Recently, Mattel announced that they were creating a line of Barbie’s that represented all types of women: different heights, waist sizes, and skin colors. Many were ecstatic that Barbie was starting to represent real women since the classic Barbie is unrealistic. After all, her waist is 16 inches while the average US woman has a 35 inch waist. Nonetheless, we’re excited to see this new direction for Barbie. And Barbie isn’t the only toy brand that has been focusing on representation. Check out these other toy companies who are creating toys that represent the kids who play with them:
Recently, Lego released a figure that was in a wheelchair and people were very happy with the figure. To have a toy that has a disability is great since many toys don’t take disabilities into account when considering how to make their products diverse.
The thing about Lego is that they don’t differentiate characters by ethnicity. Everyone is that lovely Lego yellow. However, Lego has used accessories to show each different ethnicity: A Lego wearing a sombrero with maracas to represent Hispanic culture and another Lego wearing a kimono to represent Japanese culture, just to name a few.
When Lego received complaints that they didn’t have enough girls doing male nominated jobs they stepped up their game. Lego created girl scientists, doctors, coaches, lawyers, teachers, and many more. To have toys that show little girls they can be any job is pretty amazing
American Girl Doll
In my opinion, American Girl is super feminist. I grew up reading the books and watching the films. Basically, the female main character always saved the day either by helping her family, friends, or community. The books also contained lots of female characters who valued intelligence, a trait that is lacking in other books.
I recently took a visit to the American Girl Doll store to relive my childhood (they discontinued my favorite doll, Felicity, and I’m still bitter). Even though I was sad that my childhood was ruined, I was very happy with what else I found. The store sold lots of accessories for girls who may be disabled or may be going through a tough time. They sold leg braces, wheelchairs, arm and leg casts, crutches, walkers, and even accessories to help their dolls go through physical therapy. It is great that they have accessories so girls (or boys!) can make their dolls just like them.
Speaking of creating dolls like them, American Girl has lots of dolls that are different skin tones and races. You can pretty much get a doll that looks exactly like you. To be able to play a doll that represents you, or your family, or your culture is important. Children need to not think one ethnicity or skin tone is better than another because that’s the skin tone all their toys have.
Overall, it is so exciting to have toys be different and represent every child who may play with them. Hopefully more toy companies will follow suit and make sure their toys represent everyone.