Makie Labs is moving... to the USA!

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Makie Labs is moving... to the USA!

Post by Purple_Monkfish on Mon Jan 04, 2016 2:44 pm

The website says it all really. They were supposed to reopen today but instead they're moving the USA


Edit: Speculation and rumor and all that, but the current theory is that rents in london were just too excessive and costs over here too much to make business viable. I do hope they find a new home in the US, but they haven't managed it yet and the radio silence isn't helpful. I'm worried this is the end and it makes me quite upset. But there's not a lot we can do except hope they find new suppliers and a new office and can start up again. I hope Disney do actually help them, because it's not exactly useful to the accelerator program if one of the companies that just got taken in immediately goes bust.

It's a cruddy situation and all we can do is sit and wait and see. I'm grieving already for Makies that may never be made real.


Last edited by Purple_Monkfish on Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:15 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Makie Labs is moving... to the USA!

Post by nattherat on Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:11 pm

Wow... My goodness, am I happy I got my makies when I did. And that I stomached the cost and got hands and other extras when I did.

I don't blame Disney, not unless we got some direct confirmation that Disney decided all these things. Just like I don't blame anybody at Makie Labs. I think they're very much trying to just somehow stay afloat in a pretty thankless industry/market. It's just that they're getting really REALLY far from the product I first went to them for.

I think... if they make some kind of Disney Infinity tie-in though, they have a chance of winning me back. I love the game. However, at that point, I'd be there because of Disney Infinity, not because of Makies.

I'll miss Makies as we knew them if they go. Sad

EDIT: Hang on actually, I didn't read closely enough. They made the UK staff redundant? That's actually awful, really really awful. :/ Whatever else they do aside, that's just a really crappy move, especially with no/little notice. I absolutely wish the very best of luck to everyone who found themselves out of a job afterwards, I know first-hand how awful that is.
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Re: Makie Labs is moving... to the USA!

Post by Purple_Monkfish on Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:07 pm

From what we understand. Jen posted on the facebook group and immediately left the group, so looked like she was pretty upset.

Here's her post:

Friends, some news: Makies are on the move. https://mymakie.com/


I’m sure you guys will have a lot of questions, and I really wish that I could answer them, but I can only underline what the site says - that MakieLab and Makies are now based in the US.



I won’t be relocating, and today is my last day working on Makies. I'll be closing loops on open support tickets for a couple of days and then finding a new adventure.


So. From just me to all of you: thank you for buying Makies, and loving them, and spreading the love for them.



Your support has meant the world to our little team, and I hope that in some small way I’ve helped you to feel that. You - yes you! - helped Makies to become what they are, and made my job a joy to do, every day.


Again, THANK YOU. All the best.


We're still speculating right now, but from how support and social media were acting before christmas, they seemed to expect business as usual when they got back. Jen certainly didn't seem to know much or she'd have mentioned, because she was always great at mentioning stuff. We suspect it was as much a shock to her, she may have found out a month ago and been unable to say anything but even so, sounds like it was short notice.

I'm not feeling optimistic. 2016 is shaping out to be a year of really shitty corporate moves. Mattel is ruining Monster High, looks like Makie Labs are trying very hard to destroy what made them special too. I'm worried we'll never see boys back because "dolls are for girls" and the US market is even more sexist in the toy aisles than the UK. Also not convinced shipping won't be prohibitively expensive and with our customs threshold SO low in the UK, customs charges and parcelforce's ridiculous ransom fee are kinda inevitable unless they prepay the customs for us like Amazon do.
And it kinda hurts to have to pay to import a product that's bloody British ffs!

It was nice to have a local company, I always hoped one day to be able to go say hi like the annoying stalker I am. *sigh* I liked knowing that if something dispatched it would be here the following day. That it was coming across the city.

Maybe it won't be so bad, maybe they'll fix it but i'm nervous and pessimistic. The two dolly franchises I loved most have both decided in 2016 they no longer want my money and it's hard not to take that a wee bit personally.

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Re: Makie Labs is moving... to the USA!

Post by nattherat on Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:30 pm

That is mega mega unfortunate. Jen's always worked extremely hard, even in the face of all the IM confusion and the price points resulting in annoyed parents. She's also always been mega helpful every time I've sent my own queries. I really do wish her and everyone else involved the best of luck.

The company going through redesigns/rebranding is one thing, but people's livelihoods ending up in the firing line is something I find really upsetting.

I'm... not terribly tempted to continue supporting the company from that.

But if I were to, another thing that makes me worried is that this seems like it'd be far less likely that you could have personal requests like blank dolls or no glued skullcaps honoured, or to not dye the head. I wonder if this also means that now my makies are entirely irreplaceable.

If the joints on my 3DP bodies crack more, or perhaps the face gets damaged, it seems highly unlikely I'll ever be able to order a replacement. That is pretty sad to me. I take good care of the makies I have, but they are also for play, not purely display. I guess I'm glad I got what I did when I did (a shame I missed out on a classic face, that's probably my biggest regret), because I'm wondering if any of that will actually be possible again.

What an enormous shame. A friend of mine was interested in making her makie real too, and... that seems like it's not likely to work out now. Even if it does, shipping and customs would probably be awful, like you say.

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Re: Makie Labs is moving... to the USA!

Post by IndigoAndAsh on Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:41 pm

I feel really bad for the staff - I don't post on the Facebook group but I read it, and it really did seem like they were expecting to have the usual Christmas break then back to normalish in the new year, albeit probably without the boys.

Obviously we're all going on guesswork because we're not privy to the behind the scenes stuff, but it does seem like they've taken a major downturn in terms of ethics, which doesn't make me inclined to support them.

This does explain the "You have 4 days notice to spend your gift cards" situation just before Christmas though.

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Re: Makie Labs is moving... to the USA!

Post by DollYay on Mon Jan 04, 2016 8:12 pm

Arrrrrggggg! I was hoping to buy some stuff today. But no. They just pick up and MOVE ACROSS THE OCEAN without any notice AT ALL until today. Evil or Very Mad 

This is not good and I'm not happy at all. If they had said while they were on or before vacation that "oh were gonna move sit tight we'll be back soon." I might have been ok with it. But no I am not ok with it. I have xmas money and guess where it is now not going! MakieLabs! 

Very disappointed in them. Basically what they are doing is abandoning everything in the uk including the staff and moving across the ocean. Which is not cool for any business!

I benefit from this one way: it will be in the same country so shipping may or may not be a wee bit cheaper. 

And those boy figures look cool as an add on but defiantly not as the boys themselves.

Basically I agree entirely with what everyone else has already said. 

Also to add to my rant, could this have something to do with the founder? I forget her name but should we be blaming this on her?

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Re: Makie Labs is moving... to the USA!

Post by Lace on Mon Jan 04, 2016 9:32 pm

Wow..  I though the incredibly messy switch to IM bodies was bad enough but this kind of takes the biscuit. I really, really dislike the way they keep making these massive changes and not telling us until the very last minute. I guess my makie count is going to be sticking at one.

I hope this wasn't really as sudden for the staff as it's sounding either.

Really disappointed, wish I'd bitten the bullet earlier than I did now.
I thought the plan had been for them to have a lab in the US as well as here, not to just completely up and move.
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Re: Makie Labs is moving... to the USA!

Post by IndigoAndAsh on Mon Jan 04, 2016 9:33 pm

I will say that at least it doesn't look like they're abandoning the Toy Like Me stuff - they're quite prominently displayed on the front page. I've seen a few people say they thought that Makies were ditching that now they've got the publicity but I don't think they are.

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Re: Makie Labs is moving... to the USA!

Post by Purple_Monkfish on Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:07 am

I dunno Indigo, without Sioux how can they do the custom faceups and birthmarks? They've severed ties with her too by moving.
And they already removed them from the site when they rejigged it before christmas.

I feel like they got what they wanted from the toy like me campaign, a lot of publicity and now it's not a priority. Look how quick they did coclear implants and then insulin pumps just... never went any further.
They asked for all these suggestions but did nothing with them.

No news on when the shop will reopen, facebook/instagram/twitter haven't updated at all. It's complete radio silence from them which doesn't bode well. The uncertainty worded on the website isn't promising either, it just says "stay tuned" which is so vague.

I'm feeling really cynical about the whole thing. In the past 6 months there has been such a nosedive in terms of communication, customer service and general product. I think we should have gotten nervous the moment they hid the customisation features on the maker, why would you hide the very purpose of your product behind an optional toggle button? That never made sense to me. Felt like they preferred the simpler "print one head, just different eyes/wig" thing which would make them just like many other dolls already available.
The move to IMing while it made sense to get the price down, didn't quite hold water from a sales perspective because the dolls were STILL prohibitively expensive for the target market. Parents are just as reluctant to spend £50 on a doll as £70, particularly with shipping on top.

I was anxious when they said the boys were "going on holiday", now i'm more anxious that holiday is a permanent one. Boy dolls don't sell as well as girl dolls, and with Disney involved they're REALLY gender biased and terrible for marketing across the gender divide (they don't like doing it, at all).

I feel like it'll be all "money money money" but at the cost of what made the product special. It means a lot of "safe" options, a lot of genericness. Pink, sparkles, princesses, girly. Why? because market research claims that's what sells to 6 year old girls. If they go that direction, they'll lose what made them stand out.
It's not like the market isn't already saturated with pink glitter encrusted poopy.

Without Jen we don't have a direct line to the company either, meaning long term fans no longer have a voice or any knowledge. The communication has been getting worse and worse to the point they're flat out ignoring people now. Before christmas many people were trying to get answers on social media and it was total silence from the team. Yeah maybe they were busy, but customers deserve to be told what's going on and have their questions answered, not just ignored. If they're ignored they'll think "well screw you then" and take their money elsewhere.
Given the MESS with the gift cards (the move HAS to be the reason, the uncertainty about when they could get up and running again) complete silence on all social media really wasn't acceptable. They should have made an annoucement. As it was, I ended up helping some people out with contacting support directly to get their refunds because the company themselves couldn't be arsed! WTF!?? Why should random customers have to help one another out because the company doesn't want to do their damn job? that's not ok.

I dunno, i've not been impressed with their behaviour for a while now. The fake sale, the IM bodies not being annouced till it was too late for the general public to order anything but, same with boys. It's not acceptable, it's not how you run a business. it's shitty and it's unfair.
You expect more from a small company who go on about making their dolls "with love" you know?

I just feel like they actually at this point couldn't care less about their customer base or indeed the fans who've supported them through thick and thin. We aren't good enough, and that hurts.

Who knows when they'll be open again, could be months while they get an office set up and all supply chain sorted. In that time they'll be losing out on so much money. Jan is when SO much stuff is purchased, it's one of the busiest trading periods of the year and they've shot themselves in the foot by not reopening. Fricken morons, I do hope they have a nice big cache of cash because all those redundancy cheques and setting everything up afresh ain't gonna be cheap, and buying back customers is gonna be even harder.
The longer they stay shut, the less likely they are to bounce back.

Explains the blowout sale though doesn't it?

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Re: Makie Labs is moving... to the USA!

Post by nattherat on Tue Jan 05, 2016 10:32 am

@DollYay - I'm sure you didn't mean it seriously, but even if it were the founder's decision, I don't think laying the blame and villainising her is a good thing to do. We're all upset, but even a small company is more than the sum of it's people, one person is only human. Everyone involved probably, or at least hopefully, did the best that they could when they could in regards to all this. But a company is an entity, not a human. I don't think it'd be appropriate to single out individual members.

Not that I'm not still pretty disappointed with their track records this past 6 months, just like you say P_M! When I got my first makie in the first quarter of 2015, I was very very excited by the product. It was better than I ever could have imagined in person. The subsequent makies had problems, though I thought little of them because they were things I could fix myself. Then IM, the removal of other colours, and while the removal of the boys doesn't currently affect me because the more limited articulation frustrated me, there's that too. Plus bye bye hands and feet that are different to the default. Again, so glad I grabbed those when I did.

Plus... honestly I'm still sore about that wheelchair that never appeared, and I know I'm not the only one. If they're looking to make the product cheaper/more affordable, I'm not sure we'll ever see that 3DP wheelchair.

If they're going to move so far away from the original product, then I sort of wish they'd sell digital files. If they can't afford 3DP bodies, or other hands or feet, etc, that's understandable. But I wish there was a way they'd release those for us to go have printed ourselves, and I'd be happy to pay a license fee on that. I know some of the old makies things are available for you to print yourself, it'd be nice if that were expanded - as unlikely as it is to be.

I had actually been planning to buy a duplicate of one of my makies this year in order to be able to do some repairs/modding. Now I'm not sure whether I'd be able to do that at all. :/

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Re: Makie Labs is moving... to the USA!

Post by DocC on Tue Jan 05, 2016 12:21 pm

Purple_Monkfish, you very eloquently explain the sequence of transgressions. It's obvious that they are making some very illogical decisions that effect us all (too many Star Trek shows). However, I don't think it's personal. They have a new vision that is "worth" it to them. Perhaps this is the only option to stay afloat. In any case, I find myself waiting and watching to see where they land. Then I can decide if I'll buy in or just love the dolls I have. For one thing, most of my peripherals are not from Makies, so I can still have fun in the miniature world and 3dp world. We have no control over Makies or any of the doll companies except our pocketbooks.
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Re: Makie Labs is moving... to the USA!

Post by Purple_Monkfish on Tue Jan 05, 2016 1:06 pm

Yes well, I hope i'm wrong and boys come back but i'm pretty pessamistic about the whole thing at this juncture. Heck, given the mess and lost business over christmas and now this closure with no clear reopening, they're losing more sales.
The server shift just before christmas was a ridiculous idea, most likely spurred on by this move even if nobody knew this at the time. It broke their business at the busiest time of the year. Then they messed up gift cards and lost MORE money.
It just.. it boggles to mind to see a company, particularly such a small one doing stuff that's so dumb and losing so much in the process. How much in sales did they lose this quarter due to these bad decisions?

Will they reopen? If so, when and will the product be something so changed as to be unrecognisable? That's the big fear here, that Makies as we know them are done and I'm sitting here grieving for dolls I will never be able to make real, regretting not ordering them when I had a chance and kicking myself for stupidly believing the lines about "boys will be back feb, we'll be open again Jan 4th" etc. I just feel lied to, mislead and had I known this was happening i'd have bought a lot more back in november, then I wouldn'thave this same uneasy feeling of incompleteness. I had at least 3 more Makies I wanted to "make real", and thinking I might never be able to SUCKS.

yeah I can get other dolls, but with a few of them I wanted the dolls to "match" you know? Harris and Cat need the other three characters from their story, but it's looking more and more like I won't be able to do that and it makes me upset and rather dampers my enjoyment of the first two knowing they'll always be alone, their little dolly world will remain unfinished. I can't stand things being unfinished, it drives me mental.

I'm also uneasy about the idea of never being able to replace my existing dolls should something terrible happen to them. It makes me really anxious.

Maybe they will reopen and it'll be business as usual, but i'm WORRIED and fearing the worst. And as a result, i'm mourning and regretting so very much not buying more when I had the chance . but I didn't KNOW, none of us knew, we had no way to think this would happen so suddenly and so without warning. A gradual shift to the US was inevitable but I and many i'm sure assumed it would be a gradual process or involve having two offices, they really only ever needed printing and assembly in the country they wanted to distribute to, all the tech stuff could be done from anywhere right? A sudden "right, see ya" upheaval is too sudden, too quick and honestly doesn't make a lot of sense. While they're closed up they're losing business, while they're mucking about trying to sort out offices and supply chains they're losing business. Surely, surely it would make sense to have everything in place and up and running and then hand over once all the kinks were ironed out and allow for a hopefully smooth transition? What they've done instead just feels clumsy, senseless and impulsive.

Will it be "worth it"? I'm just not convinced they haven't shot themselves in the foot here. Alienating your fan base, ignoring your customers and then making it so they can't even give you money if they want to? It's almost like they just flat out don't WANT profit. And that's what's so baffling. What the hell are they doing?

Companies make some pretty dumb choices sometimes, but with small startups, one small mistake can KILL the business. Do Makies really have the wriggle room to screw up this badly, turn away all their original customer base and start afresh? Is that really sensible? I really do hope they're not totally cocking this up and won't change the product too much more, because if it changes much more it'll be a totally different thing. I keep hoping they'll see sense and realise they need old customers as much as new, because how many of us have encouraged others to buy? I know that I personally am responsible for at least 6 other Makies being out inthe wild, word of mouth is important! But if they alienate and piss off all their old customers with lack of communication and shitty poopy like the fake sale etc and treat us with contempt and don't fix problems why would we recommend them to anyone? No they don't need to pander to us, but they need to make sure they don't piss us all off too surely! And if we feel lied to,would you give money to a company you didn't trust?

Right now I don't trust Makies, they've messed too much up recently and it's been such a dramatic fall in ethos and quality. in a YEAR, a single damn year we've seen not just a change in product, but a complete change in the company's attitude toward it's customer base and I don't like that direction. Part of the charm of a small company is they're more like a family than a faceless conglomerate monster that sees us mere mortals as ants. Each and every customer matters to a teeny company, each sale matters. It sucks that things have gone down the tubes so rapidly, the whole... feel of the company just changed and I wonder whether it'll just get worse now. Maybe they'll actually hire more than one CS person this time?

I mean, things COULD be ok but they're just as likely to be NOT ok. I've never been good at being positive, so i'm leaning toward the cynical here. It sucks, it really sucks. Change is always scary, particularly when it's something you love and adore. What if they come back and they're "wrong"?
Eugh.

I'd like to be able to believe the new team can move the company ahead while still retaining the original ethos and product appeal, but this whole farce is NOT a good start. It puts me in a rather bad mood with them, and I think a lot of us are feeling pretty betrayed and deceived right now. it's a shitty thing to do to your customers and it's a super shitty thing to do with your old staff.

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Re: Makie Labs is moving... to the USA!

Post by DocC on Tue Jan 05, 2016 1:50 pm

I remember the new Coke didn't go over. Maybe once we know their true direction, we can do a campaign to get our Makies back.
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Re: Makie Labs is moving... to the USA!

Post by JRyu on Tue Jan 05, 2016 2:03 pm

I notice there's not one word from the Lab regarding the screwed up accounts with the missing Makies that some of us still have.....are they even going to bother to keep working on fixing it and getting our Makies back, or just tell us to bag it all, and open a new account when their site reopens....... Evil or Very Mad


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Re: Makie Labs is moving... to the USA!

Post by Purple_Monkfish on Tue Jan 05, 2016 3:18 pm

Without Jen, who knows....
She really was the glue that held the whole mess together.

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Re: Makie Labs is moving... to the USA!

Post by DocC on Tue Jan 05, 2016 4:44 pm

Gosh, what a mess. I certainly don't blame her for leaving!
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Re: Makie Labs is moving... to the USA!

Post by Purple_Monkfish on Tue Jan 05, 2016 6:47 pm

No Doc, she didn't "leave", she was made redundant. Sounds like the whole team were. Unless some of them decided to move to the US. The london office is done, gone. It's the end of an era.

I wonder who got to take home all the random dolls scattered about.. <_<

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Re: Makie Labs is moving... to the USA!

Post by DollYay on Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:04 pm

@nattherat- I wasn't serious lol. Just rather angry at the time. 


Anyway, in my fury of this unannounced move, I did contact support asking if they had an estimated re opening date. Jen was the one who replied actually, and here's what she had to say:



I'm afraid we're not sure how long the moving process might take, but if you'd like to know what's next for Makies, please keep an eye on mymakie.com.
Sorry I can't be more help!


So ultimately, we have to sit tight and wait. Ugh.

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Re: Makie Labs is moving... to the USA!

Post by JRyu on Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:25 pm

Yeah, and even if most of the employees were given the option of relocating to the U.S. along with the company....  Well, not everyone can just "up stakes and move", some people have families and other motivations that keep them tied to an area.

Hopefully, employees were able to keep any Makie/Makies they were particularly fond of or had a hand in creating.  Sort of Makie severance pay if you will.  

Although, I'm sure several of the Makie models were just packed up with the rest of the Lab's equipment that it needs to operate.  
They really don't take up that much space, and having them sitting around the office is good P.R..  

Same as when you see footage about something new going on at Disney, and when they show you the CEO in his office, telling you all about it, you'll notice various bits of Disney memorabilia and merchandise sitting around on his desk or on the bookcases.

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Re: Makie Labs is moving... to the USA!

Post by nattherat on Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:27 pm

@DollYay Haha, nah, I didn't think you were! But I thought I'd say just in case. I'd hate for any of the Makies staff to read this and feel singled out specifically, that'd be horrible. I imagine a lot of them probably already have their own mixed feelings about it all!

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Re: Makie Labs is moving... to the USA!

Post by JRyu on Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:07 pm

Like everyone else, I'm going to be waiting to see what happens.

They better keep their promise, and bring back the boys, and not just some rigid static figure on a dorky base either. Rolling Eyes

If I want "figurines" that just sit around and look "pretty", I'll buy male anime figures. They're a heck of a lot better looking and much more cute then those weird Makie guys in the picture.Twisted Evil

They better not turn them into some sort of GI Joe or Wrestle Mania macho action doll clones either..... With bug-ugly mugs, and bodies that look like they've been pumping steroids since puberty.
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There are enough of those types of "boy's toys" around to fill several hidden missile silos. Twisted Evil

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Re: Makie Labs is moving... to the USA!

Post by JRyu on Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:26 pm

Gahh!  A horrible thought just occurred to me!

You don't suppose one of the problems they were having with the boy's IM body was a balance issue, and their "easy way out" solution to keep them from falling over, is going to be to have their feet attached to some big clunky base, do you? Shocked

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Re: Makie Labs is moving... to the USA!

Post by Purple_Monkfish on Wed Jan 06, 2016 12:37 am

I doubt there was a problem with the boys at all, just they didn't want to spend the money making a mould for them till they'd rolled out the girls and gotten some feedback. The girl and boy bodies aren't really hugely different and tehy use the exact same limbs. The boys can't pose as well though, so tweaking that maybe?

As it stands, i'm just SUPER downheartened by it all and  it's made me rather cranky. BOTH my primary collections, BOTH OF THEM have been screwed over by their manufacturer and i'm pissed off about it. It's bad enough to lose one franchise, but to then see the other teetering on the edge?
*grinds teeth*

I need instant dolly gratification STAT, because ooo eee i'm getting antsy.

We def don't need action man clones, nor indeed do we need YET another girly pink brand of super girliness. *gag* I do hope Makies retain an element of geekiness, but I really don't trust Disney's mentorship. At all. They're backwards as all hell and super sexist, I can't say i'd want my daughter (if I had one) involved in that Poopy. Heck, it's annoying enough having to explain to my sons why the main fricken character of Force Awakens isn't on the GODDAMN MERCHANDISE
I feel sick each and every time I have to say "because she's a girl and Disney are sexist morons"
We should NOT be having to fight to get female fricken characters represented in merchandise, but Disney loooooves to segregate. Look at Big hero 6. Two girl characters got dolls, but no action figures till people actually petitioned them to make the damn things. The girls were missing from most of the merch available in stores because it was "for boys" (seriously? boys don't wear pictures of women on their shirts? Uh... have they SEEN a t-shirt?) and we never got any of the boy characters as dolls for much teh same reason "boys don't play with dolls" (yeah they do, we just made it socially unacceptable for them to do so some time in the 90s for no clear reason)
Disney and gender politics, god.. you could go on for days about their shitty practices and marketing rubbish.
 
Disney's involvement makes me SUPER anxious about the fate of male dolls, because Disney hardly has a good track record when it comes to excluding one sex from something. They loooove to divide and label.

Makies better not sell out and follow the pink dollars, because their gender neutrality, their appeal across the sex divide is part of what's made parents really like them. There's a big trend right now of pushing away from the modelesk dolls, the super sexy attractive ones and also the super frilly girly. Encouraging girls into STEM is like HUGELY popular right now and marketing traditionally "girl" toys in a manner that's gender neutral and not overly pink and princessy, that's actually aspirational and a but geeky is massively good for PR. Makies always marketed on the whole "not super skinny, young looking, geeky, sciencey, techy, not vapid pink princesses" thing. But when you think Disney? You think vapid pink princess. and this is a concern. How much influence will Disney have over things? And more importantly, how much influence will American culture have on things. because let's face it, I love you guys but as a whole, the USA is MESSED UP. Did you SEE the freakout when they took gender signs out of target? In the UK nobody even bloody noticed! Seriously, we didn't notice. It happened, and we were like "wait wha?"
No boycotts, no craziness, no freaking out over penises falling off or whatever the heck it is these people think will happen if a boy touches a doll. The US has a long way to go when it comes to gender equality and division in the toy aisle, and Makies had already started sliding into this trap of "girls, we're for girls" when tehy started to remove the boys from the marketing images.
You know if you look on the facebook page there's often several people asking specifically "do you make boy dolls too?" because they would like a mini avatar of their son or grandson or something. I do hope the team realise that while there might not be as many who buy boy dolls, each and every one is SO important and SO special in the grand scheme of things. We NEED to produce boy dolls, we NEED to encourage boys to play with dolls. We need to get past this toxic pink/blue division rubbish and let kids be kids. We need to give boys the option, a doll they feel is marketed to them, that they won't get teased so much for because it's not  marketed as "a girl toy" but rather a "toy for all". this is super super important. Boy dolls aren't about profit, they're about providing something absolutely wonderful for a little boy, telling him "it's ok to like dolls, you aren't weird, dolls are for everyone."

Right now the only boy dolls you get on shelves are marketed as "the boyfriend of... ", they're reduced to an accessory. A glorified handbag. Not a person in their own right, sold purely for their attachment to a girl and that is SO wrong and SO unhealthy not just for boys but girl's development too.

Boy dolls are ESSENTIAL, you simply cannot NOT produce them and still claim to be an ethical, forward thinking company.

And that is what I hope the lab understands. You can get away with blaming sales for most things, but sex and skin colour are two things you NEED to represent, even if it doesn't sell. You can't exclude it because then you're a sexist/racist backward thinking douchebag.
If you make them, people will buy them. I can't be single handedly supporting the entire boy doll economy lol.

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Re: Makie Labs is moving... to the USA!

Post by JRyu on Wed Jan 06, 2016 2:36 am

Lol, nope you aren't alone, there actually quite a few of us boy doll lovers out there.

I suspect there would be a lot more if companies would make decent looking good quality boy dolls, with decent back stories and lots of well thought out accessories and clothes.....and I'm talking about playable dolls for kids, not just for adult collectors.

Shoot, they don't even really make BOY baby dolls for kids, and even if you wanted to make a girl baby doll into a boy, good luck finding any boy baby doll clothes!  You would have to make them yourself, or find some one to commission.

American Girl dolls are a good example.  Look at the number of people who are taking them and turning them into boy dolls, because American Girl, aka Mattel, doesn't make an "American Boy" doll, and people obviously want boy versions.

The only reason they make a Bitty Twin boy is because of the twin factor, not because they wanted to offer a boy doll option for little boys and girls.  

It's all about the "twin" outfits and accessories and because little girls apparently go through a phase where twin stuff is appealing and cute.  

Actually that whole "Bitty" line is kind of an after thought because the larger AG dolls weren't originally designed for really young girls, but it was the really young girls that really wanted them.

So they came out with Bitty Baby and the Bitty Twins, who have much larger, and simpler, as well as fewer accessories, outfits, and furniture.

That's also the reason why a lot of the AG accessories, like the small food pieces which used to be all separate and individual, now come all stuck together in a lump, and/or stuck down on the plate or in the container.....because parents were buying the AG dolls with all their small delicate little accessories for their 4, 5, and 6 year old daughters.  

Then they complained when their "little princesses" lost, broke, or tried to eat all those little accessories that weren't made for or meant to be played with by young children in the first place. Rolling Eyes

But to actually make an American Boy doll with a historical back story and awesome accessories and clothes.....  "Why Heavens to Betsy! Who on earth would possibly want to buy and/or play with such a thing!"  Rolling Eyes  Rolling Eyes
(Lol, please read the above remark in quotations, in the highly sarcastic manner in which it was meant. Wink)

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Re: Makie Labs is moving... to the USA!

Post by sigsi on Wed Jan 06, 2016 6:28 am

Purple_Monkfish wrote:As it stands, i'm just SUPER downheartened by it all and  it's made me rather cranky. BOTH my primary collections, BOTH OF THEM have been screwed over by their manufacturer and i'm pissed off about it. It's bad enough to lose one franchise, but to then see the other teetering on the edge?
Grrrr I seriously had an hour long panic attack over this yesterday. There are maybe 3 things I cling to (obsess over to avoid life) and it just hit me that one of those things was basically dead due to these announcements. Mad

Purple_Monkfish wrote:And more importantly, how much influence will American culture have on things. because let's face it, I love you guys but as a whole, the USA is MESSED UP. Did you SEE the freakout when they took gender signs out of target? In the UK nobody even bloody noticed! Seriously, we didn't notice. It happened, and we were like "wait wha?"
No boycotts, no craziness, no freaking out over penises falling off or whatever the heck it is these people think will happen if a boy touches a doll. The US has a long way to go when it comes to gender equality and division in the toy aisle, and Makies had already started sliding into this trap of "girls, we're for girls" when they started to remove the boys from the marketing images.
I'm from the US and agree with this 100%. I was kind of in a momentary state of shock over the Target announcement. Like finally there was slight progression. But no, craziness took over within the next 24 hours. Neutral

Purple_Monkfish wrote:We NEED to produce boy dolls, we NEED to encourage boys to play with dolls. We need to get past this toxic pink/blue division rubbish and let kids be kids. We need to give boys the option, a doll they feel is marketed to them, that they won't get teased so much for because it's not  marketed as "a girl toy" but rather a "toy for all". this is super super important. Boy dolls aren't about profit, they're about providing something absolutely wonderful for a little boy, telling him "it's ok to like dolls, you aren't weird, dolls are for everyone."
YES x100000000. Funny enough, my brother (age 7) actually prefers the girl dolls over the boys. He does have his mini-self for a Makie, but mostly plays with his girl Makie. Not to mention his growing collection Disney Princess and Monster High dolls. The only reason he wanted *two* disney male dolls are because they were funny in the movie (Tangled's Flynn/Frozen's Kristoff).
I freely let him choose which dolls he likes, but out of curiosity asked him why he said he liked the girl dolls more. His reason was "Because they are pretty and the boys aren't". The way most dolls are made, I don't blame him.

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