New dolls to combat sexualisation of girls
An entrepreneur has created a new doll which aims to combat the sexualisation of young girls.
Ian Harkin, 38, of Battersea, launched the Lottie dolls in August this year with his colleague Lucie Follett.
His company Arklu has already scooped eight awards since they went on sale, as well as gaining endorsement from Amanda Holden and JK Rowling.
Mr Harkin was inspired to create the toy following a report by nutritionist Dr Margaret Ashwell, who said current dolls on the market could have a negative impact on girls perception of body image.
Following months of extensive research with nutritionists, child psychologists and parents Lottie was created.
The dolls are based on the dimensions of an average nine-year-old girl, with a flat chest and stand a few inches shorter than usual dolls.
She does not wear clothes designed for clubbing, but instead is more interested in the outdoors and exploring.
Typical dolls feature Lottie in horse riding gear, dressed for Ballet classes or as a snow queen.
Mr Harkin said: "Parents felt their kids were growing old too fast.
"She is very much a normal girl. She is not going to nightclubs and driving around with boys, she is playing outdoors using her imagination."
Before creating Lottie Arklu made William and Kate wedding dolls working alongside the royals own designers, which sold out within months.
He has spent a year and a half on the latest venture, with plans to launch another six dolls next year.
Lottie dolls are being sold for £16.99 and can be bought at Toymasters, WHSmiths and Amazon.
Visit lottie.com for more information.