In February this year, American toy company Mattel launched its first-ever Barbie with a prosthetic leg and reintroduced Barbie in a wheelchair.
This came 20 years after the brand’s first version was discontinued because the doll’s wheelchair couldn’t fit into the dollhouse.
In a bid to be more inclusive, designers have taken things a step further by creating a black Barbie (the 90s version only came in Caucasian) with natural hair in a wheelchair. It comes with a ramp that is attachable to the Barbie Dreamhouse dollhouse.
The doll is part of the Fashionista line, Mattel’s ongoing attempt to create more inclusive toys and is the first black Barbie to use a wheelchair.
According to the Insider, the team of designers behind the doll collaborated with partners at UCLA Mattel Children’s hospital and wheelchair experts to create a toy that is” modelled after a real, rigid-frame wheelchair.”
The doll was released to mostly positive reception, with people praising Mattel’s efforts at becoming a more inclusive toy production company. In a time when minority groups are agitating for overdue inclusion in all things, it was a timely move for the company.
Users on social media expressed their excitement over the development and the message it conveys to young girls and women across the world.
A representative from Mattel told Insider that the Fashionista line of dolls will keep evolving, and this can only mean more inclusion and diversity.