Basically the CO 10″ doll is a surprisingly well-made, screen-accurate, and affordable translation of Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor, while the Mattel 12″ doll is more of a product inspired by the portrayal, filtered through the distinctive Barbie sensibility. Once I figured this out, I disliked the Mattel one a lot less, but she still really can’t compare to the cheaper CO. Pics and commentary below. Thanks to @natalunasans, who gave me the Mattel one [although she kept the screwdriver :p ].
Just for reference, here’s a publicity still that gives a decent look of Thirteen’s iconic look, as well as Jodie Whittaker.
Overall the Mattel looks very similar to, but not the same as, on-screen Thirteen. Either way, it’s a very queer doll because Thirteen is very queer. I mean — look at the shirt!
Headsculpt suggests Jodie Whittaker without going really far as a likeness. I often think Mattel does too much makeup on its dolls, but here is one case where the doll could have used more. Whittaker has more deeply set eyes, more mascara, and darker, wider lips. A strategic repaint could really increase the likeness, but I am not currently mocking up the changes.
CO on left, Mattel on right. Despite the culottes and socks being too bright, CO’s outfit surpasses Mattel’s in both accuracy and detailing. Mattel couldn’t even be arsed to cuff the culottes, ffs. The trench coats [not shown here] exhibit the biggest discrepancies. CO’s coat features partly lined body and fully lined hood, trimmed edges, cuffs, sleeves, and mock pockets. Mattel’s is unlined except at the hood, untrimmed, and pocketless. It feels cheap, playline quality, not collector’s line quality.
Mattel missed a few very easy opportunities to improve this doll. 1) They could have made both sides of the bob the same length. The asymmetrical bob does nothing for the doll. 2) They could have cuffed the culottes. It would have been such a simple tweak to make the costume more screen-accurate. 3) They could have done like CO and made the white sleeves separate and stitched on, enhancing the impression of a T-shirt over a long-sleeve shirt. Having the blue rainbow shirt literally printed on the white shirt just looks really cheap. C’mon, Mattel. If a $35.00 playline doll can do a more convincing layered look than one of your $50.00 collector dolls, you need to rethink your aesthetic choices.