1st-ever Barbie with behind-the-ear hearing aids unveiled as part of Mattel’s ‘most diverse’ doll line

Mattel unveiled its first-ever Barbie doll with behind-the-ear hearing aids, a doll with a prosthetic leg and even a Ken doll with vitiligo as part of the Fashionistas doll collection. 

"This year’s Fashionistas doll with behind-the-ear hearing aids is designed to build on the diverse doll line to help inspire children to tell more stories and find a doll that represents them," said Mattel. 

"I’m honored to have worked with Barbie to create an accurate reflection of a doll with behind-the-ear hearing aids. As an educational audiologist with over 18 years of experience working in hearing loss advocacy, 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," said Dr. Jen Richardson, an educational audiologist and hearing loss advocate who worked with Mattel to create the newest addition. 


Barbie’s first-ever doll with behind-the-ear hearing aids. (Mattel)

The Fashionistas line aims to reflect people with disabilities such as hearing loss and teach children to expand how they play and see the world around them. 

Also included in the line are new Ken doll options with rooted short hair and slender builds and a variety of Barbie dolls with different body types such as curvy, petite and the original, according to the company. 


Barbie doll with a prosthetic leg. (Mattel)

Mattel emphasized the importance of diversity when it comes to their Barbie dolls and noted that their 2021 doll with a wheelchair and their Black doll with an afro hairstyle were among the top five most popular dolls around the world. 


Ken doll with vitiligo. (Mattel)

"Barbie wholeheartedly believes in the power of representation, and as the most diverse doll line on the market, we are committed to continuing to introduce dolls featuring a range of skin tones, body types and disabilities to reflect the diversity kids see in the world around them. 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," said Lisa McKnight, executive vice president and global head of Barbie and dolls. 


Group shot of Fashionistas doll line. (Mattel)

The full Barbie Fashionistas line will be available for purchase in June 2022. 

In more Barbie news, a life-size Barbie world attraction will kick off in Toronto, Canada, this summer. 

Mattel Inc. and Kilburn Live have teamed up to bring Barbie’s world to life so you can live out your childhood fantasies. 

The immersive World of Barbie will feature Barbie’s Dreamhouse, a camper designed by West Coast Customs, a fashion studio and many other Instagram-worthy features. 

Pre-sale tickets are available for purchase beginning May 3, according to a Kilburn Live news release. General ticket sales begin May 21. 

Residents in the U.S. will also get a chance to experience the life-size world of Barbie as the attraction will make its way to New York, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and many more cities after Toronto. 

This story was reported out of Los Angeles.