In recent years, Mattel, owner of the Barbie brand, has redoubled its efforts to diversify its dolls, going so far as to create a unique collection to pay tribute to historic personalities. But there are others to have had this original idea. Indeed, the talented artist Noel Cruz has become a real expert in the field by creating dolls in the likeness of Barbie-style celebrities.
It was in the early 2000s that the designer embarked on this artistic project by pure chance. While browsing eBay, he was challenged by a doll identical to the one his wife collected but whose face appeared to have been reworked to look more realistic. Having always been interested in portrait drawing, he decided to try the adventure and revisit his dolls.
After several inconclusive attempts, he finally managed to reproduce a doll somewhat resembling a personality close to his heart and which sold for 158 euros on eBay. A more than encouraging start that pushed him to persevere and make a career out of it.
Thus for 21 years, the designer has taken particular care in transforming Barbie dolls and other brands so that they resemble their models to the smallest detail, both in appearance and clothing style. Each doll requires several work days, up to 3 consecutive days for the most complex.
Among the personalities he has represented, we find, among others, a replica of Rose Dewitt Bukater interpreted by Kate Winslet in the film Titanic, the singer Madonna, Fran Drescher, the most famous of the Nannies from hell, the king of pop Michael Jackson or the painter Frida Kahlo. A job that requires meticulousness and patience and whose main stakeholders have sometimes not failed to emphasize the quality of the results.
We let you discover below the dolls in honor of celebrities made by Noel Cruz. You can visit his Instagram account and website to find out more. And in a similar spirit, we invite you to (re)discover the creations of the Australian Betty Strachan, who transforms Barbies into average women to show children a reality.