A Brand New Barbie – Mattel at Toy Fair 2016
At this year’s Toy Fair, I was given the chance to preview some of Mattel’s current and upcoming toys, and there is a big emphasis on more, varied options for girls.
Barbie’s new motto seems to be, “You can be anything”, a message that I wholeheartedly agree with. Mattel has a wide range of products debuting in 2016, featuring more diversity and representation. In addition to some new Barbies, there are action figures for Batman vs. Superman as well as the upcoming Ghostbusters reboot, dolls based on classic DC heroines (and villains!), and a line of both Star Wars and Captain America inspired Hot Wheels! Let’s take a look at some of the products featured from Mattel.
The biggest and most important line is the Barbie Fashionistas line. This line includes thirty-three dolls with four different body types (curvy, petite, tall, and original), seven different skin tones, and twenty-four hair styles. The line debuts in stores this spring, but you can currently buy most of the dolls online at the Mattel Shop.
I have two sisters. Our Barbie collection was insane. I am beyond thrilled that Mattel has finally decided to diversify Barbie more (personally, I loved my Kira doll); I only wish these had existed when I was a kid. At the sneak peek, they showed us a short behind-the-scenes video of girls playing with the new dolls, and I cried. This kind of representation is going to do wonders for young girls who don’t have many dolls that look like them.
Each Barbie Fashionistas doll has her own look and style – from casually cool to Boho-bold, all fashions are inspired by the latest trends. With added diversity and more variety in styles, fashions, shoes, and accessories; girls everywhere will have infinitely more ways to spark their imagination and play out their stories.
In fact, a rep from Mattel told me that the top-selling doll in the new Fashionistas line is one of the “curvy” ones.
Barbie still has a ton of career options; in addition to the more traditional career options like chef and doctor, this year Barbie is running for office! President and Vice President Barbie will be sold as a two-pack – but each set features dolls of different ethnicities, so feel free to mix-and-match!
DC Super Hero Girls
The DC Super Hero Girls line contains both action figures and action dolls with some of DC Comics’ most popular characters – Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Harley Quinn, Supergirl, Poison Ivy, Katana, and Bumblebee. The interactive website launched along with the toys includes games and a web series featuring the characters (and many other DC staples) attending Super Hero High and learning to hone and control their powers.
The ever popular Hot Wheels line steps up their game with cars inspired by Star Wars and Marvel. Each line features a car based on one of the characters from the films. The Star Wars cars that were most prominently displayed were Kylo Ren and Rey, but there are cars for a lot of the characters – including many from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
A line of movie tie-in action figures includes toys from Batman vs. Superman (with multiple Batmans and Supermans but also Wonder Woman and Aquaman) and the upcoming Ghostbusters reboot (all four lovely main characters!).
Collect all the Batman vs. Superman figures and then attach the included pieces to assemble a themed replica weapon, complete with display base!
What do you guys think of these upcoming Mattel products? Are there any that you can’t wait to rush out and buy?
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from THE Ohio State University. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, and conventions in the NYC area.
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