NEW YORK: Mattel on Wednesday (Sep 25) unveiled a line of "gender-inclusive" dolls in a bid to respond to youth seeking toys not "dictated by gender norms," a company vice president said.
The new line dubbed "Creatable World" includes six dolls in a range of skin colors, with options to customize with short or long hair and a variety of shoe and clothing options.
"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," said Kim Culmone, the senior vice president of Mattel Fashion Doll Design, in a statement.
"Through research, we heard that kids don't want their toys dictated by gender norms," Culmone said.
"This line allows all kids to express themselves freely."
For several years Mattel has aimed to diversify its models, particularly those of the iconic doll Barbie, after having offered for decades - barring a few exceptions - a young, lithe blonde white woman with high heels.
Since 2016 the California company notably launched "curvy," "petite" and "tall" versions of Barbie.
The makeover has seen Barbie sales post seven consecutive quarters of growth, in contrast to many products at Mattel, which has faced competition from the dominance of screens as well as from other toys.
The announcement comes one day after French toymakers signed a pact to rid games and toys of gender stereotypes the government blames for keeping women out of math and science careers.