Doing a World of Good the Aim of New Hearts Dolls
BY DENISE I. O'NEAL, Favorite Things firstname.lastname@example.org
A united global front of girl power delivered one doll at a time is what Playmates Toys' Hearts for Hearts Girls doll line hopes to accomplish. The line of multicultural dolls, designed by Gina Beebe, delivers a socially conscious message.
The dolls ($24.99 each) launched at Chicago-area Target and Toys R Us stores last week and will be sold exclusively at the retailers and online at target.com and toysrus.com through the holiday season. They include Consuelo from Mexico City, Lilian from Belarus, Dell from the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky, Rahel from Ethiopia, Tipi from Laos and Nahji from India. Each 14-inch doll is dressed in authentic clothing reflective of her culture and comes with a book telling her story. Beebe chose girls from these six regions because the "areas are underserved," she said.
"It's hard to believe but even in America, areas like the Appalachians are without electricity and indoor plumbing," Beebe said.
The dolls were created to deliver an empowering social message to girls of varying ethnic backgrounds. For instance, Nahji breaks out of the traditional subservient role of the women of her culture to encourage the young girls working the tea fields of India to seek education.
Beebe thinks shedding light on underdeveloped areas of the world will bring about change.
"I believe girls and women of the world will break the cycle of poverty," she said.
The dolls already are receiving industry accolades, including making Dr. Toy's 2010 Best 100 Products list, along with being recognized by Dr. Toy (Stevanne Auerbach, Ph.D., who has been reviewing children's products for nearly 25 years) as one of the 10 Best Socially Responsible Products for 2010.
Along with raising social consciousness, the dolls are raising money for charity.
World Vision, which is dedicated to working with families and their communities worldwide to tackle the causes of poverty and injustice, is the first recipient of donations. Playmates Toys is donating 6.5 percent from the sale of each doll to World Vision. The company plans to partner with other charitable organizations in the future.
"Our vision is to help millions of children by raising funds to help underdeveloped areas worldwide, while teaching girls around the world to respect other cultures," Beebe said.
For more information on the dolls, visit hearts4heartsgirls.com. The interactive website also includes authentic music and cultural details for each doll.