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Though Lionsgate undoubtedly did a great job of making, releasing, and promoting the hell out of The Hunger Games, there have been more than a few instances along the way where they seemed to deliberate misunderstand the book's messages for the sake of making a buck. The first sign of this Capitol-worthy behavior came last December, when they announced a line of nail polish inspired by the garish colors worn by people in the Capitol. A beauty line inspired a movie aimed at teen girls might just seem like smart business, but The Hunger Games is about a very poor girl (Katniss, of course) who has learned how to do without, and who eventually leads a rebellion against the rich-favoring, totalitarian government of her country. Do you think Katniss has time to get a manicure in the midst of all that? Of course not.
Now with the Hunger Games Blu-Ray on its way to shelves August 21, there's yet another crass tie-in to roll our eyes at-- and this one's even more galling than the nail polish. According to THR, Target is planning to sell a number of high-end bits of Hunger Games merchandise, including a Mockingjay pin made of 14-karat gold that sells for a whopping $999. If that's not enough to satisfy your luxury needs, you can also get a replica of Kantiss's leather hunting jacket for $349.
The Mockingjay pin, if you're not familiar with the books, is the emblem you see above, a pin that Katniss's sister gives her for good luck in the Games, and that eventually becomes a symbol of Katniss's rebellion against the Capitol. It is one of the few luxury items Katniss ever encounters in District 12, as opposed to the kind of person they're assuming will buy this gold pin, who has a thousand dollars to drop on movie tie-in jewelry. The Hunger Games was praised earlier this year for tying its themes to growing concerns about income inequality in the United States, and I promise the upcoming films are only going to hit that theme harder. But if you buy this pin, and then wear to go see Catching Fire, how do you live with yourself? How do you even understand what the movie is trying to tell you?
For the record, you can buy a perfectly lovely Mockingjay pin at Amazon for about $7. In the comments there's someone complaining about it being overpriced. I'm with them.