Last year, Mattel released a line of Fisher-Price frontline worker action figures to honor the real-life delivery drivers and medical professionals saving lives and carrying us through the pandemic. The products were part of Mattel’s #ThankYouHeroes initiative, and a portion of the profits was donated to charity.
The latest phase of the campaign, as Nerdist reports, is a line of Barbies made to look like six specific healthcare workers from the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19. There’s Amy O’Sullivan, a New York emergency room nurse who treated Brooklyn’s first COVID-19 patient, contracted the virus herself, and continued to care for patients after a harrowing recovery; Dr. Audrey Sue Cruz, a Las Vegas doctor who’s used her social media platform to combat disinformation and racism against the AAPI population; Dr. Chika Stacy Oriuwa, a University of Toronto psychiatry resident raising awareness about systemic racism in healthcare; vaccinology professor Sarah Gilbert, who spearheaded the creation of the University of Oxford’s vaccine; Dr. Jaqueline Goes de Jesus, a Brazilian biomedical researcher who, with others, sequenced the genome of a COVID-19 variant; and Dr. Kirby White, an Australian doctor who helped invent a washable surgical gown during the PPE shortage.
The dolls are more of a symbol than a toy; in other words, they’re not for sale. But other healthcare Barbies are on the market, including a paramedic, a doctor, and a nurse. And for every one of those dolls purchased from Target through August 28, Mattel will donate $5 to the First Responders Children’s Foundation (FRCF), which helps provide for the children of first responders.
“This exciting new partnership with Mattel, Barbie, and Target will support our Power of Play program, which focuses on the social, emotional, and behavioral wellbeing of children,” FRCF president Jillian Crane said in a press release. “These special Barbie dolls give children the opportunity to role-play with everyday heroes who show up for us in emergencies 365 days a year.”