Mattel And NASA Made The Mars Rover Pink For Barbie

mars explorer barbie

Every time Barbie gets some kind of awesome makeover that makes us like her again, she goes and pink-ifies something awesome in a way we find hugely annoying, and this time NASA got in on the job.

In honor of the one-year anniversary of the Curiosity rover landing on Mars, NASA collaborated with Mattel to produce Mars Explorer Barbie, complete with a shiny, figure-flattering, slim-fit space suit with metallic hot pink accents. Her helmet and oxygen tank are hot pink.

Most annoyingly, this Barbie does not actually come with a tiny model of the Curiosity rover, which seems like a huge oversight to us. The only love the rover gets is a tiny cardboard cutout that will surely be thrown away with the box packaging.

Oh yeah, in the Barbie universe the Mars Rover is pink to match Barbie’s outfit.

“Ready to add her signature pink splash to the ‘red planet,’ [the] Barbie doll is outfitted in a stylish spacesuit with pink reflective accents, helmet, space pack and signature pink space boots,” Mattel said, according to i09. “Adding to her resume of more than 130 careers, Mars Explorer Barbie doll inspires girls to be adventurous and to always reach for the stars!”

Now we’re not saying that we wouldn’t love to have a hot pink robot, but seriously Mattel, not everything has to be pink for girls to like it. Plenty of girls still think space is awesome, even if they have to wear khaki to get there.

Speaking of women who got there, the box is decorated with a list of facts about the history of female space explorers and a link to the Women @ NASA website showing the actual ladies who work there. Those ladies are actually awesome, and only a few of them are wearing pink.

Via i09/Photo: Twitter/i09

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    • Monmonmon

      I find this to be kind of nit-picky. Of course she’s going to be wearing pink, that’s her brand colour: Barbie Pink. Can’t we just focus on how she’s being a role model for little girls to be interested in science and space travel. I think that’s pretty great.

      • Susanna Speier

        Although I wont claim to fully understand the connection between pink, Mars and girls, I feel there is a lot more there than just Mattel’s branded shade. Like many women, I grew up Barbie and on space. Yes, my walls were painted pink. Not the Barbie shade — a lighter dustier version. There is something primal to the appeal it holds — not sure exactly what it is. But its something I’ve revisited thematically at various points. Most recently, through an odd side-project I launched on 2012: a handmade photo jewelry line called, MarsBling. MarsBling is built using resin epoxy and images sourced from NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover. This is one of the most popular designs: Although I am not always given the backstories (I sell them to individuals through Etsy and to a small handful of space and engineering oriented museum shops) about who buys them and what the response to them is. When I do get feedback, however, it is often from men –uncles, fathers and educators– wanting to nurture the science, engineering and space exploration aspirations of girls between the ages of 7 and 15. Again, I’m not saying Mattel isn’t aware of how they are branding what I’m sure is a trademarked shade. Just that the relationship between girls and bright pink goes deeper.