Barbie honors COVID-19 pandemic heroes with custom dolls

Mattel announced on Wednesday that Barbie launched six new dolls in its #ThankYouHeroes program to recognize frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new collection of dolls features six women who have made an impact during the pandemic.

"Barbie recognizes that all frontline workers have made tremendous sacrifices when confronting the pandemic and the challenges it heightened," said Lisa McKnight, senior vice president and global head of Barbie & dolls at Mattel. "To shine a light on their efforts, we are sharing their stories and leveraging Barbie’s platform to inspire the next generation to take after these heroes and give back."

RELATED: COVID-19 lambda variant: What to know about the coronavirus strain

Barbie released six new one-of-a-kind dolls modeled after women who have shown courage during a challenging and unprecedented time. The toy company hopes that the role model dolls will inspire future generations to make a positive impact on their communities.

The global line-up of stellar heroes includes:

Professor Sara Gilbert — As a professor of vaccinology, Gilbert led the development of the University of Oxford COVID-19 vaccine in the United Kingdom.

Amy O’ Sullivan, RN — O’Sullivan treated the first COVID-19 patient in Brooklyn as an emergency room nurse at the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center. After treating the patient, O’Sullivan became ill and was intubated. A few weeks after recovering, she returned to work to continue caring for others.

Dr. Chika Stacy Oriuwa — As a psychiatry resident at the University of Toronto, Oriuwa advocated against systemic racism in health care that was further highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Audrey Sue Cruz — Cruz, a frontline worker from Las Vegas, joined forces with other Asian-American physicians during the pandemic to fight racial bias and discrimination.

Dr. Kirby White — White co-founded the Gowns for Doctors initiative in Australia to develop a PPE gown that could be laundered and re-used. The gowns produced by her program allowed frontline workers in Australia to continue seeing patients during the pandemic.

Dr. Jaqueline Goes de Jesus —Goes, a biomedical researcher, is credited with leading the sequencing of the genome of a COVID-19 variant in Brazil.


Barbie released six new one-of-a-kind dolls modeled after women who have shown courage during a challenging and unprecedented time.

Mattel’s #ThankYouHeroes program was created in 2020 to honor individuals who have led the fight against COVID-19 and local everyday community leaders. The line features more than 200 careers.

Mattel announced on Aug. 4 that Barbie will donate $5 for each eligible Barbie doctor, nurse and paramedic doll sold at Target during the month of August to the First Responders Children’s Foundation (FRCF) which benefits the children of first responders.

RELATED: Mattel collecting old Barbie dolls, Matchbox cars in toy takeback program

The #ThankYouHeroes program is a continuation of Mattel’s broader "Play it Forward" campaign, focused on giving back to communities in times of need.

With Barbie and Mattel’s financial support, FRCF was able to purchase thousands of hotel room nights with foot stipends for first responders on the frontlines as well as support the children of frontline workers.

"Mattel and Barbie showed up for First Responders Children's Foundation at the beginning of the pandemic," said Jillian Crane, President of First Responders Children's foundation. "With their generous donations, we gave some joy to children across the country during a very difficult and scary time."

The #ThankYouHeroes line of products consists of special edition merchandise from, Fisher-Price®, Matchbox®, MEGA®, UNO® and American Girl® and Barbie.