[LOS ANGELES] Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are keeping the world guessing over their choice of running mate but Barbie grabbed the spotlight on Wednesday, revealing her first ever all-female ticket for the White House.
Unveiling its latest President and Vice President edition of the iconic doll, the world's largest toymaker Mattel said it aimed "to inspire girls to become leaders."
"With just 39 per cent of girls saying that they want to be a leader, President and Vice President Barbie will serve as an inspiration for girls to pursue their dreams and imagine what they can become," the statement said.
Mattel has had presidential and candidate Barbies since 1992, but the all-female ticket is breaking new ground.
"The President and Vice President dolls continue our efforts to expose girls to inspiring careers that are underrepresented by women," said Lisa McKnight, the general manager and senior vice president of Barbie for Mattel.
"We see this doll set as a timely and topical platform to further the conversation around female leadership." The iconic doll has undergone a drastic makeover in the last two years with the company adding new skin tones, eye and body shapes as well as hair styles.
The changes were aimed at addressing criticism that the original doll, with its wasp-waist, outsized bosom and pale skin, sent the wrong message about beauty to children.
Mattel said it had partnered with She Should Run, a non-partisan women's leadership group, in coming up with the new political dolls sold in pairs and part of the toymaker's Barbie Careers line of dolls.
"At She Should Run, we believe that women of all backgrounds should have an equal shot at elected leadership positions and that our country will benefit from having a government with varied perspectives and experiences," the group's co-founder and CEO Erin Loos Cutraro said.
The new dolls come in a variety of hair colors, skin tones and shapes and are sold for US$24.99.