7 Barbie dolls that were actually discontinued. What were the scandals behind it
Greta Gerwig, writer and director of the film "Barbie" (2023) has received permission from the company Mattel that creates iconic dolls, to show from them those that have been taken out of production. And not just for fun, but because of public scandals. In a nutshell - to critics, they are "not as perfect" as Barbie and Ken, and have a questionable impact on children's development.
What's interesting is that each of these rejected dolls was banned as far back as the end of the last century or about 10 years ago. Today, however, society is more loyal, and it is likely that some of these Mattel toys would have been released without issue. More details - in the material OBOZREVATEL.
In the movie Barbie, there are many characters named Ken and only one named Allan (played by Canadian actor Michael Cera). He is Ken's best friend and "all of Ken's clothes fit him!". Allan is a real-life doll released in 1964. Two years later, he was discontinued. Why? Because this doll was designed to be able to wear Ken's clothes. Attitude noted that there were rumors that the two were too close. Mattel then clarified that Allan was completely appropriate for Ken's clothing size, and no more. After the explanation, they still had to stop production of the toy.
In the 90s, the manufacturers returned the doll to store shelves, but with a radical rebranding: they named it Alan (with one "l") and indicated that he was Midge's husband (read about her in point 2).
2. Pregnant Midge
English actress Emerald Fennell played a pregnant Midge in Barbie. What was the real story behind the toy? In 1963, Mattel released a gift set for a wedding party, which includes a bridesmaid - not yet pregnant Midge, best man - Alan, as well as the bride and groom Barbie and Ken.
In 2002, an updated version of Midge went on sale - as a doll with a removable pregnant belly and a small baby to put inside. Walmart recalled it because of parents' complaints: they said that such a toy promoted teenage pregnancy.
3. Earring Magic Ken
English actor Tom Storton appeared in the Barbie movie as Earring Magic Ken. Mattel released this doll in 1993. The basic idea was to create a toy "cooler" than Ken: wearing a mesh purple shirt and leather vest, with sleek shiny hair and an earring in her ear. Consequently (unintentionally) made the doll queer-oriented, which didn't appeal to homophobic buyers. As a result, Earring Magic Ken was discontinued 6 months after release.
4. Sugar Daddy Ken
Palm Beach Sugar Daddy Ken was played by Welsh actor Rob Brydon. In 2009, Ken, wearing a salad green jacquard jacket and carrying a tiny white dog named Sugar, was released in honor of Barbie's 50th anniversary. The title itself confused the New York Post. Sugar Daddy is a term for men who are successful in their careers but lack time for a personal life. They find girls to whom they can offer what they have in abundance - money and a luxurious lifestyle. Of course, not for nothing, but by certain arrangements.
So, because of the scandal, the doll was removed from store shelves. In the movie "Barbie" there is a funny episode, where it is explained that critics allegedly misunderstood the idea of manufacturers. After all, Sugar Daddy Ken is not actually a sugar daddy. His doggie's name is Sugar, and he's his daddy. That doesn't sound very convincing.
5. Video Girl Barbie
American dancer, actress and singer Matte Tooley played Video Girl Barbie in the movie. This doll seems quite safe, but the camera built into the back, which can record up to 30 minutes of video and send it to a computer, did not please the FBI (US Department of Justice Agency).
In 2010 (after the release of Video Girl Barbie), the agency issued a "cybercrime alert." It said that the toy's ability to shoot video and send it to a computer was a potential "dangerous tool for pedophiles."
6. Growing Up Skipper
Actress Hannah Halik-Brown appeared in the Barbie movie as Growing Up Skipper. This doll was first released in 1964 as Barbie's little sister. In 1975, Mattel decided it was time for this toy to grow up. Literally. They built into it a mechanism that can stretch the silhouette by 3 centimeters, and Skipper became taller. If you press on the center of the chest - it will increase. So a young little girl was transformed into a teenager.
The creativity of the manufacturers did not like the parents of children. They were outraged that the doll's chest grows. Consequently, Skipper was removed from sale.
7. Tanner the Dog
When Barbie, played by Australian actress Margot Robbie, walks into Weird Barbie's house, she is greeted by a strange dog that can defecate. Tanner the dog would eat the toys as a treat and then release brown pellets from his body. But Mattel rejected this idea as well.
The play set had a magnet that could detach. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said that if a child swallowed multiple magnets, they could attract each other and cause a potentially fatal rupture or intestinal blockage.
Earlier OBOZREVATEL wrote about 7 bright images that Margot Robbie copied in Barbie at the premieres of the movie of the same name.