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NEWS: Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sport Climbing Barbie Doll Launched

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 UKC News 22 Feb 2020
Toy manufacturers Mattel have launched a new range of Barbie, Hot Wheels and Uno toys and games with an Olympic theme, featuring the five new sports added to the Olympic programme in Tokyo - sport climbing, baseball/softball, surfing, karate and skateboarding.

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1
 Clare Dean 22 Feb 2020
In reply to UKC News:

Sport climbing Barbie and camping fun Barbie don't hang out together. Camping fun Barbie thinks that sport climbing Barbie is shallow and only cares about grade chasing, doesn't take the time to appreciate nature and enjoy just being in the mountains...

 Lankyman 22 Feb 2020
In reply to UKC News:

Is Ken all right with this?

 daWalt 22 Feb 2020
In reply to UKC News:

I'm holding on for the Ken doll, the (un)limited edition version, with "unwanted beta" voice

1
In reply to Clare Dean:

I thought about creating a whole narrative about this but decided not to let the 5 year old me get too carried away! 

(and yes, Ken too, etc....) 

 thommi 22 Feb 2020
In reply to UKC News:

From the image, I have a few concerns about her safety at the crag. Still at least she looks like a climber, and we all know that's what it all about. 👍 In reality my little girls are extremely excited about this... 😊

 Andy Farnell 22 Feb 2020
In reply to UKC News:

I'm waiting for trad climbing Barbie, complete with Helly Hanson fleece, Ron Hills, a rack of hexes on rope and clip on beard accessories.

Andy F

1
 Lankyman 22 Feb 2020
In reply to Andy Farnell:

> I'm waiting for trad climbing Barbie, complete with Helly Hanson fleece, Ron Hills, a rack of hexes on rope and clip on beard accessories.

Ah, that'll be Bumbly Barbie. And don't forget those all-important red socks.

1
 Rad 22 Feb 2020

Next up: Bouldering Barbie, whose biceps are bigger and emblazoned with Red Bull tattoos. She comes with several colors of KT Tape to protect and decorate her shoulders and knees, a stovetop veggie steamer, a stick clip with a brush, an adorable dog, and a euro van with a bed that doubles as a bouldering pad. Ken not needed.

 NicholasHart 23 Feb 2020
In reply to Rad:

> Next up: Bouldering Barbie, whose biceps are bigger and emblazoned with Red Bull tattoos. She comes with several colors of KT Tape to protect and decorate her shoulders and knees, a stovetop veggie steamer, a stick clip with a brush, an adorable dog, and a euro van with a bed that doubles as a bouldering pad. Ken not needed.

And a beanie

 felt 23 Feb 2020
In reply to UKC News:

I'm looking for a Barbie Grylls. Does George Foreman do a range?

 kevin stephens 23 Feb 2020
In reply to UKC News:

Are these full size robotic belay bunnies?

3
Deadeye 23 Feb 2020
In reply to thommi:

> From the image, I have a few concerns about her safety at the crag.

It's quite an impressive list of no-nos!

 Oceanrower 23 Feb 2020
In reply to UKC News:

A woman goes into a toy shop to buy her daughter a Barbie doll for her birthday...

"Well," says the shop assistant, "Which one do you want? We have quite a range of Barbie dolls now."

"There's surfer Barbie. It comes with a bikini, surfboard, campervan and that's £19.95."

"Then there's horsie Barbie. Comes with jodpurs, saddle and a model horse. That's £19.95"

"Then there's climber Barbie. That comes with a harness, chalk bag, quickdraws etc. That's £19.95"

"And lastly there divorced Barbie. That's £247.50"

"F*ck me" says the surprised customer, "What does that come with?"

"Ken's house, Ken's car, Ken's motorbike, Ken's pension..." replies the assistant...  

8
 Max factor 23 Feb 2020
In reply to UKC News:

It works. My 6 yo daughter wants one. I can't decide if this is a good or a bad thing.

Post edited at 16:50
In reply to Max factor:

> It works. My 6 yo daughter wants one. I can't decide if this is a good or a bad thing.

And at last someone had actually questioned whether this Barbie Doll is a positive thing or not! Well?

4
In reply to Robert Durran:

Well she is a bit on the thin side! But in general having dolls doing things like climbing, camping, surfing rather than cooking is a good thing I think.

 john arran 23 Feb 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

My first thought when I saw this was: where can I get one for my 6 yo daughter? They're going to be playing with dolls anyway so far better they represent active girls doing fun stuff.

In reply to john arran:

> My first thought when I saw this was: where can I get one for my 6 yo daughter? They're going to be playing with dolls anyway so far better they represent active girls doing fun stuff.

My first thought was that we were inevitably going to get another classic UKC gender stereotyping/sexism/cyborg conflagration (it is, after all a super-thin blond, blue eyed, tight pink shorted, sport climbing Barbie doll!), but I decided not to risk lighting the touch paper in case I got my fingers burnt......

Post edited at 20:20
5
 john arran 23 Feb 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

> My first thought was that we were inevitably going to get another classic UKC gender stereotyping/sexism/cyborg conflagration (it is, after all a super-thin blond, blue eyed, tight pink shorted, sport climbing Barbie doll!), but I decided not to risk lighting the touch paper in case I got my fingers burnt......

Well it just so happens that my daughter is a thin blue-eyed blonde who likes to wear tight pink shorts and has been known to come sport climbing. I think the stereotype, in this case, is pretty accurate!

 Max factor 23 Feb 2020
In reply to john arran:

> My first thought when I saw this was: where can I get one for my 6 yo daughter? They're going to be playing with dolls anyway so far better they represent active girls doing fun stuff.

True. I'd rather this than most of the unicorn/princess/mermaid stuff that must be 80% of what you can buy.

In reply to john arran:

> Well it just so happens that my daughter is a thin blue-eyed blonde who likes to wear tight pink shorts and has been known to come sport climbing. I think the stereotype, in this case, is pretty accurate!

But what message does it send to a not so thin "average" young girl?

9
 hang_about 23 Feb 2020
In reply to UKC News:

20+ posts in and nobody's asked "what has she ever done on grit?"

The world's gone mad....

In reply to hang_about:

Someone did on the Facebook comments!

 matthew jones 24 Feb 2020
In reply to daWalt:

Yeah, he can be a pain in the arse at the crag.

 BnB 24 Feb 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

> But what message does it send to a not so thin "average" young girl?

My thoughts entirely. If anyone here has a young daughter yet did not immediately bridle at Barbie’s extreme thinness, then they may be in for an almighty shock when her late teens arrive and Ana comes calling.

6
 thommi 24 Feb 2020
In reply to BnB:

Look, I'm sorry, but let's not get carried away here. My eldest loves dolls and Barbies and let me tell you that they (Mattel?) have tried really hard (and done quite well in my opinion) to tackle to diversity thing. The ones now available represent a fairly healthy and diverse group of plastic persons. Barbie herself has always been slim. That's not her fault, and to discriminate against people who are thin, or blonde etc isn't on a either. The different shapes, colours and abilities of people are reflected in the other Barbie toys available now. Remember, this is an Olympic sport climbing Barbie, and I think that the body type of the doll is not unrepresentative of the body type of real life Olympic sport climbing people.

1
 BnB 24 Feb 2020
In reply to thommi:

I’m not getting carried away. I’m still shuddering at the memory of my daughter’s anorexia. Two years of hell that I would not wish on anyone.

There’s been an encouraging shift in recent years with the use of “normal woman” models in much of the fashion world, and it’s about time that Barbie reflected the same. Barbie is diverse in skin and career nowadays, but she is always thin. Yes, plenty of female athletes have tall, skinny bodies, but most young girls do not. Only last week, Taylor Swift, the very mirror of a Barbie doll, owned up to her eating disorder.

Post edited at 08:05
9
 DerwentDiluted 24 Feb 2020
In reply to UKC News:

I'm eagerly awaiting the release of 'Berbi' so I can introduce my young niece to the thrilling world of gender equal north African goat herding.

Post edited at 08:15
 MeMeMe 24 Feb 2020
In reply to thommi:

> and I think that the body type of the doll is not unrepresentative of the body type of real life Olympic sport climbing people.

Have you looked at its arms? The only reason Barbie might be able to do a pull up is that the rest of it is so skinny too!

She might be able to do okay in lead but she's never going to get anywhere in the bouldering...

1
 wercat 24 Feb 2020
In reply to hang_about:

> 20+ posts in and nobody's asked "what has she ever done on grit?"

I believe she does quite well on plastic though.

In reply to thommi:

> Remember, this is an Olympic sport climbing Barbie, and I think that the body type of the doll is not unrepresentative of the body type of real life Olympic sport climbing people.

There are undoubtedly some top female climbers built like stick insects, but it is stereotyping to say it is representative. Girls buying the doll in this country are most likely to see Shauna Coxsey as their role model and she is not built like that.

 thommi 24 Feb 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

Maybe, but it's not a Shauna doll is it? It's Barbie. I think everyone is getting hung up on stuff for the sake of it. I'm honestly surprised that no-one is spitting feathers yet about this being the thin(ner) end of wedge of commercialism in climbing. Look, if this gets kids excited about climbing who may not have otherwise, then that's great. If kids who already like climbing (like mine) like the doll because it's doing something that they can identify with, then that is also great. The Barbie doll collection, for the record, does include females with different body shapes (contrary to the statement in the replies above), but the one in the picture was Barbie herself. It would be far more concerning if her body shape were to fluctuate wildly. Instead Barbie stays the same, but her 'friends' represent a more diverse brush stroke of life. And to be clear, I said that Barbie was not unrepresentative of some sports climbing folk, but I did not say that she was representative. I am fully aware of the wide range of shapes and sizes that make up both sport (within a narrower bracket) and life. 

 Hat Dude 24 Feb 2020
In reply to Andy Farnell:

> I'm waiting for trad climbing Barbie, complete with Helly Hanson fleece, Ron Hills, a rack of hexes on rope and clip on beard accessories.

And her partner the "Ken Wilson" doll

 daWalt 24 Feb 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

If it's going to make you uncomfortable about your body image, don't buy one. 

Stick with leggo

1
 john arran 24 Feb 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Girls buying the doll in this country are most likely to see Shauna Coxsey as their role model and she is not built like that.

Strangely enough, my 6 yo asked whether they'd modelled the doll on "Shauny" as she thought it looked like her

 wercat 24 Feb 2020
In reply to Hat Dude:

> And her partner the "Ken Wilson" doll


complete with an array of huge hexes

 wercat 24 Feb 2020

she probably climbs better than the 1960s Action Man mountaineer, though we don't know how many bags of chips he eats in training

 yelotango 24 Feb 2020
In reply to thommi:

I`m concerned that camping fun barbie is all set for a via ferrata with a homemade rope lanyard with no form of shock absorber, does the equivalent Ken version come with the explanation of fall factors? Also, chalk bag but no gloves so no cable hauling?

Post edited at 20:00
 pebbles 24 Feb 2020
In reply to Clare Dean:

I'm a bit worried for sport climbing barbie's health! She seems to be attached to the rope by only a qd, with a wide open gate clipped through a belay plate at one end and the upper loop of her harness at the other...and wtaf is that chalk bag and qd arrangement. Sport climbing barbie's gonna die.....

 sn 25 Feb 2020
In reply to pebbles:

And at least camping fun Barbie wears a helmet (though not sure it's an essential camping item?)

The plastic harness looks pretty painful, though probably OK if you're plastic in any case...

Post edited at 08:32
 pebbles 25 Feb 2020
In reply to sn:

Couldn't quite work out why camping fun barbie was actually a climbing barbie. She's certainly got a practically sized trad rucksac. 

Must admit if I found either in a charity shop they'd be straight on my shelf,  joking aside they're a million miles better role models  for small girls than Simpering Princess Barbie.

 Will Hunt 25 Feb 2020
In reply to UKC News:

Why has a Kickstarter not been set up for the Ken (Wilson) doll yet? It could have a pullstring that makes it shriek things like "NO MORE BOLTS ON PEAK LIMESTONE"; "THIN END OF THE WEDGE"; "DEATH TO PUERILE TICKERS" etc etc etc 

And it could come with a range of dress-up fibre pile accessories.

1
 Toerag 25 Feb 2020
In reply to UKC News:

My Daughter has the Disney princess dolls and Lotti dolls. She makes nothing of their differing shapes, they're just dolls. Kids don't care about things we think they care about, they just want to play.

In reply to UKC News:

Mattel are also presenting sponsor of the PanAm Olympic Qualifier, which is taking place this week: https://www.facebook.com/sportclimbing/photos/a.123364617754687/2732736130150843/?type=3&theater


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