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- Mattel has announced the launch of a new gender-inclusive doll line, Creatable World, which features gender neutral dolls that aren’t designated as either boys or girls.
- Each doll kit comes with 100+ looks, the company says, so kids can mix and match styles (short hair with a skirt, long hair with a leather jacket, etc.)
- Each doll kit retails for £34.99.
Even though some toy stores have made a point of removing “boy” and “girl” signage from their toy aisles, the message is still abundantly clear. There’s still the aisle where everything is pink, and the aisle where everything is an action figure.
And that’s great for some kids, but not every child wants to choose between the doll that wears dresses and the one that gets to be an action hero.
Now, Mattel has come in with an innovative doll line that deftly solves this problem. Its new Creatable World line features six dolls, with differing skin tones, that aren’t designated as boys or girls. (Yes, this is coming from the makers of Barbie!)
Each toy comes with a long hairstyle and a short hairstyle, and kids can swap them out depending on how they feel. The clothes the dolls come with are gender-inclusive, too.
Each “character kit,” as the company calls it, comes with a host of clothes and accessories, including skirts, pants, and jackets, that can be mixed and matched, and then re-mixed and re-matched to make more than 100 looks. (The dolls aren’t even given names – not even gender-neutral ones. They’re truly blank slates.)
“Through research, we heard that kids don’t want their toys dictated by gender norms,” Kim Culmone, Mattel’s senior vice president of Mattel Fashion Doll Design, said in a statement.
“This line allows all kids to express themselves freely, which is why it resonates so strongly with them. We’re hopeful Creatable World will encourage people to think more broadly about how all kids can benefit from doll play.”
According to a story in TIME on the development of the line, the Creatable World dolls were meant to appeal to those kids who didn’t see themselves represented among all the toys in stores.
“There were a couple of gender-creative kids who told us that they dreaded Christmas Day because they knew whatever they got under the Christmas tree, it wasn’t made for them,” says Monica Dreger, head of consumer insights at Mattel.
“This is the first doll that you can find under the tree and see is for them because it can be for anyone.”
Each doll kit costs £34.99, which isn’t bad considering that each one comes with two hairstyles and around 11 different items of clothing or accessories. They’re already available for purchase, and you can find them at various retailers.