The dolls have been designed to reflect different disabilities, with a customization option for many dolls.
Many little girls dream about playing with a doll that looks like them - and there has been great strides in the past decade to make sure that there is more diversity lining your local toy store's shelves. However, there has been a market that has been highly underrepresented. Toy Like Me, a recent Facebook campaign that has caught attention, is calling for more representation and diversity within the toy industry, and their main goal has been to produce toys for children living with disabilities.
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Their page features submissions from parents and other family members who have given makeovers, some very thoughtful and creative, to existing toys so that they look more like their children. Makies, a UK dollmaker, responded to the campaign by developing accessories for their dolls such as hearing assistance devices and walking aids, as well as creating a doll with a distinct birthmark.
They are continuing to expand upon that idea, however. The company hopes to create a process like Build-a-Bear where families and children can create their own dolls by mixing and matching everything from hair color to hearing aids. They are also working on developing wheel chairs, prosthetics, and even guide dogs to help with the authenticity. American Girl recently released a whole new line of wheelchairs, and many hoped other toys would catch on.
Makies is also testing the ability to customize facial characteristics, so parents will be able to design a doll with a facial birthmark in the same spot as their kid’s. They hope to use 3D printing to make them as realistic as possible. Both boy and girl dolls are available, at the price of $115 USD.
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Makies is also using this platform to push other companies like Mattel to include those living with disabilities in their general production. The hope is that parents who do not have children with disabilities will purchase the dolls that do, encouraging children to be more accepting of those who do have disabilities.