Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Reflections of "The Queen of Motown": Mego, Mattel, and Diana Ross

Diana Ross is a well-known American singer and actress. So it is not surprising that two major toy companies created likenesses of her. Mego created their 12 1/4" Diana Ross in 1977; Mattel produced their 11 1/2" version in 2004. I like both dolls: they both capture different aspects of the singer.

Both Diana Ross figures are dolls although Mego usually produced action figures. Back in the mid-seventies,  Mego had plans to have a doll series bigger than Barbie so they made their fashion dolls 12 1/4" tall. Okay, you can recover from laughing. Barbie before Bratz was a juggernaut. But Mego had the license and they produced their Diana Ross doll first.

Mego's face is larger and stronger than the Mattel face. Oddly, in spite of the hugeness of the doll - which bears no similarity to the physique of the singer-actress - I find her face looks more like the real person. Something about the half-mast eyes, the nose and the mouth shape, and the complexion. And what talons she has for nails.

Mattel's Diana has more grace

... but her face doesn't capture the vividness of Mego's Diana

Here the two are side-by-side

Which do you think - if either - best captures the likeness of Diva Diana Ross?

Related links with additional links

Diana Ross on Facebook

IMDB - International Movie Database

International fansite

Wikipedia entry


Dollz4Moi said...

I wanted the Mattel version for some time so when I finally won her I was so happy. That doll can be expensive. I loved the Mego but then her size lost out for me and I sold her some time ago with no regrets. So Mattel wins

D7ana said...

Hi Dollz4Moi! Fortunate for me, I got the Mattel Diana when she first came out. Wouldn't it be gggrreeeaaatttt if Mattel should recycle the Ross headmold in a darker or lighter complexion? Perhaps, "someday" lol.

Black Doll Enthusiast said...

Mattel wins out for me. I purchased two by Mattel when they were released because they captured Ross's likeness so well.

I purchased the Mego doll on the secondary market. That one only vaguely resembles Ms. Ross. Size doesn't matter to me. I'm more interested in how well a portrait doll captures the likeness of the personality, which is why Mattel's version wins.

Not playscale in size, but Ideal also made a Diana Ross doll using the Crissy body.

Featuring the three versions (I own the Ideal one, too), has been a blog thought for me.

Great doll minds often think a like.


Papillon Bleu said...

You are so right, the one on the left looks much more like the original! But I think the Mattel one is prettier.

D7ana said...

Hi, DBG! I would LOVE to see your article on the 3 Dianas - and I think there is something about the 3 faces of the Greek goddess Diana - Diana, Selene, Hecate? argh! I used to know my Greek/Roman mythology when I was 12ish. Age! Not that the Diva Diana Ross has anything to do with Greek mythology that I know of. Shrug.

I lucked out and got my Mattel Diana early. Glad that I did. I will grant that Mattel's version is a better portrait, a more realistic doll while the Mego doll is more caricature. But the Mego eyes cinch the look for me - the darkness and the rim of eye whites beneath the pupil. The mouth shape strikes me as closer, more vivid, too.

But great minds can differ and remain as great. (Oops, post birthday thrills spilling over, lol. Too, too pleased with me. Eh, but if we don't tout our horns from time to time, who'll remember us, hmmm?)

Hi Papillon Bleu! You read me. Thanks for your comment ;-D

Vanessa said...

Did DBG say she had 2 Mattel Diana Ross'? I know I don't stand a chance at buying one from her. I know how she treats her own kids when it comes to dolls, so I will head over to ebay. Definitely Mattel for me. But I didn't want her until I saw someone on flickr who transposed her into Janet Jackson. Now that I am thinking about I really just want a Janet Jackson doll.

D7ana said...

Hmmm ... interesting. Another vote for the Mattel Diana. Darn, I should put up a poll ... perhaps later? This weekend?

LOL @Vanessa about the comment about DBG, her two Dianas and her kids. I'll leave it to DBG to reply although, yes, you did read here that she has 2 Mattel Diana Ross dolls ;-D

@Vanessa about the Janet Jackson doll - I mean the Ross doll converted to Janet Jackson ... oohhh ... do share the link ;-)

Vanessa said...

Here are two links to the Diana Ross to Janet Jackson transformation. Twisted Elegance is person's flickr name. I am sure that some of you may be familiar with her.

bgboycty said...

I first purchased my Mego Ross doll in the 70's when she first came out. I loved her and thought that she looked just like her at the time. She had hair down to her butt, unlike the one that I bought on ebay. I now have 33 Mattel Ross dolls that I have repainted and redressed, so hands down Mattel wins.

D7ana said...

Thanks, Vanessa - yes, I know it's nearly a year away. Sorry I did not get back to you until

Wow, bgboycty, you do like your Mattel Diana Ross. If you can, please send a link to any pictures. That would make for one striking photo ;-D

Rick said...

has to be the bob mackie thats captured her beauty best...the doll looks exactly like sits in a glass case on my fireplace!

D7ana said...

Thanks, Rick! Sounds like your Diana Ross holds a prized location in your home.

The Mattel version seems to be outpacing the Mego version. I like the eyes on the Mego doll more. Shrug. Interesting how many Mattel/Bob Mackie Diana Ross fans there are.