Mattel has released a set of gender-neutral dolls this week that give children the freedom to choose whether the dolls are dressed and accessorised as female, male, both or neither. The line is called Creatable World and is compromised of six dolls that have different skin colours, hairstyles and clothing. The range aims to support children who identify as gender fluid. While researching the line, Mattel spoke to 250 families with children who identify across the gender spectrum, as well as experts.

Mattel has been heavily criticised for the unrealistic beauty standards portrayed through their Barbie dolls, with many people calling for the company to be more inclusive and reflective of today’s society. Whilst Mattel has taken steps to expand the Barbie line, including creating Barbies with STEM jobs, this is a big development for the brand. It’s a huge step towards modelling diversity and helping to create a cultural shift in the binary way many people think about gender. There has been some criticism that the toy line doesn’t go far enough. However, as Mattel is a large multinational company, it is an important move that will hopefully open avenues for other toy manufacturers to follow suit. We think that this is a great toy for children, particularly those who may not have much representation, and hope it will help to break down stereotypical gender norms.