Q: Why is the character from the United States white?
We know that like many countries, and especially in the U.S., there are a multitude of cultures and identities. We gave Xander a great deal of thought and we want to share the reasoning behind this decision.
First, as some of you may know, the inspiration for the brand, at its’ inception, was a young boy from Houston, Texas named Dane (see our Kickstarter from 2018 for more info on Dane’s inspiration). The initial iteration of the five multicultural characters included Dane as a character, which very closely resembles the current version of Xander. While we changed all of the names and stories of the characters to re-imagine the Global Kidizens, we felt it was important to maintain this character as a connection to our origin story.
Second, our Founder has a young son, who bears a similar resemblance to this character and is half Hispanic and of Greek heritage. We believe in embracing lived-experiences, which is why we work so closely with our development partners for each of the other characters. We want, not only, to begin where we’re at, but acknowledge the responsibility that we share in raising white boys in the United States. With privilege comes responsibility and that is something we take very seriously.
It is impossible to represent any country in the world in one culture, and it was never our intent to do so. This is simply a starting point, for the reasons listed above, and we look forward to developing additional dolls and stories to represent the many WONDER-ful cultures that exist within the United States, and around the world.
Q: Why are the dolls so expensive?
It has always been important for us to source our products in a sustainable and ethical way. This means working with artisans and manufacturers that are as committed to upholding these values as we are. Our dolls are hand-knit by artisans in Peru working within a Certified World Fair Trade Organization so we know that they will earn a living wage, while at the same time, sharing their amazing talents with the world. Ensuring they’re paid a living wage while in a safe environment means the end-product simply costs more to produce.
In addition, our dolls are made with 100% cotton yarn and eco-friendly dyes that are safe for your family and the planet. They are designed, and made, to last so that one day your littles will be able to pass down to their littles. Again, committing to these standards translates to higher production costs, and therefore, higher costs for our customers.
As we continue to grow, we plan to explore the possibility of offering a community pricing scale, as well as sharing dolls with under-resourced communities so that kids from all backgrounds can see themselves reflected in the dolls that they play with.
Q: Do you plan on creating dolls from other countries, and/or representing additional ethnicities from within countries you already have characters from?
YES and YES! The sky is truly the limit when it comes to imagining new characters and we’re so excited to create dolls and stories from every corner of the world. In addition, as mentioned above, we know that it is impossible to represent any country in any one singular way and it has never been our intention to try and do so. We’d also love to incorporate other intersectionalities into the characters, such as differing abilities, gender identities and family makeups – just to name a few. The world is full of so much richness and diversity and we can’t wait to celebrate that with an ever expanding collection of Global Kidizen dolls and stories.
Q: Do the Global Kidizen Dolls meet all required safety standards?
Yes, our dolls have been tested by an accredited testing lab and meet all safety standards for the United States and Canada for 0+ years.