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.
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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.