Dolls for Transgender Children

All children need to play with dolls, no matter their gender identification.

For the youngest children, dolls provide cuddle and comfort. For toddlers, dolls make great ‘security objects’ — that touch of the familiar that they can carry with them as they start to explore the world around them.

But most importantly, dolls help children to learn to nurture; they become your child’s own ‘children’ to love and to care for. It’s one of the first skills a child learns.

Make no mistake — the best mothers and fathers 20 years from now, are the ones learning how to nurture today… by way of doll play.

This is as true for little girls as it is for little boys. Neither nurture nor love is dependent on a child’s ‘gender.’

Fritzi Doll

Fritzi, a gender neutral doll for boys, girls and transgender children.

This is also true for transgender children. Sometimes, God puts the mind and the soul of one gender into the body of the other. Sometimes it is temporary, and you get the ‘tomboy’ girls and the ‘princess’ boys. Sometimes it is permanent and in adulthood they will undertake the transition. But regardless of any label, children need dolls to love and nurture.

Recently we started carrying a new kind of doll. A gender neutral doll. Neither ‘pink aisle’ nor ‘blue aisle,’ Fritzi is the perfect doll for boys, girls, tomboys, princesses, gay, lesbian, or transgender. Whichever gender role that child needs their doll to fill, Fritzi can be that doll. The child can project a gender onto the doll, or leave it ambiguous, or even change it from one to the other as he or she sees fit. The name is gender-neutral, the clothes are gender-neutral, the doll is gender-neutral. Imagination is the key determiner.

Unfortunately, dolls need to be placed in one aisle or another in the toy store. But for the parents who are willing to think outside of the ‘pink aisle is where you find dolls’ mindset, we are happy to present an alternative. A doll that any child can identify as being of the ‘right’ gender.

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.


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

Anatomically Correct Dolls – 7 Good Reasons

1: So that prudes and reactionaries can have something to complain about.

Anatomically Correct Boy and Girl Dolls

Award Winning Anatomically Correct Soft Sculpt Dolls

2: So that social service agencies can help traumatized children deal with good touch – bad touch issues more comfortably, by moving them from the child to the doll.

Aquini Boy Doll on doll's potty

3: So that boys can be more easily be potty trained. (Try explaining to a two year old boy how to tinkle without one.)

4: So that parents can prepare a ‘new’ big sister for the difference, so that they don’t fixate on ‘that’ part when their new baby brother comes home.

A Princess Boy Doll

Our Jacob doll dressed as a girl

5: So that Princess Boys can have dolls that are just like them.

6: So that the blogosphere can have something to post about.

7: So that pregnant mothers can have an anatomically correct boy doll for their ‘Gender Reveal’ party.

The Pattycake Doll company sells thousands of Boy Dolls every year, and we have had anatomically correct boy dolls with a penis since 2003. Girl dolls with a vulva too. Soft Sculpt Cloth anatomically correct dolls, and molded plastic anatomically correct dolls. So far we have never had an anatomically correct doll come back because it was anatomically correct. Maybe it’s because we’ve always been up front on our product pages – with both the words and the pictures. It would be pretty hard to claim you didn’t know what you were buying.

So yes, this posting is a little tongue-in-cheek, because we were a little surprised that people were making a big deal about it. About five or six years ago we got a few ‘comments’ about our down syndrome dolls. That passed, and this  tempest in a teapot will too. And if not? Good! We always sell more dolls when people are talking about them!

Soft Bodied Dolls – Happy Hybrid?

Dolls today come in three basic styles:

‘All Cloth Dolls’ – also known as Rag Dolls,

Classic Raggedy Ann Doll

All ‘Vinyl Dolls’ – often called plastic dolls,

antomically correct Asian Boy doll

and hybrids or ‘Soft Body’ dolls.

Soft Body dolls

a 12″ and an 18″ doll. Both are ‘soft body’ dolls

Why should you care? Because the three different types of dolls offer three different kinds of ‘play,’ and all three are important to a child’s development.

Broadly speaking, rag doll’s are more cuddle and security objects, all plastic dolls can be dressed and undressed (learn to dress, nurturing and fashion), and go into the bath, and cloth / plastic hybrids offer a combination of both features… they are soft and cuddly like the rag dolls, but are easily dressed and undressed because of the flexibility of their limbs for shoving arms and legs into the clothing.

PS: A new and very positive trend we’re seeing now is the cloth body ‘bath’ doll… has all the advantages of a hybrid, but made with a cloth body specifically designed to dry quickly. Corolle’s Tidoo and Adora’s BathTime babies are two examples of these new ‘Hybrid – Hybrids!”