Dolls are way more than just a fun tool for dress-up and mimicking adults. These workhorses of the toy chest have played a critical role in early childhood development for decades, and no one understands that better than Ez Karpf.
The founder of My Family Builders, Karpf once found himself searching for a gift for a friend’s child. Despite repeated visits to many toy stores, he couldn’t find any doll sets that represented that child’s multiracial family—or LGBTQ, single-parent, or blended families.
Rather than waiting for the toy industry to catch up, Karpf took matters into his own hands. His mission? Helping both parents and kids celebrate and emulate values shared across families, no matter their makeup.
Giving kids the opportunity to create friends and families as unique as the ones they encounter in real life isn’t just fun and games. Traditional dolls actually impose limits on children’s imaginations, which has a very real impact on their future development. What’s more, dolls have a history of helping children broaden their horizons. Exhibit A: The Clark Doll Test, used to prove the internalization of racism in children, a key part of the testimony in the Brown vs. Board of Education case that led to the desegregation of schools.
Karpf took into account design, child psychology, and learning when coming up with these wooden toys that allow for open-ended play. Each set includes 32–48 heads, bodies, and legs that snap together with the help of magnets for up to 2,048 possible combinations, and 25 educational cards to boot. If this doesn’t make you want to celebrate diversity, we don’t know what will.