Last weekend, New York City’s Javits Center was host to a trade show unlike any other. The annual Toy Fair offered no shortage of colorful characters, tech gadgets and new releases slated to hit the $26 billion US toy market—all while providing a window into several key trends playing out in the 12-and-under market.
Though often beloved, dolls have been criticizing for reinforcing the traditional gender stereotypes that have faced increasing backlash. In recent years, dolls have become more diverse, reflecting girls in STEM or dolls with a variety of body types for the first time. This year’s Toy Fair, however, pushed the gender envelope in new ways.
One of the most anticipated toys of the fair was Tonner Doll’s Jazz Jennings doll, the first doll to represent a transgender individual. At 16 years old, Jazz Jennings is the star of TLC’s docuseries “I Am Jazz,” as well as an activist and YouTube vlogger whose achievements have been recognized by Time Magazine, Teen Vogue and President Obama.