(KXAN/NBCNC) — Mattel is reportedly releasing a new “Mexico Barbie” doll outfitted like a mariachi. According to the Barbie collector website, she was initially released on Cinco de Mayo — a day celebrated both in the United States and in Mexico. It is celebrated in Mexico primarily in the state of Puebla, where they commemorate the Mexican army’s victory in the Battle of Puebla.
“In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is generally mistaken to be Mexico’s Independence Day — the most important national holiday in Mexico — which is celebrated on Sept. 16,” reads Wikipedia.
The mariachi Barbie is part of Mattel’s 2014 Dolls Of The World — featuring Barbie in traditional costumes from all over the world — and is reportedly set to hit the market here in the states a day before Mexican Independence Day, on Sept. 15. That’s also just in time for National Hispanic Heritage Month this year, which runs from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15.
“Undeterred by criticism it’s likely to receive, Mattel’s Mariachi Barbie is its second Mexican doll. The first, ‘Mexico Barbie,’ was criticized for its stereotypical appearance, which included a Chihuahua tucked under its arm,” posted mySA.com.
“Dressed in the traditional costume of a mariachi, Barbie® doll wears a fitted black bolero jacket and cropped trousers trimmed in intricate golden brocade that mirrors the pattern on her impressive, wide-brimmed sombrero,” reads the Barbie collector website’s description of the new doll. “Flourishes include a brilliant pink tie, low ponytail and tall black boots.”
Meanwhile, Barbie is losing her appeal with young girls. While still the top-selling doll, Barbie sales have fallen 15 percent — continuing a two-year-long popularity slide.
Mattel says part of the problem is the assumption that playing with gender toys is detrimental to young girls’ ambition and self-esteem. In an effort to confront the criticism head-on, Mattel has launched a Barbie campaign called “Unapologetic.” The company hopes the female-empowerment campaign will reignite young girls’ passion for its poorly performing Barbie brand