Mattel introduces Gender-Neutral Doll

“My kids wouldn’t even bring that up, they would just be like oh cool! It can be a girl, or it can be boy,”

Humberto Arredondo, Reporter

Boys and girls have been able to identify with Barbie and Ken respectively, and now Mattel has introduced a gender-neutral doll with no labels allowing you to customize your doll as you please.

Mattel’s new line Creatable World was introduced last week— the line features the world’s first gender-neutral doll in which lets kids decide via accessories if they choose to be a boy, a girl, neither or both.

The dolls have six variations, each with different skin tones, two hairstyle options and a variety of clothes allowing for endless customization.

“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,” said Kim Culmone, Senior Vice President of Mattel Fashion Doll Design. “Through 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’s goal is to make these dolls relatable to children, therefore ditching the adult look of Barbie and Ken was important in their process.

The design and research behind the doll took 18 months and worked with both physicians and gender identity experts as well as 250 families across the country were asked about their ideal doll.

“The kids didn’t want to be told that boys had to play with cars and girls had to play with dolls,” Culmone said, when describing the research results.

While the toys seemed natural to the kids some of the parents had concerns about what discussions they would need to have with their kids if playing with these dolls.

“Some parents may be uncomfortable feeling like the toy is creating a situation where gender will need to be discussed with their child,” Culmone said, “but that’s a really personal family decision.”

Northeast Valley News spoke with Tabitha Guerrero, mother of three on her thoughts about whether or not the doll would create uncomfortable situations with her children.
“I don’t think it’s a factor, but I feel like I’m very open to the conversation. I feel like there are kids that feel that they are in the wrong bodies and that’s something that they have to deal with, and my kids are one day going to have to encounter that. But I feel like the conversation of the doll, I don’t know I feel like my kids wouldn’t even bring that up, they would just be like oh cool! It can be a girl, or it can be boy,” Guerrero said.

As progressive as Creatable World is, Mattel made it a point to state that this is not politically related and is simply all about play and they expect some pushback from some consumers and they are fine with that.