Kids come into the world with a blank slate — gender is a society-dictated binary system that is infused at a young age. Just walk down the toy or kids' clothing aisles and you'll see blue and dinosaurs and cars on one side, pink and dolls and unicorns on the other. But Mattel is changing that with Creatable World™, a customizable doll line that invites kids to create their own characters.
The dolls don't look like girls. Or boys. So kids can create a doll of their choosing, wherever that falls on the spectrum of gender. “Kids do not want to be dictated to,” says Kim Culmone, Senior Vice President of Mattel Fashion Doll Design. “They are looking for items that let them project themselves into the play, and put them in control of the narratives that they create. Doll play is about storytelling and if we can hand over tools for kids to create their own stories, thats where the joy and magic of doll play happens. I hope what Creatable World™ does is allow more children reflected in the toys that they play with.”
Extensive wardrobe options, accessories and wigs allow kids to style the doll with short or long hair, or in a skirt, pants, or both.
“Toys are a reflection of culture and as the world continues to celebrate the positive impact of inclusivity, we felt it was time to create a doll line free of labels,” continues Culmone. “Through research, we heard that kids don’t want their toys dictated by gender norms. This line allows all kids to express themselves freely which is why it resonates so strongly with them. We’re hopeful Creatable World will encourage people to think more broadly about how all kids can benefit from doll play.”
As someone who is trying to raise her child in an inclusive manner, this brings me so much happiness — I hope this is the start of a much-needed change in the toy industry.
The kits are now available at Target, Walmart and Amazon for $30 (and you bet that I've already bought Elliott one, as well as my nieces and nephew!). Let's all be sure to support this move to encourage more of the same. Bravo, Mattel!