How Will Industry Vets React to 'Mad Men' Dolls?

Mattel May Be Unwittingly Creating Line of Voodoo Toys

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Credit: Mattel
According to Stuart Elliott in The New York Times, Mattel will launch a line of "Mad Men" dolls that will include Don and Betty Draper, Roger Sterling and Joan Holloway. Which is raising some interesting questions among Ad Age staffers.

How will the Joan doll change the infamous measurement of the standard Barbie? (Judging by the photo, they just slapped some red hair on a standard-issue Barbie and called it "Joan.") Will the line come with Barbie-size martini glasses and cocktail shakers? Oh, wait, Elliott actually answered that last one:

"The dolls come with period accessories like hats, overcoats, pearls and padded undergarments, but no cigarettes, ashtrays, martini glasses or cocktail shakers." Bummer.

But maybe they should come with a disclaimer, written in large type, reminding people that these are fictional characters in a fictional show. Ad Age, for some reason, has caught flak in the past because the creators of "Mad Men" have dared to use real marketers and refer to real ad campaigns, but without slavishly sticking to the historical time line or giving proper attribution to actual agencies.

I guess I'd be ticked off if the work of my younger days was swiped or, worse, bashed in a TV show. And if I weren't, in fact, a booze-soaked lout myself, I might be miffed that the show portrays the entire industry as drunken, oversexed womanizers. But I don't see how that becomes the basis for an investigative series into the sins of Matthew Weiner. At any rate, there are old-school Mad Men mad at "Mad Men." (Ha! That was so easy.) Maybe they'll be scooping up a $75 Don Draper and sticking some pins in him.

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