Tale of Two Sweethearts
In 1977, Kelli McGonagill (Finglass) sold her entire Barbie collection at the annual Hide-a-Way Lake community garage sale commanding a whopping fifty cents per Barbie. When her mother, Cecile, found out Kelli sold her entire childhood collection, she cried. Cecile managed to protect one Barbie casualty by having a friend buy it and then return it to her – ‘Malibu Barbie’.
Finglass’ love for Barbies, however, never really waned. After becoming director of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, she immediately pursued business opportunities that made sense. In 1993, she began writing letters to Mattel requesting consideration for the creation of a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Barbie. Each year, the response was the same, “At this time, this concept does not meet our marketing or sales strategies.” After coming off back to back Super Bowl wins, Finglass did not accept no for an answer!
After a 13-year letter writing campaign, Finglass’ determination was about to take a bold turn.
In 2006, a facsimile paper slid quietly out of the back room fax machine and landed on the floor. It was a request from Barbie’s own Robert Best, lead designer of Barbie collectibles, most notably, the traditional Christmas Barbie.
Mr. Best is a native of Dallas, Texas, and a star of the third season of ‘Project Runway’. After watching the uniform fitting episode on CMT’s, ‘DCC: Making The Team’, he was drawn to the beauty of the design, as well as the attention to detail poured into each uniform by Finglass, and uniform seamstress, Lisa Dobson. An idea was born! Of course, this idea was new to him but old to Finglass.
His epic fax that landed on the floor was eventually brought to Finglass who was sitting in her office. The fax read, “Would you be interested in creating a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Collectible Barbie?”. The squeals could be heard beyond the vast state of Texas!
Finglass immediately picked up the phone and called Mr. Best. While Kelli had been writing to several Mattel executives, Robert Best was hidden behind the curtain of the Collectibles Division.
A deal was immediately made, and the design process began. Finglass gleefully remembered the attention to detail Mr. Best applied; from hiring makeup artists who created the faces of DCC Barbie, to the equal amount of detail in the fringe, fabric, and iconic DCC pinkie ring.
In a 2007 Press release and feature article for Barbie Collector Magazine, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Barbie was officially announced by Mattel:
“For the first time ever, two of America’s favorite
sweethearts – Barbie® and the Dallas Cowboys
Cheerleaders joined together to create the
first-ever, Pink Label™ Dallas Cowboys
Cheerleaders Barbie® dolls. Fans of Barbie® and
The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders alike will cheer
for these beautiful collector dolls, which represent
the darlings of professional football dressed in a
fabulous recreation of the world-famous Dallas
Cowboys Cheerleaders uniform.”
Finglass kept one small reserve of Barbies to be awarded each year to DCC for artistic excellence.
The Barbies were released to the market in 2007 and sold out in 3 days. Today, they can only be found in the aftermarket on auction websites like Ebay.