In a surprise and controversial move today, the toy-making giant Mattel has announced it is releasing gender-neutral dolls called Creatable World. The dolls will allow children to customize and choose their dolls’ gender.
“In our world, dolls are as limitless as the kids who play with them,” the company says on its website.
Mattel says they wanted to design dolls that will “keep labels out and invite everyone in.”
The toy kit options come with short hair and long hair, six pieces of clothing, three pairs of shoes and a couple of accessories, which can be both male and female presenting.
There are no curves on the girls and the boys do not have broad shoulders.
“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,” Kim Culmore, senior vice president of Mattel fashion doll design, said in a statement sent to USA TODAY.
Public comments of social media have decidedly been against the gender-neutral dolls:
Zippyszip wrote: “Do they come with Therapist and Gender reassignment surgeon Barbie?”
House Martin wrote: “I fear for the mental stability of the future generations..utter madness !!”
While Bellasmummy wronte: “I can’t stand this anymore.”
The company says the creation of the gender-netural dolls is simply a response to what modern children are asking for; saying “kids don’t want their toys dictated by gender norms.”
“We’re hopeful Creatable World will encourage people to think more broadly about how all kids can benefit from doll play,” the company said.
Doll kits start at $29.99.