/// 26 November 2009 /// (Updated: 13 January 2010)
Die Another Day Barbie®

There's an upcoming line of Barbie® dolls based on three popular female characters from classic James Bond movies: Honey Rider from Dr. No, Pussy Galore from Goldfinger, and Giacinta "Jinx" Johnson from Die Another Day.

Even though the dolls are "Barbie as..." dolls (meaning they're not supposed to be celebrity likenesses), it's pretty obvious the Die Another Day doll is meant to look like Halle Berry, the actress who played the character in the movie.

Interestingly enough, this isn't the first time Halle Berry's been given the doll treatment by Mattel; there almost was a Halle Berry Barbie doll at one point.

The aborted Barbie® Collector Halle Berry doll

Berry starred as Patience Phillips (a.k.a. "Catwoman") in 2004's disastrous Catwoman movie. Somebody forgot to tell the producers that the movie was supposed to be based on the very well-known and popular comic book character. (Whoops-a-daisy! ) Instead, they made up their own story, the movie completely bombed, and it's now considered to be one of the worst movies ever made.

2004's playline Barbie® as Catwoman doll

Somebody else (who presumably hadn't watched the movie) got the impression people would actually want to buy merchandise tie-ins from it. One of the items that was made was a playline Barbie as Catwoman doll, which wore the torn-to-shreds leather dominatrix costume from the movie (complete with bullwhip - a great toy for the kiddies! ) and featured cat-like eyes, new arms with silver "cat claw" fingernails (borrowed from its predecessor, the Collector Edition Barbie as Catwoman doll), and a short, spikey hairdo like the one Berry wore at the time. It used the existing 1998 "Generation Girl™" Barbie® head, though, and wasn't intended to be a celebrity likeness. (Like Die Another Day Barbie, it was a "Barbie as" doll.)

However, there were originally plans to release a Barbie Collector Halle Berry doll, too. As you can see from the picture above , the Halle Berry doll wears a purple Catwoman-inspired gown and features a celebrity head sculpt in Berry's likeness.

The doll was shown at Toy Fair in 2004 and promoted heavily. It was supposed to be released in late 2004 - but, for one reason or another, it wasn't. Instead, it disappeared into Beckyland, never to be heard from again. The head created for it has never been used on a production doll. (Edit: Until now - see the update at the bottom of this page! )

Speaking of which - I have absolutely no clue what head the Die Another Day doll uses. It doesn't look like the 2004 Model of the Moment™ Nichelle® head, which is the only one I could think of off the top of my head. It seems strangely familiar - but that may be because it reminds me so much of Robert Tonner's Jac.

Die Another Day Barbie® reminds me of Robert Tonner's Jac

(Incidentally, Tonner made their own Catwoman doll, but theirs featured an "authorized likeness of Halle Berry". Which isn't to say it looks anything like her, of course.... )

(17 December 2009)

FelicityK wrote and told me that Barbie designer Bill Greening mentioned on the Barbie Collector message board that the Die Another Day doll actually uses the Halle Berry head sculpt! Yup - the exact head that was originally created for the unproduced Halle Berry doll from 2004!

That would explain why it looks so much like Halle Berry (and why I couldn't recognize it) - although it's kind of strange, since head sculpts based on real people are normally copyrighted to those people and can't be used on other dolls (at least, not without their permission). Halle Berry's name isn't mentioned anywhere in the Jinx doll's description (like I said, it's a "Barbie as" doll, not a celebrity doll). I wonder if this head wasn't originally supposed to specifically be Halle Berry or something? Or, maybe Halle Berry gave them permission to use it like this? Or, maybe her rights to it have lapsed somehow?

If you have this doll, I'd love to know what the marking on the back of the head is! (You can email me here )

Doll Diary 26 November 2009