by Tara Morgan
Want to instill in your children the oh-so-American values of alcoholism, infidelity and ceaseless consumerism? Mattel has poured you a highball of easy parenting.
The company announced yesterday that they will be releasing two new Barbie and two new Ken dolls in July styled after popular characters on the AMC TV series Mad Men. The dolls—which include leading man ad exec Don Draper, his silver-haired colleague Roger Sterling, his stay at home wife Betty Draper and his buxom red headed office manager Joan Holloway—are a part of the Barbie Fashion Model Collection, a higher-priced collectors series.
The four Barbies, each with a suggested retail price of $74.95, come decked out in Mad Men costume designer-approved 1960s garb with accessories like hats, pearls and overcoats. They do not, as faithful viewers might expect, come with mini cartons of Lucky Strikes or tiny bottles of bourbon.
And while this partnership might just seem like silly a marketing ploy, check out how yesterday’s New York Times gets all philosophical:
"'Mad Men represents so beautifully the universe that created Barbie,' said Robert Thompson, professor of television and popular culture at Syracuse University, because the series is about the selling of the American consumer society. The personification of Betty Draper as Barbie is particularly resonant, Mr. Thompson said, because she represents 'the wife who lives in her dream house whose soul is eaten away.'"
OK, kiddos, who wants to play "get slammed on red wine while waiting for your cheating husband to slink through the door" Barbie?