Barbie ventures into computer coding

VIDEO: REUTERS

(REUTERS) - 60-year-old Barbie can now add robotics engineer to her impressive resume.

Four new dolls launched this week, complete with denim jackets and safety goggles, add to the doll's 200 careers, ranging from an astronaut to a politician.

Barbie's maker - Mattel - teamed up with Tynker, a kids coding platform, to give those who buy the doll six free computer coding lessons.

Mattel has in the past come under fire from parents and activists, saying the impossibly busty doll, along with her former career choices, sent a bad message to young girls.

But a launch of successful, more diverse dolls has done more than just inspire kids: worldwide sales rose 25 per cent in the first quarter of the year, boosting Mattel's sales above Wall Street expectations - as the toymaker battles to get over losing its biggest retailer, Toys 'R' Us.