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In this Sept. 29, 2015, file photo, Barbie Fashionista Dolls from Mattel are displayed at the TTPM Holiday Showcase in New York. Mattel Inc., the maker of the famous plastic Barbie doll, says it will start selling Barbie's in three new body types: tall, curvy and petite. She'll also come in seven skin tones, 22 eye colors and 24 hairstyles. The El Segundo, Calif., toy company will also continue to sell the original Barbie. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

In this Sept. 29, 2015, file photo, Barbie Fashionista Dolls from Mattel are displayed at the TTPM Holiday Showcase in New York.(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Barbie’s got a brand new bod.

Mattel, the maker of the iconic plastic doll, said it will begin selling Barbie with three new bodies — curvy, tall, and petite. The doll will also be available in seven skin tones, 22 eye colors and 24 hairstyles.

The El Segundo, California, toy company will also continue to sell the original Barbie. The new options come after years of criticism that Barbie had created unrealistic expectations for girls.

 The new cover of Time magazine, which first reported the changes, touches on topic with the headline, “Now can we stop talking about my body?”
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This photo provided by Mattel shows a group of new Barbie dolls introduced in January 2016.  (Mattel via AP)

Sales of Barbie dolls have been sliding as girls turn their attention to tablets and other toys, falling 4 percent from the previous year in the most recent quarter for Mattel.

The doll has changed in some ways already. New skin tones and looks were added last year. And Barbie’s foot was movable for the first time, allowing her to kick her heels off and wear flats.

This photo provided by Mattel shows a new, tall Barbie Fashionista doll introduced in January 2016. Mattel, the maker of the famous plastic doll, said it will start selling Barbie’s in three new body types: tall, curvy and petite. She’ll also come in seven skin tones, 22 eye colors and 24 hairstyles. (Mattel via AP)

This photo provided by Mattel shows a new, tall Barbie Fashionista doll introduced in January 2016. (Mattel via AP)

Mattel has been searching for ways to recharges sales of Barbie, which fell 4 percent in the most recent quarter as ‘want lists’ from girls increasingly include iPads and other things.

The new body types were in the works for the past two years, said Mattel spokeswoman Michelle Chidoni.

Whether kids will pick up the new dolls remains to be seen, though Chidoni said previous changes were “positively received.”

Mattel would not provide sales figures, but some marketing experts say more will have to be done to return Barbie to her former glory.

“The look of the dolls is great,” said Marc Rosenberg, a marketing consultant in Chicago that has worked in the toy industry for 25 years. But in order to connect with kids, the new dolls need to be added to Barbie YouTube videos, apps and shows, said Rosenberg.

Dolls with the new body are available for preorder at shop.mattel.com, and will ship in February. They will start to show up on U.S. store shelves in March and roll in the rest of the world after that, Mattel Inc. said.

 

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Follow Joseph Pisani at http://twitter.com/josephpisani . His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/author/joseph-pisani .

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