Back Time video clip, and they are similar.
Not entirely sure why Mattel felt the need to blur part of the doll’s box!
This fashion consists of sheer net and pleather bodysuit with glittery accents, topped by a leather jacket and long black boots and it’s almost perfectly replicated on this doll. The shape of the cut-outs in the vinyl are almost identical to the real fashion and the leather jacket is fabulous with its silver studs, buckles and chains. The boots are also almost perfect replicas. If there are any failings, it’s that the suspenders are a little out of scale, as are the beads used for the earrings – and be careful, the earrings are stitched to the jacket – but that’s nit-picking.
The bead earrings are a wee bit out of scale.
As for the doll itself, it’s a static Model Muse body, so you know I’m going to have issues with that, but I also don’t think it’s right for this doll. I’d have much preferred a Pivotal body so Cher could be posed. As it is, she can stand to look as though she’s singing – she also comes with a black microphone – but it’s not a very iconic Cher pose. Perhaps if I come across a spare Pivotal body I’ll do a bit of swapping, although the fashion is sewn on and I think redressing could be tricky. The doll has a lot of hair and unfortunately it’s not the best quality – those curls can be unruly. I wouldn’t recommend any attempt to brush or comb it as bits come away easily as it is. Overall, this is one of the better Mattel celebrity dolls. Now, if only we could turn back time.
More details on Mattel’s Cher dolls can be found here.
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