No, Mattel Is Not Releasing A Line Of Barbies Made Of Mushrooms
“This is a hoax and has nothing to do with Mattel or any of its products.”
No, Mattel is not releasing a line of Barbies made of mushrooms that are designed to entirely decompose. The toy company behind brands like Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price, American Girl became the target of a pretty complex hoax on Tuesday when a group of environmental activists sent out a fake press release to journalists announcing the company’s “plan” to stop using plastic entirely by 2030, its support of a federal ban on nonessential plastic use in the United States, and the decomposable line of Barbies. Turns out, none of it is true.
“This is a hoax and has nothing to do with Mattel or any of its products,” a spokesperson for Mattel told Romper via email.
The press release in question came from someone claiming to be from the “Global Product Team” at Mattel and quoted several executives at the company, including CEO Ynon Kreiz and Pamela Gill-Alabaster, Mattel’s head of sustainability. The fake press release also announced that Mattel had partnered with actress and environmental activist Daryl Hannah.
“Barbie has changed in many ways since I was a girl, but under the surface, she’s still toxic,” Hannah said in the fake release. “Now, when she’s done being used, instead of persisting forever as a poison Barbie will be able to return to the earth, just like all living things. I am thrilled to be a part of this exciting journey.”
Hannah was also featured in an “ad” in which she said she was “proud to announce that all Mattel toys will be plastic free by 2030, starting with the iconic Barbie doll.”
The phony press release also “announced” a new line of Barbies made from mushrooms and inspired by environmental activists including Hannah, Greta Thunberg, Julia Butterfly Hill, Phoebe Plummer, and Neimonte Nenquimo.
The folks behind the hoax posted a video promoting the fake dolls on YouTube, featuring a “Barbie Pussy Riot Accessory Pack!” and a group of girls wearing ski masks tossing a molotov cocktail at Russian President Vladimir Putin riding a horse.
So yes, it was all a big hoax. While not as extreme, Mattel did announce in 2019 that the company will use 100% recycled, recyclable, or bio-based plastics in its products and packaging by 2030.