Collectible Barbie dolls have been a mainstay of holiday gifting for decades. I received my fair share of special edition dolls throughout my childhood, but honestly none of them were quite as ornate and gorgeous as this year's new Barbie Día de Muertos doll.
The exclusive release from Mattel marks the second year the company has designed a doll specifically to celebrate the Mexican holiday Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead. Available now for order on Mattel's website ahead of the early November holiday, as well as on Amazon, at Target, and Walmart, this beautiful doll retails for $75.
From head to toe, the detail of this doll is just stunning. Her face is beautifully decorated in the traditional sugar skull art style that is prominently on display throughout holiday celebrations. The painted skeleton-like artwork is complete with flourishes of color, hearts, and flowers across the doll's face. The delicate and colorful design features a dark crimson lip with blue and gold artwork around the eyes to create a striking look.
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The embroidery on her dress also features a sugar skull design and an array of flowers fashioned from a rainbow of pink, red, blue, and gold thread. In contrast with 2019's Día de Muertos Barbie's dark trumpet-style dress adorned with delicate butterfly accents, the 2020 doll sports a flowing ballgown dress with a corseted top and long sleeves. The blush-colored skirt is topped by delicate pink lace, while pearl accents and a high ruffled neckline adds beautiful detail to the outfit.
Atop Barbie's head rests a flower crown filled with dark and light pink roses held by skeleton fingers on either side of the crown. Also included in the crown are marigolds, a vibrant and recognizable part of many Día de Muertos celebrations that Smithsonian Magazine reported are often placed on family altars during the holiday. To complete her festive look, the doll sports large gold chandelier-style earrings, and a gorgeous braided up-do.
The release of yet another Barbie that honors a celebration rooted in Mexican culture is definitely a step forward in the name of diversity, representation, and inclusion. Designed by Mexican-American designer Javier Meabe, Meabe said in a press statement that he was inspired by his heritage and the traditions he grew up with.
"For this doll, I was inspired by the color gold seen throughout Mexican culture, jewelry, buildings, statues, and artwork, and highlighted it throughout the design," part of his statement reads. "The roses represent emotions and moments in life including celebrations, birth, death, passion, and love, and I also was inspired to introduce new textures and a new dress silhouette. To stay true to tradition, I incorporated important symbols like marigold, skeleton details, and Calavera make-up with a new look."
Fans on Facebook commented on the brand's announcement of the new doll with messages of support such as, "I love her! I enjoy seeing different cultures and the fact I can have things for my daughter and help her learn not only about others but own heritage but others as well," and "As always, you never disappoint Barbie! Loving the details and inclusivity!"
As part of Barbie's Black Label collection of signature dolls, the limited-edition Día de Muertos Barbie comes with a doll stand and Certificate of Authenticity. This celebratory doll is the perfect gift for Barbie fans, and is sure to be a welcomed addition to any collection.