“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,” Kim Culmone, Senior Vice President of Mattel Fashion Doll Design stated in relation to the companies latest creation the line of gender-neutral dolls dubbed “Creatable World”.
As the “world’s first gender-neutral doll,” Mattel hopes this newest product will redefine preconceived notions of who gets to play with what kind of toys and help in the erasure of traditional gender norms.
The dolls which come in a variety of skin tones all come with both short hair and long hair wigs, six items of clothing, three pairs of shoes and two accessories which span the full gender presentation spectrum, a significant leap from the company’s famous white and blonde Barbie.
Similarly to the wardrobe, the dolls themselves have been meticulously planned out and created to present gender-neutral, with TIME noting; “[the doll’s] 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.”
Mattel has placed extensive research into the creation and the predicted success of these gender-neutral dolls, sending them out to 250 families across the US to see the response. Of the group who received the dolls, 15 of the children identified as trans, gender-nonbinary, or gender-fluid.
Based on their research and the broader acceptance of these “non-traditional” identities, Mattel believes that over the next decade the number of children rejecting the gender binary will only increase further.
The company has already made several adjustments in their marketing tactics by removing gendered divisions such as dolls for girls and cars for boys, instead now separating the products by what they are rather than who they are for, with many large retailers such as Target following suit.
The dolls which are to be priced at $29.99 are said to be designed to “keep labels out and invite everyone in.” Although the move may possibly alienating a substantial portion of Mattel buyer’s, the company hopes that existing and new buyers will welcome the change of pace for this line, and just in time for Christmas!
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