Mattel, Creator of Barbie, Bets Big on ‘Gender Neutral’ Dolls

September 25, 2019, 2:48 PM UTC
Mattel Gender Neutral Dolls Creatable World
Courtesy of Mattel
Courtesy of Mattel

It has been 60 years since Mattel revolutionized the doll world with Barbie. Now the toy maker is hoping lightning can strike twice.

The company is looking to appeal to a new generation with a line of gender neutral dolls called Creatable World. The toys, says Mattel, are “designed to keep labels out and invite everyone in.”

Each doll comes with long and short hair options, along with six pieces of clothing, three pairs of shoes and two accessories (one for each gender). Physically, the dolls lack the buxom, hourglass figure of Barbie and the wide shoulders of Ken.

“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. … We’re hopeful Creatable World will encourage people to think more broadly about how all kids can benefit from doll play.”

The product will cost $30 and be available at most major retailers, including Amazon, Target and Walmart.

Creatable World will have to work hard to match even a shadow of the sales of the Barbie line. Last year, that franchise brought in $1.09 billion in annual revenue, even with the shutdown of Toys R Us. The company recently paired with National Geographic for a new line of Barbies and is working on a film based around the doll.

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