How Cher Was Once Able To Beat Out Barbie

If you grew up in the 1970s, Sonny and Cher were everywhere. The pair had two hugely successful variety shows, the first starring a married Sonny Bono and Cherilyn Sarkisian, aka Cher, and the second starring the same couple after they got divorced. Both were a hit with adults and kids alike. In fact, the original "Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour" brought in a whopping 30 million viewers at its peak during its three years on the air, MeTV reports. As the show closed each night, the couple also sang their signature song "I've Got You Babe."

When the CBS primetime program was eventually canceled, fans clamored for more. So, per IMDb, the couple came back to CBS in 1976, bringing their unique brand of musical comedy back to the airwaves with all the romance and the familiar musical finale. "The Sonny and Cher Show" may have only lasted two seasons, but during that time Cher's popularity soared more than her ex-husband's, leading her likeness to become something little kids could take home and glamorize.

The official Cher doll was very popular

"The Sonny and Cher Show" was Cher's last big project with Sonny before she embarked on a solo career in music and acting that would win her Grammys and net her an Academy Award. According to MeTV, the performer should have known just how popular she was about to become because in 1976, the toy company Mego released a line of Sonny and Cher dolls, and it was the Cher version that started flying off the shelves. In fact, the doll was so popular that she even beat out Barbie for sales, which had been the fashion doll of choice for young girls since 1959 (via

There were even two versions of the doll. As part of Mego's The Mackie Collection, named after Hollywood costume designer Bob Mackie, one version of the doll was known as "Growing Hair Cher" as you could change her hair length with a key in her back. That version also came with a salmon-colored Bob Mackie-inspired gown, as well as a line of accessories. The other version had long hair that you couldn't change and came dressed in a bathing suit, according to Celebrity Doll Museum.

Barbie later got in on the Cher action

It was decades later when Mattel, the company that has produced Barbie since 1959, finally got in on the Cher action. In 2001, Mattel made a Cher doll for its Barbie Collector Series. Per Celebrity Doll Museum, this version of the Cher doll was much more up to date. The difference between the 1970s doll and the second 21st-century doll reflected the growth and change in Cher after she made it on her own without her ex-husband. In 2007, the company released three more limited edition Cher dolls. 

The most iconic version of the doll was the one released in 2007 where Cher was once again wearing Bob Mackie. This time, the doll donned the black lace and leather ensemble the singer wore in the music video for her hit song "If I Could Turn Back Time." This time around, Cher dolls were not made for little girls to play with and fantasize about dark long hair. Instead, the dolls were intended for collectors who usually keep them in their original boxes to admire.