Thursday, September 16News For London

‘Sheroes’ Barbie doll fails to capture UK audience

Sheroes Barbie dolls by Mattel - Photo Source
Sheroes Barbie dolls by Mattel – Photo Source

Mattel’s Special Collection of women empowering Barbie dolls –sheroes- have been a huge hit in the US, but even with the gifting season upon us, there is barely any notice of them here in London.

Ava DuVernay is an academy award nominated film director and writer. She became a household name after her much acclaimed film – Selma, which chronicled the historic voting rights campaign by Dr Martin Luther King was a big hit this past year.

Ava can now add a collector’s edition Barbie doll of herself on her mantel piece along with only 1000 other people worldwide. Mattel fashioned a limited edition doll after her to add to their Sheroes collection of empowering dolls.

These dolls are designed off of female heroes who inspire girls by breaking boundaries and expanding possibilities for women everywhere. Sheroes is a term that defines the female version of a hero.

The Barbie brand started this special collection of dolls earlier this year when they launched their #YouCanBeAnything campaign. This collector’s edition of dolls includes the likes of Broadway star-Kristin Chenoweth, actress and animal welfare activist-Emmy Rossum, Lucky magazine editor Eva Chen, country singer-Trisha Yearwood and five year old fashion designer-Sydney Keiser.

A diverse yet powerful group of sheroes, these women have made a significant impact in society and Mattel saw fit to immortalize them in form of a doll for young girls to have and be inspired by. The video below, part of the campaign, shows a perfect example of how dolls fashioned after all types of professions can motivate and empower young girls to be anything they want to be.

Here in London, major toy retailer, Hamleys has an extensive collection of all types of dolls from the Barbie franchise and other brands as well. What was missing in action though were the special collection dolls.

Westminster world spoke to the customer service agent, Glen and inquired about Hamleys not stocking the dolls. “We actually have never carried those type of dolls. The last collector’s Barbie we had was the Kate Middleton one three years ago”, he said. He and other staff members working on the floor filled with dolls seemed to have never heard of this campaign, which begs the question, does the UK favour products that are only quintessentially English?

A shelf filled with traditional Barbie dolls at Hamleys Toy Store on Regent St. Photo credit: Jordaania Andima
A shelf filled with traditional Barbie dolls at Hamleys Toy Store on Regent St. Photo credit: Jordaania Andima

The Ava doll, selling for $65 (£43) sold out in exactly 15 minutes when it was debuted for purchase for the Christmas holidays on the Barbie website. A clear indication that dolls modeled after various women who are successful in their respective fields are more popular than your typical Barbie doll.

The new Star Wars film that will be premiering in London on Wednesday, December 16th also fell victim to the lack of female inspiring figurines represented in toy shops. BBC reported earlier today that as much as female action heroes are represented at a higher level in this new film, shops were still only stocking male figurines.

People would argue that the reason is due to Star Wars having a larger male fan base than a female one; but with celebrated characters like Princess Leia and The Black Widow in the Avengers Franchise among others, toy shops have more than enough ‘Sheroes’ to stock on the shelves for young girls to look up to and feel empowered by.