Jessica Ellis
December 26, 2015 12:04 pm

From the ball to the iPhone, children’s best-selling toys sure have changed a lot over the years. Thanks to this gorgeous video by the makers of Lammily, aka the “Normal Barbie” AKA a Barbie-like doll with realistic proportions, we can see exactly how much times have changed.

In the new vid published this week, 11-year old dancer Olivia Hanlon plays and dances with modern history’s greatest toys. Beginning with classics like the ball and Crayola crayons from the turn of the 20th century, the video swiftly moves on to mid-century toys like the Slinky, Hula Hoop, and of course, Madame Barbie, herself.

In addition to showing off some truly stellar dancing ability by Ms. Hanlon (Someone get this girl on So You Think You Can Dance as soon as she hits 18!), the art-vertisement gives us a fascinating picture of the highlights of toy history. It’s especially effective to see a young girl playing with the toys, moving from more classically “appropriate” girl toys like dolls to gender neutral, active toys like the Frisbee in 1964 and Star Wars figurines in the 1970s.

Also really cool to watch is the few dolls sprinkled throughout the video. Raggedy Anne makes her appearance in 1915, and it seems like a long way from that cuddly, misfit rag-doll to the prim, cool gaze of the original Barbie in 1959. Yet it may even be a bigger leap to a doll like Lammily, the final toy shown for 2015.

Clearly, Lammily’s makers realize that the battle for gender identity and body image can be influenced even through the types of female images we give kids. The company goes a step further with ads like this, as well as by using their doll to talk about other women’s issues; in September, they released a period pack of accessories for Lammily in the hopes of demystifying the process of menstruation and helping kids and parents open a dialogue. The doll, controversial to some, is nevertheless gaining a lot of popularity as it aims to change the doll market.

Check out the toy video below; if you’ve got any belated Christmas shopping to do, mine it for some great classic toy ideas!

(Image via video.)

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