Dr. Rebecca Hains

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Katniss vs Merida: Mattel’s doll versions of strong girl characters

Last month, Mattel released a Katniss Everdeen doll, inspired by the look and style of Jennifer Lawrence in the┬áHunger Games film. Compared with Mattel’s typical fare, the Katniss doll was refreshingly unsexualized–reflecting the character’s positive portrayal in the film (which…

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Talking about toys: Taking child’s play seriously

On occasion, people ask me why I bother taking children’s toys so seriously. “They’re just toys, after all!” Yes, toys are just toys–but they’re so much more than that, too. Toys are a central part of children’s play, and to…

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