I’m all for children playing with a broad range of toys, but if there’s one I won’t ever be allowing into my house it’s Barbie. Sorry, Babs, but your unrealistic proportions, princess dresses and lack of ambition just don’t cut it with me. In a society so concerned with body image, where young children are worrying about their shape and size and growing up way too fast, Lottie doll is a breath of fresh air. Unlike Barbie’s porn starÂ curves and those overly sexualised, made-up, miniskirted Monster High and Bratz dolls, Lottie’s body is based on the shape of a nine-year-old girl and she wears things that girls of 3-9 can relate to – not a stiletto, corset or lipstick in sight. Unlike many dolls, she can also stand on her own two feet – literally.Â Her mottoÂ is â€˜Be bold, be brave, be youâ€™Â and sheÂ engages in children’s activities in the appropriate outfits, whether that’s horseriding, karate, going on a picnic, walking the dog or dressing up as a snow queen.
As a self-confessed geek, my favourite Lottie is Robot Girl, a bespectacled budding scientist dressed in jeans, hoodies and trainers, preparing for a school science fair. There’s a range of outfit sets and accessory packs, including football and gym kits, pyjamas, surf suit, Biscuit the Beagle, Pandora the Persian cat and Seren the Welsh mountain pony, plus a series of chapter books is due to be released this year, so there’s real potential for building a collection. Dolls are Â£19 each and accessory packs start from Â£7.99 – I’m definitely going to be buying a couple for my nieces (4 and nearly 6). The website has lots of Lottie-related activities and printables (love the certificates and Great Women Biographies) and and there’s a fab Where’s Lottie? Pinterest board where children can post pics of their doll in far-flung places.
Although Lottie is clearly aimed girls (her medal features the suffrage colours), I can see her active, sporty nature appealing to boys as well. A great idea and a lovely toy, I really hope that Lottie dolls do well. They’ve already won lots of awards, we just need people to ditch Barbie in Lottie’s favour to promote healthy body image and strong female role models to our daughters.Â I’ll definitely be giving Kitty a Robot Girl when she’s old enough not to eat herÂ shoes!