African American Dolls

A Guide To African American Dolls

The birth of commercial African American dolls happened when the Civil Rights Movement was still going on. The concept of Barbie was a derivation of German Bild Lilli Doll who first appeared in 1955. Lilli was a doll whose appearance reflected a sort of confidence and defiance as if she was always ready to put into practice whatever she desired. Barbie a more improved version of the Lilli appeared just a few years later.

Francie, one of the first African American dolls came in the year 1966 and she was entitled as “Barbie’s MODern cousin”. The doll was extremely pretty and her height was a bit shorter than Barbie. However, Francie never came alone. She was always accompanied by her collection of vibrant and splashy colored clothes. In 1967, Francie with her dark hair and dark complexion became a hot favorite as Barbie’s black cousin. It is however, unfortunate that Francie could not conquer the hearts of the majority of African American population.

In the year 1968 another beauty was added to the collection of African American dolls. She was Christie – Barbie’s first black friend. Ken was Barbie’s boy friend whose black friend Stephen the fiancé of Christie made his debut in the year 1988. Both black and Hispanic Barbie took their place in the product line in the year 1980.

Christie was the first to appear on the scene. After that, there was no end in the list. All the dolls are extremely gorgeous. They have a variety of skin tones starting from very light to dark and various sorts of hairstyles of varying lengths – short, straight, long, flowing and dreadlocks. The variety includes dolls of both American and African styles and their appearances are different too. Their eyes, lips, foreheads, cheekbones, and chins differ from each other according to the race they belong to.

What to consider before purchasing African American dolls

There are certain things to consider before going for one of the African American dolls. Move around and gather information from library books, trade magazines, museums and Prince guides. Other significant sources from where you can gather necessary information are noted dealers of African American dolls. You query about price and variety of the dolls and the dealers will tell you the best. The sellers are always there to tell you about the age, origin and condition of the dolls, the price of the items and the place from where the dolls have been purchased.