Goodbye Barbie and Ken !: Mattel makes dolls gender neutral




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(Photo: Mattel)


Are the days of Barbie and Ken over? In any case, manufacturer Mattel is not just trying to clean up the role stereotypes in the nursery. A new doll line is now also gender-neutral therefore and should provide "boundless fun".


Inclusion and diversity are important topics of society at the present time. This is also the toy company Mattel has become aware. The manufacturer of Barbie, Ken and Co is therefore launching for the first time a completely gender-neutral doll line called "Creatable World". It is said to provide children with "unlimited fun", according to a statement from the company.

The special feature of the new line is the individual design of hair, clothing and accessories. Children can rearrange their toys themselves at will, so that no gender norms are given for their dolls.

With the new collection, the company hopes that "even adults will recognize that children benefit from the play with customizable dolls", explains Kim Culmone with the telling job title "Senior Vice President Mattel Fashion Doll Design."

Developed with Parents, Children and Experts

The new dolls were developed in collaboration with external experts and physicians, but also with parents and numerous children. The line consists of six different sets, each containing a doll, two hairstyles and many styling options. In addition, the dolls are available in different skin tones. The price for a doll set is 39 euros.

It's not the first time Mattel has responded to social change. Since the production of the first Barbie in the 1950s, the company has been exposed to criticism of the stereotypes and alleged ideals of beauty transported by the doll. In the 1980s, the company introduced, for example, Barbies with darker skin colors in order to do justice to the respective ethnic groups. Since 2016 there are the dolls with different body proportions – fuller, taller or shorter.

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