Barbie Controversies and Obsessions

There are several versions of the Tattoo Barbie which have been popular sellers for Mattel despite the inked controversies. Mattel has gone totally edgy with some of their Barbie Dolls, including the Black Canary Barbie (aka Dominatrix Barbie), Catwoman Barbie in black leatherette with a whip and even newly released Drag Queen Barbie. One Tattoo Barbie, ‘Tokidoki Barbie’, featured multiple Japanese style tattoos and pink hair. This Tattoo Barbie Doll originally sold for $50 and was aimed at the collector market. Now, the ‘Tokidoki Barbie’ values have jumped to at least five to ten times the original price illustrating the value of this particular collector Barbie Doll.

Tattoo Barbie

Harley Davidson Barbie Doll Series

Another edgy Tattoo Barbie was a biker chick Harley Davidson Pink Label Barbie in black bustiere, black jean shorts and pink chaps featuring a signature Harley Davidson wings logo tattoo on her back. One controversy about the Harley Davidson Barbie series was that the Ken dolls were more masculine biker types and not the traditional sexless eunuch Ken dolls. Negative commentary from parents about the Harley Davidson Barbie and Ken dolls focused on the overly sexualized biker Barbies and their rough-look Ken partners.

Tattoo Barbie Harley Davidson

Parents and parent groups have been reactive to every Tattoo Barbie Doll which Mattel has released. Parents have complained that these Barbies are negative role models and encourage tattoos and the pursuit of alternative lifestyles.

Hard Rock Cafe Barbie Doll Series

The Hard Rock Cafe Barbie series also featured five rocker Barbies, some with tattoos. The most controversial Barbie in this limited series was outfitted in a red marabou boa and black leather pants sporting a leopard tail. This Tattoo Barbie was accessorized with a red guitar and, of course, came with a tattoo. However, the most controversial Tattoo Barbie so far was a Barbie who came with a tattoo kit aimed at the toy market. This Barbie Doll was packaged with a tattoo “gun” which could be used to temporarily tattoo Barbie’s body or anyone playing with the tattoo gun accessory. Parents didn’t like that these Tattoo Barbies and tattoo guns encouraged actual tattooing.

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