Called “Creatable World,” the line features highly customizable dolls that shirk the gender norms infamously embodied by Mattel’s popular, and often controversial, Barbie and Ken dolls.
“Through research, we heard that kids don’t want their toys dictated by gender norms,” said Kim Culmone, senior vice president of Mattel Fashion Doll Design in a statement. “This line allows all kids to express themselves freely.”
Each Creatable World kit comes with a variety of dolls, clothes, accessories and hair options designed to combine traditionally male and female-presenting elements to create a wide range of looks unburdened by binary gender norms.
The line hopes to make doll play more inclusive by providing toys that will represent and appeal to children across a wider spectrum of gender identity.
— MATTEL (@Mattel) September 25, 2019
“We see this line as an opportunity for us to open up that dialogue around what dolls are for and who dolls are for,” Culmone said. “And also as the world begins the celebrate the positive impact of inclusivity, we absolutely fundamentally believed it was time to launch a doll line free of labels and free of rules for kids.”
The doll kits retail for approximately $30 and are available at major retailers including Target, Amazon and Walmart.
Creatable World is Mattel’s most recent attempt to broaden inclusivity across its toy brands. Back in 2016, the company made waves after releasing a new line of Barbie dolls designed to provide more diverse body-type representation.
Other toy companies have also made attempts to subvert gendered play with new products in recent years, such as LEGO’s LEGO Friends line, designed to attract female customers to the brand, as well as the release of American Girl’s first boy doll.
Mattel says the company’s latest contribution to the gender-neutral playscape, Creatable World, hopes “to keep labels out and invite everyone in.”
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