Whether you want them for novelty’s sake or to raise your kid with representation in their toys, Kmart has released same-sex family dolls.
Kmart Australia has announced a new series of family set dolls in preparation for the Christmas season. The sets of dolls show a straight couple, a male same-sex couple, and a female same-sex couple. In addition, each set comes with a dog, a daughter, and her own baby brother.
That said, there are some downsides to the products. First, there are no racially diverse options for the families. Then , customers who order online aren’t able to pick a specific set. Someone who orders the “Family Playset – Assorted” ultimately ends up playing a game of roulette instead of getting to pick the specific set they want. Despite this randomized purchasing, the dolls are selling out in Sydney and Melbourne. Or perhaps, it’s because of customers getting “the wrong set” that more and more sets are being sold.
At first, this would seem like an impractical business practice, but it does have its merits. As Pride writes, this type of random purchasing happens with “cheap mass-produced toys from certain online retailers, but it’s usually related more to not knowing whether your kid will end up with a pink or a purple plastic pony, as opposed to leaving the door open for an important conversation with your kid about representation and the different types of families that exist in the world.”
Despite that misstep in the product, this is yet another example of representation and diversity found in the world of toys and dolls. Mattel made similar strides when it first created a diverse Barbie and Ken doll line including varying body figures, clothing styles, and skin tones. Then earlier this year, Matell created a gender-fluid line called “Creatable World.” Those dolls came with customizable wigs, clothes, and accessories. The company also talks over a possible same-sex marriage doll set after being asked by a gay couple.
It seems that in the realm of giving diverse options and representation, the doll market is looking to provide.