Technically they aren't Barbie dolls. They are WWE Superstars. But they look an awful lot like Barbie dolls.
According to Indeed Wrestling, 11 million people watch WWE weekly. And, while male viewers are declining, female viewers are increasing and now represent ~ 38% of the audience. They are also buying more merchandise, hence the decision to create a new line of dolls for them. (Harrington, 2017)
Oh, and then Mattel was smart enough to introduce the new product line at San Diego's Comic-Con on Thursday. Awesome. (Gazdik, 2017)
Last April when Mattel tried advertising Barbie to Dads I offered up the opinion that they were heading in the wrong direction because they were ignoring their primary buyer. You can read what I wrote here...
This time, I think they got it right. The dolls go on sale in September, so we shall see.
Harrington, C. (2017, June 5) WWE Demographics - Female/Male split. indeedwrestling.blogspot.com Retrieved July 212, 2017, from http://indeedwrestling.blogspot.com/2017/06/wwe-demographics-femalemale-split.html