Dolls are one of the most popular toys for kids across the world. Barbie dolls, or dolls made by iconic toy maker Mattel, are known globally for selling the California blonde Barbie doll, and all of her friends. Over the years, Mattel has added Ken, Barbie’s boyfriend and a whole host of other dolls, usually of different races and ethnicities.
Mattel has also been quick to help promote famous women as well, as the toy company recently announced dolls for female astronaut Sally Ride, activist Yara Shahidi, cycling champion Kristina Vogel, tennis player Naomi Osaka, and many more. Each year, a new batch of inspiring women are made into Barbie dolls.
In addition, dolls also exist for the disabled including people in wheelchairs, people with prosthetics, and the hearing impaired. Mattel’s latest inclusive doll line in another groundbreaking toy endeavor. The toy company recently announced gender neutral dolls, which are available for everyone. The new dolls will retail for $29.99, and the line of toys features a series of kids who go by various pronouns—him, her, them, and xem.
Mattel did extensive testing for this doll, conducting research with many children across the United States to get the most accurate representation of kids for line of dolls, for which they would be the target audience.
According to Monica Dreger, head of consumer insights at Mattel, “There were a couple of gender-creative kids who told us that they dreaded Christmas Day because they knew whatever they got under the Christmas tree, it wasn’t made for them. This is the first doll that you can find under the tree and see is for them because it can be for anyone.”
Mattel has always been a creative toy brand, and is known for inspiring the imagination. There has been some push back about the dolls from adults, who are the primary purchasers of the dolls, although Mattle is committed to simply providing toys for anyone who wants to feel represented. The dolls include various changing hairstyles and a huge variety of different clothes.