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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 March 2019

Diverse dolls: Barbie now comes with a prosthetic limb and a wheelchair

Mattel's 2019 collection of Barbie dolls includes two that are disabled

The Barbie Fashionistas line becomes more diverse and inclusive than ever. The 2019 collection features a doll in a wheelchair, prosthetic limbs, new body types and various hair textures. AP
The Barbie Fashionistas line becomes more diverse and inclusive than ever. The 2019 collection features a doll in a wheelchair, prosthetic limbs, new body types and various hair textures. AP

Long gone are the days where Barbie was just a slender blonde with long legs and blue eyes.

Mattel's 2019 Barbie collection is a more diverse group than ever, and two of the new dolls joining the line are disabled. One has a prosthetic leg and another one is in a wheelchair.

The figurines are set to debut in June this year as part of the Barbie Fashionistas line, which aims to offer children a more diverse representation of beauty.

'A multi-dimensional view'

"As a brand, we can elevate the conversation around physical disabilities by including them in our fashion doll line to further showcase a multi-dimensional view of beauty and fashion," Mattel said in a statement.

The American toy company collaborated with Jordan Reeves, a 13-year-old disability activist who was born without a left forearm, to create the doll with a prosthetic limb, reports CNN. The limb can be removed for a "more realistic" play experience.

For the doll in a wheelchair, Mattel worked with UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital and other wheelchair experts to create a true-to-life accessory. Mattel has confirmed it's actually one of the most requested accessories from Barbie fans.

"While there are many types of wheelchairs, this chair is modelled after one that is designed for an individual who has a permanent physical disability," Mattel also said in its statement.

A ramp to be affixed to the Barbie DreamHouse will also be released.

Diverse dolls

It all comes as part of an effort by the company to portray more diversity through its dolls by also offering a wider range of skin shades, eye colours, hairstyles and more realistic body types.

In 2017, Mattel also introduced the first Barbie to wear a hijab.

Updated: February 17, 2019 11:50 AM

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