DOLL VS. DOLL – Barbie, the champion of the fashion doll world since forever will soon be getting some competition. The challenger’s name is Lammily, and her motto is “Average is Beautiful”. That motto is fitting because Lammily is average in every way. She is the brain child of designer Nickolay Lamm. He originally designed the prototype for Lammily as a school project, comparing the body proportions of a fashion doll to the proportions of an average woman. He posted a few pictures of his comparisons on the internet and they went viral. Soon, he had tons of kids and parents asking him where they could buy a doll-like the one in the pictures. That inspired Mr. Lamm to find a way to turn his designs into a real doll that could be mass produced and sold in toy stores. Using measurements of the average 19-year-old female from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and with help from a former vice president from Mattel, a new dress-up doll named Lammily was born. An online campaign was started to fund the first run of dolls, and within a month Nickolay Lamm received enough money from backers to get him well on his way.
Lammily, otherwise known as the Average Barbie, differs from Barbie in that she is shorter and rounder, her clothing is simpler, and she actually looks like young women I see in public. She is similar to Barbie in that they both bend at their wrists, knees, elbows, and feet.
MY THOUGHTS – I’m glad to see a doll-like Lammily enter the fashion doll market because the image that Barbie portrays needs to be balanced. Even if girls continue to prefer Barbie over Lammily, just seeing Lammily on the shelves next to Barbie is a good thing, because it says Barbie’s look is not the only look. However, I’ve never been particularly bothered by Barbie. My girls have always played with Barbies and I’ve never felt that their perception of their own bodies had suffered as a result. They have also watched many of the Barbie animated movies on DVD. And, please don’t tell anyone, but I’ve even watched many of the Barbie movies with them and I actually found them entertaining. I decided a long time ago that I’m fine with my girls watching those movies because the Barbie characters are always portrayed as smart, pretty, very feminine young ladies who are just independent enough that they don’t need a man but when the right one comes along they can still fall in love. This is the image that Mattel has painted for Barbie and I’m fine with that.
However, a movie can say alot about image that a simple toy cannot. When I consider the Barbie doll alone (without the movie), I think a little competition is a good thing. Because, the proportions of Barbie are not reality for 99.9% of our girls. Many more girls will be able to look at Lammily and see something that looks like themselves. I really doubt that Lammily will steal much business away from Barbie, but I’m hoping she’ll grab enough sales to stay around and keep her position on the shelves right next to her tall skinny and curvy friend.