Doll News: May 2016 Edition

Doll News May 2016

From left to right Shibakuku Girls, Misty Copeland Barbie, Queen of Africa Doll and Wonder Crew.

Misty Copeland Barbie burst on the scene in the beginning of May 2016. I thought Mattel’s collectible doll might be the main story in doll news this month, but after a week-long flurry in the press the clamor subsided and the narrative started to change. This month was REALLY about about small, independent, start-ups bringing their vision to the world. Five new doll lines are either being launched for the first time in the US, or they’re being produced with the aid of successful kick-started campaigns! Read all about the new dolls coming to a toy aisle near you.

A Ballerina Doll for a Real Ballerina

Probably the biggest doll news this month was the release of the Misty Copeland Barbie doll. It sold out immediately but not before stirring up a bit of controversy about the doll’s skin color. You might not be able to buy the doll from Mattel anymore, but you can enjoy a number of great photos in the article Misty Copeland Nabs her own Barbie. If you’re interested in Misty’s role in the creation of the doll check out this great interview from Glamour Magazine.

Dolls for Boys and Action Figures for Girls

Traditionally girls played with dolls and boys played with action figures, but these days girls are getting their own line of action figures and boys will have the opportunity to play with dolls designed just for them. This month a college student launched a line of African-American boy dolls. Meanwhile, a mother who searched unsuccessfully for a doll for her son has created a line of 18″ boy dolls. The story was written up in Boy Story creators want to give boys a doll of their ownBut that’s not the only line of boy dolls to pop up in the news this month. Another mother is creating a different set of boy dolls. Read about them in This Mom Thinks Boys Should Play With Dolls — So She Created a Line They’ll Love. That’s three new lines of dolls just for boys!

More Fashion Dolls in the News

Coming soon there will be a few new fashion dolls hitting the scene. Read about how an Australian entrepreneur who created a line of Japanese fashion-inspired dolls called Shibjuku Girls in the article Party’s over, Barbie! Meet the woman whose Harajuku-inspired dolls are set to shake up the toy industry.

The Shibujuku dolls are new to me, but I have heard about “Queens of Africa”, the fashion doll line started by Nigerian entrepreneur Taofick Okoya back in 2007. Well, they’ll finally be available in the US!  Read more in Popular Nigerian ‘Queens Of Africa’ Doll Line Is Coming To America

The truth is these are just a few of the doll stories that I read about this month in the news. Dolls are alive and well! And I couldn’t be happier about it.

Photo Credits for the main photo: From left to right Shibakuku Girls (Image Play Photography), Misty Copeland Barbie (Mattel), Queen of Africa Doll ( and Wonder Crew doll (

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