Barbie is a box office star, however the 64-year-old doll and her maker are additionally on the heart of an elaborate hoax.
A bunch of local weather change activists is behind the fictional “MyCelia Barbie,” a product that purports to be “decomposable, similar to individuals.” A really convincing promotional marketing campaign launched this morning with press releases, spoof web sites taking part in on Mattel-owned URLs, telephone numbers, a video starring actor and activist Daryl Hannah (Splash, Kill Invoice), a phony product line, and person profiles on all the foremost social networks.
The fictional MyCelia Barbie product line is alleged to be produced utilizing mushrooms and different natural supplies and options dolls honoring Greta Thunberg, Julia Butterfly Hill, Neimonte Nequimo, Phoebe Plummer, and Daryl Hannah herself. A second fictional product line, “MyCelia EcoWarrior Barbie,” features a limited-edition playset that includes dolls impressed by Pussy Riot, the Moscow-based band that was famously imprisoned in 2012.
A companion video incorporates a catchy jingle and depicts youngsters taking part in out eventualities together with sabotaging an oil pipeline, assaulting staff, and tossing Molotov cocktails at Russian President Vladimir Putin. A 3rd spoof line, the “EcoWarrior Casualty Assortment,” is alleged to “commemorate land defenders and ecoactivists murdered for his or her efforts to guard the planet.”
The Toy E book exchanged e mail messages with somebody calling themselves “Beverly Hamm, a rep from the worldwide product workforce at Mattel Inc.” earlier than talking with the person twice by telephone on Monday. By the tip of the day, Hamm’s telephone quantity switched from a 619 (San Diego) space code to a 310 (Los Angeles) quantity. Hamm offered fictitious quotes attributed to Mattel executives together with Chairman and CEO Ynon Kreiz, Govt Vice President and Chief Model Officer Lisa McKnight, and Head of Sustainability Pamela Gill-Alabaster. “Hamm” says that Hannah will maintain a digital press convention for members of the media by way of Zoom at 5 p.m. ET right this moment.
A Mattel spokesperson confirmed to The Toy E book that the corporate has no sustainability information being launched right this moment.
Like several good hoax, there is a component of reality within the hook: Mattel is shifting towards a purpose of utilizing 100% recycled, recyclable, or bio-based plastic supplies in all of its merchandise and packaging by 2030. The transfer comes as the worldwide toy business continues making strides towards a sustainable future following a long time of wasteful manufacturing and packaging processes.
The trail towards a greater future has not been with out its challenges — one thing that Mattel’s rival — and recent ally — Hasbro found when it needed to partially backtrack on its plans to eliminate plastic from its packaging. Lower than a yr after introducing windowless, sustainably-sourced, plastic-free bins for its motion determine strains, client revolt led to the reintroduction of plastic window boxes sourced from recycled or bio-based supplies.
In recent times, the members of the toy business have kicked their sustainability goals into excessive gear following big strides by The LEGO Group, together with the event of bio-based bricks and working on 100% renewable power three years forward of schedule. Moose Toys, MGA Entertainment, Playmobil, PMI Kids’ World, Melissa & Doug, Radio Flyer, Headstart International, Schleich, Spin Master, VTech & LeapFrog, and ZURU are simply among the many corporations which might be dedicated to doing higher. Moreover, The Toy Association is supporting its members’ efforts to evolve towards a greener tomorrow.
As for MyCelia Barbie, prepare for the inevitable Snopes itemizing marking this one FAKE.
Toy and sport producers with respectable sustainable merchandise are inspired to submit them for editorial consideration for The Toy E book’s 2023 STEM & Innovation Subject, obtainable December 15.
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