Kids Turn Bratz into Star Wars Rey Dolls

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and "lazy person's memoir," called Borg Like Me.

4007 Articles

By Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and "lazy person's memoir," called Borg Like Me.

4007 Articles

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There has been something of an outcry over the toy merchandising associated with Star Wars: The Force Awakens with the apparent dearth of Rey dolls in play sets (Rey being the lead female character in the film). Parts and Crafts, a family makerspace and community workshop based in Somerville, MA, decided to take matters into their own hands.

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In a recent workshop, the kids in the group were shown how to remove the paint from existing dolls, in this case, Bratz, to re-paint and re-costume them. In a flurry of excited activity, paint was removed, doll hair was dyed, costumes were sewn, and new features were painted on. In the end, the participants had created their own Rey, the badass Jakku scavenger girl who is central to the film. Take that, Disney!

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We’ve covered doll “makeunders”/remaking before on Make:. It’s a great way to teach kids that they can actually hack their own toys, improve them, turn them into whatever they wish.

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It looks like Parts and Crafts does a lot of really fun programming. They have lightsaber building parties and even sell a lightsaber kit for those who want to build one at home. They also do afterschool classes in electronics, woodworking, textiles, and have a Friday night gaming club (Pandemic, anyone?). They even run an alternative school program for ages 7-13.

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And one of the community members even made a Maz doll. Maz is the 1,000 year old pirate with her own castle who also appears in the film and drops Yoda-worthy wisdom.

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[All photos by Kelly Taylor except hair dyeing pic by Dina Gjertsen. Thanks to Justin Sabe for the link.]