Product Review: The Lammily Doll

Oh, Lammily. I wanted to like you so badly. But, unfortunately, you are probably doomed to a life at the bottom of the doll bin since neither I, nor my daughters, want to play with you.

If you haven’t heard of Lammily, she is the latest doll to challenge the “Barbie” scene. The Lammily fashion doll has been manufactured using standard human body proportions–an average bust, waist, and hips. She is marketed as being around 19 years in age, athletic, and a world traveler. I found out about the Lammily doll during its crowdfunding campaign in March. Nickolay Lamm raised $225,000 dolls during the campaign, thanks to more than 13K backers–I was one of them.

Unlike a few of my friends, I am not really an opponent of Barbie. I grew up with Barbie dolls and spent countless hours playing with them. Still, I was intrigued by this idea of a “realistic” fashion doll and wanted to see a real Lammily doll and get my girls’ reaction. So I shelled out the $25 and waited for its arrival.

The doll arrived attractively packaged in a box covered in beautiful illustrations inside and out. It also has a little pamphlet that is sort of an introduction to the globetrotting ways of the doll. The doll comes in an ombre shirt, short shorts, and white sneakers. Additional (stylish) outfits can be purchased on the website, for $17-$27, which is pretty darn steep. The outfits on the website are really nicely designed, but they are also as much as I’d pay for clothes for ME.

As for the doll itself, here are the pros and cons:


Minimal makeup: I don’t like it when dolls have 4 different eyeshadows and crazy lipstick on. It looks like Lammily is only wearing lip gloss and eyeliner.

Nice hair and body: The hair is very thick and well-done for a doll. The body proportions, especially on the torso, ARE a refreshing change. Since this is what the doll is being marketed for, I am glad they did well here.

Movable wrists: I’ve never seen this on a fashion doll, and it’s pretty neat. The ankles also move, but feel like they’re about to pop out when I remove the shoes, so I’m less crazy about that feature.

Good presentation: I like all the beautiful artwork on the box.

Shirt: It is nice to see a fashion doll in a long-sleeved shirt. It’s tough to find fashion doll outfits that even have sleeves. I wish the shorts were longer so her crotch wasn’t on display when she sits, but more on that in a bit.


Shorts and shoes: The shorts are very short; when the doll sits, you can see her (imprinted) underwear. The shoes are clunky and difficult (esp for little hands) to get off and on.

Splayed seating position: As you can see from the picture, Lammily is unable to sit without grossly splaying her legs. None of our other dolls have that problem–not the dolls with bendable knees nor the ones with simple, straight legs. The splayed seating (in addition to being unattractive) is awkward and makes the doll take up a lot of room, so I don’t think she’ll do well on doll chairs, couches, cars, etc.

all dolls

Elbow and Knee articulation: One of the selling points for the doll was SUPPOSED to be her joints at the knee and elbow. Even after bending and unbending them the 30 recommended times after taking her out of the box, she is still way harder to position than other dolls. I don’t think my 4-yr old will be able to bend her knees and will probably struggle with the elbows. In the above photo, I have bent Lammily’s knees and elbows as far as they will go (3 clicks) and the knees are still less bent than the Barbie dolls with articulating knees. The two Barbie dolls that we own that have movable elbow joints are much smoother and easier to use than Lammily (you can see one in the photo in the turquoise leotard).

Heavy: The doll is heavy and that makes it more awkward to play with, especially for young kids.

And finally, my last criticism is perhaps the most controversial, but similar to one that others have voiced. Is Lammily what is “normal”? White skin and a privileged upbringing that allows her to travel the world and wear designer duds? How is that any more “standard” than Barbie’s tiny waist?

My girls set Lammily aside within 2 minutes of opening the box. My eldest daughter’s favorite doll is one that has the hair partly hacked off. She has darker skin and is unique. You can see her sitting next to the Lammily doll below. She’s not the blond-haired, blue-eyed Barbie that is so frequently demonized by the media. I love that my children embrace uniqueness and see it as a positive, special quality. Although Lammily offers stickers so that you can give the doll acne, stretch marks, tattoos, etc., on her own, she has no qualities that set her apart.

Maybe I need to give my daughters the scissors so they can give Lammily a haircut. šŸ˜‰

lam and ps fave

I am still awaiting my order for the other crowdsourcing project I supported–the I Am Elemental action figures. I am very excited about them and hope they prove to be a bigger hit with the kids than Lammily.


6 Responses to “Product Review: The Lammily Doll”

  1. Helene says:

    You just saved me $65 bucks because I was going to purchase 2!! šŸ™‚

  2. GAEL BAILEY says:

    I have a very large collection of dolls, a few Barbies I grew up designing clothes for them so I was looking forward to a doll with more realistic measurements but this doll is not her. I have over 100 Marley Wentworth dolls, Tyler Wentworth dolls and Gene Marshall, most have been repainted or some changes such ballet pointe feet. I have repainted Tyler and Gene Marshall added long acrylic nails. But this doll I don’t think she has a chance. Maybe if she is only competing against Barbie. I wish she had been more realistic.

  3. Janine says:

    I just ordered these for my granddaughter who is soon to turn seven years old. I think she’s going to love them! In regards to what the person above me said, I don’t care if she can’t sit with her legs together. The doll was created to give children a positive body image, not one that looks like some kind of supermodel. In that sense, I think it’s done it’s job. I love that there is both a doll of color and a white doll and I ordered both.

    My granddaughter and I do a lot of creative play together, in the pool as mermaids, at the playground pretending to be different animals, or just sitting around the house making up stories and acting them out. We love animals so I am going to get the animal rescue T-shirts and the mermaid outfits and she can continue her creative play when I’m not around, with these two dolls. She never was attracted to play with Barbie dolls so I was happy about that!

    I can’t wait to get the dolls and let her use her imagination as to how the storyline goes from here!

  4. Brenda says:

    I purchased the photographer doll for my great niece. She is BEAUTIFUL! She has gorgeous dark curly hair and lovely dark skin. I like her outfit too – she has a flowered full skirt and white top. Iā€™m looking forward to the pattern subscription now, as I agree that the clothing is quite expensive.

  5. Anion says:

    Just stumbled across this looking for reviews of this doll, which I just discovered. I kind of laughed when I saw it, actually. I’m 46, and every five or ten years since my teens some bright spark has decided to make a “realistic Barbie,” and has been convinced kids will love it. And every time they have failed.

    Because kids don’t want “realistic” dolls. Their own bodies are realistic. Dolls like Barbie are for fantasy play. Kids are smart enough to know real people don’t look like Barbie, and that’s why Barbie is fun. The Lammily doll’s website (and Lammily was designed by a dude, let’s not forget–how many dolls did he play with as a child, that he knows what little girls want?) boasts about the doll being shown to little girls, who guess Lammily’s job as “a computer person,” or “a teacher,” whereas Barbie is a “model” or “fashion star.” Yes, just what all little girls want–a doll who appears to spend her weeks behind a desk formatting hard drives. Fun! Fantasy! I know when I was a little girl I would much rather play Office Drone than Fashion Star.

    I’m very curious to see how the doll worked out for the commenters above.

    (And I’m *totally* not knocking you for backing and buying this doll, please don’t think I am! I admire you for giving it a go and for writing this honest review. I just think it’s amusing that people keep acting like this is something that’s never been tried before–especially when the only dolls in recent memory who have truly been a challenge to Barbie have been the Bratz dolls [and the similar Monster High dolls, which my younger daughter absolutely loooved–she was not allowed to have Bratz but she had plenty of MH dolls]–dolls which are even *more* stylized and slender than Barbie!)


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