Mattel Launches 'The Barbie Project' to Find What Parents and Kids Really Think of the Doll

Two Documentarians and a Play Specialist Start a Conversation

Published On
May 14, 2014

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Barbie elicits feelings of love, hate or ambivalence -- but until now, Mattel hadn't really owned the conversation. The brand has launched "The Barbie Project," sending two documentarians and a play specialist into the homes of parents to ask them what they think of Barbie -- the good, the bad and the very ugly.

They handed Barbie to kids to play with, without telling them how exactly they were expected to play with them and filmed their interactions. Notable subjects include a manly man who never saw himself playing with Barbies as a kid, but who plays with them a-plenty now with his daughters and a pair of siblings who use the dolls to unlock their own "superpowers." Whether this turns out to be a completely transparent look at the popular doll remains to be seen.

For now, overall, the films read more positive than negative -- perhaps the biggest example of the latter was one brief moment featuring a mom who opined that the doll was out of proportion.