There are more than 770,000 children with disabilities under the age of 16 in the UK, meaning every one in 20 children has some disability, according to the Disabled Living Foundation.
Children with disabilities currently have no major brands representing them properly, brands such as Barbie have tried and failed with Barbie’s friend Becky, the strawberry-blond babe in the hot-pink wheelchair whose wheelchair incidentally doesn’t fit through the doors of the Barbie dollhouse.
Parents of children with disabilities have long been pleading with and educating toy manufacturers to make dolls that reflect their kids’ disabilities and one British toy maker has responded.
Makies produce toy dolls which are personalised by the owner in order to suit their wants prior to assembly. Every single Makie has an ID code inside its head so only you can have yours. The Makies are 3D printed using strong, (non-toxic), nylon plastic. The dolls are made to be played with as opposed to many other companies incorporating 3D model printing and are built to last the test of time. They also bear the British Toy and Hobby Association’s Lion Mark, showing the high standards of quality and safety.
Makies got involved in the #ToyLikeMe campaign on Facebook and Twitter and started producing dolls that have walking aids, hearing aids and birthmarks to reflect their consumers.
Parents behind the Toy Like Me campaign have been pushing the big toy making companies and the industry as a whole for a makeover of children’s toys and campaigning for large manufacturers to make the toy industry more inclusive of kids with disabilities.
Unsatisfied with what’s available to buy, the campaign has been giving big-brand dolls home makeovers, modifying them so they positively reflect disability and posting those images on social media to inspire other parents, and more importantly big toy makers, to do similar.