Barbie and Ken transform themselves into calacas (skulls). The beloved toy brand just introduced three new dolls as part of Mattel’s ongoing Día De Muertos series, honoring the customs, symbols, and rituals often seen throughout this festive time of remembrance.
Created by Mexican-American Barbie designer Javier Meabe, the 2022 Día De Muertos Barbie doll celebrates the time-honored holiday, wearing a ruffled dress in a rich royal purple, with pigment-print skeletons, sugar skulls, and flower details.
At the same time, the Día De Muertos 2022 Ken doll wears a charro look featuring a bright blue shirt under a vest with skulls, flowers, roses, and bones in rich tones.
For the 2022 series, Javier wanted the dolls to expand the Día De Muertos world. “Every year when I sit down to design the new Día De Muertos dolls, there’s a flood of emotions; I’m honored and excited to represent this holiday that is so close to my own heart. I understand how important this holiday is and am grateful for the opportunity to continue celebrating these traditions with Barbie respectfully,” Meabe said. “I love celebrating the Día de Muertos traditions with my loved ones each year and honoring my family and friends that are no longer with us.”
“It’s such a powerful and meaningful way to remember them through stories and happy memories.”
“For this year’s doll, I worked very closely with our Latin American partners. I wanted the design to be full of vibrant colors and artwork. I lined up the previous Día De Muertos dolls and was inspired to bring some newness to this year’s line by giving Barbie a color-blocked dress with embroidery and pigment print artwork. I then used calavera makeup, marigolds, and sugar skull skeletons to tie all the previous dolls in the series together to feel like they are all from the same environment,” the Barbie Designer at Mattel said.
“Ken has a little more complex design than Barbie, but I’m always up for the challenge! I wanted to make sure he felt different and special from the first Dia De Meurtos Ken. I think both dolls expand the Día De Muertos world with bright colors, beautiful artwork, and of course, details that help honor the traditions of the Día De Muertos Holiday,” the creative added.
As unique addition, Barbie Signature is celebrating the holiday with an extraordinary collaboration by world-renowned fashion designer Benito Santos. Inspired by traditional charro outfits, the Benitos Santos x Barbie doll wears a bespoke black dress featuring white and crimson embroidered details, a dramatic mermaid hemline, and a cropped bolero jacket. The 2022 Barbie Día De Muertos dolls are sure to become a treasured tradition for all celebrating this memorable holiday.
“Working with Benito Santos was a highly collaborative experience. What I loved the most about this collaboration was being able to bring Benito’s vision to life in a new way. He shared trend boards so we could understand what themes he was eager to convey, and then we worked together to bring his creative vision to a Barbie scale,” Javier notes. “It was a passion project from both Benito’s team and the Barbie team. I’m thrilled to welcome Benito to the Barbie brand and share his vision of what it means to him to celebrate Día De Muertos with Barbie.”