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Clea Bella is a theatre-based doll, created in 2001 by Christina Bougas, of the Bella Productions Doll Company. The first Clea Bella doll she sculpted was called "Peacock Paradise" and was an "en pointe" foot doll with straight, non-bending arms and legs. The doll featured theatrical style make-up, a blue and green dance costume with bird feathers, a matching headdress fashioned after the peacock's crest, white tights and pink en pointe ballet shoes. This was the original en pointe 41 cm (16 in) dancer doll.
Clea Bella is the name of the main character doll, and is a shortening of her full name, Cleopatra Bellisimo. The doll's character is a dancer, singer and actress. The company provides a story line behind each character, outfit and dressed doll, with each product coming with a story card about that item.
The current style of articulated dolls features multiple points of articulation at the shoulders, waist, hips and knees. The dolls currently come in two body types: a "fashion foot" doll with arched feet for wearing high heeled shoes, and an en pointe style foot for wearing en pointe ballet shoes.
Additionally, there are two body constructions: The original style with non-bending straight legs and arms. They come in both the "fashion foot" and en pointe ballet foot styles. The doll bodies were made of plastic and their head molded of softer vinyl with rooted hair. Their legs were strung together with a rubber band joint in the hips, allowing for a large range of movement in the legs. These older dolls were produced from 2001 through 2004, and are still sold online.
In 2005, the company introduced their second body construction type, which was the first wave of articulated dolls, and featured bending knees that swivel, an improved rotational hip, and swivel waists which tilt slightly in all directions, offering a dropped-shoulder pose, as well as a more arched back for an arabesque pose for their ballet dancers.
The doll creators changed to rotomolding for the manufacture of the new articulated dolls in the softer vinyl material, allowing the dolls to be seamless.
At this time, they also introduced a new character, Clea Bella's best friend, DeeDee Hunt, a Native American doll of Haida Gwaii origin. Clea and DeeDee share the same body type. The DeeDee character is not currently offered with an en pointe body.
In April 2007, Bella Productions introduced fully articulated doll body, featuring bending elbows and wrists. These dolls will have the same articulated lower-body type bodies introduced in 2005, and will be fully strung with elastic. This was the first vinyl doll to be strung instead of hard jointed.