Two special dolls from Donegal are in the Big Apple tonight hoping to pick up their toy 'Oscars'.

Lottie in New York

Donegal based company Lottie Dolls has 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. The Fossil Hunter Lottie is a finalist in the ‘Action Figure of the Year’ category and the Stargazer Lottie doll is nominated for ‘Doll of the Year’.

This year’s finalists were selected from more than 700 nominees, and the TOTY winners will be announced tonight at the New York Toy Fair. The TOTY 2017 nominations are the first for Arklu – Lottie Dolls, and are reflective of inclusivity and progress within the toy industry.

Both dolls have been inspired by real girls and women and are focused on STEM activities. 

Stargazer Lottie

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

“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.”  

The two nominated Lottie Dolls are named respectively as the top 7 toys of the year in their categories of ‘dolls’ and ‘action figures’.

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.

Prince Charles meeting Ian Harkin, LYIT, 2016. Photo: North West News Pix

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.”

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

For more and to buy Lottie or Finn, visit;