Barbie continues to make strides as it widens its array of dolls that represent the diversity and strength of womanhood. Releasing several new models every year, the company now has a wide selection to choose from—including dolls in the likenesses of inspiring women such as Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou, and Susan B. Anthony. As part of its Barbie Signature collection, Mattel has just released a new doll in honor of Japanese tennis champion Naomi Osaka. In 2019, Osaka was honored with a doll in her likeness as a Barbie Shero; however, Mattel’s new doll forms part of the Barbie Role Models line and will be widely available for tennis fans and avid Barbie collectors everywhere.
“I first teamed up with Barbie in 2019, and today we’re introducing the Barbie Role Model Naomi Osaka doll,” says Osaka in a Tweet announcing the news. “I hope every child is reminded that they can be and do anything.”
A four-time Grand Slam winner, Osaka represents Japan as a professional tennis player and will be competing on behalf of her country in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. But, in addition to her high Women’s Tennis Association ranking, the talented young athlete was also chosen because of her courageous use of her platform. Known to speak out on issues of human rights and racial injustice, the news of her new Barbie collaboration follows just days after she spoke out about the importance of mental health.
“Obviously Naomi’s athletic skill is unmatched, that's a fact,” says Carlyle Nuera, the designer tasked with creating the Noami Osaka Doll. “But what I personally admire the most about Naomi Osaka is how she uses her platform, the spotlight on her and her voice, to raise awareness about social justice.”
In addition to her signature curly hair and beauty marks, the Naomi Osaka Barbie Doll also sports a Nike tennis getup with a colorful brushstroke print, a replica of her Yonex tennis racket, and bright blue Nike shoes—a look inspired by an outfit she wore in the 2020 Australian Open. To make it easier to display, the doll also comes equipped with a stand. And with 22 points of articulation, the posing possibilities are endless.
The Naomi Osaka doll is currently available for $29.99. However, if you want to get your hands on one, you might be in for a long wait. After just a few days, the doll is already sold out, and there isn’t currently any indication of when it will be back in stock. But if you’re itching to purchase one as soon as possible, then head over to Barbie’s website and sign up to be notified whenever it comes back in stock.