Mattel launches a gender neutral doll line & we are so here for it

Creatable World Dolls
Mattel

 

Mattel recently launched Creatable World, "a doll line designed to keep labels out and invite everyone in." What makes these dolls special and different than your average doll is that they are customizable and gender neutral. Each doll comes in a kit and is designed so it can be customized to be a girl, a boy, or neither.

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The doll line is meant to give kids a blank canvas on which they can create their own characters. Each 11-inch doll is made so that it's not discernably female or male, has a short haircut, comes with six clothing items, three pairs of shoes, two accessories, and a long-haired wig. Each doll kit lets a child create different styles with the same doll.

Here's a promo spot that does a great job of explaining the line of dolls.

In this video, several children play with the new line of Creatable World dolls while a voice over says:

In our world dolls are as limitless as the kids who play with them. Introducing Creatable World: A doll line designed to keep labels out and invite everyone in, making play more inclusive than ever before. Creatable World all welcome.

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Boys will be boys and toys will be toys.

Can we all agree there is absolutely nothing wrong with boys playing with toys? And, since dolls are toys, there is nothing wrong with any child playing with dolls.

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This line of dolls is for KIDS.

It's for boys, it's for girls, it's for gender fluid kids, it's for gender nonbinary kids. The dolls are for any child who wants to play with them.

How do the kits work?

Each kit offers the possibility of over 100 looks. You can change their outfits, hair, and accessories to create so many looks.

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The dolls have a childlike look to them.

They come in different shades and with different hair colors and hair types, but all the dolls look like a young child. In other words, they don't look like adults, but more like a skinny 7- to 9-year-old kid who hasn't hit puberty.

So far there are six different doll kits to choose from.

Although the dolls are different and meant to be inclusive, they do all have the same body type. Perhaps in the future Mattel will expand the "blank canvas" doll bodies to include bodies of different sizes and abilities.

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The clothing that comes in each kit is very stylish.

Dressing the dolls in different looks is easy. The clothing included with each kit is refreshingly modern and not all gender specific.

There has been a lot of positive reaction to these dolls.

The comments on Instagram for the dolls have been very positive. Instagram user @kimberstudio wrote, "I love, love, love these dolls! @mattel you hit it out of the park with this concept. I think it's incredible that you've given children the power to style and customize their dolls the way they like."

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Enter the naysayers, because there will always be naysayers...

According to Time, some adults feel that the dolls push a political agenda. Sigh. Insert eyeroll here. If inclusivity and representation are a political agenda, then they're right.

Is Mattel pushing a political agenda?

“We’re not in the business of politics,” says Mattel President Richard Dickson. “And we respect the decision any parent makes around how they raise their kids. Our job is to stimulate imaginations. Our toys are ultimately canvases for cultural conversation, but it’s your conversation, not ours; your opinion, not ours.”

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Also, let's think about how kids see these dolls.

“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,” says Head of Consumer Insights at Mattel Monica Dreger. “This is the first doll that you can find under the tree and see is for them because it can be for anyone.”

If the dolls aren't pushing a political agenda, why rock the doll boat?

“I think being a company today, you have to have a combination of social justice along with commerce, and that balance can be tricky,” Dickson says. “Not everyone will appreciate you or agree with you.”

Topics: toys