“Where are the blind fairies, wheelchair using pirates, superheroes with hearing aids, princesses with facial disfigurements?”
As I was tidying up, I mean wading through what felt like a never ending sea of plastic, wood and noise emitting toys; my good friends words (above) were echoing through my head. My children have a wide array of toys, but it is true although Fred has lots of toys to help his development, none of them look like him! None of them come with the accessories he may use, a long cane, a guide dog or glasses. So I immediately used all my Blue peter skills and retrofitted a Ken with a white cane with his visually impaired girlfriend. This image became part of the collective images that formed the campaign #toylikeme. We were mums on a mission to get the toymakers to create more diversity in the toybox!
Toy Like Me – Campaign Aims and Objectives
The ‘Toy Like Me’ campaign was started to raise awareness of the lack of toys and dolls which positively reflect and represent children and adults with disabilities and to put pressure on the toy industry to remedy this.
- We believe that children with disabilities need to play with toys like themselves in order to promote self esteem, positive body image and disability pride as they grow.
- We believe disability should not be invisible in the toy box!
- We believe disabilities should be included and reflected in all walks of life.
- We believe that inclusion of toys which positively reflect disability promote acceptance and positive attitudes in ALL children, disabled or otherwise.
Aims and Objectives
- To circulate images of existing toys which positively reflect disability to promote and support them.
- To celebrate disability in all forms and show disabled children that they totally rock and are worthy of a voice!
- To make over toys and give them impairments to highlight how inclusion could and should look in the toy box.
- To put pressure on the toy industry in the UK and globally to start including representation of children with disabilities in toy design, production and sales.
Our next step….. is to talk to the big boys – Playmobil, Lego, Mattel ! They have been quiet so far, apart from giving us a little morsel of “we have passed your ideas on to product development.”
We have mocked up our own Playmobil and Lego characters and have invited people to mock up their own
The campaign has hit a cord with people, with a facebook reach of almost a quarter of a million people all over the world, a slot on Sky Sunrise and a petition gathering signatures by the minute it is clear that people share our frustrations. Celebrities including Katie Piper, Rory Bremner and Cerrie Burnell have retweeted our campaign.
A breakthough came a couple of weeks into the campaign when Makie dolls agreed to make three 3d printed dolls with disabilities. Meet Eva, Melissa and Hetty available to buy with a while cane, hearing aids and with a facial disfigurement. Other dolls are accessories are in development including a wheel chair, leg braces etc.
Toylikeme made this trio for you as an offering of friendship. We don’t want you to feel left out now that Makies dolls are our mates.
We hope you like these guys. We would love you to make them for real.