Barbie is honoring COVID-19 first responders with a new line of "medical role model" dolls.
The six-doll collection was created to highlight the valiant deeds frontline workers have taken throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Mattel selected six women who proved to be real-life heroes in the medical field during this global health crisis and designed "one-of-a-kind" Barbie dolls in their image.
"With over 200 careers, Barbie has done it all in an effort to inspire girls to believe that they can be anything," Mattel's SVP and global head of Barbie and Dolls, Lisa McKnight, exclusively told FOX Business. "Now it’s our turn to be inspired as we honor these real-life heroes and continue to leverage Barbie’s platform to shine a light on the courageous women selflessly leading the world through the pandemic."
Representing the U.S. are registered nurse Amy O’Sullivan from Staten Island, New York, and internal medicine physician Audrey Sue Cruz from Las Vegas, Nevada.
O’Sullivan made headlines in March last year for treating NYC’s first known COVID-19 patient in Brooklyn at the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center. A few days following her exposure to the first patient, O’Sullivan displayed coronavirus symptoms and had to be intubated but ultimately returned to the emergency room where she worked to treat other patients.
Her selfless dedication earned her a spot as TIME magazine’s September cover star on The 100 Most Influential People Of 2020 list.
Cruz has worked throughout the pandemic as a full-time hospitalist and faculty member at the Loma Linda University Medical Center in California. When Cruz isn’t blogging about wellness, she’s been fighting racial bias and discrimination alongside other Asian American healthcare workers, Mattel reports.
Making up the rest of Barbie medical role model line are Chika Stacy Oriuwa, Sarah Gilbert, Jaqueline Góes de Jesus and Kirby White.
Oriuwa is a Canadian psychiatrist who specializes in treating children and adolescents at the University of Toronto. Throughout the pandemic, she’s advocated against systemic racism in the healthcare industry, which has impacted people of color, according to multiple studies.
Gilbert, a British professor of vaccinology at the University of Oxford led COVID-19 vaccine development that played an instrumental role in the U.K. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Gilbert had made strides in malaria vaccine research.
Góes de Jesus, a Brazilian biomedical researcher and scientist at the University of São Paulo, worked on genome sequencing of the COVID-19 Alpha variant (SARS-CoV-2Lineage B.1.1.7) that has been infecting people in Brazil. Her team was recognized by the Legislative Assembly of Bahia in March 2020 for successfully sequencing the genome in 48 hours.
White is an Australian specialist general practitioner who co-founded Gowns for Doctors, a crowd-funded initiative that created reusable PPE gowns for frontline workers in Victoria. When she’s not distributing gowns, White practices medicine at The GP Clinic Bendigo.
Parents can purchase the one-of-a-kind dolls on barbie.com or in retail stores starting Aug. 4.
Mattel has also partnered with Target on a donation campaign that will benefit the First Responders Children’s Foundation (FRCF).
The toy giant will donate $5 to the FRCF for every eligible paramedic, nurse and doctor Barbie doll sold at a participating Target store. The campaign will run until Aug. 28 and has max contribution of $50,000.
This charitable initiative is a continuation of Mattel’s #ThankYouHeroes program, a signature campaign the company started in May 2020 shortly after the coronavirus pandemic started.