Dear Mattel, Ambien Is No Excuse–You People Are Just Wrong. Love, Jenni

7 Oct

So, The Beloved and I spent the day in Pinehurst yesterday, helping Uncle Ray celebrate his 94th birthday.  I made a cake.  See:

birthday cake decorated with fresh flowers

More on this luscious little guy later...

But that’s not what I’m here to talk about.  I’m here to share with you a horror of Immeasurable Proportion perpetrated on an unsuspecting and trusting public by The Burning Hand of Satan Himself (BHS), Mattel. Let me share with you.  Make sure you have an Adult Beverage and that you are Seated.  I shall wait…………………………………………………………………………………….  Ready?  Okay.

We got home at about 9:00 last evening.  The Beloved went over to check on the animals we’re watching for Susan and Chuck:  Loud Howard and the Chick-ettes.  I fed our guys.  We met back up at about 9:30, broke to deal with email and What Not, got a shower around 10:30, and then The Beloved decided that he wanted to watch an episode of Good Eats.  We cued up the DVR and watched a scintillating episode about Paella.  So far, this all sounds pretty normal, pretty un-write-about-able, right?  Well, I’m not finished yet.  The BHS looms ahead.

We brushed our teeth and were in bed by just-before-midnight.  Now, often we save magazines and catalogs to Peruse before bedtime.  Yes, we are that Wild.  At any rate, last night’s offerings included a Penzeys catalog, a King Arthur catalog and a very innocent-seeming mini wish book type Item from the BJ’s Warehouse Store.  Yes, it’s apparently time for the Wee Ones to start earmarking their Orders for Santa or Hanukkah-man or whoever brings presents to your place in December.  Except for those guys who don’t even get to celebrate birthdays.  Rip off.  Sorry guys.

Anyhow, I passed over the two food-related catalogs in favor of toys.  I am drawn to Wish Books.  I think it’s because my brother and I used to fight over the Sears One when it came–he always turned down the corners of pages with sleeping bags and bikes and stuff.  I turned down corners of pages with doll heads with make up and art sets with 50 bajillion oil pastels. I was sleepily thumbing through BJ’s slim Volume of Offerings while The Beloved was Seeing to his Evening Ablutions.  He ablutes a Very Lot.  I saw a keen looking building set thingy with gears and stuff that contained Glow In the Dark Stickers.  I turned down the corner of that page. I like stickers.  I also saw some Fisher Price items, a bunch of dress-up clothes, and a bunch of Wii stuff.  Then, I turned the page, and this is what I saw.  Here’s the Exact Page:Toys

There’s a girl doing the Home Alone Face Cradle, a Rapunzel doll atop Rapunzel Horsie, a baby with an Unfortunate Headband, a fake dog that Poos, a few dolls that are designed to cling onto tweens who have outgrown dolls.  I can almost smell the Desperation.  And then, what’s that we see below the Rapunzels?  Why, it’s a Barbie.  How Cute!  Oh, she’s Video Girl Barbie!  Maybe she comes with a DVD of Barbie music videos.  You know, for sing along fun. But wait!  What’s that sentence on the box?  “I am a real working Video Camera!”  Let that one sink in.  It’s a Barbie–beloved toy of pre-pubescent girls, and a few boys, everywhere.  And her necklace is actually a Lens!  There’s a diminutive screen on her back, under her stylish hoodie, so you can see what what Barbie sees.  And, there’s a USB port right where a real life Barbie would proudly sport a Tramp Stamp.  I think she might even comes with a one-year-membership to Kidlet Pr0n Dot Com.

Do you hear that maniacal laughter?  That’s Creepy St. Peddy, patron saint of Pedophiles everywhere.  Yes, somehow, the BHS reached down and tickled someone’s brain at Mattel, causing them to bolt upright in bed with a Eureka Moment:

“I’ve got it!  Let’s make a doll with a video camera IN HER NECK!  Woo hoo; we’ll be rich, rich, rich!!”

They probably originally considered clothing the doll in a trench coat, giving it a toupee and a fake mustache as well as a Bag O’ Candy and a van.  Then, they realized that Barbie would probably sell better.  After all, making a Pedophile Aid actually look like the stereotypical pedophile might Unsettle the Tots.

Not to beat a dead horse–a very disturbing, ugly dead horse–but let me just propose some possible Disastrous Scenarios:

Scenario 1: Hey, Marcie? Yes, Uncle Pete?  Why don’t you take Barbie into the dressing room so she can help you pick out clothes! Keen idea, Uncle Pete!

Scenario 2Dear Mr. & Mrs. Smith, For some reason, little Billy is bringing a Barbie Doll to school.  While I do not want to pigeonhole him with strict gender role identifiers, I find it disturbing that he often makes Barbie look up the girls’ skirts.  Just wanted to bring this to your attention.  Sincerely, Little Billy’s Teacher

Scenario 3Honey? Yes, Mommy?  How ’bout you not take Barbie into the tub with you when Ernie is babysitting. Oh, okay…

It’s like Mattel, guided by the Burning Hand of Satan, decided to design a product targeted directly at, not young girls, but pedophiles.  Maybe that Mattel designer was on Ambien or something, but I just can’t see that there is any way that this toy can be construed as anything but a pedophile’s Dream Come True.

What do you think?  Am I overreacting, or has Mattel really lost its collective mind?

13 Responses to “Dear Mattel, Ambien Is No Excuse–You People Are Just Wrong. Love, Jenni”

  1. Drew @ How To Cook Like Your Grandmother October 7, 2010 at 9:20 pm #

    Okay, first I’m going to make an assumption: This thing has no storage. It’s just a cheap webcam stuffed into a Barbie. (Wow, that sounded really bad and I wasn’t even trying yet.) Which means unless it’s plugged in to a computer, it’s not capturing anything.

    That being said …

    Someone at Mattel has his head so far up his ass he has to wipe his belly button when he sneezes. The only reason to make a camera look like anything other than a camera is so that someone doesn’t realize it is a camera.

    If any Mattel rep wants to jump in and explain how no, this looks like a Barbie so the kids will want it — Guess what? Girls want Barbies because they look like Barbie. They want cameras if they want to do video chat.

    You can point me to the focus group where this tested really well and I. Don’t. Care. Remember what I said about why you would disguise a camera? That’s an absolute rule. Even when it’s not true “in this case”, it’s still true in this case. Every time.

    File this with the vibrating Harry Potter broomstick under “Who Put the Mental Deficient In Charge?”

    • onlinepastrychef October 7, 2010 at 10:31 pm #

      Amen, Drew! And had I known about the Harry Potter entry into the category of Truly Creepy Toys, I’d have written about that, too!

  2. Warren Baker October 7, 2010 at 9:51 pm #

    That’s very disturbing. Drew’s absolutely right about making a toy into a camera. This breaks the fundamental law of taste: Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

    • onlinepastrychef October 7, 2010 at 10:32 pm #

      I think when dollar signs get in the way, “Should we?” goes out the door.

  3. molly October 7, 2010 at 10:08 pm #

    No, you have not lost your mind, Mattel has!

    • onlinepastrychef October 7, 2010 at 10:32 pm #

      Oh, good. I was afraid I might have been overreacting. Phew.

  4. Jim October 7, 2010 at 10:11 pm #

    Ugh. Eeeeeek. Urk. Umph. Yrmph. Ulp. YEEEeeeEEE!

  5. Jamieson Ridenhour October 7, 2010 at 10:36 pm #

    I agree this is an idea made of fail.


    Your caption under the cake says you will tell more of him later. When?

  6. (also)Jenn October 7, 2010 at 10:44 pm #

    I believe this is the cherry on top of the “What is flippn’ WRONG with people?!?” sundae of the the past month or so…

    • onlinepastrychef October 7, 2010 at 10:46 pm #

      Really–sometimes the wrongness of folks just boggles the mind. I was literally rendered speechless, for about 12 seconds. And then I was all “I’m’a write about THIS tomorrow.”


  1. Tweets that mention Dear Mattel, Ambien Is No Excuse–You People Are Just Wrong. Love, Jenni « Pastry Methods and Techniques -- - October 7, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by jmfield, jmfield. jmfield said: New Post–I think the Mattel people have lost their minds: What do you think? […]

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