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Mattel to Make More Bald Barbie Dolls


After the great success of the original “Beautiful and Bald Barbie”, toy manufacturer Mattel has agreed to another production run. A limited run of the hairless doll was produced after the phenomenal success of a social media campaign that attracted over 100,000 ‘likes’ on Facebook.

Mattel Creates 'Bald Barbie' Ella Dolls for Child Cancer and Alopecia SufferersElla, the bald Barbie

The original campaign was headed up by Jane Bingham, co-founder of the “Beautiful and Bald Barbie! Let’s see if we can get it made” campaign. Following her efforts, a limited run of bald “friend of Barbie” dolls named Ella were created by Mattel and distributed to children’s hospitals and the National Alopecia Areata Foundation in the US. Each doll comes with a set of accessories which includes a headscarf, a headband and a colourful wig.

Now Mattel has announced plans a for a second production run after health care professionals claimed that the dolls were instrumental in helping discuss chemotherapy-related hair loss with young girls. Doctors found that they could show some of the expected side effects of treatment using Ella and that patients were then able to relate better to what was being said.

Children who have received an Ella doll reportedly find dealing with their own treatment much easier. LA-based mum and Bald Barbie campaigner, Melissa Bumstead, whose daughter Grace has a rare form of cancer, explains:

“We bring [Ella] along everywhere to say, ‘This is what’s happening. This is what’s happened to Ella. This is what’s gonna happen to you.’ It brought it to her [Grace’s] level.”

Ella is not for sale

The Ella doll is not for sale: All of the dolls produced by Mattel will be distributed to children’s hospitals and respite clinics. Mattel hopes to have the new dolls ready for delivery by August. The company Facebook page announced the release saying:

“We made the decision not to sell these dolls at retail stores and profit from them, but rather more directly and immediately get these into the hands of children who can most benefit from a play experience with these dolls. This decision demonstrates Mattel’s commitment to encourage play as a respite for children in the hospital and bring joy to children in need.”

Unfortunately for British children affected by cancer or Alopecia Areata, Ella will not be crossing the Atlantic for the time being. Mattel has not as yet declared any plans to distribute bald Barbie dolls outside of the United States where they aim to release new Ella dolls each year.

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