For toy designers, it is easier than ever to see how doll collectors are using your creations. Social media and digital photography by collectors can be a boon to designers. Often the decision to purchase a new doll l can be prompted by a photo that shows the potential of a restyled doll.
In the Facebook Group. Black Dolls Rule, Bindi Merinda was showcased by the artist Son of Ellis. The doll’s persona is as a long-legged supermodel and Son of Ellis used luxury brands and a richly textured gold colour scheme to show off his doll.
Designer Jozef Szekeres says “I am loving seeing collectors have redressing fun with their new GlamourOZ Dolls. That’s what I really wanted to see… that they inspire play and engagement. “
Bindi Merinda is one of 10 Australian 18 inch editions by Jozef Szekeres. The doll is sold in quirky sixties mod fashions from Australia via the GlamourOZ website . She fits clothes and shoes for 16 inch dolls.
I asked Jozef if the description AA (African American) was correct for his dolls and he replied ” I’ve always thought that for an Australian doll, AA could also mean Australian Aborigine. I actually took inspiration from my country’s own beautiful indigenous black catwalk models in creating Bindi Merinda.”
Mattel is launching a new Barbie doll and she is creating waves of excitement. If you only buy one Barbie this year – let it be Doctor Maya Angelou. Social media has been buzzing with people racing to their local Target and Walmart to grab early releases of this doll. Dr Maya Angelou Barbie is part of Mattel’s Inspiring Women series and she sold out rapidly. Social media was full of pics of the boxed doll as shoppers grabbed the new Barbie and told the world “I’ve got her.!”. I have a blog aboutwhere to buy black dolls but it is early days.
I am going to give a Barbie collector’s view on this doll with the help of two collectors and one amazing doll designer. This quote is from the talented Mr Carlyle Nuera, the Mattel designer who made this doll. Head on over to his Insta feed to hear the love! Thousands of doll collectors are thanking Mr Nuera. @carlylenuera is the handle
“Such an honor to design this doll. We worked with her son and his wife to make sure the doll accurately represented Dr.Angelou, from the print of her dress to the gap in her teeth”
The box has a literary feel.
“The doll was designed to look like Dr. Angelou circa 1970s, around the time when ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’ was first released. The doll’s color scheme was inspired by the OG cover art for ‘Caged Bird’, rich warm sunset tones.”
A quote from Nuera on the process:
This joyful collector spent hours driving around NY on a Dr Maya spree. She tells the tale well in her beautiful unboxing video The video by @DolliciousLife answers questions about the African print as well as the length of the hair under the wrap. Barbie rarely wears West African prints and Dr Maya’s fabric was scaled down. It looks like Mattel did that especially for this figure.
One of the first people on Instagram to comment on Carlyle Nuera’s achievement was @CelebrateSoulfulDolls . Robin Hickman-Winfield is an adult collector. She complimented the designer thus “SOul Beautiful, a wonderful testimonial! You captured her essence, physically and her spirit… Oh my goodness the sculpt! ” Look at her homage below.
Instagram is full of adults with dolls having the best time. Robin Hickman-Winfield, like many people on the Gram, has a mini-me. Her mini me, Robyn who is married to Stevie, decided to invite their new doll around. Look!
The styling refers back to the doll’s design seamlessly in my opinion. And God is in the detail. Look at the 1/6 scale food. The artist at @wife_in_miniature sculpted the food.
Her is what Robin said to the designer. “Dr. Maya is healing, and we need all the healing we can get! EXCELLENT job, Blessings and Thank You.🙏🏾❤️☀️”
I think I will have to do a whole new blog on Carlyle Nuera, the yellow-haired gent who has been doing SO MUCH for representation and dolls. In researching this Dr Maya blog I have been impressed by his contribution to representation in the doll world.
Last words on books
I will say a few words about books. You don’t need me to help you pick a book by Dr Angelou. You don’t need me to suggest you go over to YouTube to hear her recite her poetry. I am adding a book for the younger children who might be gifted a Dr Maya doll.
Amazon has a pricey version here but keep an eye on your local shop.
After a tough 2020 I’ve decided to think about happy things like weddings and Barbies. It has been a very good year for diverse dolls and I want to hunt down the nicest brides and dresses – and maybe even a groom. I’ll start this blog and add more.
I am starting with this delightful doll – she is Barbie 60th Anniversary Doll. Just look at all the references to the original Barbie 1950s. The ponytail is there- in glossy black plus the side glancing eyes and red lips.
The above photos show how well this dolls works the retro look. I hope that collectors of black dolls will appreciate this elegant reworking of the original 1950s dolls. The dress marks a diamond anniversary and is a twinkly, sparkly full skirted, sleeveless gown. I can see fans and children enjoying this keepsake toy.
Well- i am looking for my own Christmas present right now and here is a doll who I would love to add to my collection.
She may have gone out of my price range but let’s have a look at Puma Barbie anyway. I will add her to my blog about Where to Buy Beautiful black dolls online. She is a Black Label Barbiedoll with the hugely popular Made to Move body. Look at how she poses with her hands on hips!
The designer is Carlyle Nuera who did many of the BMR1959 dolls. The facial sculpt is Selma. and the hair is streaked pink and in two big braids.
The shoes are black and pink suede Pumas that will delight anyone who enjoys miniaturisation. Is that a word?
I am linking to her page on the Barbie website so you can learn all you need to know about her and about the other urban, afrocentric dolls by Carlyle Nuera. I have to stop and smile here. Do people still think Barbie is blonde and blue eyed. Mattel mixes plastic in many shades!
The affiliate link is below. I might pick this doll up un ebay but if Jeff Bezos (he owns Amazon) said I could have anything I wanted from Amazon, I’d click on the link!
Gabriella came out swinging to the Late Late Toy Show stage. She approached Ryan Tubridy on her pogo stick, played with her dolls and styling head and then tried to teach the host some dance moves. In between the pogo stick and dane moves she made a little piece of history.
For the first time ever the late Late Toy how had an entire section devoted to black hair. With wigged dolls and styling heads surrounded by black Barbies the table of toys reflected black Irish girls. Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Jean King were the collector dolls and a scatter of Fashionistas covered the table.
Gabriella showed off her “I’m a Girly” doll explaining how she had dressed the doll with boots borrowed from another doll and a skirt made by her nanny. I will add the brand to my ongoing blog about Where to Buy Beautiful black dolls online.
Kayla was the doll that Gabriella described as being like her. She said “What I really like most about her is that she has a skirt like me and she has hair like me.” Boom!
The Late Late Toy Show is an Irish institution. For one night in the year the chat shows takes a break from the issues of the day to showcase toys in the run up to Christmas. The show is watched globally and her moment is history did not go unnoticed.
In the run up to Christmas I am doing micro blogs about delightful black dolls. I have a long blog about Where to buy beautiful black dolls online and I am trying to keep up with all the new dolls coming out for the Christmas or Holidays season.
Today I am adding, here comes the title, Hairdorables Hairmazing Kali Fashion Doll. These girls have as their slogan “Big Hair, Don’t Care”. I will link to the book by the same name by the amazing writer Crystal Swain Bates . They are close in size to Barbie. This review by Lulu’s Toy Revue is useful.
The dolls are a set of six tween besties and are hitting what I see as, all the doll trends – they are very poseable, they have surprise accessories, they are a multiracial girl gang and they take hair very seriously. Their slogan is a respectful nod to afro hair and all its possibilities.
I kind of missed these dolls as I collect Barbie and I am still not sure what height these dolls are and whether dolls like Honeylicious (below) can share her hip-hop inspired fashions with Barbie. (Yes, sharing is fine.)
I have an unboxing video. A few words and pictures cannot do justice to this set of toys.
In my day Bratz were the big thing – a multicultural set of dolls who made Barbie look fuddy-duddy with their hardcore make up and endless accessories and fashions. At the time, Barbie was being criticized for being to adult or whatever it was. While Barbie tried to be sensible the Bratz dolls whizzed past her in a whoosh of lurid make-up and mini skirts. MGA saw the from a child’s viewpoint. A little girl won’t body shame her dolly. Did we have that phrase back then.
In my eyes MGA has done it again and given little girls exactly what they want. Bold characters, outrageous fashions and endless accessories. If you remember lucky bags, (when I was a kid in Ireland lucky bags were paper bags with little surprises inside – sweets , whistle, plastic comb – that kind of thing). Then imagine a set of lucky bags full of items for your dolls.
Here they are called “blind bags” meaning that you cannot see what is inside until you open them. The design and sculpting of the accessories is exceptional. I do not own one (yet) and I think that the dolls are also packaged blind. Be prepared is all I will say.
Words fail me so I am linking to a video. The dolls in this set are in a band and Lady Gaga is referenced. Beyonce’s influence is visible. But the fun just goes on and on. Each girl has a mini-me baby sister.
I am doing a long blog about Where to Buy Beautiful Black Dolls and I can see that these dolls have a mix of skin shades and hair textures. I still would have liked to see the Fresh Dolls win TOTY.
I have three affiliate links below. So many dolls! My choices were based on hair play.
A gang of male and female dolls appear in the category of gifts For the Family. When I clicked the link it brought me to the Instagram superstar Malik. Dr Lisa’s female dolls are in the Barbie mode but her black, male dolls are exceptional; sexy, handsome men who have inspired many an insta love story. Malik has played the parts of buddy hubby and boyfriend in many a photo story.
For me Malik will always be the man who tried to chat up Chantelle on a storyline by @msgal1965 – but Chantelle stayed loyal to her boyfriend, also a Fresh Squad gent.
I already mentioned this Nigerian success story in my blog about where to buy beautiful black dolls online. I am very happy to see the collection of dolls on Amazon. As well as having African skin and hair these ladies have Barbie sized fashions in West African fabrics and accessories . If you are trying to #mixupthetoybox these girls, Wuraola Nneka (pictured) and Azeezah are a good alternative and accompaniment to Barbie dolls.
It looks like no expense was spared on this Netflix animation about a delightfully diverse set of prehistoric friends. Mattel have created a beautiful set of representative 10 inch dollies. the dolls are fully jointed and poseable.
The hair is lush and comes with accessories for hair play. The beautifully sculpted and witty accessories will thrill little girls. The group feels properly diverse. These dolls deserve to be the Christmas 2020 memory-making dollies. here is Fernessa.. As an contributor to BlackHair mag I am pleased to see the respect for black hair in this dolly’s design. Just look at her pre-historic afro pick.