Mattel released its latest collector’s item on Thursday: a Dia de los Muertos themed Barbie. The $75 doll quickly sold out online, Mattel told KCRW in an email, and it's unclear when it'd be available for sale again.
Some would-be buyers thought they could get the doll in stores, and they expressed their disappointment on social media.
@Barbie I’m here in Southern California, Walmart and Target have no idea about the dia de los muertos Babie doll?? I checked on Amazon several times and still nothing. Today was the launch, what happen???— TazZarate (@taz_zarate) September 12, 2019
The new Barbie’s face is painted like a traditional calavera, or skull. She wears a black dress, embroidered with colorful flowers and monarch butterflies. She also has a crown that's adorned with monarchs and marigolds.
Many were excited about Latino representation at Mattel. “I thought how wonderful for little girls -- heck, even adult women -- to finally see a doll that represents our culture,” said Central Valley resident Ivette Stafforini.
But Stafforini's excitement faded once she saw the price tag. “Those little girls who would be overjoyed about this doll and really want this doll come from families who cannot afford $75 per doll. Yes, while Mattel tried to do something inclusive, they kind of missed their mark," she said.
Critics have also said the doll signifies cultural appropriation, especially following the box office success of Disney's “Coco."
“If the movie Coco would not have been as successful as it was, would they have still have released a doll like this?" said Job Garcia, a second-generation Mexican-American who lives in Silver Lake.
Dia de los Muertos, known as Day of the Dead in the U.S., is traditionally celebrated from October 31 to November 2.
A Mattel spokesperson told The New York Times that the purpose behind the doll was “to honor the holiday for the millions that celebrate and to introduce people not familiar with the tradition to the rich meaning.”
The "Day of the Dead" Barbie is the latest in the company’s special releases. Earlier this summer, Mattel released a Rosa Parks and Sally Ride doll, both part of the company’s Inspiring Women collection.