The Dia de Muertos Barbie from Mattel continues to be a hit every year. The brand recently unveiled the 2023 doll along with a matching themed Ken doll and a special designer doll in collaboration with contemporary Mexican designer fashion brand, Pink Magnolia. Dia de los Muertos is typically observed Nov. 1-2 and the themed dolls were released just in time for Latinx Heritage Month while the Pink Magnolia collab doll will be released Oct. 4. This year’s designs have the traditional bold colors and calavera embellishments featuring butterflies and this year pink reigns supreme for both Barbie dolls. “Since this is our fifth year, I wanted to pay tribute to the doll that launched this series, and update it with new colors and fun details,” Mexican designer Javier Meabe said in a statement on the Mattel Creations website.
The Barbie doll is in a pink ruffled mermaid dress decorated with sugar skulls and embroidered flowers including cempasúchil with a crown of monarch butterflies. She also has the traditional calavera face paint, and she holds her own tiny ofrenda diorama featuring dancing skeletons. Meanwhile, the Ken doll features a blue jacket with embroidered bone details at the lapels. A silver sugar skull-accented removable hat frames his calavera face paint. “Ken is always a fun challenge, to ensure he feels different,” Meabe said. “And I love all the detail we get into with Ken’s accessories.”
Meabe collaborated with Mexican designer Paola Wong of Pink Magnolia brand on the 2023 Día De Muertos Barbie Signature doll with the theme being “let love be with you.” The doll is truly Barbiecore (an-all pink style popularized by the Barbie film) in a two-tiered tulle gown embroidered with heart and sugar skull details. She’s wearing a floral headpiece with golden leaves and statement earrings.
“It’s exciting and it’s a dream come true to design this project: a Barbie… to capture the essence and our heart taking as inspiration one of our favorite Mexican traditions, the ‘Dia de Muertos,” Pink Magnolia said in a statement in Spanish according to Fashion Network.
The collab with the brand follows their Dia de los Muertos signature doll partnership with Mexican designer Benito Santos in 2022. That doll featured a black mermaid dress inspired by charro suits with white and crimson embroidery. The outfit is accentuated by a cropped bolero jacket, red bow tie, and red floral headpiece. The doll is sold out and it’s likely the same will happen with this latest doll which is an important reminder for global brands like Mattel in the power of working with Latinx talent to ensure authenticity in products like this.