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March 10 2010

Christina Hendricks is a (Barbie) Doll. Mattel is making Mad Men Barbie dolls, including one for Joan Holloway.

My favorite quote:

“I have this fantasy of an 8-year-old getting a set” of the dolls . . . “and saying: ‘Mom, can Chelsea come over? We want to play “The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit.” I’m going to be the organization man, and she’s going to be the soulless drone.’
Is it just me, or are those really ugly dolls? I mean the clothes aren't bad, but the dolls themselves are just .... ugly. Which is a pity, considering they're based on very pretty people.
That doll in no way does justice to Christina Hendricks. The neck is bizarrely thin for the head.
Is it naive? Or is it knowingly ironic? Is it satirising the exploitation of women or just conducting it? Can you make such a statement from within the system you criticise? Is it enough that this debate goes on in my mind or am I complicit by association?

Ye Gods! I'm suddenly back in Dollhouse again! pun pun pun
Didn't the homemade Saffron dolls have to, um, augment the Barbie to get her proportions right?
Not sure I like the idea of an 8-year-old knowing enough about the show to be able to pick out the organization man and the soulless drone.
*Do* like the idea that Weiner thinks Don's Midge of the first season was subconsciously inspired by his (Matt's) exposure at an early age to his sister's Barbie's doll-pal Midge.
As for the style of the models, the lines (necks, etc.) are perfectly decade-appropriate unless my memory fails utterly.
Didn't the homemade Saffron dolls have to, um, augment the Barbie to get her proportions right?


"Christina kept taking pictures of the little Saffron with her cell phone, and told Ron 'she had to add to the boobs to make me. To a Barbie! That's scary!' And Ron just laughed and laughed."
I saw these dolls, and notice both the Joan and Betty dolls are modeled after what Barbie looked like in the 1960's, compared to how she is designed today. That's why they don't remotely look as they should be.
Also, this could be a message of how Joan and Betty are just portrayed as living dolls, and that "Barbie-izing" them would be the next step.
Oh, and it's a great way to get 75 bucks from doll collectors, too.
I like the Joan. I think I must have it. And yes, they look like my first Barbie did.

Though Don looks more like my Desi Arnaz doll than Don.
Didn't the homemade Saffron dolls have to, um, augment the Barbie to get her proportions right?

There are homemade Saffron dolls? I want one!
They're fairly terrifyin'.
I am disgusted. The doll of Joan, just augments the issue that everyone wants women to be the same size. There is no difference between the sizes of the Bets and Joan dolls. I find that insulting to Christina. You're gorgeous hun, we wan't to make you into a Barbie, but you can't be a Barbie with those proportions, sorry. We're going to edit you.
I actually like Joan and Betty's dolls. The others... Not so much.
I think they make it pretty clear that these dolls are not meant for children, who, after all, are not always especially into the social history of their toys. And, impaler g, I think you are right about the 1960's Barbie thing-seems intentional. I find them pretty cool, myself- Though Don is way insufficiently handsome in his doll format, there is something Ken-like in his look. I've never been much for action figures, but I could really be tempted by some wardrobe for these guys. Too bad about the no ashtray and martini accessories.
I am disgusted. The doll of Joan, just augments the issue that everyone wants women to be the same size.

They're Barbie dolls. And not just celebrity look-a-like Mattel dolls (I have some) - they're Barbies. One body fits all.

And these are faces from the 60s dolls.
According to Barbie designer Robert Best (scroll down for his note), "though you can't see from the photo we gave Barbie a padded long-line foundation to more faithfully capture Joan's curves." So they did redo the body sculpt for her, but that photo doesn't show it very well.
I have a number of old Barbies (including a genuine Midge from that era!--unfortunately she has some discoloration.).

These are modeled after the Barbies from 1959. Am I the only person who bought a whole bunch of the remakes of the original dolls? You know, the famous original with the black and white bathing suit?

Am I the only retro geek here?

These obviously will be collected by the same adult women that collected the Lucy, Desi and Ethel dolls, the Elvis dolls, the Sinatra dolls, the Holiday Barbie dolls, the Wizard of Oz dolls, the around the world dolls, Rhett and Scarlett dolls, etc... It's not for little kids looking for a princess or Malibu Barbie. These are meant to be the types of dolls that you don't take out of the box.

P.S. You're a Barbie geek if you know who Francie and Scooter (a friend of Skipper) are.

P.P.S. I happen to have a lot of those pop-culture Barbies.

The best part about this set is that they went out of their way to use those classic '59 molds! It would be funny to see Vincent Kartheiser made into a doll--maybe scale-wise close to Skipper's size.
Mattel and popular culture don't seem to mix.
The people who are criticizing the 1959 molds for their unusual, disproportionate retro looks don't seem to be getting the Barbie collector line history.

I mean, they could have made them like the Star Trek, The Wizard of Oz, X-Files, Gone with the Wind, I Love Lucy, The Munsters, Elvis, Sinatra, various literary and historical figures, etc... lines, but I think the early retro molds really were a cute choice for the Mad Men series.

And I think millions of collectors would disagree about Mattel not mixing with pop-culture. The pop-culture lines are clearly among their biggest collectors items.

I'm saying this as someone who frequently used to get Barbie collectors ordering booklets.

Here's an example of Mattel using the retro mold to evoke the '50s background of the doll:

[ edited by NileQT87 on 2010-03-11 09:46 ]
NileQT87 I'm still kicking myself for not getting the first Irish Barbie. (The one in the green velvet gown w/the long braid.) The X-Files Ken & Barbie were cool, and I'd LOVE to get Barbie as Arwen (Although Ken as Legolas frightened me.) but the Star Trek set was kinda...boring.

My friend's mother is a collector; I don't know if they watch Mad Men, but I'll mention it to Steff this weekend.

Mom & I just dug out my Barbies, and she was rather amused I could remember the names & outfits they came with. Western Barbie's winking eyelash broke off years ago, and now the button on her back doesn't work any more. Skipper has some strange...mold or something all over her face. Rollerskating Ken lost his shorts, and Rollerskating Barbie I think is missing a sock. Rocker Dana was chewed on by a dog and now one hand is permanently pointing. Rocker Derek fared a bit better - he just has a couple puncture wounds. I think I still have Malibu Barbie's original swimsuit, and I know I have all of Western Ken's outfit. But my favorite (After Derek - I just love that hair!) is not actually a "Barbie" - it's a Wrangler doll. I don't remember if he had a name, but he looks kind of like Tom Selleck. Dark blue jeans, cowboy boots & hat, blue shirt w/the Wrangler insignia on it, "suede" vest & red bandanna. Brown hair, brown eyes & a mustache.
Mine are all in pretty much perfect shape (garage sale original Midge aside). I even have an anime-looking Japanese Barbie (the ones actually produced for Japan--which I got from the same garage sale with Midge).

And I have all but the first Holiday Barbie (1986). And I used to have a whole closet (now in the attic) full of around the world Barbies.

My favorite of the remakes was the '60s-era Francie doll. I love her real eyelashes.

My dream list right now are '68 Comeback Special Elvis Barbie, '73 Aloha Elvis Barbie and the Desi Arnaz Barbie. ;) I have the Barbie loves Elvis set and a Lucy. I also have a couple Rhett and Scarletts, Sandy from Grease, Sinatra, etc...

I also remember having the 'I wants' over a Barbie they did of Empress Elisabeth "Sisi" of Austria in her white dress with the stars in her hair. Wow.

[ edited by NileQT87 on 2010-03-11 12:56 ]
Does the Joan doll come with knockout lipstick and FRESH BAO???
My wife might go crazy when she sees this. She really likes the original look of Barbie.
I ripped the heads off mine and threw the bodies back into the toy box. All I cared about was the long hair to play with.

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