It's a world gone mad, I tell you. Mattel are releasing Ken and Barbie dolls based on Mad Men's Don Draper, Betty Draper, Roger Sterling and Joan Holloway.
The dolls come with period accessories like hats, overcoats, pearls and padded undergarments, but no cigarettes, ashtrays, martini glasses or cocktail shakers…
The pairing of Barbie and “Mad Men” is more interesting than the typical licensing agreement because of their shared history. Barbie was introduced in March 1959, and the first episode of “Mad Men” is set in March 1960.
“ ‘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.”
“I have this fantasy of an 8-year-old getting a set” of the dolls, he added, “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.’ ”
What games do you reckon are actually going to be played?