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Who says boys can't play with dolls? These toymakers are changing gender stereotypes.by Marianna Kheyfets
Whoa#boystorydolls

WATCH | Boy Story is a new company that makes same-age action boy dolls. Two sisters Kristen Johnson and Katie Jarvis both quit their jobs to start a company that they believe can make a real difference in gender equality and overcome the stereotype that boys shouldn't be playing with dolls.

The first edition dolls are Mason, a Caucasian/Hispanic doll, and Billy, who's African American.

Each high-end doll costs $99 and comes with an optional book that has the character's story. 

Kristen got the idea for the company after going online to shop for a doll for her son.  She found adult action figure dolls, plush dolls and baby dolls. There were no same age, realistic action dolls for boys on the market. 

These durable action dolls encourage pretend play, which is linked to improved communication, relation and nurturing skills in children. Doll play also helps with cognitive development. 

"But once they saw their peers playing with the doll and having a good time, immediately they got over it and had a great time too."

Katie Jarvis

Katie and Kristen tested the dolls in a few children's focus groups.  Katie saw some hesitancy first-hand. "We did notice in one of the focus groups that some of the boys were nervous to pick up the doll and play with it... kind of looking around and wondering what other people would think."

Gendering of colors, clothes and toys has been a hot topic on social media as of late.

Boy Story has teamed up with HeForShe. It's a solidarity campaign for the advancement of women. Its goal is to engage men and boys as agents of change by encouraging them to take action against negative inequalities faced by women and girls.

Emma Watson is the goodwill ambassador for HeForShe. 

WATCH | Kristen and Katie were so inspired by Emma Watson's speech at the UN Women's HeForShe campaign in 2014 that they reached out to the organization to partner with them. Boy Story will be designing a HeForShe special edition doll that will be coming out in the near future. 

"Our goal to break down barriers goes hand-in-hand with HeForShe's mission. We're both working tirelessly to forge real change for gender equality."

Kristen Johnson

Kristen told us that Boy Story has made an up-front donation to the HeForShe movement and committed a percentage of sales to the organization. 

Boy Story's dolls hope to give kids more choice in their play by reflecting the gender and racial diversity of the world.