The special dolls won the Toy of the Year award in Spain last year. “The reactions surprised us, it was all very positive,” Orruño told The Guardian. According to her, the toys are intended for all children, not just children with Down syndrome.
The dolls range has become more inclusive in recent years: dark skin color, gender neutral and dolls with a physical disability. And they notice that at Miniland, the company where Orruño works. They are located in the municipality of Onil, about 80 kilometers south of Valencia
In the region, many dolls are made in the same way as a century ago. Some sculptors still use mountain clay to make their molds.
There are 38 toy makers in the small town, and Miniland isn’t the only one making inclusive dolls. The Doll Factory Europe also makes Down dolls, 95 percent of which are intended for foreign countries.
The American Kelle Hampton bought a doll from The Doll Factory for her daughter and is very happy with the improved offer. Her daughter has Down syndrome and in the past the special toys looked more like a caricature, she writes.
According to Hampton, her daughter and the doll were inseparable from day one. “The message is that people with Down syndrome are beautiful, capable and loved.”