we’d build spaceships for our Barbie dolls to pilot


Tammy Oler, over at Bitch’s Love/Shove blog, found something related to the new Trek movie that hadn’t even crossed my mind–apparently Mattel’s doing Kirk, Spock, and Uhura Barbie/Ken dolls as part of the marketing.

Usually, I’d be complaining about commercialization and the body image issues (both in terms of size and in terms of race) that are so damn prevalent in Barbie-land, and so would Tammy.  But as she points out, the fanboys are having a fit, surprise surprise.  Because this may make Kirk and Spock too effeminate, because Star Trek and Barbie are apparently polar opposites, because it overly mainstreams the franchise.  And of course several different comments about the Uhura figure and her lack of proper parts (who cares if the guys have them, they’re just dolls, right?).


First off, what do you expect from JJ Abrams?  What do you expect from goddamn Paramount?  Or from a multimillion dollar 40 year old massively licensed franchise?  Do you expect them to not try to get on the boat with the Twilighters (because frankly the Kirk doll looks a lot like Edward Cullen…) and the collectors?  Nothing Star Trek will ever be an art house project.  It’s irreparably linked to mass pop culture in the US, period.

And that’s before I go into the shitstorm of gender issues, which I’m not going to bother laying out because I’ve done it before in regards to something far more offensive.  Let’s just say that someone please tell the Star Trek fanboys that they are not unique and beautiful snowflakes.  And to stop being That Guy before I put a phaser where the sun don’t shine.

In the interest of full disclosure, the subject line of this post is from a Lois McMaster Bujold quote. And yes, your memory isn’t faulty: I was critical of Tammy’s work in the past, but I was a bit hasty. She’s good people.


3 Responses to “we’d build spaceships for our Barbie dolls to pilot”

  1. er, what? I’m almost positive there have been Star Trek Barbies before this. Were they asleep?

  2. They did–I think I read on one of the posts (or maybe it’s in Tammy’s own post, I’m too lazy to check) that they released some in ’95. I know I definitely remember wanting one.

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