Sometimes, kids need more empowerment. Little Rebels is inspiring kids to make a difference in the world with plush dolls that are inspired by some of the bravest, most famous women in history. 

Marjorie Spitalnik first got the idea for Little Rebels in 2018. She was helping her 10-year-old daughter study history and realized that her daughter was learning very little about women. 

“We started studying a lot and spending a lot of hours reading together,” Spitalnik says. “I started noticing that nobody was talking to her about women in history. So I decided to do it myself.”

From there, Spitalnik designed prototypes of the big-eyed, adorable plush Little Rebels makes today. Little Rebels currently focuses on four women: Amelia Earhart, Mary Jackson, Malala Yousafzai, and Marie Curie. Spitalnik chose these four women in particular for their bravery and resilience. 

“I chose these (women) because, on some level, they inspired and they sparked something in me,” says Spitalnik. “They need to be resilient. They need to be brave. They need to be honest. They need to be strong. They need to be trailblazers.”

Spitalnik also hopes to feature more women in the future, including Ada Lovelace, the first ever computer programmer, and Hedy Lamarr, an actress and inventor. 

Alongside plush dolls, Little Rebels also features books and an app where kids can interact with these women from history. The Little Rebels app interacts with the Little Rebels plush dolls using augmented reality (AR), but it also shows kids videos of the four women’s accomplishments. 

More than 6 years after Spitalnik created Little Rebels, her daughter is still involved in inspiring the team. 

“She loves it. Since day one, she was my biggest fan,” Spitalnik says. “She cheers for everything. She’s actually our tester. Nothing goes out with her final approval … She’s a complete little rebel.”

When kids know more about women’s history, it’s clearer than ever that they are capable of changing the world too!

About the author

Ashley Pelletier

Ashley Pelletier

Ashley is assistant editor for The Toy Insider, The Pop Insider, and The Toy Book with a Master's in journalism from Quinnipiac University. When she isn’t writing her latest story, she is reading a fantasy novel or rewatching one of her three favorite TV shows over and over again. She’s also a big fan of showing people pictures of her two dogs and cat.