Photographer Jason TidwellStylist Sheryl Fetrick

New Barbies meet demand for doll diversity

Kids want to see themselves reflected in their toys, and a new range from Mattel’s top-selling brand will feature hearing aids, prosthetic limbs and other inclusive characteristics.
May 11, 2022

Mattel is launching a new line of Barbies to meet consumer pressure for dolls that demonstrate a more inclusive definition of fashion and beauty.

Rolling out online and in stores next month and priced at US$9.99 per SKU, the toyco’s new Fashionistas range features the first-ever Barbie to use a behind-the-ear hearing aid; a doll with a prosthetic leg; a Ken doll with vitiligo (a skin condition); and a wider variety of body types.

The number-one factor driving doll purchases for moms and daughters is whether or not the doll looks like them, according to 2021 research from ViacomCBS Consumer Products. These new dolls are part of an effort to meet that demand, as well as give kids toys that represent and inspire them, according to a release.

Last year, Mattel expanded its Barbie line with a doll that uses a wheelchair and a new Black doll, and has reported that these SKUs were some of its top sellers for the year.

Going forward, the toyco will be introducing more new dolls that have diverse skin tones, body types and abilities in order to reflect kids and the diversity around them, said Lisa McKnight, EVP and global head of Barbie and dolls, in a release.

About The Author
News editor for Kidscreen. Ryan covers tech, talent and general kids entertainment news, with a passion for kids rap content and video games. Have a story that's of interest to Kidscreen readers? Contact Ryan at rtuchow@brunico.com

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