When you think of “Star Wars Barbies” as a concept, you think it would be very easy for Mattel to just put Barbie in a Princess Leia costume and call it a day. Which, to be fair, Mattel has indeed done. But it has also gone beyond that to deliver two extra Star Wars Barbies who definitely are...well, quite something.
Mattel and Lucasfilm announced a new collaboration series today that will see three new Star Wars-themed Barbie dolls hit store shelves later this year, in line with previous Barbie collaborations that have given us everything from a Ziggy Stardust Barbie, to a 13th Doctor Barbie, to a truly fabulous Dana Scully Barbie, and her associate, Disheveled Fox Mulder.
The dolls aren’t necessarily straight up Barbie in Star Wars cosplay, or Barbie standing in as a character from the galaxy far, far away, however. They instead lean toward Barbie’s status as a fashion icon by re-imagining several Star Warslooks as high-end couture. The closest to a “traditional” Barbie in the trio sees her wearing a slightly more dramatic version of Princess Leia’s iconic gown from A New Hope. She comes complete with cinnamon bun-inspired braided hairdo to accessorise the look, but, also hilariously, a silver purse with the Rebel Alliance emblem on it, and wild high heels?
Those things are not going to handle trash compactor water, Leia-Barbie. But they do look fab. The next two dolls in the line are where it really gets wild though – because they’re fashions inspired by Darth Vader and...R2-D2.
They are, frankly, incredible. As much as I would’ve loved to have seen a Darth Vader body with Barbie’s head on it instead of the helmet, or Barbie essentially wearing R2-D2 as an incredibly unwieldy, boxy halter dress, these looks instead go full on weird and wild. Vader Barbie looks like a cross between Edna Mode from The Incredibles – if Edna deigned to wear capes, that is – and fashion designer Anna Wintour, clad in leather number that wouldn’t look out of place in Star Wars burlesque.
Bartoo-bie-too, meanwhile, is a truly out there look that kind of looks like a mashup between an astromech droid, Lady Gaga, and Dazzler from the X-Men, with some inspired make up and a clever re-imagining of R2's panelled design as a modernist print. And the C-3PO-gold purse she’s clutching? Brilliant.
These are so much more fun than just simply putting Barbie in a Leia, Rey, Jyn, or Ahsoka costume and calling it a day – it’s an honest to god merging of the sensibilities of both Star Wars and Barbie, instead of just franchise cosplay.