For the first time in her 57-year history, Barbie comes in different body shapes: petite, tall, curvy, and original.
The new dolls are part of Barbie’s Fashionista 2016 line. In total, there are four body types, seven skin tones and 18 eye colors and hairstyles available â plus some dolls who can wear flat shoes! You can pre-order the new Barbies online or find them in stores everywhere starting in March.
This is a really big deal, and it happened because consumers made it happen.
Consumers have long been asking Mattel to offer Barbie dolls with realistic measurements and received little response. So, they started spending their money elsewhere. In 2014, Barbie doll sales dropped a record 16%. The same year, Barbie lost her title as the world’s best-selling doll to Hasbro’s Queen Elsa doll. It seems it was finally time for Mattel (Barbie’s parent company) to listen to consumers and give them the realistically-shaped dolls they’d been asking for since the last century. After two years of development, we’re meeting them for the first time.
Over the past few decades, Barbie has run for president several times, broken up with Ken, experimented with temporary tattoos, and even renovated her dream house after it turned out her wheelchair-using friend “Share a Smile Becky” couldn’t fit in the elevator. Last year Mattel ran their first commercial featuring a boy (gasp! but not really) playing with Barbies and loving every second of it.
All of these, no matter how long they’ve taken to materialize, are good changes. But none of them addressed the biggest issue people have had with Barbie for decades: her body shape.