Tim Hortons delays hockey Barbie rollout to rush production of Black doll

Barbie is getting ready to hit the hockey rink with an assist from Tim Hortons.

But a Tim Hortons spokesperson said its restaurants won’t be selling the pint-sized plastic hockey players until both Black and white versions of the doll are available.

Solange Bernard, the chain’s head of marketing communications, said it started working with Mattel last year to roll out a hockey-themed Barbie as part of a charitable initiative aimed at getting girls involved in the sport.

Bernard says the plan was originally to launch one doll, but amid the protests against anti-Black racism in recent months, Tim Hortons decided to delay the launch to make the product more diverse.

She said the company asked Mattel to rush the production of a Black version of the Barbie doll, which comes with a Tim Hortons jersey, helmet and hockey stick.

Bernard said Mattel was on board with the plan, but had its own retail commitments to meet, so the white version of the doll can be purchased in toy stores while her Black counterpart is still being manufactured.

She says both versions of the doll will be available for purchase at Tim Hortons restaurants in November, and the proceeds will be donated to Hockey Canada Foundation initiative, which is aimed at getting girls on the ice.

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of.


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