Why I Don’t Like Lamilly Dolls

Lammily Dolls at Toy FairI admire and respect Nikolay Lamm. He’s an entrepreneur and creative who successfully launched his own company making dolls. Good for him.  I just don’t like his dolls.

Lammily Ethnic dolls

Lamilly dolls were designed using the average proportions of a 19 year old American girl.

Why?

Because there are people who believe that somehow the proportions of a doll affects a child’s self image. The example most often used is Barbie – somehow, by playing with a Barbie when she is young, that girl’s self image/body image will be skewed as an adult.

I don’t agree.

Lamilly Acne

But Lammily dolls go even further… Lammilly marks. Stickers that children can put on the dolls to make them even more real. Like acne (pictured above). And moles and stitches and glasses and stretch marks.

In my opinion that goes beyond wrong, and verges on hurtful. Do real 19 year olds have acne and stitches and stretch marks? Yes… but I have never met a single woman in my whole life who hasn’t done her absolute best to hide those marks.

I don’t think playing with a Barbie will make a little girl hate her body when she grows up. But I do think that a little girl who is given a Lammilly doll with an acne sticker is going to hope to God she doesn’t look like her doll when she’s 19.

I don’t think Barbies or Bratz or Monster High dolls can make a child fearful of her future, but I think a Lammilly doll could.

What is a Doll’s Breast Plate??

Doll Breast plate

Take a look at the two cloth bodied dolls above. The one on the left has swivel arms and head, and the cloth body comes right up to the neck.

The doll on the right has a breast plate. 

Does it matter?

Ballerina 18in Doll Portrait

Would this ballerina’s outfit look as good on the doll without the breast plate? And the cute tilt of the head? You can’t do that with the doll whose head simply swivels.

A three year old won’t notice, and a five year probably won’t care. So it’s really not that big a deal. But for your fashionista – she will care.

When you’re buying doll’s clothes, how much of the doll’s breast and shoulders will be exposed, and whether the doll even has a neck, is something you might want to consider.

PS: Breast plates, and dolls constructed with or without them are not something new… it has always been this way. Here is an antique doll (c. 1900) with breast plate construction. This doll had shoulders and a neck. The holes are where her body would have been attached (sewn). Her arms were undoubtedly cloth as well. (And she probably had a glued on wig.)

Antique doll with breast plate

Based on a song: the ‘One Love’ doll

One Love DollFor the past two weeks we’ve been posting on ‘where dolls come from.’
In honor of Valentine’s Day coming up this week I’d like to mention one of my favorite
exceptions: the One Love doll.

 

Most dolls start in a doll manufacturer’s design studio, first as concepts and then drawings and designs.

 

Another common start for a doll’s journey is in the pages of a book… think Winnie the Pooh, Raggedy Ann or Peter Rabbit as examples.

 

But what makes the ‘One Love’ doll so unique, is that as far as I know, she is the only doll whose origins were inspired by the lyrics of a song!

 

The song was ‘One Love’ by Bob Marley. Bob Marley’s daughter then wrote a sweet little children’s book based on her dad’s song, and it was illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton.

 

And that’s how this adorable little doll came to be. Song lyrics!

 

As you can see, she has a Valentine’s Day red dress decorated with polka dot hearts and  the words One Love. Want to get a ‘One Love’ doll for someone you love? click here to go to her page on our site.

Where do Dolls Come From? Pt 2

dolls 1

Have you ever wondered where dolls come from? Not geographically — although that can be an interesting story as well — but where a particular doll started and how it came to be?

I’ll be going to Toy Fair in NYC in a few weeks, and for The Pattycake Doll Company this is probably the biggest link in the supply chain for us. I’ll be making a few posts about Toy Fair, but today’s post is more about ‘where dolls come from part 2,’ a follow-up to last week’s post.

Last week we got from the beginning – an idea or a design up through the manufacturing of the doll. Let’s pick up her ‘journey’ from there:

  • Regardless of whether a doll is made in Spain, or the Phillipines or in China, the next step is to place her in her packaging – the box that she will be in when put on the store shelf.
  • Then she’s put into cartons… from as few as 2 to as many as 48 dolls per case, and then those cartons are put into containers (the trailer part of a tractor trailer), and then the containers are stacked on a ship.
  • Dolls are not flown to the states, they are shipped by sea.
  • There are various ports of entry but the majority of the dolls enter via the West coast ports, and then are sent to warehouses. Most companies do not warehouse their own dolls, but rent space in huge warehouses near the docks that they share with all the other renters.
  • From those warehouses, the dolls will be generally be sent to the stores, but they may also be sent to distribution centers like Walmart’s or Amazon.
  • But before the dolls can be ordered and sent to the stores, they must be shown to the various buyers like myself. That’s where Toy Fair comes in.
  • For the Pattycake Doll Company, I’ll go to The Jacob Javitz convention center in NYC, and over the course of a few days – walking up and down the aisles of three floors of toys, dolls, games and books – meet with almost every manufacturer of dolls.
  • I’ll place my orders, (I will generally spend upwards of $30,000 in just two days – and I’m small potatoes compared to most!), and then return home and wait for the dolls to arrive.
  • The dolls I saw at Toy Fair may or may not yet be ready to ship… I have ordered dolls in February that didn’t arrive until December!
  • I photograph and write copy for the dolls, enter them onto the website, and that’s when you, my dear customers place your orders.

And now you know where your dolls ‘come from!’