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Barbie’s maker Mattel Launches Gender Inclusive Doll Line Inviting All Kids to Play

Source: Mattel

The brand behind Barbie plans to redefine stereotypes with a doll for all children, regardless of gender.

“Creatable World” dolls can be styled with short or long hair, and skirts, pants or both

This week Mattel — the makers of Barbie — announced the global unveiling of Creatable World™, a customisable doll line offering endless combinations all in one box. Creatable World invites children to create their own characters. Extensive wardrobe options, accessories and wigs allow kids to style the doll with short or long hair, or in a skirt, pants, or both.

Creatable World™ gives kids a blank canvas to create their own characters. Each kit includes one doll, two hairstyle options and endless styling possibilities.
100+ Looks All in One Kit Creatable World™ gives kids a blank canvas to create their own characters. Each kit includes one doll, two hairstyle options and endless styling possibilities. Source: Mattel

‘A Doll For Everyone’: Mattel’s Gender-Neutral Doll

Mattel worked alongside a dedicated team of experts, parents, physicians and most importantly, kids, to create this one-of-a-kind play experience.

“Toys are a reflection of culture and as the world continues to celebrate the positive impact of inclusivity, we felt it was time to create a doll line free of labels,” said Kim Culmone, Senior Vice President of Mattel Fashion Doll Design. 

Kim continued “Through research, we heard that kids don’t want their toys dictated by gender norms. This line allows all kids to express themselves freely which is why it resonates so strongly with them. We’re hopeful Creatable World will encourage people to think more broadly about how all kids can benefit from doll play.”

The Creatable World doll line consists of six different doll kits that are available in a variety of skin tones. Each kit includes one doll, two hairstyle options and endless styling possibilities. The product has a suggested retail price of $30 (€27.50/£24.50), and can be purchased at major retailers online including Amazon, Target and Walmart. See them here.

Source: Mattel

There are no Barbie-like breasts or broad, Ken-like shoulders. Each doll in the Creatable World series looks like a slender 7-year-old with short hair, but each comes with a wig of long, lustrous locks and a wardrobe befitting any fashion-conscious kid: hoodies, sneakers, graphic T-shirts in soothing greens and yellows, along with tutus and camo pants. Here, the dolls faces are painted at Mattel's headquarters on September 5.
Carefully manicured features betray no obvious gender: the lips are not too full, the eyelashes not too long and fluttery, the jaw not too wide. There are no Barbie-like breasts or broad, Ken-like shoulders. Each doll in the Creatable World series looks like a slender 7-year-old with short hair, but each comes with a wig of long, lustrous locks and a wardrobe befitting any fashion-conscious kid: hoodies, sneakers, graphic T-shirts in soothing greens and yellows, along with tutus and camo pants. Here, the dolls faces are painted at Mattel’s headquarters on September 5. Source: AngieSmith/TIME
Switch long hair for short hair—add a skirt, pants or both. It’s up to you! Mix and match, swap or share.
The Creatable World doll line consists of six different doll kits that are available in a variety of skin tones. Switch long hair for short hair—add a skirt, pants or both. It’s up to you! Mix and match, swap or share. Source: Mattel
Unlike model airplanes or volcano kits, dolls have faces like ours, upon which we can project our own self-image and anxieties.
Shi’a, left, and Jhase play with Mattel’s gender-neutral doll Unlike model airplanes or volcano kits, dolls have faces like ours, upon which we can project our own self-image and anxieties. Source: AngieSmith/TIME.
Mattel sees an even broader potential for Creatable World beyond gender-creative kids. In testing, the company found that Generation Alpha children chafed at labels and mandates no matter their gender identity: They didn’t want to be told whom a toy was designed for or how to play with it. They were delighted with a doll that had no name and could transform and adapt according to their whims.
Mattel, which calls this the world’s first gender-neutral doll, is hoping its launch redefines who gets to play with a toy traditionally deemed taboo for half the world’s kids. Mattel sees an even broader potential for Creatable World beyond gender-creative kids. In testing, the company found that Generation Alpha children chafed at labels and mandates no matter their gender identity: They didn’t want to be told whom a toy was designed for or how to play with it. They were delighted with a doll that had no name and could transform and adapt according to their whims. Source: JUCO/TIME
'A Doll For Everyone': How the brand behind Barbie is planning to redefine stereotypes with a doll for all children, regardless of gender. Mattel’s first promotional spot for the $29.99 product features a series of kids who go by various pronouns—him, her, them, xem—and the slogan “A doll line designed to keep labels out and invite everyone in.” Source: YouTube/TIME

MORE BRIGHTVIBES ARTICLES ON HOW DOLLS HELP CONTRIBUTE TOWARDS A HEALTHY SELF IMAGE

What if Fashion Dolls Were Simply Made Using Standard Human Body Proportions? – all Lammily dolls are made according to the the proportions of the average 19 year old American person. Everything from the body proportions, to the detailed feet and toes, to the hands which can hold objects, to the hips, is as real as possible. 

A Doll Like Me: Wisconsin mom hand crafts unique dolls that match the child’s skin colour, limb difference or disability to ensure that each child feels represented. 

Grandfather with vitiligo crochets dolls for kids with the same condition. Although there are numerous treatments to counter the condition, the most difficult aspect to cope with can often be other people’s attitude and prejudice toward those who live with it. This is why João Stanganelli, a grandfather himself, decided to use the art of crochet to raise the joy and lift the self-esteem of children with vitiligo. 

Queens of Africa: the dolls that are taking on Barbie while empowering the African girl child. 

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