Last Monday toy giant Mattel released a barbie doll modeled after young tennis star Naomi Osaka and it reportedly sold out within just a few hours of being released. The doll is a part of the Barbie Role Model series which also includes the likes of iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, Olympic gymnasts Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman, Grown-ish actor Yara Shahidi and model Ashley Graham, among many others.
The new doll depicts the 23-year-old athlete showing off her natural hair, holding a Yonex tennis racket and wearing what she says is the Nike outfit she wore to the Australian Open in 2020. “I hope every child is reminded that they can be and do anything,” she tweeted when the doll was released. Naomi, who was.born in Japan to a Haitian father and Japanese mother, previously collaborated with Mattel in 2019 as part of the toy company’s Barbie “Shero” line.
Fun fact : (the doll is wearing my outfit from the 2020 Australian Open lol) pic.twitter.com/DlL98lNfQj
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) July 12, 2021
“It’s such an honor to be a part of the Barbie Role Model series, and to remind young girls that they can make a difference in the world. I want young girls everywhere to feel empowered to dream big and to know that if they believe in themselves that anything is possible,” Naomi said in a statement.
The four-time Grand Slam winner is the first Japanese-born player to win a Grand Slam and the first Asian player to be ranked No.1 by the Women’s Tennis Association. She made headlines in May 2021 when she backed out of the French Open after being fined for skipping media obligations in an attempt to protect her mental well-being. She’s set to return to the court playing for Japan during the Tokyo Olympics.
“She has paved the way for future generations of girls to dream bigger, and through her unwavering courage and honesty, shown the world the importance of being your own biggest champion. Naomi continues to break boundaries on and off the court and is a powerful role model to fans everywhere,” Lisa McKnight, SVP and Global Head of Barbie and Dolls at Mattel said, Black Enterprise reported.
Leading up to the long-awaited Olympic Games, Naomi has nabbed a slew of brand endorsements including Levi’s, Louis Vuitton and Panasonic, and she’s appeared on a number of magazine covers including Vogue and most recently, the Sports Illustrated (SI) Swimsuit Edition.
“I feel like that multi-cultural background is present in all of the things that I do. I try to incorporate that in everything, so hopefully you’ll see that,” Naomi told SI. She has been a vocal social activist and supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, wearing the names of Black victim of police violence on her masks during games.
Naomi Osaka's masks at the #USOpen:
— First round: Breonna Taylor.
— Second round: Elijah McClain.
— Third round: Ahmaud Arbery.
— Fourth round: Trayvon Martin.
— Quarterfinal: George Floyd. pic.twitter.com/1VEwDY12sI
— Dylan Stableford (@stableford) September 8, 2020
Though the new Naomi Osaka Barbie is currently unavailable on Amazon, from other online retailers or via the Mattel site, fans are hoping they’ll be able to nab one in time for the holidays. The doll normally sells for $29.99 and can be purchased for upwards of $100 via auction and resale sites like Ebay and Mercari.