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April 19, 2012

Mattel, Inc.: Sell us the bald "friend of Barbie"

Petition for the public sale of the "friend of Barbie"!

Mattel has agreed to produce a "friend of Barbie" fashion doll but they are not going to be available for purchase by the public in retail stores. Here is some of the past updates as the campaign has been ongoing for months between the Facebook group "Beautiful & Bald Barbie! Let's see if we can get it made" and Mattel.  

http://www.facebook.com/BeautifulandBaldBarbie

Mattel's announcement of the production of the "friend of Barbie" fashion doll:

“Play is vital for children, especially during difficult times. We are pleased to share with our community that next year we will be producing a fashion doll, that will be a friend of Barbie, which will include wigs, hats, scarves and other fashion accessories to provide girls with a traditional fashion play experience. For those girls who choose, the wigs and head coverings can be interchanged or ...completely removed. We will work with our longstanding partner, the Children’s Hospital Association, to donate and distribute the dolls exclusively to children’s hospitals directly reaching girls who are most affected by hair loss. A limited number of dolls and monetary donations will also be made to CureSearch for Children’s Cancer and the National Alopecia Areata Foundation.  http://www.facebook.com/Mattel

Thank you to Mattel for agreeing to produce the "friend of Barbie" fashion doll.

Of course, the supporters of the doll are very excited about Mattel's announcement and would be extremely happy to see if available on retail store shelves available to anyone who would like to own it. The Facebook group "Beautiful & Bald Barbie" have asked Mattel to consider this and have created a petition on Change.org in the hopes that the public will sign the petition and be heard. The goal is 15,000 signatures and as of today there are just over 1500. Below is the wording of the petition:

Why This Is Important:

Mattel has made the decision to make a one time production of a bald "friend of Barbie" doll which will be donated exclusively to children’s hospitals and a smaller amount going to CureSearch and the National Alopecia Areata Foundation. Mattel has made the decision not to sell these dolls at retail stores.

Why this doll should be made available for purchase By Mattel beyond the donated ones...

Head Hunters - There will be a high price on her head for recipients to sell her. By donating a limited one time production, while honorable, this will create a high demand for collectors. This leads to other concerns...

Many children who do receive one will not be allowed to even open the box because of the high worth of such a rare Barbie brand doll. This will defeat the whole purpose of donating them to the “sickest children who could benefit from them the most”.

Trichotillomania kids will not qualify for one through this donation process.

Adults with Cancer, Alopecia and Trichotillomania want these dolls too. I have even heard from many men who want one as well. None of which will be able to purchase one as of right now.

A child like my daughter, whose mother loses her hair to cancer treamtments will not qualify for one through this donation process.

Children of a relative, aunt, mother, grandmother, sister, friend with hair loss due to chemo, alopecia, trichotillomania or any other cause, will not be able to have one.

Raising awareness and tolerance for children and women with hair loss will be lost in this effort as it will still be "hidden" by not allowing the sale of them, not allowing them on the shelves of stores.

Supporters of seeing this doll made from all over the world will not be able to purchase one, although Mattel did tell me that a very small amount will be sent to their offices overseas to be donated, it will not be nearly enough for all the children and people effected by hair loss in the many countries who want to see this doll in their country.

So much money could be raised if they were sold beyond the donated dolls with a portion of proceeds going to cancer research or another worthy cause. As a mother with cancer, I would buy one for my daughter to play with, one for me to remember my victory through chemo, one for my daughter’s friends to play with with her when they come over, birthday presents for my daughter’s friends, a few to donate at the cancer center, etc That would be a minimum of 6 dolls that I would purchase as a mother with cancer. Multiply that by mothers, aunts, grandmothers, friends all over the world and that feel the same way...that’s a lot of dolls! and potential money raised that will be missed out.

In summary, while I love that Mattel has agreed to make this doll and I am very appreciative and think it is honorable that they want to donate them to Children's Hospitals and The national Alopecia Areata Foundation, I fear many of them will end up on Ebay or at other auctions. I fear that many of the children they were intended to benefit will not get to play with them because of their rarity, that children of a relative with hair loss will not be able to have one, that countries besides in North America will not have access to them like they could, that there is a missed chance for raising awareness and funds by Mattel. Yes, I love what they have agreed to and I am encouraging them to do more...to continue to listen us and respond appropriately to these concerns.

Mattel at first responded to us that "they don't take suggestions from outside sources." They changed their mind and listened to the outcry for these dolls. I am encouraging them to continue listening to our suggestions. Will you join me?

Please go to this link to sign the petition and show your support:
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