A week after announcing the creation of a football Barbie that would sport the German women’s national team colours, the American toy manufacturer presented head coach Silvia Neid and star striker Birgit Prinz with the one-of-a-kind dolls at the Nuremberg Toy Fair on Thursday.
Stephanie Wegener, head of public relations for Barbie in Germany, presented the dolls, saying that both women are ambassadors of the sport and role models for countless girls and women.
The miniature football coach is dressed in sleek black pants, jacket and boots – an outfit that, compared with the original Barbie, looks stylishly modest.
The doll modelled after record-breaking Prinz is decked out in a red and black training jacket over a German game-day uniform. Team manager Doris Fitschen accepted the doll on Prinz’s behalf because the player was ill.
Neid admitted that as a child, although she did once receive one as a gift, Barbies were never her favourite toy.
“As a child I didn’t play with dolls much,” she said. “I had more interest in balls and toy cars.”
She also conceded she was glad there was only one doll created in her image.
“Otherwise, you know, just anyone could play with me,” said the national team coach.
Before Neid and Prinz the only other German woman to receive her own doll was Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The Women’s World Cup kicks off on June 26, when the hosts face Canada at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, and the final will be held in Frankfurt on July 17.
Germany has dominated the women’s game by winning both the last two World Cup titles, in 2003 and 2007, and the last five European titles.