Dr. Jane Goodall admires a Barbie made in her likeness.
Jane Goodall Institute

Barbie Debuts A New Dr. Jane Goodall Doll Made From Recycled Plastic

This has been a lifelong dream for Dr. Goodall.

British primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall has accomplished so much with her life. She traveled to Africa on her own as a 23-year-old woman, studied wild chimpanzees in their habitat in Gombe (now Tanzania), and changed the way the world looked at the primates. For instance, she was the first person to discover chimpanzees making their own tools after studying a chimp she called David Greybeard. Now both she and David Greybeard have been honored with dolls in their own likeness, and this fulfills a lifelong dream for the scientist.

On Tuesday, Mattel debuted the Dr. Jane Goodall Barbie as part of a new environmental campaign called The Future of Pink is Green. Working in partnership with the Jane Goodall Institute, Barbie introduced a Dr. Jane Goodall Inspiring Women Doll.

Along with Dr. Goodall’s Barbie comes an entire Eco-Leadership Team, which includes a Chief Sustainability Officer, Conservation Scientist, Renewable Energy Engineer, and Environmental Advocate. The new Barbie is made out of recycled ocean-bound plastic as part of Mattel’s commitment to achieve 100% recycled, recyclable, or bio-based plastic materials in all products and packaging by 2030. As part of The Inspiring Women series, Dr. Goodall’s Barbie joins innovators like Dr. Maya Angelou, Ida B. Wells, Billie Jean King, and Eleanor Roosevelt. Women who “took risks, changed rules, and paved the way for generations to dream bigger than ever before,” Mattel explains.

Dr. Goodall’s Barbie is dressed in khaki shorts and shirt, carries a notebook and is joined by David Greybeard, the first chimpanzee who trusted the primatologist enough to let her observe him when she began her research 62 years ago.

Dr. Jane Goodall holding a Barbie doll designed in her likeness.Jane Goodall Institute.

The honor is not lost on Dr. Goodall. “My entire career, I’ve wanted to help inspire kids to be curious and explore the world around them – just like I did when I first traveled to Tanzania 62 years ago. I’m thrilled to partner with Barbie and encourage young children to learn from their environment and feel a sense that they can make a difference,” she said in a statement. “Through this partnership, I hope to inspire the next generation of eco-leaders to join me in protecting our planet and remind them they can be anything, anywhere – on the field, in the lab, and at the table.”

Dr. Goodall also told Reuters that she had “wanted a doll to be me even before this idea came up.” She added. “I've seen...little girls playing with Barbie dolls and certainly at the beginning, they were all very girly girly and I thought little girls need...some choice.”

Beyond her amazing Barbie, Dr. Goodall has been inspiring kids through her Roots and Shoots program as a way to foster activism for a better future and create change-makers.

Dr. Goodall’s Barbie and all of the Inspiring Women Barbies are available for purchase on the Mattel site for $35.