Jun 072021

The Helen Keller celebrity doll portrays her as herself: an author, disability rights activist, and public speaker.  The doll was released by Mattel on May 18, 2021 as part of the Inspiring Women™ Series of Black Label Barbie dolls.  The doll was designed by Carlyle Nuera

Helen Keller became deaf and blind from an illness at 19 months old.  She was self taught until the tutelage of teacher Anne Sullivan at six years old. She went on to become the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor’s of Arts degree when she graduated from Radcliffe College. She traveled all over the world as a lecturer and advocate for the disabled.  She died in 1968 at the age of 87.


From the box:

Helen Keller


“Alone we can do so little; Together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

At a very young age, an illness left Helen Keller blind and deaf. With courageous determination, Helen mastered signing, continued her formal studies, and went on to become the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelors of Arts degree.

Helen Keller’s lifetime achievements as a renowned author, speaker, educator, and advocate for the blind, deaf, deafblind make her an extraordinary role model and demonstrate that a single characteristic does not define our possibilities. Girls need more role models like Helen Keller because imagining they can be anything is just the beginning. Actually believing that they can makes all the difference.

Under neath the English type is a real braille message that takes up two thirds of the box back and was designed with the advice of the National Federation of the Blind. (NFB.com). The front of the box has a Braille title as well. 

The doll comes wearing a delicate white Swiss dot cotton, puffed long sleeve, lacy front and cuffs blouse with a pink and blue striped floor length skirt.  The blouse has a Velcro opening in the back just big enough to slide the blouse over the doll’s, hips  and the skirt has an opening in the back. All of the clothing is removable.  On the feet are a pair of plastic old fashioned black heeled boots (same as the Susan B. Anthony Barbie).  With balance and stillness, the doll does stand on it own because of the sensible boots.  Underneath, the doll has body colored molded Barbie panties.

The rooted auburn hair is style with a circular bun it the back and center parted curls around the front hair line.  In addition to hair product some of the curls are held by hair colored thread stitches to hold them in place.  The eyes are painted a blue gray and the lips a fairly natural pink with distinctive molded dimples on both sides.

Aside from the costume, the only accessory is a blue plastic book with the word Braille and real braille in gold.  The book splits it half for no apparent reason.

The doll is articulated at the neck (back and forth and small up and down range), shoulders (ball joints), elbow (twist and bend), wrists (twist and bend), hips (front to back just shy of 90 degrees, not quite the splits, separate only slightly more than shoulder width), and knees ( bend back almost 90 degrees, twist completely around).  Standard pointed fixed Barbie feet.

In the box there is the standard Mattel plastic doll stand and a Certificate of Authenticity.

To get the current prices of the Helen Keller doll use these links.  The museum gets a small commission for qualified purchase using the following links.  Currently (June 7, 2021) the Mattel website still has the doll for retail $29.99.

Price check Helen Keller doll on Ebay Price check the Helen Keller doll on Amazon





 Leave a Reply



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.