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Barbie dolls honor NASA pioneer and other women

Katherine Johnson as Barbie doll
NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson is immortalized as a Barbie doll. (Mattel Photo)

“Hidden Figures” mathematician Katherine Johnson may have missed out on the Lego toy treatment, but she and 16 other women are getting the Barbie doll treatment just in time for International Women’s Day.

Today Mattel announced that it’s rolling out 17 new Barbie dolls — including 14 one-of-a-kind dolls that are styled after modern-day role models for its “Shero” program (a mashup of “she” and “hero”), plus a new line called “Inspiring Women” that pays tribute to historical role models.

Johnson, a 99-year-old black mathematician whose work at NASA was featured in the hit movie “Hidden Figures,” is included as one of the Inspiring Women, along with Mexican artist Frida Kahlo and pioneering American aviatrix Amelia Earhart.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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