Madmen, Barbie & Me
Posted July 21, 2010on:
A long time ago in Susan years, perhaps 15 or 20, I wrote a parody of Barbie in middle age.
This was before self-publishing or I might have progressed further with the story. I sent it to various publishing houses and was rejected. I think the problem was it was too dark a story. And heck, Mattel might have sued me anyway.
Middle-aged Barbie – it’s not all Malibu – was standing in the aisle of a Kmart when she came to a very stark realization. Just because she had put on a few pounds and those pointy chest appendages were no longer so pointy, she had been reduced a Blue Light Special.
Poor girl. How did it come to that?
As it turned out, in real life, Mattel Barbie never aged. She always kept that perfect figure that would be impossible on a real live doll.
I wasn’t much interested in dolls as a little girl. I had a Barbie as a kid shortly after it came out, but when my mom wouldn’t keep buying clothes for dear old Barbie, dear old Sue lost interest in her. My dad brought home a Chatty Cathy doll as a surprise to me one day. About the size of a toddler, she spoke real words when a string was pulled behind her head. As my mom told the story, I got spooked because she was looking at me.
Barbie has always managed to morph into so many careers that I wonder why she wasn’t labeled as a malcontent, someone who clearly couldn’t keep a job. From that one teen-aged Barbie, has supposedly come 50,000 different types of Barbies, according to http://www.crazyforbarbie.com/listofdifferenttypesofbarbies.php
That strikes me as a rather large number, which I cannot confirm. And, I think the 50,000 might be a typo as there was an extra space in the number on the website. Other sources have said 5,000 to 6,000, with all saying it is very difficult to get a complete list.
CrazyforBarbie said the types fall into these categories:
- Vintage (pre-1973)
- Contemporary (1973-present)
- Pop Culture
- Dolls of the World
- Designer Label
- DC Comics
- Top Model
- Harley Davidson
- Motion Picture
- Movie Stars
- Bob Mackie
- Bubble Cut
Just days before the start of the fourth season of the wonderful television series, Madmen, I’ve learned there is Madmen Barbie and Ken. Yes, there are Barbie dolls representing the whole gang: “Designed by Barbie designer Robert Best, the Mad Men Barbie doll line features key players from the Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency: creative director and leading man Don Draper; his wife Betty Draper; Sterling Cooper partner Roger Sterling; and bombshell office manager Joan Holloway.” http://blogs.amctv.com/mad-men/2010/03/mad-men-barbie-dolls.php
The first licensed doll in the Barbie fashion doll collection, Madmen Barbie is in keeping with the show’s “couture fashions and accessories, and its iconic ’60s style and aesthetic.” It is so hip to play with Barbies now after age 9.
Yes, our long national nightmare – the time between Madmen seasons– is over. We can now return to the madness of the nightmare that is the life of the Draper family.
I love Madmen because the show does the 1960s so well: the way offices and homes looked, the constant smoking and the backdrop of world events. It was not always a happy time, to say the least. And the series can get downright depressing. But it is so interesting and creative.
So with Barbie making these dolls for Madmen, perhaps Soprano family dolls will be next. The Sopranos are, after all, all about family. Weapons would be sold separately and not encouraged to be taken into school for show and tell in kindergarten.