Imagine you enter a toy store and find Tinker Bell with a cochlear implant or Barbie on a wheelchair. Unconventional? Yes! Non-traditional? Yes! About time? A resounding yes!
British toy company Makies was recently inspired by the social media campaign Toy Like Me
to release a line of dolls with disabilities. The Toy Like Me
campaign encouraged parents of children with various disabilities to customize their toys, making them look more like real people and reflecting special circumstances.
Makies is working on a character in a wheelchair, as well as dolls custom-designed for their owners, letting parents create dolls themselves with characteristics to match their children’s own features. And what kid doesn't want a doll that looks just like them?
Makies is pooling in their efforts to bring about a more positive representation of children through their toys in a bid to help make our society more inclusive.
It all began with #ToyLikeMe starting a change.org petition
for toy company Playmobil to better represent disabled children. Started by Rebecca Atkinson, a Freelance Journalist and Creative Disability Consultant who works with toy brands, TV production companies and advertising agencies looking to include positive representations of disabilities.
campaign found the support of 50,000 people and finally in May 2015 Playmobil agreed to work with #ToyLikeMe to start positively representing 150 million disabled children worldwide
Another big victory was when they convinced even Lego to produce its first ever mini-figure in a wheelchair. In its 67 years, Lego may have ventured into space, explored the Wild West, sailed the seas as pirates, fought battles like Vikings, and inspired legions of fans with their representations of Batman, Indian Jones, Scooby Doo and even Angry Birds, but their wheelchair figure has brought joy to so many children who have never been addressed or acknowledged before.
Here’s to more sincere and adorable ways of spreading awareness and inclusion for people, big and small.
Image: Makies website