Friday, July 18, 2008
Okay, Black Canary Barbie: too titillating? offensive? is the controversy justified? etc.
Black Canary Barbie is a $40 collector's doll. I used to collect Barbies about six years ago. The expensive collector dolls are not meant for kids. They have all sorts of stuff -- from possible "adult" subject matter to little swallowable pieces -- that can effectively place them out of the realm of your standard eight-year-old.
Now, they did put out cheaper versions of DC heroines that were theoretically targeted towards younger fans. This Black Canary is not one of them. It's a $40 freaking doll. Mattel has these "jazz" inspired Barbies that are even more extreme, with fishnets and sexy poses.
That said, the only Barbies I'd give a little girl are the ones where she's a veterinarian, or a police woman, or a teacher, or a journalist for the school paper. Something constructive.
You know what's really not constructive? A Barbie dressed in a pink tutu called "Princess Foo-Foo Flower."
That said, no, I wouldn't give this Black Canary doll to a child. It's not appropriate. A teenager, sure. Not an eight-year-old. It's just too adult. Not adult in a bad way. Just too adult, with no context for a little girl.
The problem is, many people assume, when they hear "Barbie," that we are talking about strictly children's toys. Whereas, like a large segment of the action-figure buying public, what we are really talking about are adult collectors.
(with a hat tip to Paul Duggan for the link)