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Project: "Wildlife Photographer Mia"
Company:Arklu Ltd
Designer(s): Arklu Ltd, Ireland
Category: Toy Design, Professional
User's Profile : User's Profile

Entry Description: Mia the Wildlife Photographer was created to reflect the brand's mission which is that childhood should be an inclusive place, where every child belongs regardless of gender, ethnicity or ability. Mia empowers children to become inspired by wildlife through her packaging elements, her appropriate clothing and her STEAM focused accessories. Mia's got six photo-style collector cards included in the doll box which are inspired by real kids, nature photos submitted by children as part of an international photography competition to encourage fans to get involved in Mia's design. Mia wears a cochlear implant, which is part of her story rather than a focal point; as reflected in the Lottie chapter books. Mia is a collaboration with 'Toy Like Me' a UK non-profit who campaign for diversity in the toy-box and for better representation of disabilities so that differently abled children can see themselves reflected in the toys they play with.

About the Designer/Company
We want to create dolls which are positive role models for children, stimulate their imaginations, inspire learning and fun through play and offer great value to parents too. Research and Development Arklu carried out 18 months of research working with kids, parents, retailers, industry experts, child psychologists and child nutrition experts, leading to the generation of over 100 action points which have been incorporated into Lottie’s development. The main issue was in protecting childhood and stop allowing our kids to grow old too soon. To address these issues, Lottie has been based on the scientific proportions of a 9-year-old child, with the exception of her head (which has been increased to accommodate hair play). She does not wear jewellery, makeup or high heels. She can stand on her own two feet...... always a useful life skill for all girls, big and small! Her clothes are vibrant in colour and have significant attention to detail. Lottie’s clothes are very much activity based, in line with those of a 9-year-old instead of an adult. She wears pretty dresses, as well as hard-wearing clothes for muddy, outdoors play. Lottie allows kids to be kids and enjoy their childhood, in all its facets. Lottie’s motto is ‘Be bold, be brave, be you’. Lottie’s Character Lottie is a feisty character; she can stand on her own two feet and whilst she occasionally makes mistakes, she learns from them. She is not perfect. Lottie loves adventure and the outdoors and uses her imagination. In many ways, she is inspired by the spirited female characters in books we loved as children: Anne of Green Gables, Pippi Longstocking, Jo in ‘Little Women’, Nancy Drew and George in the ‘Famous Five’.