Tennis star Osaka gets own line of Barbie dolls

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Toy firm Barbie has added tennis star Naomi Osaka to its Function Mannequin collection. Screengrab from Reuters video

4-time Grand Slam singles champion Naomi Osaka now has her personal line of Barbie dolls.

The 23-year-old world No. 2 tennis participant, who has used her place to name consideration to problems with police violence and racial inequality, grew to become part of Mattel Inc’s push to make its iconic toy line extra various with dolls primarily based on completely different function fashions and professions.

“It’s such an honor to be part of the Barbie Function Mannequin collection, and to remind younger ladies that they’ll make a distinction on this planet. I would like younger ladies all over the place to really feel empowered to dream massive,” Osaka, who grew up idolizing 23-times Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, mentioned in an announcement.

Mattel’s tie-up with Japan’s Osaka is the newest instance of manufacturers turning into extra snug with taking a stand on social points and banking on partnerships with feminine athletes to tug in new clients.

In April, Hole Inc’s Athleta model signed four-time Olympic gymnastics champion Simone Biles for a brand new attire partnership, with a give attention to variety and inclusion.

Mattel additionally has Barbie dolls modeled on U.S. soccer participant Alex Morgan and Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad.

“Barbie is dedicated to celebrating real-life function fashions… outstanding girls who’re breaking boundaries and galvanizing the following era,” Mattel mentioned in an announcement, saying the Osaka doll that’s sporting a Nike tennis outfit and a racket.

Osaka, who didn’t compete within the Wimbledon championships for private causes, following her withdrawal from the French Open for a psychological well being break, can be competing within the Tokyo Olympics later this month.

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