MATTEL'S ELIZABETH TAYLOR AS CLEOPATRA

Last modified: Saturday, January 6, 2001 6:20 PM

Another freakin' DOLL???

 

What can I say? I saw this staring at me in a store, and the last project I worked on was my version of Elizabeth Taylor. So despite having NO MORE ROOM for material possessions of this sort, I plunkered down a small chunk of the cat's inheritance & went home with Lizzy. I look at it this way-- it was far easier than the hoops Larry F. had to jump through.

To look at her today, you may find it difficult to believe that ET was once the lust-inspiring siren of the silver screen. (Hey, she's not bad looking now, and like it or not, it happens to all of us.) She's one of the classic biggies of film, back when stars were bigger-than-life. I'm glad that Mattel took up the challenge of immortalizing her in plastic, and particularly in one of the most extravagant outfits of film history. It would have been nicer to see this tied to the release of a digitally remastered version of the movie though (with the extra footage).

As you can see, Mattel did a very credible job of the facial likeness. Like most toys, it's a stylized likeness-- a lot cleaner than we grubby humans actually are. But the lithograph/decals on the eyes are very nicely done, along with the glitter eyeshadow. This sort of detail quality makes it very difficult for the home-brewer to compete!

Unfortunately, the female dolls almost always have those pencil-thin necks and weirdly scaled hands. It's not surprising, but gee-- what happened to Lizzy's CLEAVAGE? Her abundant endowments were one of her most obvious assets! [Slap!] (Sheesh Jim, it's just a doll!) Don't expect much in the way of "action features" either, since dolls like this are meant to stay in their pretty boxes.

The outfit itself is okay-- not bad, but not great. No reasonably-priced toy could capture the lavish detail of the movie's outfit. They use a variety of materials to keep it interesting, but as you might be able to see, the design on the outer robe is screened on. It would of course have been much neater if it had been made of individually applied scales. Similarly, the headress is a solid molded piece of gold vac-metalized plastic (with the cool doo-dad you stick in the top). This would be a good basis for making a fancier one. Actually, the whole thing offers a lot of potential for fun improvement projects. It would be certainly be easier to do it this way than to plan one from scratch... nowadays, I find that thought sorta depressing!

Anyway, it looks like this may be part of a series-- the box is labeled "The Elizabeth Taylor Collection". It's just my personal fetish, but I hope they do "The Taming of the Shrew". Wonder if they're gonna do her in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf"???

--Jimbob, 01/22/00