Two gay Arizona men who are planning to be married in May 2019 created a same-sex Barbie set with two Ken dolls as a birthday present for an eight-year-old niece who will be one of the flower girls. Then they urged Mattel, the toy company that makes Barbie dolls, to make a gay wedding set, prompting Mattel to agree to meet with them to discuss the possibility.
Matt Jacobi and Nick Caprio noticed that Mattel only creates wedding-style Barbie and Ken doll sets. That triggered them to purchase two Barbie wedding sets and switch the dolls so that the Ken dolls were in a single package, according to The Blaze.
According to Good Morning America, Matt Jacobi and Nick Caprio are planning to wed next year, and have tapped their two nieces to serve as flower girls. One of them, Natalie, was celebrating a birthday in early December, and her uncles wanted to get her something special to commemorate the occasion. "Like any good Uncle —or #Guncle —would do," Jacobi told Good Morning America, "I went out to look for a meaningful birthday present. She loves Barbies, playing with her dolls, etc, just like any other kid. In honor of our upcoming wedding, I wanted to give her something related to the wedding but also something she would enjoy."
Jacobi wrote on Instagram:
Hi @Mattel! Happy Holidays.
We had a difficult time finding a same sex wedding set to give to my niece for her 8Th birthday. She and my little sister are flower girls in our upcoming May wedding. We thought it would be special to give her something with a little meaning behind it. What a bummer you don’t make one with two grooms. Anyway, we had to get creative and make a couple purchases. I hope our custom gift inspires you to make a #GayWedding set!
Caprio told KTRK-TV, "It's going to come up in your family no matter what. As more same-sex couples are having kids, your kids are going to have kids in the class that have gay parents and things like that too, so it's not that huge shock anymore." A spokesman for Mattel told "Good Morning America" that a meeting will be scheduled.
Since Barbie dolls were created in 1959, over one billion Barbie dolls have been sold, but in January 2016, The Wall Street Journal reported, “In the last four quarters, Barbie’s global sales were $904.2 million, down 14% from the previous four quarters. Mattel’s total sales fell 6.2% in that same period.”
The first Barbie doll wore a black and white zebra striped swimsuit and was sold as either a blonde or brunette. The first dolls were made in Japan. Roughly 350,000 Barbie dolls were sold during the first year of production. According to novels published by Random House in the 1960s, Barbie's full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts, the daughter of George and Margaret Roberts from the fictional town of Willows, Wisconsin.
In 1968, Mattel created the first ostensibly African-American doll in the Barbie catalog, Christie. In 1980, Mattel began producing Hispanic Barbie dolls. In 1997, Barbie's body mold started to have a wider waist; in 2016, Mattel introduced “tall,” “petite,” and “curvy” Barbies.