Kmart Charlie Dolls Are a Massive Win for Disability Representation

We all love a good old fashion stalking session of the “Coming Soon” and “Landing Soon” products on the Kmart website. These are the products that haven’t hit stores or online just yet, but they will be ready very soon. 

The new doll in town

This week Kmart shared one “Coming Soon” product that is already proving to be incredibly popular – Baby Charlie with Down Syndrome.

Kmart charlie down syndrome dolls
Source: Kmart

These Kmart Charlie dolls come in both a girl and a boy option and retail for $15. They each come with a soft body to cuddle, a cute little outfit and soft hair to comb.

What an adorable new addition to the doll shelves! 

Kmart hits the mark for disability representation

This isn’t the first inclusive doll Kmart has impressed us with. Before Kmart’s Charlie Dolls, Kmart also released a line of dolls with disabilities or impairments, including one doll in a wheelchair, one with vision impairment, and one with a hearing impairment. 

kmart dolls with disabilities
Source: Kmart

At Kmart we want to foster a culture that is inclusive, and a big part of that is reflecting the rich diversity in the community around us,” Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Kmart Group, Marcelle Harrison told A Current Affair. 

“We’ve had so much positive feedback from the community.”

Kudos to Kmart for bringing Baby Charlie with Down Syndrome dolls to the shelves and giving them the visual representation our world needs. 

Mum’s bright idea for her daughter 

In addition to the retail giant, one mum is also paving the way for inclusivity with her own line of dolls she makes and sells on Etsy.

Back in 2018, UK Mum Clare Tawell couldn’t find any dolls or toys with hearing aids for her deaf daughter. So she started to make them. She now sells the range at Bright Ears and is inundated with requests! 

Bright Ears hearing aid dolls
Source: Etsy
mum central
Source: Etsy

We absolutely love these dolls. Some have cochlear implants, others have cleft lips. She’s even modified the dolls to give them strawberry birthmarks, insulin pumps, nasal cannulas, and heart operation scars.

bright ears dolls
Source: Etsy

Clare also has a range of inclusive Elf on the Shelf dolls (sold out now, but a great idea for next year’s Elf adventures!). How clever! 

Elf on the Shelf
Source: Etsy

Modern day dolls hit the mark

Dolls have certainly come a long way since our own childhood collection of blond-haired, big-boobed, tiny-waists Barbies! Kudos to Kmart, Clare and the other small companies designing dolls that represent all abilities. 

We’ve written about other dolls that have hit the mark for visual representation including these body positive dolls and Barbie’s “Shero” Range. 

Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.


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