It's time to get excited, because the Barbie's Fashionista collection is expanding. According to their social media announcement, Mattel is adding more skin tones, hair textures, and more to the Barbie Fashionista line up, making it the most diverse to date. The new line of Fashionistas features 40 new dolls with seven body types and 11 skin tones, according to the Barbie website. It might be one small step for Barbie, but it's kinda one giant leap for the world of toys.
Back in January 2016, the iconic doll was made over to include a wider range of body types from curvy to petite. It was met with a mostly positive reception, and was certainly a big step forward, despite still not being quite all-inclusive. Now Ken is getting similar treatment. Mattel's "Next Gen Ken" comes in three new body types that you can shop right now. It might have taken 58 years, but more diverse Ken dolls have finally arrived — sort of.
You can now buy the male dolls in "broad," "slim," and "original" versions. While GQ refers to the new doll's branding as a "radical attempt to alter kids’ psyches," the three bodies look pretty similar in photos. In fact, the brand won't even be putting a body shape label on the packaging, which makes it harder to see a difference between the three types. A rep for Mattel tells Bustle via email, "Evolving Ken was a natural step in the evolution of Barbie's world. By adding more variety to the line, we can offer more opportunity for story-telling potential." All three body types are pictured in the below image, including original (far left), broad (middle left), and slim (middle right).
Something you can note the difference on is their hairstyles — for both Barbie and Ken. The brand added 34 hair options into the mix for their Fashionista Collection on top of all the other changes. The styles include red and even blue hair for Barbie and buns and cornrows for the Ken dolls. While it's true that most of the dolls are still rather slim or hourglass shaped, and that a wider range of skin tones and gender identities could be represented, race, or gender is accounted for, this is definitely a step in the right direction.
All 40 of the new dolls and their accessories are available to shop on the Barbie website right now. While you can't buy the entire Fashionista crew all together, there are some bundles of two and three dolls available as well as each one individually. All dolls in the new crew crew cost $9.99, depending on how many you're looking to stock up on.
People are pretty excited about the new change as well, even if there's still more room to expand the line even further.
Who says you can't play with dolls as an adult?
The new "Man Bun" Ken doll comes with shirt, shoes, and keys to Barbie's car that he's driving until he "gets back on his feet again." pic.twitter.com/gYmXwR9WEc— Benjamin Siemon (@BenjaminJS) June 20, 2017
I'll just set this right here.
Great job! I can't wait to see what other identities you come up with.— Jasmine Pengelly (@StackJaz) June 20, 2017
Fingers crossed that even more inclusiveness is on the way!
Hey, I'm sure man-bun Ken is a really nice person!
Mattel introduces new diverse line of Ken dolls, including man bun, dad bod, petite, cornrow. Still no bearded, bald, or tattooed though. pic.twitter.com/fNBiXo2Pi4— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) June 20, 2017
Next on the list, I hope!
Call it what you will.
The Barbie play-time storylines just got a whole lot more interesting.