EL SEGUNDO, CA―In a continued effort to make its iconic line of dolls more representative of today’s culture, Mattel announced the release Friday of its first male Barbie, which it hopes will inspire girls to dream about what it’s like to hold a top-ranking job in the workforce.
According to a press release from the toy manufacturer, the 12-inch-tall male figurine comes with a bespoke gray suit, polished black wingtips, and a plush leather chair, allowing girls to pretend that they too might one day be able to reach a powerful executive position in whatever profession they choose.
“When young girls play with Barbie, we don’t want there to be any limits on what they can imagine possible, and that’s exactly why we created the first-ever male version of the doll,” said Mattel CEO Christopher Sinclair, noting that while previous Barbies have served to model various careers for girls, none has let them picture what it’s like to rise to the highest rung of any field they choose. “With this new Barbie, girls can make-believe they’re the one who actually calls the shots, whether they’re pretending to lead a major corporate merger, direct a hot startup in Silicon Valley, or oversee a well-funded research lab.”
Added Sinclair, “Girls who play with this doll can finally imagine what it’s like at the very pinnacle of the business, financial, legal, tech, media, political, academic, military, and entertainment sectors.”
Top officials at Mattel told reporters that the latest version of the doll will encourage girls to “take their imagination to new heights” by making up stories in which they receive a salary commensurate with the work they do, get put on a fast track to an executive-level position, don’t have to worry about missing out on a big career opportunity due to a pregnancy, are perceived as competent by their coworkers, and have their ideas taken seriously.
“For a long time we’ve had Pop Star Barbie, who can sing hit songs and go on world tours, but now, with our new male doll, girls can reach that next level and imagine that they’re a rich and powerful music mogul who determines which artists will and will not succeed in the first place,” Sinclair said. “This new Barbie gets to start a label, launch Pop Star Barbie’s career, make key decisions about her image, choose which songs she records, and collect millions of dollars from her album sales. And that’s just one example.”
“Our male Barbie could also be a hospital administrator who evaluates Doctor Barbie as she’s making her rounds, ultimately deciding which procedures she can and can’t perform,” he continued. “Or, our new doll could be one of the wealthy and influential owners of the major media corporation for which News Anchor Barbie works. There’s no end to what this new Barbie can do.”
Accessories sold separately for the new doll reportedly include a country club playset, which allows the new Barbie to play golf while hashing out important business deals with other men, and Barbie’s Luxury Owner’s Box, where the male doll can take in a sporting event with a male client or a high-ranking male politician while enjoying amenities such as filet mignon and single-malt scotch.
Mattel executives have also announced plans for a boardroom playset that lets multiple male Barbies sit around a conference table making long-term strategy decisions while a regular female Barbie sits nearby keeping minutes of the meeting.
“Since 1959, Barbie has been inspiring young girls and sparking their creativity,” Sinclair said. “We believe that by introducing a male version of the doll, girls will be able to see that every opportunity and every avenue for success is open for them to imagine.”
“Now, girls can truly envision being anything at all,” he added.
Mattel later confirmed the new male Barbie will only be available in white.