For a while, Hamilton Design Systems and their Candi doll was the hottest thing to happen to the collectible doll market. They featured innovative faces and styles done on the classic 1:6 scale. In the few years since they arrived on the scene, however, the partnership between Mikelman and Helena ended in a string of accusations, and the current status of any future releases is uncertain. This doll came out for this past Christmas holiday in a limited edition and is the only authorized Bettie Page doll ever. Bettie, for anyone who doesn’t know, was a favorite 1950s pin-up model who reemerged in the late 80s when she regained the rights to her name and likeness. There were six more dolls originally scheduled to be released this month. Keep your fingers crossed and ask your local doll dealer in a few months for updates. (edit: to the best of my knowledge, the other dolls were never released. If you’ve seen examples, please let me know!)
The face mold here is very simple and tries to evoke Bettie rather than duplicate her. This works well, especially since the big, pouty dark red lips and black beauty mark do a great job of adding the details needed to make the connection. Her eyes really draw attention with their light-and-dark blue irises, stark brown eyeliner, and shiny silver shadow. There is also minimal blush. The hair is true to Bettie- long, thick black with a slight curl and short bangs.
Bettie sports the Candi body, one of the many things that caused collectors to go crazy over Candi. She has proportions very similar to Barbie’s, but with a lot of extra touches that are reminiscent of vintage Mattel. Her legs have an astounding five positions, as shown above. Her arms are very graceful and her fingers are separated in two different places. I personally think her bust line is a bit more unnatural looking than the B-girl’s, although she does sport a nice cleavage. She also has a great molded collarbone. She has a lovely soft pink skin tone. Best of all, the similarity to the B-girl lets them switch clothes and shoes with ease.
This outfit is interesting, to say the least. The teddy itself is well made of red and gold lace with a red satin front panel. It also has a strange bow that goes around the waist in front and is sewn very low on the rear in back. The above pictures may explain what I mean better than the words. The teddy fastens with a snap- no velcro here. The gloves fit like really long oven mitts, and have various wrinkles in the seams, one of which can be viewed in the picture. The stockings were the worst: the lace tops are applied very unevenly, giving a mismatched look, and one is sewn way too tight at the top, so it cannot be put all the way on and leaves unattractive bags around her ankles. The shoes are pretty basic red pumps, and can’t fit over the bulk of the stockings.
I couldn’t find anything like the leopard skin dresses that made Betty so popular, so I settled for this cute ‘bad girl’ outfit. The dress was from a line of cards Mattel did in the early ’90s that each featured an outfit for your Barbie; the cool boots first belonged to a Sweet Valley High Jessica doll.