May 222021

The Eleanor Roosevelt celebrity doll portrays her as a youthful version of herself as First Lady of the United States and human rights activist.   The doll was made by Mattel as part of their Inspiring Women™ Series of Barbies. It was released on March 3, 2021 at a retail price of $29.95. The designer is Carlyle Nuera.

Eleanor Roosevelt served as First Lady for the four terms of her husband, President Franklin D. Roosevelt; making her the longest serving First Lady (1933-1945).  Prior to that she served as First Lady of New York State while her husband was governor.  She went on to serve as a UN ambassador from 1945-1952 and because of her extensive human rights work, President Harry Truman referred to her as  the “First Lady of the World.”  She also later in 1961 she was the first chairperson of the President John F. Kennedy administration’s Presidential Commission on the Status of Women. She died in New York City in 1962 at the age of 78.

From the box:

Eleanor Roosevelt

(1884 – 1962)

Barbie® recognizes all female role models. The Inspiring Women™ Series pays tribute to incredible heroines of their time; courageous women who took risks, changed rules, and paved the way for generations of girls to dream bigger than ever before.

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was the longest serving First Lady of the United States, a UN Spokeswoman and an activist who worked tirelessly in advancing human rights. When her husband, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, became the 32nd President of the United States in 1933, Mrs. Roosevelt transformed the role and expectations of First Lady. She became a trusted advisor to her husband while also championing policies around civil and economic rights. Using her unique position, Mrs. Roosevelt wrote her own daily news column and she often held press conferences exclusively for female reporters, promoting equality for women in journalism. After serving four terms as First Lady, Mrs. Roosevelt continued in public service, serving on the Board of Directors of the NAACP and Congress of Racial Equity in 1945. She then went on to be appointed to the UN General Assembly where she worked to draft the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was ratified in 1948. Earning the tribute as “First Lady of the World” for he hard work and dedication to humanitarian efforts, Eleanor Roosevelt’s perseverance redefined the role of women in politics and public life.

Girls need more role models like Eleanor Roosevelt because imagining they be anything is just the beginning. Actually seeing that they can makes all the difference.

Unboxing this Black label Mattel Barbie doll differs from most Barbies by the head not being clipped into the clear plastic insert head holder because of the full brimmed hat, instead it is harnessed from the back under the armpits to the clear plastic body holder.

The Eleanor Roosevelt doll is costumed in a soft almost silk like dress with long cuffed sleeves, a v-neck line, white faux pearl buttons from the waist up to neck line and a fairly full skirt floating down to mid-calf. The dress fabric has a black background patterned with large pink and purple irises and thin green leaves. The back of the dress has a back length Velcro closure for removal. Under the dress is a sewn on clear plastic vest/corset type covering.  Its purpose seems to be to make the dolls chest look fuller with the dress on. It also makes it a bit crunchy to the touch.

A pair of off-white see through tights cover the legs with cardboard tubes at the knees to keep the legs rigid for display and travel.  On the feet are a pair of black, sensible, time appropriate black plastic shoes with heals.  Despite the “doesn’t stand on own” disclaimer by Mattel in their website description, the shoes are chunky enough that the doll will stand on its own with proper balance in a still environment.

A single plastic collar, molded to look like a double string of pearls, is around the neck and a full brim black plastic hat is stuck on the head with ties but is removable and the stiff hair style is complete underneath. The hat is decorated with a single white plastic molded rose with a few green leaves..  The multi-toned gray rooted chin length hair is very stiff and curly and parted off center. The face is painted with bright blue eyes and slightly open pink lips with teeth showing.

The doll is articulated at the neck (ball joint moves head in every direction), shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips and knees.

The doll comes with a clear plastic stand with a black base and an official Mattel Certificate of Authenticity.

To get the current prices of the Eleanor Roosevelt doll use these links.  The museum gets a small commission for qualified purchase using the following links.

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