Every year at the New York Toy Fair, toy companies descend on Manhattan to reveal their latest products. At the Jacob Javits Center, reporters and industry types gather to see the latest gadgets, dolls, and Beanie Babies. It can make a person nostalgic for childhood, but also bewilder them with the sight of the plastic dolls shining under hot spotlights.
There are a lot of princesses and many superheroes on display, but this year the Tonner Doll Company also revealed a doll based on Jazz Jennings, a transgender teen who has become an LGBTQ advocate and an Instagram celebrity. The toy marks the first mainstream doll based on a trans woman. Photographer Samantha Friend, who documents theme parks and other wondrous toys and objects made from plastic, went to the fair to shoot the Jazz doll, a first for the trans community, and capture the bizarreness of the annual event.