Barbie’s Inspiring You Can Be Anything series is back and aims to pay tribute to incredible women throughout history, so it’s fitting that they would choose such a subject for their latest doll. “Kids need more role models like Dr. Jane Goodall, because imagining they can be anything is just the beginning—seeing it makes all the difference,” says Lisa McKnight, executive VP and global head of Barbie and Dolls at Mattel.
Mattel recently unveiled the newest Barbie in its Inspiring Women series—a doll made in the likeness of world-renowned primatologist and conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall. The new Barbie doll is launched in partnership with the Jane Goodall Institute and accompanies the introduction of a number of eco-initiatives the two organizations will spearhead together. But what really makes the Jane Goodall Barbie so unique is that it is the brand’s first signature doll to be made of recycled ocean-bound plastic.
Goodall is most well-known for her ground-breaking research and field study of chimpanzees. Launched just before World Chimpanzee Day on July 14, the doll’s release also happens to perfectly coincide with the 62-year anniversary of Dr. Goodall’s first foray into the jungle of Gombe National Park in Tanzania, where she first began her immersive research when she was just 26 years old.
“I wanted a doll to be me even before this idea came up. I've seen…little girls playing with Barbie dolls and certainly at the beginning, they were all very girly girly, and I thought little girls need…some choice,” Dr. Goodall shares. “Mattel has changed its range of dolls and there's all kinds of astronauts and doctors and things like that. So many children learn about me at school. They'll be thrilled to have the Barbie doll.”
“My entire career, I’ve wanted to help inspire kids to be curious and explore the world around them—just like I did when I first traveled to Tanzania 62 years ago. I’m thrilled to partner with Barbie and encourage young children to learn from their environment and feel a sense that they can make a difference,” says Dr. Jane Goodall. “Through this partnership, I hope to inspire the next generation of eco-leaders to join me in protecting our planet and remind them they can be anything, anywhere—on the field, in the lab, and at the table.”