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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 January 2021

Quarantine Barbie: US grandmother makes the most relatable lockdown dolls

Binge Watching, What Day Is It?, and Homeschool Mom Barbie dolls reflect life amid the pandemic

Tonya Ruiz has personalised her Barbies to reflect life amid the coronavirus pandemic. Instagram / grandmagetsreal
Tonya Ruiz has personalised her Barbies to reflect life amid the coronavirus pandemic. Instagram / grandmagetsreal

For the past 12 weeks, people around the world have been stuck indoors, isolating amid the coronavirus pandemic. Many have come up with creative ways to keep busy, such as one grandmother in California who has been making Barbie dolls that reflect lockdown life in 2020.

Tonya Ruiz, who goes by Grandma Gets Real on Instagram, has been making pandemic-appropriate props and boxes for her dolls.

She started on April 21, with the Quarantine Starter Park, described as a "stay home curvy doll" who is "wearing stretchy pants". The set comes complete with a crossword, playing cards, disinfectant wipes and plenty of food treats, including doughnuts and crisps.

The phenomenon then continued with Quarantine Barbie Homeschool Mom Edition, which included four junior dolls and plenty of school work.

That was followed by the Zoom Ken Edition, who is wearing his business shirt with boxer shorts, and has Starbucks coffee to keep him busy, and Binge Watching Barbie, who is keeping herself entertained by watching Harry Potter movies and eating popcorn and ice cream.

"I had always wanted to make parody Barbies like I had seen on The Ellen Show. She had funny realistic ones like Distracted Driver Barbie and Hoarder Barbie," Ruiz told The National.

"When the quarantine started and I saw a couple of funny Pandemic Barbies – one [had] wine and another had toilet paper and Clorox wipes – I thought that I should make a Realistic Curvy Barbie like me, wearing stretchy pants and eating snacks."

She has also paid tribute to the hard work of key workers, who have been working tirelessly to keep people safe and secure globally amid the pandemic.

In the Pandemic Heroes collection, there is a Health Care Worker Barbie, Sanitation Worker Barbie and a Grocery Worker Barbie.

More tongue-in-cheek takes include Quarantine Quarreling Couple Barbie & Ken, New Hobby Edition Barbie and both a Quarantine Bread Baking Barbie and a Gardening Barbie.

Looking forward, she has even made Post-Pandemic Baby Boom Barbies, which includes: Ken holding an ultrasound and Barbie with a baby bump. It then has extra "for the December due date" props, which include twin Barbie babies, onesies, nappies, bottles, toy and clothes.

To learn more, visit Tonya Ruiz's website www.grandmagetsreal.com

Updated: June 15, 2020 11:26 AM

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