British toy company Makies is changing the way dolls are sold, with their new Toy Like Me campaign that allows children with disabilities to custom-create dolls that look like them. Spurred by a grassroots social media campaign started by parents across the UK, the British company responded to their #ToyLikeMe hashtag by introducing dolls that include children with disabilities. With 3D printing, children can customize their dolls to include features like birthmarks, hearing aids, wheelchairs and even seeing eye dogs.
The #ToyLikeMe hashtag campaign was started by parents Rebecca Atkinson, Karen Newell and Melissa Mostyn, three mothers of children with impairments that sought to share toys that show disabilities in a positive light. When the campaign revealed very few toys with these features, the women decided to make the campaign go viral, by posting and reposting their own personally customized toys parents have adjusted for their kids. Atkinson, Newell and Mostyn have used their campaign to email, tweet, tag and message toy companies around the world, attempting to elicit a response to their findings, or lack thereof.
One company did heed the trending social media campaign, and quickly responded to the women’s call. UK-based Makies, which exclusively sells 3D printed toys, has since introduced a line of 3D printed disability accessories for their already customizable line of dolls.
With 3D tech, Makies has created a series of dolls that reflect real children. Canes, birthmarks and scars are represented in lurid detail, bright pink hearing aids are affixed over flowing hair, and no realistic detail is spared. The toys themselves are on the pricier side due to their 3D printed nature, but the durable dolls were built to last- and to bring smiles to every face.
via Hello Giggles