Toy Like Me campaign targets industry heavyweights

Group calling for better disability representation in toys has already secured the support of Makie, Arklu and Playmobil.
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Toy Like Me, a campaign group calling for better disability representation in toys, is turning its attention to some of the biggest companies in the industry.

The group, which launched back in April, has already secured the support of Makie, Arklu and Playmobil, and now is looking for more big name firms to embrace the campaign.

“What started out as a small campaign has grown into a monster, albeit a very happy playful one, that has turned round and swallowed my life,” Toy Like Me co-founder Rebecca Atkinson told ToyNews.

“Unfortunately, of the big girls and boys of the toy world, only Playmobil have come out to play. We would love to hear from LEGO, Mattel and Hasbro. We keep inviting them out to say hello, but so far there as been silence.

“We would particularly love to hear from LEGO. As the world’s largest toy company, it would be fantastic, and extremely powerful and affirming for the 150 million kids with disabilities globally, if they followed Playmobil and joined the toy box revolution.”

Playmobil has revealed it’s planning to release a set that will include characters with disabilities. A portion of the profits from sales of the set will to be donated to a charity hand-selected by Toy Like Me.

For the remainder of 2015, the group is all set on encouraging more toy brands, retailers and consumers to get behind the campaign.

“We plan to continue lobbying global toy brands, stimulate fun-filled debate that places disability on the toy box agenda and make lots more Fimo guide dog harnesses and wheelchairs for LEGO mini figures until LEGO give us a rest and start producing the real thing,” added Atkinson.

“We urge followers to post their made-over toys with disabilities and share and comment on our posts as much as possible to help spread the world and show the global toy industry that it’s time to include positive disability representation in toys and help generations of children grow up with a more positive attitude to disability and human variation.”


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Rise to the Toy Like Me challenge

Rebecca Atkinson, co-founder of the Toy Like Me campaign, explains why the toy industry needs to wise up and start including positive representations of disability in their products.

#ToyLikeMe's Rebecca Atkinson on a big year ahead for disability representation in toys

The #ToyLikeMe campaign launched last year calling for better disability representation in toys. Since then, firms like Playmobil, Makie and Orchard Toys have all come on board, and high profile names like comic Stephen Merchant have also pledged support. Billy Langsworthy talks to campaign founder Rebecca Atkinson about her plans to boost the project this year, including new partners and a tie-in TV series.

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