PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

The PopCult Toybox: Lammily Debuts

7Today we’re going to tell you more about Lammily. This is the realistically-proportioned fashion doll that I recommended in the PopCult Gift Guide a few weeks ago. I finally have a Lammily doll to review, so that’s what you’ll get in this special Christmas Eve Edition of The PopCult Toybox. Lammily can be ordered from Lammily.com.

You’ve probably seen the press for this new fashion doll, since the story surrounding her creation went viral at least three times in the last couple of years, but Lammily, the “average body” fashion doll is actually a refreshing addition to the ranks of cool toys.

First there’s the stated purpose of giving young girls a role model doll with realistic body proportions. It’s a great idea to put the brakes on the ultra-thin, tall supermodel type as a realistic ideal of beauty. Beautiful women come in all shapes and sizes, and girls should have the option of owning a fashion doll closer to their own body type.

A side benefit is the matter of providing 1/6 scale hobbyists with a different body type to use alongside other figures in dioramas. Most 1/6 scale female action figures have more unrealistic body proportions than Barbie does, and that’s really not practical if you want a figure to go on an Adventure mission or a military strike alongside the guys. I should point out that this doll is not actually named “Lammily.” That’s the name of the company that makes her. You get to go to the Lammily.com website, choose any name you wish, and print out a passport for her. For the purposes of this review, though, I’m calling her Lammily.

Lammily arrives in the PopCult office
Lammily arrives in the PopCult office

With Lammily in hand, I can report that she is a very well-made fashion doll. She has better articulation than Barbie–she can bend her knees and elbows, which only some Barbie dolls can do, and she has articulated wrists and ankles. She’s also wearing flats on her normal-sized feet, as opposed to Barbie’s perpetually-heeled tiny feet.

One of the original images of the Lammily doll, back when she was just a statement. Lammily has let her hair go natural since this photo
One of the original images of the Lammily doll, back when she was just an artistic statement. Lammily has let her hair go natural since this photo, where she posed alongside Barbie.

The folks behind Lammily have made one concession to the standards of the fashion doll. Lammily has very long hair. This is great for little girls who want to style or braid her hair, but military or adventure dioramists might want to trim a bit off. It’s not a major issue. Action figure collectors might also gripe about the use of rubber-covered click joints at the knees and elbows, but we need to remember that they are not the target audience. Still, I’m sure that Lammily will find herself deployed alongside GI Joe in some collections. Keep in mind that your PopCulteer is a GI Joe collector, so I called in an outside opinion to take a look at Lammily.

For a more relevant assessment, I present a mini-review-within-a-review by my wife, Melanie Larch, a Barbie and Monster High collector:

Lammily is a wonderful addition to the world of dolls. With her realistic proportions and casual attire, little girls can identifiy more with her than with the other ultra glamourous fashion dolls on the market.

One particularly striking aspect of this doll is the packaging. Gone is the pink typically associated with Barbie and other fashion dolls. Instead, we’re treated to a lovely illustration of Lammily, stickered suitcase in tow. An enclosed fold-out pamphlet treats us to descriptions and illustrations of her adventures as a world travler. There’s also a link to a website where you can name your doll and make it official.

It’s quite possible that Lammily could replace Barbie in the hearts of little girls (& future collectors) across the country.

Lammily is shorter than Barbie, but I don’t think girls will mind. She looks like a real young woman. That’s the whole point. There is one major concern I have about the future of Lammily.

One of the Lammily outfit sets, coming in January
One of the Lammily outfit sets, coming in January

Fashion is a big part of the success of a fashion doll and at the moment, Lammily doesn’t have any fashions available. There are several outfit sets offered on the Lammily.com website, but they won’t be available until after the middle of January. This is understandable, since Lammily is a start-up company just getting into the production of dolls and fashion outfits. But in the case of Lammily, there’s an additional concern with having the “clothes sold separately.”

Since Lammmily is realistically proportioned, her clothes are not interchangeable with Barbie and vice versa. Barbie’s clothes will not fit Lammily. The outfits offered at the Lammily.com site range in price from $17 to $27 per outfit and I’m sure girls will love them. However, there’s also an opportunity here for parents to help their children sew their own outfits for Lammily or possibly adopt outfits from other toys. I have a feeling that Lammily might be able to wear some GI Joe clothes. What could be a limitation may also turn into an avenue for creativity.

That’s actually another benefit of having a doll like Lammily on the market. It opens up more avenues of imagination and creativity for a young girl who sees Lammily as more of a companion and friend than a glamourous “role model.”

Lammily can do the body modification thing, too. At least with stickers
Lammily can do the body modification thing, too. At least with stickers

A couple of months ago, the Lammily company garnered even more press when they announced another accessory, a sticker sheet that will allow the dolls to be adorned with tattoos, scars, acne, stretch marks, scrapes, and grass stains. This is a great idea for play value and will allow young girls to customize their figures and make them even more identifiable. However, I have a feeling that a lot of these sticker sets are going to wind up in the hands of GI Joe collectors who want to customize their own figures (maybe not with the stretch marks.)

Lammily is the creation of Nickolay Lamm, a conceptual artist from Pittsburgh who wanted to make a statement about the unrealistic expectations that Barbie places on young girls and wound up with a new family-run toy company sprouting from the idea. It’s exciting to see a project like this come to fruition and I hope Lammily does well enough that in the future we get to see Lammily’s companions with a variety of body types and ethnicities…and maybe even a guy for us action figure collectors.

Joe welcomes Lammily to the ranks
Joe welcomes Lammily to the ranks