National Geographic is teaming up with Mattel to bring kids a new line of travel-themed Barbie dolls, with an emphasis on science and conservation careers in which women are traditionally underrepresented. National Geographic has long been known for its work in trying to encourage not just travel, but conservation, and for encouraging children to take an interest in the world around them.
National Geographic already has a 'kids' section of their website and a kids version of the classic magazine, as well as an existing line of toys and games that hope to encourage learning through play. Barbie, meanwhile, has been working hard lately to show that they are encouraging positive role models, with dolls with diverse body shapes and physical abilities. These new dolls are a perfect combination of the two companies' aims when it comes to encouraging kids.
The new line of Barbies will hit stores this fall, and includes dolls with travel and conservation careers including Polar Marine Biologist, Photojournalist, Astrophysicist, Wildlife Conservationist, and Entomologist (also known as the Butterfly Scientist). As always, each doll will come with the appropriate outfits and accessories for these roles, and the line will also include a special jet and helicopter for the dolls to fly to their work in.
A spokesperson for the company said that they hope the line will inspire young girls to see that they can do anything, including careers that are male-dominated.
Through our partnership with Barbie, we are excited to reach kids in a new way, using the power of play to inspire our next generation of explorers, scientists and photographers
Of course, this is not the first ever Barbie to come out with a Travel theme. However, it will be the first that is created in conjunction with Nat Geo, and that focuses on career travel, rather than luxury holidays. Previous travel Barbies come with pink passports and rolling suitcases, as well as 'beachy' travel outfits. These look a lot more like rich women on vacation, whereas the new line will be focusing on exploration over tanning. Air Stewardess/Flight Attendant Barbies have also been long-available, although this career is focused more on service than travel, and certainly doesn't challenge the pretty, preppy Barbie brand.
It's fantastic to see National Geographic and Barbie reaching out to create a new toy line that will encourage young girls (and children of all genders) to consider careers in male-dominated fields.
Source: Travel & Leisure