Barbie unveils doll with hearing aids

Barbie dolls
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Your kids might need a bigger doll house, because there are a few new Barbie dolls in town.

Barbie is releasing a new collection of dolls that aims to represent more children-- including the first Barbie with behind-the-ear hearing aids, a doll with a prosthetic leg, and a Ken doll with vitiligo.

The new Barbies are part of the Fashionistas line, which features dolls with different body types, skin colors and hair textures. The line also includes dolls that reflect people with disabilities.

The Barbie doll with behind-the-ear hearing aids is designed to help inspire children to tell more stories and find a doll that represents them, Mattel said in a statement. She was developed with the help of educational audiologist and hearing loss advocate Dr. Jen Richardson.

"It's inspiring to see those who experience hearing loss reflected in a doll. I'm beyond thrilled for my young patients to see and play with a doll who looks like them," Richardson said.

A new Ken doll is also making his debut. Back in 2000, Mattel introduced a Barbie with vitiligo that was one of the top five Fashionistas best sellers in the U.S. This year, Mattel is adding a Ken doll with vitiligo to allow more storytelling.

Other new dolls include a Barbie with a prosthetic leg, new Ken options with rooted short hair and slender body type, and new dolls in a variety of body types including smaller bust, curvy and original.

Lisa McKnight, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Barbie, said the  Fashionistas line is all about reflecting the diversity kids see in the world around them. In 2021, a doll with a wheelchair and a Black doll with an afro hairstyle were among the top five most popular, globally.

"It's important for kids to see themselves reflected in product and to encourage play with dolls that don't resemble them to help them understand and celebrate the importance of inclusion," McKnight said in a statement.

The full 2022 Barbie Fashionista line will be available at Amazon, Target and Walmart for $9.99 in June 2022.

Since its inception, Barbie has introduced more than 175 looks, offering children a variety of skin tones, eye colors, hair colors and textures, body types, disabilities, and fashions to choose from. Mattel says Barbie is the most inclusive doll in the world with more than 35 skin tones, 94 hairstyles and nine body types.

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