Barbie launches Jane Goodall doll, and it comes with a chimpanzee

Click to play video: 'Barbie unveils new doll in honour of British primatologist Jane Goodall'
Barbie unveils new doll in honour of British primatologist Jane Goodall
Toymaker Mattel has unveiled a Dr. Jane Goodall Barbie as part of its "Inspiring Women" series. The doll is a nod to Goodall’s conservation efforts as a primatologist and groundbreaking chimpanzee research – Jul 13, 2022

British primatologist and conservationist Jane Goodall has been made into a Barbie doll, fulfilling a longtime wish of hers to see more diversity in toys marketed to young girls.

“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,” Goodall, 88, told Reuters.

Goodall’s Barbie is part of the brand’s “Inspiring Women” series. Other dolls in the campaign include Ida B. Wells, Maya Angelou, Billie Jean King and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Read more: Bear seen in viral TikTok video approaching woman at B.C. bus stop has been put down

Read next: Rent control: What tenants should know as rental prices surge across Canada  

The doll was unveiled on Tuesday to coincide with the 62nd anniversary of Goodall’s first visit to Gombe National Park in Tanzania, where she began her journey as a pioneering researcher into the then-understudied chimpanzee.

Story continues below advertisement

The Barbie is dressed in a khaki shirt and shorts and is holding a notebook with a pair of binoculars around her neck. Goodall’s doll is accompanied by a figurine of David Greybeard, the first chimpanzee to trust the primatologist as she conducted her research in the 1960s.

An image of Jane Goodall's Barbie accompanied by David Greybeard, a chimpanzee that Goodall studied in Tanzania in 1960.
An image of Jane Goodall’s Barbie accompanied by David Greybeard, a chimpanzee that Goodall studied in Tanzania in 1960. Mattel

On the same day, Mattel Inc. also released a line called the “2022 Career of the Year Eco-Leadership” doll set, which includes Barbies that are chief sustainability officers, conservation scientists, renewable energy engineers and environmental advocates.

The dolls in this series, which aims to “highlight career fields in which women are underrepresented,” as well as Goodall’s doll, are made of recycled ocean-bound plastics and have been certified as carbon neutral by Climate Impact Partners.

In 1960, Goodall discovered that chimpanzees make and use tools much like humans do, by immersing herself in their habitat and observing their complex society up close. In 1977, she established the Jane Goodall Institute to further study the animals and advocate for the conservation of the chimpanzee’s natural habitat.

Story continues below advertisement

Read more: Cosmic cliffs, dancing galaxies — James Webb Telescope’s 1st photos dazzle

Read next: Carnivore seastars tie with polar bears as top predators of Arctic, study finds

But before her achievements in academia and conservation, Goodall told CBS News that she was just a kid who liked animals.

“I was born loving and being fascinated by animals. And because I loved animals, people gave me animal toys,” she said.

Click to play video: 'Jane Goodall on breaking boundaries in exploration, science and gender roles'
Jane Goodall on breaking boundaries in exploration, science and gender roles

She hopes that this Barbie modelled in her image will help encourage young people to get involved in environmentalism.

Read more: Simone Biles mistaken for child, offered colouring book on recent flight

Read next: Tyre Nichols’ death undermines ‘police credibility’ globally, Canadian chiefs say

“I sincerely hope that it will help to create more interest and fascination in the natural world,” she told CBS. “It doesn’t really matter if they have a career in conservation, as long as they live conservation in their daily lives.”

Story continues below advertisement

Barbie is also partnering with the Jane Goodall Institute’s Roots & Shoots program, aimed at empowering young people to protect animals and the ecosystem.

“You know, the main message is every day you live, you make an impact on the planet and you get to choose what sort of impact you make,” Goodall said.

— With files from Reuters

Sponsored content