Barbie Gets Political With Mattel's New German Chancellor Merkel Doll
BERLIN – Barbie can add another dream job to her list — Germany's first female head-of-government.
Toy company Mattel Inc. debuted the Chancellor Angela Merkel Barbie doll last week at an international toy fair in the southern city of Nuremberg. It sports Merkel's signature strawberry-blond bob, an elegant black pantsuit and low-heeled shoes.
"She's a role model for other women worldwide," Mattel spokeswoman Stephanie Wegener. "She represents what we can achieve."
Merkel attended the fair's opening Wednesday and Wegener said she approved of her miniature doppelganger — even though Barbie's familiar face and figure do not exactly replicate her real-life appearance.
"Creating a copy of someone is not the intention — we're not Madame Tussauds," Wegener said. "It's just a lookalike doll created to honor her."
The special-edition Barbie, part of El Segundo, California-based Mattel's celebrations of the ubiquitous doll's 50th birthday, is not for sale and will not go into production. The company said it has not yet decided what to do with it after the trade fair closes Tuesday.
Merkel, 54, is up for re-election this year. The former physicist topped Forbes magazine's 2008 list of the world's 100 most powerful women for the third consecutive year. Merkel also made headlines last week for publicly chastising Pope Benedict XVI over the rehabilitation of a bishop that sparked outrage because of his denials of the Holocaust.