James Dean left a legacy in the film world after completing only three films in a span of 18 months in the 1950s. This American Legend doll captures Dean's handsome good looks with a finely sculptured face and molded, slicked-back hair. He has a swivel neck so he can turn his head to one side in that disaffected way, and he is posed with his thumbs stuck in his dark blue jeans. His knees are jointed so he can be displayed with one black cowboy boot casually crossing the other. (A display stand is included.) He also wears his trademark red windbreaker (with functional zipper) and a perfectly plain white T-shirt. This was one cool dude. --Marcie Bovetz
Because of the growing number of celebrity dolls Mattel is producing, a new Timeless TreasuresTM line is created in 1999 within the Barbie Collectibles series of dolls. Celebrity dolls this year are removed from the Pop Culture and Hollywood Legends series. It is clear why Mattel chooses to do so by actually depicting the dolls as the original stars, not "Barbie as" characters. Elvis, Frank Sinatra and Desi Arnez are celebrities that are depicted up to 2001 and the James Dean American is released early in 2000 for the 2001 collection. Mattel recreates Dean as character Jim Stark in his memorable movie poster stance for the movie "Rebel Without a Cause". The only detail Mattel misses is the cigarette that Dean is shown holding in the movie poster. Mattel also "corrects" the image by placing the doll in a red jacket, not a blue one as depicted in the movie poster. Dean's character is seen wearing only a red one in the movie. The movie spoke for a huge generation of teens who found failure in providing the adequate father image, either in strength or authority. The movie follows the rebellious and troubled past that Dean's character Stark must face when moving into a new town.