Conscious of criticism, Mattel has updated their ‘Fashionista’ range with ‘Wheelchair Barbie’, dolls with prosthetics and the skin condition vitiligo.
The Fashionistas line up was launched in 2016 with With four new body types, seven skin tones, 22 eye colours, and 24 hairstyles. This was Mattel’s response to diversity criticism. Now, some four years later, and some would say ‘about time too’, disability and diversity is represented in the range. It’s not perfect, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Mattel worked with partners at UCLA Mattel Children’s hospital, along with some wheelchair experts to get the details right and to ensure the wheelchair was authentic in every respect. It’s also possible to buy extended leg supports which fit the Barbie wheelchair.
‘As a brand, we can elevate the conversation around physical disabilities by including them into our fashion doll line to further showcase a multi-dimensional view of beauty and fashion‘, Mattel said in a press release.
At Mobshop we think it’s important that the kids to whom we supply wheelchairs have toys to which they can relate.