When Betty Met Barbie
You know you’ve made it in Hollywood when Oprah comes knocking, you’re the subject of spoofs on “Saturday Night Live” and “The Simpsons” and Alex Trebek deems you worthy of a dedicated Jeopardy category. Having already met these milestones, the folks at “Man Men” didn’t think the spoils of fame could taste any sweeter. Until now, that is. As The New York Times previously reported, the cast of “Mad Men” has been catapulted into another pop-culture stratosphere with a collectors’ series of Barbie dolls. Following three successful seasons of the show, Mattel decided to jump on the “Mad Men” cash bandwagon by rolling out plastic effigies of Don and Betty Draper, Roger Sterling and Joan Holloway. Ladies and gay gents everywhere, rejoice!
“Mad Men” follows in the vein of other iconic TV shows that have piqued Mattel’s interest, including “I Love Lucy” and “The X-Files.” What sets our beloved 1960s advertisers apart, however, is that they are part of a premium-price collectors’ series for adults, the Barbie Fashion Model collection. Retailing for a meager $74.95 a pop (cue sarcastic eye roll), the dolls are launching July 9 to coincide with the fourth season of “Mad Men.” Buyers beware: each customer is limited to five dolls per order.
If the price isn’t an indicator enough, the dolls are less than child-friendly by virtue of the characters they mimic. For those of you unfamiliar with the show, here’s a rundown of the protagonists’ exploits: extramarital sex, excessive drinking, blatant gender stereotyping and more extramarital sex, all in the haze of Lucky Strike cigarette smoke. That Barbie and Ken have a propensity for adultery and chain smoking may be a first in the brand’s fifty year history. Opting not to stray too far from Barbie’s image, Mattel is leaving some of the characters’ accessories in the 1960s. While the dolls will dress in overcoats, hats, pearls and padded undergarments to reflect the period, no cigarettes, ashtrays, martini glasses, or cocktail shakers will be provided.
You can bet your Tom Collins I’ll be getting my very own Don Draper as soon as the dolls hit the shelves!
Posted by Abby