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Barbie is releasing an androgynous David Bowie-inspired doll

David Bowie, Life on Mars, Barbie Doll, Hunky Dory
The David Bowie Barbie dollPhoto: Mattel

Mattel’s world-famous Barbie doll brand is releasing an androgynous David Bowie doll in celebration of the 50th anniversary of his landmark album Hunky Dory. It’s actually the second Bowie doll that Barbie has released.

The $50 doll appears in the iconic baby blue suit that Bowie wore in the 1973 “Life on Mars?” video. The look includes a foil-printed pin-stripe shirt; his standout red, white, and blue tie; and brown classic platform shoes. The doll’s hairstyle and bold blue eyeshadow are inspired by Bowie’s ‘70s glam era look.

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However, the doll isn’t actually supposed to be David Bowie, but rather Barbie in a Bowie-inspired look.

The doll’s designer Linda Kyaw-Merschon said, “It’s a tribute to Bowie – his outfit, his makeup, his features – to emulate his essence and make sure it looked like Barbie, but as Bowie.”

The doll is actually the second Bowie Barbie doll. The first doll, released in 2019, was styled after Bowie’s iconic 1973 Ziggy Stardust look. It featured a shiny red and blue jumpsuit, knee-high red boots, a shock of bright red hair, black nail polish, and a gold sun disk on the doll’s forehead.

Mattel has released a new Barbie based on David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust persona
Mattel has released a new Barbie based on David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust persona Mattel

While some Bowie fans may not recognize his album Hunky Dory by name, it features some of his most popular songs, including “Changes”, “Life on Mars”, “Queen Bitch”, and Oh, You Pretty Thing!” The pop album marked a sinificant departure from his three previous folk albums.

In 2020, Barbie released an Elton John doll that was so popular that it sold out immediately. In 2019, Barbie released a doll fashioned after champion lesbian athlete Billie Jean King as part of its Inspiring Women Series. Earlier this year, Mattel released its first-ever transgender Barbie doll, styled after award-winning actress Laverne Cox.

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