Mattel has brought out new figurines with more than 100 looks, including a doll in a wheelchair and one with a removable prosthetic leg. The toymaker’s new designs, which also include dolls with braided hair and different body types, have been launched as part of the brand’s 60th anniversary celebrations. Kim Culmone, Mattel’s vice-president of Barbie design, said the dolls were created as a response to growing demand from customers.
She said: “We’re going to be introducing a doll in a wheelchair and a doll representing physical disabilities. She has a prosthetic limb.
“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.”
Disability equality charities have also praised the toymaker for raising awareness in disability.
Phil Talbot, head of communications at Scope, said: “It’s wonderful to see one of the world’s most iconic toys embracing disability.
“Disabled children should have the opportunity to play with toys that represent them and their lives.
“At Scope, we believe that anyone working to challenge negative attitudes and celebrate disability is a Disability Gamechanger. Change requires action at all levels and everyone can play their part.
“We hope more toy manufacturers follow suit and also become Disability Gamechangers.”