Mattel announced a gender-inclusive doll called “Creatable World” on Sept. 25. This will allow children to combine femininity and masculinity of the respective dolls as desired. According to Mattel‘s press release the “customizable doll line offering endless combinations all in one box. Creatable World invites kids to create their characters. Extensive wardrobe options, accessories and wigs allow kids to style the doll with short or long hair, or in a skirt, pants or both.”
“We see this line as an opportunity for us to open up that dialogue around what dolls are for and who dolls are for,” Senior vice president Kim Culmone Mattel said in a statement about the launch gaining national attention. “And also, as the world begins to celebrate the positive impact of inclusivity, we absolutely fundamentally believed it was time to launch a doll line free of labels and free of rules for kids.”
“Creatable World gives kids a blank canvas to create their own characters. Switch long hair for short hair—add a skirt, pants or both. It’s up to you! Mix and match, swap or share,” information on the website clarified.
The voice-over for the commercial included, “Introducing @CreatableWorld, a doll line designed to keep labels out and invite everyone in, making play more inclusive than ever before.”
Mattel experimented with 250 families, “including 15 children who identify as trans, gender-nonbinary or gender-fluid and rarely see themselves reflected in the media…,” Time reported. The news outlet interviewed the head of consumer insights at Mattel, Monica Dreger, who said: “‘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.’”
Gender-fluid is defined as being a person whose gender identity is not fixed and is interchangeable. Dictionary.com characterized gender-fluid as: “A person isn’t considered gender-fluid just because they like to wear typically masculine clothing one day and feminine clothing the next day—that is considered a form of gender expression. To be gender-fluid is chiefly a question of internal personal identity, and is, therefore, a psychological phenomenon.”
Mattel was started in 1945 by Harold Matson, Eliot Handler and his wife, co-founder Ruth Handler. Ruth Handler created the Barbie doll and introduced it to the American International Toy Fair in 1959, making Barbie a global icon.
Mattel’s lines include Barbie, Hot Wheels, American Girl, Fisher-Price and Thomas & Friends.