Mad Men Barbies

Mad Men is a hit show — we love it. It’s about advertising, vaguely, and the characters have become quite iconic in only a few short years. So naturally, they’ve been made into Barbie Dolls. What?

Four characters from the show are being made into Barbies. But my immediate WTF reaction stems from the disconnect between the show’s very not-adult themes, and Barbie, which is generally a young girl’s toy. Apparently, Mattel addresses this by saying they’re not for kids.

Mattel is marketing the dolls for adults through their Barbie Fashion Model Collection. While they certainly have an adult pricetag of $74.95 each, according to The NY Times they won’t come with grown-up accessories like martinis and cigarettes.

In my opinion, the move to merchandise Mad Men is not a smart one for AMC and for the show’s brand. There is, throughout, an air of sophistication and class — even if it is only based on nostalgia and the fashions of yesteryear. Barbie cheapens the show and the characters, whether or not the craftsmanship is slightly increased.

But maybe I’m overthinking it. Maybe these are for doll collectors and hardcore fanatics of the show only. To the rest of us, it’s a non-issue, absorbing almost no marketing dollars and making very little impact on the show’s general reputation. Yea, I think that’s it.

But I have to admit, the Joan doll is looking good! [insert remarks about the recurring debate of Barbie and unrealistic body image issues.]

Amid this story, we almost overlooked that Barbie turned 51! Having debuted 9 March, 1959. Perhaps we’ll see Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce pitching to advertise the fledgeling toy on the upcoming season 4.

There was also the Mad Men Suit from Brooks Brothers, which I wrote about a while back. That wasn’t such a bad brand extension because the costumer from the show helped produce the product line. I just don’t think folks want to have the clothing of a tv show is all. Especially not folks who wear Brooks Brothers suits.

via Gothamist »