Mattel Creatable World
Joe Lingeman for TIME

A Doll for Everyone

Mattel Creatable World

For half the world’s children, playing with a doll is still considered taboo. Mattel aimed to tap that underserved market and overthrow outdated gender norms with the Creatable World doll, which launched in September. The doll can be a boy, a girl, neither or both. It comes in a range of skin tones and hair textures, each with a short haircut that can be fitted with a long wig. (A kit, which includes both hairstyles and several outfits, costs $30 on Mattel’s website and at retailers like Target and Amazon.) Its youthful features intentionally betray no gender so that any child—boys who like dolls, girls who don’t usually like dolls, gender-fluid kids, trans kids, gender-­nonconforming kids—can find a figurine that looks like them. “Kids have more of an emotional connection to dolls than they do to other toys,” says Kim Culmone, the head of design at Mattel. “It was important that this particular doll was a blank canvas so kids can really take it wherever they want to.” —Eliana Dockterman

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