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New Barbie Dolls Use a Wheelchair, Have a Prosthetic Leg

The new line of Barbie Fashionistas will be the most inclusive yet.
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By Stephanie Grassullo, Contributing Writer
Published February 12, 2019
Mattel introduces new line of Barbie Fashionistas, featuring dolls that use a wheelchair and have a prosthetic leg.
Image: Courtesy Mattel

Barbie is celebrating its 60th birthday this year by launching its most inclusive line of dolls to date.

Mattel revealed the 2019 Fashionistas line, which includes a Barbie doll that uses a wheelchair, as well as one who has a prosthetic leg.

“Over the years, the Barbie Fashionistas line has evolved to be more reflective of the world girls see around them. We’re excited to expand our offerings as the most diverse and inclusive doll line in the world,” the Barbie account shares on Instagram.

Back in 2015, Mattel made its first push to include new skin tones and hair textures in its collection. Since then, it’s added dolls that come in petite, tall and curvy body types. Now, the classic brand will finally represent kids who have disabilities or special needs.

“A wheelchair or doll in a wheelchair was one of the most requested items through our consumer…hotline. It’s important to us to listen to our consumers,” Kim Culmone, Mattel’s vice president of Barbie Design, tells Teen Vogue.

All of the Barbies in the “Made to Move” collection will fit in the wheelchair.

The design team worked alongside people with disabilities to ensure the new dolls properly portrayed them. Specifically, 12-year-old Jordan Reeves, who has a prosthetic arm, had a big say in the makeup of the doll with the prosthetic leg, according to Teen Vogue. In fact, the tween even requested the prosthetic be removable so it was more realistic.

We can expect a whole lot more where that came from, according to Mattel.

“It is a continuation of our mission to really show all girls they have limitless potential, that it’s not the end,” Culmone tells Teen Vogue. “This is just a continuing commitment that’s about the present and the future.”

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