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12B -N Michigan Daily - We~nd, etc. Magazine - Thurs, November 30, 2000 *
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THE ULTIMATE TOY CHALLENGE: G.I. JOE VERSUS BARBIE
THE MOST POWERFUL KID IN THE 'UNIVERSE'
By Luke Smith
Wily arts Writer
A three and three quarter inch tall action figure,
fully poseable and fully equipped with a complete
arsenal of weapons. Weapons of destruction, rocket
launchers M-16's with grenade launchers mounted
underneath them, all could be held and interchanged
between the soldiers. GI. Joe was more than a sim-
ple plastic toy, within the world of G.I. Joe the sol-
diers came multi-ethnic characters, intertwining plot
lines, a highly successful comic book and television
show and a major motion picture. However these
are factors that are only magnified by the presence
f the "Resident Bad-Ass."
Tie "Resident Bad-Ass" is and could have been
ans of a number of Joes or Cobras and many of the
characters filled this role. G.I. Joe didn't discrimi-
nate in assigning the "RB" title to any minority or
majority rroup. The most popular characters
throughout the tos line were Resident Bad-Asses.
Qualifications of being a Resident Bad-Ass range
and are dependent on the role of the character in the
series. the comic and, most importantly, the toy
itself. Involvement in the series was critical to estab-
lishing the rapport of the character and the way it
should be played with. Snake Eyes (the quintessen-
tial bad-ass) could be found in every kid's G.I. col-
l ction inaking plans. It was his job to take orders
and slaughter Cobra singlehandedly. G.I. Joe and
Cobra both had more than their fair share of
Resident Bad-Asses on their rosters.
Snake Eyes is arguably the most popular G.I. Joe.
He has nine different action figure versions, with a
full complement of ninja swords and machine guns
each time around. The storyline surrounding Snake
Eyes is what made him a bad-ass. He was the
I sat in my basement with hundreds of Cobras
around me. and G.I. Joe command placed carefully
in the laundry room, and sent Snake Eyes out on an By Jodie Kaufman
individual recon mission. He had to rescue Scarlett Daily Arts Writer
(his love from the comic book series). He would
creep through the carpeting, carrying a machine gun Barbie is one of the most popular toys on the
in one hand, and his broadsword in the other. market today, achieving a profit of more than S 1.5
The role of the Resident Bad-Ass wasn't con- billion in 1999, according to the Mattel Website.
stricted to the Anglo-Saxon male either. One of Average American girls between the ages of 3 and
Cobra's top executives, The Baroness, swas a bad ass, I 1 own ten Barbie dolls, which are available in
as bad as any female. more than 150 countries worldwide.
Baroness shot Scarlett Debates constantly exist as to
in the head in the whether or not Barbie is an asset
comic book and was a to today's youth. Essentially
close cohort of I, the notion of playing with
Destro's throughout Barbie is beneficial, but the
much of the television actual image she portrays is
Stalker and Quick Kick Playing Barbie allows
and, black and Asian ' girls to create a whole ,vorld
American incidentally, are a "~ of fantasy, separate from
part of the minority represen- their real life environ-
tation in the land of Resident co'rtesoEts ment. It can be an escape to
Bad-Asses. It was Stalker and a5"'r om a place they have never
who saved Snake Eves in ' been to before, or some-
Vietnam, and Quick Kick iwhere they go every-
svho halted Storm day. Barbie opens up
Shadosv many times. young girls minds.
The world of G. . increasing thercir crc-
Joc rwas as highly ativiry. Nriwadas
developed as the paint with all the roles
on the costumes they Barbie plays and is mar-
wore. Each character was carefully created keted as. she has the ability to inspire
through the television series, the movie and the today's young girls to do or be anything thev set
comic books. Thes didn't instill any values in us, their minds to do.
nor did they teach us anything about body image. When Barbie was created in the 1950s rOomen
Instead we kicked ass. The bad guys could win. endured a stereotype of domesticity. Men were the
The good guys could meet an untimely demise ones who worked outside of the home. whirile tie
with a strategically placed firecracker. G.I. Joe wornen often seen as the child rearers. Barbie gave
taught creativity, and I forged many a friendship girls a whole new outlook on life. Girls could real-
over the hot battlefields in the world of foes and lv be more dominant. They could chanue their
Cobras. image and even work outside the home.
Barbie gives girls a chance to create their own
style. With the thousands of clothing pieces the doll
has available for her uniquely sized figure, girls can
put together hundreds of dazzling outfits using their
own sense of style. Additionally, girls can play with
their hairstyles and professions. I mutilated my
dolls into my style of the moment. I cut their hair,
redesigned their clothes and, of course, lost all
those little plastic high heels they are supposed to
prance around the Barbie mansion in, which I also
had - you know the huge pink one'?
Although Barbie does offer young girls the
opportunity to gain creativity and inspiration, she is
nowhere close to presenting a real life image.
Barbie's measurements are not representative of
the most women. As children play with Barbie, they
can easily become entranced with Barbie's image
and learn to see Barbie as a body image role model.
Girls should pride themselves on inner beauty and
Barbie does not offer this component to life. Barbie
does not tell girls that it is okay to be beautiful with-
out having a size 25 waist.
Another key factor in Barbie's controversy is that
until the past year or two ago, there was no other
Barbie besides a white, blond haired bombshell,
type image available to consumers. Society is not
composed of solely white, blond haired similar
looking women. Do five-year-old children living in
a white suburb and playing Barbie know that?'
Undoubtedly not. Black Barbie is a fine addition to
the Barbie cast of characters, but that is not enough.
Barbi cneeds to come in all sizes and shapes, so that
girls can get a real sense of reality and the different
types of beautiful women in the world, not just one
specific kind. With the ability to see so many types.
girls can then use their creativity and imaginations
to help them discover themselves and the world
around them, which is the essential factor in having
a toy available to children that is truly an educa-
tional asset to their lives.
By Christopher Cousino
Daiy 'eekend. tc. writer
As the usual one goes, it's a quiet day
in the land of Eternia. Donning a maroon
frock and purple loin cloth, Young Prince
Adam rides aloft his mighty robotic
steed Stridor. His movements, swift and
agile, pound over the lush beige desert.
Woooshhh!!!! A strong breeze whis-
tes through the air, on the tails of the fly-
ing conjuror Orko, who spins in a
cyclone towards Stridor's feet. "Teela has
been taken prisoner by Trap Jaw and
Beast Man. Heeellllpppp!!" cries the
tiny frightened magician. Prince Adam
grapples the reigns, "To Greyskuil."
Instantly, Stridor's hooves rear up at
the gates of the menacing curmudgeon
of a castle. Zoom!!! The air lifts quiet as
Man-at-Arms sets his Wind Raider on
the ground. The iron clad head of Rant
Man pops out of the passenger seat.
"Prince Adam, 'eela was taken to Snake
Mountain. Skeletor must be behind this."
They hear the meow of a shivering feline
echo from a nearby bush.
Site on the
- The ie-tan and She-Ra Episode Revierr:
Th dude has i all. A hind-the-scenes look at
the entire s iies. Erenrirludes the actual
" ites ofthett'rnierse Bible:' given only to
rritrs at nimamon Animation tudios in 1983.
Food For Thought
The Women's Role
When the nurses' memorial was
proposed next to The Wall in
Washingon, D.C. i was opposed
by a congressiona oversigh
committee - until 40,000+ letters
of outrage came in from men
who were cared sr by the nurs-
es. For the nurses' sory, read
Home Before Morning, by Lynda
Gary Lillie & Associates, Realtors
QUALITY DRY CLEANING
& SHIRT SERVICE
(Across from Nickels Arcade)
"Aaarrrgghhhhh," he growls, running
toward He-Man. "Get them" whines
Skeletor standing with his captive, the
beautiful Teela. The winged hero Stratos
flies in from above, rescuing Teela. He-
Man, at the same time, flips Beast Man
off in a tumultuous ball of fur.
"Noooo," screams Skeletor. "I'll get
"Chris, it's time for dinner,' says
my mom. He-Man and Skeletor, and
all their friends - Merman,
Mech-a-Neck, Trap Jaw,
Moss Man, Whiplash,
King Randor, Jujitsu -
get tossed in a blue Sears
duffle bag. Their swords
and guns pile into a Maxwell
House coffee can.
Another fight for Eternia has
ended. And maybe, too, my
childhood fantasies of our
golden brown family room
carpet being a lush alien
desert, or the basement steps
a treacherous cave, fade away
theM t Oikt a ive se"
He4i anJtt c l eX uni erse.(I
a.mAdam psii of Eterna defene of the
secrets of Cas e GreyskultTinTis is Cringr,
my 'femiess k 'ftiB 0n s eret siers
wr e eato(i' $e den }i4 held-alt m
magi swoe-rand"'t ,B y 4. t et' of
Gret di hout of .te-ManI '144 the
powertCrin t r becat the ghty Battle
Cat/And i N e;neHe' nthelmost power-
fu man in the universeYYI tree others
share this uere/tt s C onds the
sorceress/ManantAr's 'Y o/Together
we defend Cad tS< -rrliiIom/the evil
forces of S Aer/(e e is wicked
Co rte of Fmaton
By wimam QaNdUpUrU -
UM School of Music U Dept. of Theatre & Drama
December 14- 16, 2000 at 8 PM " Power Center
Tickets $20 and $15 * Students $7 with ID
League Ticket Office " 734-764-0450
Medication-free women suffering from
depression between the ages of 18-50
are needed for treatment and research
project studying brain chemistry. There
MAY BE compensation of up to $400.00
upon completion of study.
For more information calI°936-8726.
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Thursday, Nov. 30
Stockwell Blue Lounge
Join your fellow Muslim students on campus as they break their fast in Ramadan
For more Information Contact:
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Sponsored by the Muslim Students' Association, Islamic Education Society, South Quad House Council, Stockwell Hall Council.
Stockwell Sister Council, Michigan Students Assembly, LSA, Rackham, BCS PSA, ASA. ADC