| Comics |

Batman loves Barbie? Holy Marketing Strategy!

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

Mattel is making the most of its product rights to the 1966 Batman television series and introducing the caped crusader to its superstar cash cow, Barbie. In June, Mattel will release a Barbie and Ken version of Julie Neumar as Catwoman and Adam West as Batman. (The dolls will cost around $15 each and there's going to be a Batmobile for around $50.)

Adam West, who played Batman in the live action series, recently attended a launch party at Hollywood's Melt Down Comics for Junk Food Clothing's new line of Batman inspired tee shirts and happily posed next to the various "ka-pow" worthy products in the store, including Batman/Ken and Catwoman/Barbie which are available for pre-order.

While there have been a multitude of Batman-based action dolls and paraphernalia over the years none have been officially tied to the 1966 television series. It was a marketing-rights nightmare with actors, writers, producers, studios and anyone else who could afford a lawyer all claiming to have rights to product royalties. It's taken Mattel years to reach an agreement with all the parties. The fact that the toy-making giant is putting such a marketing push behind its upcoming line of Batman products a testament to the kitschy-staying power and nostalgic appeal of the now almost 50-year-old television series.

There are a couple of obvious differences between the action doll version of Batman (on the left) and the Mattel version of Ken as Batman (on the right). First, action doll Batman has a nifty weapon. We're guessing Barbie's Batman has excellent negotiating skills or runs really fast or something else just as non-confrontational. Second, action doll Batman has a substantial bulk in his trunks. Poor Batman/Ken's trunks seem pretty empty.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.