My last post was about the planned release of six new Sindy dolls. This post is about the actual, surprise release on Wednesday 25 September, of a radical new line of six dolls from Mattel called Creatable World. Being child dolls, they don’t have boobs (and, as is usual these days with dolls for children, they don’t have genitals). Their faces are designed to look neither feminine nor masculine. Or you could say both feminine and masculine… In short, the dolls are ‘gender neutral’ or as Mattel explains ‘non-binary’. They sound a little bit android as well, as they only have code numbers for names!
Well this all sounds very politically correct and potentially a little bland, but as you will see, these dolls are a lot of fun! I loved them as soon as I saw them.
Mattel has risen to the challenge and addressed the complaints of adults dismayed at the dismal lack of choice between the pink fairy aisle for girls, and the blue and green adventure aisle for boys, in toy shops and kids clothes stores. All of that is still available if you or your child want it (check out the Mattel Dreamtopia range aimed at girls and their Jurassic World and Hot Wheels ranges aimed at boys). But now here is a range of girly stuff mixed with boy stuff mixed with neutral stuff and kids get to decide how to put it together.
As well as gender, it’s apparent that culture and ethnicity has been included in Mattel’s careful design considerations. The animal motifs on the bags and T-shirts are relatable cross culturally. But the range doesn’t fall into the trap of being a melting pot of ‘no identify’ as children can pick pieces to create or match their own ethnicity or cultural identity. I like the yellow trousers which seem to have an Asian design influence.
Kudos to you Mattel and clever marketing too!
So I have to confess I bought the whole set and have so far received 5 of the 6. It’s so tingling to get that Christmas morning feeling as an adult 😄
Some of the set came in outer card boxes with the message ‘Do not put online or on shelf before 24 September 2019’ printed on them which I liked. Will keep those.
No blister packs or head staples for these lovelies! The pack is beautifully simple to open. Just slide a knife along two thumb sized adhesive patches and you’re in. The inner box glides out to reveal a delightful palette – the Deluxe Character Kit.
Lift off the loose top plastic cover tray (again, no tugging and no rip risk) and pick out a pair of shoes first. There is a fabulous creaky squeaking sound as you pull them out.
And surprise of wonderful surprises whoopee, this chocolate box mix and match set fits Sindy!
Mix and Match
Notice how similar the blue jacket is to Pedigree Sindy “Seperates” 1981 #44035. Perhaps the vintage Sindy range played a small part in the design inspiration?
Each doll comes with a full set of clothes, a wig, a hat, a bag, a pair of glasses and three pairs of shoes. The shoes are a perfect fit on 1980s Sindy – both heels and flats. And the glasses actually fit 80s Sindy even better than the Creatable World dolls!
The wigs don’t fit the early 80s Sindys over their regular hair (and I didn’t have any bald Sindy dolls handy to test on), but they look pretty good on Smirky.
Oh Sindy was really in the mood for a new hat, and a jacket with a real zip (even more functional than her City Girl jacket as it even opens at the bottom).
So poor elfin Deluxe Character 073 was left with no clothes on.
The Creatable World articulated body is remarkably good quality. The joints move freely but hold in place very firmly. The feet are hinged at the ankle so that they can wear both flat shoes and heels. The dolls can free stand very easily, especially with shoes on.
None of the clothes or accessories have labels that I could see, which is slightly disappointing. It makes them so much harder to identify a few years down the line in amongst a pile of muddled up children’s play things. And a label adds that touch of brand authenticity and quality.
I would rate Creatable World 8 out of 10. I love the range, from the top quality articulation to the funky design. Constructive criticism would be: make the trousers fit Sindy too. Joking. Less plastic in the packaging. It’s mostly paper and card but it would be great if there was a super light weight material that could be moulded into the chocolate box style compartments instead of white plastic. The hair is a bit sticky – not sure what substance is used to hold it in style but it feels too gungey. The plastic edge of the wigs is a little unattractive and tricky to hide. I would like to see labels on the clothes and Mattel branding on the base of the shoes. But I don’t suppose kids mind too much about that part and the range is not aimed at adult collectors, which is ironically part of its beauty for me as a dealer and collector. It’s a living contemporary response to real children.
Thank you Mattel, for your dedication to design quality. And for giving Sindy a new wardrobe 😉
How would you rate the new range? Comments gladly accepted below.