Posted on Tuesday, April 10th, 2012 by Angie Han
I’ve talked before about the awkwardness of marketing a multimillion-dollar movie that rallies against overblown consumerism and mindless entertainment, but since no film as big as The Hunger Games gets made these days without an onslaught of tie-ins, the merchandise push continues. The latest Panem-themed product poised to hit shelves is Mattel’s Katniss Everdeen Barbie, who looks not at all like star Jennifer Lawrence but is dressed a lot like her. Check out the first pictures after the jump.
EW was the first to offer a glimpse of the new doll, who’s decked out in Katniss’ Games uniform of sensible boots, cargo pants, a lightweight jacket, a mockingjay pin, and her ever-trusty bow and arrow. Her girl-on-fire dress and District 12 reaping outfit are nowhere in sight, but considering how much Mattel loves to sell additional accessories for its dolls, I wouldn’t be surprised if they came down the pipeline at some point or other.
Barbie designer Bill Greening spoke to the publication about the thought process behind the doll. “I chose to dress her in the outfit she wears during the games, since this is where all the non-stop action takes place and is instantly recognizable by fans,” he said. “Of course, she wears her mockingjay pin proudly on her lapel.” Fair enough — it certainly makes sense to put the character in the outfit she’s wearing for the majority of her franchise-starting blockbuster.
However, Greening continues: “The doll’s minimalistic style and details — such as her loosely braided hair and makeup-free look — also really embody the heroic character Katniss.” I’ll grant that Greening gets Katniss Barbie’s hair right, but hold up — makeup-free? You don’t have to be a Cosmo girl to see that Katniss Barbie is sporting some nightclub-worthy mascara, and seems to have made off with Cinna’s gold eyeliner.
I get that a Barbie doll is still a Barbie doll, no matter how practical you make her clothing, and that as such a Barbie will never truly look like an impoverished young girl sent to fight her peers to the death. (That’s the other problem with Hunger Games merchandising in general: once you really think about the premise of the series, the product tie-ins all seem kind of disturbing.) But let’s not even pretend that that face is more District 12 than Capitol.
On the other hand, I mean… I’d be lying if I said I didn’t kind of want one for myself. Mattel’s Katniss Barbie is available for pre-order now, and will hit shelves in August. Go to BarbieCollector.com to reserve yours.
Discuss: I can’t imagine Katniss Everdeen would be anything but disgusted to see a collector’s item based on the most harrowing days of her life, though I bet Effie would be pleased as punch to see her charge becoming so internationally popular. Since neither of them are real, though, they don’t get a say. So I’ll ask you: Katniss Barbie, yea or nay?