Toy or trouble? 'Mexico Barbie' has passport, Chihuahua

Mexico Barbie.

/BarbieCollector.com

Mexico Barbie.

Mattel says its "Dolls of the World" line of Barbies come with passports, stamps and, with many of the toys, an "animal friend."

But the toy company's been getting some criticism this week for "Mexico Barbie," which as GlobalPost notes is "dressed for a fabulous fiesta in her vibrant pink dress with ruffles, lace and brightly colored ribbon accent" and is "sold with a pet Chihuahua, a passport and a sticker sheet to record her travels."

On Mattel's Twitter page, the company has a long series of responses to complaints. Among the kinds of criticism it's been getting:

"A little stereotypical? Mexico Barbie is wearing a traditional Mexican dress, has a chihuahua, and a passport. http://twitpic.com/cijqu1." (From "ShawnnRR")

Mattel's response to such messages:

"Mexico Barbie is 1 of 100 Barbie Dolls of the World. Current dolls wear a country-inspired outfit have a passport animal."

"We're so sorry - we didn't mean to cause any offense."

"For our intentions w/ this doll, pls see our statement: http://bit.ly/BD-oW We never meant offense."

Here's what the statement says:

"The Barbie Collector Dolls of the World line was launched in 1980 and is the largest and longest-running series in the history of the Barbie brand. Each doll wears an ensemble inspired by the traditional costume and fashion of the country. In 2012, the Barbie Collector Dolls of the World line launched dolls from Argentina, Australia, Chile, China, Holland India, Ireland and Mexico. Every doll in the current line includes a 'passport' and stamps as well as an animal friend providing additional play value.

"We consulted with the Mexican Embassy on the Dolls of the World Mexico Barbie, especially with respect to the selection of the Chihuahua. Our goal with the Dolls of the World Mexico Barbie, as well as the entire Dolls of the World Collection, is to celebrate cultural differences and tradition, introducing girls to the world through play."

Critics aren't satisfied: "It would be nice to see some contemporary images from these countries," Felix Sanchez, chairman and co-founder of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, told Fox News Latino. "These images seem very dated and seem to have been created for a different time."

By the way, according to Mattel's online store:

China Barbie is dressed in "an Asian-inspired gown of red silk" and comes with a "panda friend."

Holland Barbie has an "adorable bunny friend."

Chile Barbie is a "perfect cowgirl" with a "cute dog."

France Barbie, in beret and and "simple chic" fashions inspired by the French countryside, comes with a basket of "baguettes."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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