So you may have already seen the news that Barbie has a new look. Mattel sent us four of the dolls from the new range, and Miss J (4) wasted no time in playing with them. Here a closer look…
Now I’m guessing you’ve already noticed some big changes – these dolls aren’t all the same exact design from the same exact mould. No, They’re not that classic impossible shape, size, and height we tend to think of when we hear Barbie. These dolls are much more individual. They vary in height, body type and skin tone, and even their faces vary in shape.
Now, of course, Barbies have been slowly modernising for quite a while now (you can watch the ‘The Evolution of Barbie’ video) but this feels like a big leap forward.
A leap in the right direction? Yes, I think so. Sure, they’re still super dressed up and made up (I’m getting a strong Pretty Little Liars vibe from them, don’t you think?) but I think the change from how they were before is positive overall.
Recent Barbie ads have already been busy reminding girls they can be whatever they want to be, and now Mattel is doing something to show girls that they don’t have to be a certain height, shape or colour either.
As for Miss J, the real judge in all this, she loves them. I asked her which was her favourite, she told me it was the blonde because, “I like her pink belt”.
J doesn’t care which one is slim or tall. I don’t think she even noticed. I asked her what she thought their jobs were. She told me the one in blue is a doctor, she does operations (J had surgery a few weeks ago). The one in red is a clothes designer, she travels around the world. The one in the white skirt is a teacher, she’s very kind. And the blonde? She doesn’t have a job yet because she’s still studying.
Then the Barbies all sat down together and played picnics for about 30 seconds, before they were (according to Miss J’s narration) attacked by mutant bees, which they began fighting off with karate chops and spinning kicks. These girls aren’t to be messed with, it seems.
The only thing about these new dolls that J was disappointed by is the fact that you can’t bend their arms – the pose they come in is the pose they stay in – but other than that, she’s really pleased with them, and has welcomed them into the fold alongside her Frozen dolls and mini Mermaids to join in many pretend play adventures to come.
What do you think? A step in the right direction, too little too late, or no big deal? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the new Barbies.
Mattel sent us the toys for review. You can get dolls first on Amazon here.