A new Barbie doll modeled after tennis phenom Naomi Osaka sold out hours after its release on Monday, July 12.
The doll is part of the Barbie Role Model series. Holding a replica of a Yonex tennis racket, the $29.99 doll sports a Nike tennis dress and a white visor, an outfit Osaka shared via Twitter that she wore at the 2020 Australian Open. The movable doll makes the second Barbie in Osaka’s likeness released by Mattel, the toy manufacturing company behind Barbie. Osaka first partnered with Mattel in 2019 when a doll was created in her honor as part of Barbie’s Shero line. The tennis player shared the exciting news about her new doll on her Instagram.
The 23-year-old who became the first Japanese player in history to win a Grand Slam at the U.S. Open in 2018 uploaded a photo of the doll. Osaka, who also in 2019, won another Grand Slam tournament and reached number one in the Women’s Tennis Association rankings, said she hopes other children will find inspiration through the doll.
“Teamed up with Barbie back in 2019 but this time it’s officially official because today I’m introducing the Barbie Role Model Naomi Osaka doll.” The series is a part of Barbie’s “Dream Gap Project” initiative that aims to “introduc[e] girls to women’s stories from all walks of life to show them they can be anything.”
Osaka, who also uses her platform to speak out about issues surrounding human rights, added, “I really hope every child is reminded that they can be and do anything. This is really seeing a dream of mine come to life, having your own Barbie and potentially seeing little kids playing with it. Omg 😭🥰❤️”
In an Instagram post, Barbie also shared two photos of the doll with a post that reads, “Breaking records and inspiring the next generation 🎾 We are proud to announce athlete and change maker @NaomiOsaka as the newest Barbie Role Model doll! Naomi inspires us to have the courage to reach for our dreams, and reminds us to be your own biggest champion. 🙌 #YouCanBeAnything #Barbie.”
Barbie doll designer Carlyle Nuera, who also designed Osaka’s doll, said, “Obviously Naomi’s athletic skill is unmatched, that’s a fact. 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.”
During the 2020 U.S. Open, Osaka wore seven different face masks bearing the names of a Black person who was a victim of racial injustice. This includes Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.
She also has spoken out publicly about mental health, after withdrawing for mental health reasons she cited from the French Open and Wimbledon this year.