OUR COLLECTION: The Big, Beautiful Ones

The big, beautiful ladies - Edna, Raven, Mimi, Rosie, Tracy and a standard-sized doll for comparison.

I’m finally doing a post on the Plus-sized Ladies of Leah’s Barbieland. I’d waited until I had them all (or all I could get my hands on).

To recap:

This post is not about dolls I made larger, this post is about dolls that were born this way.

The ladies used in comparison are (L to R):

Edna Turnblad: Made by Jakks Pacific. Promotional tie-in with the movie Hairspray. 2007

Galleria Garibaldi: Character in a movie about the Cheetah Girls.  Raven-Symoné played the character Galleria Garibaldi.  Mattel also released a Raven doll but used the standard body and a head mold called Mbili that is a beautiful African American head mold, but looks nothing like Raven Simone. Iow, if you want a doll that looks different than Mattel dolls, don’t bother with their Raven doll.  That said, if you are seeking a plus-sized doll, this doll barely makes the grade. The doll shown here is made by Play Along Toys in 2007 and part of the Fashion Collection and not the “Concert” collection (my doll doesn’t sing) – the variations are detailed in this Wikipedia entry.  (may thanks to D7ana)

Mimi Bobeck: Character in the television series The Drew Carey Show. Made by Creation Entertainment in 1998.

Rosie O’Donnell, Friend of Barbie: Made by Mattel. Promotional tie-in with the old Rosie O’Donnell show (here’s a link to the new Rosie Show.) 1999.

Tracy Turnblad: Made by Jakks Pacific. Promotional tie-in with the movie Hairspray. 2007

Mammy from Gone with the Wind: Pictures of her will appear lower in this post. Made by World Doll (?), 1989. The company that made them doesn’t seem to have lasted long.

The point of this post is to let people know what’s out there and provide comparison photos about their sizes relative to standard barbie dolls. That’s a question I often have about non-standard dolls. Since I want to provide the best information possible and so I photograph the dolls naked. I think it’s easier to see the real difference when their clothes are off.

Edna Turnblad, Raven Cheetah Girl, Mimi Bobeck, Rosie O'Donnell, Tracy Turnblad, Old Barbie Body, Current Belly Button/ Fashionista Barbie Body
Sitting is a bit of a problem for the girls with the largest bellies. Not sure if a creative doll designer could overcome this problem.
I always appreciate underpants. Raven, Mimi, Edna, Rosie, Tracy.'

I received my Mammy doll after I took pictures of the other dolls together. Mammy is significantly different so I kept her in her own set of pictures.

Mammy in btw Mimi and Tracy. Tracy is wearing a Hearts 4 Hearts ensemble.

An Aside: I have Tracy in a Hearts 4 Hearts ensemble and I will be covering alternative clothing for plus-size barbies in a future post. Finding alternative clothing for these ladies is no easy task

Mammy naked, Edna wearing Mammy's dress.

Now you can see that Mammy’s body is made of cloth, overstuffed with cotton. She can’t sit or change positions at all. I have removed her head and will remove some of the stuffing. Then I’ll add thick wire to her arms, legs and body so that she can hold a position. At least that’s the plan for now. Stay tuned.

I will work on the body and possibly add hair.

I think the only plus size 1/6 scale doll I don’t have, and can’t show you – is a Big Beautiful doll, as shown here and detailed in my earlier post called “Someone Needs to Create an Anti-Barbie“.

Big Beautiful Doll - Madame CJ Walker Tribute Doll

If any readers know of any additional plus-sized dolls please comment and let me (and other readers) know. Of course I know of the various other Anti-barbies like the Get Real Girls and the G5 – I am speaking strictly of true plus-sized – Rosie or bigger. Thanks.

38 Comments Add yours

  1. D7ana says:

    Thanks for sharing comparison photos of these dolls in this post.

    Offhand, I cannot think of any other plus-size figures. Mixis and Get Set Club dolls are more solid, heavier than Barbies, but not really full-figured. They’re like young women who eat pasta – grin. Except possibly the other dolls in the set with your Raven (NOT the Mattel Raven; yours is by Play Along – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cheetah_Girls_merchandise ). Oh and that “Raven” doll is actually the “Galleria” doll. Mattel’s “Raven” who looks remarkably NOT like the actress is supposed to be the actress. Weird, hmm?

    Side note: some action figures that look portly are “normal” aka “standard” sized figures wearing “fat suits” or padding under their clothes. But that is a separate issue all together.

    1. Thanks for the link and the info. The pasta comment was too funny. You really had me laughing. So true – that’s why it’s funny.

      I used all your info to update the post. It’s much better thanks to your input.

      I want to know more about this action figure fat suit business. I’m intrigued.

  2. D7ana says:

    Ack! You wrote about Raven being a Cheetah Girl. Getting sloppy, I am.

  3. Lola says:

    Happy family grandma! Where is happy family grandma!
    I love the turnblad’s bodies, I just wish they sat better. Of course, we only just got articulation in skinny dolls, we’re a long way off from articulation in our chunkier dolls.

    1. Paulette Richards says:

      Thanks for the comparison photos and for including the Big Beautiful Dolls. I thought of them after reading your last post on Rosie O’Donnell but couldn’t remember what they were called. Wish I had one!

      I found the Cheetah Girls Raven at a doll show for only $1. In my doll world she is a new mother who has not returned to her original size.
      I bet you could do another really interesting post about pregnant dolls. Right now I can only think of two pregnant 1:6 scale dolls. About ten years ago Mattel made a pregnant Midge which caused a furor because she was sold separately from her husband and some parents thought this promoted the wrong values. The clerk at the Kmart where I bought mine said that she did not want to have the kinds of conversations with her daughter that the doll was likely to provoke.

      Currently Toys R Us is offering a pregnant Jessica doll. Mattel made a carmel colored version of the pregnant Midge. Same face mold, long straight hair. Didn’t look like most African Americans but at least they made the effort. I swapped heads on that body and made a short dreadlock wig for the doll. Eventually she will appear as a lingerie model in one of my tutorials. As far as I can tell, Toys R Us is not making any ethnic Jessica dolls.

      1. Paulette – I actually do a have an entry on the Happy Family and your comment totally cracked me up because I HAD to change her head, too. It was not a choice, it was a complusion!! I think type Happy Family into my Search box.

        If you are so inclined, also check out my Heart Family. On both of those entries I do bios – much more like what most of you (you, Vanessa, Dani, Tracy) do with giving your dolls backstories. I have no intentions of going the story route, but for me the Heart Family is just so Focus-On-The-Family and I had to make a mockery of progressives like me to balance it out – so I did that with the Happy Family.

        I am also VERY selective re which blondes I allow into Leah’s collection. Mrs. Heart strikes me as a natural blonde, so she gets a pass.

        Chuckling again at the fact that we both pulled off Midge’s head. That Theresa mold with the giant forehead is one of my top most hated heads of all time. it’s positively barfy.

        1. Cosmodollitan Elle says:

          Heyyy Teresa looks just like half my family … At least the wide jaw but I never noticed a large forehead. I have one though, i think…

          😦

          1. Cosmodollitan Elle says:

            OK I looked at the post. That’s not the Teresa face mold, actually, right? The doll does have a big foehead, and it sadly looks worse in the AA. I couldn’t possibly still have much of a foehead but in my fears I’m still a somewhat awkward teen … Growing into her face … I don’t even “need” bangs anymore, just sideswept ones. Honestly, I think Steffie has a “five” head (cruel schoolyard term?) and one of my fave dolls (bb 002 03 for her hair tho I originally wished she were brunette to possibly represent me – I do limit my blondes too – in my family and my SO, they mostly grow up to become brunettes and I’m anti bleaching, tanning, etc. – tho something interwsting is they often still think they’re not brunette!!!) I’m on my phone, forgot my point, haha, and can’t even read back that far – hold on … …

            1. Cosmodollitan Elle says:

              Anyway, as you know, she’s a Steffie and she recently became worried about her large forehead so she wanted to quit waxing her eyevrows so thin to see if that would help. At first I hated the color and arch I gave her but then I got used to it after I bought new paint (I didn’t have a needed primary color, by mistake). Still not sure if I lime it or will keep it; I’ll see … Anyway, point is, though probably still beautiful, I do believe in bangs or something to minimize a larger forehead. Sorry about any horrid typing. I’m sick of waiting for real Internet; ATT has messed us over alllllll month!!! Thanks for reading. P.S. Later I might try to identify that face mold.

    2. Lola – I thought about including her but I have an upcoming post planned for an action figure rebody and the Get Real Girls. Her body fits better in that group than as a true plus size. Even Rave really shouldn’t have been included here. She’s not plus sized as much as she’s “realistic”

    1. Lola says:

      You call that a “fivehead”, fyi–bigger than a ‘forehead’.

      1. Lola says:

        Ha! I just read your post and you already called it that!:D

  4. Anika says:

    I do have the 1st Raven from Mattel. The dolls body is thicker than the average Barbie body. I consider her as one of my bigger girls rocking her size as the others do as well. I’ve swapped heads on some dolls including the Cheetah Girl doll.

    I enjoy the diversity of your daughters collection it reminds me of my own.

    1. Anika – I didn’t know!! Now I think I might need a Mattel Raven! Is the body like any other? is there a chance it’s a Rosie or a Heart Family Grandma?

      1. Anika says:

        Kristl I don’t think it’s the HF Grandma and definitely not Rosie’s. I have to dig her out and check to see if it’s the same..LOL

  5. Becca says:

    There is a few dolls that are larger. I dont know if they are still in business. I tried for a few years to get one & they were always sold out. I think its Big beautiful dolls. There were 3 of them made to look like the 3 ladies that owned the company.

    1. Becca, I have tried very hard to get one of those dolls. I even stalked one of the former owners – found her on facebook and on a podcast. She never writes me back.

  6. Maureen says:

    Let me start by saying how much I love your blog. I check in fairly regularly for your thought-provoking posts, and I’m considering bringing some of your writing into my English classroom. Reading about your use of dolls as a teaching tool and a means of bonding with your daughter makes me hope I’m one day lucky enough to have my own child who likes to play with dolls. I was a little disappointed, however, that you didn’t address what I assumed would be some of your concerns about handing your daughter a Mammie doll. Have you addressed that Mammie is a racist caricature with your daughter?

    1. Hi Maureen,

      Thanks for your comment and the nice things you said. I won’t be addressing the Mammie thing with my daughter – at least not using this doll as a tool. The doll will never again have on the Mammie outfit, certainly not the head-kerchief. This doll will just be black woman in our world. I am working now on some patterns so I can sew for her and the other big women. I’ll also do something with her head. I could glue hair on her, make her a wig, buy her a wig or flock her head. I haven’t decided which one I’ll do.

      To address a racial stereotype with her at age 5 would be an odd choice in my mind. First, it hasn’t occurred to her that any such thing as racism exists. We won’t discuss oppression or slavery or anything like that until much later. The problem with children is that you don’t want to teach them about Rosa Parks until they know about Jim Crow. It’s very complicated for me and I feel like every step of the way I’ll be torn btw telling her things too early and not telling her soon enough.

      Looking back over the post now, I realize why you might have been concerned. I didn’t exactly make it clear that I wouldn’t be presenting her as the Mammie character. Thanks for bringing this up. I will probably edit the article so that I make it clear.

  7. D7ana says:

    Hi Kristl! I have finally posted about the “fat suit” – you can read about it here, http://phillycollector.blogspot.com/2012/04/uncovering-fat-suit-of-sideshows-odd.html

    This might not be something you would want to use since it could be taken that “extra weight” is something that can be removed like a body suit … but I think it is worth a look.

    Thanks in advance for viewing.
    Dana

  8. Lola says:

    You’re not going to believe this. I saw a Big Beautiful Doll for sale online for only TWENTY FIVE dollars! It was from a person liquidating their collection. I emailed about it but apparently I was the 6th person to inquire:/ But I tried to snag her for you!

  9. mizzmoxie says:

    OMG!!! MIMI! Where ever can I get one!?

    1. These days your only hope is eBay. She’s out there and she livens up any play session!

  10. sockmonsterx says:

    I’m new to doll collecting, and really into the idea of an ethnically diverse collection for play.
    I wanted to ask, does anyone here know if this is an Esmeralda?
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=160670077255&fromMakeTrack=true

    I do not have the means to purchase it right now, so anyone feel free to nab her up (she’s articulated!), I’m just really curious if I’m right.

    1. Yes – that is an Esmerelda. AND articulated!! I didn’t even know they existed. That would be a good one to get. I use an Esmerelda as a muslim woman. I really like her headmold. She looks like the actress Jennifer Connolly to me. You can see my use of Esmerelda here.

  11. Jane says:

    cool big barbies 🙂

  12. Bluebelle says:

    A bit of an odd question, but do you know if it would be possible to remove the Rosie O’Donnell head and replace it with another Barbie’s? I wonder if the scale would be really wrong. I love the body but I’m not really into Rosie lol.

    1. Yes. if you shave the neck hole a head will go on quite well.Here’s a tutorial: http://crazybarbielady.blogspot.com/2012/01/details-of-rosie-head-surgery.html

  13. Have you seen Lammily, the crowd sourced average sized doll? I just supported this after searching for doll stuff today. The project only started this month and is already funded. I hate having to wait until november for my doll, but I’m incredibly excited to see what this doll will be like! She looks a lot like me! Go here https://www.lammily.com/

    1. I started writing a book and didn’t have any extra time to devote to this blog. I may start posting again now that the book is out and I don’t have to worry about writing or editing it anymore. I miss posting.

    2. I decided to write a book. I finished it and it’s doing well so I am considering returning to blog some more. 🙂

  14. Alex R. says:

    You may want to look search for the plus size red headed doll with a bright smile, named… “Happy.” Happy, was the first ever, anti-Barbie teen fashion doll, that was made for a short time in the early 90’s. The official name of the doll line was (HAPPY TO BE ME) by High Self-Esteem Toys, I own two one in a bathing suit the other in her, “Sweet Sixteen” gown. I believe there are two other dolls in this line available through eBay, the same site I was able to purchase the two dolls I own.

  15. Patricia says:

    Ohh i never seen this before a Plus size barbie and this article sound really interesting specially we know that girls loves barbie and its a hot topic about plus size fashion as saw in lately in the article http://www.exploretalent.com/articles/plus-size-model-pants-flatter-body-shape/ talking about fashion for plus size women. This sound intersting ha… 🙂

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