The Barbie Liberation Organization (BLO) was an anonymous group of nonconformist artists who disapproved of the views conveyed to children by the popular toys Barbie and G.I. Joe. The BLO believed that Barbie and G.I. Joe brainwashed young children into believing in strict gender roles and that the pre-recorded phrases of talking doll variants were sexist. In an effort to “reverse the damage,” the BLO developed a subversive plan to bring attention to these perceived stereotypes.
In 1993, the group’s members purchased numerous Teen Talk Barbie dolls and G.I. Joe action figures from toy stores in order to switch their voice boxes via “surgery.” The BLO then returned the toys to the shelves of toy stores in time for the 1993 holiday season. As expected, parents who unknowingly purchased these altered dolls expressed surprise and outrage. Ultimately, the plan did bring mainstream media attention to the BLO mission. It is unknown how many dolls and action figures were affected by this movement.