Gender Equality

Mattel launched a line of gender-neutral dolls

The Creative World dolls keeps labels out and invites every kid in to play.

Image: mattel.com

Image: mattel.com

Mattel, one of the world's largest toy makers is best known for its Barbie dolls and matchbox cars did away with its boys' and girls' toys lines in 2018 and went to non-gendered sections like dolls and cars. Now, it has introduced a new line of six dolls that are gender neutral.

The new Creative World dolls is a customizable doll line that offers endless combinations in one box according to Mattel's news release. The dolls that will sell for $29.99 come with different skin tones and hair. There is an extensive wardrobe, accessories, and wigs that let's kids style their dolls exactly how they want to. That's because gender is more fluid in today's society and the company wanted to be more inclusive.

According to a recent study by the Williams Institute of the University of California in Los Angeles, 27 percent of California teens identify as gender nonconforming. It is unusual today for Americans not to know someone who is non binary.

"Toys are a reflection of culture and as the world continues to celebrate the positive impact of inclusivity, we felt it was time to create a doll line free of labels," Kim Culmone, senior vice president of Mattel Fashion Doll Design, said in the news release.

“Through [our]research, we heard that kids don’t want their toys dictated by gender norms. 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. ”

Mattel worked with a dedicated team of experts including physicians, parents, and kids to create the new line. In fact, while doing this research, the company spoke to over 250 families including 15 children who identify across the gender spectrum according to National Public Radio.

Mattel's President Richard Dickson was quick to say that the new doll line is not a political statement. "We're not in the business of politics, and we respect the decision any parent makes around how they raise their kids. Our job is to stimulate imaginations. Our toys are ultimately canvases for cultural conversation, but it's your conversation, not ours; your opinion, not ours," he told Time.

With the company slogan that introduced Creative World as a "doll line designed to keep labels out and invite everyone in – giving kids the freedom to create their own customizable characters again and again," these dolls can be a him, her, them, or xem.

While gender neutrality for children's toys has been a case of using stuffed animals instead of dolls and not having blue and pink items in many places for decades, this is the first time a major toy company has made this type of commitment. It’s time for more companies to follow.

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