On Thursday January 28, 2016 Barbie.com announced their new 2016 Barbie Fashionistas line and a big surprise that they have hailed “The Evolution of Barbie.” For 57 years Barbie has been known for her impossibly perfect body but it seems that times are changing and Barbie is changing with them. The company is so excited about their announcement that they created the hashtag #thedollevolves to get people talking about it.
Barbie Dolls now come in four different shapes which are “Original,” “Tall,” “Curvy,” and “Petite.” This will also be the first time that all Barbie Dolls will not be able to share clothes. The dolls will also have a variety of skin tones, hairstyles and outfits. This continues the trend of the 2015 Fashionistas line that was notable for adding many skin tones, hairstyles and the ability for Barbie to wear flats.
“For more than 55 years, Barbie has been a global, cultural icon and a source of inspiration and imagination to millions of girls around the world,” said Richard Dickson, President and Chief Operating Officer of Mattel said in the release. “Barbie reflects the world girls see around them. Her ability to evolve and grow with the times, while staying true to her spirit, is central to why Barbie is the number one fashion doll in the world,” he continued.
It should be noted that this big change may be coming because Barbie’s status as a popular doll is not as secure as it once was. Mattel and Barbie’s sales over the last few years have been sinking. In 2014 Lego overtook Mattel as the biggest toy company and Hasbro took over the Disney Princess line from Mattel just before the Frozen craze. These losses led to a major shakeup at Mattel including appointing Evelyn Mazzocco to Senior Vice President and Global General Manager Barbie 2014.
“These new dolls represent a line that is more reflective of the world girls see around them – the variety in body type, skin tones and style allows girls to find a doll that speaks to them.” – Evelyn Mazzocco
This is not the first time Barbie has entered the news in recent memory a few commercials had people talking including one featuring a little boy playing with the dolls alongside little girls. An ad from October featured little girls imagining themselves in different jobs through their Barbies relied heavily Barbie’s message that “You can be anything.” According to Time Magazine Mattel is hoping that Dolls that look more like the girls who play with them will help reinforce that idea in little girls minds. “Barbie has always given girls choices – from her 180 careers, to inspirational roles, to her countless fashions and accessories,” Mazzocco stated in the release. “We are excited to literally be changing the face of the brand – these new dolls represent a line that is more reflective of the world girls see around them – the variety in body type, skin tones and style allows girls to find a doll that speaks to them.”
Currently the new body types are available at Mattel’s online shop. It will be coming to major toy retailers in spring 2016. For more information about the new dolls check out the official Barbie website.