Barbie Catches Hunger Games Fever

Mattel plans collectible doll inspired by hit novel's main character

   
Barbie Catches Hunger Games Fever

The rest of the country has Hunger Games fever. Why shouldn’t Barbie?

Toymaker Mattel (NASDAQ:MAT) has confirmed it will be producing a collectible Barbie doll inspired by Suzanne Collins’ bestselling young adult novel and now hit film.

The doll will be based off The Hunger Games’ lead character, Katniss Everdeen, a young teenager portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence in the Lions Gate Entertainment (NYSE:LGF) movie rendition.

Entertainment Weekly blogger Grady Smith offers this insightful look at the possible reaction to a Katniss Barbie.

“On the one hand, those who feel that Barbie promotes female stereotypes — superficial beauty, flowy hair, and pink dresses rather than intelligence and individuality — may commend Mattel’s decision to base a doll on Katniss, who’s known for being an independent survivor.

But fans of The Hunger Games may feel that Katniss’ commodification by Mattel abandons the anti-corporate sentiments the character possesses in Suzanne Collins’ novels. For many, Barbie dolls represent the pinnacle of female objectification — impossibly proportioned and vapid — and they likely don’t want to see their beloved Katniss reduced to that level.”

Risks of backlash aside, the move makes plenty of business success. The Hunger Games has seen fantastic success on both the print and film sides, proving America is crazy about the story. The U.S. alone has seen about 24 million copies among the trilogy of books, which has helped drive the stock of publisher Scholastic (NASDAQ:SCHL) to multi-year highs around $37.

Meanwhile, the hype around the first movie in the series has helped propel Lions Gate shares more than 80% year-to-date. And so far, the film’s performance has been up to snuff, hitting $152.5 million in revenues during its opening weekend, good for third all-time behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 ($169.2 million) and Batman Begins ($158.4 million). The studio also is lined up to produce movies for the remaining two novels.

– Kyle Woodley, InvestorPlace Assistant Editor


Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, http://investorplace.com/2012/03/barbie-catches-hunger-games-fever/.

©2014 InvestorPlace Media, LLC

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