First off, yes hashtagging words outside of Twitter is annoying, but just hear us out on this one.
#ToyLikeMe, in case you’ve not heard of it, is an awesome endeavor (with or without the hashtag) and we love it for its inclusiveness.
Let us explain:
Toy Like Me is a campaign to get more toy companies to create toys that represent children with disabilities.
Started by journalist Rebecca Atkinson, former play consultant for Ragdoll Productions Karen Newell and writer Melissa Mostyn, the campaign has a Facebook page and a Twitter account that uses the hashtag #toylikeme in an effort to raise awareness of the toy industry’s lack of representation of children with disabilities.
Isn’t that great?!
Now, to be fair, some toy companies do have toys that represent disabilities, like American Girl dolls available with hearing aids and sans hair. Moxie’s dolls are also available without hair, but aside from those couple of examples, little else was available for children living with disabilities or major illnesses to identify with.
The trio started outfitting their own children’s toys with items that represented some form of disability. They made a Disney Tinker Bell doll with a custom made cochlear implant, for example. The photo of that doll went viral several months ago and since then, it’s exploded.
Two small toy companies in the United Kingdom that produce dolls — Lottie and Makies — have already agreed to start making more toys that are representative of children with disabilities. (Yay small, independent toy companies!)
However, as Atkinson recently wrote in The Guardian newspaper, no major players in the toy industry have stepped up yet to support the campaign. (Boo major, corporate toy companies!)
If you wanna start supporting Toy Like Me, visit their Facebook page and give ‘em a like and send ‘em a few tweets with their sweet hashtag. They’ve already got a big following who send them photos of their own modified toys.
And don’t forget to support Lottie and Makies for getting on board.