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Makies Creates Dolls for Disabled Girls (& Disabled Women Who Still Play With Dolls): Tools You Can Use

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Last year, I wrote about the need for disabled dolls to be created for disabled girls, and it seems that the British toy company Makies decided to step up and make this a reality by answering the call of the Toys Like Me social media campaign.  When I learned about MakieLab, and Toys Like Me, I could not wait to feature them as a “Tools You Can Use” resource on the blog.

Finally They Exist!  Dolls that Disabled Girls & Women Can Geek Over
Makies is a toy company that creates customizable dolls, and they have begun to provide customers the opportunity to add accessories to their dolls that are similar to what they look like and/or have the adaptive equipment they use in their day-to-day lives.  Makies uses 3D printing to create its dolls, and customers can request add-ons such as birthmarks, scars, hearing aids, and a walking stick.  Makies is working to make wheelchairs, k-frame walkers, and a longer cane as future add-on design options.  The dolls sell for about $108 each, which is within the price range seen for other well-known customizing doll brands.

Makies was inspired to take the inclusive leap when it stumbled upon the Toys Like Me campaign, spearheaded by two moms of disabled children who advocated for more disability visibility to be seen among toys.  The push for toymakers to increase the visibility and representation of disability among its toys is growing larger and larger, due in part to social media.  Companies like Makies are showing that there is an untapped market of toy consumers that have been grossly overlooked, and that creating such toys is not challenging to do, and will yield incredible financial success for companies that decide to have a seat at the inclusive table.

How I Would Want My MakieLab Doll to Look Like  

Though I will be 30 in four months, I still love dolls, and will collect them when able.  I would love to receive a MakieLab doll through the company, and feature it on the RYV! blog.  (This is my unashamed request… A woman can never have too many dolls to collect and play with.)

I would want her to look like me:  African American (light-skinned) with brown hair, with dark brown eyes, and wears something that is totally “girly-girl.”

For my doll, a wheelchair, a pair of glasses, and 2 hearing aids would be the “add-ons” selected so that she would resemble me.

Since I am in the midst of writing a children’s book, this doll would be a “dollified” version of my main character, “Violet.”  “Violet” is my younger self in my book, and having a life-like doll would provide me an incredible muse as I write my story.

Final Thoughts

As I have harped on time and time again, there can never be enough push for disability representation on all levels, whether it is within TV shows, movies, books, or among toys.  I hope that other toy companies will see the level of attention, praise, and success Makies has acquired, and make it a priority to be inclusive with its own toy products.  These dolls have the potential to change many lives when placed in the hands of the child (or adult) who receives them – never underestimate the importance of being validated by having a doll or seeing a character that “looks” like you.

(Featured headlining image:  Courtesy of Makies at MyMakies.com.)

About Vilissa Thompson, LMSW

Vilissa is the Founder & CEO of Ramp Your Voice!, an organization she created to establish herself as a Disability Rights Consultant & Advocate. Ramp Your Voice! is a prime example of how macro-minded Vilissa truly is, and her determination to leave a giant "tire track mark" on the world.

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