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08th Aug 2023

Mattel is releasing a Weird Barbie after success of movie

Steve Hopkins

‘One is not born a Weird Barbie. One becomes a Weird Barbie’

With Barbie breaking the billion-dollar mark, Mattel is set to capitalise on its success with the release of a new doll – ‘Weird Barbie’.

The new figurine is based on Kate McKinnon’s character in the Greta Gerwig movie that hit cinemas on July 21 and hasn’t stopped making headlines since.

Weird Barbie helps Stereotypical Barbie on a journey of self-discovery following an existential crisis in the movie starring Margot Robbie and Rylan Gosling as the leas characters.

Given the character’s popularity, Mattel has announced Weird Barbie is now available for preorder until August 18. The doll is expected to ship before 31 May 2024.

“Time to get weird. Inspired by her look in @BarbieTheMovie, Weird #Barbie knows what it’s like to play just a liiiiittle too much,” the company wrote in a caption on an Instagram post.

The toy company also debuted pictures of the new doll based on McKinnon’s likeness, with cut multi-coloured hair, squiggles on her face, mismatched clothes, and snakeskin boots.

Commenters on the post were annoyed Weird Barbie had already sold out, while others suggested they wanted the company to make some other Barbies, along with the character, Allen.

One person also joked: “You don’t need to make a weird barbie, just give a normal barbie to kids and just watch them absolutely destroy her.”

Another wrote: “I was literally talking about making a weird Barbie costume for Halloween lolol my inspiration.”

Not everyone was welcoming of Mattel’s new Barbie.

One person said: “One is not born a Weird Barbie. One becomes a Weird Barbie.”

Another penned: “If they were smart, they would sell a make your own Weird Barbie kit. Weird Barbie can’t be bought. She is MADE when you play with her too hard.”

While a third wrote: “I think it’s ironic how she’s $50 when you could make a Barbie that looks just like her for 1/5th of that price, or even free, assuming you have a Barbie, some markers, and a pair of scissors, with the latter two being VERY common household items.”

Mattel has also released several dolls depicted in the flick, including matching Simu Liu’s Ken, Issa Rae’s President Barbie, Ryan Gosling’s Ken and Margot Robbie’s Barbie in various outfits.

Over the weekend, Barbie broke the billion-dollar milestone and made Gerwig the first-ever female filmmaker to join the club.

Variety reported that the flick surpassed $1 billion at the global box office, including $459 million in North America and $572 million internationally.

Three other women have broken into the billion-dollar club, but only as co-directors, Variety noted. Frozen ($1.3 billion) and Frozen 2 ($1.45 billion) by Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, as well as Captain Marvel ($1.1 billion), co-directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck.

Barbie, Variety said, hit one billion just 17 days of release, becoming the fastest Warner Bros. release (and eighth in the studio’s 100-year history) to do so. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 previously held that record at 19 days.

Warner Bros president of domestic distribution said the billion-dollar club is “a good club to be in”, Variety reported.

In a note to press, Goldstein and Andrew Cripps, president of international distribution, admitted they are not often “rendered speechless by a film’s performance.”

But Barbillion — as they’ve dubbed the box office milestone — has “blown even our most optimistic predictions out of the water.”

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