Joan Jett Barbie Doll: Cute or Epic Fail?

Like all Jettheads, I was ridiculously excited when I found out that Joan Jett was going to get her very own Barbie doll. And I got more excited when I saw the pictures of the doll released by Mattel, via Droolicious, because the doll’s face looked just like Joan.

Promotion pictures of the Joan Jett Barbie Doll from Mattel

I added the doll to my Christmas list, and I received one when I exchanged gifts with my in-laws over New Year’s week. The first thing I did when I saw the box was scream, all fan-girl like. But when I really looked at the doll, all I felt was confusion and disappointment.

My initial impression of the doll was that it was just an ordinary Barbie doll. I didn’t think it looked like Joan at all and I didn’t think it looked like the promotion pictures.

I was all hell-bent on showing you the photographic evidence and raining down all kinds of hell fire on Mattel, but the more I study the doll’s face and compare it to the picture, the more the two look alike, with a few differences.

Here are the pictures of my doll. Judge for yourself.

JJElektric's Joan Jett Barbie doll, in the box

They included a certificate of authenticity in the back of the box, where the stand is, that states that Joan was involved in the design of the doll, etc.

Bottom portion of the certificate of authenticity

And here’s a graphic I made comparing the face from the promotion picture to the face of my doll:

OK, so now I’m OK with the face, but this doll has one feature that is most definitely NOT Joan Jett. The boobs.

When I first saw the pictures of the doll, my first thought was, “I hope that doll doesn’t have big boobs.” Because Joan Jett does not have big boobs. And Joan herself told the Mattel people that the doll had to have small boobs, as she explained to Atlantic City Weekly. (The quote is on page two if you click the link.)

“The one thing I said was ‘It’s got to have small tits,’” she laughs. “They were the first words out of my mouth. Because when I think of Barbies, I think of big breasts and big blonde hair. So now I guess she has little tits, black hair and a guitar. But they are cool. They showed me the prototype when I was out in California this summer. I don’t know, either I’ve come a long way or Barbie’s come a long way or we both have.”

And she said the same thing to Radar Online on the red carpet at the New Moon premiere:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW: Joan Jett …“, posted with vodpod

Well, here are the real Joan Jett Barbie’s tits. WARNING: If you don’t want to look at naked plastic Barbie boobs, STOP READING NOW.












Small?? I could balance a tray of drinks on these puppies.

Mattel redesigned Barbie in 1997 to give her wider hips and a smaller chest, but these ta-ta’s are still pretty huge. Maybe they should have made a Joan Jett Skipper instead.

Please know that I have nothing against big boobs, since I happen to have a pair. (Unless I’ve been in an underwire bra for 12 hours. Then they’re more of a curse than a blessing.) It’s just that women come in all shapes and sizes, and we should celebrate that, dammit! One of the most powerful lessons that Joan Jett has ever taught us is to be proud of who we are, regardless of what we look like. We can be gorgeous without fitting into some “perfect doll mold.” The tits do not make the woman.

Okay, so now you know the truth. If I had known that this was the real doll…I probably would have bought it anyway. But I would have been spared the disappointment.

If you are going to buy the doll, SHOP AROUND. Don’t pay more than $35.00 for it, minus the taxes shipping and handling. There are people selling this on eBay and Amazon for much more. It’s a collector, but not a limited edition doll, so you don’t need to mortgage your house to buy it.

If you already have the doll and want to complain to Mattel, you can contact them HERE.

And here’s a few more pictures of the doll, out of the box, so you can get a feel for its scale:

Joan and Edward. (tee-hee)

Joan and Edward dancing

On my mantel

If you’re going to take the doll out of the box, like I did, be careful. Use small, sharp scissors to cut all of the plastic connectors off, especially the ones sticking out of the doll’s head. <shudder>

What do you think of the doll? Is it cute, or an epic fail?

34 thoughts on “Joan Jett Barbie Doll: Cute or Epic Fail?

  1. OMG JJ you are so hilarious! You know Mattel has a Bella and Edward doll too? Edward and Joan dancing…soo funny… I was definately disappointed when I opened my present too. I got the catalog and kept looking at the differences. I was happy to have gotten the doll…but disappointed at the same time because I think it looks so different. Her hair and make up aren’t right and it really bothers me! Not to mention to boob issue….especially since Joan made an issue of it….now that down right pisses me off! If Mattel had advertised the doll as she was going to be sold…then there would be no issue. But I feel they mislead Joan and therefore disrespected her. Which REALLY makes me mad. (and now I learn Joan mentioned the “boob issue” in more than one interview…) It’s just not right….

    • I chalked the skin tone differences up to lighting. Most homes have yellow-ish lighting, and they probably had bright-ass white studio lights on it for the catalog. I could be wrong, though. Joan’s not as pale as Edward in real life anyhow. LOL.

  2. I love your stories.. we so need to hang out sometime since we are right down the road from each other. Its funny you posted this today cause I got mine today from I’ve got mixed feelings about it.. but just the fact they made an actually barbie of joan is exciting.. and i wasn’t even going to open the box till I read your story, i didn’t realize there was a stand and a certificate.. pretty cool.


  3. Its not perfect ,I like the prototype better ,but its still a step forward I never thought I would see a Joan Jett barbie .I love your display but where’s Bella lol

  4. i think it’s a good idea that you posed “Edward” facing away from Joan….lol…i’m sorry it’s been a long boring day here in my winter wonderland…oh, the doll…my thoughts on the doll…well, nothing is perfect in life…at least she has a Barbie in her likeness, big boobs or not….as for myself, I really want this doll, but I know my dog..and how he will seek and destroy the favorite Barbie ..i don’t know how he hones in on this…my nerves couldn’t take a chewed up JJ.. so..unless someone in my family sees it and buys it for me…or I see it on sale somewhere….I don’t think I’ll be getting one..but I really want one….so, if not buying this doll is anything like my pledge to stay off the Sinner’s board until March…i’ll be buying one next week for sure….

    I just have to add…I LOVE your JJ site…your posts show up in my Joan Jett Google alerts…what a kick!

  5. I believe, the fail relies in the hair and lips,and of course those boobs. because if you look the eyes of the image and the eyes of your doll they have a similar look. I was just thisclose to buy it myself too, but I went looking on amazon and you are right, they are people willing to take advantage and rob us. anyway I read a comment a customer wrote, and I was shock about what se wrote, wich was almost the same as you did, that blew me off but then I was thinking is barbie… and barbie is the same just with different color skin/eyes/hair and massive boobs… that b*** but this joan jett doll have a killer look those eyes are pretty awesome…but have you seen this? This guy made this Joan Jett doll following almost every small detail about her and her melody maker this guy is the shiznit I would buy this doll with no doubt, unless of course was too expensive for me to buy.

    you have a great blog, please follow me @saraiguevara =) have a lovely day.

  6. FUCK! IS LIKE IF BARBIE became a fan of joan and dyed her hair to black and got a melody maker and the only think all that remains is she start to sing and say fuck and i love rock and roll xD
    in my opinion ,watching both dolls i would like to mix some characteristics .. for example the lips , the 1st doll looks like if has botox -and the skin color… the first looks so pale . she would be good to be a mate with edward LOL ,
    Mattel ignore totally what joan said about her boobies..
    i went to amazon to buy the doll but the option buy or orden it was available .. i don’t know why .. but i’m happy that happened cuz i don’t like too much the doll .. i like the box xD

  7. Awsome blog as usual and great review, btw. I am glad I didn’t buy it, it looks nothing like the protype, someone should send these photo’s to Kenny and Joan, so she can bitch slap mattell for screwing this up. Those boobs, too big! The hair is an atrocity and the eyes look way off. Wow, someone definately dropped the ball on this one.

  8. If they could mesh them together….the darker skin *because Joan was ever so lightly tanned in the 80’s wasn’t she?* and the DARKER MAKEUP and given the end result a better hair cut…

    • There are a fe pix of her…not quite as light as she is now. To ME I consider it a tan…maybe not to others lol remember I myself am ghost white : P

  9. I’m very disapointed and am glad I didn’t get one !!!
    Perhaps if enough people complain to Mattel They will produce a Doll based on the prototype , I’m going to write them and say I was going to buy a dozen of the Dolls until I saw the actual product …

  10. Pingback: Joan Jett Barbie Boob Comparison (NC-17) « Born to be Jetthead

  11. Thanks for this shocking expose !!!!!!
    ha ha ….
    Really though, Im glad you posted this. I was going to buy the doll on-line based on the promo pics but the real one is a let down. They got the Melody Maker right though. A nice job on that.
    I probably still will buy it, actually. Ive been a fan of Joans since ’77.
    I cant tell you the abuse I endured in HS being a Runaways fan in an era of Led Zep and all those other 70’s stadium bands.
    This same stuff happened with Gibson and the Jett Melody maker reissue.
    The Jett version isnt even close to what she really plays…..
    WhyTF do engineers engineer the stuff out that real fans want ?!?! Go figure !
    Oh well…..Im off to YouTube to gear up for the Carlin Park gig in Jupiter !
    I love Wash ‘n roll !!!
    Put another dog in the bathtub, baby !!!!
    Yeah !!!!

    Peace out !

  12. As a Barbie, it’s not bad. I’d be inclined to do some makeup adjustments with fine point sharpies, but it’s better than most of the slu— I mean Barbies. Now if it had a button to press that rotated I love rock & roll and a few other songs and maybe jointed hands so she could give the finger… err I mean play the guitar. O:-)

  13. I agree that they should have fashioned the doll’s chest like a skipper doll’s. I love Joan, and don’t care what size her breasts are, but the reality of it is that Joan doesn’t even have what most would consider “small” breasts. She has mere bumps, an almost non-existent breasts. Sort of the way girls look when they are starting puberty. Never a need for a bra, and I don’t know how she would ever get a Mammogram. Ever see the pic of her bald with a see through shirt? You can see her shape (and her nipple piercings 😉 in the pic. Cherie and Joan used to be about the same size, with Cherie being a tad bigger, but now you can see that Cherie decided to “purchase” a new size. I applaud women who don’t give into the pressure to have surgery even when they are less than average size. Joan is lucky that she will never have to deal with the dreaded effects of gravity, and with how wild she likes to be on stage, she will never find herself sore the next morning from it. 😉

  14. I haven’t bought the JJ doll yet because of the differences from the ad to the doll. If I do, I might see if I can cut her hair to the right style, but of course I’m worried that I’ll mess it up. Since it’s not cheap, and I’m fairly poor, I can’t just go out and get a new one. Doll hair is completely different than real hair, especially in it’s thickness, as most little girls find out when they try to cut their Barbie’s hair. Still on the fence…

  15. Nooo T . T How sad, I wanted to buy this doll very badly, it looked so epic in the promo pics like you said- but damn, what a shame the real doll has that longer/different hair, bigger chest and un-Joan-ish features. Was really hoping that this would be an epic Joan replica : (

  16. I’ll admit that it kinda sucks that the promo image and actual doll are so different, but I actually think the actual doll looks more like Joan, at least in terms of the makeup. Looking at my own doll, I’d say that her more subdued eyes and lips better match Joan’s style than the promo’s fiery red lips and dark eyeliner.

    The one thing that strikes me as kinda weird is that there’s a Joan Jett Barbie in the first place. I know Barbie is supposedly all about letting girls “live out their dreams” and all that nonsense, but pink frills+dresses+blonde hair=Joan’s polar opposite. Am I right?

  17. your doll DEFINITELY doesnt look like the one in the pic.. 😦 I bouth a Debbie Harry and even though I dont think she looks like the real Debbie, at least she looks like the release picture o the doll. did you write to Matel? they said something about this? I wanted to buy a Joan, but after seeing your post I’m afraid..

  18. I got my Joan Jett Barbie when they were first released and have never taken her out of her box. A friend worked as a manager at a store that was going to sell a limited number of them and gave me one as a gift. My Barbie looks just like the advertised picture and I love it. I think after the first hundred were sold Matel made some sloppy ones. I’ve seen some of those and they do NOT look like mine. Mine is numbered and looks great.

  19. I just bought this doll.been wanting for some time now.i paid $100 for it and again it was a big disappointment are there two Joan Jett dolls? I wanted the shorter haired ,light skinned, red lips, blacker eyed one!!! Wtf

  20. My friend was a manager at a Toys R Us and got one for me the day they were is numbered and doesn’t look like yours at all. It actually looks more like the catalog picture. I’ve never opened the box. My guess is that there was a limited number sold in a first edition, then when those sold out they made more in a second edition. My friend that got it for me said her store initially got like 15 of them and they sold out in one day, then a month later got another 25. I believe there were two editions of the doll.

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