Move Over 'Average' Barbie, Meet Dad Bod Ken
First it was Barbie.
After 57 years, Mattel (NASDAQ:MAT), the maker of the iconic doll, gave her a major makeover. She now comes in three new body types with a variety of skin tones and hairstyles.
And now it’s Ken’s turn. A startup called Lammily, the original creators of the “average” looking doll, is now taking him on.
“I really want boys to like it even though it’s a doll. And I think boys will because it’s kind of like an action figure doll hybrid,” says Nickolay Lamm, Creator of Lammily.
The new “Boy Lammily” doll doesn’t come with six-pack abs and biceps. Instead, he will have a more average looking body.
“We wanted to make this doll with realistic [body] portions, but extremely relatable, so we really focus on the small details. So, she and eventually he will almost look like tiny, little people,” Lamm adds.
Lamm created his company in 2013 when he was shopping for a doll for his niece.
“I thought they must have the technology today to make dolls with a more realistic portion,” he says. “Then I decided to design a doll myself to reflect typical measurements of a 19-year-old woman using data from Centers for Disease Control [and Prevention].”
Since then, Lammily dolls have gone viral, selling over 40,000 in over 60 countries around the world.
Eleni Gagnon, a partner at Lammily, says the dolls are mainly sold online because they don’t want their message to get lost on store shelves.
“The story has to be told so they don’t get confused that she’s just an ordinary doll. There is definitely a strong message behind these dolls and that’s what we want to change—the perception," she says.
Lammily dolls cost around $25 and they come with many realistic features. They can have stretch marks, acne, cellulite, and they even get their periods.
“It’s used as an educational tool,” says Gagnon. “I think it’s a great way to present it to them [young people] in a light-hearted way.”
Lamm says that while some critics believe they are introducing too much, too soon to young kids, he says the dolls are meant to help them become more confident.
“Let’s take for example stretch marks. Kids see it on their moms. Kids see cellulite. I think you can make that argument, but at the same time I think the earlier we can introduce kids to things the better off they will be.”
Lammily is currently crowdfunding their new “Boy Lammily” doll. Currently, they have over 1,384 backers and have raised over $52,000.
As for any added features, Lamm says he’s still working on it but does say he plans to add some “chest hair.”