Like many Americans in their 20s I have quite a few things that remind me of childhood… G. I. Joes. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Jump ropes. Pop Rocks. The Chronicles of Narnia. Yo-Yos. The list goes on and on.
This is why I was shocked when I heard the news that my beloved Mattel toy company was releasing “limited edition” collectible dolls inspired by the hit show “Mad Men.” Yeah, you read that right. Betty Draper is a Barbie doll now. Are you serious, Mattel? Have you even SEEN the show? Or did you simply say to yourself, “Hey, Mad Men is a very popular and mature television show, but it seems to be missing something. Hmmmmm….. I’ve got it! We should make Barbie dolls of all the characters! How very meta and wonderfully ironic that would be!”
It is my humble opinion that “Mad Men” is one of the best shows on TV these days. It is thoughtful, beautifully written, and fantastically acted. Oh yes, and it’s meant for adults. Lying, cheating, adultery, existential angst, and mental breakdowns are common occurrences on the show. Or did Mattel forget that?
Do you really want your kids playing with characters like this? It’s not like you would give your kid a Hannibal Lector action figure and say “Here ya go kid! This guy is an insane murderer, AND he’s got karate chop action! Just press the button on the back of his straight jacket.”
Think about it.
Mattel is a fine company that brings back a lot of great memories from my childhood, and “Mad Men” is one of my favorite shows, but I never thought I would live to see the day that the two would ever meet.
I don’t meant to be such a cantankerous curmudgeon about this.
“You kids today and your indie rock music and your iPods and your Twitter and your Mad Men-inspired Barbie dolls!” Haha! It’s not like my childhood is the golden standard on which all should be based. I’m glad we outgrew some of the stuff from the 80s, honestly. I just find the idea of Mad Men Barbie dolls to be a bit much, I suppose. Maybe I’m not “meta” enough, if that makes sense. I guess this brings us to our next question:
How much irony is too much?