Today my daughter and I attended a very special event at the Madame Alexander Doll Company in Harlem. I was a HUGE doll fan when I was a child and knew I’d be in element. I stopped by the Madame Alexander booth at Toy Fair earlier this year and knew about the quality of dolls that they produce. I was told the event was to promote a new line called the StinkyKids, and I had a feeling that this would be an event for both my daughter and I.
So, you can only imagine my delight when we walked into a mini showroom, with thousands of dolls from their various collections lining the walls. I do need to stop and tell here that as much as I adored dolls as a child, my daughter now? Not so much. For her, they are ornaments. They sit on her bed. They gather dust. I urge her to use her imagination, I encourage doll parties like I used to have on my own as a child. I’d sit in my room alone with my dolls and treat them like human beings. We had tea parties, we talked about school. My daughters? That’s not her thing, and you can only do so much convincing. She’s not that way inclined and I can’t say that buying two American Girl Dolls are getting a lot of attention in her room.
But she came quite willingly to this event and became engrossed as soon as we walked in. Britt Menzies, the author and another mom, stood behind a table full of dolls and explained the history behind the brand. It all started when her own daughter asked to be painted as a ballerina six years ago. She conceptualized a multi-faceted brand that originated with the book, StinkyKids and the Runaway Scissors which featured 10 characters. The goal of the book was to teach children to learn from our choices and to remind them to be a “leader of good”. Eventually they led to an adorable line of dolls, an app and even an off-Broadway show coming to NYC in Spring 2012. There is a second book, StinkyKids See a Full Moon, that you can also order now.
The dolls are adorable. You can order them at Target or from Madame Alexander. These 12 inch soft dolls each have removable clothing, embroidered faces, and personalized tooshies, as well as their own interesting story. You find out their hobbies, what they want to be when they grow up, special talents, favorite foods and more including what makes them a leader. Your child, 10 and under, can discover their unique personalities, talents, and hobbies through their trading cards and bookmarks (included).
But what I really like about this brand is that a a portion of the proceeds from StinkyKids is donated directly to Books, Bears and Bonnets, a non-profit organization founded by Britt’s mother Merrily Ansell in memory of Britt’s aunt who died of uterine cancer. Books, Bears, and Bonnets provides whimsical gift boxes to courageous children and adults fighting cancer and other serious illnesses. Britt also organized the 1st Annual ‘Kids Cuts for Cancer’, speaks regularly at school career days, and continues to be the “best wife and mom I can be.” And as she reminds us, “Love Your StinkyKids!!!!…they’re so stinkin’ cute!!!!
Not that anyone needs to remind me of that, but I will tell you one thing. My daughter was so enamored with these dolls that she came home, got down on the floor and played StinkyKids dolls with her brother.
Head over to their Facebook page to find out what they’re all about and check out the You Tube video I took of Britt herself talking more about the brand. She told me she started everything six years ago. I’m so impressed.
Disclosure: I was provided with dolls to facilitate this review, and a copy of the authors’s first book.