I love selling my dolls at fairs. The best part is not how many I sell, but the children's reactions. I notice that all girls are immediately attracted to the dolls, even 6 month old babies' faces light up as though dolls are already hardwired in their neurology. Some boys, usually between the ages of 6 and 8, fall in love with Frodo (as per photo) or the Parsifal knight doll. But most boys, especially babies and toddlers, need the doll to come alive for them.
A mother carried her toddler boy to my stall and pointed out a baby doll to him. The boy turned his head away in disgust. So, I picked up the doll and made it play peek-a-boo with him. I made it wave and talk, At first he covered his face, but slowly he started to look at the doll for longer. When I saw he was starting to look intrigued by this doll, I made the doll say: "Can I touch you?" A faint smile came to the boys face and he took his hands away from his eyes. He was still very wary, but now he couldn't take his eyes off it. The doll continued to make spontaneous comments like: "You could be my friend." Soon it was time to leave, but now the boy had fallen in love. He reached out his hands for the doll and started crying for it! His mum promised him one for Christmas, but he wanted it now.
I'm sure he won't be scarred for life over that little incident, but it demonstrated a point I always make: that boys need the doll to come to life before they see it as a 'being'. Make it talk, interact, give it a personality, give it a name, interests, make it have emotions ... the sky's the limit here.