Monday, February 06, 2006

Barbie in a wheelchair

(via Invertia - in Portuguese) As reported by the Daytona Beach News, Morgan Kelly, a girl from Lakeland, was presented by Mattel with a wheelchair for her Barbie doll. The 8-year-old, who has a physical disability and uses a wheelchair herself, asked her mother the reason she couldn't find a doll with such equipment. The mother of the girl, Angela Floyd, got in contact with Mattel, Barbie's manufacturer, in an attempt to get her daughter an answer for her question: "Why can't there be a Barbie in a wheelchair?”

The story ended with Mattel sending her a 'Share a Smile Becky' doll, which the company stopped producing in 1997. The kit includes sunglasses, a backpack, a camera and a wheelchair.

Although is great to see that Kelly's request was fulfilled, I wish we could see toys like these more frequently on the market. That would not only help kids in similar situations to relate more to their toys (and increase their enjoyment while playing), but also provide richer experiences for all children. I am not sure the comparison fits, but I think that characters such as Professor Xavier and DareDevil (and even the late Aquaman) play a similar role within comic books. They provide, I believe, a kind of resonance that is not achieved by Superman, for instance.

I wonder if the Pixel Chix could get updates via software for things like this...

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Copyright, Chico Queiroz