Lottie Dolls has launched its first doll inspired by a six year old girl with Down’s Syndrome, with £1 from the sale of each doll being donated to a local Down’s Syndrome Charity.
The doll, called Rosie Boo, has been inspired by six year old Rosie Kneen from Ludgersall, who caught the firm’s attention last year when she and her family build a giant Lottie Doll Treehouse in her garden.
A one-off was made by Lottie Dolls in recognition of Kneen’s adoration of the Lottie brand. The Rosie Boo doll has now gone into full production and was launched over the weekend, coinciding with World Down Syndrome Day on Sunday, March 21st.
The Rosie Boo is the latest development from the doll manufacturer to celebrate greater diversity within the toy box and its ongoing mission to offer a more inclusive portfolio of toys and dolls for children. The company has worked closely with campaigners for more inclusivity within toys Rebecca Atkinson of Toy Like Me and Dr Sian Jones.
Ian Harkin, Lottie Dolls co-founder, said: “In 2017 we launched a doll with a cochlear implant in partnership with Toy Like Me. We don’t actually say on the box what the doll is, inside we have a leaflet that educates people on what a cochlear implant is. Working with Dr Sian Jones from Queen Margaret University we have learnt how playing with toys with differences helps develop empathy in kids before culture determines how we should react to differences.
“To me, that’s one of the most powerful things we’ve discovered about doll play, the positive impact that can empower kids but also potentially to help reduce bullying by normalising differences. It’s incredibly powerful for kids to be able to see a doll in their likeness but equally it’s important that all kids have a diverse toy box.
“Reading how Rosie is meeting and beating every challenge that is set before her embodies everything that Lottie is about, always learning, having fun, loving the outdoors and going on adventures.”
Rosie’s father, Jason Kneen, said: “We are so thrilled that Rosie Boo has had this opportunity to be made into a Lottie Doll. We’ve been hauge fans of Lottie and Finn dolls, especially because of their focus on realism and diversity, and Rosie Boo has enjoyed playing with her collection for many years.
“She especially loves the Lottie Treehouse, so much so that we now have a full-size on in our garden.
“It really is wonderful to see Down’s Syndrome being represented like this and we are looking forward to seeing photos of children playing with their Rosie Boo doll.”
A donation of £1 from the sale of each doll will be donated to Rosie’s local Down’s Syndrome charity, Andover Twenty1, offering support to people with Down’s Syndrome and their families.