Two inspiration dolls from a world-famous Donegal company are in the running for Toy of the Year Awards.

Donegal based company Lottie Dolls have been nominated in the prestigious 2017 Toy of the Year Awards (TOTY) also known as the “Oscars” of the toy industry.

Lottie has been listed as a finalist in two TOTY 2017 categories. Both dolls have been inspired by real girls and women and are focused on STEM activities.

Stargazer Lottie was created in collaboration with the European Space Agency. She spent 264 days on the International Space Station this year, and is now nominated in the ‘Doll of the Year Category.’

Stargazer Lottie has celebrated being the ‘first doll in space’ and was inspired by six-year-old Abigail from B.C, Canada.

Their inspirational journey was documented in the brand’s viral video ‘Lottie in Space’.

“Fossil Hunter Lottie Doll was a collaboration with ‘TrowelBlazers’, an organisation created by three archaeologists and a palaeobiologist, and is nominated in the ‘Best Action Figure’ Category.

Fossil Hunter Lottie was created based on the ideas submitted from then eight-year-old Cub Scout Olivia from Cheshire, UK who dreamed of a ‘Fossil – Hunter’ doll to play with. “I love collecting fossils and so did my mummy and grandma when they were little.”  

Between now and January 15th 2017 consumers can visit to vote for their favourite toys in each of the 14 categories. When a consumer votes, they are entered to win all of the finalists within that category.

This year’s finalists were selected from more than 700 nominees, and the TOTY winners will be announced in February 2017 at the New York Toy Fair. The nominated Lottie Dolls are named respectively as the top 7 toys of the year in their categories of ‘dolls’ and ‘action figures’.

The TOTY 2017 nominations are the first for Arklu – Lottie Dolls, and are reflective of inclusivity and progress within the toy industry.

The Toy Industry Association (TIA) have this year removed the Boy and Girl Toy of the Year categories, a progressive step which fits perfectly with the messaging from the Lottie and Finn Dolls, which is to encourage children to express their individuality through play, the company believe childhood should be an inclusive place for every girl and boy.

Ian Harkin, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Arklu, Lottie Dolls, said:

“When we launched Lottie and Finn just four years ago, we wanted to bring an offering to the market that challenged the norms and stereotypes, we wanted our dolls to encourage and empower children all over the world. The engagement we have received from children and their parents around the world has been a hugely rewarding validation of our efforts.

“This nomination to be in the shortlist of the best 7 within each category is a tribute to the exceptional real girls and women who have inspired both dolls nominated.

“Because we are self-funded, we cannot afford the huge marketing budgets the larger companies have, our business has been built by independent retailers, people who have a passion for product with values, this nomination is also a credit to them.”

MD and Co-Founder Ian Harkin and the company behind Lottie and Finn are based in the CoLab, Letterkenny. Achievements for the local start-up this year include winning Google’s ‘Adopt a Start-Up’ competition, the Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce ‘Excellence in Marketing’ awards, and successfully sending their Stargazer Lottie doll to space.

Lottie now work with Wiseloads Fulfilment ‘The Online Delivery Experts’ having taken warehouse space in their location, in Convoy – meaning that Lottie and Finn can be shipped within Ireland in a matter of days via using a great local space and service.

 The Lottie and Finn Dolls aim to inspire a generation of girls and boys to consider aspirations and hobbies beyond the status quo.

Unlike other dolls, Lottie and Finn are based on children. The range was created to empower children to be themselves, to be imaginative, adventurous and most of all to have fun.

Lottie and Finn start at €19.95 GOLD Collection STEM Lottie Dolls Fossil Hunter and Stargazer retail at €24.95. Lottie is available at and ships within Ireland.

Find Lottie in Letterkenny – Crafty Kids, mcElhinneys, Moonshine/Donegal Craft and Gifts.

For more and to buy Lottie or Finn, visit;