Iconic Barbie retailer Mattel is breaking the mold with a new toy: the world’s first gender-neutral doll. The company unveiled its Creatable World doll kits this morning, as Time magazine reports.
Each doll is designed to be super customizable. Its gender isn’t designated or obviously distinguishable by its features, and kids can dress the doll up or down however they choose, picking from the different outfit and hair options that come with each purchase of a kit.
Mattel’s marketing slogan? “A doll line designed to keep labels out and invite everyone in.”
Mattel did away with gendered marketing for its toys years ago, but the Creatable World doll—which is designed to take on any gender its owner likes—is in a league of its own. The company reportedly tested prototypes of the doll with 250 different families from seven states in the U.S.
Among that sampling, 15 children identified as “trans, gender nonbinary, or genderfluid.”
— MATTEL (@Mattel) September 25, 2019
“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,” Monica Dreger, head of consumer insights at Mattel, told Time. “This is the first doll that you can find under the tree and see is for them because it can be for anyone.”
4/ Mattel’s first promotional spot for the $29.99 item features a series of kids who go by various pronouns — him, her, them, xem — and the slogan “A doll line designed to keep labels out and invite everyone in” pic.twitter.com/7fgKRYzhbe
— TIME (@TIME) September 25, 2019
Each Creatable World doll kit costs $30 and will be sold at online retailers like Amazon, Target, and Walmart. Six dolls are currently available, each with varying skin tones and hair textures—another intentional move to promote inclusivity.
This isn’t Mattel’s first foray into gender nonconforming or LGBTQ dolls. In July, the company debuted its limited-edition David Bowie Barbie, which was modeled after the late bisexual music legend’s iconic Ziggy Stardust persona. And last March, Mattel included a Frida Kahlo Barbie in its International Women’s Day collection, featuring dolls modeled after women trailblazers from history.