Mattel introduces world's first gender-neutral doll, cites market demand

Playtime isn’t just playtime anymore for today’s kids. A normal part of childhood has turned into a political agenda. Just in time for Christmas shopping, toymaker giant Mattel introduced a gender-neutral doll.

Mattel is going the way of other large corporations as far as trying to prove just how woke it is. This is a toymaker, though, and its market is children. When Mattel jumps on the woke wagon it is because of adult decisions and what toy developers and marketing experts think will sell to children. For example, the description of the new doll makes it sound as though it answers a need felt by “half the world’s kids.” The dolls look like “a slender seven-year-old with short hair”.

The doll can be a boy, a girl, neither or both, and Mattel, which calls this the world’s first gender-neutral doll, is hoping its launch on Sept. 25 redefines who gets to play with a toy traditionally deemed taboo for half the world’s kids. Carefully manicured features betray no obvious gender: the lips are not too full, the eyelashes not too long and fluttery, the jaw not too wide. There are no Barbie-like breasts or broad, Ken-like shoulders. Each doll in the Creatable World series looks like a slender 7-year-old with short hair, but each comes with a wig of long, lustrous locks and a wardrobe befitting any fashion-conscious kid: hoodies, sneakers, graphic T-shirts in soothing greens and yellows, along with tutus and camo pants.

So any feminine features of say, a Barbie doll, are eliminated so that boys will be comfortable playing with dolls. This is where I point to the obvious and say that boys have played with dolls for quite some time – they are called action figures. They, too, have wardrobe options and fun additional accessories. Little boys have played with G.I.Joe in past generations and today’s kids have a vast variety of options in the superhero market. I just find it hard to believe there is a huge outcry for genderless Barbies out there.

The development team at Mattel claims it’s science, you see, and kids don’t want “gendered” toys.

To develop the dolls and their accessories — all components are original, and research and design took 18 months — Mattel worked with physicians and experts knowledgeable about gender identity as well as 250 families across the country, including children of all gender identities. “We talked to them about what they had in dolls currently and what they were looking for,” Culmone said.

What did the researchers learn? “The kids didn’t want to be told that boys had to play with cars and girls had to play with dolls,” Culmone said.

As for the parents, researchers found a growing concern around gendered toys for their children — though a generational divide on the subject was certainly evident, Chidoni said. “While this was something that was really innate to the kids, it was something that, in some cases, was a little bit harder for their parents to understand,” she said.

It feels like we’ve been here before. Didn’t the same kind of debates about boys and girls and the toys they choose to play with come in back in the days of the early feminist movement? Weren’t we told to give little boys dolls to play with and little girls trucks? It turned out, though, that given a choice boys and girls naturally select traditionally “gendered” toys. It is probably a biological trait – you know, science.

Barbie dolls are marketed to 3 – 12-year-olds. This doll is carefully not called a gender-neutral Barbie, but a product in a new line of dolls – Creatable World. Unlike Barbie, this new doll is “relatable” not “aspirational”.

The new line, introduced on Wednesday and called Creatable World, is intended to reflect our culture “as the world continues to celebrate the positive impact of inclusivity,” said Kim Culmone, the Mattel executive who led the team that designed the new dolls.

Available in different skin tones, each doll comes with two wigs of different lengths — hair types include curly, straight and braided — and several wardrobe options that allow children to style the doll with “short or long hair, or in a skirt, pants or both,” Culmone said. Each kit, as they’re called, costs about $30.

The introduction of politics into the toy market is being denied. That’s simply nonsense, though, and one reason for the decision to produce a gender-neutral product includes the argument that President Trump’s administration is changing public policy as it concerns the LGBTQ agenda.

And while Mattel doesn’t want to wade into political waters on the subject — “we see this as something that’s all about play and not about politics,” Chidoni said — gender identity has become highly politicized in recent years.

The Trump administration has reversed transgender-friendly policies of the Obama administration regarding schools, prisons and military service. And in recent years, many school districts have faced contentious legal challenges over which bathrooms transgender students should be allowed to use.

This doll wasn’t developed during the Obama administration, though, and those years were when the whole bathroom argument came into play with the transgender community. This is all about the politicization of sexual identity. The party of science wants to bend science certainities into a world where more than two genders exist. Basic biology refutes that. The transgender community is a miniscual one within the total general population. Pandering to the woke parents who wish to shove a political agenda on their children is abusive. Biology dictates that there are two sexes, genders. It’s all the rage to dip into the transgender world now because of the normalization seen in our culture. The entertainment industry is busy pretending that this is all perfectly normal behavior and not the behavior of a small minority in the general population. This kind of decison of a major toymaker falls into line with that agenda.