When Barbie appeared in Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue earlier this year, it ignited newfound controversy over Mattel's 50-year-plus tradition of using the doll to prop up absurd body-image standards. Lost in the debate was the indisputable fact that her typical outfits are entirely inappropriate for storming a castle — but thanks to 3D designer Jim Rodda, that's been resolved. Rodda has created the "Faire Play Battle Set," comprising three full sets of 3D-printed battle armor for the iconic figurine. The designer has previously designed a number of 3D-printable items of a medieval persuasion, including functional miniature ballistae and catapults for tabletop gaming.
"I now have more Barbies in my house than my sisters ever did."
In a Reddit forum, Rodda explained that he had originally intended to create "spring-loaded My Little Pony-compatible glitter cannons." After technical problems, he abandoned that project and — still in a "little-girl-targeted toy zone" — moved on to Barbie as a design base. The battle armor set is the culmination of a Kickstarter project that raised $6,000 in April. Rodda is selling the files to print your own copies under a Creative Commons license for $29.99, and is encouraging people to build upon his original designs.