The Makers Conference is an annual gathering of industry organizations, nonprofits, and educational institutions to discuss women and leadership, in partnership with AOL and HuffPost. At this year's conference, Mattel announced they would be making an Abby Wambach Barbie doll. You can watch the introduction starting around 46:00 here.
"Play is a way that a girl goes on her own personal journey of self discovery, and that's a journey that's sparked by inspiration," said a Barbie spokesperson before introducing the doll.
Abby Wambach came out after the unveiling and gave a few remarks about the doll and growing up playing with them. "Playing with Barbies that may or may not have looked like I felt growing up, I thank that this is a really impactful statement.... It just proves that we really are getting somewhere," she said. "If you're out there and maybe your doll doesn't look exactly like you feel, here's another option."
"I'm gonna have to go on a run, because she looks a little bit svelte," Wambach noted with humor, though the doll could have stood to be a little more muscular. (Come on, you've got Wambach's sidecut, go all in and give the doll Wambach's muscles too. Part of inspiring girls is letting them know they can be shaped any which way and still be a girl.)
The doll has 22 points of articulation and wears the two-star black and white USWNT jersey that the team wore during the 2015 World Cup. There'll probably be a lot of kids out there coloring in that third star with a sharpie; if Mattel is really smart, they'll make parents shell out for a wardrobe expansion to get the three-star kit.
This is certainly interesting from a business point of view; Barbie recently introduced other dolls with different body types (Again: muscular Barbie. Think about it, Mattel.) and skin colors, with jobs like "game developer" and "president." It's a step away from the old Barbie, who might have been more inclined to make an Alex Morgan doll, complete with flowing ponytail. It's nice to see a doll of a gender non-conforming, openly gay athlete, and though Wambach certainly has her downsides, there's time enough for kids to contemplate that when they grow up and learn about how disappointing the world can be. Enjoy your Abby Wambach Barbie, kids.
UPDATE: Mattel isn't actually making an Abby Wambach Barbie. Their twitter responded to requests from interested potential buyers that the doll was a one-off.
@trihardannette This was a one of a kind doll made for Abby and isn't available for purchase. We're sorry for any disappointment!— Mattel (@Mattel) February 8, 2016
This begs the question of why they had a big presentation about the doll, even bringing out Abby Wambach herself, who certainly seemed to be under the impression that the doll would be available for sale based on her comments about the doll being "another option" for kids to play with.
Hey Mattel, you don't get to claim that your doll will "inspire young girls to be as incredible as [Abby Wambach]" if you're not actually going to, you know, let them have the doll. It's cool that you got a lot of social media buzz out of this, though.