Friday, October 30, 2015

My favorite "She-ro," Katniss Everdeen!

Ever met Katniss Everdeen? You may have encountered her on the printed page. Or, maybe you discovered her at the movies. What did you think? Did you love her?

I sure did!

I have read the Hunger Games trilogy. Twice.

I read the first book, "The Hunger Games," right after Christmas 2010. It was the second book I purchased for my Kindle that I had received as a Christmas gift from my darling husband. I started reading and, honestly, I couldn't stop. I know it was written as "youth fiction," but, the characters had heart, the story was plausible, and the writing was really well done.

I downloaded "Catching Fire" the day after I finished the first book and it, too, caught my fancy. It took me a bit longer to get through the second book, though; I found myself going back and re-reading to make sure I understood what I thought I had read. There were new characters, too, and I had to keep them all straight in my head, which is no easy feat!

"Mockingjay" was the most challenging read. It was slow going in the beginning, but, about a quarter of the way into the book, it began to pick up momentum. By the time I was 50% through the third book, I couldn't put it down either. I was hooked. I adored Katniss Everdeen's spirit. And, I understood her tortured heart.

I saw Jennifer Lawrence on "Good Morning America" doing an interview prior to the release of the first movie. Amy Robach was asking her if she thought her life was going to change after the movie came out, which I thought was a really dumb thing to ask this beautiful young woman who was clearly enjoying the fans. She responded that it could be hugely successful or it could bomb. She didn't appear to be worried about it one way or the other. Her responses to Amy's questions was so fresh and authentic and I remember thinking, "Don't change. Don't change."  Stay like you are!

As we all know, "The Hunger Games" made Jennifer Lawrence a superstar and, as all superstars should, she was fashioned into a Barbie doll, designed by none other than the acclaimed Mattel designer, Bill Greening. As a fan of the books, the movies and, of course, Barbie, I purchased each one as they were released. Earlier this week Mockingjay finally arrived and as I was removing her from her prison of plastic, I made some observations about this line of three Katniss dolls.

First and foremost, all three dolls are articulated. Let me repeat that. AR-TIC-U-LATED. And, at a decent price point of $24.95.

I have put emphasis on that quality because Barbie dolls have never had anything more than "bend knees." And, that's a crying shame for such a beloved icon as Barbie. I have doll collector friends who have swapped bodies so they could pose their Barbies in more realistic positions for photographs and display. Why can't Mattel give us articulated Barbie dolls? Okay. Maybe not every single one, but, I would love articulation for the Repro dolls in my collection, and the Barbie Basics, and the other pop culture dolls, as those seem to be the ones most appealing to adult collectors. Surely, adult collectors are a part of their business model. And, surely they want us to keep adding to our collections. Don't they?

Back to Katniss.
My Mockingjay!

The costumes for each of the dolls is quite detailed and each Katniss comes with her bow and quiver of arrows. The hairstyle on all three dolls is her braid, worn to the right side, but there are subtle differences in hair color and the treatment of the tendrils around her face from one doll to the other.

My Google research lead me to discover that she used the JLo head mold for the first doll and I saw one claim that a unique sculpt was created for the second and third dolls. I see very subtle differences between them, but, it's not glaring. In my humble opinion, all three have the same mold, but the second and third have better face screening than the first doll. Based on MegannArt's nude pic of Katniss that I found through Google, I think the body is a Model Muse body. But, I'm not an expert on these things. If you know for sure, please share.

I don't normally collect pop culture dolls, but Katniss Everdeen was a must have for me because of her literary value. She embodies the spirit we want all our girls to have. Brave. And, kind. With strong leadership skills. These are the types of characters we hope will inspire our girls and so I say "Thank You" to Suzanne Collins for creating her.

I'm also sending out a "Thank You" to Jennifer Lawrence for bringing Katniss to life on the silver screen and giving her those qualities of strength and integrity that we seek in our heroes.

I've seen the first three movies (in the theatre, then purchased on DVD) and am looking forward to the final installment in just a few weeks! I reread each book before going to the theatre, as a refresher, if you will. So, I'm currently rereading "Mockingjay" for the third time before Part 2 hits theatres. I understand why they split it into two movies. There's a lot going on!

On November 20th I will dig out my Mockingjay pin to wear on my jacket and head to the theatre with great anticipation! I will savor this one last visit with my favorite heroine, Katniss Everdeen! And, you know what else? If we had more Katniss Everdeens in the world, I am certain the world would be a better place. But, hey ... that's just me.

Now, if Mattel would kindly use the articulated body of Katniss for a few Barbies, I could find true happiness.