Toy designers David Horvath and Sun Min have created a new doll line, Dream BIG Friends, with an empowering female role model named Yuna who emphasizes interests and personality over appearance and fashion. The toy range highlights aspirational play for young girls and boys and steers away from princesses, fashion dolls and superheroes and their limited teachings.
Yuna and the rest of the Dream BIG Friends range was a concept that Horvath and Min came up with when they became parents and realized that toys do not empower children to dream big, nurture what they love and pursue happiness. As a result, the Dream BIG dolls were born with an evident focus on their brains and personality traits such as curiosity, imagination, optimism and creative, explorative play.
The companions, Yuna and her friends, encourage children to explore the world. Yuna's main accessory is âpossibility,' Horvath and Sin say on their project's Kickstarter page. The designers say that with Yuna, they are teaching children that:
"We are all beautiful in our own way, and we can be anything we can imagine. Our wish is that Yuna and her Dream Big Friends will encourage all kids to embrace what makes them who and what they are, inside and out."
The designers detailed the personality and story of Yuna, revealing an entrepreneurial and artistic character. Yuna aspires to build a rocket company, she loves painting, Korean food and photography, and she is having her art displayed at the Giant Robot gallery, they tell us.
Yuna is the first Asian American girl doll featured as a doll line's key character, Action Figure Insider says. Horvath and Sin highlight that the Dream BIG Friends wants to inspire and empower children through imaginative play.
With regards to children's toys and unrealistic body image representations, Yuna and the Dream BIG Friends strive to stay away from creating dolls of unfeasible and unhealthy body imagery by making Yuna as real-life as possible. Admitting that Yuna's body is still not 100% human, the designers say:
"We believe we have found a healthy balance of character and design while keeping a positive body image in mind."
David Horvath and Sun Min are the creators of the Uglydoll brand, who along with Klim Kozinevich, a character-based product designer in the toy and entertainment industry, have designed Dream BIG Friends. In a 20-year career, Kozinevich worked with Hasbro, Fisher Price, Kidrobot, and MTV, among other brands.
Yuna made her debut appearance at DesignerCon in Pasadena, California in November, according to Daniel Pickett at the Action Figure Insider.
Yuna is the first doll the trio plans to release once they achieve their Kickstarter funding goal. Yuna's designers hope to release the entire doll line with Yuna's friends from Tokyo, New York, Paris, Dubai and other countries, highlighting the racial diversity the doll line prioritizes. The Mary Sue highlights the doll line's focus on imagination and personality over looks and fashion with a poster that reads:
"She'll stimulate your mind without messing with your head."