– For the love of music!  Serving Boston and Greater New England.

HorrorPops Sue Mattel Over Rockabilly Barbie

January 5, 2011 by  
Filed under Daily Music News

HorrorPops are suing Mattel over their “Hard Rock Barbie Doll” claiming that it’s a ripped off version of lead singer Patricia Day.  Day alleges that Mattel stole the likeness from their Hell Yeah Album cover (pictured to the left.)  In her complaint Day states “as a feminist objects to being made into a doll and subjected to “the erotic male gaze … a vision that runs contrary and antithetical to everything for which Mattel’s Barbie line stands.”

According to this report on : “Day says her fans recognize her from “her black hair meticulously done in 50’s pin-up fashion; her retro hairstyle juxtaposed against conspicuous and heavily applied black eye shadow and liner and deep red lipstick; her form-fitting ’50s-style pencil skirts that go just past the knees; her full-color ‘sleeve tattoos’ on both upper arms; and, most importantly, her distinctive instrumental extension of her personality: her giant tattooed upright bass. This final element – the giant tattooed upright bass (also known as a bass fiddle or double bass) – has become a singularly distinctive hallmark of Day’s public persona.”

The doll appears to be part of a collection Mattel released that includes Debbie Harry, Joan Jett and Cyndi Lauper, all of whom Mattel allegedly paid for their likeness.

Here’s our side by side comparison – what do you think?

The Barbie is available for purchase here and you can check out our full gallery of live HorrorPops photos here

Be Sociable, Share!


10 Responses to “HorrorPops Sue Mattel Over Rockabilly Barbie”
  1. Christy says:

    It is pretty close, especially compared to some other pics of HorrorPops as well as this one. The only difference I see is Barbie doesn’t have streaks and she is wearing (gasp) pink.

  2. Lochtessmonster says:

    As another female upright bassist who has been a rockabilly kid for 20 years, this doll looks more like me than Patricia. It could just as easily be me, her, or any other long black-haired rockabilly chick. I think that it’s great that we’re being recognized in a way that shows tattooed, gorgeous rockabilly girls as just that. If it were based off of her, I’m sure her name would be all over it. Going so far as to sue Mattel over what is clearly a generalized and glorious image of girls in our scene (using an upright is just an accessory that people associate with our genre anyway) is pretty vain and selfish. I for one, am buying one. It’s a commemoration and glorification of things that are generally overlooked as beautiful by mainstream society.

  3. Ashley says:

    It is NOT part of the Debbie Harry, Cyndi Lauper, and Joan Jett collection – those dolls are part of the “Ladies of the 80s” series and are Pink Label. This doll is part of the Hard Rock Cafe series of Gold Label dolls, each which represent a genre or mishmash of genres such as Goth Punk Barbie from 2008 in this series. This doll is just a generic rockabilly woman. I think it’s ridiculous that this singer is trying to claim red lipstick and retro hair – I guess she should sue the whole scene. What a douche bag move. She mentions her half-sleeves, too, but the doll only has one arm done. Is she trying to lay claim to tattoos? Haha! Her whole genre is about imitating a look… how ironic!

  4. Jane says:

    i think its ridicules since this barbie looks like every “bettie” out there…and nothing like her…really?? i have pinup friends that look more like this doll than she does.

  5. Burt Blood says:

    all i’m going to say is that they are both PLASTIC

  6. Stupid lawsuit. I think the Barbie looks NOTHING like Patricia Day, much less that cover photo!

    She lost my respect for throwing this temper tantrum of a lawsuit. I hope she loses it!

  7. First off I love the HorrorPops. But I agree with alot of people here. This is not for the Woman of 80’s line nor is it to be of a specific musician. It is to symbolize rockabilly woman as a whole. In all honesty I think it’s pretty bad ass to finally see Barbie not her typical blonde hair, California bikini wearing self. She looks much hotter with some tattoos, retro clothing and pin up hair in my opinion. I would actually love to own this one for my curio cabinet. I think it is one worth actually purchasing.

  8. I agree with some of your points but also maybe Mattel slightly skewed her image so as to avoid having to get approval. Sure Patrica Day’s look is familiar and common in the rockabilly scene but can you think of anyone who is a popular as her with that look in the psychobilly scene? Also, how many musicians out there look like Debbie Harry, Joan Jett or Cyndi Lauper? A lot as well. But they are the most well known artists who look like that.


Check out what others are saying about this post...
  1. New on TWRY: HorrorPops Sue Mattel Over Rockabilly Barbie (

  2. @horrorpops sues Mattel over Rockabilly Barbie #teampatriciaday

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

This blog is kept spam free by WP-SpamFree.