In the middle of Stevie Nicks’ concert at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night, the musician told the audience that she had experienced a “surprise,” sparking speculation among viewers about a possible unexpected guest: Could it be Lindsey Buckingham?
It turned out that the special guest was a Barbie who was meant to look like Nick’s and whose musical abilities were limited to a tiny tambourine with ribbons.
Mattel, the maker of Barbie, officially unveiled the Stevie Nicks doll at midnight Sunday, the latest addition to the world of Barbie tributes to musicians like Tina Turner, David Bowie and Celia Cruz.
(You might be thinking there’s a lot of Barbie this year, and you’re right. The Madison Square Garden crowd didn’t seem to mind.)
Bradley Justice, a doll historian and owner of Swell Doll Shop, which specializes in antique and vintage dolls, said Mattel has been making celebrity dolls since the 1960s.
“I think of it as a kind of crossover branding, where you’re attracting someone who may have had no interest in the doll or the brand before,” he said, “but is suddenly excited to see their favorite singer or movie star.” or whatever was immortalized in 11.5 inches.”
Nicks doll’s outfit, along with a pair of black platform boots by Pasquale Di Fabrizio, was inspired by her look on the cover of Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 album Rumors.
At the concert, Nicks explained that she sent the album cover outfit, which she still owned decades later, to Mattel to capture that time in her life. To thunderous cheers, Nicks began speaking in a high-pitched Barbie voice, explaining how much the doll meant to her.
Nicks wrote On X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, she explained that she saw herself at 27 when she looked at the doll.
“All the memories of me walking on a big stage in that black outfit and those beautiful boots come flooding back,” Nicks said, “and then I see myself in her face now.”
At the concert, Nicks also selected a fan in the front rows to take home a doll and immediately began serenading the woman named Sara, with the song bearing her name from the album “Tusk.”
Hours later, the doll went on sale for $55, and pre-orders sold out almost immediately.
Mr Justice said it was normal for the famous Barbie dolls to sell out quickly. “When you hear it coming, you just have to go for it and relax your fingers so your keyboard can enter your credit card number,” he said.
The rush for the Nicks doll comes after Mattel spent decades creating Barbie dolls honoring influential musicians, athletes and pioneers.
Mr. Justice said one of the first celebrity Barbie dolls, released in 1969, depicted Diahann Carroll as the star of “Julia,” the first American television series to chronicle the life of a black professional.
Recently, Mattel released a doll of Celia Cruz, the Cuban-American singer who was known as the Queen of Salsa. The Cruz doll, dressed in a red lace mermaid dress, was unveiled in 2021 but didn’t go on sale until this year.
Carlyle Nuera, who designed this doll, said on Instagram that the design team “went back and forth with the fabric supplier to get the right scale for the lace design and maximize the gold metallic threads woven throughout.”
A Tina Turner doll that hit the market in October 2022 is sold out in stores, but it’s available on eBay for hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars.
This doll depicts Turner in the outfit she wore in the music video for “What’s Love Got to Do With It.”
Turner, who died in May, was very involved in her doll’s design process, Bill Greening, a Mattel designer, said in a news release. Mr Greening explained that the design team examined Turner’s hair “from all angles” to capture her look. “There was a lot of teasing and hairspray involved!” he said.
David Bowie was commemorated with two Barbie dolls dressed in homage to two of his famous looks.
Linda Kyaw-Merschon, who led the design of the second doll, released last year, said it was intended to be a Barbie as Bowie, “not Bowie exactly like himself.”
The doll wore a replica of the powder blue suit Bowie wore in “Life on Mars?” Music video.
The former Bowie doll, released in 2019 and dressed as Bowie’s alter ego, Ziggy Stardust, wore a metallic red and blue striped outfit with siren red platform boots and a gold circle on his forehead.
The Stevie Nicks doll was released after a big year for Barbie. According to Warner Bros., the Barbie movie, released in July, grossed more than $1 billion in ticket sales at the global box office in just a few weeks and was a windfall for Mattel.
Nicks told USA Today that she loved the film, saying, “I had to come home and tell my Stevie doll all about it.”
Melina Delkic contributed reporting from Madison Square Garden.