Mattel Unveils Ziggy Stardust Barbie For 50th Anniversary Of “Space Oddity”

Mattel Unveils Ziggy Stardust Barbie For 50th Anniversary Of “Space Oddity”

“Space Oddity” was not David Bowie’s first single. Bowie had been around for a few years at that point, releasing music under different names. He’d already dropped his self-titled debut album and made the top 10 in the UK with the bugged-out 1967 single “The Laughing Gnome.” But “Space Oddity” was still a sort of beginning for Bowie. It was his first true pop masterpiece, and it was also the first real glimpse of a confounding and ever-evolving pop persona. It’s the first David Bowie song that everybody knows. And it retains a certain mass fascination; just last year, when Elon Musk sent a Tesla to Mars, he made sure to point out that the song would play “Space Oddity” on a loop. Today, “Space Oddity” celebrates its 50th anniversary. And now, to celebrate that, Bowie is getting the most appropriate tribute possible: A Ziggy Stardust Barbie doll.

The new Bowie Barbie, announced today, seems to be aimed at what I imagine to be a small Venn-diagram overlap. (Something tells me that the Barbie-collector demographic might’ve been more into a doll that looked like Bowie in his Labyrinth Goblin King character.) The newest Barbie is a $50 doll that’s dressed like Ziggy Stardust-era Bowie — a look and character that he debuted a few years after “Space Oddity.” The character’s hair, boots, metallic bodysuit, and fingernails are all patterned after Bowie himself. But there’s something cool, I suppose, about how this isn’t a Ken doll. Even Mattel knows that Bowie is post-gender. You can find out all about the doll here.

In other Bowie news, there’s a new vinyl box set that’s also celebrating the 50th anniversary of “Space Oddity.” It includes 7″ singles of both “Space Oddity” and “Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud,” as well as a double-sided poster. You can order it here.

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