Anyone who knows me probably knows that I own far too many dolls for someone of my age. My collection of Christie, Wesley, Madison, Nikki and other black Barbie dolls is a guilty pleasure. I tried to share a few with my niece but only managed to set one doll free.
With Christmas coming I thought that now would be a good time to do a round up of some of the sources of dolls of colour. Visitors to my site come from all over the world so my list of sources will too. I’ll start with a few alternatives to Amazon and then I’ll do a few guidelines on finding the best Barbies on Amazon.
- Black Beauty Dolls – Fun, Pride and Self Esteem
This website has a mixture of baby dolls, best-friend dolls, boys’ toys, accessories and books. Many of the dolls listed can be bought directly from the site which I think is UK based. Some of the dolls have sold out but this site is all about sharing the info so the listings and picture remain online.
They want black kids to have black toys and nice childhood memories so they seem happy to share info even if it means people shopping elsewhere. Good on them. The photography and descriptions on this site really show off the charms of each doll.
Taofick Okoya is the Nigerian entrepreneur who created this range of dolls to give African girls dolls that “reflected their culture and heritage” – in other words, dollies rockin’ a Naija look. The Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba dolls have royal ancestry. Maybe you do too?
The story is a good one. Local women hand braid the girls’ hair and sew the modern and traditional outfits. Recently the company was proud to announce the fact that they outsell Barbie in Nigeria! The website – which is full of lively African content – gives links to where the dolls are on sale globally. There are storybooks too.
- Zolie Zi – the girl who stands up to bullies
Our pals Zolie and her author, Sonya J Bowser, recently visited London so I’m sure parents and kids , and of course Santa Claus, will want to know where to get the gorgeous, plush doll. Girls and boys really bond with Zolie Zi (who is an unusually likeable character) and want to be ‘doll mommies’
US doll mommies can head to Amazon. The doll is not yet on Amazon UK so for now either head to Zolie’s store on her website, ask your friends in the US or try Coloured Goodies in the Netherlands. More on them below. Zolie Zi is back in London next year and I am sure the merchandise will become easier to buy.
Not met Zolie Zi? Our interview with Zolie herself is right here.
This site is a treasure trove of items that kids will love. After you log in, hit translate as the site is in Dutch. They have dolls, toys, books, a useful range of greeting cards and clothing.
They make good use of the famous Dutch wax print fabrics and you can buy dresses for Barbie-sized dolls as well as very sweet head-wraps for baby dolls. They have a wonderful range of baby dolls. There are plenty of baby boys in there. Shanice and Jaylee are not just beautifully dressed but soooo darn cute!!
It is easy to feel daunted when you go into Amazon looking for a black Barbie doll. The prices can be shocking and how on earth do you choose? I’ll give you a few tips.
Don’t look for black Barbies Amazon and Mattel who make Barbie dolls tend not to to use the word black. Barbies come from California so the terms AA or African American are used instead.
Keep it simple You know that your doll will probably spend most of her life in the bath in her swimming costume. Don’t overspend on lavish dresses unless you really want to – or if the doll is for a collector. I have put a few cash-splashing options at the bottom.
Keep it current The dolls are changing all the time and usually to current dolls are the most affordable. They tend to have simple outfits and cost around ten British pounds in the UK.
At the moment the Fashionistas collection seems to be where the new dolls are. For the gorgeous doll at the top of this page type in Fashionista Fancy Flowers. Other dolls of colour are Fashionistas Zig and Zag Curvy Doll, Fashionistas Boho Fringe, Fashionistas Emoji Fun.
Outside of the Fashionistas there are other dolls with more accessories that will make great Christmas gifts for around 20 pounds. Her name doesn’t trip off the tongue but Barbie Careers African American Doll and Play-set is a gorgeous doll who comes with very sweet, tiny babies that she has just delivered successfully. The Made 2 Move Soccer player is a beautiful athletic doll. So is Barbie Endless Moves Doll with Yellow Top. Mix ‘N Color Barbie Doll (AA African American) has hair colours and salon accessories.
In my day Christie was the name to search for but she is now vintage and priced accordingly. In the 1990s I would go to Woolworths in Brixton and pay a fiver for a swimsuit Christie on my way to work. Another doll whose price has risen is My Scene Westley. Better to try eBay for old dolls. That will be my next doll post.
Christmas is coming so hurry up and get shopping.