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Limited edition Barbie of director Ava DuVernay causes online frenzy

The Ava DuVernay Barbie was a hot item online on Monday. Amazon

A special edition “Ava” Barbie, modelled after famed Selma director Ava DuVernay, appeared to sell out on Mattel’s site in under 20 minutes Monday, after much anticipation.

Unfortunately many were left disappointed.

Some accused the retailer of underestimating demand.

Others pointed out that diversity does, in fact, sell.

“There is a serious need for our young girls to be able to have dolls that look like them,” Karen Byrd recently said in an interview.

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Byrd is the founder of Natural Girls United, a company that makes natural hairstyles for black Barbie dolls.

“It is something that affects their self-esteem, confidence, and how they view themselves. It is important that they have images around them that reinforce that positive message that their beauty is wonderful.”

READ MORE: Matt Damon’s diversity comments showcase challenges of women in film

But it’s not just young girls for whom the doll can be a source of inspiration. One aspiring director was among those who tried to get his hands on one.

“I sadly did not but will try again. I want one because I’m working at becoming a director just like [DuVernay],” he told Global News.

Those who missed out on the first batch of dolls had another chance to try their luck later on Amazon.

DuVernay has said she plans to donate the proceeds from her Barbie to charity.

Global News reached out to Mattel for comment but did not receive a response by time of publication.

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