Barbie everywhere!

I don’t know if the soon-to-be-released Barbie movie is going to be any good, but I have to give compliments to whoever is running the PR campaign for it. I have never seen anything like it. I am inundated every time I turn around.

HGTV has a “Barbie House special.” Bloomberg has the entire cover in pink. The Times and the Washington Post, NY Post (among others) have Barbie stories almost every day of one flavor or another, CBS Sunday Morning has done two segments, and every retailer has Barbie in the aisles with bicycles, lunchboxes, sunglasses, nail polish, T-shirts, rugs, mugs, roller skates, dog hats at PetSmart and a clothing line at the Gap - to name a few. Progressive Insurance has a tie in TV commercial, as does one of the burger joints. And, of course, there are the “coming attractions” in theaters and stand-alone TV spots for the movie. Whew!

This is interesting to me not because of Barbie’s impossible figure :wink: or because it’s a resuscitation of a fading doll line, but because a new CEO has envisioned the launch of an entire IP franchise with other Mattel products, which include Hot Wheels, Barney the Dinosaur, Masters of the Universe play figures, American Girl dolls, Matchbox toys, Thomas the Train and other pre-school playthings from the Fisher-Price subsidiary, and - and I am not kidding - a Magic 8-ball movie in development. Will it work? I dunno, but he’s already taken a near moribund toy company to relevance, doubling the share price since he arrived (2017), and this “franchise reset” augurs to re-establish Mattel as king of the pile, a pretty heroic feat given that they’ve been coasting for almost two decades.

I’ve watched as Lucas developed an entire world around one piece of IP: StarWars, and Marvel did the same around a comic book line (even more difficult since they had given away the IP rights to their best characters). Now Mattel finds buried treasure in the attic and is making a run at relevance (which, I am told, is by letting the movie mock Barbie , a big pill for the gatekeepers to swallow).

Personally, I’m going to see “Oppenheimer” which opens the same day, but if the reviews on the pink princess are good I might even pop for a ticket to that one. Not likely to be buying a doll or anything else in pink, but I’m marveling at how they’ve conjured economic gold nearly out of thin air.


Yep. Barbie is everywhere. I heard a blurb on CNBC that sales of many of the related products are up over 1000% in recent weeks. And the kicker? The vast majority of the sales are for adults, not for kids!

And the movie isn’t even out yet!

That’s already getting some promo. There’s a new TV series out based on the Hot Wheels brand. It’s a bunch of car enthusiasts making actual cars based on Hot Wheels toys.

They managed to get it slotted in right after America’s Got Talent, which has got to be some prime TV real estate.

Very interesting things this CEO is doing. Thanks for sharing the story behind the movie.


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Typical Shiny PR campaign.

But the effort pales, compared to the continuous, years long, Taylor Swift promotion campaign.



Started watching the Hot Wheels series recently. I assumed it would be too dumb, but I am about 4-5 shows in already. I like the work they did to recreate the childhood memory cars that are used to turn into a Hot Wheels.
Seems they are doing pretty good then pulling in new audiences.

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@Goofyhoofy I almost fell off my chair when I read this. A guy who thought that “Avatar: The Way of Water” was too childish and gender-stereotyped to enjoy is hardly likely to appreciate the Barbie movie! LOL!

FWIW, I never liked Barbie because I couldn’t relate to her grown-up figure. I liked my little-girl Betsy McCall doll (which looked like me), Puppetrina and the many paper dolls I made myself.



When the hype for Barbie first came out I suggested to older married couples they see it. The wives were oh yes. The men just shrugged. I had a little fun saying I’d take their wives if they didn’t.

I am interested in the story line the way it is done. Perhaps I have only see the highlights and the movie is a bore but I think the movie is actually going to be a lot of fun.

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Yup, this whole Barbie thing is way out of whack.

We went to a store to buy a Barbie doll for our granddaughter. I asked the manager about the dolls. He said I could buy Tennis Barbie for $30 or Dr. Barbie for $30 or Housewife Barbie for $30 or Teacher Barbie for $30 or Beach Barbie for $30 or Chef Barbie for $30 or Divorced Barbie for $300.

I asked why all the Barbie’s cost $30 except for Divorced Barbie which cost $300.

He replied “Well, Divorced Barbie comes with Ken’s house, Ken’s truck, Ken’s boat, and Ken’s motorcycle.


I’m sorry I read that.

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What about the kids AND the monthly alimony payments?

Ken has no balls, what kids?

Ken’s bank account was overdrawn. Barbie is a cheat.


No kids. Was it a real marriage?


According to the preview, they don’t even know how to have sex!

I almost fell off my chair when I read this. A guy who thought that “Avatar: The Way of Water” was too childish and gender-stereotyped to enjoy is hardly likely to appreciate the Barbie movie! LOL!

Early reads indicate Barbie is as much social commentary and sly satire as anything. I love that sort of thing. NYT and WaPo like it, WSJ hates it, so that tracks.

Avatar, I thought, was hackneyed good guy/bad guy shoot-em-up fare. Successful, of course, but not particularly interesting to me.


The original “Avatar” looked like Cavalry vs Indians, a set-up I grew up watching.



Think again. There are cute visuals embedded along the way, and one or two modestly humorous jokes, but generally it’s a 90 minute slog where the patriarchy animus is slathered on as though shot from a SuperSoaker instead of a scalpel. I guess I was expecting a more nuanced vision, and this certainly isn’t it. The inclusion of Will Farrell in the cast should have been a tip-off, I guess.

For the record, on the way to the theater Mrs. Goofy waxed nostalgic for the Barbies and Midges and Skippers she had growing up, and how her mother bought her a new outfit every week at the supermarket, and … to the point where I finally had to say “You are much deeper down the rabbit hole than I care”, and I tell you that only so I can tell you this. 30 minutes into the film she said “OK, it’s stupid. Do you want to go?”

I said no, but regretted it after another 30 minutes, and we left before finding out the resolution to Barbie’s cosmic dilemma of whether she should return to Barbieland or The Real World© because we Just.Didn’t.Care.

I want to apologize Goof. I spent your money in vain.

I wont leave a forwarding address for the bill.


This is Shiny-land. Nuanced? The only innovation here is the merchandise preceded the movie by 60 years. Maybe the “JCs” thought the profits from the merch needed to be goosed so made a 90 minute commercial, backed by paid-for media hype.



You mean there is no line like, “send in the gimp”…“the gimp’s sleep’n”?

SPOILERS (skip this post if you want to see the movie)

My wife and I and one of our kids just saw it (literally “just” as we arrived home from the theater a few minutes ago). Everyone found it to be mostly boring, and I nodded off for a few minutes in the middle. I didn’t quite get the whole focus of turning the patriarchy back into a matriarchy. But from the start, when Barbie started feeling “funny” (talking about death, etc), I knew she would want to become a real human in the end.

Basically, it was “meh” all around. But it sold $350+M in opening weekend, so it’s a big success. I suspect that the movie companies are now all going to find “old IP” and bring it to the movies because it is very profitable (Super Mario, Barbie, etc). I’ll be glad to finally see fewer sequels (except Dune Part 2 of course), very tired of all the big movies being sequels. Enough is enough.