Updated: March 21, 2021 10:14:41 am
Russia’s only female cosmonaut, Anna Kikina, has inspired Barbie’s latest astronaut dolls. The brand which has evolved over the years to represent over 200 professions, chose the Russian space professional as a role model owing to her “talents, successes and personal qualities.”
The global toy maker released the new dolls, in two versions of costumes: a blue training suit and a white Orlan-type space suit. The Barbie cosmonaut dolls are produced exclusively in the image of Kikina, with the space suits adorned with her name tag along with the official logo of Roscosmos, the Russian space agency.
“Who said that conquering the vastness of the Universe is not a woman’s business? This year marks 60 years since the day when man first flew into space,” Roscosmos, said.
This new Barbie doll by Mattel, inspired by Russia’s female cosmonaut, is part of a campaign called ‘You can be whoever you want’ pic.twitter.com/OnnmgFuTIi
— Reuters (@Reuters) March 19, 2021
“Today, Anna is a role model for many: she is both strong and feminine, bold and gentle, wise and with an excellent sense of humour — a bright personality in which professionalism and warmth are harmoniously combined,” the agency said in a statement.
“As a child, I had no dream of becoming an astronaut. But if I had a Barbie astronaut doll, then the idea of becoming an astronaut would probably have risen in my head even then,” the 36-year-old cosmonaut said in an interview about the project.
“It is not necessary that every girl playing with such a Barbie wants to become an astronaut. The most important thing is that they all know that they have a choice, they have the right to choose any profession that they like,” Kikina added.
She is set to become the fourth Russian woman to go into space with a 2022 mission to the International Space Station, a decade after her admission to the cosmonaut corps, according to The Moscow Times.
The new doll is part of a campaign by Mattel called ‘You can be whoever you want’. However, the dolls are actually not for sale, company clarified, TASS reported.
The astronaut Barbies was manufactured by the toy company as part of an initiative to inspire girls and women and to mark the upcoming 60th anniversary of the first human space flight. The first female cosmonaut who became the prototype for Barbie dolls was Valentina Tereshkova, who flew into orbit in 1963.
Till date, only four Russian female cosmonauts have visited space — Tereshkova (in 1963), Svetlana Savitskaya (in 1982 and 1984), Elena Kondakova (in 1994-1995 and 1997) and Elena Serova (in 2014-2015), RIU. Ru reported.