A doll that gets her clothes muddy and stands up for herself - whatever next?
It's fantastic news that a children's doll from Ireland is being unveiled at America's biggest specialist toy industry gathering.
The 'Lottie doll' is the creation of the Donegal-based company Arklu and a refreshing celebration of childhood. She's one of the most 'pro girl' dolls around.
The doll is based on the scientific proportions of a nine-year-old child, except for her head (which is bigger to accommodate hair play). She has bendable knees and ball-socket hips and arms and can do the splits - all of which help for gymnastics, karate, and playing.
She can stand on her own two feet - a feat technically impossible if you had the pneumatic proportions of Barbie.
There is no jewelry on this doll. Nor does she wear makeup or high heels and she's not concerned with growing up quickly. Lottie dolls come in a range of eye, hair and skin colors.
Lottie's clothes are very much activity based, in line with those of a nine-year-old instead of an adult.
Sure, she wears pretty dresses but she also wears hard-wearing clothes for muddy, outdoors playing, clothes that are easy to wear for building projects, for example (see - no gender stereotyping here).
Apparently, the company who manufacture this doll spent a year-and-a-half working with girls and their parents before coming up with their character.
In many ways, she is inspired by the spirited female characters in books we loved as children: Anne of Green Gables, Jo in Little Women, Nancy Drew, and George in The Famous Five. Lottie's motto is 'Be bold, be brave, be you'.
Her character isn't perfect, of course. And just like our little girls she makes mistakes - but she learns from them.
So we'll see you those teensy, tiny princess doll waists and raise you a real doll for our little girls.
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