Space Doll

Mars Explorer Barbie launches NASA into the toy business

Mars Explorer Barbie launches NASA into the toy business

Mars Explorer Barbie with Mars
Mars Explorer Barbie was released in time for the Curiosity Rover's first birthday. Photo by Chris Rodriguez/Jeremy Lips/SPACE.com
Mars Explorer Barbie doll NASA
NASA and Mattel just released a Mars Explorer Barbie doll. Photo courtesy of Mattel
astronaut Barbie 1965
In 1965, Mattel launched Barbie Miss Astronaut, the first Barbie to have a career as an astronaut. Photo courtesy of Mattel
Astronaut Barbie 1985
Twenty years after Barbie Miss Astronaut was released, Mattel came out with Astronaut Barbie.  Photo courtesy of Mattel
Star Trek Ken and Barbie 1996
To celebrate the 30 anniversary of Star Trek, Mattel released Star Trek Ken and Barbie in 1996.  Photo courtesy of Mattel
Mars Explorer Barbie with Mars
Mars Explorer Barbie doll NASA
astronaut Barbie 1965
Astronaut Barbie 1985
Star Trek Ken and Barbie 1996

An unlikely duo has come together to make a toy that’s out of this world. Mattel and NASA have launched a Mars Explorer Barbie, to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the Curiosity rover on Mars.

Barbie is outfitted and ready to take on Mars — and add a splash of pink to the Red Planet. This astronaut Barbie comes with a pink-and-white space suit, a pink helmet and — of course — a pink oxygen tank.

"Barbie consulted with the NASA EVA [extravehicular activity] Suit Team on the design of the doll, to ensure the Mars Explorer Barbie doll captured the spirit and style of space explorers," a Mattel spokesperson told SPACE.com.

Mars Explorer Barbie comes with a six-wheeled science laboratory. The box also promotes NASA’s Women@NASA site, with fun facts about the history of female astronauts and space engineers.

Barbie — who's had more than 130 careers in her lifetime — has been to space before. In 1965, two years after Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space, Barbie Miss Astronaut was released, alongside a matching Mr. Astronaut Ken. Their clothing was inspired by the pressure suits worn by the all-male U.S. Mercury astronauts.

In 1985, an Astronaut Barbie sporting sparkly pink and silver mini-skirt space suit came out. And, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Star Trek in 1996, Mattel released Star Trek Barbie and Ken. It appears that Mars Explorer Barbie was inevitable.