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Top five representative toys for Christmas

ToyLikeMe Member Posts: 2 Listener

Can you give the gift of disability awareness for Christmas?

Research being undertaken by Dr Sian Jones at Goldsmith University Psychology department is finding that children are more open minded to forming friendships with disabled peers after playing with toys which represent disability.  And for disabled children themselves, having a toy which positively reflects their impairment can help boost self-esteem.

In 2015 the #ToyLikeMe campaign was founded by journalist and creative consultant Rebecca Atkinson to call on the global toy industry to better represent 150million disabled children worldwide. Since then the campaign has grown from strength to strength and is making real change in the toy industry with Playmobil planning an upcoming series of figures inspired by #ToyLikeMe and Lego including wheelchair users in their computer games and product lines for the first time.

#ToyLikeMe founder Rebecca Atkinson shares her top toy box picks for Christmas 2016! 

Lego Fun in the Park

Lego Fun in the Park features the world’s first wheelchair using mini-figure! We love the way the wheels turn for vroom, vroom wheeled play! Every modern Lego collection should have one of these!

Two LEGO figures - one in a wheelchair - throwing a football to each other

Disney Plush Tinkerbell Combined with Makielab 3D Print Hearing Aids or Cochlear Implants

At #ToyLikeMe we love toy combining – marrying up products we have found to make winning #ToyLikeMe style combos!  Our pals at Makielab have created 3D printable hearing aids and cochlear implants which you can order in a range of colours. We have hunted out a range of plush toys which fit them, Our fave is Tinkerbelle! 

Tinkerbelle wearing a cochlear implant

Rockabilly Lottie Doll with Glasses

Lottie has a body based on an average nine-year-old girl. She doesn’t wear makeup, high heels or jewellery, but she does have long glossy hair to style and GLASSES!!! We love Lottie Rockabilly because she’s smashes the only-older-people-or-geeks-wear-glasses stereotype mould! You can combine her with a 3D print white cane from Makielab to create VI Lottie too!

Doll with glasses

American Girl Dolls

American Girl Dolls have the largest range of inclusive accessories we’ve found anywhere including wheelchairs, guide dogs, glasses, hearing aids and even a diabetes care kit

Toy diabetes care kit

Orchard Toys Giant Road Jigsaw

Giant Road Jigsaw is toy box diversity at it’s best! It features, not one, not two, but three characters with disabilities! And all ages too! There’s a guide dog owner, a wheelchair user and a chap giving it some v, v, vroooom on his mobility scooter!

Jigsaw piece showing cartoon of young boy in wheelchair crossing the road

For lots more representative toys visit or follow #ToyLikeMe on Facebook

What do you think about representative toys? Should more mainstream companies be representing disabled people? Do you have a toy that shows your illness or disability?


  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,676 Disability Gamechanger
    These are brilliant! Thanks so much @ToyLikeMe

    I came across Buttony Bear this year, which is a bear that has a stoma and wears an ostomy bag, great for children with an ostomy or for kids whose parent, family member or carer has an ostomy and thought they are brilliant! 
    Senior online community officer
  • Siigii
    Siigii Member Posts: 1 Listener
    ELC Happy land character sets have wheelchair users. I bought one for my toddler (I'm a wheelchair user) she pushes the little girl in the chair around saying "vroooom" lol
  • Katie Fraser
    Katie Fraser Member Posts: 5 Listener
    I'm wondering if any of these toys help a child without disabilities to understand the awareness of children with disability and difference. Has anyone given their child without a disability one to see what their reaction is? I have a five year old niece that has a friend that is tube fed and disabled but not sure what my niece has thought of difference in people yet. 
  • Katie Fraser
    Katie Fraser Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Although I do remember how my sister (my niece's mother) explained to her that Auntie Katie couldnt run fast when my niece was three and I got asked by my niece whos name is Lily by the way to run with her. 
  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,676 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Katie Fraser @ToyLikeMe talk about research by Dr Sian Jones at Goldsmith University Psychology department looking at the attitudes of non-disabled children to their disabled peers before and after playing with disabled toys.

    “There was a positive effect on interactions,” said Dr Jones in a recent BBC interview. “We measured children’s intentions to make friends before and after they’d played with disabled characters and we found that children were more willing to make friends with a child with a disability after having played with a wheelchair using toy.”

    The study which involved hundreds of children found attitudinal change after just three minutes of play which Jones argues, could be “profound because it represents a cheap and easy intervention to combat prejudice.” You can read more of this interview here.

    Senior online community officer


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