All Articles Tagged "dolls"

American Girl Removes Dolls Of Color Ahead Of Line Re-Launch

May 28th, 2014 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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American Girl

American Girl

American Girl, the line of dolls that come with their own personal story, has discontinued two historical characters of color: African American Cecile and Asian American Ivy, two dolls that represent a diversity not often seen on the shelves at toy stores. The Mattel-owned company retired the dolls in order to re-launch a new historical character line. American Girl wrote in the comment section of its announcement, “With the re-launch planned for this fall, we have decided to move away from the character-friend strategy within the line, which means we will no longer offer Ruthie, Ivy, or Cecile and Marie-Grace.”

The historical character line was created by aligning three pairs of dolls who are best friends under strained circumstances, presented through the lens of various periods in American history. For instance, in an example provided by the American Girl site, Cecile Rey and Marie-Grace Gardner form an “unlikely bond” in New Orleans, Lousiana when sickness spreads through the city. This friendship is formed directly after the Civil War and is most likely linked to the Reconstruction Period where slaves were assimilating into greater American society. Asian American Ivy Ling is the best friend of Julie Albright. Living in San Francisco, their friendship was shaped by Chinese immigration during the 1970s. Ling’s character represents Asian-American girls who are first generation and strive to make their families proud.

With Cecile and Ivy leaving the line, only Addy, Josefina (New Mexican) and Kaya (Nez Perce) will represent dolls of color. Addy is an African-American slave.

Since business and  media has a huge impact on the way children feel about issues that directly affect them, MadameNoire asked 10-year-old Rachel Andries for her thoughts about the issue. “I like black dolls because they make me feel beautiful,” she told MN. “Also I can dress them up and style them the way I would like to dress.” When she heard American Girl will only be selling Addy, Rachel shared, “I would choose Cecile Rey over Addy because slavery was not nice.”

Due to the announcement, American Girl’s historical line is selling like hot cakes. Do you think consumers will still support American Girl after Cecile and Ivy say their final goodbyes? Do you have suggestions for the new line of dolls?

The ‘Every Girl’ Doll? Lammily Is No Barbie! She’s Designed With An Average Female Body In Mind

March 10th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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lammilyA new doll named Lammily might just revolutionize the toy industry. At the very least, it will change the doll industry. Over the years many have complained that Barbie is an unrealistic image of the average woman; that the doll can actually lead to little girls developing poor self images because they don’t have Barbie’s “perfect” and wholly unrealistic body. Lammily’s look is designed to reflect the average 19-year-old.

Her motto is, “Average is beautiful.” And she truly is average. “Her body shape is based on averages of data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control that is more often used to track the American obesity epidemic,” reports The Atlantic.

Designed by Nickolay Lamm, a graphic artist whose images of the “Normal Barbie” went viral on the Internet last year, Lammily is expected to hit the market by Christmas 2014. Lamm has launched a crowdsourcing project to get the doll into production, exceeding the fundraising goal with $370,190 raised. Lamm aims to produce 5,000 of the dolls and hoped to raise $95,000, reports International Business Times. He has 6,500 supporters. (It might be worth noting here that sales of the Barbie doll have decreased in recent years.)

“If Barbie were a real woman, she would be incapable of walking on two feet or lifting anything with her tiny wrists, and her svelte waist would only have room for half of a liver, according to a report by” [h/t NBC News]

Lamm has not said if the dolls will come in various ethnicities.

No word on whether Lammily will have Barbie’s to-die for fashions or a sports car-driving boyfriend. But she’ll be athletic and wear comfortable shoes, which might be just as good.

Pulled From The Internet: EBay Bans the Sale Of “Django” Dolls

January 28th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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They were controversial as soon as they hit the market — the Django Unchained action figures caused debate over whether they were racist, inappropriate, and/or exploitive. Now the dolls have been banned from eBay, according to TMZ.

As we reported, many complained that the selling of these slave dolls, which were available on Amazon, is not only racially insensitive but also makes light of slavery. Following massive backlash from African-American advocacy groups, The Weinstein Company (which produced the film) discontinued the promotional figurines.

Ebay said via emails to sellers, “Since the manufacturer of this product has discontinued the item’s sale due to its potentially offensive nature, we are not allowing it to be sold on eBay,” reports TMZ. According to eBay, the dolls  were in violation of the company’s “Offensive Materials policy.” The dolls had been fetching as much as $300 apiece. According to Deadline Hollywood, the bidding for a complete set of the dolls had reached $1,000.

But all this controversy could have the opposite effect, making the doll even more collectible and expensive.

Are you opposed to the Django dolls?

I’m a Big Kid Now: 10 Toys Every Woman Should Have Had as a Girl

February 15th, 2012 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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As a kid, everyone had their favorite toys: whether it be a doll, a cool tea party set, a teddy bear–you name it, we claimed it, and when we got old enough to act like we didn’t care for toys anymore, we were still sad when mom decided to give our favorite toy to someone who needed it more. Yeah, childhood was great and simple, and our toys made it that much better. After seeing that there is a toy fair going on in NYC currently, it inspired me to create this ode to the dopest toys from our childhood. Time to walk down memory lane ladies!



Easy-Bake Oven

Born and bred in the 1960s, the Easy-Bake Oven was most young girls’ first real foray into cooking. While the boxed oven of goodness came with cake mix, if you were like me, once those sweet concoctions ran out, you were working with anything you had in the house. I can’t tell you how many Frosted Flakes and grape jelly cakes I was cooking for folks in my house (they weren’t too excited to eat them though…). Definitely a defining toy in many homes for the little gals and the hungry big brothers.

Women’s Group Gives Barbies Natural Hair Makeovers for Christmas

December 12th, 2011 - By Brande Victorian
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An African-American natural hair group is planning to hand out Barbies to girls at Booker T. Washington apartments in Columbus, GA, for Christmas, but before giving away the dolls, the women plan to give them a bit of a hair makeover.

“When you look for dolls, they all have straight hair,” group member Candice McBride told the Ledger-Enquirer. “It’s tricky even to find ones with brown eyes,” she added noting the European features visible on most dolls despite the fact that they come in 50 nationalities.

Using an online tutorial for halo or rotini hairstyles for Barbies, the ladies will transform the texture of the dolls’ hair via pipe cleaners, end papers, and boiling water.

“We wanted to show the girls that basically, it’s okay the way God made you,” said Jennifer Henderson, another member of the group. Henderson said her 2-year-old daughter, Imani, isn’t into Barbies just yet, but she does like dolls.

“She’s into baby dolls. I’ll brush her hair and she’ll brush her doll’s hair,” she said. “She wants to do what she sees me doing.”

The ladies plan to make over 40 dolls before the holidays using this recipe. What do you think of this idea for making over straight-haired Barbie dolls? Have you ever tried this?

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

More on Madame Noire!

5 Black Toy Companies That Embrace Multicultural Identity and Culture

April 20th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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In the 1940s, African-American psychologists Kenneth Bancroft Clark and his wife, Mamie Phillps Clark, designed a test known as the “doll test” to see how children responded to race. The test was administered to black children between the ages of three and seven. When the children were asked which of the four dolls that they were shown did they prefer, the majority selected the white doll and described it as most desirable, whereas the black dolls were described as the least desirable.

In recent years, there have been conscious attempts within the toy industry to present a more diverse selection of dolls—Mattel introduced the “black” Barbie, the cabbage patch kids now include dolls of a darker hue, and Disney released a doll of its first black princess. Despite these efforts, some African-Americans have taken it upon themselves to create and produce dolls and other kid friendly items to help instill a sense of self-pride and self-awareness in minority children. Here’s our list of those black toy companies that are helping to make the industry more reflective of today’s diverse children’s population:

HIA Toys

From the time he was a little boy, Sterling Ashby was a comic book enthusiast. His boyhood passion and a Christmas shopping experience inspired him to create his own line of collectibles. The idea came to Ashby in 2003 when he purchased a doll of a famous scientist for a friend’s son. Ashby and the young boy were both amazed by the doll. Using that experience as a guide, Ashby launched History in Action Toys, a line that consists of a series of action figures that Ashby describes as fun, positive role models whose real-life stories are designed to awaken both a child’s imagination and appeal to the kid in everyone.

Oprah Faces Racism on Australian Trip, Gets ‘Mamee’ Dolls Removed!

December 13th, 2010 - By madamenoire
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You would not believe the mess that still happens around racism in this world. Read more about what Oprah experienced on the far, far end of the world, better known as Australia, here.

Former Educator Offers Ethnically Diverse Dolls

December 1st, 2010 - By TheEditor
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(San Gabriel Valley Tribune) — Like most little girls, Mary Eubanks grew up loving dolls. She even wanted to be a doll maker.  “But then life got in the way: school, college, career,” noted Eubanks, who spent more than two decades as an educator at Roosevelt High School in Los Angeles before achieving her dream of launching her own doll company. Eubanks founded her Children of America Dolls company in 2005 in Pasadena to create diversity in the world of dolls. “Children of America Dolls represents today’s children in their appeal and authentic ethnic diversity,” Eubanks said. “Each doll has her own features born of her own ethnic diversity. They are designed to teach young girls that they are uniquely different and special.”

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