At the age of 57, the world’s most popular plastic doll, Barbie, is getting a major makeover.
Mattel is coming out with a new Barbie’s Fashionistas line, 23 diverse dolls with eight different skin tones, 14 different facial structures, 18 different eye colors, 22 hairstyles, and 23 hair colors. Barbie, whose small waist and long legs have been criticized for creating unrealistic expectations for girls, will also be sold with three new bodies — curvy, tall and petite.
“The look of the dolls is great,” said Marc Rosenberg, a marketing consultant in Chicago who has worked in the toy industry for 25 years. But in order to connect with kids, the new dolls need to show up in Barbie YouTube videos, apps, shows and other content, he said.
While some are celebrating the diversity of the new Barbie, others feel that the world’s best-selling doll should only be differentiated by their careers and not their shape, colour or size.
“Ultimately, haters are going to hate,” COO Richard Dickson said. “We want to make sure the Barbie lovers love us more—and perhaps changing the people who are negative to neutral. That would be nice.”
The new body shapes will be sold online starting January 28th at Barbie.com and will appear in retail stores later in 2016.