Mattel's Hunger Games Barbie Looks... Not a Whole Lot Like Jennifer Lawrence

Mattel has unveiled the first look at their Hunger Games-themed Katniss Everdeen Barbie doll ($29.95), available for pre-order today and on shelves in August, and the result is... kinda close to what I envisioned when I read Suzanne Collins' novels. Not that District 12's underfed hunter gal ever hewed that close to Barbie's usual unattainably bosomy dimensions in most readers' minds, but something in Katniss-Barbie's face is appropriately feline, with just the merest hint of the full-lipped pout that Jennifer Lawrence brought to the screen.

Still, I had to laugh at creator Bill Greening's explanation (via EW) for how Katniss-Barbie, clad in her Games survival gear, was designed: “Hopefully Hunger Games fans can appreciate the attention to detail. The doll’s minimalistic style and details — such as her loosely braided hair and makeup-free look — also really embody the heroic character Katniss.”

Adding eyeshadow, mascara and eyeliner to Katniss's pre-bloodbath look isn't exactly what I'd call "make-up free," but at least Greening kept from sexifying Katniss up when it came to her outfit. Pure Eddie Bauer chic, modeled on her getup from the movie. (I'm sure Katniss's flamboyant Capitol dresses are also en route to shelves for maximum styling options.)

What's more satisfying at first glance is seeing that Katniss-Barbie looks more like the Katniss I'd imagined when reading the books. Lawrence does stellar work in the role and is arguably one the best actresses of her generation who might've been up for it, but I'd always had a more ethnic-looking Katniss in mind. And while Mattel's design is just ethnically-ambiguous enough, I'd say it runs closer to Katniss's description on paper than the one captured onscreen in the film adaptation.


[EW, Barbie Collector]


  • 31C says:

    Uhm...actually, I saw the movie, never heard of the actress before, but when I was surfing and merely caught the teaser advertisement head-shot of the doll I INSTANTLY recognized who it was representing. IMO, this is a very fine and acceptable reproduction doll. I think they did a MUCH better job on this doll than they did with the Star Trek Reboot dolls.

  • Patrick Hallstein / McEvoy-Halston says:

    It's probably too much to expect a corporation to have a soul, and therefore to do much soul-searching over a decision, but you figure if there was even the slightest chance of it it would have to figured in Mattel's decision to profit from a champion who effectively slaughtered her realm's overtly WASPY-resplendent, Barbie-Ken pair -- Glitter and Cato. It needn't be the case that blonde Barbie's next incarnation is with a bee-ravaged face, or blonde Ken's with an arrow through the head (with the rest of his other body-parts in wee baggies), to heed further evidence here that some group other than traditional WASPS are right now in ascension (hyperlink to Alison's last review).

  • Jules says:

    Actually, I think Mattel did a very good job of capturing the look, features of Jennifer Lawrence. The nose, mouth and even the way Barbie/Katniss's eyes are shaped...looks a lot to me like Jennifer Lawrence. I'm glad they dressed her in her arena clothes...warrior girl, that's Katniss.

  • Megan says:

    I think it looks a lot like Jennifer, really. Only thing it doesn't capture is her awesome curves. But that's Barbie for you-they tend to look like matchsticks with hair.

  • All will be okay, as long as the doll doesn't have the old
    GIJoe's facial scar and "Kung Fu Grip"!