Toymakers Mattel have released a rock climber Barbie to celebrate the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. She’s pretty rad, but would she die with a harness set up like that? Absolutely.


The Barbie® Made To Move™ series (two different trademarks, nice) is all about active Barbies getting into everything from yoga to, you guessed it, rock climbing! 

With the Olympics on the way (RIP) Mattel released five new Barbies, one for each of the new sports to feature: rock climbing, surfing, skateboarding, karate and softball.


That’s right, skateboarder Barbie exists and she’s cooler than you.

Anyway, Rock Climber Barbie is an update of the Barbie Camping Fun Hiker Doll (sic) who came with a hiking pole, a strange helmet, a pretty sweet backpack, a map, a climbing harness and… a chunky pair of boots? She looked ‘outdoorsy’ but no one was quite sure what she was doing.

That’s fine though, we’re stoked that a toy company is really trying to make their toys empowering for young girls (and hopefully, encourage them to play outdoors). 


The updated Rock Climber Barbie comes with official miniature Olympic clothes, a tiny gold medal, aggressively downturned shoes and ditches the helmet. 

Yeah, Barbie’s a gym rat now.

Stoked as we are, there are some pretty funny inaccuracies in the setup that have provoked chuckles from climbers around the world, mostly because it wouldn’t have been that hard to get them right. Is it possible that Barbie is in fact, a gumby?

Tim Addicoat from Aussie climbing store Climbing Anchors got dressed up to model Barbie’s kinda confusing getup:

climbing anchors, life on plastic its fantastic, climbing barbie

‘Life on plastic, it’s fantastic!’

If you’re not a climber, here’s what we’re seeing:

  • Barbie isn’t ‘tied in’ to the rope, which is pretty dangerous.
  • We’re not sure how the rope is held in the belay device, it needs a carabiner clipped through a loop in the rope to stop it falling out.
  • All of the carabiners are open (ok this might be pretty hard to manufacture).
  • There’s a quick draw between the belay loop at the front of the harness and the leg loop… why?
  • The chalk bag is hanging off the leg loop. It’d get in the way. Also, it looks nerdy.

Anyway jokes aside, good on Mattel for giving it a red hot crack. We just reckon you should have a real rock climber at the table for the next update.

Good luck with your extra training for the 2021 Olympics Barbie! We’re pretty bummed that the coolest Olympics ever has been postponed, but at least it’ll give you (and most of the world) more time to work on their speed climbing.