National Geographic and Mattel are partnering on a new Barbie product line and co-branded content tied to the themes of exploration, science, storytelling and conservation. The new collection, which debuted at New York Toy Fair last weekend, is comprised of Barbie dolls representing STEAM careers, including wildlife conservation, astrophysics, polar marine biology, wildlife photojournalism and entomology.
The National Geographic dolls, available this fall, will join Barbie’s Inspiring Women series, which highlights underrepresented careers and encourages imagination, expression and discovery. The series is part of Barbie’s “You Can Be Anything” campaign, launched in 2015, which is based on the power of play and the idea that when girls play with Barbie, they imagine what they can become.
National Geographic has long used its assets to enlighten, entertain and inspire the spirit of exploration in people of all ages. Teaming up with Mattel adds another tool to its storytelling toolkit, offering a direct connection to the next generation of great explorers, scientists, filmmakers and photographers.
The dolls were created with input from an advisory council comprised of female National Geographic Explorers as well as National Geographic magazine editor in chief Susan Goldberg. The council members were consulted on all aspects of the doll design to ensure that they are as accurate and realistic as possible. In addition to representing a range of career paths, the dolls have different body types, skin tones, hair colors and facial structures. Over the past few years, Barbie has evolved to be more reflective of the world girls see around them, and the diversity found in the National Geographic line is evidence of that.
The National Geographic dolls were displayed as part of Mattel’s gallery space, as well as National Geographic Kids Books’ booth, at New York Toy Fair, which was held February 16-19, 2019, at the Javits Convention Center. During the tradeshow, Mattel hosted a breakfast event for press and influencers in the toy industry, which included a tour of the gallery showcasing many of the company’s new and upcoming products. The National Geographic display was a popular stop on the tour.
In October 2018, Barbie announced The Dream Gap Project, a multiyear global initiative to raise awareness around limiting factors that prevent girls from reaching their full potential. As part of this initiative, Barbie is dedicated to funding research, highlighting positive role models and rallying a community around supporting girls.
The National Geographic dolls are an example of Barbie’s commitment to #CloseTheDreamGap through empowering products that enable all girls to play out their dreams. The dolls and accompanying career playsets will be priced between $14.99 to $29.99 when they hit stores in Fall 2019.