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Sunday, 10 February 2013

☆ ✔ MGA, Mattel & Hasbro - Raising Awareness Through Toys ✔☆

True Hope Bratz - www.toyworldmag.co.uk

I spotted these dolls towards the end of  last year, and have to say I love the fact that MGA and also Mattel have come on board and launched their "Bald Beauties" - although strangely Mattel's  Bald  Barbie is only being launched as an "Exclusive" available through Hospitals in the US and Canada only - that's pretty sad, but perhaps it will change soon (call me a cynic but I'm sure keeping an eye on MGA's "True Hope" sales will most probably change this!) more of Mattel's version coming up below, but first... a "True Hope Bratz" billboard...


www.thebigtoybook.com

MGA's "True Hope" range of 6 dolls, is available and quite easy to find on the shelves of Toys R Us stores in the USA, Canada & the U.K. MGA promise that for every doll sold, they will donate $1 to the City of Hope, here's an idea of what this charity do (quotes taken from their website)  "On our park-like campus just northeast of Los Angeles, researchers advance ideas into discoveries, physicians bring emerging therapies to patients, and students learn to transform the landscape of modern medicine – all supported by the generosity of philanthropists from across the country." 

City of Hope is a research institution they receive no Government funding for their research and have this to say about themselves and their aims: "An independent biomedical research, treatment and education institution, we are a leader in the fight to conquer cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases."


https://www.facebook.com/BeautifulandBaldBarbie

What is really surprising about these dolls is that they actually started off as an idea, that lead to a Facebook page and a petition - the Toy Companies saw the demand (likes = possible sales!) they took the idea on and started to produce these dolls, the Facebook Movement started with Barbie in mind, but Mattel stated they do not take toy ideas from Customers (way to go Mattel!) although they certainly changed their minds and went back on those words, after MGA took to the idea and made their "True Hope Bratz" range - hardly surprising! 

What is surprising though is that while MGA made their dolls for the mass market and therefore available to everyone, Mattel have placed restrictions on theirs and I really can't think of one reason why they would do so, especially as the Bratz range has proved the market is there.

The photo above was taken from the Facebook page that started it all, they've since changed the display picture to one showing the "True Hope Bratz Dolls" if you'd like to connect with them on Facebook, you can do so here: https://www.facebook.com/BeautifulandBaldBarbie  or go to their "Sister Page" by clicking this link: http://www.facebook.com/TheBeautifulAndBaldMovement

On the 4th February this year, The Beautiful and bald Barbie Facebook page made an announcement - Mattel had finally come on board and launched not a Barbie Doll as requested but the next best thing - a Bald Barbie Friend called Ella, who comes with a wig which she's wearing and a separate wig and head scarf as well as a couple of other items... 




These dolls have been donated to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation for distribution (in an unknown quantity) and are available for a limited period (while their donated stock last), the cool thing is, the National Alopecia Areata Foundation have announced this online, along with a form for you to order, if preferred, they have also included a PDF form so you can print  fill in and send to them instead ( I'd advise this option only if you live in the US or Canada, as Air mail obviously takes a lot longer to reach them, and with limited stocks, you may miss out if you apply via this option).


http://www.naaf.org


Photo of "Ella" above was taken from the National Alopecia Areata Foundation website and the link to the application forms page is available here: //www.naaf.org/site/PageServer?pagename=BarbiesBaldFriend

The following information is included on that page:  http://www.naaf.org/site/PageServer?pagename=BarbiesBaldFriend

"Mattel has generously donated a select quantity of the “Ella” doll to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation (NAAF), which we are making available to children with alopecia areata. ages 3 -17. 

As supplies are limited, we are making “Ella” available on a first-come first-served basis, and can only offer one doll per child with alopecia areata.

“Ella” is not available in stores. Mattel has expressly made “Ella” to be played with and enjoyed, not resold on-line. Any resale may result in legal action." 

NOTE: NAAF was not involved in any way, in the development or packaging of the Ella doll. Mattel made the determination that Ella would be wearing her wig in the packaging.

According to information on http://www.beautifulandbald.com/bald-dolls-updates : "Mattel plans to make a one time production of 10,000 bald "friend of Barbie" dolls. They will be donated and distributed through Children's Hospitals, The National Alopecia Areata Foundation and CureSearch."  It's a good start but I'm hoping they do roll out these dolls so that they become available for everyone through Toy Stores or even just online.

Another company which recently was petitioned via a Facebook Campaign is Hasbro; this time for a bald version of "G.I Joe" (or even "Action Man" in the U.K - I'm guessing).  The facebook page dedicated to the campaign can be viewed via this link:  http://www.facebook.com/BaldAndBraveGIJoe

I spotted a really interesting announcement dated 24th January 2012, which came as a reply to the Page Admin's request that the above toy be considered for manufacture, it was too long for a screenshot so I've had to chop it in two...




What I find really cool about this post/ reply / Hasbro, is; firstly that they had  already designed and began manufacturing a Bald Headed "Super Hero" versions of the doll and not only that, at the bottom of this message they included an image of the "special edition STAR WARS R2-KT ASTROMECH DROID figure" they produced in 2007, to "drive awareness and raise money for cancer research." The links they included take you to an Amazon Page where you can view / purchase the figure ... it's pink btw, and pretty cool, especially if you consider how the idea came about and why it was made, which is also included in the Amazon listing, as follows:



Star Wars: 30th Anniversary Collection Exclusives R2-KT Action Figure:


Product Description:

R2-KT was created in 2005 to honor Katie Johnson, a very special little girl who tragically passed away from brain cancer on August 9, 2005, at the age of seven. Her father, Albin Johnson, is the founder of the 501st Legion, a Star Wars costuming fan club that performs charity work around the world. Katie had a special wish: to visit Walt Disney WorldTM. Through the generosity of the Make-A-Wish Foundation®, Katie's wish was granted. Then one more special dream came true. Katie's sister, Allie, was inspired one day while watching Attack of the Clones, in which R2-D2 watches over the sleeping Padmé. Allie thought how great it would be if Artoo could watch over Katie while she underwent treatment, and for the droid to be named "KT" after her sister. The R2 Builders Club made Allie's idea a reality by creating a unique R2 unit especially for Katie. The 501st Legion approached Hasbro with the idea of producing a figure to commemorate R2-KT.






Product Features:

Exclusive ComicCon July 2007

The Pink Imperial Droid with the Heart of Gold

Ages 4+


It's still available for $44.95 with Free Shipping, just follow this link: Special Edition R2 - KT Action Figure


(N.B: All images used and sources of information quoted and referenced are contained within the body of the text.)


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