The First Black Barbie To Use A Wheelchair Is Here

The first black Barbie to use a wheelchair has arrived and the Internet is thrilled. She’s the latest addition to Mattel’s Fashionista Line, which includes dolls with more diverse body types and hairstyles and others that use wheelchairs or have prosthetic legs. This new Barbie wears her hair natural and people are praising the toy company for that and for the design of her wheelchair, which they say matches the style of ones used every day instead of the style commonly found in hospitals.

A rep for Mattel explains that to design Barbie’s wheelchair, their team collaborated with partners at UCLA Mattel Children’s hospital and wheelchair experts “to create a toy that’s modeled after a real, rigid-frame wheelchair.” Inspiration for the doll also comes from the Starlight Children’s Foundation, a Canadian organization working to "bring joy, laughter, relief, and a whole lot of smiles" to sick children,according to its website. A portion of the Barbie’s sales at Toys R Us Canada will be donated to the group until December 31st, 2019.

This Barbie isn’t the first Barbie to use a wheelchair, back in the ‘90s there were Becky dolls with them, but their wheelchairs didn’t fit inside the Barbie Dreamhouses at the time and Mattel discontinued the dolls. But this time around, Barbie comes with a ramp, so she can roll into Barbie Dreamhouses with ease. Now that’s progress. These Barbies are available in stores and online now and retail for $19.99.


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