Popular toy manufacturer, Mattel, is expanding into the hard-to-crack Islamic extremist market with a new exploding version of their flagship doll, Barbie.
The new doll has already caused buying frenzies and serious injuries in market stalls from Riyadh to Islamabad and Mattel CEO, Robert Eckert, is delighted with how the product has been received.
‘It’s proving a real gifting hit with mums and imams everywhere and we’re particularly proud of the pull-string martyrdom feature. One tug, up go the arms, and she runs forward screaming either ‘Allahu Akbar!’ or ‘visit mattel.com for exclusive Barbie games and accessories’ before detonating.’
‘There’s no doubt it’s the new toy every child wants, and even those who’ve been lucky enough to get their hands on one are desperate to get what now remains of their hands on a replacement.’
He continued, ‘They’re getting a lot of bang for their buck too. Blow-up Barbie is not only packed with hours of entertainment, but also nails and a concentrated fertiliser-based explosive. The whole product reeks of quality. And also slightly of ammonium nitrate.’
With regards to accessories, Eckert says Mattel realised early on that Blow-up Barbie simply wouldn’t be complete (or allowed to leave her small plastic house) without a new Ken to accompany her.
‘We’re very proud of our fundamentalist Ken too. He has fully movable limbs and comes with little rocks and a flog to ‘correct’ Barbie if she leaves the house without her burka on, or if the child decides to pretend she might be thinking about getting an education.’
However, despite the doll’s success, Eckert has admitted that the product’s development and production hasn’t been entirely without its complications.
‘The whole venture has been something of a departure from the norm, yes. Usually a big corporation like us would wait for our government to invade and homogenise a marketplace before releasing a normal Barbie that’s just a bit brown.’ he says.
‘By doing things this way we knew we’d have to take into account various religious and cultural sensitivities. In fact, we’ve already had to issue one product recall after complaints about the potential harm that could be caused to children by a faulty batch showing too much ankle.’