Friend of Barbie's for cancer patients

New Jersey resident Jane Bingham, along with her friend Rebecca Sypin, launched the Beautiful and Bald Barbie Facebook page last December to encourage Mattel to make a new Barbie without hair for children dealing with hair loss.

Mattel took notice as the campaign went viral, and now the company has announced it will develop a hairless Barbie doll.

According to Mattel, the bald doll will not be Barbie herself, but rather a friend of Barbie's. This special doll is expected to be released in 2013. The new doll will have wigs, hats and scarves to accessorize. But don't expect the company to sell the doll. According to Mattel spokesman Alan Hilowitz, the new doll will be distributed in the U.S. and Canada through the Children's Hospital Association and CureSearch for Children's Cancer to children's hospitals and other medical facilities that treat children with cancer, as well as by the National Alopecia Areata Foundation for children who face other causes of hair loss.

Partial victory

Though Bingham is somewhat pleased, she's not completely satisfied, seeing Mattel's decision as a partial victory. "We're happy. We don't want to complain because it's a big thing that they've agreed to do this," said Bingham. "The only disappointment is that people who are not sick enough to be in the hospital won't get them, people like my daughter. I lost my hair to cancer, and I would have loved for her to have one of these dolls. So it's disappointing that it's not available for sale."

The competition

Some of Barbie's competitors decided to step up and create a line of bald dolls for cancer patients and their friends and relatives, thanks in part to Bingham and Sypin's Facebook page. In February, MGA Entertainment, makers of the makers of the Moxie Girlz and Bratz dolls, announced three hairless "True Hope" dolls will launch in June at Toys "R" Us stores. MGA also will donate $1 from every doll sold to City of Hope for cancer research.

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Comments

Comments on "Mattel plans to make bald Barbie doll"

Muhmmad June 02, 2012 | 1:32 AM

Jack Ferry / People have been making dolls fveoerr. I just found a doll made of stone from the stone age in a pile of flint rocks along the creek along with stone age tools and arrowheads. It did not have any Mattel lead based paint on it so I brought it home. Your dolls don't look anything like Barbie, but they do look like a college educated cheerleader athlete like you appear in the picture on your face book page. If this is the kind of company Mattel is, I will never buy any of their products again. I want my grandchildren to go to college and start companies.

Nancy April 11, 2012 | 8:44 AM

I've been following this story, too -- unfortunately, this is an issue in my family, as well. You've got your facts backwards. This Facebook campaign was launched in December and Mattel repeatedly said no. They had no interest in doing this. Then in February, MGA announced that they would make 6 bald dolls (3 Bratz and 3 Moxie). They are due out in June. Mattel then finally said they'd make a bald Barbie a couple of weeks ago. Obviously, the best thing here is to help kids dealing with dreadful illness. But Mattel sort of failed this one.

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