Toymaker Mattel Chugging Criticism for ‘Kegger Barbie’

Kegger Barbie criticism


EL SEGUNDO, CA—Mattel’s latest edition to the Barbie line, Kegger Barbie, has brought the company a barrel full of criticism, while creating a new and lucrative craze for the item.

This is a reversal that Mattel never would have foreseen eight years ago.

In 2014, Herbert “ToyMan” Grey, the internationally renowned toymaker and inventor, submitted the Kegger Barbie idea to Mattel.

Said Natalie Carmen, toy concept vetting specialist for Mattel, “Eight years ago we saw a burgeoning market for young women who liked to drink themselves into oblivion. When Herbert’s idea came to us, we thought we had a seriously big winner.”

Through numerous trials and prototypes, the Kegger Barbie took shape, though with many false starts.

The first Kegger Barbie prototype appeared too slutty. Tricked out in ass-revealing shorts and a sheer see-through top, with her feet shod in pornstar style high heels, she appeared the regular tramp.

“It was too chippy,” said Carmen.

“The real trouble with the doll,” said Natalie, “came when the mothers of children in focus groups removed their children immediately from the room before even letting the children touch the doll. That was when we knew it was too much.”

True to form, the research and design team put Slutty Barbie in the incinerator and started over.

“No evidence, no trace,” said Carmen.

Over the next several years the team experimented with a variety of Barbies. Many questions came up: should she represent a particular school? Should she be a cheerleader? Should she be a nerd gone wild? A repressed homeschooler, on her own for the first time? Should she have tattoos?

“Over 8,000 questions emerged,” said Carmen, “and that led to three hundred prototypes. Finally we said, ‘Why not put her in yoga pants and a halter top, trick her out in white sneakers, a la Chuck Taylor, give her stunning platinum blonde hair, a tattoo sleeve, then send her out into the world.”

When Kegger barbie hit the shelves, she had the agreed upon outfit, and a something extra special. In addition to her cute kegger outfit, she came with several kegger accessories. Tucked next to barbie was a keg of beer and a beer bong, complete with hose and funnel. 

Barbie had a hole in her mouth that allowed the user to install the beer bong hose into her mouth, while a small loop on the straw allows Barbie to hold the straw while chugging from the keg.

Not only did Kegger Barbie look the part of a beer-guzzling college woman pushing the boundaries of social stereotypes, she also sounded the part. Barbie had a bank of eight sounds that she performed when you pressed her skimpy stomach.

“Chug! Chug! Chug!” went one.

Another press: “I’m such a guzzler.”

And another, in a voice that surely sounds as if Barbie has been hitting the keg: “I’m so slurpy!” This, followed by an aggressive belch.

Mattel believed that they had developed, as Carmen said when she first received the idea, “a seriously big winner.”

“We really thought it was a great addition to the Barbie line,” said Natalie.  “It played into the growing number of young women who are drinking as much and more than men in order to show their parity with and superiority to them.”

For women who have traditionally been told that moderate alcohol consumption is best, binge drinking as much as men stands as yet another sign of liberation for women from the clutches of a male-dominated and repressive society.

“Barbie is about liberation,” said Carmen. “With all due respect to Harold Matson: screw men, because women are just better. Period.”

According to a report from Buford Schuck research associates, over 80% of women in college, aged 18-22, binge drink. The study also showed that these same women grew up with the goal of drinking heavily while in college, and saw it as a rite of passage, moving them from the netherworld of domestication to the equally dubious world of corporate policy wonk.

The Tween-Teen-Blastoff Group, led by Britney Cunningham-Lawrence, says that tween and teen girls see the possibilities for finally achieving drinking parity with men. “Our research shows,” said Cunningham-Lawrence, “that tween and teen girls, now more than ever, opine the iron-fistedness of the male race and desperately long to contain them.”

Said one 19 year old woman in college, “Maybe it’s, like, I feel like the beer belly for women might be in, but for men, you know, it’s just laziness. For women it’s liberation. If I want a gut, gut over it. I want my men fit, trim, strong, alpha. Fat dudes can wash my floor.”

The backlash against Kegger Barbie began he same day the doll hit store shelves.

Mothers Against Nuclear Warheads (MANWar) spokeswoman Tingle Marshall said that, since women will rule the planet within 50 years, “these girls who play with Kegger Barbie are much more likely to binge drink and become alcoholics, so that when they are ruling the world in the twilight of their lives they will be drunk most of the time, and will be far more likely to launch the nukes. Drinking ultimately leads to nuclear winter.”

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) said in a statement that “This Barbie encourages girls to drink to excess far too early in life. Better that they waited until middle age, when life begins to bog down, and that ennui of existence settles in, and you’re more mature and responsible–then you will have good reason to drink to excess, but will be statistically less likely to drive drunk, and staving that off is our sole purpose, et cetera.”

The Ted Kennedy Memorial swimming school, in Chappaquiddick, Massachusetts, stated that “Ted would be heartbroken to see the number of women who fail to grasp just how dangerous excessive drinking can be. When you drink and drive, you are three hundred times more likely to end up driving off a bridge into a large body of water, just like Mary Jo Kopechne did. When you drink and drive, you are naturally drawn to the water, because alcohol is attracted to water like a magnet.”

The backlash resulted in stores pulling the doll off the shelves. Almost immediately, however, employees tasked with destroying the dolls loaded them into their vehicles–trunks, back seats, floorboards, even roofs–and ushered in the Kegger Barbie Ebay era. The employees became thousandaires overnight.

As of yesterday, the going Ebay rate for a Kegger Barbie was $8,000–a $2,000 increase from a week ago.

One Wal Mart manager, in Coopers, Ohio, said that due to the recent disappearance of all Kegger Barbies from store shelves, he expects an increase in employee call-ins.

“We work hard to keep our employees at a wage that requires them to show up to work because they won’t have a lot of extra income,” he said. “When these surges of cash come their way, it throws off our whole system. They will live the thousandaire good life until it runs out, then come crawling back. And we’ll take them, because that’s the kind of person we want here. Ironies of life.”

For those wheeling and dealing in Kegger Barbies, however, the sky just might be the limit.

“It’s opened up a whole new lucrative world for collectors,” said pawn shop owner and toy enthusiast Milt Moore. “Now’s the time. It’s like the beanie baby craze. Won’t last forever, get in while you can, because in a year these things could be dog chew toys. Never know.” (To a customer: “Could you please not fondle the velvet Elvis?”)

Mattel says it has every intention of continuing to push the envelope in toy development.

“It’s a brave new world,” said Carmen. “We are going to continue to explore, wander, invent, craft and create, until we reach that golden threshold of political and social advancement where all women are created equal.”



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