Dr. Maya Angelou Barbie To Be Sold In Canada This Year

Al Donato
·Associate editor, HuffPost Canada

One of the world’s most phenomenal writers is being memorialized via the world of kids toys. And unsurprisingly, she’s so popular the toy version of her is already sold out.

Mattel announced Thursday that Dr. Maya Angelou, the late civil rights activist and author of “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings,” is the latest inductee to their “Inspiring Women” collection, which so far has nine other doll replicas of noteworthy women like Ella Fitzgerald and Rosa Parks.

A Dr. Maya Angelou Barbie will soon be available through Canadian retailers.   (Photo: Mattel)
A Dr. Maya Angelou Barbie will soon be available through Canadian retailers. (Photo: Mattel)

The tiny version of the iconic Black feminist carries a copy of her critically acclaimed autobiography and is depicted with care for authenticity: Mattel’s announcement makes note of her body shape, her head wrap, and her floor-length dress.

A press release stated that the company “knows children’s early childhood experiences shape what they imagine to be possible, so it’s important that all girls not only see themselves reflected in product and content, but to also see role models who’ve come before them.”

The doll is priced on Mattel’s U.S. website for $29.99 USD, or roughly $38 for Canadians. But by the time of this post’s publish, all the stock was sold out.

A Mattel spokesperson told HuffPost Canada that the Angelou doll will soon be available in Canada, but didn’t share an exact date. Families looking to purchase the doll can do so at Walmart and Indigo when they carry stock.

Angelou’s son said he was ‘delighted’ the doll for honouring his mother, who died in 2014, in a statement quoted by Today.

“My mother, Dr. Maya Angelou, was a pioneer and an activist with an invincible spirit for justice,” said Guy Johnson. “Through her words and actions, she developed a unique ability to create deep connections with people around the world. She used to say, ‘I write from the Black perspective, but I aim for the human heart.’ ... I hope the Barbie Maya Angelou doll will inspire new generations of teachers, writers and activists.”

A close-up of Mattel's Dr. Maya Angelou doll. (Photo: Mattel )
A close-up of Mattel's Dr. Maya Angelou doll. (Photo: Mattel )

The doll’s announcement accompanied good news about Mattel’s future creations: “In 2021 and going forward, more than 50 per cent of global role models featured will be Black, Indigenous and women of colour.”

As Oprah Magazine noted, the doll is part of Mattel’s ongoing commitment to do better by Black communities, which many corporations pledged to do in 2020 following the police-caused death of Black American George Floyd.

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This article originally appeared on HuffPost Canada and has been updated.