THE company behind Barbie dolls have been praised online after introducing a doll in a wheelchair and another with a prosthetic leg in their latest range.

Mattel bosses say they wanted to bring out a doll which 'better represented the people and the world kids see around them'.

The move has been applauded by many including disability charities who have argued in the past disabled children should have the opportunity to play with toys that represent them and their lives.

The company says their Barbie Fashionistas latest product line is the most 'diverse and inclusive' yet including a new braided hair texture and a new body type for Barbie with a smaller bust, less defined waist and more defined arms .

Over the past few years, more than 100 new looks have been introduced to the Barbie range including including more skin tones, hair colours and textures, eye colours, tall, petite and curvy Barbies and an updated Ken with a variety of skin tones, bodies, eye colours and hairstyles.

Kim Culmone, global head of design for Barbie, said: “For 60 years, Barbie has been a reflection of culture and fashion and that is key to the brand’s continued relevance.

"As we design Barbie for the next generation, we are focused on evolving to remain the most diverse doll line in the marketplace.

"This year our Barbie line will include dolls reflecting physical disabilities in order to better represent the people and the world kids see around them.

"Our commitment to diversity and inclusion is a critical component of our design process and we are proud that today’s kids will know a different image and experience of the brand.”

The dolls will be available in the UK this autumn.