Identity

Among Princesses and Superheroes, the First Trans Doll Debuts at the NY Toy Fair

The Tonner Doll Company showcased the first trans doll based on Jazz Jennings, while other toy companies introduced the latest slew of nostalgic fare.

by Samantha Friend
Feb 25 2017, 1:26pm

All photos by Samantha Friend

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.

Read more: Inside the Boutique That Transforms Girls into Princesses