Jane Goodall and Barbie may not be an immediately obvious combination to the minds of those who associate Barbie dolls with high heels and handbags rather than khaki and binoculars.
Nonetheless, in partnership with the Jane Goodall Institute, Mattel has announced the introduction of a "Dr Jane Goodall Inspiring Women Doll" aimed, said the company, at providing kids with role models that provide perspective.
"Kids need more role models like Dr. Jane Goodall, because imagining they can be anything is just the beginning, seeing it makes all the difference," Lisa McKnight, executive vice president and global head of Barbie and dolls for Mattel Inc., said in a news release.
The Jane Goodall doll will join other dolls in the Mattel "Inspiring Women" collection that also includes Ida B. Wells, Maya Angelou, Billie Jean King and Eleanor Roosevelt
Mattel is also launching a new career doll series called the 2022 Barbie Career of The Year Eco-Leadership Team, which includes a chief sustainability officer, conservation scientist, renewable energy engineer and environmental advocate. Both the Goodall doll and career doll set are certified CarbonNeutral by Climate Impact Partners, specialists in carbon neutrality and climate finance. The dolls are made from 90 percent recycled ocean-bound plastic sourced within 50 kilometers of waterways in areas lacking formal waste collection systems.
"We hope that this collection and homage to a groundbreaking pioneer for women in science and conservation inspires kids to learn more about green careers, how they can protect the planet, and act out sustainable stories through doll play," explained McKnight.
The dolls have gone on sale in time for World Chimpanzee Day on July 14.
The launch also coincides with the 62-year anniversary of the ethologist's first journey to the forest of Gombe National Park in Tanzania.
Goodall said that her entire career, she wanted to help inspire kids to be curious and explore the world around them,"just like I did when I first travelled to Tanzania 62 years ago."
"I'm thrilled to partner with Barbie and encourage young children to learn from their environment and feel a sense that they can make a difference," Goodall said in the release. "Through this partnership, I hope to inspire the next generation of eco-leaders to join me in protecting our planet and remind them they can be anything, anywhere — on the field, in the lab, and at the table."
Barbie is entering a global partnership with the Jane Goodall Institute and its global youth Roots & Shoots program to inspire curiosity about the environment in kids of all ages and teach them about their social and environmental impact.
The toymaker also is issuing a challenge under the #NaturallyCuriousJane hashtag encouraging kids to discover the steps they can take to promote change, including creating a nature observation journal, community mapping and increasing local green spaces.
The brand is also highlighting Goodall through a special episode of the Barbie You Can Be Anything series on the brand's YouTube channel.