Mattel’s gender neutral dolls are a stepping stone in the toy industry

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Mattel’s gender neutral dolls are a stepping stone in the toy industry

Madelyn Lumsden

Madelyn Lumsden

Madelyn Lumsden

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Mattel, the creators of the Barbie doll, has released a new doll that lets kids choose the gender of their toy. The doll is fully customizable and gender neutral, creating a doll that can either be a boy, a girl, neither or both. After years of manufacturing and promoting the traditional female image for young girls in Barbie dolls, the production of a gender neutral doll is something that changes the stigma around the company. 

 

Mattel has been solely known for creating the Barbie franchise above the countless toys and games that they have made. Since 1959, Barbie has been a staple to children’s households growing up and she has usually been the standard white, tall, blonde and skinny barbie. And while Mattel has made efforts in being more inclusive when it comes to body types and race, they have never pushed the brand more than they have with the traditional doll. Creating a separate line of dolls, under the name of “Creatable World Dolls” that are not included within the Barbie franchise, introduces a new wave of toys for the newer generation. 

 

Teenagers of Metea Valley are no longer playing with toys due to the heavy responsibilities that are now placed on us that come with getting older. Time is no longer spent having fun and more or less spent doing homework, however, as a child, the majority had some type of toy that they could play with. Growing up, gender plays a significant role in the toys that children play with. Stores like Walmart and Target hadn’t changed the toy aisle to be more gender neutral until a couple of years ago which was a huge step in itself, however, it doesn’t change the way that kids play. 

 

Gender neutral dolls give both boys and girls the opportunity to play without any gender restrictions. And while children may not have any questions about their gender personally, they could learn a lot from being exposed to an everyday item that provides conversation between the child and their family. The sole purpose of creating the gender neutral doll is to make something everyone could be included in, but the creation of this doll is also very controversial among parents. 

 

Of course, it is up to the parent to decide whether or not to have conversations about gender, but the introduction of a gender neutral doll can help strike up a conversation about the aspects of gender that some may not be comfortable with. However, as progressive and inclusive as the world has gotten over the past few years compared to the 50s when the Barbie doll originally came out, the creation of these “Creatable World Dolls” is a step in the right direction.