“We got this.” “You have a powerful voice.” “It’s okay to make mistakes.” “I think you’re awesome.”
These are just some of the 20 messages that appear on the colorful, circular stickers that come with For Keeps, a new line of 5.5-inch fashion dolls from The Loyal Subjects that are designed for kids ages 4 and up. In many ways, these dolls offer a familiar play pattern — they come with clothes and accessories that kids can swap to customize the doll and encourage imaginative play. Each doll has a different name, occupation, and — in some cases — even a pet companion, which are detailed on the back of the packaging.
However, these dolls also come with a specific and actionable mission: encouraging kids to embrace positive affirmations, both for themselves and their peers. This is evident from the start, as the packaging has a “You Are” statement written in all caps across the front. (You are loved, You are brave, You are radiant, etc.)
Inside, along with the doll and her accessories, kids will find a small but sturdy, matching plastic cupcake and the aforementioned 20 stickers, which each feature a unique positive message. Kids are encouraged to place one of those stickers in the cupcake; hand it to a friend, family member, or classmate; and tell them to open it and see the message. It’s worth noting that the cupcake also has enough room to hold all of the stickers — once you separate them into individual pieces via the perforated edges — so kids might choose to store their messages in the cupcake instead, taking out the stickers they want to pass along. For younger kids, these stickers also offer an opportunity to learn the meaning behind some of these phrases, such as “I love you unconditionally.”
While the positive affirmations are the standout feature of For Keeps, the dolls themselves are good quality, especially at their $13 price point. Not only do the dolls come with plenty of accessories, but they also feature 9 points of articulation.
Right now, there are seven dolls to choose from, who make up “series 1” of For Keeps: Emma, Mia, London, Paris, Sophia, Bella, and Ella. (Ella and Sophia are each also available with a second, variant color scheme.) The dolls feature a variety of hair colors, skin tones, and fashion sensibilities and, because the packaging is not blind, kids can choose the doll that they prefer. The characters also hold a nice variety of career types, including a veterinarian, a journalist, a choreographer, a music producer, and a filmmaker.
To top it off, each doll comes with a T-shirt she can wear, advertised on the box as featuring a mystery message. That mystery message is yet another positive affirmation, such as “You can do it” or “You are loved,” which nicely ties together the fashion play element with the dolls’ positive messaging.
For now, the full line of dolls is available exclusively from theloyalsubjects.com, with select styles available at Walmart!