Naomi Osaka's Barbie Doll Already Sold Out Ahead of the Tokyo Olympics

This is the second Barbie created in the likeness of the four-time Grand Slam champion.

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Photo: Getty Images / Barbie

Young women (and the people raising them) are searching for more diverse, well-rounded role models that reflect their own aspirations. Barbie's latest release — and prompt sell-out — of a doll inspired by tennis sensation Naomi Osaka is proof.

On Monday, the new Barbie doll of Osaka sold out within just hours of its release.

The Barbie Role Models doll, which celebrates inspiring women from around the world, was designed by Carlyle Nuera to honor the 23-year-old athlete and activist. (Related: Everything You Need to Know About Naomi Osaka, the Tennis Player Who Beat Serena Williams)

"Obviously Naomi's athletic skill is unmatched, that's a fact," said Nuera in a statement. "But what I personally admire the most about Naomi Osaka is how she uses her platform, the spotlight on her and her voice, to raise awareness about social justice."

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Barbie

The doll itself wears the same outfit Osaka, who's sponsored by Nike, wore in the 2020 Australian Open: a Nike tennis dress (Buy It, $100, nike.com), white visor, colorful sneakers (Buy It, $140, nike.com), and carries a miniature version of her signature Yonex racket.

Osaka also tweeted a photo Monday of her plasticized mini-me, noting, "I hope every child is reminded that they can be and do anything."

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Barbie

Buy It: Barbie Role Models Naomi Osaka Doll, $30, barbie.mattel.com or amazon.com

The Barbie Role Models doll is Osaka's second collaboration with the brand. In 2019, Osaka — who will represent Japan in this summer's Tokyo Olympics — was featured in the Barbie Shero doll collection.

Osaka's Reach Extends Beyond the Court

Known equally for her advocacy for mental health and racial and social justice as she is for her athleticism, Osaka famously withdrew from the French Open in May 2021 to focus on her emotional well-being, which she said can suffer due to the intensity of the post-match press conferences in the tournament. She revealed that she's battled "long bouts of depression" since 2018 and that she often suffers from "huge waves of anxiety" when speaking to the media. (Related: What Naomi Osaka's Exit from the French Open Might Mean for Athletes In the Future)

Before withdrawing from the tournament, Osaka was fined $15,000 for not doing press after her first-round win against Romania's Patricia Maria Tig. At the time, she tweeted in part, "I've often felt that people have no regard for athletes' mental health and this rings true whenever I see a press conference or partake in one. We're often sat there and asked questions that bring doubt into our minds and I'm just not going to subject myself to people that doubt me." She added, "if the organizations think they can just keep saying, 'do press or you're gonna be fined,' and continue to ignore the mental health of the athletes that are the centerpiece of their cooperation then I just gotta laugh. Anyways, I hope the considerable amount that I get fined for this will go towards a mental health charity."

Indeed, the Calm app pledged to pay fines for athletes who skip press conferences and donated $15,000 to Laureus, a French charity centered on youth sports.

Last month, Osaka wrote an essay for Time called "It's O.K. Not to Be O.K.," in which she suggested how to improve the media side of the sports careers for athletes by prioritizing not just their physical but also their psychological well-being.

"Perhaps we should give athletes the right to take a mental break from media scrutiny on a rare occasion without being subject to strict sanctions," wrote Osaka. "In any other line of work, you would be forgiven for taking a personal day here and there, so long as it's not habitual. You wouldn't have to divulge your most personal symptoms to your employer; there would likely be HR measures protecting at least some level of privacy."

In addition to showcasing the star in doll form, Osaka is also the subject of an eponymous Netflix documentary series, which drops Friday, July 16. Osaka narrates the project, which touches on her discomfort speaking with the press as well as her Japanese and Haitian roots, her support for the Black Lives Matter movement, her meteoric rise to fame, and all of the hard work, training, sacrifice — and, yes, anxiety — that went into becoming one of the greatest players in the world.

"The series is about Naomi's journey, within a snapshot of her life, but it's also about life's purpose, about personal worth, about the courage that it takes to allow one's personal values to inform their work and vice versa," Naomi Osaka director Garrett Bradley said in a statement. "More than anything, I'd hope people can feel the power of empathy and to feel encouraged to take chances in life, perhaps especially in moments where the stakes can feel impossibly high."

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