Naomi Osaka releases Barbie Role Model doll: ‘Every child can be, do anything’
Mattel executive Lisa McKnight noted how "incredibly honored" the company is to feature Osaka in such a manner.
Mattel announced on Monday that the company has released a limited edition Naomi Osaka Barbie doll — and it almost immediately sold out.
The doll is part of the Barbie Role Model collection, which launched in 2015. Previous honorees have included pioneering Olympics fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, gymnast Gabby Douglas, Black-ish and Grown-ish star actress Yara Shahidi, historic NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson and ballet dancer Misty Copeland.
The 2021 collection includes Osaka and soccer player Alex Morgan.
“It’s such an honor to be a part of the Barbie Role Model series and to remind young girls that they can make a difference in the world,” Osaka said in a statement Monday. “I want young girls everywhere to feel empowered to dream big and to know that if they believe in themselves that anything is possible!”
Mattel senior ranking executive Lisa McKnight noted how “incredibly honored” the company was to feature Osaka in such a manner.
“She has paved the way for future generations of girls to dream bigger, and through her unwavering courage and honesty, shown the world the importance of being your own biggest champion,” said McKnight. “Naomi continues to break boundaries on and off the court and is a powerful role model to fans everywhere.”
Osaka shared photos of her Barbie doll on her Twitter page, where she wrote, “I first teamed up with @Barbie in 2019, and today we’re introducing the Barbie Role Model Naomi Osaka doll. I hope every child is reminded that they can be and do anything.”
She also shared the “fun fact” that her Barbie is “wearing my outfit from the 2020 Australian Open.”
In that memorable match, Osaka defeated Serena Williams and later said during a press conference, “I want her to play forever. That’s the little kid in me.”
“Obviously Naomi’s athletic skill is unmatched, that’s a fact,” Mattel designer Carlyle Nuera said. “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.”
Her Barbie, which retails for $29.99, sold out in hours.