Mattel has announced the debut of its first-ever Barbie with Down syndrome.
The doll was “created to allow even more children to see themselves in Barbie, as well as have Barbie reflect the world around them,” the popular toy manufacturer said in a press release. “The Barbie doll with Down syndrome is meant to inspire all children to tell more stories through play.”
According to Mattel, the toy — part of the 2023 Fashionistas line, which champions diversity — is available for purchase from major retailers for $10.99.
Barbie collaborated with the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) to “ensure the doll accurately represents a person with Down syndrome,” per the release.
“NDSS empowers individuals with Down syndrome and their families by providing resources, driving policy change [and] engaging with local communities,” Mattel added. “NDSS’s guidance and real-world experiences informed the design process from start to finish, including the doll’s sculpt, clothing, accessories and packaging. The close partnership ensured the Barbie team celebrated individuals with Down syndrome through a doll that would immediately connect with the community.”
“It was an honor working with Barbie on the Barbie doll with Down syndrome,” said Kandi Pickard, the president and CEO of NDSS. “This means so much for our community, who for the first time, can play with a Barbie doll that looks like them. This Barbie serves as a reminder that we should never underestimate the power of representation. It is a huge step forward for inclusion and a moment that we are celebrating.”
About one in every 772 babies in the U.S. is born with Down syndrome, according to NDSS. That’s about 5,100 babies each year.