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Mattel debuts first Barbie with Down syndrome

Toymaker Mattel has introduced its first Barbie with Down syndrome in a bid to make its famous doll range more inclusive.

In a statement on Tuesday, Mattel said it had worked with the National Down Syndrome Society in the United States to make the doll, which has a shorter frame and longer torso than its other Barbies. In a statement to CBC News, a representative confirmed the doll will be available in Canada at major retailers.

The new doll’s face also has a rounder shape, and it has has almond-shaped eyes, smaller ears and a flat nasal bridge, Mattel said.

“The doll’s palms even include a single line, a characteristic often associated with those with Down syndrome,” Mattel said.

The doll is dressed in a puff-sleeved frock adorned with butterflies and flowers in yellow and blue — colours associated with Down syndrome awareness.

She wears a pink necklace with three upward chevrons representing the three copies of the 21st chromosome, as well as pink ankle foot orthotics, Mattel said.

“Our goal is to enable all children to see themselves in Barbie, while also encouraging children to play with dolls who do not look like themselves,” Lisa McKnight, executive vice-president and global head of Barbie and dolls at Mattel, said in the statement.

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