Jim Rodda is Kickstarting 3D printer designs that would transform Barbie into a medieval knight.
While steps have been taken over the years to help make Barbie a more positive role model for young girls, the doll and the brand is arguably still one of the ultimate symbols of the traditional girly-girl and all the baggage that that ideal represents. Put shortly, for all the doctor Barbies and presidential candidate Barbies that Mattel releases to stem the tides of criticism, there are still some who would say that Barbie is a bad influence on little girls.
It would seem that Jim Rodda is inclined to agree. The man behind the $5,000 Faire Play Kickstarter, it's his aim to create a line of Barbie-compatible battle armor. "Barbie has had many occupations over her long and storied career. Astronaut, veterinarian, pinup, and princess more times than I can count," wrote Rodda. "She has not, to my knowledge, cosplayed as Brienne of Tarth until now."
According to Rodda, his campaign, which is currently more than half way to its goal, will give him the resources he needs to create and refine field armor and parade armor designs that he will then distribute to 3D printer devotees so they can produce their own Barbie armor suits. If all goes to plan, Rodda expects to wrap up work on the project by August 2014 at latest.
Just personally, as the father of a growing little girl, this is a project I could very much get behind. I'm not opposed to Barbie dolls on their own, but I'll admit that I'd be much more comfortable with my own daughter having one some day if she could play as a knight rather than just a princess. In the end, it's all about options. The more children have (both boys and girls) the better.