Maya Angelou Barbie

Name: Maya Angelou Barbie

Made by and When: Mattel (designed by Carlyle Nuera) ©2020, released in January 2021

Material: Vinyl

Marks: ©2020 Mattel (on the head); GXF45/N491 (in gold letters on left buttock); ©2016 MATTEL / 1186 MJ, 1, NL / MADE IN INDONESIA (on right buttock)

Height: 11-1/2 inches

Hair/Eyes/Mouth: Short rooted curly hair underneath a floral-print headwrap that matches the dashiki dress/brown painted eyes/smiling mouth with painted teeth with upper gap

Clothes: Holding a miniature replica of her prolific autobiography, Maya Angelou Barbie doll wears a headwrap and floor-length dress with floral print. Additional accessories include a golden ring, bracelet, watch and earrings.

Other: From the Inspiring Woman Series, Mattel’s description reads, “Barbie honors writer, author, activist, and teacher Dr. Maya Angelou, whose numerous awards and accolades include over 50 honorary doctorates and a Presidential Medal of Freedom. Published in 1970 [sic] and nominated for a National Book Award, her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings continues to move readers around the world today. Includes doll stand and Certificate of Authenticity, this collectible Barbie doll features a curvy body and articulation for endless posing possibilities and inspired displays.”

The certificate of authenticity reads: “This doll is being presented to honor the history and impact of Dr. Maya Angelou’s activism, work and achievements. This certifies that your Maya Angelou Barbie® Inspiring Women Doll™ was created through the collaborative efforts of designers and artists at Mattel.”

This is the first mass-produced fashion doll sculpted in the likeness of Dr. Maya Angelou.

I want to thank you, Lord for life and all that’s in it. Thank you for the day, and for the hour and for the minute.

—Maya Angelou

Slideshow (Use the right arrow to view the slideshow).

View a diorama of Maya Angelou’s office created by Laila Johnson here.


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Published by DeeBeeGee

Doll collector, historian, co-founder of the first e-zine devoted to collecting black dolls; author of black-doll reference books, doll blogs, and doll magazine articles.

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