Barbie is getting even more inclusive with the latest additions to its Barbie Fashionistas line.
The Fashionistas dolls this year include Ken in a wheelchair, Ken with rooted hair reflecting an afro, and Barbie with lighter skin with vitiligo. The brand is also rolling out new packaging that includes a reusable bag for kids to carry their dolls for more portable and sustainable play.
Ken with a wheelchair will be introduced for the first time after the popularity of Barbie with a wheelchair, which came out in 2019. Barbie in a wheelchair also gets an update this year with a refreshed look that comes with accessories — a fanny pack and sunglasses or earrings — and a ramp that is compatible with the Barbie Dreamhouse. According to Mattel, Barbie with a wheelchair was the second most popular Fashionistas doll in the world.
Last year, Ken joined the Fashionistas line for the first time with long, rooted hair, and this year, the style expands with a Black Ken Fashionista doll with rooted hair. Of the top Ken Fashionista best sellers in 2020, the Ken with long, rooted hair was the second most popular in the world.
This year, there will also be a Barbie with vitiligo doll on a Caucasian skin tone. A doll with vitiligo was introduced last year, and was one of the top five Fashionista best-sellers in the U.S. last year and in the top 10 globally, according to Mattel.
The new dolls in the collection will be available in the spring and fall at Walmart, Target, and Amazon.
The news comes on the heels of The NPD Group‘s annual Toy Industry Performance Awards, which named Barbie as the top global toy property of the year.
“As Barbie accelerates to new heights as the No. 1 global toy property, and holds as the No. 1 fashion doll property, the message is clear that Barbie brand is more relevant than ever,” says Lisa McKnight, senior vice president and global head of Barbie and dolls at Mattel. “As the most diverse fashion doll line on the market, we take great responsibility in better reflecting the world around us and know there are many positive benefits to exposing children to dolls with different skin tones, hair types, abilities, and more. We are proud to offer an even wider range of diverse choices with the latest Barbie Fashionistas line so more kids see themselves reflected in our doll line.”
The Barbie Fashionistas line has more than 175 looks, offering kids a variety of skin tones, eye colors, hair colors and textures, body types, and fashions for the Barbie and Ken dolls that they play with.