By Wesley Copeland
The Billie Eilish Bad Guy doll is sure to top many a tween and teen wish-list, but how does it compare in a market dominated by LOL, Barbie, and Kindi Kids? Can Playmates nail Eilish’s signature look? Who is the doll aimed at? Let’s find out.
First things first, let’s breakdown what kind of doll can do. On the articulation side of things we’ve got 360-degree shoulder and head rotation, elbow joints, and the hands sit on a ball-pivot. On the lower half there’s a waist swivel, knee joints, and as with the hands, the ankles also feature a ball-pivot.
To say this is a solid amount of articulation would be an understatement. Everything that should move does, and it does so in a way that feels natural. If you’re looking to display the doll on a shelf or something similar, there are a ton of different posing options.
Whether you want to recreate a scene from the Bad Guy music video or just make Eilish T-pose, the articulation options are simply excellent. Part of me was expecting fixed joints similar to what we see in the cheaper Barbie dolls but Playmates really went all out in making something that kids will want to play with and pose.
To put it bluntly, I’m actually kind of shocked by how good they are.
It’s the little things that make clothing either brilliant or terrible. Take this for example. When designing hoodies and cargo pants, it’s so easy for companies to just whack flat shapes on to create the illusion of pockets.
Not here, though. Playmates has fully-working pockets on the hoodie and cargo pants. You could actually put stuff in if you wanted to. I know! Who saw this level of detail coming? As I say, I’m amazed by how well thought out they are.
In full, the Billie Eilish Bad Guy doll comes with a cotton hoodie (and yeah, the hood works) a nylon-feeling set of cargo pants with strips of fabric built into the design near the hem, and plastic shoes with slits at the back so they can be taken on and off easily. The design work on the base of the shoes is some great attention to detail, too.
While the Billie Eilish doll doesn’t come with any direct accessories, there’s still a lot to play with.
First up is the bright yellow stand with Eilish’s hanging man motif on the base.
Flight stands are freaking awesome and more toys should come with them. Not only is this one strong enough to hold the doll in the air mid-pose, it’s also comes a height adjustment lever on the back.
The real standout, for me at least, is the use of recyclable packaging that doubles up as a diorama.
The box unfolds without any need to tear or rip, leaving you free to fold it in on itself to recreate a scene from the Bad Guy music video.
This is ingenious and honestly, more companies need to start doing this. It’s eco-friendly and leaves kids with something to play with.
Face and Hair
Getting famous people’s faces into doll form is like trying to juggle hot coal. Sure, it’s possible. Doesn’t mean it’s easy, though.
It’s much easier to translate a fictional character’s features onto a doll than it is a real person. That said, Playmates have done a decent job of capturing Eilish’s likeness. It’s not perfect, because Eilish isn’t made of plastic, so of course it wasn’t going to be perfect. But in terms of getting the eye and face shape right, it’s as close as you can get.
As for the hair, it’s absolutely stunning. The teal flicks really stand out on the peacock blue. It’s light blue and dark blue and the color pops beautifully. Like-wise, the longer asymmetrical style is as cool as they come.
One thing to note, the hair comes a little harder than other dolls. I’ve been able to brush the hair-spray-like finish off in areas and it goes back to being soft, but I thought I’d point it out so you don’t have a fright when you get it out the box.
The idea behind the hair-spray-like hardening is, I assume, to hold the style in place while the hood’s up. It’s up to you if you brush it out or keep it in, though.
I’ll admit, when I first heard Playmates was making a Billie Eilish Bad Guy doll, I didn’t know what to expect. Would be a cheap cash-in or would it be something more varied?
As it turns out, Playmates really has gone above and beyond, smashing all expectations. It’s not just the obvious stuff like the face and hair where this doll excels, it’s the minor details like working pockets, recyclable packaging, and killer articulation that make this thing such a must-have gift.
The thing I really love is we’ve finally got a doll that’s also for teens and adults. When kids reach a certain age, dolls suddenly vanish. But what about the trendy young adult who loves Billie Eilish and wants something to put alongside their Blu-Ray collection? Finally, they’ve got something to show off the things they love aside from Funko Pops.
So how does the Billie Eilish Bad Guy doll compare in a market dominated by LOL, Barbie, and Kindi Kids? The answer is simple: It stands out by creating a super-stylish, well-designed doll that’s aimed at fans of all ages.