#ToyLikeMe online exhibition shows mainstream toys customised to give them ‘diff:abilties’

Posted on November 24, 2016

#ToyLikeMe has launched Toy Box Tales, an online exhibition of 12 stunning photographic images of mainstream toys customised to give them diff:abilities.

The creators of the collection, which have been shared thousands of times on Facebook, hope to invigorate debate about how diff:abled children are represented in the mainstream.


150 million diff:abled children worldwide are culturally marginalised by the very industries which exist to entertain and educate them. They are almost invisible across children’s industries.

But this Christmas, the sparkle-filled winds of change are sweeping through the toy box as the nimble-fingered modelling skills of #ToyLikeMe have created a doll-sized prosthetic leg, given Hulk a diabetic line, customised the cast of Frozen, and in homage to fashion model Winnie Harlow, present the world’s first rollerblading doll with vitilgo!

Toy Box Tales has been made possible thanks to support from Arts Council England and aims to challenge perceptions, bust pervasive stereotypes and inspire change in the way that diff:abilty is presented in the toy box and beyond.

“It’s time diff:ability got a creative airing in design,” says #ToyLikeMe founder and creative consultant Rebecca Atkinson. “For too long diff:abled people have been portrayed as pity-inducing, negative and snooze-worthy. Toy wheelchairs are nearly always grey and found in hospital sets. What does that tell kids? We want to shake out the dust, chuck on the sparkles and play creatively and fearlessly with representations of diff:ability in childhood.”

The full collection of photographs is available to view at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital and online at toylikeme.org.

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