Mad Men Icons

 Posted by on July 22, 2010 at 12:11 pm  Mad Men, Products
Jul 222010

You know you’ve hit the “Big Time” when one of the world’s most successful toy companies turns you into a doll !

Riding the success waves of our favorite television series, Mattel has released it’s own line of Mad Men characters.  A brilliant move on their part! Not only is the Mad Men series set in the 1960’s, which parallels Mattel’s most famous icon herself (Barbie), but couple that with Mattel’s now very successful line of Silkstone dolls, who in themselves, slip perfectly into character by the mere reflection of their vintage counterpart.

Being a doll aficionado myself, I was totally taken with the miniature representations of  Don, Betty, Joan and Roger!  The cover of the Barbie Collector catalogue features the foursome  in all of their Mid Century Modern glory!

Barbie Collector Cover

I am no stranger to the idea of recreating these television personalities in doll form. Last fall, at the end of the season 3, my article on the “Illustrious World of MadMen” was published in FDQ magazine. Utilizing dolls from my own collection, I found that it was rather easy to customize these miniature models into the now iconic characters we see on television.

One of my favorite photos from the article is the “split scene”. This setting taken from one of the original promotional shots from the show.

Barbies - Mad Men Split Scene

The idea of dolls as miniature representations of television and or movie personalities is not a new one. You can trace those mirrored images back to a time when TV was not the norm. One  movie personality that comes to mind is Shirley Temple.  Her likeness was made in doll form for many years, and proved to be quite successful .Her likeness is still collected today.

My thought is, aren’t  the characters in this now, very popular series, performing in their own doll-like way?  Did we and DO we walk around masquerading as we are expected to act? Betty in her “wife of a  successful businessman” way? Don , certainly working  it in who he wants you to see. Joan, who believes marriage and family are the American way? And  Roger, who in trying to recapture his youth. 

Without getting too seriously involved (ie. these characters are real), but, thoroughly enjoying the series to it’s fullest, I realized it’s not only entertaining and enjoyable in a two dimensional way, but can now be entertaining in a 3 dimensional way as well !

There is no shortage of promotional paraphernalia surrounding the show. Art, note cards, paper dolls, clothing. The list goes on. It’s opened up a whole new world even for the Mid Century Modern enthusiast, what with the show’s  authentic settings and props. Myself, I take notice of all the decor, and settings and most often have to watch an episode twice to see what dialogue I have missed ! 

As my current business is that of a furniture designer in 1:6 scale, I thought it only fitting that I offer a miniature world for our newest miniature icons.  Sunday is the day to see these characters “come to life” once again, but, for your entertainment, here is my take on a Mad Men style setting fit for a doll.

“Mid Century Modern Cocktails”

Thank you for letting me share my artist view.  Doll clothing in the split scene provided by Hilda Westervelt, a brilliant seamstress in both the doll and human scale! – 

I can also be found on the web via my blog or website. 


  10 Responses to “Mad Men Icons”

  1. That is just too cool for words.

  2. I used to get a lot of celebrity barbie dolls for Christmas when I was younger, never took them out of the box. They're up in my closet as collectibles. I stopped playing with regular barbies like around 10. I'm definitely getting the Mad Men dolls to add to my collection. Does anyone know how much they cost?

  3. Hi Pamela,

    Each doll retails for $74.99. I think you can still order on the barbie collectible site (

    Maryann 🙂

  4. If McDonalds made Mad Men figures for their Happy Meals, I'd start eating there again.

  5. The clothes look great, but the dolls themselves, Betty aside, look nothing like the characters. Poor job by the designers.

  6. I think they could include the Barbie doll that Sally Draper threw out the window. : )

    It represents so many things: Betty's expectations of Sally ( to play nice, be ladylike and accept her brother), Sally's rejection of these expectations (she wants to be a real little girl, who grieves for her grandfather and believes in ghosts, not some plastic smiling facsimile like Barbie/Betty).

  7. great job, Maryann!!!

  8. Blogging like you do is such an art and you obviously have that skill here – I don’t but I did find this that made me smile so maybe I can return the favour by making you smile too?

    Elevators smell different to midgets. 🙂

  9. […] may remember Maryann Roy, whose Mad Men Barbie costumes were featured here more than […]

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