Barbie’s “Fashionista” line options dolls in 22 distinctive skin tones, 94 hair colors, 13 eye shades, and five entire body styles, as nicely as ones with wheelchairs and prosthetic legs. Inspite of the selection, which has been credited with Mattel advertising extra Barbies in 2020 than any time in the past 20 yrs, they all have just one matter in typical: They are manufactured of virgin plastic.
Now Mattel is starting to modify that with a new selection called “Barbie Loves the Ocean.” The line of dolls is produced with plastic that might’ve ended up in the ocean if it hadn’t been recycled. The Barbies use recycled plastic flakes Mattel is sourcing from U.S.-dependent business Visualize Plastics, which is in change sourcing uncooked materials from local assortment points in the coastal area of Mexico’s Baja peninsula, in purchase to get better plastic just before it even enters the ocean.
Offered in retailers and on-line, it consists of 3 unique dolls, 3 beach front-themed play sets, and a doll and participate in set combo. Charges change, but are comparable to Barbies built of virgin plastic. It also incorporates a partnership with the ocean cleanup business 4ocean on a constrained-version, $20 4ocean x Barbie bracelet created with post-purchaser recycled resources. For each individual bracelet offered, 4ocean will pull one pound of trash from oceans, rivers, and coastlines. And it is all staying hyped by a new advert marketing campaign termed “The Long term of Environmentally friendly is Pink,” established with agency BBH Los Angeles, which depicts the material shift as the iconic doll’s most current makeover.
This move is component of a sluggish shift in the toy market absent from virgin plastic. Lego is replacing its obvious plastic bags with recycled paper, with an aim to make all its packaging from renewable or recycled components by 2025. It is also doing the job to establish bio-based mostly bricks (even though it has struggled to do so). In March, Hasbro introduced it would be phasing out plastic packaging by the finish of subsequent calendar year. And in 2019, Mattel pledged to use 100% recycled, recyclable, or bio-based plastic supplies by 2030. According to a Mattel spokesperson, the corporation has launched Fisher-Cost and Mega Bloks sets created from bio-dependent plastics, and the to start with completely recyclable Uno deck without the need of cellophane packing components. In April, the firm unveiled Mattel PlayBack, a new toy consider-again system to get better and reuse materials from aged Mattel toys, which include Barbie, to use in producing upcoming Mattel solutions.
But for now, the toy field continues to be closely dependent on plastic. An approximated 90% of the toys on the market are manufactured of plastic. And as considerably as 80% of toys conclude up in landfills.
Barbie Loves the Ocean is the brand’s most recent effort to place Barbie as a purpose model. “To demonstrate the subsequent technology they can be anything at all, we ought to do our element in guarding the earth,” suggests Lisa McKnight, world head of Barbie and Dolls at Mattel.
The internet marketing push behind the new Barbie line also includes content like the well known Barbie vlogs (which acquired widespread consideration very last Oct for its episode on racial allyship), with a new episode about how youngsters can be additional environmentally friendly in their day by day behavior.
The collection has essential symbolic value. Just after all, Barbie is an iconic toy that introduced in additional than $1.3 billion in gross sales final year. But as a way to lessen the brand’s environmental footprint, it hardly tends to make a dent. It’s a person selection amid at least 10 other collections that are nevertheless built with virgin plastic. At very best, it is a compact phase toward—as McKnight put it—the Barbie brand undertaking its aspect to defend the planet.