Mattel The Makers Of Barbie Dolls Plan To Make Their Dolls More Diverse

With the call being made for toys that are more diverse the company Mattel that makes Barbie dolls plan to release dolls that have the skin condition vitiligo and another will have no hair.

The company has said it wants to “represent global diversity and inclusivity”.

The Barbie doll makers are not the only toy firm trying to improve ways to reflect society, for example, other companies such as Playmobil, Lego and Lottie are always making changes in their products.

Lottie dolls have made a doll that has a cochlear implant and both Playmobil and Lego have characters that are wheelchair users.

This is not the first time that Mattel has responded to requested changes in their products, they have previously launched gender-inclusive dolls and dolls with different colored skin and disabilities.

A spokesperson said: “If a girl is experiencing hair loss for any reason, she can see herself reflected in the line.

“A prototype was debuted on Barbie’s Instagram channel last year, becoming the channel’s most-liked post ever.”

Last year their two bestselling Fashionista dolls were the ones in wheelchairs and the “curvy black doll with afro hair”.

The company is also making sure boys aren’t left out. Their Ken doll has a new look too, he has long rooted hair which is different from the traditional molded look.

The company has said that “over half of all the dolls it sold last year were diverse and that of the top 10 bestsellers, seven were diverse, including the doll that uses a wheelchair”.

Despite this step-change, some feel that not enough is being done to make sure toys better reflect everyone in society.

Rebecca Atkinson is from the group Toy Like Me which campaigns by making over existing toys to show companies how they could look.

One example of the dolls they’ve made has vitiligo, which she thinks influenced the most recent Barbie.

Rebecca said: “It’s so important for children with disability and difference to see themselves positively represented in toys as this can help grow self-esteem.

“It’s also really important non-disabled children are exposed to disability through toys as it allows them to explore and ask questions about different bodies and conditions. When they meet a child in real life with that condition, research has shown they are likely to be more open-minded.”