Last year, I discovered Makie’s.
Make the Doll of Your Dreams!
Makies are totally customisable dolls that you create. Each one is guaranteed unique, and with an ever-growing range of accessories and looks, a Makie is a friend for life.
I was really intrigued so immediately checked out the website
because I knew that I needed one, really needed one. Upon looking into it more, I realised that as much as I needed one of these, they had a hefty price tag for what is essentially just a doll that doesn’t do anything.
I decided to save back £5.00 a month until I reached the grand total of £109.00 which covered the cost of the doll (who comes complete with an outfit and wig that you can choose) and a spare outfit, shoes and glasses. The Makie on its own, with a complete outfit (shoes, dress or top and bottoms and a wig) will set you back £69.00, which includes postage costs.
For the most part these 3d printed dolls can be made completely unique to your very own design, you can change the skin colour, eye shape and colour, nose shape, add different wigs in different colours and styles and even dress him or her up in some rather cute little outfit. You can’t change the body size or shape. Makie’s claim to be (among other things):
3D printed using sturdy (and non-toxic) nylon plastic, Makies are meant to be played with and built to last. They bear the British Toy and Hobby Association’s Lion Mark, signifying high standards of quality and safety. With swappable parts and upgradable bodies, Makies are designed to be enhanceable, fixable, and loved for a lifetime.
Totally one-of-a-kind, right down to the secret ID inside her (or his) head. Every single Makie is a unique individual, and only YOU can have yours.
Makies have been safety tested in the EU and are CE marked as safe for ages 3 and up. They’re officially the world’s first 3D printed toy! Many of us in the Lab are parents and very picky toy shoppers ourselves, and we’re making toys that we’re very happy for our own kids to play with.
One of the things I love about Makie’s is that they are endorsed by the #toylikeme campaign and a range of cochlear implants, dolls with birthmarks, hearing aids and canes, meaning now more than ever before your doll really can be just like you. Growing up as a disabled child I wish that a doll that was more like me, with perfect imperfections like me had been around when I was young. There is an ever growing list of suggestions for accessories including wheelchairs, false limbs, insulin pumps and more which they encourage you to add to.
So, onto my first Makie doll. The creator on the website is really easy to use, allowing you to make changes to hair colour, eye colour, style of hair, the shape of the mouth and eyes and even picking a complete outfit for you boy or girl doll.
image from makies.com
Once I was happy with her, I also chose an extra outfit, pair of dinky cowboy boots and some glasses. The accessories range from glasses, to earrings, to hands in different positions, so the doll becomes really interestingly poseable with endless imaginative play possibilities for children (and adults obviously). I had a few issues and queries (my own fault, not the website) which were answered swiftly and helpfully. I also had updates via email as to where my Makie was in the process, it is estimated that they will take around two weeks to go to print, be printed, checked and dispatched. My doll arrived exactly two weeks from the date of my order via tracked delivery. The face colour – i.e. eyebrows and lips are hand painted and there are tonnes of tutorials around to create your own “faceup” which can be done with watercolour pencils should you choose too. The website itself also has an excellent FAQ section which is really helpful.
My Makie looked pretty identical to the image I created using the website. The hair is a bit longer on the real life doll.
I was surprised at how light the doll was, she has a texture not dissimilar to balsa wood and she didn’t feel as smooth as I thought she might (like how a barbie doll feels). The doll is ball jointed and can be posed in so many different ways. She can stand up unaided and I even managed to get her to stand on one foot without falling over. I changed the outfit on mine, added some glasses and a little bow, I also used purple hair chalks to make her hair look more like mine. She has a slightly frowny face – just like mine.
Here is a comparison – the picture on the left is my Makie fresh out of the box, the picture on the right after a few adjustments. All in all, I flipping love her.
You only have to search Instagram to see how popular these little dolls are – some even having their own Instagram accounts and adventures, I think Makie dolls have a rather large adult following. I have a few minor issues, I found the limbs a little stiff, the feet can be removed completely allowing me to put the cowboy boots on, but this was tricky and took me a few tries to get them on, especially as I was terrified it would break – they do seem very durable though and I am sure I was being over cautious. I was a little disappointed by the quality of the clothing, especially as the little tops and bottoms are very pricey for what they are (the wooly jumper cost a whopping £8.99), I read that a lot of regular doll clothes will fit them though and I found entire websites dedicated to tutorials making clothes for them. I thought it was a bit of a shame that the initial outfit choices for boy makes was pretty limited, but the store seems to be ever expanding and I have seen rumblings of Christmas designs appearing on Makie’s official Instagram
pages. I am going to attempt to broaden my knitting skills by knitting a bobble hat for her (then a bigger version for myself). I also discovered she will stand quite nicely with her feet turned inwards – just like my disability causes my feet to do – a very happy coincidence for me!
Do you have a Makie? Would you get one? Would you consider buying a #toylikeme for your child? Let me know in the comments below!